BuNo 153524, N245CF - TA-4J Collings Foundation

The Collings Foundation



Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.


  • "The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501-C3), founded in 1979. The purpose of the Foundation is to organize and support "living history" events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation. The original focus of the Foundation was transportation-related events such as antique car rallies, hill climbs, carriage and sleigh rides, along with a winter ice-cutting festival. During the mid-eighties, these activities were broadened to include aviation-related events such as air shows, barnstorming, historical reunions, and joint museum displays" The Collings Foundation



  • N245CF - TA-4J BuNo 153524, former Marine and Navy Test Pilot School aircraft.

Home Base(s):

  • Houston TX


  • The Collings Foundation is proud to announce that it has completed the acceptance of a McDonnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk from the US Navy. Known for its widespread use as a Navy and Marine combat jet in Vietnam, the Skyhawk is the fourth Vietnam-era aircraft operated and exhibited by the Collings Foundation in its Vietnam Memorial Flight. As a non-profit 501-C3 educational organization, the Collings Foundation plans to operate the TA-4 as a piece of "living history". It will be the only A-4 Skyhawk variant flying at air shows and special events nation-wide. Such a display together with the veterans who flew and supported the aircraft provides for a level of interaction with and an understanding of the airplane and its missions, far surpassing what a statically displayed plane can provide. The mission of preserving living history has been the focal point of the Foundation since its founding in 1979 and it encompasses 21 historically significant aircraft. Included are the F-4 Phantom, UH-1E Huey, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, F4U Corsair, A-36 Apache, and the only flying B-24 Liberator in the world. There are currently more Vietnam Era veterans alive than WWII veterans. The Foundation believes that it is time to say "thank you" to a generation of military personnel who have not been properly honored for the sacrifices they made over thirty years ago. By flying and displaying a TA-4 at special events across the nation, the Foundation will pay tribute to those who served and will educate younger generations about this important part in our American history. The Collings Foundation began its "Vietnam Memorial Flight" with its F-4D Phantom, a multi-use fighter plane flown by the Navy, Air Force, and Marines in Vietnam. The Collings Foundation is the only civilian organization in the United States authorized to own and fly a Phantom. In addition to the TA-4, the program for 2003 will expand to include its UH-1E Huey helicopter and S2F anti-submarine and patrol aircraft. As Foundation Founder Bob Collings notes, "We are honored and privileged to be able to share our Vietnam Memorial Flight aircraft with the public. The Skyhawk not only had a celebrated career, but a very distinguished group of pilots who flew them, including GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, Senator John McCain, Congressman Duke Cunningham, Astronaut Pete Conrad, and many more notable Navy and Marine Aviators. Of course, it goes without saying that any successful operation requires the team work of pilots, ground support, logistics, communication, and many other personnel." The TA-4 is a dual-control version of the A-4 Skyhawk that was used to train pilots. It also served in combat as a Forward Air Control aircraft with the Marines, directing the fire of other jets in the combat area against enemy targets. The aircraft will be restored to flight-worthy condition over the next few months before it is flown across America and shared with millions. For more information please call 978-562-9182 or visit www.collingsfoundation.org where there are photos and additional information.
  • The Collings Foundation’s TA-4J Skyhawk is available for air shows.
  • If you are interested in flying "IN" the Skyhawk, an unforgettable Flight Training Program is offered. (standard pilots license and 3rd class physical required). Contact Rick Harris with questions: 281-961-1062.
  • 24 APR 2006: 153524 N524CF Seen flying at Willow Run Airport
  • 05 AUG 2006: 153524 N524CF Seen flying at Willow Run Airport dressed as Marine "Playboy" TM-08.

Unit Photos

JUL 1989: Patuxent River Skyhawk BuNo 153524, parked on the ramp.
Pic 2
Gary Verver Collection

AMARC Munzenmaier Photo 10 OCT 2000.
22 OCT 2004: BuNo 153524 undergoing return to flight / phase inspections, soon slated for engine runs and FCF.
Collings Foundation

22 OCT 2004: BuNo 153524 undergoing return to flight / phase inspections, soon slated for engine runs and FCF.
Collings Foundation

JAN 2005: right front view of Collings Foundation Skyhawk BuNo 153524 taxiing by the photographer as she heads to Midland for painting. Up front is LCDR (retd) Jimmy "Swampy" Marshall and in the back cockpit is Capt.Bert Zeller USNR.
Rick Harris - Collings Foundation

Unit Photos


APR 2005: Collings Foundation Skyhawk BuNo 153524 being repainted in the markings of the H&MS-11 Playboys, TM-08.
Collings Foundation

MAY 2005: BuNo.153524 restored with a new paint job.
Collings Foundation

BuNo.153524 in the air.
Collings Foundation

BuNo.153524 in the air.
Collings Foundation

BuNo.153524 on the flight line.
Collings Foundation

NOV 2005: BuNo.153524 at the Blue Angel's Homecoming Show
Joe Turpen

  Date Unknown:
Collings Foundation BuNo 153524 in-flight, date unknown.
Photographer unknown, provided by Texomajack

AUG 2006:
Collins Foundation TA-4F BuNo 153524, AUG 2006.
Photographer unknown, from Gary Verver Collection.

According to Rick Harris ... I believe this shot of TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153524
was taken by Mike Gallagher at the Chanute Museum airshow, probably 2007.
Photo by Mike Gallagher. and Collings Foundation.

JUL 2009:
Dressed as "Playboy" TM-08, BuNo 153524 in-flight at Ellington TX.
Collings Foundation Photos from Michael Eberhardt

Nov 2009: "This is a flying TA-4J owned by the Collings Foundation. I took this picture at the Houston Airshow 11/09."
Ed "Howdy" Shipley

2011: He says: "Yes, I love her".

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