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Gene Strine
Mid Atlantic Air Museum

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Gene Strine is the vice-president of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum (MAAM). During World War II, he served in the US Navy after completing aviation machinist mate school, flight engineer and gunnery school at Jacksonville, Florida. He was transferred to squadron VP-74 at Floyd Bennett Field in New York flying anti-submarine and convoy coverage in the North Atlantic. His squadron was transferred several times as it operated along eastern coast extending to South America, Panama and the Galapagos Islands.

Recovery of a Black Widow
After seeing photos of a crashed, but intact "Black Widow" in 1979, his second great adventure in life was his recovery and ongoing restoration of P-61B Black Widow 43-39445. Gene learned about the plane from a friend at an airshow, who described a P-61 crashed in the mountains, and had faint photographs of the plane - xeroxes of another traveler' pictures.  From this lead, he launched an expedition to locate and recover this wreck.

The museum's restoration shop is filled with pieces of the P-61 "Black Widow". The story of the plane encompasses a history that began when it crash landed into the Cyclops Mountains near Hollandia (today, know as Jayapura), in West Papua, on January 10, 1945. Only three P-61's are in museums today. The MAAM's is then the fourth black widow know to exist in the world. The others are: (1) Fragments in China from a plane that crash landed there. (2) P-61C 43-8353 displayed at the USAF Museum (3) Smithsonian's Paul Garber Facilty in long term storage.

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