Air Enthusiast 2006-04
W.Thompson - 'Twins' over Alaska /Post-war combat/
Taking advantage of good weather, two F-82Hs get in some air time close to Anchorage Alaska, in the summer of 1952. Originally 'FQ-393' was configured as a 'G' model and saw action in the Korean War with the 68th AWS at Itazuke AB in Japan.
'H-model' F-82s on the flight line at Ladd AFB in the spring of 1952.
Alaska Air Command had the tails of its aircraft to be painted bright red, making them easier to locate if they were forced down in the frozen wastelands. This photo was taken in the late spring of 1953, when only a few Twin Mustangs were left with the 449th.
A routine patrol with both air crewmen on board some time in the early autumn of 1952, before the harsh winter weather set in.
‘Stud Buzzard’, one of the few Alaskan-based F-82H carrying ‘nose-art’ on a drop tank, August 1953.
'FQ-386' was one of the last F-82Hs in the 449th - it was phased out in the summer of 1953. When salvaged, the airframe had over 800 hours on it, most flown over Alaska.
Although the 'H' had a few more months to go in its operational life in Alaska, these pilots represented the last of the breed. Sitting on the wing next to the fuselage is Lt Henry Varnell.
On July 9,1953, the Mount Spurr volcano erupted and two F-82s were sent out to monitor it and make visual reports.
One of the last Twin Mustangs used in Alaska was 6390, originally an F-82G assigned to the 4th AWS on Okinawa in 1949. Carrying the name ‘Midnight Sinner', it flew combat missions during the early days of the Korean War.
In July 1950, the flight line at the Nome was busy with the detachment of the new F-82Hs.
Hangar space was scarce at most of the bases the F-82s operated from. Ladd and Elmendorf were equipped to handle major maintenance, such as engine changes.
For at least four months of the year, the parking areas at most of the airbases in Alaska were a solid sheet of ice, making maintenance a nightmare.