One-way Ticket to Turkey

Above photo courtesy of Mike Kaehler. This is what he wrote along with it:

“Here is the last photo I took of 104891 with Capt. Niemi. I had just finished doing the ‘last chance’ check on that aircraft and it was taxiing for take-off from the opposite end of the runway. This was the last 104 to take off on the last deployment sending 104s to Turkey from Italy. I worked in the J-79 engine test cell and was sent on the final deployment to Gioia Del Colle to launch the last Canadian CF-104s to Turkey. Capt. Niemi flew the last 104 out of Gioia Del Colle. He flew 104891 and departed at 11:16 on 7 May 1986. I along with Bob Johnson did the final ‘last chance’ check on his aircraft before he took off. We all watched this last 104 take off and he did something no one expected. He stayed low, built up speed then zoomed and rolled the aircraft with full external fuel tanks. We all cheered.”

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