Aircraft Becomes Historic Place


Well, if they’re going to charge property tax it might as well be a “place,” and Indiana’s Historic Preservation Review Board has apparently found sufficient ground to deem “Hot Stuff” — a very rare Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon — worthy of the National and State of Indiana Historic Registers. The aircraft may now be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the group that maintains the aircraft, an honor normally reserved for historic homes, buildings or neighborhoods. The Lockheed PV-2 operated by the Indianapolis based American Military Heritage Foundation Inc. (AMHF) is thought to be one of only two currently in flying condition and the AMHF believes Hot Stuff is fit for the honor. PV-2s served during WWII as submarine hunters along the eastern seaboard and in the South Pacific. They were also used in the Empire Express bombing raids launched from the Aleutians after the Japanese occupation there (spring of 1942 to June 1943), which targeted the Japanese-held Kurile Islands, according to the AMHF. “Hot Stuff” served in an Empire Express squadron and served in the reserves but never saw combat as she was delivered to the Nave in March of 1945. Purdue graduate Ralph Johnson later saved the aircraft when he purchased a fleet as surplus from the Navy and redeployed the aircraft as crop dusters. As a flying aircraft, Hot Stuff will be making public appearances.

The aircraft will be on display at the 13th annual Indianapolis Air Show, June 5-7 at Mt. Comfort Airport. Anyone interested in becoming an AMHF supporter/member and volunteer may contact Penny Litz at (760) 835-7529, or go to