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c/n 381
51-16566 bobs at an isolated mooring bouy adjacent to Argentia.
Photo: Richard Sullivan © November 1963 - Stephen Miller Collection
51-16566 on display at NAS Argentia.
Photo: Richard Stoker © 25 May 1963

c/n 381



51-16566 USAF #1186. L-20 No: 187. Command AF-1. Delivered 14-Oct-1952. Built as L-20A.

51-16566 Stored at MASDC Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. Arrived 30-Mar-1966. Departed on 01-Jul-1966 to the Military Aid Programme but detail unknown.

Written off

USAF History

51-16566 was made available on 30-Sep-1952 and accepted on the same day by the 6600th Air Depot AMO (Air Material Overseas Unit), at Downsview, ON., after which it was delivered to the Tactical Air Command at Alexandria AFB., LA., and the 6th Liaison Squadron on 14-Oct-1952 where it remained until 10-Feb-1953. From here it was deployed to Griffiss AFB., Rome, NY., with the 6th Liaison Sqd until moving back to Alexandria on 17-Mar-1953. It passed to the 366th Fighter Bomber Wing at the same location on 18-Jan-1954 and remained until 03-Feb-1954.

It was next assignment was with the Air Research and Development (ARD) Command at Eglin AFB, FL. The record card shows the unit as AFACE which is understood to be the Air Force Armament Centre. There is anecdotal evidence that this aircraft may have been used to carry out Salt Air testing on St Thomas, on the Virgin Islands, and interestingly the aircraft was designated as a JL-20A indicating that it was carrying (unknown) test equipment. Another anecdote is that it was also used to shadow, from the air, the USAF payroll for Eglin as it was carried by road from Pensacola. It was a form of Highway Patrol exercise. It is recorded as having an Accident at Eglin on 03-Feb-1955 following a landing incident. Pilot Hardiel M. Correll.

Emblem of the Air Research and Development Command

It remained based at Eglin until 30-May-1956 after which it went to Laurence G. Hanscom Field, MA., joining the unit attached to the CARCE - Cambridge Research Centre where it stayed until 06-Aug-1956. Next came a five day deployment to the SAC at Offutt AFB.,NB., before returning to Laurence G Hanscom Field until 30-Sep-1956. Staying with the ARD it now returned to Eglin AFB., FL., to rejoin the AFACE unit and also later the APGCE. The acronym is possibly an early version of the current Armament Product Directorate a component of the Armament Centre. This lasted until 02-Jul-1957 after which the aircraft had the special equipment removed and it returned to its original designation of L-20A. It then moved to Kirtland AFB., NM., joining the Special Weapon Centre (SPWCE later SWCCE) until 31-Jan-1959.

It now visited the Air Material Command facility at Minneapolis St Paul, MN., presumably for maintenance, between 31-Jan-1959 and 11-May-1959 and then returned to active service with the Special Weapons Centre but this time at Indian Springs, NV., until 02-Jun-1959. It was then back to Kirtland until 05-Oct-1959.

A re assignment followed with a move to the Strategic Air Command, an allocation to Ernest Harmon AFB., NL., joining the 4081st Combat Support (COS) Group. This lasted until 09-Apr-1960 after which it passed to Goose Bay AFB., NL., where the aircraft was attached to the 4082nd Strategic Wing. There followed a move back to the 4081st COS at Ernest Harmon until 12-Jun-1961 and then again the 4082nd Strategic Wing until 31-Aug-1961. Once again it moved to Ernest Harmon and to the 4081st Combat Support (COS) Group and then on 31-Jul-1962 to the 4081st Strategic Wing. It subsequently was stored at MASDC Davis Monthan AFB., AZ., arriving on 30-Mar-1966. It departed on 01-Jul-1966, reportedly to the Military Aid Programme but no detail available. Its further military history is to be researched.