Early F-86D Sabre Dogs

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The release of Monogram's 1/48 F-86D has brought about a great deal of interest in 1950s interceptors. Below are some examples from the F-86D/L Colors & Markings CD-ROM reviewed elsewhere in this issue. A special ALPS-printed decal sheet is available for a limited time containing several of the planes illustrated below. An asterisk (*) next to the title denotes those on the decal sheet. For ordering information, please e-mail me.

F-86D-35-NA, 51-8407*
2nd FIS, 4709th ADW
McGuire AFB, New Jersey

This F-86D carries the 4709th Air Defense Wing markings on the tail consisting of six white stars on a red band. The 2nd FIS unit emblem is on the fuselage sides, with a lightning bolt running through the normal winged horse emblem. The motto "Second To None" was not carried.

F-86D-35-NA, 51-6160
75th FIS, 4709th ADW
Suffolk County AFB, New York

A sharkmouthed F-86D (sharkmouths also seen on Pennsylvania ANG, Yugoslavia, 498th FIS & 520th FIS Sabre Dogs), this one also carries the tail markings of the 4709th Defense Wing in addition to the 75th FIS emblem on the fuselage. Three red fuselage stripes most likely denote the squadron commander. The sharkmouth carefully avoids both the buzz number and the rescue panel outline.

F-86D-25-NA, 51-5900
94th FIS, 27th AD
George AFB, California

The 94th FIS flew the Sabre Dog for several years and went through three different schemes, with this being the first style. The aircraft has the tail finished in blue and white, both the vertical and horizontal surfaces receiving similar treatment. The 94th "Hat in the Ring" emblem is on the tail. The rest of the plane is in standard USAF markings of the time, with the buzz number on the nose and a small U.S. AIR FORCE on the fuselage sides. Interestingly, the serial number is located near the top of the fin, rather than the more typical lower location. Another oddity of this plane, not seen in the profile, is the upper wings. The left upper wing has the typical application of the star and bar. The right upper wing steps away from normalcy by having "U.S. AIR FORCE" written on it instead of the more standard "USAF". It is uncertain whether this is repeated on the lower left wing or not.

F-86D-30-NA, 51-5936*
465th FIS
McChord AFB, Washington

This profile is based off of a photo showing this plane departing McChord AFB, Washington on an alert intercept mission. The tail markings, like many Sabre Dogs, incorporates lightning bolts (perhaps because of the radar mission?). The tail is painted yellow, with the bolts in red. The rest of the markings are standard USAF.

F-86D-20-NA, 51-3056
IWS, Tyndall AFB, Florida

This F-86D was flown out of Tyndall AFB, Florida, as part of the Interceptor Weapons School. F-86D pilots were trained in performing intercepts and firing rockets at the range at Tyndall. The initial testing performed here by the IWS helped make the F-86D a strong performer in the interceptor role.

F-86D-5-NA, 50-509*
Ames Research Facility

The Ames Research Facility received several F-86Ds to participate in several studies, most involving aerodynamics research. It is believed that all of the NACA F-86Ds were finished similarly to this one, with an orange tail tipped with the yellow and black NACA band. The word TEST was printed in large letters on the fuselage in black.

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