Igor Bozinovski reveals the truth about how a US T-33 jet ended up parked outside a castle in the former Communist state of Albania
Gjirokastër is a city in Albania on the highway connecting the Greek city of Ioannina and the Albanian capital Tirana. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town”.
Important for our story, however, is the Gjirokastër Castle. It is believed to date back as far as the fourth century, dominates the town and overlooks the strategically important route along the Drino river valley.
Now a tourist attraction, the castle grounds also houses the National Weapons Museum featuring various weapons but also a United States-made jet plane – a USAF Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star (or T-Bird) two-seat subsonic jet plane (tactical identification number 14413; c/n 580-5708).