53-7885 VC-121E U.S. Air Force

1954 Delivered to 1254th ATG
1954 Christened “Columbine III”
1961 Assigned to 1254th ATW Andrews
1969 Assigned to 89th MAW (SM) Andrews
1966 Stored Davis Monthan
1966 Retired at Dayton-Wright Patterson
today Exhibit in the Presidential Aircraft Hangar


The pilot, Lt Colonel William Grafton Draper in front of Air Force One 53-7885 Columbine III VC-121E Super Constellation. Draper was the personal pilot for General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, between 1950 and 1952 and later served as President Eisenhower’s personal pilot of Columbine III, the predecessor of what we now call “Air Force One” until 1961.

On November 26, 1964, he committed suicide, reportedly depressed after a heart attack ended his service as a pilot, which he had been continuously since he was 19.

Constellation Details:

Variant: VC-121E/1049B-55-97

Construction Number:4151
Registration Number:53-7885
Photographer / Collection: Zoggavia

Image Number: ZA47166

Photo Date: 29 May 1958

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