Our Third Trip to the Florence Air and Missile Museum

Florence S.C. - June, 1997

Connie Under Friendly? Fire


The NC121K "Connie" still stands proudly in splendid isolation, despite the ravages of sun, wind and bird droppings. We have been corresponding with Dave Hill, a former crew member, and he tells us the plane was last used to simulate a Russian "Bear" for fleet training exercises. This was the last Connie in active military service.

NC121K Nose View I like this angle, which shows the elegant lines of the fuselage.

Unfortunately, you can also see the damage which occurred when a "controlled" fire meant to control the airport grass went a bit too far.

Fire Damage

The story we were told is that the local fire persons arrived promptly at the scene, but nobody could come up with a key to the gate. Personally, I would have accepted the $47 damage to the fence and driven through it to save a multi-million dollar airplane.

Lee told us a great story, too long (and potentially libelous) to repeat here, about encountering a bunch of Air Force guys milling around the plane one day. They thought it was one of theirs, although you would think big letters on the side saying "NAVY" would be a clue, even for the Air Farce.

Radar Antenna

The whole purpose of this bird was to drag this radar antenna around the sky in the belly radome.

We now have to concede that we got a better tour than the usual tourist!

Crew List

A local law enforcement group is planning to volunteer and help fix up Miss Connie, but we also think these guys should help out.

Checks in the mail?

All photos by the Warmonger

And that's a true story - Bob McKellar
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