History of the Lobo Wing
Permission was obtained from KAFB to salvage possible usable parts from a B-29 hulk that had been used for armament testing. The group, working in the desert wearing required “Moon Suits”, accumulated over 3500 lbs. of various items of potential use. After decontamination, the salvaged materials were stored on donated space and held for 7 years. This material, together with five B-29 wheels, a small bulldozer designed for glider use, an R3350 display engine, and a Link Trainer, were picked up by Midland and some are currently on display. Another “acquired” engine, an R2600, was provided to the West Texas Wing SB2C restoration “reserve parts” bin…and was put to immediate use for cowl fitting.
The Air Fiesta de Santa Fe marked the completion of the Santa Fe City Airport renovation in 1988. The Lobo Squadron received a letter of recognition for being instrumental in its success by bringing in 11 warbirds and assisting in program planning and operations. The following year the Lobo unit was assigned responsibility for war bird attendance at the City of Albuquerque’s successful “Southwest Airlines Air Show”.
By this time, the group was a fixture in the Albuquerque “Balloon Fiesta” and July 4th Annual Parades with its trailered large scale PT-26 aircraft model being towed by a newly acquired and refurbished Lobo PX van. Indeed, the Squadron had also become a fixture on the local PBS, KNME-TV Pledge Drive Programs by volunteering as a group to handle the Station’s Pledge Drive telephone response. A Citation of Appreciation was received from KNME-TV in recognition of over 500 volunteer service hours.
On January 26, 1989, the Squadron received its charter as a Wing unit of the CAF and celebrated by hosting a fabric covering seminar for members and all others in the local aviation community who were interested. The relationship with Kirtland AF Base continues as the Lobos help celebrate the KAFB 50th Anniversary in support of the 7th Annual Memorial Bombardier Reunion.
Early fund raising efforts involved the donation of a truck and automobile badly in need of repair and refurbishing, projects that provided early testing of the group’s skills and participation. The vehicles were quickly completed and sold, developing proceeds that enabled the purchase of a used Air Force Van from the New Mexico State Salvage Yard for use as a PX vehicle.
In 1988 the first 50/50 cash raffle was introduced and has met its goal for 14 straight years. In 1995 the winning $1000 grand prize was a ticket purchased by a Lobo on behalf of the Gulf Coast Wing B-17, Texas Raiders.
Every fund raising effort has met its goal enabling the purchase of a zero time engine, center section rebuild, wing rebuild, canopy, and all needs of the PT-26 restoration project and enabled successful hosting of all CAF B-29/B24 visits by providing fuel, oil, crew lodging and transportation.
The completed PT-26 aircraft restoration is being campaigned throughout the area and members are continually seen at air shows and other events across the country.