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U.S. Air Force jet now owned by City of Alexandria and Alexandria Airport

Ownership of the jet was transferred from the Alexandria American Legion Post 87 on Aug. 8.

Jet plane at Alexandria Airport
Owen Miller of American Legion Post 87 in Alexandria, left, shakes hands with Kreg Anderson, Alexandria Airport manager, in a ceremony transferring the ownership of the T-33 training jet from the Korean War to the City of Alexandria and the airport on Aug. 8. Also present were community members and members of the city council and American Legion. The American Legion brought the jet to the airport 30 years ago this past July.
Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA — If you've ever been to the Alexandria Airport or at least driven by it on Aga Drive, you've probably seen the U.S. Air Force jet just inside the entrance.

The Korean War-era T-33 "Shooting Star" jet was moved to Alexandria from Underwood back in 1992. A sign placed at the base of the post reads, "Dedicated to the men and women who served in the Air Services of the United States by the American Legion Post 87, August 9, 1992."

On Aug. 8, 2022, the ownership of the T-33 jet was transferred from the American Legion Post 87 to the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Airport.

The Shooting Star hasn't always been displayed in Alexandria. It was on display beginning in February 1983 in the yard of the Otter VFW Post 874 near Otter Tail Lake, according to an article in the Battle Lake Review. It was trucked in from the Minneapolis Air Force base at the Metropolitan Airport after being in an Arizona salvage yard for 10 years.

In March of 1992, at a special meeting of the Airport Commissioners, Bill Haskins, representing the American Legion Post 87 in Alexandria, made a request. In information provided by Owen Miller with the American Legion Post 87, it stated: "The American Legion has the opportunity to get the T33 aircraft...the craft is in excellent condition."

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Haskins was requesting permission from the Airport Commission to relocate the jet to the grounds of the Alexandria Airport. He said that all costs with moving and setup would be paid for by the Legion. The Otter Tail VFW was closing and wanted the jet moved as soon as possible.

On March 23, 1992, a letter to the commander of the Alexandria Legion from Joe McKinney, chief of the Aircraft Disposition Office with the Department of Air Force in Arizona, was sent congratulating the Alexandria American Legion for its acquisition of the T-33 jet. In his letter, McKinney said, "I am confident that it will serve as an outstanding memorial to the American Legion Post 87 and the United States Air Force."

The jet, now owned by the city of Alexandria, will remain in its current location at the Alexandria Airport.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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