The aircraft arriving at Davis-Monthan following WWII were those
that had seen little or, in some cases, no service and were still
considered militarily viable during time of war. Many aircraft,
both in the European and Pacific theaters never returned from
their forward bases. They were seen as completely surplus.
Many were burned or pushed overboard to save the cost of
returning them to the U.S. Entire squadrons of Lockheed P-38
Lightnings and Grumman F-6F Hellcats met their fates as a
result of this approach to aircraft disposal. Ironically, the
burning of surplus aircraft, particularly in Europe, took place at
the hands of ex-German soldiers working for the provisional
U.S. governing authority at the time. What the German war
machine could not shoot down, the U.S. now paid to have
unilaterally burned to the ground–a sad ending to some proud
war veteran aircraft.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an EAF meeting at this aircraft Valhalla? I know they organize tours there, at least when I was there 10 years ago.