P-39 Miss Connie
P-39: Fighter originally built in the late 30s and early 40s. Most were sent to the Soviet Union under lend-lease and were used against the Nazi's in the invasion of Russia in WWII. Has a 20 mm canon in the nose and was an excellent tank killer. This is the only P-39 flying in the Western Hemisphere.
Bell P-39Q-5-BE, Bell construction number 21-9597, Army air Force serial number 42-19597 is the CAFs P-39 registered as civilian number N6968.It is the only regularly flying P-39 in the world.The aircraft was delivered to the AAF onMay 25, 1943 at a cost of $48,673.It was the second Q-5 produced. Through July 1943, it was on loan to Bell at Buffalo.On December 29, 1943, it was flown to Cincinnati, OH and then transferred to Laredo, TX by January 1944.By June 1944 it was transferred to Harlingen, Texas to support gunnery training there.
On July 20, 1945, it was making a cross-country flight to the Reconstruction Finance Corp scrap yard to be disposed of when the engine failed and the pilot landed the airplane at a crop dusting strip in Hobbs, New Mexico. The AAF abandoned the aircraft and it was later moved to a schoolyard display at Capitan High School in Lincoln, NM.
After acquiring the aircraft, Joe Brown of Hobbs, NM donated the hulk to the CAF in 1962.The aircraft only had 392 recorded hours on it at that time. The aircraft was then dismantled and trucked to Harlingen.In 1968, Don Hull of Sugarland, TX began restoring the aircraft to flying condition. It flew again on October 21, 1974. That same year John Stokes, the founder and first leader of the CENTEX Wing, bought the aircraft and again donated the restored P-39 to the CAF.
The aircraft has been flying out of the San Marcos Airport ever since.