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DaveTrojan

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 #1 

While everyone is home bored, here is an old Question from 2016 that still need answers for

Help solve this aircraft wreck mystery

Found in a hole in a swamp, what is believed to be F-86 crash site located 2.75 miles southwest of the runway of former Wurtsmith AFB Michigan, almost in line with the runway.

Found at the site were North American Aviation marked parts and landing gear door that matched F-86 type fighter jet. Unknown exact model of F-86 jet aircraft. It could be F-86F or F-86D model

Could not determine which F-86 crashed there. We could not find any match in the AAIR accident report database that goes up through 1955 or the Monkey Theatre web site of F-86 aircraft or local newspaper search from 54-58.  

The history of Wurstsmith AFB indicates that F-86s were used   by the 63rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron between 5 January 1951    and 18 August 1955.

The 63rd Fighter Intercepter Squadron used F-86As in 1951, received F-86Fs in late 1952, F-86Ds in May 1954, and then switched to F-89Ds in the spring of 1955. They transferred to O'Hare Airport IL (1955-1958) and operated (F-86D/L) from there.

The wreck is most likely from a Wurtsmith AFB based aircraft, but it could be a transit aircraft that was just visiting the base.

What type of plane is it and most important which one?

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ChrisBaird

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 #2 
Was this guy ever found?

Disappeared 26 Sept 1959.   Headed south to Selfridge and radioed he was bailing 7 minutes after t/o.

Search called off Oct 2.  Picked up again on Oct 3 but I think that lead out of Helena didn't pan out because they called it off again on Oct 6.

Maybe he did a 180 and tried to go back to Wurtsmith and crashed in the swamp.

Attached Images
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ChrisBaird

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 #3 
That carb air filter is on Ebay…"vintage".
Cessna 442??  Huh?

Of course that's not off an F-86.

Could that just be an old Wurtsmith dump site?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Filter-Aircraft-Carburetor-Air-S-11-30-6085-1-NEW-13557A-Vintage-AN-F-30-A-NEW-/122202492790

ChrisBaird

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 #4 
Not sure I got a match here for an F-86F … just in front of the speed brake on the starboard empennage.
Looks like a vent and I'm not sure it would be closed off with that oval panel.

DSCN3396.jpg 
f-86f_12_of_47.jpg

DaveTrojan

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 #5 
The only match that I have is the landing gear door matches F-86
F-86F09.jpg  DSCN3382.jpg 

DaveTrojan

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 #6 
Part with NAA stamp on it confirms it is North American Aviation plane, most likely F-86
The site is too far from the base to be dump site. and there is a hole in the swamp where it crashed. We did not go too deep into the hole. there were scattered smaller parts around the hole. 
DSCN3348.jpg  DSCN3370.jpg 

DaveTrojan

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 #7 
The Star Bar looks like wing section with flap or slot attached and Access oval panel. But I still can't ID exact model.  
WaltW

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 #8 
This was a puzzle.  The rivet pattern does not match an F-86 gear door, neither does the position of the actuator.  Close, but not quite.  The "stars and bars panel" has a raised fence that would indicate the airflow direction, making this the outer wing panel fragment of a straight winged aircraft.  The fence and insignia position look really close to P-51D but the oval panel is in the wrong position for a D.

The NAA prefix 117 (on the fork) was also a zinger as it doesn't come up in any common NAA references.  Too early in the NAA sequence to be F-86.

NAA prefix 117 was allocated for a production batch of P-51H that were later cancelled.  It's hard to find a good pic of an P-51H wing that shows the little fence, which is in the right position on the aft edge of the outer wing in front of the aileron for P-51 but shaped just a bit different from the one on a D model.  I wonder if some parts were manufactured for the 117 contract and wound up in other aircraft of the type.

Unfortunately finding a good pic of a P-51H gear door is a bear as most pics have the main doors up.

A bit of digging finds reference to the 16 Aug 1949 crash of Indiana ANG pilot Lt. William Tanner in an "F-51" listed about 3 mi W of Oscoda AFB.  Flew into the ground during a training mission on the gunnery range. 

There is also info on a Capt. Harold H. Buth killed in a failed bailout attempt listed 4 mi from Oscoda AFB on 26 Jun '51.  Joe Baugher lists this loss as a P-51H serial 44-64711.


Walt
DaveTrojan

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 #9 
Walt
"reference to the 16 Aug 1949 crash of Indiana ANG pilot Lt. William Tanner in an "F-51" listed about 3 mi W of Oscoda AFB.  Flew into the ground during a training mission on the gunnery range." We found that one, but that is another story

So all I can be sure of is that it is a North American Aviation plane. 

Part numbers found

On cast part 117 * 52318

Filter carburetor Air 13181

The main gear door does look like a match to me, but it was highly corroded, but the attachment points on the edge  matches as well as the metal sheet cover in the middle. 

Can anyone do a newspaper search for F-86 jet fighter crash Wurtsmith AFB 1950s? 

Im hoping someone will recogized the wing piece with the access panel or slots/flap
 
ChrisBaird

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 #10 
Since the F-86 didn't have a carburetor Walt must be correct!  [thumb][smile]

That air filter is rectangular like in the carb air intake trunk under the chin of a P-51.   There is also that added dust filter on the side of the chin??

Chris B.

Attached Images
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DaveTrojan

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 #11 
OK I agree the 117 prefix part number is closer to P-51 than F-86, but I want proof of what this Is? maybe the wing panel match up? more picture of what came out of the hole. It was NOT pretty. BUt hey if we found a P-51 instead of F-86 I'll be happy, but which one? 
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