Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 20, 2012

Air Force landmark prepped to leave Valdosta

VALDOSTA — Preparations by Moody Air Force Base and City of Valdosta personnel have begun to relocate the F-86 which has been a fixture on the corner of North Ashley Street and Woodrow Wilson Drive for about 30 years.

The plane is set to be moved on April 24 and 25 between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. to limit inconvenience for motorists.

The future home of the plane will be at the President George W. Bush Air Park at Moody Field, named after the U.S. president who received his pilot training at Moody from 1968 to 1969.

It will join an impressive display of aircraft technology at the park which includes the A-10, F-105, A-7, P-40 and the T-33, each of which has served the Flying Tigers at Moody Air Force Base.

Public access to the Air Park will be limited but, according to City Manager Larry Hanson, there are plans to design an appropriate memorial within the 20-acre site at Five Points as part of the final Municipal Auditorium project.

While the plane has been an important reminder to the Valdosta community of the significant contributions from Moody Air Force Base over the years, it has also served as a memorial to Valdosta native Major Lyn McIntosh.

McIntosh lost his life during the ill-fated mission of April 25, 1980, to rescue Americans held hostage after Iranians seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

This past February, Valdosta City Council unanimously approved Moody’s request to relocate the F-86 aircraft to the George W. Bush Airpark.

Moody intends to refurbish the aircraft for display. The McIntosh family will be invited to the re-dedication ceremony for the aircraft.

The United States Air Force Museum is the actual owner of the F-86. As the assigned custodian of the plane, the City of Valdosta was granted permission from the museum to relocate the aircraft.

Hanson stated that the Air Force had offered to replace the currently existing F-86 with an F-4 aircraft, but said that the F-4 “was nearly twice as long and would not fit in the area.”

Part of this relocation process also included the City of Valdosta and Moody Air Force Base working with the surviving children of Major McIntosh.

Mark McIntosh, who lives in Tennessee and had direct conversations with city officials, said the process was difficult not only because it dealt with his father’s memory but also because he felt the family’s wishes were ignored.

“I believe it is very unfortunate that a memorial of any kind would be removed from public view and/or access,” said McIntosh.

“My memories of the memorial conjure pride in my hometown willing to recognize that one of their own was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to rescue 58 U.S. citizens that they had never met.

“I asked on several occasions for an open and advertised public meeting to help determine the fate of the airplane,” he said. “I have made it abundantly clear in my dealings with a public official for the City of Valdosta that I believe the memorial belongs to the people of Valdosta and it should be the citizens that shape or decide the fate of it.”

Although the request from Moody Air Force Base was approved during an open City Council meeting, Hanson stated that, in hindsight, more could have been done to solicit public opinion about the move.

Both Mark and Scott McIntosh adamantly emphasized their dealings with Moody Air Force Base and Col. Mark A. Ruse, commander of the 23rd Mission Support Group at Moody Air Force Base, were professional and accommodating.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Justice_Scales.jpg Second ‘Quitman 11’ case mistrial

    Another week-long trial ended again in mistrial last week in the case of Lula Smart, the Brooks County woman charged in a case of unlawful possession of election ballots, according to court officials Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • graphic.jpg School systems get report cards

    South Georgia school systems received mixed results, with some showing performance increases while others suffered decreases, in the College and Career Ready Performance Index released Monday by Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • flood4c.jpg Flood warning extended

    A flood warning for the Withlacoochee River at Valdosta has been extended until Wednesday afternoon.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results