Bud Norris's 331st FIS Photos

Based at Webb AFB in Texas, 331st FIS was one of the last USAF units to fly the F-86L. Bud Norris's photos show the last days of the Sabre with this squadron.

Taken from a Webb AFB postcard, 53-4062 was one of the last F-86Ds produced. Bland markings are typical of the latter days of USAF F-86L operations.


53-755, seen here taking off from Webb in 1960, was delivered to USAF on 7th March 1955. It was assigned to 331st FIS on 11th April 1959 and passed to the Texas ANG on 9th March 1960. Barely visible are the high visibility dayglo bands applied to the nose, rear fuselage and wing tips.


(photo missing)

1959 shot of the 331st FIS flight line; note the differences in 'star and bar' placement on 53-819.this aircraft was assigned on 1st April 1959 and passed to the Texas ANG on 21st January 1960.


Taken during 1959, this shot of alert pad aircraft shows the variety of schemes borne by 331st FIS F-86Ls. Note differences in buzz number placement, lack of 'high viz' markings on some aircraft.


This rig was used by personnel in 331st FIS's Radar Shop to replicate and fault find items in the F-86L's E-4 Fire Control System. Radar scope is prominent middle left.


A 331st FIS Sabre undergoing Periodic Inspection during 1959. Rear fuselage is removed to allow access to the J47 engine and afterburner.


J47 engines await installation. The engine in the foreground has the top half of its rollover stand fitted, allowing the engine to be revolved for access.


(photo missing)

First in, last out. This 1960 shot shows the first F-102A Delta Dagger for 331st FIS and the last F-86L. The latter is s/n 53-803, assigned to 331st FIS on 22nd September 1959 and flown away to storage at Davis Monthan on 28th March 1960.


Also resident at Webb AFB was the 3560th Flying Training Wing, equipped with T-33 'T Bird' trainers. Four are seen here taxiing out for a training mission during early 1960.


As a reminder of things past, one 331st FIS F-86L was donated to the nearby city of Big Springs during 1960. The above newspaper clipping shows the aircraft, 53-4035, being taken by road during May 1960 to be displayed at the local airport.


53-4035 safely on its plinth at Big Springs Airport. It is nowadays restored and displayed at Dyess AFB, TX.


Representative of one of the last 331st FIS Sabres, this side view of 53-819 shows the distinctive high visibility dayglo orange areas.

Many thanks to Bud Norris of Columbus, OH.



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