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