| ||I was a flying crew chief on North American Rockwell T-39A 62-4473 from 1974–1977 at Ramstein AB, Germany. I have been trying to find out what happened to her for some time now until I happened upon Glenn Chatfield’s pictures posted on this site.|
62-4473 was an amazing plane. She was originally the backup for Brig. General Richard Ellis’ plane (62-4462) who was the Commander in Chief Air Forces Europe, USAFE, at the time. 62-4462 began having recurring mechanical problems and 62-4473 was brought up as the primary. She was the first plane of our 12 T-39’s to make over 100 on time takeoffs, with no aborts.
In 1975 we did a major overhaul. We gutted her and put in new carpet, high back seats, headliners, wet bar with stereo, along with a cockpit overhaul. The gauges were removed and a flat black wrinkle paint was applied on the dash and new gauges installed. The landing gears, wheel wells, and exterior paint were redone. She was really beautiful when she came out of the hanger.
She flew all over Europe and Africa during those years transporting many dignitaries including the Secretary of Treasury, Congressmen, Representatives, and high ranking officers of all branches.
In October 1977, I rotated back to the states to Seymour Johnson AFB, NC a week later 62-4473 left Germany for Scott AFB, IL. The last time I saw her (until the sad day I saw her on your web site) was in 1980 on the transient ramp at Seymour. I rushed out to see her but by the time I got there she was taxing away.
I left active duty in 1980 then joined the Air National Guard in 1990 and for the next 18 years I was a crew chief on C-130 aircraft, but my time on the T-39 was the best of my career.
I have posted a few pictures of her when she was flying. I’m sorry the quality is not that good. Most of the pictures I took during those years were on 35mm slides. Last year I began digitizing my pictures however many had deteriorated, I probably lost 50 pictures of “my baby”.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and a little bit of history.
MSgt Louis (Larry) A. Barrett ret. USAF/NCANG