Resting atop a concrete pedestal on the lawn of the American Legion Cleo Farr Post #240
The T38 #10926 was brought to town from Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls Texas as a lasting monument. On March 20, 1993 it was dedicated “In Honor of All Men and Women in Mayes County Who Honorably Served Our Great Country in Peace and War”.
The aircraft was disassembled in Wichita Falls by members and friends of Post #240: Commander Burl “Peanuts” Rice, Joe Brown, Charlie Haley, Joe Haley, Sam Matlock, David Matlock, Leon Crawford and Bobby Bailey. They reassembled it in Salina on the lawn of Leon Crawford. On Febuary 17, 1993 Peanuts Rice climbed into the cockpit and rode in the pilot’s seat, as #10926 was paraded down main street to its final destination.
Bruce Chitwood, Johnny Dodson, Gerald Pritchett, Darrell David Blaylock, Don King, Tim King, Glen Reed, Ray Haley, Billy Rice, Red Crawford, David Crawford, Ronnie Vance, Curtis Mcfadden, Earl Wassom, Ray Griggs, Spike Ross, George Miller, Carl Montgomery, Mike Hedges, Vic Holleyman, Marla Jo Brown, Pryor Stone and Salina Fire Dept. all shared a roll in preparing the area and mounting the plane.
The project was first set into motion by Joe Brown and Peanuts Rice in mid 1991, They wanted an anti-aircraft gun, but after several trips to Air Force Bases throughout the country, they couldn’t find one. They contacted the American Legion in Washington D.C., which steered them to a “regeneration center” in Tuscon, Arizona. The aircraft they originally chose was already promised to an Air National Guard unit in Arkansas, which was a short setback for the pair. A year and a half later the Arkansas Guard had failed to retrieve the plane so it was forfeited to the Salina duo. Joe spent a great number of painstaking hours building a detailed model of his vision of the monument to present to his fellow Legionaires.
With a 35 foot trailer they set forth on their purposeful journey to Texas. They found the T-38 #10926 resting on its landing gear at Sheppard AFB, minus engines and avionics.
Rice and Brown, chafing at chuckles from base personnel who estimated that disassembly of the plane would take that day and another, in four hours had the wings off and the plane loaded onto the trailer. Rice said when base personnel came to help them, they were done.
By coincidence, the plane’s complete maintenance records were in the front seat, providing a history of #10926.
The T-38 first flew in New Mexico in 1961, an unarmed trainer to teach future pilots the rigors of flying a jet fighter. It last flew in 1982. At some time between, the plane was in Taiwan, where record entries were written in Chinese.