Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida. 8-99
Thanks to Jim O'Connell for his research and write up.
First off I want to extend my thanks to Mr.
Lloyd Hayslip (Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor) and Mr. Hill Goodsby, museum
historian of the National Museum of Naval
Aviation at Pensacola for their assistance in obtaining the following
information concerning aircraft of the museum that have Operation Deep Freeze
C-47H (12418) Nickname "Que Sera
Sera" is at the museum in all it's Antarctic dress including the skis.
All indications are that it in fact is still owned by the Smithsonian
Institute and on extended loan. Operation Deep Freeze authenticity on
this one goes without saying.
U-1B (Otter) (BUNO unknown but modexd 665) came
to the museum from NAS Pensacola when it was retired, however Hill has
researched it and it is certified to have operated in Deep Freeze. He
has also written an article on this aircraft and will be providing me with a
UH-34D (150227) is at the museum and at one
time was painted with a color scheme representative of the H-34s that operated
on the ice; however, it is pretty well assumed that this aircraft does not
have any authentic Antarctic service.
Cessna 180F (51246) is no longer at the museum,
however pictures show that the nose contains a statement something similar to
"Arctic Research Program" and, althought it was not real
distinguishable, appears to contain an emblem similar to CTF43. Hill did
not think it had been to the South Pole but was not sure and two OAEs have
since confirmed its existence in McMurdo and the Pole.
Paraphrasing their reports, One writes "My cruisebook circa 71 shows
Captain Elgin Long stopped @ McMurdo during his round the world flight over
the poles, being greeted by Capt Van Reeth and Cdr Lefty Nordhill. Dated
Nov 24, '71 and the other writes the Cessna did in fact land at the South
Pole, it was '68 or '69. If I remember right he made it to the pole but
crashed on takeoff trying to leave".
I would say that the Cessna has the biggest
cloak and any confirmation of it's activities would be appreciated by all
More details will be provided as I obtain them.
= = =
Additional info on the subject:
Jim's reply to my message. Interesting how things fall together.
The aircraft "QueSeraSera" was loaned/given by the Navy to the
Smithsonian, as the NA
Museum at Pensacola had not developed at that time. As the NA museum
grew and moved from the small hangar and they gained custody of all the Naval
aircraft displayed at the bases they also gained "QSS". All the
were on display at NAS Cecil Field belong to the NA Museum. They (the
aircraft have been removed from Cecil Field) have all been reassigned to new
= = =
I am a member of the NA Museum and
VX-6 1965-70. My cousin Steve Dudra
(VX-6 55-57) was flight radio on Que Sera Sera from the States to the Ice, up
till the time his crew was bumped from the aircraft so the primary SP flight
crew could make their flight. As they 'dinged' their aircraft and it could
make the flight. "QSS" was originally at the Silver Hill Museum near
for many years. I got a chance to see it long before I made my first trip
the Ice. The last few times I had been to the NA Museum at Pensacola,
in cleaning and restoration. Prior to that it was in the display area near
front of the museum. In my discussions with the folks at the museum, I
discovered many do not know the significance of the specific aircraft they have.
Preserving an aircraft type seems to be the norm, as researching the in-depth
history of each is beyond the interest of the average visitor. But,
only my personal observation. Steve went on to complete his 20 years in
Navy and retire as a Chief into the Orlando area. I did my 30 and retired
1990 into the Jacksonville area.