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AT-12 Planes of Fame


Model: 2PA, AT-12 Registration: N55539
Year: 1937 Serial Number: c/n 483-38, 41-17529
Engine(s): P&W R1830 Twin Wasp
Owner: Planes of Fame Museum Chino, CA

In 1936 Major Alexander de Seversky won the U.S. Army Air Corps competition for a new pursuit aircraft. According to the 1938 Jane’s, Seversky was awarded a contract to build 85 P-35’s and the order was completed in 1937.

It seems that Seversky was not a real good businessman, and when he was out of the country in early 1939 his board fired him. They renamed the company, “Republic Aviation Corp.”

The new company developed an export version of the P-35 and called it the EP-106. Before they were all delivered, the U.S. government placed an embargo on all arms that were not going to Britain. In 1940 these were impressed into service for our USAAC with the designation P-35A.

North American P-51D Mustang “Spam Can” – N5441V

Serial Number      45-11582      Type Registration      Corporation
Manufacturer Name     NORTH AMERICAN     Certificate Issue Date     11/22/1976
Model     F-51D     Status     Valid
Type Aircraft     Fixed Wing Single-Engine     Type Engine     Reciprocating
Pending Number Change     None     Dealer     No
Date Change Authorized     None     Mode S Code     51564527
MFR Year     1961     Fractional Owner     NO
Registered Owner

Street     7000 MERRILL AVE STE 17

City     CHINO     State     CALIFORNIA
County     SAN BERNARDINO     Zip Code     91710-9084

Engine Manufacturer     PKRD-ROLL     Classification     Limited
Engine Model     V1650 SERIES     Category     None
A/W Date     12/11/1961

Waco – N32186

Serial Number      5812      Type Registration      Co-Owned
Manufacturer Name     WACO     Certificate Issue Date     11/12/1991
Model     UPF-7     Status     Valid
Type Aircraft     Fixed Wing Single-Engine     Type Engine     Reciprocating
Pending Number Change     None     Dealer     No
Date Change Authorized     None     Mode S Code     50672626
MFR Year     1942     Fractional Owner     NO
Registered Owner

Street     6429 OUIDA WAY

City     LAS VEGAS     State     NEVADA
County     CLARK     Zip Code     89108

Engine Manufacturer     AMA/EXPR     Classification     Standard
Engine Model     UNKNOWN ENG     Category     Normal
A/W Date     03/18/1942

B-29A 44-61669 “49 Three feathers”

The B-29 at the March Field Museum is an A model serial number 44-61669. It was delivered to the USAAF on 5 May 1945 at the Boeing facility in Renton, Washington.   It was assigned to the 20th Air Force, 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bomb Group, 833rd Bomb Squadron flying combat missions out of Saipan.  It carried the name “Flagship 500” and had a “Z-49” on its tail at the end of WWII.   Its last USAF assignment was in 1956 with the 581st Air Resupply Group at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. It was transferred as a TB-29A trainer to the US Navy on 18 March 1956.  The aircraft was recovered from the Naval Test Center at China Lake, restored by a private organization, and flown from Daggett Field, Barstow, to March AFB in January, 1981 by MARC (Military Aircraft Restoration Corp.). This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.

From 1981 to 2003, our B-29 had the nose art of the “Mission Inn” painted on the starboard nose.  (Click here to see more information about the “Mission Inn” B-29). This is the name of a famous hotel in neighboring Riverside, California, and was also the name applied to a former March Air Force Base – 22nd Bomb Wing “Superfortress” that served in the Korean War. When the museum’s B-29 (#44-61669) was recovered from the Gunnery ranges of the Naval Weapons Test Center – China Lake, California, in the mid 1970’s (it was flown to the March Field Museum in August 1981), its history was almost completely unknown. Because of the fact that there once was a B-29 stationed at March AFB with “Mission Inn” nose art, it seemed appropriate at the time (1981) to put that nose art on the museum’s B-29. But since learning of the airplane’s actual history in the 500th Bomb Group, including 11 combat missions during WWII, it is currently planned to restore her original paint scheme of Z49 with nose art  — Flagship “500”.

In June 1999, the museum learned that #44-61669 had been assigned to and flown by crews of the 883rd Bomb Squadron, 500th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing on Saipan! It was “Z-49”, and had been called “Flagship 500.” In checking back through the 73rd BW history, there is a photo (shown below) of this B-29 on page 5 in the January 1987 73rd Bomb Wing Newsletter. It was taken during an enroute stopover in Hawaii during “Operation Sunset.” One of its crew members: Colonel Jack Dougherty, Commander of the 500th Bomb Group, was clearly shown in the photo and caption. In this photo, the B-29’s name appeared in the 73rd BW “ball-and spear” insignia on the port side of the nose.