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• Monthan Memories •

All images Neil Aird © 1966 - 1968 except where noted by Tom Baillie © 1968.

Split into two pages now - 151 IMAGES in all! Updated 02 March 2021

Those memories begin in 1966, and long lines of interesting aircraft spring to mind. "Monthan" is Davis-Monthan Air Force base at Tucson, Arizona. Home of AMARG * AMARC * or MASDC * as it was known when I first "scouted" it out, travelling there all the way from Scotland. As a schoolboy, I had seen a few photographs of a "Boneyard" in Arizona. They showed stacks of Republic F-84F and F-84G Thunderjets piled four high, that captivated me, it still does. I have made several trips to Tucson and hope to visit a few more times. In this section I will be adding photos and slides taken during these visits, mostly in 1968, when I spent two days walking the base with my good friend Tom Baillie. Now, a quick bus tour is all you can get. Still worth it!!!

*AMARG / AMARC Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Centre *MASDC Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Centre Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968

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The © colour images displayed below are original scans of Kodachrome slides - they are not "colourised" in any way.
I seem to remember this area was near where we checked in for our guide. A grand selection of airframes used for testing materials.
52-0496 Boeing B-47E-90-BW Stratojet (450781) and 51-5251 B-47E-60-BW (450536) parked with some other "Cold Warriors" in the hot sun. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
53-4256 Boeing JQB-47E-45-BW Stratojet (4501280) USAF, Note numerous SR-71 sillouettes on nose. Bring back Day-Glo!xxxxxxxxxxxPhoto: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
A note from my friend Ken Kula:

The missile used in the testing was the Hughes GAR9/AIM-47, an updated Falcon missile that was never used, but whose technology was used in part for the AIM-54 Phoenix (F-14 Tomcat) system.  There were 7 test shots from YF-12A interceptors (SR-71 fighters!); one shot downed a sister QB-47E drone over the Pt. Mugu/Pacific Missile test range.   The B-47 has a photo nose, and was one of only a few RB-47s built stock for the photo mission… a source also said that there were arresting gear behind the fuselage wheels for drone recovery.  The odd under-wing apparatus is part of a target measuring device to tell how close a missile passed by the drone.

The above two images by Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
53-4280 Boeing RB-47H-1-BW Stratojet (4501304) USAF-SAC front and centre, leading the parked pack, so to speak. Photo: Neil Aird © 09 September 1968
143196 Lockheed JC-121K Warning Star (4470) US ARMY "Younger's Mistress", a very rare bird indeed. Used by the US Army at their Kwajalein Missile Range facility. Stored at MASDC since December 1967. Sold to Kolar scrapyard 23 October 1976, and later and broken up. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
141326 Lockheed WV-2/EC-121K Warning Star (4450) US NAVY with some sister ships, including 141316 (4439) and 141299 (4423) . They had been at MASDC since early 1965, all went to Kolar for scrapping in 1974. Some USAF C-121 Connies look on. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers and C-97 Stratofreighters USAF - Our work begins. Photo: Neil Aird © 09 September 1968
Row upon row of Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers, a wonderful vista. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
53-0276 Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker (17058) USAF - SAC was present with about seventy-five other aircraft of the C-97, KC-97 variety. A wonderful sight. This aircraft returned to service on 05 March 1970, returning to MASDC 03 February 1978. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
52-0843 Boeing C-97G-21-BO Stratofreighter (16536) USAF - ANG. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
53-0283 Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker (17065) USAF - SAC. To MASDC May 4, 1965. She was returned to USAF service on 23 April 1970. Put on display at NAS JRB Forth Worth, Texas. Purchased by a private party in December 2001 and trucked to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and used as a restaurant. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
52-0922 Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (16616) USAF Georgia Air National Guard.
53-0172 Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker (16985) USAF. Went to Spanish Air Force as TK.1-1 Coded 123-01. Preserved at Sant Cugat as "Discoteque Chic" now "The Music Box".
52-2610 Boeing C-97G-25-BO Stratofreighter (16641) USAF - Tennessee Air National Guard, based at Memphis.
52-2663 Boeing C-97G-25-BO Stratofreighter (16694) USAF - Pennsylvania Air National Guard "County of Montgomery".
52-2611 Boeing C-97G-24-BO Stratofreighter (16642) USAF - Pennsylvania Air National Guard "County of Delaware".
53-3815 Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (17148) USAF - California Air National Guard.
52-0835 Boeing C-97G-21-BO Stratofreighter (16529) USAF - Missouri Air National Guard. Declared excess 16 January 1969.

My pal Tom Baillie in action in the background.

53-0346 Tom Baillie © 09 September 1968
52-2667 Tom Baillie © 09 September 1968
52-2690 Tom Baillie © 09 September 1968
53-0214 Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (16996) USAF - Oklahoma Air National Guard. "City of Tulsa". Arrived at MASDC on 23 April 1968. XPhoto: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
45-0792 Douglas R4D-4/C-47J Skytrain (26578) USN. United States Naval Attache - Canberra, Australia. XXXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
43-49789 Douglas VC-47D Skytrain (15605/27050) United States Air Force - SAC. Became HC-AUS/49789 of TAME -Transportes Aereos Militar Equador in 1971.
43-16164 Douglas C-47D Skytrain (20630) USAF. Production Control Number (PCN) CB278. To Allied Aircraft as scrap 28 December 1978. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
124868/209 Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune United States Navy. The third of twenty-three Model 426-42-06 produced. XXXXXXXXPhoto: Neil Aird © 09 September 1968
The Neptune has long been a favourite of mine. Here are varied selection of tailcodes to be noted just in this image, including 6A Anacostia; 6G Alameda ; 6M Memphis; 7B Atlanta; 7D Dallas; 7E Twin Cities; 7K Olanthe; 7L Los Alamitos; 7R New York; 7T Seattle: and 7V Glenview. For the best information, check out the incredible site of Neptune Specialist, Baldur Sveinsson. Here is the main link for you.
126540 Lockheed P2V-6 Neptune Aéronaval / French Navy. Being slowly being picked clean. Neil Aird © 09 September 1968
131423 Lockheed OP-2E Neptune USN MR/10 VO-67 Squadron. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxTom Baillie © 10 September 1968
131528 Lockheed OP-2E Neptune USN MR/1, one of several machines of VO-67 Squadron present on 10 September 1968.

Top: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968

Twelve P-2Es were modified by Martin Aircraft in Baltimore, Maryland, for the aerial delivery of acoustic and seismic sensors. Modifications included the replacement of the MAD tailboom with chaff dispensers, the installation of a camera pod beneath the rear fuselage and two SUU-II 7-62 mm miniguns beneath each wing. A Norden bombsight was placed in the nose, and provisions for carrying parachute-retarded sensors were also fitted. Assigned to the specially commissioned VO-67 squadron, the OP-2Es were operated from Nakhon Phanom RTAFB in Thailand between November 1967 and July 1968 seeding sensors along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.XXXXXXX©

17150 Douglas C-117D Skytrooper / Super Dakota (43311) United States Navy JD/150 of VX-6 Air Development Squadron. Production Control Number (PCN) 6C004.

I recieved this note from Joe Hawkins (March 2014) - thanks Joe: This aircraft was never LC-117D, it was a converted from an R4D-5 to an R4D-8. After 1963 it would have been known as a C-117D. Further, this aircraft was never modified as a cold weather aircraft. According to the guys that used to fly 17150 with VX-6, it was used as a summer time training hack at NAS Quonset Point since all of the ski R4D's were left in Antarctica for the winter (unless they were coming back for rework or to be sent to the bone yard).

1313 Grumman HU-16E Albatross of United States Coast Guard - CGAS Barber's Point, Hawaii. XXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
1316 Grumman HU-16E Albatross of United States Coast Guard - CGAS San Juan, Puerto Rico.. XXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
7250 Grumman HU-16E Albatross of United States Coast Guard - CGAS Corpus Christi. Shown here on 10 September 1968, this aircraft later went to CGAS Cape Cod, the former Otis AFB. CGNR 7250, was retired on 10 March 1983, and is on display outside the entrance to the air station. CG 7250/NC 7250 was not only the last Coast Guard Albatross, but the last fixed-wing amphibious aircraft in US inventory.
51-0045 Grumman HU-16B Albatross (G-121) USAF. I have fond memories of these active on Rescue duties at Prestwick in Scotland. You can travel to Davis-Monthan today and still see many in the scrapyards and with the restorers around the airbase. The aircraft pictured above went to Spain under MDAP as AD.1B-9

Top: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968

859 Douglas C-47D Skytrain (14675/26120) USAF. This is in fact 43-48859 of South Vietnam AF which arrived on 13 August 1968. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
43-49025 Douglas C-47 Skytrain (14841/26286) USAF. This served with Guatemalan Air Force as FAG-550 from 21 June 1969 until September 1980. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
Here 43-49025 visits Prestwick one month earlier operating for the 20 TFW. Perhaps this was the beginning of her long trip to Davis-Monthan? Photo: Ken Marshall © 11 August 1968
43-48698 Douglas VC-47D Skytrain (14514/25959) USAF. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
57-0387 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (499), 57-0336 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (514).
57-0268 McDonnell F-101B-85-MC Voodoo (446), 57-0390 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (568), 57-0391 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (569), later became 101048.
57-0321 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (499) went to Canadian Armed Forces as 101021, 57-0430 McDonnell F-101B-100-MC Voodoo (608), 57-0331 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo(509) and 59-0465 McDonnell F-101B-120-MC Voodoo, ex RCAF 17465 with many other McDonnell F-101B Voodoo, all with distinct tail markingsand unit badges.
57-0375 McDonnell F-101B-95-MC Voodoo (553) went to Canadian Armed Forces as 101041, 57-0286 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (464) went to Canadian Armed Forces as 101010, 57-0358 McDonnell RF-101B-95-MC Voodoo() also went to Canadian Armed Forces as 101031, these three and umpteen more McDonnell F-101B Voodoo await their collective future or fate.
Below is the former 57-0375 in action, transformed to a CF-101B 101041 a few years after our first meeting in the desert.
57-0293 (471) and 57-0381 (559) have been recently treated for storage, while several other McDonnell F-101B Voodoo await the same treatment. 57-0293 went to Canada as 101012. 57-0381 became CF-101B 101044. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
57-0354 McDonnell F-101B Voodoo (532) USAF to Canada as 101030; 56-0323 McDonnell F-101B Voodoo (419); 57-0322 McDonnell F-101F Voodoo (500). Preserved at McChord AFB as Canadian "101022". Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
57-0323 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (501) USA to Canadian Armed Forces as 101023 in 1970/71. (409 Squadron) crashed near Chatham, Canada 14 January 1978. SOC 10 October 1978; 56-0252 McDonnell F-101B-60-MC-Voodoo (187) USAF. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
57-0354 McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo (532) USAF, to Canadian Armed Forces as 101030 in 1970/71. To instructional airframe as 827B 11 Jul y 1984. SOC 15 May 1990. Now on display at CFB Comox, British Columbia; 57-0423 McDonnell RF-101B-100-MC Voodoo (601) USAF, 56-0313 McDonnell F-101B-80-MC Voodoo (248) USAF. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
53-5192 Lockheed DT-33A (58-8531) USAF arrived 14 August 1968 and 53-5106 Lockheed DT-33A (580-8445) USAF arrived 15 August 1968. Here they are together on 10 September 1968, with 53-5106 already wearing the Production Control Number (PCN) TC854. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
143034 Lockheed T-33B of the MARINES Washington. 147885 Grumman S-2D Tracker US NAVY is parked behind. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
134622 Douglas A-1D Skyraider US NAVY NJ/276 of VA-122 Squadron, sits proudly amongst some Lockheed T-33 and a Lockheed T-1A Seastar.

Update 17 August 2013: Received an update via Facebook from Boneyard Almanac - An AMARG Book, supplemented by my own further research from Scramble's US Military Aircraft Mishaps 1950 - 2004.

This aircraft was regenerated in May 1969, and sent to the Naval Air Rework Facility, NAS Quonset Point, RI, and then transferred to the USAF as 52-134622, whereupon it was sent to fly from Pleiku AB, South Vietnam. (1st SOS/56th SOW) During a strike against Pathet Lao troop positions, it was hit by ground fire near Ban Len in the Plain of Jars, Xiangkhoang Province, Laos, 16 September 1971. The aircraft lost oil pressure and was forced to land at a small airstrip at Ban Nam Tia. On touchdown the tires blew and the pilot retracted the landing gear, the aircraft left the runway. A CH-54 helo was sent to recover the repairable aircraft, but the Skyraider was dropped when they tried to fly it out in high winds.

Top: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie ©10 September 1968

Freshly "spray-latted" Douglas A-1 Skyraider 137616 and a collection of Lockheed TV-1 Seastar await towing to their appropriate parking areas.

Top: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie ©10 September 1968

132790 Douglas EA-1F Skyraider US NAVY VR/775 of VAW-13 Squadron. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
135018 Douglas EA-1F Skyraider US NAVY GD/703 of VAQ-33 Squadron. To Pima Air & Space Museum. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
132790 Douglas EA-1G Skyraider (9386) US NAVY VR/775 VAW-13. Production Control Number (PCN) AA030. From the other side ! Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
132555 Douglas EA-1F Skyraider (8950) US NAVY VR/012 VAW-13 USS Kittyhawk. Recently arrived, was SOC 22 August 1968. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
133763 Douglas EA-1E Skyraider (7395) US NAVY VR/013 of VAW-13 Squadron USS Kittyhawk. Production Control Number (PCN) 1A02* already applied. Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1968
134983 Douglas EA-1F Skyraider USN VR/774 VAW-13Squadron USS Kittyhawk. Production Control Number (PCN) 1A026 Photo:Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
55-0393 Douglas WB-66D-DT Destroyer (45025) USAF, noted on arrivals ramp on 10 September 1968. Note crew access steps under cockpit area.
138964 Douglas KA-3B Skywarrior (115/10825) United States Navy - NJ/305 VAH-123 Squadron. Great to have a close up look at this "Whale". There were even some still at Davis-Monthan/AMARC in storage in 2009!
144204 Lockheed T-1A Seastar (formerly a T2V-1) USN. By the looks of the day-glo, this could be coming out of storage, rather than going into it? Only 150 were built. It was replaced by the North American T-2 Buckeye.
57-1305 Lockheed F-104B-5-LO Starfighter (283-5017) USAF with sister ship, being returned to service. 57-1305 came to MASDC 05 December 1967, was allocated Production Control Number (PCN) FB0012. Went back into service at Edwards AFB., with AFSC/AFFTC. She returned to MASDC 14 October 1972 and allocated (PCN) FB0042. On 11 March 1982 went to Char Wink, Culver City.

Top: Neil Aird © 09 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie © 09 September 1968

17203 Douglas R4D-5 Dakota (13103) US NAVY - Meridian NAS. Later went to US ARMY in July 1971.
147171 Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse (58-1087) US NAVY 2E/142 HT-8 Squadron. This has been preserved on USS Yorktown coded YL/38.
149389 Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse (58.1491) 141US NAVY 2E/141 HT-8 Squadron.
147884 Grumman S-2D Tracker United States Navy - USS Essex AW/18 VS-39 Squadron.
Yours truly, caught in the act of taking the photograph of 147884 the Tracker shown above!

147171 Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse (58-1087) US NAVY 2E/142 HT-8 Squadron. This has been preserved on USS Yorktown coded YL/38. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968

148733 Grumman S-2D Tracker United States Navy - USS Randolph AW/41 VS-34 Squadron. Oops, a wee oil spill here.
144722 Grumman S-2F Tracker United States Navy 6A/159. 131535 Lockheed S-2E Neptune US NAVY 7R/211 shares the ramp with the Tracker, a C-47, some Cessna Blue Canoes, a Skyraider and a mysterious all yellow Skywarrior parked beside a green Lockheed OP-2E Neptune. Such a great selection.
148141 Grumman E-1B Tracer USN VAW-121 Squadron AU/726 USS Randolphxxxxxxxxxxxx Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968
140948 Beech T-34B Mentor (BG-282) US NAVY.
A fine collection of recently arrived Cessna U-3A/B Blue Canoes. Straight and swept tail varieties. Until that day, I had only seen one before, 60-6048 (310M-0003) belonging to USAF-SAC hiding in a hangar at RAF Booker on 13 July 1963. It frequently was seen around the UK. Here is a link to it visiting Prestwick on 28 August 1963.

Top: Neil Aird © 09 September 1968 Lower: Tom Baillie © 09 September 1968

A tribe of T-Birds. It's amazing to think that in early 2010 there are still about fifty-eight Lockheed T-33's present. They arrived as follows: 9 in 1980; 1 in 1986; 29 in 1987 and 19 in 1988. I wonder what will happen to those aircraft?
"Rows of Boxcars" Fairchild C-119C/C/G Flying Boxcar USAF and Marines. About 281 passed through MASDC.
It was quite a pleasant shock to find these Curtiss C-46 Commando aircraft still on site.
"Scorpions in the Desert" - Several rows of retired Northrop F-89J Scorpion, at least 66 at one point, rest with several other USAF types. Impossible to stop and photograph them all alas. Each with a tale to tell I'm sure. They came from the ANG units of Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, Washington, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota,
Getting towards the end of the line for some of these airframes. Poor old 53-3963 Martin RB-57D canberra USAF 7407th CSW is not long for this world. A nice line of Maine ANG North American F-86H Sabre are fairing a little better. One or more went to the USN at NWC China Lake as QF-86H, to go out in a more dramatic blaze of glory. Douglas C-47D Skytrain 43-16200 (20666) is missing her rudder, engines, and other vital parts. Lockheed T-33 T-birds and Douglas B-66 adorn the scrub land.
Another "end of the line" shot from our "drive by shooting" session. A few Douglas B-26 Invader aircraft remained still in 1968. Here are four, including a US Navy UB-26J.
N1192 Lockheed L-749A Constellation (2612) FAA. A sad sight - being parted out 09 September 1968, Ex WV-1 124437 USN. Gone by 1969.
While driving by a ramp we noticed a lone, forlorn, COIN North American YAT-28E Trojan 51-3788 experimental airframe. Production Control Number (PCN) TA132. Grumman F-11A Tiger 141795 USN 3L/608 VT-26, joins a bunch of USN Lockheed P-2 Neptunes and a trio of USAF-SAC Boeing B-47E Stratojets, including 53-2327 of 307BW.
" The Big Thrill "
Driving on base with a coveted Visitor's Pass - we thought we had died and gone to heaven!
Colourful rows of aircraft and helicopters at every turn. Where to start? Here we have US Navy, Marines and Air Force Sikorsky UH-19F/CH-19E/UH-19B.
"Tall Tails" - when we told friends of our adventures at MASDC, they thought we were telling tall tales! Rows of Boeing B-52E and F models, amongst the first to arrive at Davis-Monthan. Here 57-0111 Boeing B-52E-55-BW (464100) which arrived 18 April 1967, and 57-0137 Boeing B-52E-60-BW (464125) which arrived 21 April 1967, are amongst the parked Stratofortress.
The battle is over for this giant Boeing B-52F Stratofortress USAF-SAC. Production Control Number (PCN) BC045.
As you enteerd MASDC in 1968, several airframes were used for tests in this area, still holds true for that purpose at AMARG in 2010.
Here, beside our trusty Mustang, Tom and our patient "handler" await the start of a busy day of logging and snapping.
56-0779 Lockheed F-104-15-LO (183-1067), 56-0784 Lockheed F-104-15-LO (183-1072), 56-0795 Lockheed F-104-15-LO (183-1083).
56-0766 Lockheed F-104-15-LO (183-1054), 56-0824 Lockheed F-104-20-LO (183-1112), 56-0793 Lockheed F-104-20-LO (183-1117).
56-0872 Lockheed F-104-25-LO (183-1160) PCN FB013. Logged 32 Starfighters that day.
56-0752, 56-0754, 56-0759 plus some friends. Photo: Tom Baillie © 10 September 1968