New Mexico Gate
Guards, Outside Museum Displays and Air Parks
F-4C, F-15A, P-80, F-84F, F-100D, F-104C, F-105D, F-117A, QF-106, T-38B,
Sonic Wind 2004, Tomahawk Sled October 2008 This
is the most extensive and well maintained of display aircraft we have
seen at a military base, with the F-117A was just being recently added
to the collection with its being taken out of service this year. Also part of the display are two sleds,
as Holloman AFB has been the location of high acceleration and
deceleration rocket sled testing that was initiated by Col. John Stapp
in the 1950s, and which still continues today with a 10 mile long track.
Included in my tour was a chance to visit the Heritage Center which
contains information on the base since its inception as Alamogordo Army
Air Base in WWII, the history of the 49th Fighter Group, 48th Fighter
Wing, and the 7th, 8th, and 9th Fighter Squadrons, along with history on
the rocket sled experiments.
The 49th FW is now
transitioning to the new F-22 Raptor and will have a total of 40
aircraft when at full strength. Also located at Holloman are
T-38s, QF-4 Phantoms, (which were flying when I was there), and German Panvania Tornados, which are operated by the German Air Force Training
Command.. I wish to thank Mr. B. Arlan Ponder and SSgt. David K.
Wagstaff of the 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs for their time and
assistance on obtaining these photos.
The sign at the Holloman Welcome Center
reflecting the recently departed F-117A, but also showing the newly
assigned F-22 Raptor and the German Tornado that also operates out of
this New Mexico location.
A recreation of the original Sonic Wind that
Col. John Stapp rode multiple times at Holloman doing experiments on the
effects of acceleration and deceleration on human beings.
The three squadrons that are part of the
49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, as designated on the F-117A.
WWII ace and Medal of Honor winner Major Dick Bong flew with the 9th FS
in the Pacific, which was part of the 49th Fighter Group, predecessor of
the current 49 FW.
International Space Museum and Hall of Fame Various Missiles and
Rocket Sleds October 2008
In the right lower corner is the grave site
of Ham, the world's first Astrochimp. Ham was the chimp that beat
the Mercury 7 astronauts into space.
Ham is buried less than 100 miles from
another famous animal, Smokey the Bear. Smokey is buried less than
100 miles NW of this location in a park in Capitan, New Mexico.
National Nuclear Museum A-7, B-29, B-52, F-105, Atomic Cannon
Airport T-38 May 2010
Las Cruces: International
F-100 January 2008
San Agustin Pass, Elevation 2,710 Feet:
Nike Hercules January 2008 This pass is east
of Las Cruces as one travels towards Alamogordo and at the pass is a
scenic viewpoint with a Nike Hercules Missile. The Nike Hercules
is a true gate guard as one can look down into the
Tularosa Basin which contains White Sands
Missile Range, which during WWII was the Alamogordo Bombing Range,
Holloman AFB, and the Trinity Site.
Airport F-111 May 2010
White Sands Missile Range Museum:
UH-1, VC-6A, Aeroshell "Flying Saucer" January
One of the reasons people kept seeing Flying
Saucers in the Roswell area of New Mexico back in the 50s and 60s is
that the Air Force was launching these rocket powered saucers from
Roswell AFB and having them fly to White Sands.