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Check Six – 1950s: T-33 T-Bird

May 6, 2022
Hawaii Air National Guard photograph – enlarge

When the 199th Fighter Squadron converted from the Republic P/F-47 Thunderbolts to the North American F-86 Sabres, they also received “several” two seat Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jets.  Thought its service life, the T-33s were known as T-Birds.

These T-Birds were used to train new pilots and were sometimes used as targets during training.

The undated photograph shows maintenance crews and two officers, maybe pilots. While the majority could not be identified, familiar faces include Thomas “Tomato” Tsuruda, John Beaumont, and Thomas Kato.

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We used “several” as the reference to how many T-33s were assigned to the 199th Fighter Squadron. In various documents, the number varies from three to seven.

From → History

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