Historic AC-130H receives new home
link U.S. Air Force photo: Airman 1st Class Chip Slack
A newly retired AC-130H Spectre gunship, aptly named the “Gravedigger,” is towed along the back roads on April 6 at Cannon Air Force Base. The historical aerial asset will be the newest addition to the Air Park, to be memorialized for generations to come.
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
In the early morning light, the streets of Cannon Air Force Base fell silent. Preparations had been made for the front gate to be closed, traffic lights to be removed and all potential obstacles had been planned for accordingly. It’s not every day that a mighty AC-130H Spectre gunship slowly makes its way down Cannon’s major roadway.
In a procession that included crew members, contractors and civil engineers, as well as a handful of excited spectators, the aerial asset safely navigated its way from the flight line. While narrowly missing trees, street signs and fences to its new home, the gunship now stands as a beacon of strength and valor, to greet those entering and departing the base.
With each successful sharp and seemingly impossible turn, a collective sigh of relief was echoed by all involved. The patience and calculated skill of those directing the aircraft, dubbed the “Gravedigger,” was remarkable.
“It’s quite a feat to pull that aircraft from the flightline over here to the airpark, as easily as they did,” said Lt. Col. James Mott, 16th Special Operations Squadron commander. “The maintenance and civil Engineer Airmen made this happen. This was all of their efforts today; I’m just glad I had the privilege to be out here and watch it happen.”
The newly retired AC-130H gunship will stand as a reminder to those stationed at Cannon of the astounding accomplishments achieved by the brave men and women who have served by its side. The gunship’s legacy will remain celebrated and honored for many years to come, as future generations of Air Commandos pass under its watchful eye.