Only six of the original forty Douglas A-26s that were rebuilt for service in Vietnam as B-26Ks by On Mark Corporation, Van Nuys CA survive since the war in Southeast Asia. Five have succumbed to age/metal fatigue and have been retired to static museum displays. The last Counter Invader to come off of the On Mark production line in 1965 (sn 64-17679), is the last flying Counter Invader in world today!
Affectionately named “Special K,” “IF 679” is truly a special plane with a very special mission in its future!
The Sons and Daughters of the “Nimrods” have partnered with the Greatest Generation Aircraft , a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational foundation, to restore “IF 679” and fly her as a memorial to the aircrews who gave their lives so selflessly during America’s "Secret Air War" in Laos during the 1960s. “Special K” will be dedicated to these heroic USAF Air Commandos; and, shared with air show visitors nationwide in a tailored educational forum designed to raise public awareness of the Nimrods’ service to our country as well as the history of their plane that served this nation so faithfully through three wars … WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Our mission, Operation Final Flight, is dependent upon financial support from people and corporations like yourselves who believe as we do that aviation history should be kept alive in the sky above us for our future generation’s education and enjoyment ... not just "preserved" in obscure, isolated museums for only a few to see. This historic plane is the Final A-26 produced, the world’s Final flying Counter Invader, and will be preserved and flown in honor of the aircrews who have taken their Final flights. We wish to afford the public (particularly our Nation's children) the opportunity to see, hear, touch and feel this magnificent aircraft in its natural aerial environment: a sensory educational experience that cannot be presented in a better format!
Our 2013 funding goal of $250,000 will complete the restoration of the aircraft to its original production condition. Ongoing operating expenses will be supported by our air show appearances and future philanthropic donations. Demand for our presence has already been expressed by air show directors at Oshkosh, the Indianapolis Air Show, and Thunder over Michigan … and requests continue to flow in!
There are many ways you can contribute to Operation Final Flight … and … The A-26 Legacy Foundation offers numerous options to add value to your donation. All contributions are tax-deductible as the Organization is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) non-profit charity . Therefore, donations may be tax deductible and eligible for employer matching funds, if applicable. Consult your tax adviser for more information. To verify the most current and official IRS status of The A-26 Legacy Foundation, click on the link above, enter the exact text “A-26 Legacy Foundation,” under “Organization,” and select the “All the words” option. Donations may be made through cash, check or money order ... or MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover through our secure website. And by contributing today ... you can double the impact of your support in conjunction with the generous matching fund program afforded by our sponsor, TWH Foundation, Portsmouth NH. TWH is matching every dollar donated up to an aggregate of $75,000.00 as a public challenge to aid in the rebuild/restoration of IF 679's Pratt and Whitney R2800 engines!
Let’s keep “Special K” Flying! The Nimrod credo is "Any Time .... Any Place." Please join me and my fellow Legacies of these brave USAF Air Commandos in our effort to preserve this historical treasue for America's future generations. We welcome our forthcoming opportunities to meet with you at our air show appearances near your homes; and to sharing the "unsung" tales of our fathers' heroic service to this Nation during America's "Secret War" in Southeast Asia.
Thank you for your support of this noble mission!