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24 MAY 06

Remarkable Rollout 
Photo By Ernest white, ii                                                                    McCHORD AIR MUSEUM 

The now retired WADS Commander Col John Cromwell address  the crowd during the F-102's Dedication Ceremony on May 24 2006. Col Cromwell retired the following week after Commanding WADS for more than nine years. 


On December 13, 1956 McChord’s first F-102 Delta Dagger assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing’s 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron touched down at the base opening the supersonic era for air defense of the Pacific Northwest. Almost fifty years later, former members from the 317th were again instrumental in bringing the “Duce” back home to McChord.

The F-102 was again the center of attention sporting the same factory fresh appearance as other 317th FIS wore fifty years earlier.  On May 24 2006 F-102A S/N 56-1515 was dedicated and “handed off” to the 62d AW and the McChord Air Museum by the aircrafts owner, McChord's Western Air Defense Sector, forerunner to the 25th Air Division, a unit that protected the skies over the Northwest until 1990.

Col. John Cromwell, retiring Commander of the Western Air Defense Sector and a large proponent for the rich air defense history of McChord, addressed the crowd thanking museum volunteers for their hard work. “I want to recognize the volunteers who unselfishly spent untold hours putting this Duce back together so our children, grandchildren, and many generations to come will recognize the heritage of air defense at McChord” said the Colonel before “handing off” the aircraft to Col. Jerry Martinez, 62d Airlift Wing Commander.

Current plans are to place the F-102 on display along with the Museums aircraft  by the summer of 2006.

Photo By Ernest white, ii                                                                     McCHORD AIR MUSEUM 
Col. Jerry Martinez, 62d AW Commander, and Col. Shane Hersman 62d AW Vice Commander "assist" Col. John Cromwell in the cockpit of F-102A -515 after the interceptors dedication at the Museums Restoration Hangar.
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