James J. Stegman
1920 - 2009Born Aug 23, 1920, in Offerle, Kansas. He was the 6th son of 18 children. In 1940, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a Private. As he worked up in rank to Sergeant, he also was sent to pilot school. He received his wings in 1943. A few months later, he was sent to the South Pacific for 14 months duty in World War II flying dive bombers. In 1951, he was recalled to active duty in Korea where he flew missions in jets for 10 months and attained the rank of Major. In 1955, he became a civilian and was hired by Douglas Aircraft in 1958 and assigned him to Palmdale Plant 42 as Chief Production Test Pilot. He was there for 21 years until the last of the A-4 Skyhawk's was rolled out, and retired in 1982. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Lodge #2516 local, Moose Lodge #1926, VFW #3000, American Legion #311, and the Society of Experimential Test Pilots.
General InformationLeft Panel
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Corp.
(Later McDonnell Douglas Corporation)
Production Period: 1955 to 1979
Number Produced: 2,960
Production Series: USN/USMC: A-4A, B, C, E, F, & M single-seat A/C, TA-4F, J & OA-4M two-seat A/C
Roles: Originally designed as a carrier-based fair-weather light-attack bomber for the US Navy; later developed into a carrier- and land-based all-weather multi-mission aircraft for the US Navy and US Marine Corps, capable of close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, short-range strike, fleet defense, reconnaissance, forward air control, and advanced jet trainer.
Performance and Specifications
(Figures given are for the A-4M model)
Maximum Speed: 700 mph (Mach 0.94)
Service Ceiling: 40,000 feet above sea level
Range: 2,000 miles (unlimited with aerial refueling)
Weapons: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-12 Bullpup, AGM-45 Shrike, Walleye guided bomb, two 20mm MK 12 cannons, various unguided rockets, assorted conventional and nuclear weapons
Length: 40 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 27 feet, 6 inches
Height: 15 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 25,500 pounds
Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408 turbojet engine providing 11,200 lbs. of thrust
Achievments: Established the 500-KM closed course speed record at 695.163 mph in October 1955; operated by the USN Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team
A/C SN145067Right Panel:
Construction # - 12313
Date Acquired: - March 2001
Acquired From: - USN China Lake, Loan
Displayed: - August 2004
31 March 1959 - BAR M&S - El Segundo, CA
18 January 1960 - BWR RDT&E - El Segundo, CA
21 April 1961 - USNMC RDT&E - NAS Point Mugu, CA
27 December 1967 - USNMC R&T - NAS Point Mugu, CA
10 March 1969 - NAS R&T - NAS Point Mugu, CA and was used as a Research and Development aircraft
03 April 1971 - Relocated to China Lake - was stricken from the inventory on May 10, 1971 and was used as a target.
Date Unknown - Transferred to Ridgecrest Museum
Date Unknown - A/C returned to China Lake after the museum closed
March 2001 - Transferred to Palmdale Airpark and placed on display in 2004.
This Aircraft is dedicated to Major James Stegman.