F-86E Saber     50-646
June 22, 1951

75th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Presque Isle Air Force Base
1Lt. Leonard Levin Jr. had recently returned from a combat tour flying F-80s in Korea and was transitioning to F86E aircraft. He was one of two 75th FIS pilots scheduled for night transition flights and both took off around 8:30 PM to seperate areas of local airspace assigned to them. At 8:40, the Operations Officer from their sister squadron, the 74th FIS, spotted Lt. Levin below him at about 15,000 feet and proceeded to "bounce" him. A brief simulated air combat ensued that ended when Levin executed a split S at 10,000 and the other pilot lost sight of him in the twilight. A short time later, the 74th pilot realized that Levin was on his tail. He executed a maximum rate turn and maneuvered onto Levin's tail. Lt. Levin again executed a split S manuever at less than 6000 feet and was unable to recover in time. The aircraft crashed into a heavily wooded area in a large fireball killing Lt. Levin instantly.
A typical Maine cedar swamp. I had been on numerous hikes over 3 years while working in the area looking for this site. My witness put the crash site a little too far south, in a different swamp. One evening in 2010, I searched this swamp solo, after a different witness indicated that the crash site was a quarter mile north of the brook.
After a pass through the swamp with no wreckage spotted, I found the remains of an old hunting camp with F-86 parts in the camp dump! I knew I was close. Appearantly, hunters lugged parts back to the camp over the years.
While cutting back through the swamp towards my truck, I locate the first piece of wreckage at the actual crash site- this section of cockpit floor. Bent canopy rail embedded in the swamp floor.
.50 caliber ammunition bay 60 years later, the shade of the swamp has preserved markings on it.
Engine mount
Engine brace
Some of the many sections of fuselage skin at the site. Many still have clear markings.
Nose gun port sections
Main landing gear tire
Oxygen bottle
Engine compressor section
Engine combustion chamber section
Engine shroud
Engine shaft
Pieces of wing skin scattered throughout the swamp
Upper portion of the ejection seat back
Ejection seat rail
Me holding the armored plate back for the ejection seat. Rest in peace Lt. Levin!
Ejection seat base pan
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