The Fantastic Story of the Rescue and Restoration of F9F-8P 144388
On Static Display: Estrella Aviation Museum of Paso Robles, California

Updated November 27, 2016

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Update: (11/19/16) Ken - The F9F-8P, BuNo 144388 formerly of VFP-62 and now at the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles California has been refurbished to a static display. The 'Cougar' looks beautiful in its new appearance - and happy to say - resplendent in VFP-62 markings. The Estrella group did a fine job in bringing her back to life...Leon Cleaver (non VFP-62 person)..

[Webmaster: Part of what follows was posted to our "Bulletin Board" several years ago. I first received photos of several photo-Cougars deteriorating in a field and the owner, Leon Cleaver, was trying to find a home (and hopefully restoration) for them]

The right picture shows BuNo 144388
For more pictures and chain of custody CLICK (USE BROWSER RETURN KEY TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE)
photos and dates of the 'Cougars' history up to its trip to California--courtesy Leon Cleaver

(7/25/13): Ken,

Here is an update in regards to the 2 VFP-62 F9F-8P Cougars previously mentioned on the "Bulletin Board Archives:" F9F-8P Bu No. 144388 which was purchased by Steve Penning of Windsor, California, and subsequently shipped to Santa Rosa, California, has now been transferred to the Estrella Aviation Museum of Paso Robles, California. It is in the process of a restoration for static display.

F9F-6P Bu. No. 128298, also purchased by Steve, was restored in northern Ohio until sold to Bob Wynn of Foley, Alabama during mid-2011. Bob is working on a cosmetic restoration for an at-home display. Both aircraft had VFP-62 markings when sold.

It is nice to see these historic aircraft being brought back to a respectable representation.
Leon Cleaver, Vermilion, Ohio.

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Created on ... November 28, 2016