Massachusetts Air National Guard : Paul Paulsen Photograph Scrapbook Collection
Object ID:
VE Exhibit Label 1:

or view the same information below.
Each number below represents the information included on the associated image.

Good lineup of SABREJETS in Mass Air National Guard markings, at Otis AFB, 1959

This is yet another of Paulsen's unusual "night pictures". I enjoyed experimenting with new fast films, under adverse lighting conditions, working as a photographer the Mass Air National Guard, based at Logan Airport in East Boston. I shot this view at midnight from the roof of our old administration building. It was a lengthy time exposure, of perhaps ten minutes or so. In the year 1959 EASTERN AIRLINES was flying the great Lockheed "Electra" turboprop transport aircraft, and here we caught some examples nearby, behind our blast fence at Logan. Our F-86H jets would last for a number of years, but our entire ANG operations would soon (by 1964) be thrown out of Logan, as airlines lusted after our valuable apron space, et al. That was inevitable, as it was difficult for our fast jet fighters to coexist with airliners and other commercial traffic.

Our 101 FITRON insignia was the pretty green shamrock shown on our F-86Hs. MASS ANG flightline (now Federalized in OCT 61) shows our F-86Hs already with U.S. Air Force on fuselage sides by this time! I was riding in a borrowed USAF Sikorsky H-19 Chopper. On this morning (8 OCT, 1961) we are flying in a borrowed USAF Sikorsky H-19 chopper, to obtain some unusual angles as our "Sabrejets" are just about ready to take off "en masse" for deployment to Phalsbourg AB, in Alsace-Lorraine (the Eastern-most Department of France). Our base was actually NOT in Ville de Phalsbourg, rather it was in tiny St. Jean and larger Mittelbronn, on Route N.4 (300 klicks +from Paris Region). OK, we could actually see the truncated steeple of Eglise de Phalsbourg from our high plateau, so it wasn't so far away from the Air Base itself. Note in distance the Mystic River Bridge on horizon; seen quite easily from 50 feet altitude, using a semiwide 127mm lens on the 4x5" camera.

ABOVE: MASS ANG "Sabrejets" seen at Logan Airport at midnight, in year 1960. BELOW: Here Captain Bob Halstead (Gen. Lyle Halstead's son, incidentally) gives a bit of "reconnaissance data" to some eager ANG pilots. Yeah, he's showing them the exact location of the "WAF barracks" at old Otis AFB, Falmouth, MA. Seen at left is Lt. Russell Schweickart, who would soon be selected as an "astronaut candidate". "Rusty" would, in fact fly as part of the Apollo NINE mission, with Lovell, and Scott; Schweickart would do a little bit of "spacewalking"!!!

EDITOR'S NOTE by way of reflecting history more accurately from Russell Schweickart: "First-in those days one wasn't (as is the case now) selected as an "Astronaut candidate" - but rather was directly selected as an astronaut."
"More significant the photo caption - would most easily be corrected by saying "Rusty" would, in fact fly as part of the Apollo 9 mission, with McDivitt and Scott; would do a little bit of "spacewalking"!!!"

The MASS AIR GUARD F-86Hs were lined up at Logan Air Guard Base in East Boston, MA, just after we had been "Federalized"!!! In a few hours we'd have U.S. Air Force emblazoned on every "Sabrejet's" fuselage sides. We kept the very attractive "kelly green" shamrock insignia that you see on the "Sabre" at left. The next example has red, white nose stripes, the colors represent the Polish flag, since so any of our sister outfit, the 131st FITRON happened to of of Polish extraction, probably. In its cockpit, in new white coveralls, is one of our greatest mechs; he's M/Sgt. Carl Allen; when this plane dropped into Logan, it was "ole Carl" himself, we recall!!! Our jets would all fly over to France in a couple of weeks! We'd leave later, on 2 NOV, 1961, in a borrowed USAF/MATS C-118B (that's a military DC-6B, w/seats all facing backward)!

This delightful lineup of MASS AIR NATIONAL GUARD F-86Hs was photographed by Paulsen while at our ANG "Summer Camp" down at Otis AFB in Falmouth, MA. The year was CY 1958. I myself really liked the green shamrock "nose-art" that the ATD guys stenciled on the F-86Hs. That may have been in part an answer to Col. John Stefanik and Co's red and white "Polish Air Force" design that was used for years on aircraft flown by the 131 FITRON. We were the IRISH and they were the "POLES", perhaps. It was always a delightful rivalry, I'd say, in retrospect. But, neither logo could replace our famed "SEAGULL" insignia, which is seen on today's F-15 Eagles!

This MASS ANG pilot who performed this remarkable feat of legerdemain (that is, turning an F-86H into scrap metal and being able to land it safely was MAGIC!) shall remain nameless-I'd sure change my name if I had don't this-and even if I hadn't (his name was "Lt Gay"!) He was on gunnery/rocket proficiency mission at our Island R-18 ("No Man's Land" was popular nickname) when he flew a bit close, in massive understatement! He hit concrete-hard waves at some 450 knots, with THIS result, and a single HVAR rocket was hanging crazily from other side, didn't detach!!! The pilot declared "MAY DAY", and scooted back to Otis AFB quickly, not at all aware of his potential predicament. His wing spars were damaged badly, but the crate held together long enuf to get it down for a gentle landing!!! I heard the MAYDAY call, was at apron when he taxied nonchalantly in and shut down! And then I gasped as I spotted the remains of his underwing fuel cells! He never flew again I am told, when he saw THIS! I can't judge height over even gentle waves, think I'm skimming them when I'm up at 1000 feet or more!!!

Our own Maj. Andrew Marshall may have been an "oldtimer" by this time, but this former WW2 B-24 jockey sure fitted well into our MASS ANG programs. Andy loved the F-51-H "Mustang", always wished that he might be able to own for himself (who else felt that way? EVERY LAST GUY whoever flew a 51, THAT'S WHO). Here we just had to catch a photo of Marshall doing what is generally reserved for the "younger" pilots. Here he drops one of our F-86s into Otis AFB in CY 1960, not long before he made "Field Grade" (Light Colonel).
Click to Enlarge
1 Sabrejets 19591 Sabrejets 1959
2.   F-86H Eastern Airlines2. F-86H Eastern Airlines
3.  Sabrejets 19613. Sabrejets 1961
4. Russell Schweickart Pre-Apollo 94. Russell Schweickart Pre-Apollo 9
5.  Saberjet Painted Nose5. Saberjet Painted Nose
6.  F-86H 1958 Shamrock6. F-86H 1958 Shamrock
7.  F-86H Ocean Wave Damage7. F-86H Ocean Wave Damage
8.  F-86H Landing Gear Into Otis8. F-86H Landing Gear Into Otis