Navy Fighters Abandoned In Bush
While military aircraft boneyards are nothing new, the YouTube display of the hulks of some ex-Navy fighters in an undeveloped area of Temple, Texas, may be causing some concerns at the Pentagon. A video has emerged of the scattered remains of two F-14 Tomcats and an F-4 Phantom. The aircraft have been stripped of just about everything that can be carried away but exactly how they ended up on private property is the subject of much online speculation. According to a Google Earth image, there is a scrap metal dealer nearby but the aircraft parts are not in their yard.
The F-4 was a gate guard at NAS Dallas in Grand Prairie, according to Navy records, but the F-14s are a little more mysterious, given the history of the type’s decommissioning. When the Tomcats were retired in 2006, the Pentagon ordered them cut up so parts didn’t end up on the black market and find their way to Iran, a former U.S. ally that still operates F-14s. The size of trees growing up through the various components suggests they’ve been there for decades.