F-86 jet leaves Centennial Park to return home to the Tennessee Air National Guard at Berry Field
Aircraft’s 56-year presence marks a memorable page in park history
Centennial Park’s iconic F-86 L Sabre Jet will leave the park on Monday, November 27 to return to its home at the Tennessee Air National Guard at Berry Field.
The 118th Wing of the Guard was instrumental in arranging the lease and working with Mayor Ben West and Councilman Charles Bramwell to bring the jet to the park in 1961. The Parks Board paid $1,000 to move it from the airport to the park, where it initially served as play equipment for children. In 1981, it was moved from the northwest section of the park to its present site. It was placed on a stand by the 118th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard, which also repaired and refurbished it for display purposes only.
The 118th approached Metro Parks several months ago expressing their desire to bring the jet back to the airbase at Berry Field. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, which owns the aircraft, agreed to a transfer of the lease. Relocation of the jet is consistent with the Centennial Park Master Plan. The 118th is the best possible steward of this important piece of local history. The aircraft will remain in Nashville.
- WHO: 118th Wing Tennessee Air National Guard, Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation
- WHAT: The dismantling of the beloved F-86 jet in preparation for its return to Berry Field.
- WHEN: Approximately 11:30 a.m., Monday, November 27, 2017
- WHERE: Centennial Park, 2500 West End Avenue, Across from HCA Building 2, near the locomotive and event shelter
About Metro Parks
It is the mission of Metro Parks to equitably provide everyone in Nashville with an inviting and sustainable network of parks and greenways that offer health, wellness and quality of life through recreation, conservation and community. The department oversees nearly 16,000 acres of open space, including 185 parks and 86 miles of greenway.
About 118th Wing Air National Guard
Today the unit is known as the 118th Wing, formerly the 118th Airlift Wing. The Wing has missions in Intelligence and Cyber. Roots of the 105th Airlift Squadron (105AS) and the 118th Airlift Wing (118AW) reach to World War I when the 105th Aero Squadron of the American Expeditionary Force was formed at Kelly Field, Texas in 1917. After the war, in 1919, veterans of the 105th Aero Squadron residing in the Nashville area gathered for the purpose of organizing an air element of the Tennessee National Guard.