Recap and final sitrep from Mark Swisher
Hat’s off to a lot of people. For starters, the top three who provided one half of our budget was Della Williams from Williams RDM, Erbie Daw Jr, and Donna and Maurice Weaver. Then there were our two great corporate sponsors BARNSCO and Davis Motor Crane Service that loaned us equipment to install components and paint the aircraft. Of course you can’t forget Mike Glenn, Doug Allen and the super team that went to Tucson to get the jet, the team that installed the wings, and the team again that came back and helped us plug the engines and other items. Then there were the Texans that worked on her every week for three years...never forget all of those guys and gals. Finally towards the end when we were up against the wall with not much time left, Marcus Woodle shows up, Bryan Quinn, Al Murray, BG Garner, BG’s Grandsons, Chuck Scarborough, Edwin Maynor, Mike Tolfe, Leo Clevenger, Will O’Conner, Jessica Swisher, Dave Ayres, Gary Meyers, Stephen Spieckerman, and Jarrod Ford, that helped us regulars (me, Bill, Roy, Bob Winter, Smitty, Susan, etc.) finish this jet. This grass roots move and restoration managed by a few veteran sailors, supported by ~40 volunteers, with donations of $105,000 from ~120 outstanding folks is complete. Thanks to everyone for being a part of history and preserving yet another Cold War Warrior, the EA-3B Skywarrior carrier-based electronic warfare fast attack alpha three.
PS – A volunteer typically uses his own gas to get to the retoration site. He drops things in his or her life to work on an aircraft in a harsh environment. Most of the work on this aircraft was done outside in the greuling heat, wind blowing, and sometimes rain. The work was hard. The aircraft is actually huge and when you are prepping it for paint, the surface goes on and on forever. Quite frankly, this aircraft is on the outer fringe of what a couple of novice sailors are able to move without government or corporate sponsorship with big dollars backing you up. But the volunteers did it, without flying it in, without the kind of money where we could hire a aircraft moving service, without a hangar to restore her, and without a paint shop...and we did it with a smile on our face, respect and goodwill for all we came n contact with, and as always we had great camaraderie as Whalers.
Thanks for making this happen!
EA-3B Skywarrior Memorial Foundation
|Oct. 1-4, 2015
Ft. Worth, Tx.
To provide the means and solicit funds to place the EA-3B Aircraft (BuNo 146453) on static display at the Vintage Flying Museum, Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas as a memorial to those who flew this aircraft, to those who perished and those who provided the support for the crews and their mission. Furthermore, this honors the numerous service members who either flew as aircrew members or as maintenance personnel or both and now reside in the North Texas area. Throughout several decades, numerous A-3 Skywarrior squadrons operated out of military airfields here in Fort Worth (Carswell Air Force Base) and Grand Prairie (Naval Air Station Dallas), Dallas Love Field and Waco, Texas whose facilities provided support for a multitude of Naval Aviation operations. Additionally to educate the public on Naval Aviation History. The purpose of this version of the A-3 Skywarrior aircraft was to preserve peace during the cold War era, to provide electronic reconnaissance support during the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. The aircraft and its crews shall not be forgotten
Now accepting tax deductible donations for the rescue and restoration
of EA-3B 146453
"Cowtown" restoration project on Facebook.
See lots more detail and descriptions of the progress.
prepping for paint
Bill Gorin, myself and Matthew Mego (my almost 14 year old grandson & son of Mike & Donna Mego) attempted to respot Ranger 15 yesterday (Saturday). Unfortunately, the C-49 crew from the "Greatest Generation left Friday evening for Lubbock, Texas to participate in the D-Day ceremonies with the Silent Wings Museum left their cars parked in front of the gate that needed to be removed in order to tow Ranger 15. Besides that, the tow tractor (tug) had a dead battery.
All three of us returned this Sunday morning at 8 am. We were met with a "downpour" from the skies. Undaunted, We got our gear and pressed on. Bill Gorin did the "honors" of towing Ranger 15 with the tug. We had to "rock" the aircraft back and forth to get the wheels out of the ruts in the ground caused by the rain. Finally, bill the tug on firmer gravel ground and Ranger 15 was on its way. We removed the stationery fence post and moved the gate and chain link fence towards the smaller dumpster.
We parked Ranger 15 on the road in front of the hangar while we removed several small aircraft onto the airport side tarmac. Afterwards, Bill Gorin backed Ranger 15 into the northeast corner of the hangar. Bill did a fantastic job of repositioning Ranger 15. After Ranger 15 was parked and chocked we brought the entrance platform and positioned it by the starboard emergency exit hatch. Then Matthew and myself reinstalled the "Long Wire Antenna" from the Vertical Fin to the attachment point on top of the fuselage just aft of the forward canopy hatch.
The elation did not last long because we learned that the Commemorative Air Force needed additional room for them to perform maintenance on their B-24 & B-29 aircraft parts. So while I and Matthew were reinstalling the fence and gate, Bill Gorin repositioned Ranger 15 yet again. The pics at very end of the last batch of photos show the final respot position.
Also, Chuckie Hospers got her first tour of Ranger 15's Evaluators crew station & cockpit. She easily accessed the crew station through the side hatch from the ladder platform. She remarked how amazing the amount of space there was inside the aircraft. She sat in the pilot's seat and noted how well the visibility is through the windscreens.
Well folks, this has been a banner day!!. Now that she's inside under a watertight roof, our North Texas, South Texas, Louisiana Oklahoma veteran volunteers can dedicate more of their time to help getting Ranger 15 completely restored and finished. Just being out of our hot Texas sun will make such a difference.
Under the Texas sky. Looks better than it did sitting in the desert of Ariz.
Some of the guys who are making it happen.
New access for visitors and workers courtesy of Larry Chandler. Beautiful work!