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c/n 444

52-6080 after incident in Alaska.
Photo: USAF © via Dave Stern Collection

c/n 444

52-6080 • N1476



Note: Left paint shop 18-Dec-1952.

52-6080 USAF #1242 L-20 No. 243 Command AF-3. Delivered 19-Jan-1953. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

N1476 US Department of the Air Force, Lansing, MI. Circa. 1973. Canx 07-Feb-1975.

C-GIIY Imported into Canada circa. Sep-2000.

Note: Fuselage noted outside Pacific Aircraft Salvage, Vancouver, BC., 29-Sep-2000.

C-GIIY Pacific Aircraft Salvage, Richmond, BC. Regd 21-Mar-2001 Canx 05-Dec-2002.

C-GIIY David Younger, Surrey, BC. Regd. 05-Dec-2002.

Possible future rebuild

USAF History

The aircraft was made available to the USAF at AMO (Air Material Overseas), Downsview, ON., on 19-Dec-1952, one day after it left the paint shop, and was accepted on 12-Jan-1953. It was assigned to the Air Defence Command and delivered to Stewart AFB., NY., on 20-Jan-1953 where it was initially attached to the 4700th Air Base Group which was responsible for the station support units, before moving to the 9th Liaison Group on 15-April-1953. One month later on 14-May-1953 the aircraft moved to Selfridge AFB., MI., where it was attached to another section of the 9th Liaison Group and then on 01-Jun-1953 to the 4708th Defence Wing which became the re designated 575th Air Defence Wing on 01-Aug-1953. The aircraft remained with this allocation until 17-Feb-1954 when it moved to Kinross AFB., MI., assigned to the 534th Air Defence Wing. The role of the Air Defence wings was to support, in the main, the jet interceptor aircraft at the relevant air bases.

It underwent maintenance back at Downsview between 21-Mar-1955 and 05-May-1955 after which it returned to continue its assignment at Kinross with the 534th. This unit was re designated the 507th Fighter Group in name only on the 18th Aug-1955.

Still in Michigan there was a move to Empire Air Force Station and to the 752nd Air Control and Warning Squadron as the station liaison aircraft. The unit, situated close to Lake Michigan in the North West of the state, operated and maintained an AN/CPS-6B radar at this site, and initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. In 1958 this radar was replaced by an AN/CPS-6. A second height-finder radar arrived a year later. Apart from a short return to Kinross presumably for line maintenance that couldn’t be carried out at Empire the aircraft remained until 10-Oct-1960. By this time the unit had been renamed 752nd Radar Squadron.

Emblem of 752nd AC & W Sqd

It continued its liaison lifestyle with the 913rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at Pagwa River, ON., Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force Station that housed one of the General Surveillance Radar sites operating as part of the Cold War Pinetree Line radar network looking out over the Northern approaches to Continental North America and controlled by NORAD.

Emblem of 913th AC & W Sqd

This assignment lasted until 14-Jan-1961 when it returned for servicing to Kinross, Michigan to now renamed Kincheloe AFB., named after in honour of the late Captain Iven Carl Kincheloe Jr., a native of Cassopolis, MI., on 7 September 1956. A resumption of flying duties continued on 01-Feb-1961 at Empire with the 752nd Radar Squadron until 20-Jun-1961.

Its next deployment was to Wright Patterson AFB., 20-Jun-1961 to 14-Sep-1961 and an assignment with AODDV (an acronym I have been unable to resolve). This was short lived as was its next recorded deployment is to the Systems Command and the San Bernardino, Lockheed Aircraft Facility at Ontario, CA., (LASBC), between 14-Sep-1961 and 27-Oct-1961.

After this it’s back to duty and a whole year at Offutt AFB., NB., with the host 3902nd Air Base wing. The posting lasted between 27-Oct-1961 and 22-Oct-1962.

Emblem of 3902nd AB Wing

The heading photograph of it inverted on snow was reportedly taken following an accident in Alaska, but perhaps this was mis-interpreted and it should have been Nebraska. but currently we have no recorded note of the incident. In actual fact it doesn’t look too damaged and is on wheels and there appear to be wheel tracks leading off of a hard surface so it is possible that it suffered a ground loop and inversion after landing in a severe snowstorm. It is also wearing the blue sash of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) so the incident is certainly post Oct-1961.

It is next recorded at the Fairchilld Aircraft Facility at Hagerstown, Maryland where it resided for three months between 23-Oct-1962 and 16-Jan-1963, perhaps for attention following the afore mentioned incident.

Note. Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe became the first pilot to climb above 100,000 ft as he flew to a peak altitude of 126,200 ft in the Bell X2 rocket-powered research airplane. For this spectacular flight, he was awarded the Mackay Trophy and nicknamed "America's No. 1 Spaceman". Kincheloe was killed in the crash of an F-104 Starfighter on 26 July 1958 at Edwards AFB., CA.