my life in pictures and words

National Museum of the USAF – Presidential Gallery..part II

Last week I introduced you to the Presidential Gallery that house a lot of aircrafts used by our Presidents.

This week, I’ll show you the rest of the gallery.  But remember, there will be random facts strewn in between the photos that were provided by the information boards that sit in front of the aircrafts.

Boeing VC-137C (707-320B) aka SAM 26000

This aircraft served many presidents. It entered the United States Air Force service directly from the Boeing assembly line in Renton, WA. The name SAM 26000 stands for “Special Air Mission” tail #26000.

President Kennedy had it painted blue and white to give it a distinctive look. I thought that it was interesting that there was an AAFES hanger hanging out so that’s why I took a picture of it.

The SAM 2600 flew President Kenndy to Berlin and Dallas, TX where he was assinated on 22 November 1963. This plane flew Kenndy’s body back to D.C. You can see where they cut part of the plane to fit the President (it has since been repaired).

President Johnson was sworn in on this plane. And it was this plane that flew him to visit the US troops in Vietname during the Southeast Asia War.

In December 1972, another Boeing 707-320 (72-7000) became the primary Presidential aircraft and the 2600 became a back-up.

Check out that photocopy machine!! Can you believe that there was a photocopy machine on the plane???!!!!

In May 1998, the USAF retired SAM 26000. It provided 36 years of service and accumulated more than 13,000 flying hours.

Aero Commander U-4B

The Aero Commander was used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1956 to 1960 for short trips. It is the smallest Air Force One and the first Presidential aircraft to have only two engines. It also was the first Presidential aircraft to carry the familiar blue and white paint scheme.

On 1 October 1969, it was transferred to the Air Force Academy’s Skydiving Team. Then in November 1977, it was sent to the Nebraska Civil Air Patrol. It was then obtained by the museum from a private owner in 1996.

North American F-100D aka Super Sabre

This is the world’s first production airplane capable of flying faster than the speed of sound in level flight. Its features included the first autopilot designed for a supersonic jet and a low-altitude bombing system. It had its combat debut in Vietnam where it was used extensively as a fighter-bomber in ground support missions such as attacking bridges, road junctions and troop concentrations.  This is Bro-D.  He’s the photographer, hence his crazy big professional camera.

The one on display was used by the Thunderbirds from 1964 to 1968. It then retired in 1977.

Douglas Aircraft C-118 aka The Independence

The Independence replaced the “Sacred Cow” in 1947. The presidential pilot, Lt Col Henry Myers, who also flew the Sacred Cow, coined the name Independence to represent both patriotism and the name of President Truman’s Missouri hometown.

It flew in Presidential service from 1947 to 1953. It’s most notable flight took place in October 1950 when President Truman flew to Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean to discuss the Korean situation with General Douglas MacArthur.

View from inside the plane.

Beechcraft VC-6A

This aircraft was used to transport visiting dignitaries and high-level personnel. During the early part of its operational carrer, it transported President Lyndon B. Johnson and members of his family between Bergstrom AFB, TX and the Johnson family ranch. While serving the President, the aircraft informally became known as the “Lady Bird Special”.

That concludes the all the pictures I have of the Presidential Gallery. It was pretty cool reading all the plaques and learning about all planes. I never would have read them if 1) I didn’t take pictures of them and 2) I didn’t post it for y’all to see. So thanks for helping me learn a little bit more today. And last week. =)

Did you learn anything new or interesting from these past two posts like me? Or maybe you already knew all about these planes. =) Whatever your case may be I hope you enjoyed seeing the planes and reading these facts.

Thanks for reading!

all images have been edited by


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