F-104C 56-901 ready and displayed now!

We received some latest news from Harry Newman of the museum team, regarding the status on F-104C 56-901. He stated:

"901" has been completed and is now on permanent display in our military hanger. Against all odds she survived the scrap heap, a tornado which flipped her over, and 30 years of outside storage in our brutal New England weather. It has been a thrill to bring her back to display condition. We used the paint scheme from the time of the 1962 record breaking "Kite Intercept" mission that "Sharkbait" Delashaw flew. Of course, during the record flight 901 didn't have the refueling boom or the tip tanks, but they looked so cool we couldn't help ourselves. People might ask why the dark panel on the tail.

Photos from the "Kite Intercept" clearly show this panel being dark so we went with it. The tip "tanks" are mock-ups since the early level C tanks were not to be found. We used seven F-15 storage pods to make them and they are within an inch of the real tank circumference. A few weeks ago we opened 901 to the public so kids (and adults) could actually sit in the restored cockpit and we have a sophisticated flight simulator set up so people can "fly" a 104. I am planning to make an adjacent display focusing on the "Kite Intercept" mission.


  1. Mike Vivian

    Restorations are always tough. Yours is as good as it gets. Congratulations !!

  2. leon

    Nice job!

  3. Don Albertson

    Will in basic training in Texas I was notified my South Carolina National Guard unit was going to be activated Nov. 1961 and the F104s went to Spain and I being Air Police went to Chaumont France.
    We paired up with another guard unit who had F84s and F86s.

    1. Don Albertson

      Forgot to ask where is your city and address; I would like to come and see the plane sometime.

      1. Harry Prins

        Please go to our preserved 104s section and look at USA…

  4. Hal F. Kenyon

    What a great job!! Looks brand new! I was a crew chief on the F104 G model in the early 60’s@

    George AFB and still and still miss CCTS when stationed there!

  5. Gene West

    Good story about #901. I flew the c model while at udorn..every zipper had been over “g”d.. and required alot of rudder trim.

    1. joe rivera

      do you have any pictures gene love to see them big fan of the 104

  6. Dick Caron (Greek)

    Was stationed at George AFB 1962 to 1966 and was a crew chief with the 4443 ccts on the F104G. Later transferred to the 479th and crewed the F-104c and D. 901 is located at the New England Air Museum at the Hartford Airport

    1. John A. Michalak-Hotchkiss


      I think I remember you while at George.

      I was at George and also a crew chief on the F-104’s. I believe I was there 1963-1965 and went to Spain for 6 months and many TDY’s.

      Some people names I remember are Doc Blanchard, Julio Chacon, Gene Gollossi. Klein, Mellilo, Jacoby, Grossi, Holbrook, Dave Malloy, George Coltey, Murakami, Morris, Melton, Harris, McKay , Minton, Porreca, Griswold, Engle, Hamm, Strecker, Fuller, Mark Adams to mention a few.

      Some Pilots were Kaa, Wells, Dellashaw, Glover, Brinkley, Crist, Blake, Huff, Quackenbush.

      I was very fortunate and got two rides in the D model and flew mock 1 and a dog fight at Holloman AFB TDY and also in Spain TDY.

      If you get this please respond to me. I did visit George AFB this year and it was a shame to see the decay and ruins.

      1. Harry Prins

        Thanks Dick.
        Aside Kaa, Wells, Dellashaw, Glover, Brinkley, Crist, Blake, Huff, Quackenbush, do you remember any other George based F-104 pilots?
        Please if possible including 1st name (e.g Tom Delashaw).

        1. Dick Caron

          Harry other pilots with the 436 Tac Ftr Sq March 1965

          Capt. Luther Harvey

          Capt Walter Harris

          Capt Borris Klem

          Capt. John Olson

          Capt Stephen Korcheck

          Capt James Torson

          Went TDY to McChord AFB Wash. I remember Torson Split open a tip tank while taxing onto the runway and had to abort his flight. Also spent time with him at Kung Kaun AB in Taiwan This was our repair base for aircraft at Da Nang. Torson was a hot shot test pilot.

          Hope this info helps

          Dick Caron

          1. Jack patten

            Dick would like to make contact with you, it’s been over fifty years since i got out and the last person I had contact with was pogany and he was in nam.

            Jack patten 904 753 4598 Jackwpat@icloud.com

          2. Ken Dickinson

            Hey Dick, read my reply to Michalak to catch up. Other pilots were, Ken Kerwin, P. E Smith, ( captured 9/20/65 and released 3/1973 ) R.E. Smith, Howard Sergeant . Would love to hear from you. Email me @ mtnouncer@yahoo.com.

      2. Ken Dickinson

        Michalak- —how have you been ? This is Ken Dickinson ( Dick ). We were at Moron together as well as many other TDYs. I’m still in touch with Dominic Melillo and he is in touch with Bill ” Kinky ” Klein and Mike ” Jake ” Jacoby. I spoke to Capt Phil ” PE” Smith several years ago as well as “Mac” Mc Bride. Great to see your name on here. Where are you living? I’m still very happily married to Sandi (White). We have 4 grown kids,12 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. Married 53 + years. We’re living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. ( About 25 miles from Charlottesville) I hope to hear from you when you get the chance.

        1. Donald R. Mulloy

          this is Don Mulloy Airman 1st 479th TFS george airforce base Adelanto calif.

          Jim Torson was the best pilot that ever flew my plane.

          I also worked with Dominic Melillo, Bill Klein, Mike Jocoby Bob Bower, Skiwat.

          We used to hang out at the Big .

          If you know the Emails of any of these airman please pass on my email adderess I would

          really appreciate it. donmulloy@gmail.com if you don’t get my address call eight five nine

          three eight o three five two eight. thanks don

    2. Jack patten

      Dick I was looking at George fab of late looks like shit when I saw the site with restored 104c and saw your name. My e-mail is jackwpat@icloud.com 904-753-4598 like to make contact

      Jack patten

  7. John A. Michalak-Hotchkiss

    Harry, you and your staff did a wonderful job in restoring this aircraft that needed a ton of work. My thanks go out to all at NEAM. It was a joy seeing it on display and brought back many memories as a crew chief.

  8. Gerald Ronesi

    I was crew chief of this aircraft at Edwards AFB, 1972-73. We trained pilots for the Test Pilot School. Had trouble with AB blowouts and leading edge flap indications but never failed to meet the mission. So nice to see her looking better than ever.

    Thanks for the great restoration effort!

    Gerald Ronesi
    SMSgt, USAF (Ret)

  9. Al Barkl

    Harry, I was stastioned at George when we got the 104 ,sI ran all of them on the run up test pad from 1958 to 1961 I think 901 was in the 434 th maybe the 476 th .I was an engine trouble shooter on the flight line

    1. Terry leo

      Did you know my father Col. Carl H LEO ? D.O. 1958.

  10. Bob Eldridge

    Hi, I was stationed at George AFB (479th MMS) from 1964 through their deployment to SEA. I was on the TDY to McChord AFB and another TDY to Ft. Campbell, KY. Great times and great memories. Does anyone remember any of the other Weapons guys?

  11. victor smith

    Nice restoration—My late father was Roscoe Smith—high time f-104—instructor fighter pilot with NATO–his last assignment was instructing/ flying with the Italian Air Force 1962-1966

  12. Mike Searcey

    Mike Searcey here, George AFB, 476th TFS. Crew Chief 56-883. 1961-63. TDY to Germany and Spain. Lt. Jim Folsom was a great pilot who flew my bird and brought her home from Germany. 56-883 was on the alert pad in Seville Spain, in process of refueling the electronics bay blew. Rebuild in Spain and flew to Germany. What a maintence pain in the butt. Lt. Jim nearly lost it on the trip back to George due to engine failure. Many memories and stories. Jim if you see this just remember all the booze that was stored in the ammo compartment that customs didn’t find…Fond memories of MSgt “Doc” Blanchard 476th Line Chief. One hell of guy. Polished his boots with black spray paint..

    56-883 lost on mission during Vietnam, pilot passed in captivity..


  13. Harry Prins

    Hi Mike, Jim Folston Flew F-104C within the TAC 479TFW at George AFB early 60s and seen at Key West AFB, Florida during the Cuban Crisis in 1962, flying with 476thTFS. After the Air Force he continued flying as pilot with PANAM, later United Airlines. He survived an accident of 56-935 at 21 August 1962 as 1st Lt. Sadly I never succeeded in finding him (email etc). Hope he is well….
    Thanks Mike for your memories. The flight back to the USA from Europe of 56-883, do you know when this was??

  14. Mark Harris

    Hello everyone,

    I may have posted here before, but I was wondering if anyone here flew with my father, Capt. Walter B. Harris (retired LTC, died 2002)? He flew F-104s with the 436th TFS out of George AFB and Da Nang from 1965-1966. I would love to hear from you. My email address is Harris99@tampabay.rr.com.

    Mark Harris

  15. Didier Hallaux

    Hello, my dad Cpt Piet Hallaux from Belgian Air Force uses to learn how to fly the one o four at George AFB, 4443 CCTS, from October,14 1963 to January,15 1964.

  16. James D Woods (Woody)

    I was at George AFB, in the 479FMS from Nov. 1963-until I deployed to SEA in 1966. Was at DaNang briefrly and from there to Udorn and from there to Clark AFB. Mechanic for f-104 and later the F-4C.

    1. Harry Prins

      Hello James, thanks for your comment. Interesting to read that you also served the USAF during the deployment to Da Nang and Udorn. Were you able to take any photos of Starfighters there in the South East?? These would be wonderful to see and would be great if you could share scans of them. Thanks again!!! Regards Harry (chairman Int. F-104 Society)

  17. James Woods (Woody)

    Ok, please remove the letter (D) from my name. I don’t have a middle initial.

  18. Saul "DOC" Weinstein

    -Flight Surgeon 436th TFS “Black Aces” 1964-1966; George AFB-831st Tac Hospital.
    Flew with Walt Harris, CharleyTofferi an a number of other pilots whose names escape me. Became great friends with Jack Glover who ended up an LC and retired in Fort Walton Beach, FL . He died of cancer around 6 years or so ago and went to his funeral and burial at Pensacola NAS. Met Chuck Dildine there. If you don’t know, I believe that Jim Torson-The “Dew Drop In” died while at Luke AFB when he ejected and his seat separated and came down and struch him while floating down in his parachute.

    I was also at Da Nang and Kun Quan Airbase for a short time while I was TDY to Clark AFB with the 510 TFS (F 100’s) and relieved Dr. Lenar who was with you all. Also went TDY with you to Eilson AFB and Myrtle Beach AFB

  19. John Michalak Hotchkiss

    Ken Dickinson

    Michalak here. Saw your posting and sorry for not checking this site for years. I’m well and I see many others on this site and hope for the best for all of them. My e-mail address is jahotchkiss@att.net and cell number is 203 804-1530.

    Everyone else please e-mail or phone me if I can help with names, addresses of others that I may know about.

    Spoke with Philip Smith a few months back and he is in Scottsdale AZ and he had a documentary on you tube about his captivity in China. I knew Jack Downey (CIA) that he was in prison with.

    Harry Prins:
    Harry, your site is great and it has brought back many memories. I have many stories to tell as other may also. I see many posts on your site that I was a part of by Pilots, Flight DOC’s. and Crew Chiefs.

    Would you like me to post them and share them with others. Please let me know?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *