F-86H "Cindee Lind 9", the mount of Lt Col
David F. "Snapper" McCallister, Jr., Delaware
Air National Guard
Tail No. 53-1296.
North American F-86 Sabrejet
The first Sabrejets in Delaware were assigned to Dover Air Force Base. The 336th Fighter Interceptor
Squadron “Rocketeers” was posted to the recently re-named Dover Air Force base August-November, 1950
training for combat in Korea with F-86 Sabrejets.
Soon thereafter, F-86s arrived at New Castle as well. In 1950 the facility was renamed "New Castle Air Force
Base" and on 8 September 1950, the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, equipped with the F-86A Sabre was
reassigned to New Castle, giving the airfield an air-superiority mission. The 4th FIW was deployed to Japan
on 10 November 1950, with a mission to counter the MiG threat in the skies of Korea. The 4th FIW became the
top MiG-killing organization during the Korean War.
In December 1950, the group (now designated the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Group) was the first unit to commit
F-86 Sabre jets to that conflict. Lt. Col. Bruce H. Hinton shot down a MiG-15 on Dec. 17 during the first Sabre
mission of the war. Four days later, Lt. Col. John C. Meyer, a World War II ace, led elements of the group into
the first major all-jet fighter battle in history. The flight element downed six MiG-15s without sustaining any
losses. Fourth airmen destroyed 502 enemy aircraft (54 percent of the total), becoming the top fighter unit of
the Korean War. Twenty-four pilots achieved ace status.
Sabrejets made their appearance once again several years later at New Castle. In 1954 a brand new T-33, the
trainer version of the F-80 "Shooting Star," was received by the 142nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron and later
that year the unit received F-86 "Sabrejets" replacing the F-51H "Mustang." The F-86 was the same plane the
active Air Force flew at the Greater Wilmington Airport prior to activation for Korea. This airplane made the
Delaware Air Guard a “first string” unit operating advanced equipment.
The Delaware ANG participated in developing new approaches to reserve training and management during
the 1950s. Blessed with innovative national leaders like Maj. Gen. Winston P. "Wimpy" Wilson and a strong
political base in the states, the ANG traded some of its autonomy as a state-federal force for closer integration
with the active duty Air Force.
After its formation in 1946, the Delaware Air Guard occupied a facility near present-day Penn’s Way near the
present Boeing Hanger. They constructed a headquarters building (1504) across the street that was used until
1994 when the present headquarters building was completed.
In 1950, the 4th Fighter Wing, flying F-86 Sabres, was based at the New Castle airport at the Delaware ANG's
present location on Basin Road. The 4th was known as the highest scoring fighter unit in Europe in WWII.
They transferred to Korea in 1950 where it was once again the premier fighter unit. New Castle Airport was a
joint use airport until December 1957 when the USAF relocated all its active duty assets to Dover AFB. Some
people may still remember B-29s parked in the corner of the base near the old Peter Pan Diner (Home of the B-
With the departure of the Air Force, the DE ANG moved (in one week!) across base to the vacated facilities in
December, 1957. Subsequently, the airport was placed under civilian control as a New Castle County facility
and has remained a dual-use civilian/military facility to this day.
Major David F. McCallister (142nd Fighter Bomber Squadron Commander) set a fighter record by flying his F-
86 Sabre jet 1,922 miles in three hours, 30 minutes, to win the Earl T. Ricks Memorial Trophy in July 1956.
“In 1956 there was a cross country race, and Lt Col McCallister entered one of our F-86s. We sealed off the gun ports,
bolted the slats, polished it up and tried to get rid of all of the parasite drag that we could. We used to practice refueling until
we had it down to about a minute just like a pit stop on one of those race cars you see. In the actual race we used only one
drop tank because that’s all the range you needed. I think we stretched about every safety rule in the book. We serviced the
airplane with the brakes smoking and the engine running. He won the race and I understand that there was quite a party
afterward…” Master Sergeant C.T. Lee
On November 10, 1958 the unit was redesignated the 142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron and was reassigned
from the Air Force's Air Defense Command to the Tactical Air Command.
In March 1962, Lt. Col. Clarence E. Atkinson was named Commander of the 142nd Tactical Fighter
Squadron.. His first order of business was to preside over new growth. On April 7, 1962 the Delaware Air
National Guard enlarged to "group status" as the 166th Air Transport Group and was reassigned from the
Tactical Air Command to the Military Air Transport Service. The Delaware Air National Guard gave up its F-
86 jets for the four-engine C-97 Boeing "Stratofreighter," a long-distance strategic airlift plane.
NORTH AMERICAN F-86H SABRE JET
The F-86H, perfected after the signing of the Korean Armistice, represented the practical application of
knowledge gained from the thousands of combat missions flown by its predecessors, the F-86A, E, and F.
Intended primarily for use as a fighter-bomber, it was larger and heavier than the A, E, and F series, and had
better all-around performance.
The airplane was produced from late 1953 to August 1955, with more than 450 being built. It was never used
in combat, but it provided the USAF with a formidable fighter-bomber aircraft until the advent of the
Span: 39 ft. 1 in.
Length: 38 ft. 10 in.
Height: 14 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 18,683 lbs. loaded
Armament: Four M-39 20mm cannon (Blocks 5 and 10, last 360 aircraft built) or six .50-cal. machine guns
(Block 1, 113 aircraft built); eight 5 in. rockets, 2,000 lbs. of bombs, or nuclear weapon.
Note: first two F-86Hs had no armament
Engine: One General Electric J73-GE-3E turbojet of 9,070 lbs thrust.
Maximum speed: 693 mph
Cruising speed: 550 mph.
Range: 1,050 miles
Combat Ceiling: 51,400 ft
April 30, 1953
DESCRIPTION: Special features include hydraulically-operated speed brakes and controls, electrically-operated
flaps, a geared elevator, modified wing with stationary, extended leading edge and self-sufficient starting
system. It also has a clamshell type cockpit canopy, a companion feature to the improved ejection-seat
DEVELOPMENT: The F-86H is the fifth model of the F-86 series, incorporating the increased thrust of the GE
J-73-GE-3 engine and providing structural and system improvements.
142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron Delaware Air National Guard F-86H Aircraft, Pilots, Crews
Compiled by Ed Blackburn
Aircraft Assigned Assigned Remarks
Tail Number Pilot Crew Chief
52-5737 Richard Murphy Ed Eicholz Display Burlington NJ Veteran's Park, ex-Florence SC Display
52-5744 Joe Pogue Jim Gestwicki QF-86H Drone US Navy Shot down 24 Jan 1979
52-5746 Art Gorman George Horchler QF-86H Drone US Navy
52-5747 Joe Cael Ray Whitzel Navy Aggressor F-86H On display Langley AFB painted
53-1249 Bob Ward Ron Hill Sorocco New Mexico Blue Canyon Site Institute of Mining
and Technology, still extant
53-1250 Jack Taylor Dick Harada Eaden Prairie Minn, Flying Cloud Airport replaced 53-
1377 ex Lakeburg Miss
53-1253 Dick Simon Tucker Pierce Display Jamestown North Dakota
53-1255 Walt Hannum Jack Weber Fort Lauderdale Broward Community College
under restoration at Homestead AFB
53-1269 Jerry Luce Armand Piazza Jan 1969 Dropped from inventory as surplus
53-1272 Paul Lukens Don Galbraith Display Harlem New York 118th St. & 5th Ave.
53-1273 Carl Lewis Bob Garvey March 1965 Dropped from inventory as surplus
53-1296 David McCallister Bill Jackson On Display at New Castle Apt (restoration at Georgetwon DE)
53-1301 Red White Col Bart Ernie Antes Jan 1969 Dropped from inventory as surplus
53-1309 Bob White Paul Lane Nov 1963 Dropped from inventory due to flying accident
53-1352 Jay Tethers Vito Amoroso Wright Pattereson AFB Museum skin removed to
53-1354 Stan Hopperstead Ed Betley Jan 1970 Dropped from inventory as surplus
53-1359 Gordon I. Scott Ed Blackburn Display Argyle Wisconsin
53-1360 Bob Floyd Newt Brackin Jan 1969 Dropped from inventory as surplus
53-1370 Ernie Bosetti Townsend Johnston On display outside Sheriffs Office Goldsboro NC
53-1372 Lee Casey Bob Hill On display Hettinger ND
53-1377 Bill Hutchison Dick Harada W/O Destroyed Dover AFB, Engine failure
53-1402 Bill Hutchison Joe Jenicke NAW Aggressor USN QF-86 H Drone shot down
16 Jack Taylor Dec 1977
53-1410 Mike Rzucidlo C.T. Lee Sorocco New Mexico Blue Canyon Site Institute of
Mining and Technology,
53-1501 John Schobelock John Quigley On Display, Mid America Air Museum Liberal KS
53-1514 James P. Scott Walbert McCoy Navy Aggressor F-86H USN QF-86H shot down 16 Dec 1977
53-1524 Frank Wooten Paul Shotwell Sorocco New Mexico Runway Site, Institute of Mining
|Delaware Military History