Just outside of Buffalo Wyoming, at the tiny Johnson County Airport, two vintage WWII war birds sit, almost forgotten.

You will see these planes close up in the video below.

The PV2 Harpoon was a WWII patrol bomber that was used for anti-shipping operations, primarily in the Aleutian Islands. Currently there are only three airworthy Harpoons in the world. 

These two planes never made it to see combat. They were built just as the war was ending. Not much is known about where they were sent after that. All that is known is that they made their way around the United States doing various jobs until they eventually arrived in Wyoming.

#39, which you see above, on the right, was fitted to dump water for fire suppression. The other served some role in agriculture. That is about all that is known about these old sisters.

Some how the Vintage Aviation Museum found out about these abandon planes and made an offer to buy them. Some folks might wonder why anyone would want any airplane that had been sitting out in the elements of Wyoming for 20 years. But machines that were built to take a beating in war, have what it takes to survive the worst that Wyoming has to throw at it.

I called the museum and learned that one might stay in Wyoming, continuing as a fire suppressor, and the other will be restored to it's old glory, nose-art and all.

To do this, the museum needs a little help. Funds need to be raised. Sponsorships are available. Visit the museum website to find out more.

NOTE FROM Sean O'Brien - Vintage Aviation Museum: The Harpoon known as tanker 39 was a former fire bomber. Once returned to flight she along with the other Harpoon will be leaving Wyoming.  The Harpoon known as tanker 39 will likely remain in her fire bomber markings as a tribute to all of those who have and still do fight forest and wildland fires. She has not flown as a fire bomber in many years and her days of flying as a fire bomber are over. She will not return to fire bombing duty.

Both aircraft have been sitting for awhile and preparations are being made to wake them up and fly them out. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization and any donations to help with the return to flight will be greatly appreciated. These aircraft are pieces of history and we feel it is important for them to fly again as flying tributes for many to see.

The new owners of these planes and the Johnson County Airport were good enough to allow me and a couple of friends to get close to shoot pictures and take video. I sent many pictures, not seen here, to the Vintage Aviation Museum to give them a closer look at what sort of repairs they are looking at.

VIDEO OF OUR CLOSE UP LOOK IS BELOW.

 

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