T33 #53-05004 is in England City Park, named in honor of LTC John England. England was born in Caruthersville in 1923 and died at Toul, France in 1954. Evidently, LTC England experienced engine failure in his jet fighter and elected to "ride it in" to the only open area available in order to be sure of avoiding highly populated areas around the air field. He was killed in the crash.
Colonel England had been a WW II ace and received numerous decorations including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with 14 clusters, and the French Croix de Guerre. He was credited with 19 downed German fighters. He was Missouri's leading Air Ace.
In the early 1980's the plane had been vandalized and suffered from graffiti and paint damage. Young Marc DeReign, as an Eagle Scout project, organized an effort to completely repaint the plane. Youth and adults from Boy Scout Troop 92 spent many hours, under his direction, removing old paint. The Air Force supplied new paint, decals, and a new canopy.
Revised: Thursday November 03, 2005