The Bentwaters Cold War Museum has received Lockheed T-33A 51-9252 from the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum. The Shooting Star represents an important addition to the Suffolk museum, increasing its collection of types that flew with the US Air Force from the Bentwaters and Woodbridge ‘twin bases’ to two, the other being Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0219 which was received in 2016.
Constructed at Burbank, California in 1951, this T-33 served firstly with the USAF and then with Groupement Ecole 314 of France’s Armée de l’Air at Tours, coded 314-UY. Stored at RAF Sculthorpe and then loaned by the USAF to Tangmere in 1990, the airframe arrived at Bentwaters on 11 July this year and was reassembled the following day. A full restoration will be carried out over time. The colour scheme applied will reflect that of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing in the early 1960s, when the unit operated T-33s from Bentwaters as communications and support aircraft alongside its front-line F-101 Voodoos.
(Photo credit: Graham Haynes)