Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in the USA: Northrop P-61 Black Widow

Northrop P-61 Black Widow The aim of this web site is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the second World War preserved in the USA. many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the datum on this web site. Photos are as credit. any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in the United States of America would be most welcome and may be e-mail to the generator at hskaarup @ rogers.com .61012b5d38d2906d6776ce59 Northrop P 61 Black Widow Serial No 42 39754 coded PK 754 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39754 ), coded PK-754.

The Northrop P-61 Black Widow was the first operational American warplane designed as a night fighter, and the first aircraft designed to use radar. The P-61 had a crew of three : pilot, artilleryman, and radar operator. It was armed with four 20-mm ( .79 in ) Hispano M2 forward-firing carom mounted in the lower fuselage, and four .50 in ( 12.7 millimeter ) M2 Browning car guns mounted in a unmanned dorsal gun turret. It was an all-metal, twin-engine, twin-boom design developed during the second World War. The first test flight was made on 26 May 1942, with the first production aircraft rolling off the assembly cable in October 1943. The last aircraft was retired from government service in 1954. The Black Widow served as an effective night-fighter with the USAAF in the European, Pacific, China-Burma-India and Mediterranean theatres during the war. It replaced earlier British-designed night-fighter aircraft that had been updated to incorporate radar when it became available. After the war, the P-61 was redesignated the F-61, and served with the USAF as a long-range, all-weather, day/night interceptor for Air Defence Command until 1948, and with the 5th Air Force until 1950. On the night of 14 August 1945, a P-61B of the 548th Night Fight Squadron named Lady in the Dark was unofficially credited with the last Allied atmosphere victory before VJ Day. The P-61 was besides modified to create the F-15 Reporter photo-reconnaissance aircraft for the USAAF and was subsequently used by the USAF .61012b5eb3503e39561c02e2 4 Northrop P 61B Black Widow 11262197306 2bb358a54e b ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39600 ), coded PK500 .61012b5e63af8c07ac72ca27 P 61 Serial No 38333 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow ( series No. 38333 ) .61012b5e5b6f612b04fa2441 P 61 ( City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1- : CVA 260-1526 ) Northrop P-61B Black Widow ( consecutive No. ), coded 13, visiting Richmond, British Columbia, ca Aug 1945 .61012b5eb619919320910b4a P 61 rear view ( City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1- : CVA 260-1525 ) Northrop P-61B Black Widow ( serial No. ), coded 13, visiting Richmond, British Columbia, ca Aug 1945 .61012b5ee3150d309e2d1955 P 61 1 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61B Black Widow, coded 5 .61012b5e23e3fd40eca40180 417th Night Fighter Squadron P 61B 16 NO Black Widow Fritzlar Germany 1946 2 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61B-16-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39626 ), 417th Night Fighter Squadron, Fritzlar Air Base ( 30 Km SW Kassel ), Germany, Summer 1946. The 417th Night Fighter Squadron was disbanded in Schweinfurt at the begin of November 1946. Most of the aircraft, probably 12 to 15 of them, were scrapped at the Schweinfurt and Giebelstadt airfields .61012b5ecef4b1c27ac9c056 P 61 maam jpg 5979182 ( Kebabremover193 Photo, 2016 ) Northrop P-61B-NO Black Widow ( series No. 42-39445 ), c/n 964, 13th AF, 13th FG, 550th NFS, Reg. No. N550NF. This aircraft is one of only four known to survive. It was recovered in 1989 from Mount Cyclops in Papua, New Guinea, where it had crashed on 10 Jan 1945. It is being restored to airworthy condition by the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. When finished, it is expected it will be over 70 % new structure. By May 2011, 80 % of the restitution had been completed, with merely the installationof the wings and engines remaining. As of June 2019, both engines have been overhauled and two trade name modern props have been hung. The museum has besides started painting the aircraft .61012b5e2c1145dfc247eac6 Northrup P 61 Black Widow project Mid Atlantic Air Museum Reading Pennsylvania HAS 3 ( Author Photo ) Northrop P-61B-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39445 ), under renovation at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania .61012b5ece4639272e741cd0 Northrup P 61 Black Widow project Mid Atlantic Air Museum Reading Pennsylvania HAS 4 ( Author Photo ) Northrop P-61B-NO Black Widow ( consecutive No. 42-39445 ), under restitution at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania.
61012b5edf7e7d67d0ba9030 Northrop P 61 Black Widow formation flight 20th Air Force Oct 1945 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow formation flight .61012b5e63e73e0432875988 Northrop P 61 Black Widow firepower 20 mm Hispano cannon X 4 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow nox firing to range the forward artillery .61012b5e23e3fd6cd6a401c7 050317 F 1234P 010 ( NMUSAF Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NO Black Widow c/n 1399, USAAF ( serial No. 43-8353 ), on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force ( NMUSAF ) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. It is painted as P-61B-1NO ( consecutive No. 42-39468 ) to represent “ Moon Light Serenade ” of the 550th Night Fighter Squadron. A reproduction gun enclosure fabricated by the Museum ‘s restoration group has been installed .61012b5f792678bddc7a3068 071024 F 1234S 006 ( NMUSAF Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NO Black Widow c/n 1399, USAAF ( series No. 43-8353 ), “ Moon Light Serenade ”, NMUSAF .61012b5ee3150d5e272d1975 140421 F IO108 018 ( NMUSAF Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NO Black Widow c/n 1399, USAAF ( series No. 43-8353 ), “ Moon Light Serenade ”, NMUSAF .61012b5e613666b550e8afde P 61 Black Widow NMUSAF ( Rogerd Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NO Black Widow c/n 1399, USAAF ( consecutive No. 43-8353 ), “ Moon Light Serenade ”, NMUSAF .61012b5f2d4f3bae2edbda84 Northrop P 61B Black Widow Novato CA 23 June 1948 ( USAF Photo ) Northrop P-61B Black Widow, Novato, California, 23 June 1948 .61012b5faba97c98707bbdbc NASM Northrop P 61C Black Widow ( Jarek Tuszynski Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NOBlack Widow c/n 1376, USAAF ( serial No. 43-8330 ), on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, of the National Air and Space Museum ( NASM ) in Chantilly, Virginia. This P-61 was delivered to the USAAF on 28 July 1945. By 18 October, it was flying at Ladd Field in Alaska, conducting cold weather tests, where it remained until 30 March 1946. 43-8330 was late moved to Pinecastle AAFB in Florida for participation in the National Thunderstorm Project. Pinecastle AAF personnel removed the guns and gun enclosure from 43-8330 in July 1946 to make room for fresh equipment. In September the aircraft moved to Clinton County AABF in Ohio, where it remained until January 1948. The Air Force then reassigned the aircraft to the Flight Test Division at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. After being declare excess in 1950 it was donated by the U.S. Air Force to the National Air Museum in Washington, D.C. ( which became the National Air and Space Museum in 1966 ) .61011da657a41b7b7be7320d P 61C 1NO 43 8330 ( USAF/DoD Photo ) Northrop P-61C-1NOBlack Widow c/n 1376, USAAF ( serial No. 43-8330 ), coded FK-330, 1950-1954, now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, of the National Air and Space Museum ( NASM ) in Chantilly, Virginia. On 3 October 1950, this P-61C was transferred to Park Ridge, Illinois, where it was stored along with other crucial aircraft destined for eventual display at the museum. The aircraft was moved temporarily to the museum ‘s memory facility at Chicago ‘s O’Hare International Airport, but before the museum could arrange to ferry the aircraft to Washington, D.C. the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics asked to borrow it. In a letter to museum conductor Paul E. Garber dated 30 November 1950, NACA director for inquiry I.H. Abbott described his agency ‘s “ pressing ” motivation for the P-61 to use as a high-level research craft. Garber agreed to an indefinite loan of the aircraft, and the Black Widow arrived at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, at Naval Air Station Moffett Field in California, on 14 February 1951. When NACA returned the aircraft to the Smithsonian in 1954 it had accumulated only 530 total fledge hours. From 1951 to 1954 the Black Widow was flown on roughly 50 flights as a mothership, dropping recoverable swept-wing test bodies as character of a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics program to test swept-wing aerodynamics. NACA quiz original Donovan Heinle made the aircraft ‘s last flight when he ferried it from Moffett Field to Andrews AFB, arriving on 10 August 1954. The aircraft was stored there for seven years before Smithsonian personnel trucked it to the museum ‘s Garber storage facility in Suitland, Maryland ( where this writer first saw it ). In January 2006 the P-61C was moved into Building 10 so that Garber ‘s 19 restoration specialists, three conservationists and three shop class volunteers could work entirely on the aircraft for its unveil at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on 8 June. The aircraft was restored to its shape as a trajectory test aircraft for swept-wing aeronautics, so the armament and gun enclosure were not replaced. A group of early P-61 air crews were award at the aircraft ‘s unveiling, including former Northrop test pilot program John Myers .61012b5f763861b33342aa66 Northrop P 61B 15NO cn 1234 AAF Ser No 42 39715 Beijing China Marcus Smith ( Marcus Smith Photo ) Northrop P-61B-15NO Black Widow c/n 1234, USAAF ( consecutive No. 42-39715 ), on static display inside the Beijing Air and Space Museum, Beihang University, in Beijing, China. This aircraft was manufactured by Northrop Aircraft, Hawthorne, California, and accepted by the USAAF on 5 February 1945. It was sent to Newark, New Jersey, on 16 February 1945 and departed the US ten days subsequently for the China Burma India Theatre. It was then assigned to the tenth Air Force, being allotted to the 427th Night Fighter Squadron on 3 March 1945. At the end of the war the Communist Chinese came to one of the forward airfields in Sichuan Province and ordered the Americans out, but instructed them to leave their aircraft. It has been reported that there had been three P-61s taken and erstwhile late the chinese wrecked two of them. P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 was stricken off agitate by the USAAF on 31 December 1945. P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 was turned over to the Chengdu Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in 1947. When the establish moved to its show placement, it did not take this aircraft with them, alternatively shipping it to BUAA ( then called Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics ) in 1954 where it was placed on outside display with other aircraft as function of a museum. Sometime in 2008–2009 the museum closed and the display aircraft were moved to a parking lot approximately 200 meters south. The outer wing sections of P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 were removed during this transfer. By April 2013 the P-61 had been reassembled and repainted in the newfangled BASM construction with the other aircraft that were previously outside .61012b5fab98a62c4c9d26f5 Northrop YP 61 NO Black Widow Serial No 41 18882 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop YP-61-NO Black Widow ( series No. 41-18882 ), 348th Night Fighter Squadron, 1943 .61012b5f19757e8d8e4cbe72 420th Night Fighter Squadron orthrop YP 61 NO Black Widow 41 1887 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop YP-61-NO Black Widow ( consecutive No. 41-1887 ), 420th Night Fighter Squadron, 1943.

61012b5fa7301a2c589cc6f4 1280px 547th Night Fighter Squadron P 61 Black Widow ( USGOV-PD Photo ) Northrop P-61B-1NO Black Widow ( consecutive No. 42-39440 ), “ Swing Shift Skipper ”, from the 547th Night Fighter Squadron, 5th Air Force, landing on Lingayen airstrip, Luzon, Philippines on 17 May 1945 .61012b60267ca7379aa86c18 a Northrop P 61B 15 NO Black Widow 42 39682 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) 13th AF Northrop P-61B-15-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39682 ) at Clark Field, Philippines, August 1945, probably from 419th or 550th Night Fighter Squadron Condemned salvage 29 Oct 1945 .61012b60d5c3f45644d9dcbe P 61A 42 5526 Nightie Mission of the 6th Night Fighter Squadron Saipan ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A Black Widow ( serial No. 43-5226 ), 6th Night Fighter Squadron, Saipan, 1945 .61012b5fe0d8ca39fd1f03bc P 61A Black Widow 419th NFS Guadalcanal 1944 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A Black Widow, coded 312, 419th Night Fighter Squadron, Guadalcanal 1944 .61012b5f61366650e4e8b027 P 61A 42 5560 The Creep of the 425th Night Fighter Squadron and 42 5585 Europe ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A Black Widow ( consecutive No. 42-5560 ), “ The Creep ”, 425th Night Fighter Squadron ( serial No. 42-5585 ), Europe .61012b60389b4b785cfbd744 b 548th Night Fighter Squadron Northrop P 61B 1 NO Black Widow 42 39403 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) 548th Night Fighter Squadron Northrop P-61B-1-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39403 ), “ The Spook ” .61012b5fa7301a804d9cc75e P 61 Black Widows of the 548th Night Fighter Squadron in flight ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61B Black Widows of the 548th Night Fight Squadron .61012b60792678e9277a3154 P 61B Beautiful Ass of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61B Black Widow, “ beautiful Ass ”, 414th Night Fighter Squadron .61012b60b619917d50910beb 11 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A-10-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-5619 ), “ Satan 16 ”, 426th Night Fighter Squadron .61012b60792678b0ff7a315b 2 425th Night Fighter Squadron P 61A 10 NO Black Widow 42 3938 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A-10-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39385 ), “ Snuggle Bunny ” visible. Flight of 547th Night Fighter Squadron P-61s at Lingayned Airfield, early 1945 .61012b5c2d4f3b3da1dbd8f4 1 419th Night Fighter Squadron P 61A 1 NO Black Widow 42 5506 2 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A-1-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-5506 ), 419th Night Fighter Squadron, taxiing at Carney Airfield, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, shortly after the P-61 ‘s arrival in early 1944 .61012b5c3f6faa31bfadaa89 427th Night Fighter Squadron P 61A 10 NO Black Widow 42 5628 2 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A-10-NO Black Widow ( series No. 42-5628 ), 427th Night Fighter Squadron in flight over Northern Burma, 1944 .61012b5cb61991b83c910b42 Northrop P 61 Black Widow overhead view in flight ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow scene from above .61012b5d267ca72c46a861ea Northrop P 61 Black Widow undergoing NACA testing at the NACA facility at NAS Moffett Field California 1948 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow, NACA Test Aircraft, NAS Moffett Field, California, 1948 .61012b5cab98a6183e9d260d Northrop P 61A Black Widow Serial No 42 5569 425th NFS RAFV Scorton UK with D Day invasion stripes ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A Black Widow ( serial No. 42-5569 ), 425th Night Fighter Squadro, RAF Scorton, UK, with D-Day invasion stripes, June 1944 .61012b5d6136667dcce8aebc 422d Night Fighter Squadron P 61 Black Widows ( USAAF Photo ) 422d Night Fighter Squadron P-61A Black Widows in formation with Invasion Markings, June 1944 .61012b5d5b08711be2f749a4 6th Fighter Squadron P 61 Black Widow 2 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61A-1-NO Black Widow ( series No. 42-5524 ), of the 6th Night Fighter Squadron. Being readied for a deputation, East Field, Saipan, Mariana Islands, September 1944. The SCR-720 radar ‘s parabolic cup of tea antenna can be clearly seen through the partially guileless radome .61012b5d23e3fd83eda40163 P 61a 42 5598 sleepy time gal 6th NFS ( USAAF Photo ) Northrup P-61A Black Widow ( series No. 42-5598 ), “ sleepy Time Gal ”, 6th Night Fighter Squadron, 1944 .61012b5daba97c910a7bbd4e 5 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop YP-61 Black Widow ( series No. 118877 ), pre-production prototype .61012b5d763861701c42a9f7 416th Night Fighter Squadron P 61 Black Widow 1 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) Northrop P-61B-15-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39684 ), 416th Night Fighter Squadron, 12th Air Force, in flight over Italy. This plane crashed on take-off from Linz-Horsching, Austria on 30 october 1945 .61012b5d17623e572a86f5bb c 318th Fighter Squadron P 61B 20 NO Black Widow 43 8293 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) 318th Fighter-All Weather Squadron Northrop P-61B-20-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 43-8293 ), 1947 Hamilton Field, California. One of Air Defense Command ‘s foremost interceptor aircraft .61012b5d1fdc8c27633195f2 8 ( USN Photo ) Northrop F2T1 Black Widow, coded 39, MCAS Miramar, California. The Northrop F2T-1 was the appellation given to twelve excess US Army Air Corps P-61A Black Widows used as discipline aircraft by the US Marine Corps. The aircraft were un-armed train aircraft that had been used at Hammer Field, California, before being realized to the Marines in September 1945. They were used to train Marine night-fighter crews in the use of radar before they moved on to the new Grumman F7F Tigercat. This was a ephemeral venture, and ended on 1 May 1946 .61012b5d63e73e72b1875980 5th Fighter Squadron Northrop P 61B 10 NO Black Widow 42 39567 ( USAAF Photo ) 5th Fighter Squadron Northrop P-61B-10-NO Black Widow ( serial No. 42-39567 ). This aircraft was sent to reclamation at Brookley Field, Alabama, 22 June 1949 .61012b5da8c5bfa457b89090 7 ( USAAF Photo ) Northrop P-61 Black Widow, trust.

61012b5d5b08712b7df749a5 12 ( USGOV-PD Photo ) Northrop P-61B-15-NO Black Widow ( consecutive No. 42-39728 ), over California. ‍

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