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-
29 Burger).

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
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.   


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
supersonic F-100.

Number built/Converted:475  

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.

Crew: One

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
as                                                                                   53-1483

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
     (AF Advisor)

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
reveal                                                                                         internals

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
                                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
and                                                                                      Technology
Delaware Military History