Photos © Ruud Leeuw

USA Southwest 2008

Minter Field, Shafter,CA

On 12May08 I visited Minter Field, which one can find near Shafter,CA near Bakersfield.
I knew there was a museum here, but I also knew a B-26C Invader had recently moved here from Red Deer,Alberta.
I was rather dismayed to see the museum in a bit of a state and... closed. But where was the Invader?
Upon inquiries I was told to move my vehicle close to a gate which would automatically open and drive past the hangars. And indeed there it was!

C-FAGO

I was rather surprised to see this Invader had changed so little since I had seen it in 2006...
Even the Canadian tailnumber, C-FAGO, had not been changed while it was supposed to have entered the US Registry as N5625S.
History of Invader c/n 28735 can be read on my 2006 Red Deer report.

Dragon Lady
Warbird in detail
The large "Air Spray"-titles have been removed; the history details near the cockpit are:
1945 12th air force meditteranean grosseta italy
1951-56 67th tactical recon wing japan&korea "dragon lady"
teagu k-2 airbase korea   kimpo k-14 airbase korea
aerial fire suppression airspray 1983
Near the cockpit is written: "Pilot Chris Baldwin".

Former airtanker 36

N97VR

A compilation of images of N97VR.

N49NA

N49NA seems to be another restoration project. It is a North American T-6G, serial 49-3376A and registered to the Gaillard Aviation Corporation 05May05.
A guy called Kevin claimed to be the owner and said it was ok to take some pictures; he also said he worked nationwide, repairing and restoring aircraft.
Googling 'Gaillard Aviation' came up with owners name: Kevin Kegin. And he seems also to be in the business for sightseeing & joy rides.
Now that would be fun!
But not today, some other time maybe...
(I also found information while googling, that AT-6D N3617F was also owned by Gaillard Aviation / K.Kegin)


Minter Field was an important WW2 training base. Many of the original buildings still survive and the museum is setting up a display tracing the history of the site.
The airfield opened in 1941 and was dedicated the following year. At one over 7.000 people were based at Minter. The sit eis named after local WW1 pilot Hugh C.Minter who was killed in a mid-air collision over March Field in July 1936.
The indoor exhibition, which is steadily being improved, contains many photographs, documents, uniforms and models. The aircraft in the collection are slowly being restored to display condition.


Lockheed 580 (T-33A, TV-2, T-33B) 138995
(ex/ 54-2707 - on loan from National Museum of Naval Aviation,FL)



AerMacchi MB-326M Impala 1, N153TP (ex South African Air Force serial number 473)


SH-34G Seabat serial number 140122 used to fly with the 217th Helicopter Squadron. In March 1977 it was collecting dust at the Military Aircraft Storage & Disposition Centre (MASDC, today known as AMARC) in Arizona. [Source]


This must be one of 2 T-33s listed in Bob Ogden's excellent book on North American Museums and Collections and since he listed T-33A 53-6001 as 'front fuselage only', this is probably the one. What happened with also listed T-33A 51-4533 I don't know. Nor for that matter the also absent Aeronca 65TC Grasshopper L-3B N48850, Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydets N3946, N61210, N46590 and an unlisted one... Did not see a Cessna T-50 Bobcat N73580 either, nor a Ryan ST-3KR Recruit (PT-22) N47708, nor a Stinson V-76 Sentinel (L-5G) nor a Vultee V-54D Valiant (BT-13).
Seems there was more absent than present. There was no room inside the museum to hide any aircraft, that is for sure. Maybe I should have looked more closely among the wreckage and debris.
Sure glad I didn't come here for the advertised collection!

The Road Goes On... back to US Southwest 2008

Reactions / comments welcomed.