The history of the 1949 Tinnerman Trophy winner and third place Thompson Trophy winner # 57

       In 1949 Cook Cleland's inventory of F2G's, was back up to three machines with the addition of BuNo88458.
          (One of five F2G-1's produced)  It was tested and evaluated at NATC Patuxent River, MD. Flight tests determined
            the carburetor air scoop needed to be extended. A special "camel back"  scoop was installed and proved effective.
          * Note, Rodney Williams was able to determine the BU number for race # 57 in conversation with Harry Doan &
  Cook Cleland on March 29, 1987.

               #57 side as 458.JPG (427368 bytes)
                     (David Evans)
                   # 57 ( 458 ) on arrival in Cleveland

                              Cleland turned #57 over to Ben McKillen who would prepare it for the National Air Races. McKillen  did not modify
                              the plane but chose a very distinctive paint color scheme. He also painted three of the propeller blades black and
                              one white, which gave the illusion of the engine turning slowly. McKillen entered #57 in the Tinnerman Trophy Race
                 and won first place.

              Ben&Tinnerman.JPG (145482 bytes)
                                                                       Bill Meixner collection)                                                           
                  Tinnerman Trophy presented to Ben McKillen

                       Cleland was looking for a 1-2-3 Thompson Trophy sweep with his F2G's, but when Becker's # 74  blew the
                    prop  gear  reduction  box  during qualifying,  he  was  out of the Thompson.  On Labor Day Sept. 5th., the
                          Cleland-McKillen team won first and third place. Ron Puckett won second place in another F2G.Unfortunately,
                         this would be the last Cleveland National Air Race.

                    (Wes Hansen collection)
                  One the most colorful of the ’49 Thompson Trophy
                  racers, # 57 just before the start of the race.

             In the summer of 1950 Cook Cleland presented an air show at his Euclid Rd. Airport  in Willoughby, OH. 
            To  please  the crowd  Cleland flew an aerobatics demonstration in # 57, this performance was perhaps
               the last time # 57 rose into the air until it was restored by Bob Odegaard.

           ( Chuck Hughes)
Cook Cleland landing # 57 during his 1950 Air Show

                 1949 – 1954 #57 sat outside at the Euclid Rd. Airport deteriorating from weather and vandals.

               (Wes Hansen collection)
Outdoor storage at Cleland’s airport, Willoughby, OH

               1954 - 1962 The F2G was towed to Joe Loecy's machine shop in Chardon OH for storage..

           Being towed to Chardon OH

             1964 – 1968 During the summer of 1964 Cleland who was stationed at a Naval Station in Alaska, wanted to
         mount an attempt on the world propeller driven, land plane speed record in #57. An "angel" was found to
              sponsor the attempt. The President of the Martin Decker Corp. wanted to be the sponsor. Dick Becker and
          Chuck Toman disassembled the aircraft and placed it on a railroad flat car for shipment to Pottstown, PA
         for a rebuild. The Decker Corp.  short of funds,  stored it out doors. It continued  to deteriorate  and  the
             Corporation finally went into bankruptcy.

    1968 – 1984 John Trainor, an airline pilot and part time race pilot living in New Hampshire purchased
     the remains of # 57 with plans of a static restoration. It was stored out of sight awaiting restoration.
        John was killed in a crash of his Mustang. John’s widow sold the craft to Harry Doan of S. Daytona FL

    (Doug Logan)
      Stored outdoors in New Hampshire

        (Doug Logan)
       Stored outdoors in New Hampshire

            1984 – 1990 Harry Doan started restoration in on # 57. Sometime later Doan was killed in the crash of a
             Skyraider. Doan’s wife sold the aircraft to Don Knapp of Miami, FL. Knapp shipped the aircraft to Texas
           for rebuild but was killed in the crash of his Mustang at an air show. The aircraft was transferred to the
             Lone Star Museum collection.

                 1990 – 1994 Lone Star Museum started restoration of  the air frame and repair of spar corrosion. Sometime
               later  the  museum decided  to  sell  it's Corsair collection. # 57 was sold to Greg Morris of Hugoton, KS.

      1996  # 57 was acquired by Robert Odegaard, of Kindred, ND, and restoration was started.

(Bob Odegaard)
# 57 being rebuilt by Bob Odegaard in 1998

              1999-- Bob Odegaard flew the restored F2G 50 years, almost to the day,
after it won third place in the Thompson Trophy.


(Photo: Courtesy of Bob Odegaard)
Copyright 1999

         1999-- Reno Championship Air Races, Bob flew # 57 to Reno where it
  won the Rolls-Royce Trophy for restorations.

(John Garrett)
# 57 at Reno


            ( Photo courtesy of Larry Perkins chief pilot)
         Race No 57 Now owned by Ron Pratte and
         is currently based at Chandler Arizona.


                      (Photo courtesy of Larry Perkins Chief Pilot)
                  Aircraft has just been repainted 

            Larry Perkins flew No 57 over to San Diego and
            John Ford sent us these great images he shot.

     (John Ford)

          (John Ford)



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