Mid America Flight Museum Acquires Grumman Duck

Mid America Flight Museum_1939 Grumman Duck

Scott Glover’s Mid America Flight Museum has just secured a truly historic aircraft for their collection, the magnificently restored Grumman J2F-4 Duck Bu.1649. This Duck was present at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, and flew search and rescue operations following the attack.

According to the Mid America Flight Museum Facebook page, this is a shot of the Duck while on service in Hawaii. (image via Mid America Flight Museum)
According to the Mid America Flight Museum Facebook page, this is a shot of the Duck while on service in Hawaii. (image via Mid America Flight Museum)
Another image reportedly showing the Duck in formation with other examples in Hawaii. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
Another image reportedly showing the Duck in formation with other examples in Hawaii. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)

Glover purchased the beautiful amphibian from long-time owner, Chuck Greenhill, and has spent the past several days ferrying the aircraft in stages from Kenosha, Wisconsin to her new home in Mount Pleasant, Texas. It has been an epic journey for both Glover and his friend Matt Bongers. They finally arrived home on September 6th.

Chuck Greenhill (right) and Scott Glover stand beside the Grumman Duck in Kenosha, Wisconsin prior to her departure for the Mid American Flight Museum in Texas. (photo via Scott Glover)
Chuck Greenhill (right) and Scott Glover stand beside the Grumman Duck in Kenosha, Wisconsin prior to her departure for the Mid American Flight Museum in Texas. (photo via Scott Glover)
The Duck on its way to its new home. (photo by Matt Bongers in the support aircraft)
The Duck on its way to its new home. (photo by Matt Bongers in the support aircraft)
The Duck about to leave Jefferson City, MO on one of her many hops to Mount Pleasant, Texas. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
The Duck about to leave Jefferson City, MO as seen from the support plane on one of their many hops to Mount Pleasant, Texas. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
A view from the journey... (photo by Scott Glover)
A view from the journey… (photo by Scott Glover)

Scott Glover’s new prize first joined the U.S. Navy in December, 1939 and served right through the war. Jack Hardwick bought the Duck from the War Assets Administration in 1947, placing her on the civil register as N63850. While owned by William Patterson, the aircraft suffered a crash landing on Lake Killarney near Nassau in the Bahamas in 1955. The aircraft sank, and lay abandoned underwater until 1991 when William Floten and Kevin Hooey salvaged the wreck and shipped it to Miami for storage while searching for more components to mount a rebuild effort.

The Grumman Duck being hoisted aboard a ship bound for Miami following its recovery in the Bahamas. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
The Grumman Duck being hoisted aboard a ship bound for Miami following its recovery in the Bahamas. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
The Grumman Duck's heavily corroded engine after recovery. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)
The Grumman Duck’s heavily corroded engine after recovery. (photo via Mid America Flight Museum)

David Arnold purchased the project in 1997 and had it moved to Wichita, Kansas for restoration, but this never took place. Chuck Greenhill acquired the Duck soon after in October, 1998 and he contracted Wichita Air Services to conduct the restoration with parts from another wreck recovered in Alaska. The aircraft flew again for the first time on May 27th, 2005, wearing her original wartime markings. She went on to win Grand Champion at Oshkosh in 2007! While the aircraft apparently had just 51 post-restoration hours on it at time of purchase, it has obviously added significantly to that recently. Glover expects to fly the Duck regularly for the public in the years to come, and it will be wonderful to see this rare type (one of just three currently airworthy examples) on the air show circuit helping to tell the story of WWII from the unusual perspective of an actual Pearl Harbor survivor. Congratulations to all involved!

WarbirdsNews would like to thank Scott Glover, Matt Bongers and the Mid America Flight Museum for their images and help with details in this article.

2 Comments

    • Indeed… I am sure we will be seeing more of the beautiful aircraft before too long. It sounds like she is in great hands!

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