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The Long Goodbye: Watch The Jersey Devils Bid Farewell To Their Trusty Convair Delta Darts Back in 1988

These F-106s Went On To Very Different Careers After leaving Atlantic City’s 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

Official US Air Force Photograph

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart served the Air Defense Command (ADC) and later the Air National Guard (ANG) as a primary interceptor for nearly 30 years. F-106s first achieved operational status in October of 1959. One of the last units to fly The Six was the 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) of the 177th Fighter Interceptor Group (FIG), New Jersey ANG, known as the Jersey Devils. In this video the last of the Jersey Devil Sixes, a pair of F-106As and a single F-106B, man up and depart for their destination- the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) near Tucson in Airzona. Thanks to YouTuber Peter Hecht for uploading this final look at Jersey Devil F-106s.

The Jersey Devils began flying General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons after the last of their Delta Darts left Atlantic City National Guard Base (NGB). That didn’t mean these jets were done yet. F-106A 590043 went into storage for a while but was resurrected for use as QF-106 drone AD227. The aircraft survived duty as a drone at Tyndall AFB and was stored again in 1998. Today the aircraft is on display at the Dakota Territory Air Museum posing as 590005. F-106A 590046 didn’t meet quite the same fortunate fate. The jet was shot down as QF-106 drone AD224 by a FIM-92 Stinger missile on October 10th 1996.

Official US Air Force Photograph

The F-106B in the video, 590149, set a speed record just barely under Mach 1 over a closed course between Dayton in Ohio (Wright Patterson AFB) and Kitty Hawk in North Carolina during December of 1983. The mission was flown to commemorate both the 200th Anniversary of man’s first ascension in a hot air balloon by the Montgolfier Brothers of France and first flight of the Wright Brothers nearly 80 years prior to the mission in Kitty Hawk. But 149 didn’t benefit from the record for long. Assigned as a chase plane for the B-1B program after leaving the Jersey Devils and later converted to QF-106 drone AD261, the jet was shot down by an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) on November 6th 1997.

Official US Air Force Photograph

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.