Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The AF-2 Guardian was an anti-submarine aircraft. There were two variants. One had a radar(hunter) and one carried the bombs/depth charges(killer). These were sub hunters. They only operated for a comparatively short time(5 years: 1950 to 1955). I would not have known bout their existance, but I managed to stumble across one at Aero Union in Chico, CA. This was obviously a fire fighting veteran, but not much remained. I took these photos in 2004. At the time there were several C-54 hulks and a few P-2Vs sitting out in their boneyard.
One supposes, if the stars aligned and there was a need or a want, this specimen could be restored. Obviously the museums of the world have taken on much sadder cases. Here is another link that has a bit more informtion on the Guardian. And this is Aero Union's website.
Below you see what it probably looked like as a fire bomber. This is the specimen at PIMA Air Museum in Tucson, AZ. It is amazing how large these aircraft are. The wingspan was 60 feet! It was 43 feet long. It gives the A-1 a run for its money, size wise. Though, anyone who has seen an A-1 up close knows they are truely MASSIVE. The Guardian only had an R-2800(Same as on the F-4U early variants), while the A-1 had an R-3350, similar to that on the B-29.
UPDATE for Coulee Crest: "I participated in Exercise Coulee Crest. This was a III Corps exercise. III Corps consisted of the 1st and 2nd Armord Divisions at Ft. Hood, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis and the 5th Mechanized Division at Ft. Carson Colorado. The 4th and 5th Divisions artiliary units were the participants as this was a live fire exercise at the Yakima Firing Range. There were Air Force and Navy units involved to see how well communication worked between services."~Mr. Loewenstern.
Thank you for the continued input! I wonder if you remember where abouts you were billeted, if anywhere for any particular length of time. I have some local folks who remember being able to see the camps on the south side of the Firing Center, from Moxee. One gentleman also remembered that the troops would clean the local store out of beer.
Army, Air Force, and Navy...hmmm, that WAS one LARGE exercise.