North American T-39 Sabreliner
by last date | by total length | by number


15.04.2024 01:39

Convair 240

10.04.2024 04:14

08.04.2024 21:25

Piper PA-42 Cheyenne III / Cheyenne IV / Cheyenne 400LS

08.04.2024 12:44

Curtiss Eagle

07.04.2024 16:55

Cessna Model 305A / O-1 Bird Dog

07.04.2024 06:39

06.04.2024 15:03

Pemberton-Billing (Supermarine) P.B.31E

06.04.2024 07:27

05.04.2024 05:36

Fokker 50

05.04.2024 05:35

CASA C-212 Aviocar

05.04.2024 05:34

Saab 340

05.04.2024 05:32

Aerospatiale / Alenia ATR-42

05.04.2024 05:32

Aerospatiale / Alenia ATR-72

05.04.2024 05:29

Dornier Do-228

05.04.2024 05:26

EMBRAER EMB-120 Brasilia

05.04.2024 05:24

De Havilland Canada DHC-8 / Bombardier Dash-8 Series 100 / 200 / Q200

05.04.2024 05:23

De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter

05.04.2024 05:19

Xian MA60

05.04.2024 05:18

Harbin Y-12

05.04.2024 05:14

Fokker F.27 Friendship

05.04.2024 05:13

Antonov An-24

05.04.2024 05:12

Antonov An-26

05.04.2024 05:10

Let L-410 "Turbolet"

02.04.2024 04:57

Södertelge SW 15

01.04.2024 17:07

Mikoyan/Gurevich Ye-152(P)

01.04.2024 11:41

01.04.2024 10:32

01.04.2024 08:34

Cessna Model A

01.04.2024 04:25

Vought O3U / SU

31.03.2024 15:36

AIDC Ching-Kuo

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Bob Archer, e-mail, 12.12.2023 20:12

I am compiling operational data on the Air Force and Navy T-39s for a book being publilshed in 2024. I would love to include "bar war stories ". I would also love to hear from anyone involved with Scatback in South East Asia.
The brand new T-39 was also the unsung hero of the Cuban Missile Crisis, ferrying films for SAC, and important documents for ADC, TAC and SAC. Any air or ground personnel have memories of this tense period in late 1962. Contact me on email Thanks

Rob Schultz, e-mail, 01.12.2023 06:38

All of the B models you listed were at Wright-Patt with the 4950th Test Wing and went to Edwards with the 412th when the wings merged. All of the 39s are gone except 2873, which is in a museum in California. Jimmy Doolittles grandson burned up 3474 on approach to Wright-Patt. We k-balled the wings off of her and donated the rest to the fire dept as a ground trainer.

These were the first planes I was run qualified on, I was an engine troop and CUT trained as a crew chief at 4950th. These jets paved the way for my civilian A&P career and I look back on them very fondly.

Anonymous, 13.08.2023 17:39

You bought a motorcycle from me when I was discharged in 1976 a 450 Honda.

Brian Simmers, e-mail, 13.08.2023 17:35

We were together at Langley, 62-4502 crashed before I arrived at Langley. 62-4496 crashed in April of 1985 on landing at Wilkes Barre Pa airport, the investigation determined a defective brake anti-skid assembly had failed.

Bill Casady, e-mail, 11.08.2023 20:42

When I was at Evreux during the closedown ('66-'67), there was a T-39 that I got called out on a couple of times. I can't remember if it was based there or not, but it was there a lot. And I remember that the T.O. for the electrical system wiring diagrams was way different from the ones I was used to (Gooney Birds, T-29's)! I must have figured it out, because I don't remember any come-backs. It was a pretty stressful situation, being the only aircraft electrician on base, and yet being a 3-level. But none of my planes caught fire, so I must have done okay.

BRIAN SIMMERS, e-mail, 23.06.2023 17:48

While looking at the group photo cover of this group, the tail # 61-0675 seemed familiar to me. I met someone on a post, Chis Carmichael, whose father was Lieutenant Colonel John "Hoagey" Carmichael an Instructor/FCF pilot at Langley AFB. I had the opportunity to fly with him as a crew chief on numerous occasions, one in particular was on 61-0675 for a FCF flight after flight control maintenance on 09 Jan 1975, as the plane was taking off the aft fuselage fire warning system activated, we were unable to abort and had to fly around for an emergency landing. We were met on the runway with all the emergency equipment available. My thoughts were..."Lord is this how it's going to end", thankfully the fire was a bleed air duct connection that came apart in the aft fuselage and all was good. This all came to light when Chris researched his dad's log book and found the entry for that day 0675 was listed as FCF Flight/Fire, he also flew 0675 in 1971 with Scatback in 1971 per Chris. I was the crew chief on 59-2873 74-76 at the time and LTC Carmichael flew his last flight of his career before retirement on 59-2873 in May 1975.He stopped by his son's school and brought him along to see the flight, I launched and recovered him on that day.
If not for this group these memories were long gone but now I have them back and Chris also has a better understanding of his dad's career.

BRIAN SIMMERS, e-mail, 13.03.2023 15:43

I was at both areas at Langley when they moved us, I presume to make room for the F-15's when we were reassigned from 4500 CAMS to the First Tactical Fighter Wing in 75-76 I think.

BRIAN SIMMERS, e-mail, 11.03.2023 18:47

Hey Bob,
I worked for/with you at Langley 1974-1976 on the flight line working on the T-39's. This may help you to remember me, when I was discharged in Sept 1976 you bought a motorcycle from me a Honda 450 cc. just wondering how are you doing.

BRIAN SIMMERS, e-mail, 11.03.2023 18:45

Hey Bob,
I worked for/with you at Langley 1974-1976 on the flight line working on the T-39's. This may help you to remember me, when I was discharged in Sept 1976 you bought a motorcycle from me a Honda 450 cc. just wondering how are you doing. Answering your question on the big hanger, I was there when we moved from the east end to the west end to the big hanger, around the same time the F-15"s arrived.
Thanks Brian

Anonymous, e-mail, 08.01.2023 04:55

BriAn we worked together at Langley were you there when we were up at the big hanger where the big airplane were or down at the other end by the t birds

Robert Simmons, e-mail, 31.12.2022 06:31

Bill was at Ramstein 1967 to 1970 had seventh Air Force saber liners two them

Robert simmons, e-mail, 31.12.2022 06:16

Brian I think I remember you we worked together on the aircraft at Langley remember the time we had the engine problem on the right side and ended up having to change it were you there when we lost 624502 that crashed on final to Langley killed everybody on board and I heard 624496 crashed after I retired in pa killing the tac commander and everyone on board supposedly lost hydraulic pressure on landing sent me an email sometime like to hear from you

Robert Simmons, e-mail, 29.12.2022 02:42

John weren’t you and I at Langley at the same time I was a tech sgt at the time I think we used to work together on flight line do you have any information on 624470 or 624478 the airplanes I had at ramstrin ger send me a e mail sometime

Robert simmons, e-mail, 29.12.2022 02:16

Spent 14 of my 20 years in Air Force working on the t39 started in 1963 at Langley on the first ones we got there spent a year then was in North Africa for a year then back to Langley and back on the saber liner again for three more years flew as flight mechanic we had ten planes there for tac sic command 2 b models 593873 and 592874 the rest were a models in 1967 was shipped to ramstenat that time it was headquarters for 17th Air Force had two a models 624470 and 624478 for the commander flew all over Europe on many flights man slates was the ip an outstanding officer to work with at that time general Yeager was deputy commander flew several times with him went to Thailand from there for a year working on b66s then back to Langley my last 8 years we had 624496 as our primary aircraft for tac commander and 634495 as backup did a lot of taxing in Germany and Langley very easy aircraft to tAxl besides the two b models we also had 624494 624498 624495 624496 61640 61647 624501 624502

Rick Fluke, e-mail, 07.08.2022 01:57

Just ran across your comments on being a crew chief on T-39s at Peterson Field. Were you there during 65-66 ??

As a young E-3 I was a member of the HQ ADC briefing team and had many trips in one special T-39 along with M/Gen Preuss, Col Bennett(?) and MajTom Ferrara.

If my memory is correct the bird was "Smokey 462". If in fact that was the correct tail number, I got to fly on it again when it was assigned to the "Scatback" flight at TSN during 66/67.

I remember one particular flight while at ADC - we were on
let down into Langley AFB when we had a Duck hit the ring
on the Starboard engine - Big WHAM! and the aircraft veered
sharply before it straightened out. Just glad it wasn't ingested by the engine !!

Ah, to be so young again! But can you affirm whether the
correct tail number was 462 or perhaps 426 ??

Rick Fluke
SMSgt USAF (Ret)

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 29.03.2022 03:33

I was a T-39 mechanic at Wiesbaden from 1970-1972. I also worked at the Jet hangar and also the flight line. My aircraft was 62-4471. I think you were my roommate for a while. Are you from Idaho? Let me know. I became a pilot for 40 years and retired as a B-777 captain for Delta.

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 29.03.2022 03:27

I will look it up and probably drive there to see it. It was my intro to aviation. After discharge I study aviation in Florida. I had a 40 year career as a pilot with National/PanAm/Delta. I retired as a B-777 as an international Captain. Thanks a lot for the info.

Brian Simmers, e-mail, 28.03.2022 22:02

If you are referring to Tail # 62-4461, she is on display at Warner-Robbins AFB Macon Ga. Goggle the Tail # and it will come up.

Brian Simmers, e-mail, 12.03.2022 23:25

Dear Robert,
I was stationed at Langley AFB 73-76 and was a crew chief on 59-2873. If this reaches you please reach outThanks Brian S

Brian Simmers, e-mail, 12.03.2022 23:01

Dear Sir,
I have been researching the T-39 B models, I was the crew chief on Tail # 59-2873 when this aircraft and 59-2874,
60-3474, 60-3476 were assigned to Langley AFB Va. in 1973-1976. So far the best I've been able to determine is
60-3475,476,477 were scapped in late 2010 or early 2011. I located a picture of 59-2873 taken in 2017 at China Lake NAWS (NID / KNID), USA - California, 59-2874 was last listed as being at Wright-Patteron AFB Ohio. I have found pictures of the B models. If this e-mail reaches please let me know of any other info you may have
Thank You Brian

Ember Gidion, e-mail, 18.02.2022 08:17

Hey Marcus, what a small world. I was just thinking if we ever ran into each other. I to was stationed at Norton AFB between 1972-1975 in the 63rd MAW as a Master Sargent. I was a Radar, Communication and Navigation Technician. I worked on the flight line, in launch trucks, docks and in the shop. I trouble shot any problems that worked off of electricity on any and all aircraft tat was on or flew into Norton. Then trouble shot and repaired any of these systems ‘black boxes’ including instrumentation in the shop, replaced tested and sometimes flew with some of the superstitious pilots crews. Also keyed in daily ‘Friend or Foe’ codes for aircraft.
I have to say that was one of my best experiences in life. I got to travel to a lot of places in both the U.S. AND OVERSEAS. It gave me 1 year of electronics education as well as MUCH more responsibility. This along with degree in Electronic Engineering really was very helpful getting a career in the Aerospace Defense field. I truly believe that EVERY young person should have to serve for at least 3 to 4 years in our military!
How was your experience? Did you enjoy your time in service?
Do you still live in Southern California?
I hope life has been great for you and Thank you for your service (really).

Dannny Howser, e-mail, 05.01.2022 02:08

Jess, I was at Mildenhall when you and the T-39 were transferred from Lakenheath. I was a flight mechanic on the C-47’s and later T-29’s. You and I were in Base Flight. Do you remember a flight to Ramstein in the T-39 and during refueling the SPR receptacle failed? I was on a trip in. The T-29 and we’re diverted to pickup your crew and pax. If I recall correctly there was a General Officer onboard the T-39.

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 13.10.2021 04:56

I like to know what happen to T-39 I work on at Wiesbaden AFB. Tail number 66-4461.(1970-1972).

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 13.10.2021 04:18

I was a mechanic on T-39 station at Wiesbaden from 1970 to 1972. Was a great assignment.

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 13.10.2021 04:12

I was station at Wiesbaden from 1970-1972. I work at the hangar and then the flight line on the T-39. I think you were my roomate for a while. Let me know how your doing. I live in Florida as a retired airline captain. Sincerely, Rafael

Rafael Velez, e-mail, 10.05.2021 05:45

I was stationed at Wiesbaden AFB from 1970-72 as a T-39 mechanic flight line and jet docks. Flew as Flight mechanic sometimes. Like to communicate with some of the old workers there. It was fun being stationed there. I remember the Big Ben and Featherstall bars. The T-39 was a great bird. I studied aviation and was an airline pilot for 38 years retiring as Intl Captain on B-777. I flew for PanAm and Delta. Was based in Berlin on B-727.

William R. Buchanan, e-mail, 20.02.2021 10:47

Rodney I don't remember you and just happened across this site. You must have came in right after I was sent to the PI.

I was Tech Sgt Robesons assistant from 69 to 71 on 0678 or Gen Simlar's Personal T39. I was the person who painted it over at Kelly AFB when we upgraded it to rival Gen Browns plane, (Off White and Very Light Gray in early 71. I was sent to Scott AFB to learn C9 Hospital Ships and ran the phase Dock at Clark AFB in the Philippines in 72-73. I was also on a first name basis with Maj Gaston O Bush (mentioned in another post) who was one of the finest officers I ever met in my service.

Small World Huh?

Ron Obernier, e-mail, 11.02.2021 17:13

What happened to 62-4462? I worked on it at Wethersfield in the 62-65 timeframe.

Bob Archer, e-mail, 09.03.2020 18:29

I would like to contact John Caton and anyone else who supported the Cuban Missile Crisis with T-39 missions. Please contact me on email Many thanks Bob Archer

Rodney Bell, e-mail, 26.02.2018 03:46

My first duty assignment was at Randolph AFB, 1971 T-39 Base Flight....I was Ass't Crew Chief on LGEN George B. Simler's T-39....Got my first stick time in back in 72. Sweet aircraft...!

Bill Hallisey, e-mail, 26.08.2017 18:47

Want to share stories and connect with fellow Air Force T-39 crew chiefs and maintenance personnel stationed in Weisbaden from 1969 to 1972. I was a crew chief on flying status. Probably landed in most air bases and airports in Europe at one time or another.

Dave Hansen, e-mail, 22.03.2017 04:06

as a non flying enlisted, I supported the Scatback mission at NKP after they signed the Pease with Honor Accords.. I have not heard the first discouraging remarks from anyone who was associated with this wonderful airframe. Scatback March 73 to October 73, NKP, in support of the United States Support Activities Group (USSAG)

Patrick Spino, e-mail, 21.02.2017 20:46

Hello to everyone contributing here regarding the T-39 Sabreliner. I was a Sgt stationed USAF Wiesbaden '69-'71, 2063rd Comm Sq. I met Maj. Gus Bush (Texan) who piloted the T-39 (on SAM) and he offered to take me on a trip. A buddy of his who had just rotated out of Sheppard for Wiesbaden co-piloted with Gus; the mission consisted of several touch & goes at various strips in Italy to orient the co-pilot of these airstrips before landing in Athens for a couple of nights. This trip was the highlight of my 4 years served. I loved jets since I was a kid and to be in the T-39 flying over the Swiss Alps, the Leaning Tower of Pisa as well as coming in on final approach to Athens while looking down on the turquoise waters of the Med, are experiences I'll never ever forget! Thanks so much, Major Gus Bush!

Larry Miller, 28.12.2016 23:29

Bill Hallisey, I was stationed at Wiesbaden during the same time you where there 1970 -1972. I worked in the T-39 Phase Dock doing both Minor and Major Aircraft Inspections along with assisting with aircraft modifications. We put in some long hrs. sometimes and I got to know each aircraft and their crew chiefs. Over all it was Great Duty.

Marcus White, e-mail, 26.12.2016 18:58

I was stationed at Norton AFB in California from 1975 thru 1979. I was in the 63 OMS and I was the crew chief for aircraft 610647. Used to polish the leading edge slats almost daily. Whenever the pilot requested me to empty the blue water from the toilet I knew what their plans were. Or if they were to request for me to fly the plane but for me to bring an overnight bag for what was to be a 4 hour flight I knew we were going to flying near Nellis. As soon as we got near Nellis they would call me to the cockpit and stare at one of the gauges. Fuel flow was one of their favorites. It would bounce around and for a split second exceed the maximum. I would red X the aircraft and we would land at Nellis. Of course I would call my squadron and inform them I needed a engine specialist. It would take two days to get him there. So of course I would spent those two days in Las Vegas. The specialist would arrive and I would run the engines for him. He would inform his people that he needed a replacement fuel flux flow transmitter or something of the like and it would take two days to arrive. Another two days in Vegas. What a life. I also was TDY in Japan at Yokota AB for a few months to assist with some T39's there. Best times of my life.

Jess Hennell, e-mail, 25.11.2016 23:36

I was asst crew chief and flight mech on the T-39A aircraft 62-4453 at Peterson Field and crew chief on 624474 then 624462 at RAF Lakenheath then they moved 62-4462 RAF Mildenhall. I had 5 years on these aircraft it was the best 5 years of my 21. I have a face book groupe
T-39A Flight Mech and Crews it's open to all T-39 guys do come and join it would be great to hear from you. Also if any of the guys I worked with see this do drop an e mail

Wayne Tisdale, e-mail, 30.09.2016 00:18

I was fortunate enough to fly on T-39's as a inflight crew chief at Westover AFB, from 67 -68. Worked for Msgt Ledger. In 1970 I was assigned to Tan Son Nhut, Viet Nam, and once again was an inflight crew chief for the Scat Back Airlines. That was a real busy assignment, flew 6 days in a row hustling courier material to ever base with an improved runway up and down Viet Nam and over to the bases inThailand. The long hours helped pass the time.

ROBERT S, e-mail, 04.07.2016 04:15


John caton, e-mail, 24.04.2016 20:18

If there is anyone that wants to know where the T39 they use to work on is, write me at I found a cite that gives its location or if it was sold to a foreign country. Love to hear from any T39 enthusiast . This plane had a role in the cuban missel crisis that was not known but by a very few individuals.

john caton, e-mail, 24.04.2016 20:02

I spent 14 years out of 20 working and flying on T39s. For those who also did the same I understand the relationship with this aircraft. Met so many great crew chiefs , they had pride in their plane and work. I was so greatful to have assignments that allowed me to work on and fly with over 2600 loged hours. The tail # 61638 that Carl Arend was asking about is in Laredo Texas as of Apr 2006

Bill Hallisey, e-mail, 04.03.2016 01:19

I was a crew chief/flight mechanic on T-39's at Wiesbaden Germany from 1970 thru 1972. We referred to our mission as the Wiesbaden Air Base Taxi Stand. Worked with a great group of fellow Air Force personnel.

DALE, e-mail, 03.02.2016 04:37

I worked on t39s at tan son nhut vietnam 68-69 scatback det 1 460 trw tail #504 the picture above looks like 675 at tan son nhut

Granpa, e-mail, 26.05.2015 18:36

The text omits mention of the Sabre 75 and 75A.

J. J. Henderson, e-mail, 19.03.2015 21:25

C.M.Koskowski, I also was at Andrews AFB from 1969-1972 assigned to the T-39's. I was the crew chief for two years on T-39 call sign "Pacer 94". I also remember General Daniel "Chappie" James and you are right, he was a great guy that treated all of us the same.

C.M.Koskowski, e-mail, 19.02.2015 17:50

I was a crew/flight mech. on the t-39 at Andrews from 1969-1971.Flow with Senator Barry Goldwater and General Danie "Chappie James jr first African American four-star general what a nice person, many a store to tell. Lots of good times at Andrews and flying around country on the T-39.

Carl Arend, e-mail, 08.01.2015 06:56

I was a crew chief on tail # 10638 @ Offutt Nebraska in 1980 &1981, Does anyone know where she might be resting now? She was a scrap yard in Nevada but heard she other saved,to e a gate relic at Kessler AFB

Dave Clipner, e-mail, 01.12.2014 02:16

I had for 2 years from July 65 to Jul 67 on a slow Saturday morning at Ramey AFB,Puerto Rico to fill the ramp with VC-39's and VC140's. Flight time for desk pilots to get hours for pay. They came to play the Golf Course at the base.. Many came during the fall into spring time. I can remember many GCA's and ILS's into the base. Those 2 types came the closest to controlling a fighter that I had. As Ramey was a SAC base with BUFF's and Gas Passers. I don't think that Andrews had any of those type left at home..When the thoughts turned to golf at Ramey...Very fond memories of an Approach Controller/Air Traffic USAF..

deaftom, e-mail, 24.11.2014 05:23

Frank Alford: The "Capitol dome" marking you remember on the T-39's tail was that of USAF's Headquarters Command, reflecting the plane's mission of supporting the transportation needs of high USAF brass.

However, you cannot be correct about Barry Goldwater's flying the T-39 "alone and by himself", as it was a two-pilot aircraft--a co-pilot was mandatory. In addition, most of Goldwater's T-39 flights made during his presidential campaign period were with my father in the other pilot's seat. In appreciation, Goldwater had his office send my family a complimentary subscription to the magazine "Arizona Highways" for years afterwards.

Bob Nicholson, e-mail, 24.08.2014 10:44

I was a flight crew chief from November 1967 to November 1968. I felt this was the best experience I had in the Air Force. A great group of crew chiefs and pilots to work with. Great trips and experiences around Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Just loved flying along.

Frank Alford, e-mail, 08.07.2014 10:06

I provided security for Barry Goldwater at Luke AFB when he was running for president. He flew himself from Andrews AFB to Luke in a T-39 that had a Capital Dome logo over the tail number. I was impressed 1)With the plane and 2) that Goldwater flew that plane to Luke alone and by himself. Security Police along with Secret Service convoyed him to his home in Paradise Valley.

Pete, e-mail, 27.06.2014 01:08

Flew in T-39 out of Miramar in 1969 as Air Intercept Control instructor.Jolly Green was pilot.On take off went thru June gloom fog only to lose all electronics. Spent time cyclically thru procedures. Eventually landed with no brakes at end of Miramar runway.

Edwin E. Calhoun, e-mail, 11.05.2014 23:28

I frist flew the T-39A at Itazuke AB Japan. WE received the Aircraft from the USA, Went to the 4PM Briefing and told the Wing Commander that no one on Base was checked outin it. He aid you fly airplanes don't you. Next morning I read the tech Order and checked myseft in it. I later took the aircraft to Kaena AB and tdy to TSN as firswt T-39 assigned to TSN, I flew the T-39 on two TDY three month and
consider the birth of scatback. After leaving Kedan to Andrews AFB for two years, back to TSN with Scatback to TSN for a year and then back to ANDREWS FOR TWO YEARS FLYING THE t-39 AS pILOT. retiring IN 1972 I HAS FLOWN THE t-39 FOR 4,960 HOURS. great aIRCRAFT.

Edwin E. Calhoun, e-mail, 11.05.2014 23:28

I frist flew the T-39A at Itazuke AB Japan. WE received the Aircraft from the USA, Went to the 4PM Briefing and told the Wing Commander that no one on Base was checked outin it. He aid you fly airplanes don't you. Next morning I read the tech Order and checked myseft in it. I later took the aircraft to Kaena AB and tdy to TSN as firswt T-39 assigned to TSN, I flew the T-39 on two TDY three month and
consider the birth of scatback. After leaving Kedan to Andrews AFB for two years, back to TSN with Scatback to TSN for a year and then back to ANDREWS FOR TWO YEARS FLYING THE t-39 AS pILOT. retiring IN 1972 I HAS FLOWN THE t-39 FOR 4,960 HOURS. great aIRCRAFT.

Dr. jur. Eddz Collins, e-mail, 15.04.2014 23:42

I rechecked my Flight Logbook and it reflects NA-265 (T-39). This was a first flight in 1967 from Nellis AFB (NV) to McCarren (CA) etc The Commercial paintetb acft looked a lot better than the USAF.

Dr. jur Eddy Collins (JD), e-mail, 10.03.2014 23:35

DELETE cooments by "drusmanbello=she.cpm" has nothing to do with this aircraft, and it appears to be a fraudulent undertaking that he proposes.

Max Odle, e-mail, 29.09.2013 01:40

First flew the T-39 at Misawa AB, Japan. Checked out by Erv Ostik and then took over as chief of the Base Flight T-39 Section. Started going into SEA in 1964 ferrying RF 101 pilots in and out of TSN. Was one of the first 30 day TDY crews to fly the Scatback Ops missions out of TSN in 1965 and 1966. Volunteered to go back to VN in 1968 in fighters, but, "based on time in the T-39 and experience in the SEA theater, I ended up at TSN flying the T-39 Scatback mission again. L/Col Roger Harrington was the Scatback Ops commander while I was at TSN from 1968 to 1969.

We had great crew chiefs and maintenance. I had about 800 hours of combat support flying as an IP and pilot and never missed a scheduled takeoff or had an aborted mission. I loved flying the T-39, It was the closest I got to flying "fighters" in my 22 year AF career. Also flew the bird at the AF Flight Instrument Center at RND AFB where Bucky Allshouse was the Center Commander. I ended up with 2,996 hours of T-39 time in a little over 7 years of flying a great airplane!

Pat Keen, e-mail, 06.05.2013 03:48

I was assigned to the 377CAM Sq.and move to 7 airforce to the Scatback Operation as a flyingcrewcheif and was trained by Bob Laymon. This was a very important part of my miltary carree. I was assigned from 1971 thru 1972. I remember Bob as a good friend during those time even if we seem to fly alot back then. (remeber the Milk run we called it)

Dr.jur. Eddy Collins (JD), e-mail, 04.03.2013 21:12

Sorry about the incomplete name/title, as well as forgetting the @ guess I am a bad typist!.

r. jur. Eddy Collins (JD), e-mail, 04.03.2013 21:08

Don't fall for the trick of "Usman Belo/drusmanbello=she,com" placed on 23.03.2912. This person tried the same here in Germany. An attempt to paracite on your bank account later on - after you have furnished the data he is looking for. What kind of "Dr." is he?. In Germany he posed as an Attorney at Law/Rechsanwalt?? By the way I have flown the T-39, however, I think my flight log book at that time reflected the T-39 as "NA-285,"

Jess Hennell, e-mail, 03.02.2013 15:44

I was lucky to be the ass crew chief and flight mech on 62-4453 Peterson field Co. 1965/66 and later 1969 to 1973 was crew chief and flight mech on 624462 at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall England of my 21 years it was the best 5 and a half years. I flew with some great crews would love to know what happened to some of them Maj. C Walters and Lt Tim Scruggs. I have started a group on Facebook T-39A flight mech would like to hear from any one who worked or flew on them the T-39 world was a great place to have been in.

Smokey 13, 10.06.2012 21:54

Also one of the best long distance flight we had was to delivery one T39 to asia, from USA base. That tighten uo the shorts at tines. From the States to Alaska, down the chains, next longest hops was to a "island" in the Pafic, 1/2 distance. Had to locte a "picket" ship for the half way point check. Use the dome on top of the Aircraft, had a Navagator on board & a extra tank behins the rear seat. That was a very close call, had some unextected winds along the way. The next hop was about as long. We had tails winds on that one so we landed on that island. the next hop was to delivery the aircraft. The trip home was first class. Even got to sleep in flight. Got lots of stories, if you have the clearances. Will need you call sign.

Smokey 13, 10.06.2012 21:39

I "crewed" & flew as a flight mech on that A/C for a number of years. Most of the flights were VIP transport. I lost the escape door on the right side in-flight )Over OK city, Was a bit exciting. Also the hyd pump Close to COS. But I do that duty again & again. Was One of the first people assigned to the T-39. Went to many AF & non AF base that had no idea whar we were. That was one of the reasons that a Flight Mechanic was on board.

Mike Evans, e-mail, 31.05.2012 01:47

Correction from previous comment. My DD 214 doesn't show I flew in and landed at several Vietnam bases so the VA is denying any benefits. I never saved anything after discharge. They say that can't even find the H D pay I received before you had to be fired at. If only I could find one of my fellow airmen.

Mike Evans, e-mail, 31.05.2012 01:30

I was one of a few lucky crew chiefs to fly aboard the T-39 at Clark AFB from 68 to 69. Unfortunately my DD 214 doesn't reflect that and thethe VA said they can't find any record. They say because it was TDY it's hard to prove. I need some help.

Al Wilson, e-mail, 16.05.2012 16:22


I was there and seen the whole thing transpire. I was a crew chief on that birds sister plane. We got a call from the tower that your Dad's plane was coming in heavily damaged, from hitting the water at the Patuxant Naval Air Station and would do a flyover the Andrews tower. She came in low & slow. We were amazed the she was still flyable. As you said the main landing gear was ripped off and the nose gear was dangling by the wiring harness. Also the skin was ripped off most of the belly of the aircraft. I also seem to remember that some of the right wing was missing. While we were watching, the base fire and rescue were laying down foam on the runway. We were expecting the worse as she came in on final approach. I had seen a lot of emergency landing in Vietnam, but this one was picture perfect. She skated to a stop and we seen your Dad and the other 2 pilots emerge from the emergency escape hatch over the wing. I just wish I had had a camera.

On another note: Did your father ever fly with General Daniel "Chappie" James? I lauched him & Barry Goldwater many times. My bird was select to be in the 1972 Air Show at Andrews. We were parked right next to the SR-71.

Frank Carpenter, e-mail, 03.04.2012 03:22

I was a flight engineer/cres chief on the T-39 from Oct 70-74. I was on flight status and had a great item. Went with the squadron for Wiesbwden to Ramstein

Flew mane VIP's such as Warren Burger, General David C Jones. My wife used to make muffins for him

We supported the SALT talks in Helsinki. Ferried T-38 to Iran and Turky. What a great time. We did run off the end of the runway during a rain storm in Nurenburgh. Hated that!

Floyd, e-mail, 31.03.2012 23:19

The Sabre was the first jet I checked out on. I flew it all over the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America. I was named the "Chief Pilot" for our company's European operation, based in London and flew it thoughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. What a great airplane, I loved it. Later, when I was checking out on a 727, I couldn't believe how similar it was to the Sabre. The 727 flew just like it--only bigger.

John Nixon-"Nick", e-mail, 13.01.2012 02:38

Flight mech. 1966-67 Tan Son Nhut "Scatback". Saw an awful lot of Southeast Asia. Some good--some not so good! MAN, WHAT A RIDE!!!!!!!!!!

Mitch Allen, e-mail, 04.11.2011 02:43

deaftom, I flew the T-39 at Andrews in 1975, but was there from 1973 with the 2nd Com Sq flying C-118A, I moved to the 1st in 1975, befoe they became the 1402nd, 89th wing. Your father may have traing me on the T-39. If you are interested in talking, please contacted me at
FYI Songbird was my handle in those days. Mitch

J.R. Krug, e-mail, 11.09.2011 07:40

I was a crew chief / Flight Mech on the T-39A in Itazuke AB Japan, The T-39B at McConnell AFB Kansas, Back to an "A" model in Tan Son Nhut (Scatback '70-71'), Alconbury England, and Kadena AB Okinawa. I also worked the "D" model in Pensacola NAS as a Tech Rep along with the "40" model in Cubi Point PI and El Toro MCAS in California. I was blessed to have been a part of this great aircraft for so many years.

J.R. Krug, e-mail, 11.09.2011 07:37

I was a crew chief / Flight Mech on the T-39A in Itazuke AB Japan, The T-39B at McConnell AFB Kansas, Back to an "A" model in Tan Son Nhut (Scatback '70-71'), Alconbury England, and Kadena AB Okinawa. I also worked the "D" model in Pensacola NAS as a Tech Rep along with the "40" model in Cubi Point PI and El Toro MCAS in California. I was blessed to have been a part of this great aircraft for so many years.

Ron, e-mail, 29.05.2011 01:36

I flew as a navigator on a T-39 ferrying it from the U.S. to Tan Son Nhut in 1973. We made stops in Anchorage, AK, Adak, Honolulu, Wake Islan, Guam, Phillipines and then Saigon. That was a big change from the C-141's I had previously flown!

nels sprague, e-mail, 17.05.2011 23:04

Great aircraft! Flew it from 63 to 79. Randolph, Saigon, Mc Dill and Mc Clellan. Couple blown tires and thats it. Flame out with willy Lamb over rock springs trying to top a tstm, ok start. Knew all the guys flying then, even you Booger. Happy to hear from any of you. Bobby Mathis a great crew chief, only one Momyer would fly with, I take that back there was another too, can't think of his name off hand a great CC went o to Chief Msgt. Please let's hear from you. Nels

BobK, e-mail, 29.04.2011 20:25

Can anyone tell me if the Sabre-65s have an escape hatch in the belly like the Sabre-40s do? We're looking at alternatives to the 40 for some downward-looking imagery experiments. Thanks.

J Rohrs, e-mail, 19.04.2011 15:45

5,000 wonderful hrs. Round trips only.

deaftom, e-mail, 06.04.2011 04:27

My father was a long-time T-39A pilot, first at Andrews AFB 1963-1965, then 1965-1968 at Ramstein, to Vietnam 1968-1969, then Andrews again 1969 to retirement in 1975. He flew all over the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia in that bird. He must have had over 10,000 hours in it when he finally hung up his USAF wings.

At Andrews, he was assigned to VIP ops, ferrying VIPs around the U.S. He also shepherded Washington-area colonels and generals who needed to keep up their flying hours; probably the most high-ranking person he ever right-seated for was Senator Barry Goldwater, in Goldwater's capacity as a USAF reserve officer.

My father's only major aircraft accident during his entire USAF career was also in a T-39A; in 1973 or '74--my memory is a little hazy on the year--he was check pilot for another guy who was converting to the T-39A, and they flew from Andrews to Patuxent River NAS to practice a touch-and-go with overwater approaches. The other guy was in control when my father happened to glance out the window and notice they were not only much too low, but about to impact the water. He immediately took control and shoved the throttles full forward, but it was too late. The T-39 pancaked off the water's surface twice, wobbled in the air for several tense seconds, then somehow managed to keep flying and gradually gain altitude. A flyby past the Patuxent tower for a visual inspection brought the news that both main landing gear had been sheared off and the (forward-retracting) nose gear strut bent back about 45 degrees. Since Patuxent didn't have T-39 ground crew or parts, and since the plane was still controllable, my father elected to fly back to Andrews, just a few minutes away, and put down there. Andrews foamed the runway and he put the T-39 down with minimal additional damage. (As an aside, the T-39A had a streamlined wooden skid of sorts on its belly to absorb most of the runway friction damage in case of gear-up landings, but I gather it was of no help in this situation because the stuck-down, bent nose gear leg prevented this wooden skid from contacting the runway.) I never did learn whether this T-39A was repaired and put back into service, or whether it was written off. In either case, it turned out to be a tough little bird that took care of its occupants.

Ron Little, e-mail, 10.03.2011 16:09

We operated a Sabre 60 for some time. What an airplane. And
a pleasure to fly. Rarely used the auto-pilot even at FL410. Hard to believe this was 50's design. I hated to
see this one go.

Dave Schofield, e-mail, 26.02.2011 19:22

The comments on this aircraft are very interesting with one exception. There were ONLY 6 T-39B's ever built. The Navy version was the T-39D. Air Force Jets 59-2873, 59-2874, 60-3474, 60-3475, 60-3476 and 60-3477 were the only B models the Air Force had and first saw duty with the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

59-2873 ans 59-2874 were originally contracted as A models but were modified during production at request of the Air Force to become the first 2 B models with a mission as a flying class room for the F-105 Fire Control and Radar Training Program. 4 more aircraft with the same configurations were contracted shortly after the delivery on the converted A models, making up the complete fleet of B models.

I recently tried to track down the 6 B models only to learn that 5 of 6 are at Davis-Monthan AFB. The 6th, last I knew was still flying and is being used as a test bed at Edwards. The T-39B I crewed, 60-3475 ended up at Davis-Monthan with wing spar cracks. Only wish I could save her and bring her back.

Tim, e-mail, 30.12.2010 01:23

Got to fly the A (1974 - 1987) at Eglin (2 months TDY at Scott, flew 592868 and 592869), Ramstein, Wright-Patt, and then Andrews (DCANG). Enjoyed every minute of it, especially in Europe. First year at Eglin, I was in the 3246th Test Wing. At 10,000 ft, we dropped aluminum spheres out the escape hatch for ground radar calibration. Where can I find an old Dash 1 with the cartoons?

Robert Follensbee, e-mail, 22.11.2010 10:13

I was a young thermodynamics engineer working on the development of the T-39A. I was given a high priority design assignment in Oct of 1961: splitter vanes had to be added to the engine inlets to prevent flameout during stall at 45000ft. This was one of the tough FAA requirements. My job was to design a hot bleed air anti-ice system for the splitter vanes and devise a test program that would get it FAA approved by year end. This meant putting the airplane behind an airforce Tanker with a spray boom to give the icing enviroment. The time span was short. The chief engineer, Gene Salvay, said don't worry about making it efficient just make it work by year end or there will be heavy cost penalties by the Air Force. The week before Xmas with no prior testing we put the airplane behind the tanker at wright field with Van Sheppard the NAA test pilot and Bill Mason, the FAA engineer on board. The test was successful in all respects. I was told when I got back to the office by a Garret subcontract engr That Lockheed on the Jet star with the same engine and splitter vanes also had gone thru 16 splitter vane configurations before they had a successful design. In any case I had an enjoyable Xmas. Six months later I went to work for FAA and retired there after 30 yrs. My experiences with the T-39A was the work I am most proud of.

Dallas Smith, e-mail, 16.10.2010 19:38

Flew it for 3 years out of Wiesbaden. After single seat fighters, I had trouble getting used to an aircraft that was comfortable, performed well, had simple emergency procedures and would extend the gear with emergency procedures without screwing up the hydraulic system. One of the most interesting missions was to escort the 4 engine prototype tiltwing aircraft from Torrejon into France for the Paris Airshow. (1967 +- a year.) Strange that it took the Osprey another 40 years to prove the concept.

Marilyn, e-mail, 15.10.2010 22:21

When NAA got their commercial approval in April 1963, I was involved in modeling for pictures to advertize the plane for commercial use. The plane was painted differently on each side to allow for more pictures of the same aircraft. Fond memories.

Jim Reed, e-mail, 21.09.2010 22:02

Great bird the T-39. Flew it for 10 years at McClellan, Yokota, Vietnam (Scatback) and Colorado Springs. Ferried one from Lincoln, Nebraska to Yokota, Japan, island hoping across the Pacific. On the leg from Adak to Midway we had a planned 20 minute fuel reserve at Midway with no alternates and no real way of overwater navigation. From the time we lost the TACAN at Adak until we picked up the TAcan at Midway we were DR with the exception of a poition from a Navy P-3 halfway to Midway.

Jim Reed

Dick Davenport, e-mail, 21.09.2010 01:33

First flew the T-39 at Yakota AB, Japan after checking out in it @ Randolph AFB in'62. Than again in '66 at Randolph AFB, at Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam in '70 (Scatback), at Elmendorf AFB, AK in '71 and then at Peterson AFB, CO in '74 before retiring. Loved the bird, reminded me of the F-86 E,F, D,L models previously flown. Great Bird! 3000 hrs of great memories and VIP passengers.

JOHN MALONE, e-mail, 21.08.2010 21:50

I was fortunate to fly the T-39 at Robins AFB, Wiesbaden Germany, Saigon Viet Nam, Wright Patterson Ohio and Randolph Tx. A fantastic airplane! John Caton was one of our crew chiefs at Saigon.

Scatback Scribe, e-mail, 29.07.2010 23:22

T-39A s.n. 61-0675 was assigned to 7th Air Force Flight Operations "Scatback" and served as the designated in-theater airlifter for Gen W.W. "Spike" Momyer, 7th AF/CC. Momyer's dedicated crew chief was MSgt Bobby Mathis, asst. CC was Sgt Nelson Crespo [Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN: July 1966 - July 1967] To learn more about "Scatback" then Google or search Facebook: Scatback - 7th Air Force Flight Operations
- Scatback Scribe -

Bobby Thrower, e-mail, 09.02.2010 01:06

June 1971-1972 I was a flight mechanic for 7th AF Flight Ops. (Scatback). I flew mosely with (then) Maj. Fritz Fries and (then) Maj.Dick Miuller. We brought 60-3484 from Tan Son Nhut, Viet Nam (Saigon) to Cal. for reman. What a trip over the islands! I'll never forget my time with Scatback and the Sabreliners. Fritz Fries recently departed this earth and now flies on God's flight plan.If money allowed, I'd have a T-39 parked in my living room.

Sam Herron, e-mail, 03.12.2009 00:42

I flew the T-39A at Randolph AFB and loved it. My left thumb was not so good on the trim "coolie hat".

Sam Christie, e-mail, 02.05.2009 04:50

Worked on 61-0636 for the four years I served at kirtland AFB.N.M.Had some great times besides a trainer it served as the base comanders transportation.We spent a bunch of hours with a can of never dull on that girl. When she touched down we felt proud as the sun danced off her wings. Great duty Iwas blessed. Amen God bless AMERICA.

Bill, e-mail, 13.02.2009 07:22

As an A&P with Continental Air Lines I worked on the Sabreliner for a short time in 1971 that was used as a pilot trainer and personal transport for Bob Six. It was ordered with thrust revercers. I believe it may have been the only one ever equipted with T/R's On Friday April 13, 1973 after dropping off Mr.and Mrs. Six at Montrose CO. On T/O the left engine T/R deployed. Control was lost and the pilot and co-pilod both died in the crash. The NTSB report states that the pilot miss use of the eng. controls????

Bill, e-mail, 13.02.2009 07:20

As an A&P with Continental Air Lines I worked on the Sabreliner for a short time in 1971 that was used as a pilot trainer and personal transport for Bob Six. It was ordered with thrust revercers. I believe it may have been the only one ever equipted with T/R's On Friday April 13, 1973 after dropping off Mr.and Mrs. Six at Montrose CO. On T/O the left engine T/R deployed. Control was lost and the pilot and co-pilod both died in the crash. The NTSB report states that the pilot miss use of the eng. controls????

Jim, e-mail, 01.06.2008 07:16

Obviously you are talking about the AF "A" model. The Navy "B" had engine driven pumps. I worked the T-39's at Wiesbaden AB Germany form Jan 67 to July 70. I was in the 7101st ABW which was a SAM outfit. We also had VC-121's, VC-118's VC-131D and E's which were Convair 440's. Beautiful acft.

JOHN CATON, e-mail, 18.05.2008 06:00


Rick, e-mail, 02.03.2008 22:41

I worked on the Sabreliner in the USAF for 7.5 years and loved the bird. Only time I didn't like it was when some nut cycled thwe hydraulic pump when I was checking the aft equipment bay. My gosh what a shriek!

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