FXOM / Maritime #900 / Hicks & Lawrence #18 / Bu# 69325

Warbird Registry Info.

Early History

United States Navy. TBM-3U. Construction #: 2064.
U.S. Forestry Service, Davis, CA. #04. Registered as N104Z 1956-1961.
Aero Insect Control Inc, Rio Grande, NJ. Re-registered as N1044.

N104Z was one of eight TBM-3Us given to the US Forest Service by the Navy in 1956 for borate bomber development. Three images of this TBM were found in the FPL image collection; FPL’s Barney Flieger undoubtedly obtained them from the USFS in his search for a replacement for the Stearman aircraft.

[Sources: images: FPL files; history: W.T. Larkins & R. Turner 2011. Wings of the Forest Service. Warbirds International, Vol. 30 (1): 6-19]

TBM-3U U. S. Forest Service N104Z Bill Larkins Navy 69325 freshly overhauled at Norfolk and delivered to the Forest Service for evaluation as a fire fighting air tanker. This photo was taken at Concord, California, on December 22, 1956 before the tests had begun.

TBM-3U U.S. Forest Service N104Z Bill Larkins. Navy 69325 freshly overhauled at Norfolk and delivered to the Forest Service for evaluation as a fire fighting air tanker. This photo was taken at Concord, California, on December 22, 1956 before the tests had begun.

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US Forestry Service #04 N104Z performing a demo retardant drop.

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US Forestry Service #04 N104Z.

Maritime Air Service Ltd., Moncton, NB
#900 CF-XOM 1969-70

Aerial spray program – NB
1969 – Pilot Steve Tomecek. 1970 – Pilot J.J. Lavigne.

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Maritime Air Service FXOM at McEwen’s Field, near Moncton, NB, 11 August 1970. Yellow with red trim. [Barrie MacLeod]

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The Pink (pointers) – Rabbit (TBMs) team at Juniper airstrip, 1970. Maritime Air Service TBM #911 FXON is in front, with MAS TBM #900 FXOM at rear. The tail of the other member of the team, Wheeler FIMW #506, can be seen at far right. L to R: Joe Gagne (Cessna #1 pilot), Doug Johnson (pointer #1), Dave Scott (pointer #2), Jim Thompson (Cessna #2 pilot), Claude Marcoux (Lead TBM FIMW pilot), John Lavigne (#3 TBM FXON pilot), Barry Paton (#2 TBM FXOM pilot).

Hicks & Lawrence Ltd, St. Thomas, Ontario #18 CF-XOM 1971-1985

Aerial spray program
1973 – Assigned as a spare in 1973, pilot Martindale, but flew after the crashes of FZTS and FAYL. 1974, 1975, 1977 – Pilot Mereien. 1978 – Pilot Germain. 1979 – Pilots Germaine and Martindale. 1980 – Pilot Martindale. 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 – Pilot Brechin. 1985 – Sold to buyer in US. Deleted from Canadian Civil Aircraft Registry 13 November 1985.

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H&L TBMs #18 FXOM (rear) and #1 FBEG, Dunphy, 1979.

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H&L #18 FXOM in the pits, Brockway, NB, June 1981.

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H&L TBM #18 parked at St. Thomas, Ontario, September 1981.

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H&L #18 FXOM, now painted orange-yellow, parked beside #1 FBEG, Dunphy, June 1984.

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FXOM, June 1985, at Abbottsford, BC. [John Stewart, via Jay Sherlock, Scalefirebombers]

H&L TBM#18, probably at Sevogle, NB, in 1982. Dave Ray image.

For the longest time I thought this was Stewart Avenger #67A. I wrote to pilot/owner Walt Bumgarner, who said it wasn’t one of his. Later I realized that the image was flipped horizontally and that it was H&L’s TBM #18. Taken by Dave Ray sometime in the early 1980s, location not recorded, but probably Sevogle, NB.

Post-spray History

Syracuse Flying Service, Syracuse, KS, Oct. 1985-1988. Registered as N325GT.
Jack Rodgers/Stallion Aircraft Inc, Bensenville, IL, Aug. 1989-1995. Operated by Air Classics Aircraft Museum, DuPage, IL, 1995-1997.
Brian Reynolds/Northwest Helicopters Inc, Olympic Flight Museum, Olympia, WA, Nov. 1997-2002. Flown as Navy/T-88/U.S.S. Wolverine/NAS Glenview. FPL donated some of the above images to this museum where they were used in displays.
Darrel Berry, Camden, TN, November 17, 2011-2014.

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