Swedish Goose for restoration

AT Malmslätt in central Sweden, volunteers from the Friendship Society of the Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum) recently began restoration work on the museum’s Grumman JRF-5 Goose. It will be restored to represent the sole Goose operated by the Flygvapnet, a JRF-2, which was given the designation Tp 81 in Swedish service between 1951-62.

That machine, c/n 1134, was used on aerial ambulance and light transport duties before being written off in a take-off accident at Hemavan in northern Sweden on 5 April 1962. Parts of the wreck remained in situ until the early 1980s before being scrapped.

JRF-5 Goose BuNo 37810 in the workshop at Malmslätt.

The Flygvapenmuseum example was originally delivered to the US Navy on 8 June 1944 as BuNo 37810. Initially allocated to the Naval Air Station at Santa Ana, that December it was reassigned to utility squadron VJ-3 flying on support duties. In October 1945, 37810 was transported aboard the escort carrier USS Point Cruz to Pearl Harbor for maintenance. During 1947, the Goose was sold off to Ellis Airlines at Ketchikan, Alaska; it went on to be registered NC79901. It moved to warmer climes in 1969, after acquisition by Antilles Air Boats at St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. North Weald-based Aces High bought the aircraft on behalf of the Flygvapenmuseum during 1985 in exchange for two incomplete Douglas AD-4W Skyraiders.

Although the registration G-BMGS was reserved, the Goose never arrived in Britain. Following an eventful ferry flight from St Croix to Burlington, Vermont, the JRF-5 was dismantled and loaded onto a Flygvapnet Lockheed Tp 84 Hercules for transportation to Sweden, arriving at Malmslätt just before Christmas 1985 and going into storage.