Tunison Foundation, Inc.
C-45 Twin Beech

  Like many old aeroplanes N42C has had a colorful life serving for the US Army Air Force, US Navy, Department of Agriculture and various civilian owners. She was built by Beechcraft in Wichita, KS with serial number 4942 in December 1943.

U.S. Army Air Force

She was delivered as an AT-11 to the USAAF on 16 December 1943 at Big Springs Bombardier Training School, TX. She was given the USAAF number 42-37645 and spent the war with training flights. An accident was recored at on 9 July 1944 at Pecos AAF, TX when part of the 2509th AAF Base Unit (Bombardier School) in a landing accident involving a ground loop.

U.S. Navy

After the war she was transferred to the US Navy as a SNB-1 on 8 Feb 1946, given the BuNumber of 67297 and placed in storage in Pasco, WA.

In October she was moved to NAS Corpus Christi for reconditioning. With Reconditioning completed on 15 Jan 194 her Navy career included:
  • NAAS St. Simon Jan to Mar 1947
  • CIC School, Glenview, Apr 1947 to Mar 1948
  • NATTU Glenview, Apr to Aug 1948
  • Remanufactured by Beech to SNB-5 (same BuNo 67297) new Beech c/n N-371) delivered in July 49.
  • FASRON 7 San Diego, Jan 1950 1951
  • O&R Buaer M&S Pensacola, 16 Dec 1951 to 24 Apr 1952
  • NART St Louis, 27 Apr 1952 to Feb 1954
  • Litchfield Park storage, 14 May 1954 to 29 Nov 1955
  • O&R Buaer FA Pensacola, 5 Dec 1955 to 14 Mar 1956 with 1,307 hrs total time
  • FASRON 5 Oceana, 28 Feb 1957 to 30 Oct 1958
  • O&R Buaer Mamp;&S Pensacola, 5 Jan 1959 – 18 Jul 1959.
  • Litchfield Park storage, 19 Jul 1959 to 22 Feb 1962 with 1,405 hrs TT.
  • O&R Buweps FR Pensacola, 23 Feb 1962 to 30 Apr 1962.
  • 5th Naval District Norfolk, 1 May 1962 to 28 Feb 1965 with 2,382 hrs TT.
  • Redesignated TC-45J on 18 Sep 1962 & then UC-45J on 14 Oct 1964.
  • Loaned to US Dept of Agriculture, Mission, TX, 5 Jun 1965.
  • Temporary civil Certificate of Airworthiness issued to the Bureau of Naval Weapons, Washington, DC and civil regegistration 16 Jun 1965 as UC-45J N2809J
  • Listed in Jan 1970 FAA Civil Aircraft Registry as "Bureau Naval Weapons, Wash DC"
  • US Navy, Mission, TX listed as registrant in USCAR, Jan 1972 and Jan 1973
  • Struck from USN records as transferred to Dept of Agriculture, 7 Jan 1974 after thirty years of service.

Department of Agricuture

She was registred as a Department of Agriculture plane on 13 Feb 1975. With the Department of Agriculture she was part of the APHIS Screw worm Eradication Program based out of Mission, TX. A photograph exists of her at Moore Field, Mission, TX with USDA insignias on 27 Dec 1979. Then she was sold off and appeared at the Colorado Suprlus Property Agency, Denver, CO as of 8 April 1981. The FAA marks N2809J as "sale reported" Denver, CO on 23 May 1981.

Private Ownership

She was next spotted, still with "US Dept" painted on her in Roswell, NM in August 1984. Then she was registered as N439EW by Vernon R. Ohmert of Roswell, NM (who had lived near never in 1981 and owned at least two other Twin Beeches).

After Vernon she was sold to Carolyn L. Krissman of Roosevelt, UT on 19 Sept 1987 and had a agricultural sprying system installed or a few months of 1988. There is a record of the C-45 being owned by Cedar Valley Aviation, Cedar Valley, UT from 10 Aug 1988 to 1990.

The next owner, from 11 May 1999 to 1992 was John E. Shelton of Arokas, CA who reported years later on a forum that, "I bought this airplane as a junker jump plane in Provo, UT and restored it after a rough flight home over gross with spare parts. It has been a sprayer, too, and smelled of malathion. Dozens of coats of paint to strip. Polished aluminum. Leather and wool interior in muted grays and gray/green. Cargo floor beneath wool carpet. Found all the original high density seating. New panel. A few adventures with Zodiacs aboard. A trip to Mexico. Sold it. Happy it's making someone happy."

Three more records come to light. Sundale Aviation, Erwinna, Pa from 1 July 1992 until 1995, then sold to Bruce R. Stevenson on 20 July 1995 and then owned by Northern Pacific Management, Portland, OR in Nov 1998.

Nicholas Tramotano/Aries Aviation and Development Co. of Brookview, CT bought the C-45 on 28 Dec 1998 and changed the registration number to N42C. By now N42 had a polished aluminum finish and was soon seen at airshows around the US. Nick was a close friend of Tunison Foundation president Eric Zipkin and assested Eric and James flying our C-47 "Placid Lassie". Nick was tragically killed in the crash of P-51D "Big Beautiful Doll" in Feburary 2016.

The next chapter in N42C's career was being purchased by Eric Zipkin in 2016 and donated to the Tunison Foudation in 2017.


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