Military plane could once again be on display in Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Military plane could once again be on display in Biloxi

The city hopes to move this F-104 to Hwy. 90 at White Avenue. (Photo source: City of Biloxi) The city hopes to move this F-104 to Hwy. 90 at White Avenue. (Photo source: City of Biloxi)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Years ago, an U.S. Air Force jet sat in the median of Hwy. 90 in Biloxi, welcoming visitors to the area and reminding them of the city's strong ties to the military. Now, if Mayor Fofo Gillich gets his way, another military plane will once again grace Biloxi's highway.

The plane being considered is a decommissioned 1956 F-104 jet that is currently on display at Keesler Air Force Base. The city is hoping to get the aircraft on loan as part of the National Museum of the Air Force's static display program. Gillich is also asking the Mississippi Highway Commission for approval of the relocation.

A resolution written by Mayor Gillich -- a self-proclaimed fan of all things "Old Biloxi" -- says the jet "would serve as a symbol of the city's support of Keesler and commemorate the 76 year relationship between the city and Keesler." It also says the aircraft would be used to help educate local residents and the Gulf Coast's million of visitors about the Keesler mission.

"For many years previous, Biloxi displayed a jet very near this same location," says Gillich in a separate letter to the Air Force's National Museum. "That jet and others the city also displayed on the beachfront highway for decades were lost over time to natural disasters."

In a letter supporting the city's request, Col. Michelle Edmondson of Keesler's 81st Training Wing says, "The partnership between Keesler and Biloxi is unlike any other I have seen in my 25 years of service, and this static display would only further benefit our relationship."

If approved, the new plane would takes up its old location on the highway near White Avenue. The city says it will reconstruct the existing fountain at that location to allow for the training jet to be displayed.

Gillich will present his written resolution to the city council at their meeting on Tuesday. 

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