Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Selfridge ANG Museum visit

Last Sunday, after church, my father and I took my nephew The Spud out for a bit, just to spend some quality "guy time" with him and expose him to something besides video games and the television set. We took him up to the Selfridge Air National Guard Base museum, in whose back lot can be found nearly seventy years' worth of military aviation history in the form of some of the finest aircraft ever to grace the skies in defense of this or any other country.

It was cold outside, with a heavy wind blowing and snow/freezing rain occasionally coming down on us, so my father couldn't stay out there too long, but as for me, I was in Heaven. So much winged goodness in one place, and all touchable!

Bear with me on this one. I have so many pictures that I'm going to set up another blog page just to display them. But just for a tease, here's a few.

This F-86A used to fly with the Michigan Air Guard out of Kellogg Field in Battle Creek.

This Lockheed P-3B Orion used to hunt Soviet submarines. Now it's here on display and open for tours.

Here's The Spud, climbing the boarding ladder into the P3B Orion.Spud wanted to sit at the controls. He was a bit put out that I relegated him to the right seat. The left seat had my name on it.

Here's my father, freezing to death in front of an A-7D Corsair II

An F-4C, perhaps one of the very aircraft that my father and I used to come out to the base to watch fly on week-ends, way back when.

I'll never forget noise so loud that it shook the car, and the kerosene residue that they left all over us as they launched off of the north end of the runway, right over our heads.

They switched to these F-16s a little later. It just wasn't the same.

Here's what they fly now. the 127th Wing flies the A-10.Unfortunately none were flying on this day due to weather conditions. I'd have liked Spud to have seen that.

The Spud in front of an M113, clearly wishing that he was somewhere else.

There was so much here that I wanted to show the boy, but I guess when you're a modern-day 12 year old, this:is more interesting than this:

I don't get that. When I was twelve, it would have taken half a dozen MPs to get me out of a yard like this. It was still hard for me to go on this day, but my father had gone back to the car and Spud had gone after him quite some time before. So reluctantly, I left the aircraft and fantasies of flying each and every one of them behind and returned to reality. But I'll be back to see them again some day. Count on it.

Give me a day or two and I'll have the whole yard posted for your enjoyment.


  1. Bring Spud to Dayton next month and visit the Nat'l Museum of the USAF. The Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Ass'n Reunion (River Rats) will be there May 11-15. A chance to meet some real deal fighter pilots, see the most incredible collection of airplanes in the nation, possibly encounter one or two Medal of Honor Recipients and maybe get an author signed book from a marginally famous blogster.

  2. Oh, and who hired the psychedelic artist to paint that F-4C?

  3. That may just happen in May, Ed. And as to the E-4C, the Selfridge birds really looked like that back then.

  4. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Hey guy...once upon a time I used to hang out on the fringes of Selfridge and watch the planes close up...I think it was Hall Road???

    I didn't live so far away I didn't see them from home as they flew over...but near the runways was the place to be. (as at Metro and Bishop)

    When I was young ...and when kids could hang out near a (military) runway and have "the authorities" help the interest rather than chase you away (or arrest you).

  5. I think the juxtaposition is amusing, or perhaps subconscious. The pic of the A10 warthog is right above the M113. (heh, predator vs. prey)