North American F-86D Sabre ‘16171’

  • Description

    c/n 173-315. Full US military serial 51-6171 Built 1953, transferred to the Hellenic Air Force in 1960 and retired in the early 1980’s. The only one of its type in the UK, it is on display at the North East Land, Sea & Air Museums (NELSAM), Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, UK. 11th September 2017. The following history for ‘16171’ is from the very informative NELSAM website:- “Our F-86 Sabre was manufactured at Inglewood, California and was delivered to the US Air Force as 51-6171 on 8th September 1953. The aircraft joined Air Defence Command and assigned to the 37th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Burlington Airport, Vermont. During October 1954 the aircraft went to the Sacremento Air Material Area in California for work before it joined the 325FIS at Hamilton AFB. It was while serving with the 325FIS that the aircraft flew with the Sabre Knights aerobatic team, the colours of which the aircraft is displayed in today. During August 1955 the aircraft was re-assigned to the 83FIS at Paine AFB, Washington but by October the aircraft had returned to Sacremento AMA. In February 1956 the aircraft moved to the Mobile Air Material Area at Alabama prior to assignment in Europe. By March, the aircraft was with Shorts Brothers in Belfast for preparation for UK service. In May 1956 the aircraft was assigned to the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) with the 512FIS (Fighter Inteceptor Squadron) who along with the 513FIS & 514FIS formed the 406FIW (Fighter Inteceptor Wing) based at Bentwaters, Suffolk. While at Bentwaters in 1957 the 512th won the Hughes Trophy for being the best Fighter Interceptor Squadron in the US Air Force, The competition was based on several criteria, mission performance, organizational readiness, inspection results, training exercise participation, unit and individual achievements and unit incentive programs. Each year the squadron would fly aircraft, equipment, personnel for approximately 3-4 weeks of rocket practice at theWheelus AFB Tripoli Libya range. In March 1958 the 406th wing was deactivated and the three wing squadrons were transferred to the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Ramstein West Germany. The 512th squadron with 51-6171 was assigned to Sembach AF Base West Germany. In July 1958 the squadron deployed aircraft to Adana Turkey to provide air defense capability for the Marines during the crisis in Lebanon. The 512th was awarded the “Air force Outstanding Unit” in October 1958. During June 1959, the aircraft was flown to the 3131st Aircraft Repair Squadron at Chateauroux, France, then in November to Fiat in Turin, Italy for maintenance prior to it joining the Military Aid Program. In May 1960 the aircraft was removed from the USAF inventory and transferred to the Greek Air Force (as 6171). Unfortunately, not much is known about its service history while in Greek service. We received the aircraft in 1987 after approx five years of negotiations!”
  • Owner

    Hawkeye UK
  • Source

    Flickr (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? Attribution-ShareAlike License
  • Further information

    Resource type: Image
    Added by: Simon Cotterill
    Last modified: 5 years, 11 months ago
    Viewed: 566 times
    Picture Taken: 2017-09-11T15:45:47
  • Co-Curate tags


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