T-33 Shooting Star
The T-33 Shooting Star (T-Bird), designed by Lockheed to help pilots transition to jet aircraft, made its first flight in March 1948. A slightly longer version of America's first jet fighter plane, the Lockheed T-Bird was manufactured in 1959. The T-Bird on display in Helena, No. 51-8965, entered service in March 1953 at Wichita Air Force Base, Kansas. After service in Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, it was assigned museum status by the Air Force. It was acquired on loan in the mid-1960s by the Richard L. Kitchens Post No. 41 in Helena.