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B29 Recovery Photos From the Bone Yard at APG, Md.


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After reading about the disassembly of a B29 aircraft from APG's Phillips Field in a local newspaper I called the public relations office and ask if I could get copies of the photos taken. The aircraft was to be shipped to Pease AFB, NH to be used as the gate guard for the 509th Bomb Group was stationed. These are the photographs I received.

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It is interesting to see the amount of Army equipment being used for this. They probably wrote it off as a training exercise. Not the most common use of an M-88 Recovery Vehicle!

 

Today this would probably be considered "outside the budget".

 

The aircraft apparently made it safe and sound to Pease AFB, and then later moved to Whiteman AFB.

 

It was repainted to represent a very storied B-29 from WWII:

 

A representation of The Great Artiste is on static display at the "Spirit Gate" of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, now home base of the 509th Operations Group. The aircraft, originally B-29 44-61671, which served as an SB-29 "Super Dumbo" rescue aircraft during the Korean War, was refurbished to depict The Great Artiste and moved to Whiteman after the closure of Pease Air Force Base in 1991.[8

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Artiste

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I understand the troops were part of the aircraft recovery section, mostly choppers, and the M88 crew was from the tracked recovery school and as Gil, stated likely a training exercise. Some civilians were involved as tech support but from where I do not know. It's good they got that old bird out of there. I know for sure 6 were scrapped as I worked on the crew stripping accessories from the engines and watched as chopped up wing sections were shoved into the furnace and melted into ingots to be loaded into gondola rail cars for transit to ALCOA. I still have a pilots handbook that I found in one of the craft.

 

You are welcome Navy, happy to do it.

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I always wondered what happened to that aircraft. When I was younger I lived in New Hampshire and I have pictures of that B-29 at Pease Air Force Base. It was located at one of the gate entrances..

 

It was an awe inspiring plane then as a young boy and it still is today..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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The funny thing is I was stationed at APG twice and I never once went down to the airfield for anything. I actually just now had to look it up as it dawned on me I wasn't even sure where it was. I never saw anything flying into or out of the place that entire time. The field at Edgewood Arsenal to the immediate south was pretty busy as the national guard was flying Hueys and Blackhawks out of there at the time.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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Phillips field was a busy place during the Vietnam era, mostly Hueys but occasionally a Caribou or a C123 or a C130 also a group of Star fighters that were to be used for targets. I used to take flying lessons there in a Cessna 130.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are some pictures of the B-29 #89 The Great Artiste when it was at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. I took this picture in 1979 on a Kodak 126 camera..

 

Leigh

 

 

 

 

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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I wanna say that Travis AFB Museum's B-29 came from there as well.

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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  • 4 years later...

Awesome post! Any chance you would still have the newspaper article? My dad was in that group and it made me smile as I was scrolling through to see him!!! I forwarded him the link and he has the article and the original photos, but not sure where after all these years, so I just though I'd ask. Thanks so much!!

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