Northrop F-89 Scorpion
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23.01.2023 16:51

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Jon Billman, e-mail, 09.01.2023 03:42

I’m researching a book project regarding the Cold War and the Great Lakes. Am looking to talk with anyone knowledgeable about the F-89. Thank you.
-Jon Billman
Professor of English,
Northern Michigan University

Jon Billman, e-mail, 09.01.2023 03:37

Hi Randy. I’m researching a Cold War project involving the F89, would appreciate talking with you about it.
-Jon Billman

Jon Billman, e-mail, 09.01.2023 03:29

Hi Gene. I’m working on a researching project about the Cold War and Lake Superior. I’d really like to talk with you about the F89 if possible.
-Jon Billman

Jon Billman, e-mail, 09.01.2023 03:24

Hello Bernard. I’m researching a book project about the Cold War and an F89 incident over Lake Superior. I’d very much like to talk with you, if possible. I’m an English Professor at Northern Michigan University. Thank you.
-Jon Billman

William Adams, e-mail, 25.12.2022 05:14

Did the RO fire rockets?
Was RO’s only responsibility to use radar to acquire potential targets?

Anonymous, 25.12.2022 02:00

Who fired the rockets?

Brian Janik, e-mail, 29.11.2022 01:41

I volunteer at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks CT. Myself and 2 other guys are in the process of preserving a F89J. We have looked at many pictures but finding a color scheme from Maine is almost impossible. We know the fuel tanks are red outside and dull black inside . What is the color scheme of the tail section? If anyone knows who might have wheel bearings for the nose gear it would be greatly appreciated.

James Gehrmann, e-mail, 13.07.2022 04:35

My father ( Rudy Gehrmann) was flying F-89s for the WANG. During that time. I was able to meet many of his fellow squadron pilots. Some are still around and still get together monthly. Ron Skinvik, Bud Jensen to name a few.

James Gehrmann, e-mail, 13.07.2022 04:28

My father flew the 89 for the WANG during the very early 50s. He retired from the unit in 1979.

bernard schnieders, e-mail, 13.12.2021 20:02

My first assignmemt as an Ro was the 54th FIS for 1 Year. Then it was off to Tyndal for training as A weapons Controller. Then to the 801st AC&W . It was located on the base at Malstrom. I got my flight time on KC-97s. Next was another site at Hopedale Labador, located 150 miles North of Goose Bay, I was short on flying time and requested an assignment to McClellan AFB to fly on the EC121. Was there almost 11 years and retired,. Sometime during later years I was at Wright Patterson looking at the F 89J with a genie rocket lieing on the floor. I asked a docent what the white was and he didnt know, He was really surprized when I told him him was an atomic rocket.

Jon Billman, e-mail, 14.08.2021 20:22

Hi James. I'm writing a book involving the F-89 and would love to correspond with you. Thanks.
-Jon Billman
Professor of English, Northern Michigan University

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:11

Hello Jim. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:11

Hello Bobby. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:09

Hello Donald. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:08

I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:07

Hello George. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:06

Hello Fritz. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

Jon Billman, e-mail, 03.05.2021 00:03

Hello Andy. I'm researching a book involving the disappearance of an F-89C over Lake Superior in 1953--I'd love to talk with you about your experiences!
Sincere best,
Jon Billman 906-373-7397

chuck, e-mail, 30.03.2021 18:13

Hope you get this. Just came across your post. I may remember you. Please respond if possible

Jim McLoud, e-mail, 18.01.2018 01:29

I started on the F 89 D at Yuma Ariz.4759th Test Sqdn in June 1955. We received new H model in 1956 . In may 1957 the 4750th moved too Tyndall A F B Florida.
In traffic too Tyndall the pilot got a low fuel light and switched tanks in error went too empty tanks .lost both engines three miles short of the runway both crewmembers Ok

Bobby Dehart, e-mail, 26.11.2016 02:05

Bert Iwas at piafb 1956 1959 Iwascrew chief on f89 & helped build the nose hangers A 1c Bob Dehart I am 79

Mike O'Connor, e-mail, 26.04.2016 20:54

Can anyone supply details on the fatal crash on an F-89 (model unknown)at the Northrop plant in December 1953? Northrop test pilot, Gene Townsend, was killed.

Donald Harvey, e-mail, 21.04.2016 00:02

Steve Taylor:
Saw your comment about your dad Earl Taylor posted on 4/15/16. I was in the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in 1952 and 1953 and flew in the F-94s and F-89s. I do not remember your dad and did not see his name in the squadron flight rosters from that time. However in the 28th Air Division 1954 year book I see a James A Taylor 2nd Lt in the 84th at Hamilton. At that time I was in the 666th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron and knew most of the personnel in the 84th but never met James A Taylor.

Donald Harvey,2nd Lt
84th FIS Sqd Hamilton AFB, Ca
666th ACW Sqd Mill Valley AFS, Ca 1st Lt 1954-1955

Steve Taylor, e-mail, 15.04.2016 01:10

My dad, Capt. Earl Taylor flew F-94s,F89s and F101s in the 84th at Hamilton fron 52 to 56. He then went on exchange duty with the RAF until July 1958 when he was killed in a crash flying RAF Gloster Javelin. Looking for any info anybody may have. Thanks

Klaatu83, e-mail, 26.09.2015 02:55

"Was with 61FIS at Harmon '53-'55, first with F-94B then transitioned to F-89D, ugly but it grew on you. Easy to fly but def not for dog-fights." the F-89 was never intended for "dogfights", and it is unfair to compare it with smaller jet fighters that were. The F-89 was designed to be an "all-weather interceptor", which meant intercepting incoming enemy bombers by day or night, or during conditions of reduced visibility. The mission it was designed to fulfill also required the F-89 to be able to remain aloft for a fairly long time, which meant being able to carry a substantial amount of fuel. As a result the F-89 was, by necessity, a fairly large and heavy aircraft, equipped with radar and accommodating a crew of two, consisting of a pilot and a radar operator. Any such aircraft would clearly never have qualified as a "dog-fighter". It's WW-II equivalent, the Northop P-61 Black Widow, which was designed for the same purpose as the F-89, was an excellent night-fighter, but clearly could never have competed in a dog-fight with fighters such as the Mustang or Spitfire.

Jim Paschall, e-mail, 09.09.2015 04:39

I was one of the aircrew members Gene Francis mentioned in his narrative concerning the midair over the Olympics on 4 Oct 1956. Actually, Ira Wintermute was the Group Commander. The two F-89's that hit the mountains NE of Pain Field flew into Whitehorse. Also the solo crash in the Sound near Point-No-Point resulted in both crew members being lost.
A good source of information can be found in publications by "Seattle Mountain Rescue".
It might interest historians that I first flew in the F-89 at Paine AFB as an RO, then after attending pilot training for 14 months, returned to Paine AFB as a pilot flying with the same guys in the same flight. (my time at Paine, 1955 through 1960).

Ken (smiley) Miller, e-mail, 10.02.2015 07:13

To: MARC B. Yes, I knew a Doc Blanchard @ JCAFB, Waco, TX. He was an R/O instructor and a great guy; very likable; I never flew with him because we were both R/Os. I went to Pilot School and ended up with C118s at WRI AND HIK. Then C124s @ Hill, joined UAL flying B747s. ret. USAF @ UAL; now living in Coeur D'Alene, ID. after 33 yrs. in Reno, NV KGM

George J Leiby, e-mail, 13.12.2014 19:09

I was a F89D/F94C radar mechanic for the 3630th A&E Maintenance Squad starting in 1956 through 1958 at Moody AFB. Loved the F89 and had the pleasure of working on a F94 with Kent VanDeMark when a fellow technician, Joe Dean, sitting in the front cockpit, released the tip tanks at the radar "Dock" maintenance area. Can you believe that someone didnt check the wing pins or CB interlocks that evening? Our boss, C C Bates was fit to be tied. I later followed the F89s to JCAFB and worked there for a couple more years on both the F89s and B25s used for RO training. Anyone interested in interacting about Moody or James Connally during the late 50's, shoot me a note at

Klaatu83, e-mail, 05.10.2014 05:31

"The F-89 Scorpion was a consolation contract awarded to Northrop in the aftermath of the controversial cancellation of its YB49 Flying Wing in favor of the Convair B-36." At the time the nearest competitor to the F-89 for the Air Force's "all-weather fighter" contract was the Curtiss XF-87 "Blackhawk". The XF-87 was a much bulkier aircraft than the F-89, with side-by-side seating and four jet engines. Of the two aircraft the F-89 was the obvious choice.

Andy Anderson, e-mail, 18.09.2014 04:15

Yes, I had to eject from our F89-D in 1956 into Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Steve Hashimoto, e-mail, 24.08.2014 16:33

My Dad flew in the F-89 at Portland, OR, Moody and Thule in the late 50s. Richard Hashimoto was a RO. Told me some stories about ice skating in the 89 out to the runwat at Thule, poopie suits and painting his room at Thule- green, black and red. Anybody remember him, let me know. He lives in MS. retired as O-6 in 1985.

Fritz Busch, e-mail, 02.08.2014 22:47

Flew D, H & J. Terribly underpowered but very stable platform from which to fire rockets. Early models short on kill probability - Genies made J model very effective.

R Hernandez, e-mail, 23.07.2014 22:03

I worked as crew chief on tail # 1459 at Harmon in 1955.

Gene Francis, e-mail, 07.07.2014 05:19

It was F89D, F89H and F89J. The first time I saw the Model J was, when I was reporting for Alert Hanger duty and did not have clearance for Nuclear weapons, so I got escorted to the brig by an Policeman, until I got the authorization for me corrected, it only took one morning to get it fixed>

Gene Francis, e-mail, 07.07.2014 05:12

I was stationed at Paine Air Force Base, Everett Washington From 1955 until 1959. I was in the 321st F.I.S. until early 1959 when were changed to a base aircraft maintenance only (no pilots) (326th CAMRON). I worked as Airborne Radio Maintenance on the F-89 and some non jet aircraft (C47, etc.)I was initially on the F89D, then the F89H and finally the F89H.
We lost 5 F89's (model I don't recall) two flew into Mt. Baker (north of Everett) in the winter , the next spring all of the crew was recovered. Two also hit each other over the Olympic mountains, 3 of the 4 were recovered. We also lost one 89 over Puget Sound (Mukilteo),with a loss of the ro.
I have never seen any write-ups of these 5 aircraft in any Washington state Aircraft Wrecks documentation. Colonel Samuel G. Grashio was the Base Commander at he time.

Steve Lambrecht, e-mail, 02.07.2014 18:32


I'm planning on vertically lifting a museum display F-89J with a CH-53. They want to know where to place the straps on the aircraft. Anyone have any corporate knowledge?

George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 25.06.2014 22:11

The F-89 Scorpion was a consolation contract awarded to Northrop in the aftermath of the controversial cancellation of its YB49 Flying Wing in favor of the Convair B-36. Learn about this and other related iconic aircraft in my new book.

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at:
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
Partial proceeds support aviation heritage

Bert Schwind, e-mail, 05.04.2014 21:32

I was assigned (1955-1957) to the 318th and 75th at Presque Isle, first as Communications Officer and then as OIC of all Electronics, Electrical, Weapons and Instrument shops. Well remember when we finally build the nose hangers to keep out the weather. 'Backseated' with Ted Harris (Ops OIC), Bob Mize, and Don Zook. Lucky to have been there when the Squadron went from second last to first in rocketry proficiency during the summer of 1956 at Moody AFB. The unit broke all existing records for Hi Sqdn, Hi CO, Hi Ops Off, Hi Sq RO, Hi Pilot, & Hi RO. I can still see the big score thermometer in front of our HG building rising to the top and looping around. And those winters! 181 inches of snow and 40 Deg below. I transferred to Nellis AFB in March '57. 100 deg change in temp during the week long drive to Nevada.

j d jackson, e-mail, 05.03.2014 04:39

Was with 61FIS at Harmon '53-'55, first with F-94B then transitioned to F-89D, ugly but it grew on you. Easy to fly but def not for dog-fights. Most scrambles with for B-47's and '52s going from Offut to Germany, mostly at night.

bernard schnieders RO 54FIS, e-mail, 23.02.2014 22:56

Was a back seater In the J model. Our alert barn is now the musuem bld at Ellswoth. A 89H that fired the live atomic rocket in Nevada is located at the civilian field at Great Falls mont.

jim curry, e-mail, 17.12.2013 17:47

to robert woods iwas at kef when that happened i worked at the alert hanger and lived in hut 10 i was there from nov 57 til nov 58 i am also 75 its been a long time

Joe Kenny, 24.07.2013 03:05

Was a crew chief on 89 c and d With 74th fighter.We set a flying record with the 89,s 1954 and 55.Made the stars and stripes and also the flying tiger history book but cant find either one.No bragging rights

Bill Hoey, e-mail, 03.06.2013 23:21

Hi Gang,

Stationed at Goose bay Labrador 56-57 assigned to Post Dock working out in 10 below. My NCOIC was TSGT Cole. He slipped on the ice by the left engine and was sucked into the intake. He survived and retired from the USAF.
I'm living in Fresno Ca.
The Castle Air Museum needs several Pilots cockpit instruments for the F89J model. Need HELP please
Bill Hoey

Marc B, e-mail, 26.05.2013 21:18

My father was a navigator in the F-89D in Alaska.
Capt. Joesph "Doc" Blanchard. Looking for any info on his aircraft and anyone's remember him.

Charles Mooers, e-mail, 25.05.2013 15:50

Anyone remember the accidental firing of rockets inside the hanger. The commander was Major Danniel (Chappy) James, 437th FIS. The year was 1954 or 55. Would appreciate more details.

Robert Wood, e-mail, 27.02.2013 21:09

I was a radio repair guy working on F-89D's at Keflavik AB, Iceland in 1957, my friend Robert Nelson was ate(proper term) by an '89 in the winter of 57/58. God rest his soul, he was 19 years old I am now 75.

Paul Tyler, e-mail, 19.02.2013 04:15

From May 1955 until August 1967 I was a weapons mechanic in the 63 FIS at Elmendorf AFB, AK. Would like to hear from others what served at the same time.

Gary Martin, e-mail, 10.10.2012 07:57

My Dad worked on f89'S AND f 102's In Portland. I believe on crashed into the columbia river in about 1954. Dad was a Mechanic and a scuba diver.. So he donned his gear and helped with the recovery.

Fred Miller, e-mail, 26.06.2012 08:03

Wurtsmith AFB 1957 vets: Remember your first deliveries of the W-25 nuclear warheads for the MB-1 in DEC 56, JAN 57 and MAY 57 by train from the Burlington IA AEC arsenal? I was the Nuclear Weapons Officer assigned TDY from Stony Brook AFS MA (Westover AFB) to coordinate the receipt. Much to everyone's surprise the AEC train commander in MAY would only deal with me instead of the base commander. For a fleeting moment I thought I might sign off and take the train off-base to sell to the highest bidder. But then after what seemed like hours of stand off, more level heads prevailed and we cooked up a deal for me to sign personally, transfer control to our 3084th ADG supply officer in MA who in turn transferred the warheads back to the Wurtsmith commander. A first order SNAFU was averted.

P S I am still looking for the F-86 jet jockey who one night in DEC 56 at the Officers Club offered to take me back to Westover. His buddies, luckily, told me to decline because he would probably loop and roll all the way home.I developed a cold in my....

Fred Miller

George J Leiby, e-mail, 21.05.2012 01:28

Hi Guys,

Was a F89D/F94C radar mechanic of the 3630th A&E Maintenance Squad starting in 1956 through 1958 at Moody AFB. Loved the F89 and had the pleasure of working on a 94 when a fellow playing in the cockpit released the tip tanks at the radar "docks". Anyone interested in interacting about Moody or James Connally AFB during the late 50's, give me a shout.

Ron Headding, e-mail, 12.05.2012 02:27

I was a crew chief on the F89D in 59-60 at Keflavic, Iceland.

Klaatu83, e-mail, 15.04.2012 15:56

The F-89 Scorpion was the USAF's first aircraft designed specifically to be an all-weather jet fighter. The term "all-weather" meant operations at night or in reduced visibility, and indicated the use of built-in radar. In those days, that meant the aircraft had to be large enough to accommodate a crew of two in addition to the radar, armament and fuel. The inevitable result was a fairly sizable and complex aircraft in comparison with, say, an F-80 or F-86. The F-89 was not designed with a view towards going on-on-one in a dogfight with a Mig, but rather to intercept potential attacks by Soviet intercontinental nuclear bombers against North America. Given that context, the design of the F-89 was more comparable with the Avro Canada's CF-100, than it was with fighters such as the F-86 Saber or Mig 15.

Wayne Steensma, e-mail, 24.03.2012 23:23

I was in the SD Air Guard and crewed F89D 51-11425 from 1958-1960. The aircraft was given to the city of Aberdeen SD and placed on display at the entrance to their airport.
After a few years it was removed and don't know where it ended up
SD 51-11443 was given to the city of Sioux Falls and placed in the city's Sherman Park. Later it was taken to a farm south of Canton and later to a farm north of Brandon SD. Here it is on the farm of a former SD Air Guard pilot. If you get on Googl Earth, find Brandon SD. go north on the highway til you come to a curve to the east
(right) Keep straight for a mile and 1/4 there is a home on the right side and you will see a cut up F89D SN 443 in the back yard.

Jon wagner, e-mail, 06.12.2011 09:09

I worked for Northrop at their smaller plant in Anaheim, CA in 1954-55. The F-89 was built at the main plant in Hawthorne, CA across from LAX. The main product at the Anaheim plant was the T-179 periscope and gun barrel sight for a 155mm mobile howitzer; which I worked on as a precision instrument mechanic. When we ran out of part I was temporarily shifted to a small sub-assembly line making F-89 ejection seats and wing pylons for weapons and fuel tanks.

Randy Bridger, e-mail, 22.10.2011 01:12

My Dad was the Navigator in the F-89 Scorpion, flew from say Moody, Duluth, etc....His name is James A. Bridger, Jr...Jim Bridger, anyone know him or fly with him, let me know. Thanks.

Tim Sawyer (MSgt, USAF, retire, e-mail, 14.10.2011 07:57

My dad worked on F-89Ds at Earnest Harmon AFB in Newfoundland somewhere between 1955 and 1957. He was a weapons troop. Anyone stationed there at this time who may have known him please respond. His name was Ben Sawyer, Jr. from Morgan, Georgia. The sergeant who took him "under his wing" was named Sgt Moe and I believe he was from Tallahassee Florida. My dad said he practically knew everyone on the base. Daddy was friends with a fellow named Robert Poe from St. Louis Missouri and Bill Norwicky (spelling?) who I believe was from New York. I just recently visited my dad in Georgia and we were sharing some good stories about our Air Force times. I retired in 2001. Aim High - Air Force!

Dick Gardner, e-mail, 23.08.2011 23:57

Like Galen Burke I flew with the WisANG 126th FIS and 176th FIS 1958 to 1965. We flew Ds and Js. We kept the Russians from coming over the Canadian border. During an over-night at El Toro MCAS the ground guys wanted to tie the 89 down and I told them not to waste their time. The dash one said it would take 160 knots of wind to move it from a static position so by then the hangars and everything would be gone.

Ron Patterson, 10.08.2011 23:02

I was a F-89D crew chief stationed at Ladd AFB, Alaska from 1956-1957

Jim McIntosh, e-mail, 24.07.2011 04:59

F-89H was the model with 42 FFAR's and 6 Falcon missiles.
21 FFAR's and 3 Falcons in each wing tip pod.

Don harvey, e-mail, 23.07.2011 22:51

The F89F model was a proposal by Northrup to the USAF however the plane was never built. Its design was a swept wing with a six degree to their leading edge. Also there were to be pods under the wing 1/3 of the way out from the fuselage. These pod held armament, fuel cells and the relocated main landing gear. The armament was to be 42 2.75 inch FFAR and six Falcon missiles. The referenced book shows 2 drawings one a straight wing design with the pods and another swept wing version without the pods.

Northrup F-89 Scorpion, A Photo Chronicle
By Marty J Isham and David R McLaren
Schiffer Military /Aviation History
Schiffer Publishing Ltd
77 Lower Valley Road
Atglen. Pa. 19130

don Pederson, e-mail, 19.07.2011 23:29

I am looking for info. on the F89F (I think this was the model that carried guided missiles mounted on the wing tip pods. Any data on these, pictures, comments from maintenance people or others would be greatly appreciated. This info is needed for a project of building a model from scratch., Thanks

Ken Graybill, e-mail, 02.07.2011 19:25

I was stationed at Goose Bay from Nov 54 to Nov 55 with the 59 FIS. Was radio maintenance on first f-94b's and then the F89D's when they replaced the F94's. Remember quick radio service on the F89 right after landing because the radio compartment was just aft and above the engine exhaust and it was still warm in that compartment. Later served 1 yr in Albuquerque and then 5years at the 7625th Ops SQ, USAF Academy.

Dr Charles Jones, e-mail, 09.05.2011 23:57

Was RO in 94b and c in Moody AFB then Newcastle. On to Ladd in Fairbanks in 89c and 89d. Set record for longest flight in 89D (all day). A few moose were shot and sheep rounded up. Gold panning just north of base. Watched AK pipeline being built. Calculated how much larger we would be at 636mph using Einstein's formula (less than a cm.)

Ray Hutton, e-mail, 04.05.2011 14:47

It was my great pleasure to be the radar crew chief on F-89D #300 stationed at Moody AFB, 3630th A & E Maintron, Valdosta, GA.--1953 to 1956. While the guys in the F-94 section ribbed us about our "flying bombers" we knew the F-89D was a great aircraft. I'd love to hear from anyone who was in the 3630th at that time.

Don Harvey, e-mail, 29.04.2011 22:49

Steve Bosch

I was at Hamilton AFB in the 84th FIS during 1952-1953 flying in F-89 B and C models. Was a back seat crew member (radar observer officer). Also flew F-94 B and C models.
84th FIS HAFB, CA 1952-1953 2nd Lt
666th ACW Squadron Mill Valley, CA 1954-1955 1st Lt

Jeff Joseph, e-mail, 22.03.2011 05:31

For Dick Pucket your post 21.04.2010 Hi Dick remember your name I was in the MG-12 shop also, 4/58 to 11/60. 412 Camron/
445 FIS. Drop an email if you read this
Any other Wurtsmith troops out there these years?

Duncan MacDonell, e-mail, 09.03.2011 16:53

Flew over 3000 hrs in the backseat of the B,D, and J's with USAF and the ANG's (ID, WA, IA, and ND). Wouldn't trade any of it for a month of Sundays with MM in her heyday.

John Bickers, e-mail, 08.03.2011 19:42

Flew F-89A on its last flight to go on display in Chicago. It had 27 pages of unfulfilled write-ups, also 89B, 89C & 89D at Presque Isle and Thule.

Ann, e-mail, 20.02.2011 23:25

Buddy Pope died.
Bob Perkins had a stroke.
Carrollton, Ga water co. has put a notice on your door that you owe them money. ($114.46)
You have a new great grand daughter in Colorado Springs

Bill Crisp, e-mail, 16.02.2011 07:13

I was a R/O at PQI AFB from Sep 1953 to Jan 1956. I flew in both the C's and D's and was in 3 squadrons; 74th,318th and the 75th. 40 below zero was cold which I found out in survial school in Feb. Making passes at B-36's was something to remember.

Pledger Moon, e-mail, 24.01.2011 21:08

Attn Paul Chute and Claud Underwood,
I was stationed at Griffiss AFB from 1956 until Aug 1959. In either 1957 or 1958 I was on a skeleton crew sent to Presque Isle to pull their alert duty while their squadron went to Yuma for rocket fire. Presque Isle was a trip! We worked 12 on and 12 off for the duration. We stayed in an open bay, two story barracks and the alert hanger. one night my best buddy and I were bored(as usual) and went outside to shoot at any available targets with our slingshots. Well, at the upper end of the alert hanger was a little shack. The shack had no lights on and we had never seen anyone around it. It immediately became a target. We shot at it for several minutes until we got cold, it was November, and went inside. About 30 minute3s later we saw a search lite shining around in front of the hangers and wondered where that was coming from. Upon going outside we discovered that there was a search light on top of the shack and it was on and looking around. We never knew if someone was in that shack when we were shooting at it but they let us know to quit shooting at it.
Evidently the permanent party skeleton was as bored as we were. Their main game was trying to penetrate our security and we were trying to catch them. Once they wrote "bomb" in the tailpipes of a couple of birds. We never figured when they they did that but most times we caught them.

Steven Bosch, e-mail, 22.01.2011 23:18

Would like to be contacted by a member (or relative) of the 84th FIS at Hamilton in 52 & 53.

Phil Clark, e-mail, 22.01.2011 14:40

1958-59, MG12 Tech. F89J's with 326 Fighter group at Paine Field, Everett, Wa.
Cross trained with 106's at 429FIS George AFB, Victorville, Ca. Could never get the Gar 1 & Gar 2 Weapons to work.
People ask what I did, my answer was to ensure you "never had to duck and cover"! We did a damn good job of that !! All the bases I was stationed at are now gone, hope I wasn't the cause !!

Herb Oechsel, e-mail, 22.01.2011 06:11

Flew the 94A&B before transitioning to the 89C then the D. 24 months at Ernest Harmon(Nfld)...'53 thru'55. 61st FIS. Loved the "B"-89.

Steven Bosch, e-mail, 22.01.2011 02:20

In the process of liquidating my fathers(Frank L. Bosch, Lt.Col ret) estate for my mother I came across a picture of the F89 signed by 67 airman. I have slowly transcribed as many of the signatures as possible and have that list. Believe the squadron was at Hamilton or Moody in the early 50s. Rather than sell it on ebay as I have sadly done other items, I am want to know if their is interest in this signed picture. Steven

Pledger a Moon, e-mail, 04.01.2011 22:01

I was in the 465 FIS at Griffis AFB from 1956 until 1959. I was crew chief of F89D 532649 initially and later of 850. I still listen for the screech of a taxiing F89 but I cant hear it. Went back to Griffis in 2008 for a reunion of pilots and ROs. I was the only crew chief there. The locals gave us a very powerful reception and welcome.

Donald McMillen, e-mail, 19.12.2010 16:05

I was a Crew Chief on an F-89D at Thule, Greenland in 1956. Aircraft serial # 53-2590a. It was a great experience. This led to a test tech on the B-58 ejection program, then as a tech on the Titan 2, then 33 years A/C mechanic Trans World Airlines. Great Career.

Tom Pearson, e-mail, 17.12.2010 06:53

I was stationed at Goose Bay from June 1955 to June 1956 with the 59 FIS . I was a RO and thought the 89D was a great aircraft.It was a very stable platform for firing rockets.

James Smith, e-mail, 11.12.2010 20:58

I flew the F-89 in the fifties with the 432nd Fighter Interceptop Sqd out of wold-chamberlin international airport. The aircraft was strong but overwieght. Lost two friends due to a mid-air collision. First aircraft I flew with decillerons.

Don Langhorn, e-mail, 09.12.2010 22:36

I was a crew chief on F-89's at Harmon AFB Stevensville, Newfoundland in56 and 57. Our sqdn rotated to Madison, Wi were we got new F-102's

Larry Bell, e-mail, 04.12.2010 17:34

Was RIO in F-89H and J models 1958-1960 at McCoy AFB in the 76th FIS.. McCoy is now Orlando International. We waited for the Russian bombers
for years and they didn't come---I wonder why?!. When the Boeing 707
began to transit the Atlantic in 1958 it kept us on our toes----we had never seen airliners fly at 35000 feet and 500 knots--Looked just like the bombers
on radar!

Ron Myers, e-mail, 28.11.2010 08:08

A little update on my previous post. I found and spoke with Arnold Knack, Peter Hurtz, and Chuck Luther.
Chuck and Peter stayed in th Air Force until retirement.
Chuck retired as a Colonol with 137 missions over North Viet Nam. Chuck passed away on 15 July 2009. He had planned on visiting us in October. I never knew that he was a graduate of West Point class of 1952. We talked often his last few months about his assignments. I sure do miss him. Jan Luther sent me his going away mug from Korat, Thiland. Ray Ball and I talk almost every week. Arnold and Peter are now my email buddys. Sure wish I could find Tansey.

Jim McIntosh, e-mail, 24.11.2010 08:46

Finished restoring the pilots ejection seat from F-89J 52-1905. Aircraft was assigned to the 75thFIS,76thFIS,82ndFIS,84thFIS,78thFIG and 179thFIS. Looking for patches from the 76thFIS, 82ndFIS and 78thFIG can anybody help?

Paul Chute, e-mail, 25.10.2010 03:39

I was stationed at Presque Isle AFB 1954 thru fall of 1957 as a aircraft Electrician working on F89 aircraft. Got to have a ride in the F89 and loved every minute. Would like to hear from anyone from the 75th. I remember the winters as cold on the flight line.

Bill Reid, e-mail, 13.10.2010 19:49

Went to school for E-4,E-5, & E-6 at Lowry AFB in 53 & 54. Taught Electronic Fundamentals at Lowry for one Year. Went to Hughes A/C Co. school for E-9, MG-12 & Missile Auxillaries. Taught WCS Tech's and aircrew the F-89 D, H, & J at Wurtsmith, Hughes, Goosebay, Thule and Oxnard durin 55 thru 57 years. Did 58 thru 60 at Edwards and a career on many different AC to include, C-47, C-130, F-94, F108, F102, F-105, F-4 B,C,D & E, F-15, F-111E and FB-111. Retired as CMSgt and went on to an even better ride with Northrop Corporation. Live in Sun City West AZ where every day is Saturday and a handicap that swings like my drive. USAF was a greatr career and F-89 was a fine airplane for its time. I think I know Beidelman. I was one of your instrutors at Lowry.

Cecil Bedsole, e-mail, 07.10.2010 05:38

Radar tech on the 89J, flew back seat for 2yrs, loved the 89J, at Eglin AFB.'57-59. Non-crew members received a whopping $55/mo flt pay, cross trained to F101B, 4750th Test Sqd at Tyndall AFB, continued to fly back seat. How lucky was I ??

Tom Keegan, e-mail, 18.09.2010 07:17

I was stationed at Elmendorf AFB 1953-55 in Radar Shop of the 65th.
Would like to hear from any one in that group.
During that time we worked on F-89 C & D.

Nat prescott, e-mail, 06.09.2010 03:39

correction: f-89-J

Nat Prescott, e-mail, 06.09.2010 03:36

I was Armament Engineer for the F69-J for Douglas Aircraft
both at Holloman in New Mexico and Yuma in Arizona.
My job was the MB-1 Genie.We had the launchers and the
kit that replaced the nucs for practice firings.
When we had a problem at the Yuma firing, I got to ride
rear seat on the chase plane. We did an outside loop to
avoid a mid-air collision, Good old days!..

Claude Underwood, e-mail, 02.09.2010 03:20

I flew the F-89D with the 76th FIS at Presque Isle, ME from October 1956 thru September 1957. We gave all our aircraft to the Maine Air Guard and transferred to Pinecastle AFB, FL where we flew the F-89H. After 4 years in the RC-121D I was transferred to Webb AFB to instruct in the T-38A. In 1969 transferred to McConnell AFB, KS and checked out in the F-105D. Flew combat out of Tahkli RTAFB, Thailand in 1970. The F-89D was quite a thrill when I made my first take-off in that heavy airplane and then realized I had to land it. Not a problem.

Fred Griffith, e-mail, 28.08.2010 00:01

I flew the F-89D in Alaska. I thought it was a true lead sled.

Chuck Beidelman, e-mail, 25.08.2010 18:28

I was stationed with the 75th FIS in Presques Isle,Me 1956-1959 as a fire control systems mechanic e-9 system on the F89. Loved it.. great group. If anyone out there stationed same time period, I.D yourself

Jack Mayer, e-mail, 22.08.2010 04:31

Flew the D,H,&J at Wurtsmith.Spent 6 months at Egland in Fl.Working on the snap-up.Went to the airlines in 98 and
retired from US Airways in 93.Now running a brass factory
and import business.Loved the 89.

jack mayer, e-mail, 22.08.2010 04:18

Flew the D,H,& J at Wurtsmith 55 TO 57 WENT TO THE AIRLINES
AND RETIRED 93.Spent 6 months at Egland developing the

JACK LANGHALS, e-mail, 26.07.2010 02:23


JACK LANGHALS, e-mail, 26.07.2010 02:22


ron patterson, e-mail, 19.07.2010 23:48

I was stationed at Ladd AFB 1955-1957. I was a crew chief assigned to the 18 FIS. Didn't they call the SSA "little Augy?" It was a durable aircraft. I didn't care about replacing the fuel valves in the wing root. It was too congested. We had several 18 FIS maintenance personnel reunions but finally ended them as people were getting up there in age.

Kelly Bader, 11.07.2010 02:34

Jack Langhals is my father and hes the best. His intell amazes me

JACK LANGHALS, e-mail, 03.07.2010 21:57


John Hatch, e-mail, 19.06.2010 04:56

Correction to comments by John Hatch. Dates at Thule should read as follows: March 55 to March 56. Thanks.

John Hatch, e-mail, 19.06.2010 04:21

I was at Thule, fresh out of tech school, from March 56 to Mar 57 assigned to the AFCS/Instrument shop, 74th FIS. Got there just as the rotations were starting for the old troops, I think more than half of them went right back to P.I. ME. At one point I was the only man in the shop. As an A3c, I was shop chief, chief cook and bottle washer, a
nd authorized to sign off RED X conditions. The A/C was easy to wor4k on, except getting to the K-4A control box. Dropped a wrench down that hole, took us about 2 hours to find it,including help from the Pilot and R.O. That was a long cold morning (dark season at that)! !

Denver Conley, e-mail, 14.05.2010 05:32

Just found this site.
Arriving at Truex Field, Madison,Wi in Oct 1951, I was assigned to the 176th FIS. ANG unit activated to protect northen U.S.Soon recieved F-89B's with R.O.'s. The A/C were grounded 'cause wings were breaking off in flight. R.O.'s needed training so a B-25 was modified with radar units in the back. Most of the spring and summer of 52, I was the flt mechanic along with T/Sgt Bob Nichols and another S/Sgt.
We chased a T-6 all over the states giving the R O's practice.My last flight was traing flt to Chicago. Milwaukee and return at night.Somewhere around Milwaukee the left engine blew a jug and we came back on one engine.It about midnight when touched down at Truex and the right tire blew but he pilot kept it on the concrete. A few
days later I got my orders for Korea and did not fly again.
I am 78 and suppose the other two are long gone. Denver L. Conley

jj hughes, e-mail, 10.05.2010 17:47

does anyone rember an f89 going down over the atlantic fom the 58th fis. the crew is remembered at th Otis memorial park and we want them remembered this Memorial Day along with the Fifty fallen stars of the 551st and the twenty nine of ~Texas Tower four by the media. jj

Leslie Riggs, e-mail, 02.05.2010 22:42

My father, Lawrence Reichert was a pilot stationed at Ladd Airforce base 1952-1954, and Otis Airforce base until 1955 who flew this aircraft. Did any of you happen to know him?

Don Harvey, e-mail, 27.04.2010 23:51

I flew in the B and C models of the F-89 in the back seat as an RO at Hamilton AFB in 1952 and 1953. The planes were grounded because of the wings coming off. Our squadron (84th FIS ) went to F-94 B and C models.

Dick Puckett, e-mail, 21.04.2010 01:53

I was FCS Mech., at Wurtsmith AFB from 1957 to 1960. Was in the 412th CAMRON. Did a little stint in the 18th FIS in Operations, then cross trained into GSE. Loved the 89. It looked like it meant business.

Neil Carney, e-mail, 21.03.2010 18:33

Trained at James Connally in '57, went to Dover, Del late '57 in F94C'S, To Iceland in June of '58 in F89D. Was there when Bill Anders was there as Pilot/Generals aide. Had more fun in Iceland..

Gilbert Mata, e-mail, 25.02.2010 22:41

Just out of Aircraft& engine tech school at Amarillo AFB. I cut my teeth as an aircraft Mech. F-89Ds at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska with the 65th FIS, in 1956. What a great aircraft. Anyone that was there at that time, I would love to hear from

Jim McIntosh, e-mail, 25.02.2010 06:23

I was a Special Weapons Technician supporting the ANG F-89J's and AF F-106's at Duluth, MN. 1962-67 and ANG F-101B/F's 71-75. Duluth ANG unit,148FIG/179FIS won the 1964 Ricks Trophy with the "J". Team Captain was LtCol Al Amatuzio developer of AMZOIL. Currently restoring the Pilots ejection seat from F-89J tail number 52-1905 and need parts if anyone would care to donate.

Lee Van Horn, e-mail, 02.02.2010 17:01

I was an aircraft electrician, stationed at Wurtsmith AFB, 1956 thru 58.I remember waiting to cross the runway one day and spotted one of the 2.75 rockets hanging out of one of the pods on the D model. I alerted the tower and they aborted the take-off!

Max T.Hansen, e-mail, 31.01.2010 21:20

Stationed Thule AFB,1956-1957 74th FIS (Flying Tigers)Instrument repairman & shop chief for 6 months (Airman 2nd at the time,every one else of rank rotated).Nice aircraft built for mechanics. Seem to remember it had a little trouble catching SAC's B-47's. COLD,COLD & COLD but it took it!!

BENE23, e-mail, 27.01.2010 20:09

WebbAFB 53E on to Moody for Instruments F94C.On to Iceland 82FIS & F94B. Reverse High Flight. Iceland to BW-1, Goose, Presque Isle. Red fuel lights on every leg. Flamed out befor parking at Goose. At PQ 82 became 76FIS with F89D's.
Not as much fun to fly as the 94C as we were restricted unless the radar was out. Still a great aircraft. I agree with all of the other comments about the Scorpion.

B.M, e-mail, 22.01.2010 23:09

add--- I was #4 in the F-89 formation over the AirForce Acadamy for the first graduating class. What a thrill!

Bob Mittler, e-mail, 22.01.2010 22:47

After pilot training (class 55-G) I went to Moody AFB and checked out in the F-89D, then on to Wurtsmith AFB where I flew the F-89D and H models (445th). Then to the 57thFIS in Iceland For a year and then to The 54th FIS at Rapid City SD and the F-89J. While there we deployed to Yuma, Az (twice because of the Cuban Crises) to fire the MA-1. our squadron set 28 world records and won the Hughes Trophy that year. I had just over 900 hours in the 3 models and can say that it was the most stable gun platform. From the F-89 I got to fly the Cessna 310, T-33, Sabreliner and the RF-4C (1500 hrs in th RF-4C) All great aircraft.

Larry Lattomus, e-mail, 10.01.2010 03:59

I flew the F-89D with the 57th FIS in Keflavik, Iceland from Jun57-Jun58. Good stable aircraft, especially in weather which is what it was designed for. Anyone out there that was stationed there at that time??? Dependable and forgiving aircraft but not very maneuverable above 40-42,000. Love to hear from any 57-58 pilot/RO.

John Bickers, e-mail, 05.01.2010 17:37

I flew the F-89A, B, C, and D. It was a forgiving aircraft with deceleron speed control unmatched. The pilot could visually check main gear down. It was stable in gunnery passes. And it survived Arctic climates. Joe Powers and I flew a pair of 89As to Chicago O'hare where they were transported to schools or parks for display. I flew tail number 92436, back seat was no seat but full of instrumentation. The plane had 27 pages of unfulfilled write ups in the form one Flew with the 74th FIS at Presque Isle and Thule Greenland.

Jim Moran, e-mail, 03.12.2009 02:30

As a kid in the late 1950's, I would see two ship formations of F-89s over the -....-.. marker at Hanscom. I would always stop what I was doing, firmly press index fingers into my ears and stare in awe at the sight.
I ended up flying heavies for 36 years (C-141, C-5, KC-10); but the early jets in the skys over West Concord got me started for sure. Never can forget!
Jim Moran

Sam Herron, e-mail, 03.12.2009 01:00

I flew the F-89D and J at James Connally AFB, training RIOs. I did not want to fly it as it had 2 engines, and 2 seats but I learned to really like it. The SSA could give you a surprise on takeoff so we turned it off until airborne. I had an opportunity to go to Tyndall AFB and fire a Genie. I became an IP and did not like the back seat on checkout flights, so I started to chase. The snap-up maneuver from 35,000' was exciting.

Rick melior, e-mail, 03.11.2009 06:20

In 1964 a buddy and i went out to the 116th fintron at Geiger field Wa to see if we wanted to join the guard. We were both prior active duty so they were very interested in signing us up. The unit was flying F89Js at the time and when asked by the maintenance officer (Capt. Poireras i recall) what it would take to get us to sign, I replied "give me a ride in one of those". He said sign up and come see him. I signed the papers that day, but wasn't able to get my ride right away, and before I did, we lost a bird, lost one of the officers on board, and lost my ride! Ah for the chance to live that time over! I did go on to finish a 22 year career in the guard, and would gladly do it all over again.

Bill Anderson, e-mail, 09.08.2009 01:00

I was stationed at Harmon AFB in Newfoundland in 1953
with the 61st fighter interceptor squadron flying the F94B.
Towards the end of 1953 our unit transitioned to the F89B.
During my AF career I was current in 10 different aircraft
but the scorpin was the most fun to fly.

Herb Elrod, e-mail, 12.07.2009 22:25

Electronic Tech on F-89D's Portland Or. Then phased in the F-102's. Was a great assignment!

Ronald L. Runnells, e-mail, 18.06.2009 21:48

I flew as an RO in the 58th FIS in 1957-58 at Otis AFB. The F89 was a great airplane and reliable. Great platform for rocket launching. I have fond memories of this plane.

Robert W. Smith Jr., e-mail, 11.05.2009 19:22

I was stationed at Otis AFB, from Oct 56 thru March 1957 with the Mobile Training Sqdn as Hydraulic instructor.The unit at Otis just received F-89H models. Would like to hear from anyone stationed there.

Ron Myers, e-mail, 19.02.2009 01:59

I was a radar tech at Goose AFB Nov 54 to Nov 55. Was on the rocket team that went to Thule and on to Yuma to finish in 3dr place.
Lt Luther and Lt Ewald were the flight crew on my assigned F89D.
Ray Ball, Arnold Knack, and Tansey were also part of the ground crew. I have only been able to get back in contact with Ray Ball, he lives on Long Island, NY.
I live in Manton, CA.

Cliff Yuill, e-mail, 30.01.2009 18:45

I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB, originally Oscoda AFS 1954-57 first as an airborne radio tech on the F86D and F89D then as a Falcon missile tech on the F89 . We began as the 63rd FIS, then became the 445th when the 63rd was xfrd to Goose Bay. I recall Capt. Chrisburg belly-landing a F89 when one landing gear wouldn't come down. I can stil see him bouncing that "rock" on the runway trying to get the gear to release and come down before bellying it in. And Lt JP Sheeley burying one off the runway when the after burner wouldn't function ... and many other adventures with the 86 and 89 at a great air base.

Bruce, e-mail, 28.12.2008 01:55

I found one that is available to buy.

It is in original condition and I thinking about it. I would like to have a mechanic familiar with one to check it out to see if it is worth messing with. Probably a money pit (just in fuel alone)but a unique one!

George Baker, e-mail, 06.12.2008 06:24

Anyone else remember the SSA, and what would happen when it would lose sync and "hunt?"

Brad Newell, e-mail, 27.11.2008 22:41

I flew the H and J at Portland, OR. Total 2300 hours total. Started with the H in 1958 and then flew six years in the J. I've been to 50,000 feet with one a couple of times. The weapon on the J gave it some performance as an interceptor. All we had to do was get in front. We could deal with targets up to around 60. Nice old airplane to learn to fly with. Went on to the 102 (500hrs) and the 101B (400 hrs). Nicest airplane to fly was the 102, but not much of a weapon. (I always figured that we gave it to the Greeks and Turks, so nobody would get hurt.) The 101B was still a good weapon when it was retired.

Galen Burke, e-mail, 13.08.2008 21:43

I flew both the back and front seat, on the D (104 folding-fin rockets), the & the J (Nucleaur armed MB-1) models in the Wisconsin ANG, Madison, WI, from 1960 - 1966. The pilot check-out, took a courageous instructor (generally the Squadron Commander), because there were no flight controls in the back seat! That great big tail, could hold a lot of stuff, - including B-4 bags and skies. The simulated attacks by B-58s left the F-89J stalled out in the snap-up maneuver - the computer became saturated and could not cope with super-sonic closures.

Howard Miller, e-mail, 13.08.2008 02:52

I flew in the F-89 D model as an R/O in the 460th Fighter Squadron in Portland Oregon in 1957 and 1958. Our base commander at that time was Colonel Pitts, and I was in Red Flight, commanded by Capt Smith. Don Martin, Wayne Shipley,werefellow R/O's The F-89 D model carried 102 air to air missles in wing pods at the end of each wing. It was a stable aircraft with good reliability and could operate nicely in the worst weather. The radar supposedly had a 35 mile range, but most of the birds couldn't see that far The F-89 always brought me home safe and sound.
If anyone out there was in the 460th flying the F-89 out of Portland in 1957 and 1958, send me an e-mail, I'd like to hear from you.

Brig Gen Paul Wagoner, Ret, e-mail, 21.07.2008 20:52

Flew the C,D,H & J. Total F-89 flying time: 1,000 hours and 20 minutes. (My one flight in the C was ferrying from Kenross AFB to Madison, Wisconson.) All at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan 1956-1959 and Ladd AFB, Fairbanks, Alaska from 1959-1960. After that I flew the F-101B Voodoo, the F-4C,D,& E, the F-106,& the F15 Eagle. Loved them all.

Bill Price, e-mail, 20.07.2008 22:59

I was at Griffiss from 4-56 til 7-59. I spent many hours in the hell hole on d h and j models. I was an a/c mechanic on a periodical inspection dock. Great plane with a lot of fire power My grandson is an avionic tech. and he is getting a ride in an f-16 this pm at nellis.

Mel Mendelsohn, e-mail, 05.07.2008 18:58


w. d. woodruff (woody), e-mail, 10.06.2008 00:56

Checked out in F89D at Goose in May '55. Flew untilJune '56 and the 89J as we transitioned from F94C to F89J at Bunker Hill AFB, IN in July '57. 89 was a steady firing platform and steady in all weather especially when viz and ceiling went to nothing and we had to get down on the Goose. It was terribly underpowered (7,000 lbs thrust per engine and weighing 46,000 lbs.) It wallowed once you got much above 35,000. A reliable ship and easy to fly! Sure could slow down with the massive decclerons (split ailerons)!

Sam Shumate, e-mail, 20.05.2008 03:07

I was an engine mechanic with the Black Knights, 57th Fighter-Interceptor Sq. at Keflavic, Iceland - 1956-57. The F-89D was definitely an all-weather aircraft.

Ronald E. Hutchison, e-mail, 14.05.2008 00:02

I was stationed at Otis AFB from May 1954 to Sept.1959 my Squadron was the 58th FIS.The first aircraft I can remember working on was the F89D.My job was as an aircraft mechanic and I can truthfully say it was a delight to work the F89s.The aircraft performed well and to my knowledge it was easy to keep in commission. I was fortunate to work the F89H & F89Js. I was the Crew Chief on A/C 474 which I watched perform at a airshow at Otis. I can still see it approaching for a speed run. Lifting the nose to the heavens going straight up and flipping over into numerous barrel rolls. The best part was that when it returned to the base everything was operating perfectly. What an Aircraft.I'm still proud of it.
Ronald E.Hutchison

John Bickers, e-mail, 09.05.2008 03:29

I flew the F-89A, B, C, and D. It was a forgiving aircraft with deceleron speed control unmatched. The pilot could visually check main gear down. It was stable in gunnery passes. And it survived Arctic climates.

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