Historic Markers Across Georgia

Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star

Marker ID:  
Location: on Cannon Rd near the visitors center in the Veterans Memorial Park, US 280 west of Cordele, GA.
County: Crisp
Coordinates: N 31° 58.063    W 083° 54.728
  31.96771666    -83.91213333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WM8YTX
Lockheed  T-33 Shooting Star Marker  


Because of the terrible attrition of early fighter jets and their pilots, the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation set out in 1948 to modify their F-80 Shooting Star into a jet trainer. Using their own funds, the Lockheed design team lengthened the fuselage to make room for a second seat and fully equipped cockpit and installed a 7-foot clamshell-type canopy. The fuselage fuel tank was reduced in size and armament was reduced to two .50 caliber machine guns. Impressed with the characteristics of the aircraft, the Air Force started awarding contracts in April 1948.

In 1949 the new trainer was designated as the T-33A in Air Force service and the T-33B, or T-2V, in Navy and Marine service. The engine was a 5400 lb. static thrust Alison J-33-A-35 turbojet. The only major design change was the addition of Fletcher wing tip tanks for extra fuel. For pilot training, students received 500 hours of ground instruction followed by 100 hours of basic flying training. The pilot was then trained for 75 hours in the T-33A before instruction on their own fighter aircraft. 5,691 T-33s were manufactured until August 1959.

The T-33A served as the Air Force's principle advanced trainer for three decades. It is estimated that some 90% of the free world's jet pilots trained on the T-33 during the 1950s and 1960s. Familiarly known as the "T-bird", the T-33A was replaced by the Cessna T-37, but was still widely used by the Air Force well into the 1970s.


Lockheed  T-33 Shooting Star


This T-33A was manufactured by Lockheed aircraft and delivered to the Air Force on July 30, 1952. The jet was assigned to Pensacola Air Force Base, Florida, as part of the 3540th and 4240th flying training wings from 1954 10 1957. It was stationed at Tyndall AFB Florida, as part of the 3625th FTW. In 1958 the jet was moved to Lackland AFB, Texas, and assigned to the 3700th military instruction wing. In 1961 the aircraft was assigned to Kelly AFB, Texas, to finish out its career. On July 1962 this T-33A was dropped from inventory as surplus.

Veterans Memorial State Park
Vintage and Warbird Aircraft