27 October, 2021

"The Obstinate Owl II " - F-86F Sabre, 35th FBS, 8th FBG as flown by...

 Quick post - this blog is 'trending' again and figured a post should be made to keep up appearances. 


Aside from the fact that the above is about 50% of the way to completion, the most interesting thing here is what you don't see (yet) — the nose art.

There are only TWO known photos of this airplane, almost to spite the fact that its pilot is a human legend.  One is a photo of the brand-new Sabre on its way to K-13 (the airfield from which it was based as assigned to the 35th FBS).

It's a fantastic photo of 458 in-flight! Photographer unknown but obtained here and attributed to an F-86 pilot named Paul Gushwa, 36th FBS.

How do I know it's "on it's way from Depot in Japan (possibly Itazuke AFB)?  Well, the pilot said that when the airplane arrived at K-13 (Suwon Air Base),  he picked it out as 'his.'   So, seeing that the Sabre doesn't have the pilot's quirky nose-art applied, we can assume it's INBOUND.

Prolly February, 1953 but what do I know?

Anyway, the photo below is the only other photo of "The Obstinate Owl II."  

A totally funny, ridiculous and sworn-to-secrecy story is behind the name.  I'm trying to get the man's blessing on sharing it here.  I gotta keep my promises...

So, I'm working on mastering that fantastic script-work of whomever it was with the 8th FBW that did it.  How do I know 8th FBW?  Well... the photo below is the boss's bird.  Col Walter Gotlieb Benz was obviously Sierra Hotel, awarded the Silver Star, DFC and Bronze Star... and obviously influenced a few of the 8th FBW aircraft's nose art.  Click the two photos and see what I mean — TOTALLY 'same guy' who did the brushery. 

Photo of Col Benz climbing out of his F-86F, "The Dirty Old Man."  Copyright unknown but found at: http://www.flyingfiendsinkoreanwar.com, a mighty fine site featuring the 35th FBS's sister squadron, the 36th FBS.

And here's where things get amusing — the pilot who flew "The Obstinate Owl II" does have a photo of him standing in front of "The Dirty Old Man."

Evidently Col Benz didn't worry to much about who was flying "his" airplane when he was away.  And rightly so as the guy above was pretty much Sierra Hotel himself. 

More later.  :)   I think the next post, I'll be able to share why this F-86F is so darned special to the lore of American history.