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9/11 First Responder Fighter Aircraft To Be Sent To Museum


December 15, 2010 – In an unprecedented opportunity The Pacific Coast Air Museum has been awarded the honor of providing the home for a historic national treasure the very first aircraft to respond on the scene to the World Trade Center twin towers attack in New York City on September 11, 2001.


On Tuesday the F-15 “First Responder” was flown down to Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa, California were it will be the centerpiece of an interactive, educational exhibit at the Pacific Coast Air Museum.


The aircraft has been officially awarded to the museum by the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Now, an aggressive fund-raising effort to build a befitting exhibit is under way to raise $250,000.00.
        The exhibit will honor those who perished and those who responded in a valiant effort to save lives, as well as educate visitors and tell the untold story of heroism in the skies and on the ground that day. The museum is proud to be the West Coast destination for the public to learn about what many call our generation’s Pearl Harbor.


On September 11th 2001, two U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 101st Fighter Squadron, 102nd Fighter Wing, Otis Air National Guard Base (ANGB) Massachusetts were scrambled by NORAD in response to commercial airliners being hijacked and used as weapons to attack the World Trade Center in New York City.


This armed patrol was this nation’s first airborne response to the terrorist attacks of that day arriving over Manhattan only moments after the World Trade Center was struck. The sight of these F-15s over New York City was the show of strength New Yorkers on the ground needed to see in their darkest hour.


Owing its heritage to the Massachusetts Minutemen, the 102nd Fighter Wing has been in continuous service since 1921, and the tail flash for this wing includes the Minuteman, the very symbol of the citizen soldier. On May 22, 2002 a Joint Resolution was passed by the Congress of the United States recognizing the members of the 102nd FW for their actions on September 11th, 2001.
        One of those historic “First Responder” F-15 Eagles was retired to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson Arizona on July 31st after nearly thirty years of service. This is the 102nd Fighter Wing Commander’s aircraft, serial number 77-0102 and was the lead aircraft that responded from the alert shelters at Otis ANGB on that fateful day.


    This aircraft lead the United States response in the sky over New York City, and developed, in the air, the air defense plan for New York City, Washington DC, and the east coast of the United States.


The exhibit at the Pacific Coast Air Museum will honor those who perished and those who responded in a valiant effort to save lives, as well as tell the untold story of the heroism in the skies and on the ground that day by the U.S. Air Force and FAA 

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