• 86°

Restoration continues for ‘Jet’ mascot at James Clemens

MADISON – Students and volunteers continue to restore a retired aircraft to stand proud eventually as “Jet,” the official mascot of James Clemens High School.

After work is completed, “Jet” will be mounted on a pedestal in the roundabout on James Clemens’ campus. “We’re trying to get the public and students interested in finishing this fascinating project,” retired Maj. Rez Linen said. Linen is serving as project coordinator for jet restoration and works as James Clemens Junior ROTC Director.

Madison Board of Education approved an agreement to receive the Grumman TF-9J Cougar aircraft from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla. School officials and James Clemens JROTC negotiated the aircraft’s transfer to the Madison campus.

The jet is on permanent loan from the Navy. Currently, the plane is in storage at a Madison facility.

The two-seat Cougar trainer jet flew combat missions during the Vietnam War from aircraft carriers. The aircraft served as the Navy’s advanced flight trainer for 20-plus years. Only about eight Cougars remain in existence.

The Cougar once flew as part of the Navy’s elite demonstration flying team, The Blue Angels.

Designers used the earlier F9F Panther as a model for the Cougar. They replaced the Panther’s straight wing with a more modern swept wing. The Cougar first flew on April 4, 1956, and remained in service longer than any other variants.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Marines used at least four Cougars as forward air control aircraft, particularly with U.S. Marines Headquarters and Maintenance Squadrons at Da Nang and Chu Lai. The military phased out the last Cougar in February 1974.

James Clemens workers are restoring the Cougar in phases. “The aircraft will be restored in a presentable manner using proper maintenance standards,” Linen said. “A courtyard with brick pavers will surround and support the aircraft as it sits upon a steel mount. Floodlights are planned to illuminate this landmark fixture for the community.”

PPG Aerospace is donating paint and primer systems.

“Volunteers include folks with aviation backgrounds, as well as no aviation experience,” Linen said. “Each volunteer brings a special skill to the effort. Some members have fundraising experience; some have teaching experience.”

“The thread that binds the volunteers together is the desire to give something back to the community. They (are) involved in a piece of local history that will become a landmark for the school and surrounding community for decades to come,” Linen said.

Linen encourages anyone to volunteer with or donate for the restoration. “Your money will help pay for sheet metal repair, needed hardware, aircraft transportation, tools, supplies, storage and other expenses,” he said.

Bob Jones High School

“Where It Belongs”- The Bob Jones Patriots Earn Baseball State Championship

James Clemens High School

Liberty’s Shravan Balaji wins ‘Best of Fair Award’ in regional science fair

Events

Trash Pandas hosting Elvis tribute night contest on May 21

James Clemens High School

French, Latin students at James Clemens excel in testing

Harvest

Enable Madison County announces needed asset at event

James Clemens High School

Koswoski awarded Department of Alabama’s ‘VFW Scout of the Year’

James Clemens High School

Lilliann Markowitz achieves top rank in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Sea Cadets

Bob Jones High School

Madison’s JROTC cadets challenged in Rocket City Rivalry Day

James Clemens High School

McDaniel, Stundtner, Vaughn and Woodard earn national grants

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – May 15, 2024

Madison

Bob Jones bests Central-Phenix City in opening game of State Championship

Bob Jones bests Central-Phenix City in opening game of State Championship

Harvest

TARCOG’s Senior Fun Fest moves to Agribition Center at Alabama A&M University

Bob Jones High School

Heavyweight Baseball- Bob Jones To Play For State Championship

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones holds off James Clemens in epic Final Four series to reach state final

Bob Jones holds off James Clemens in epic Final Four series to reach state final

Huntsville

Huntsville crews continue to assess damage and clear debris following strong storms

Bob Jones High School

Chess league to host Summer Camp in June

Madison

American Legion to honor Gold Star families on Memorial Day

James Clemens High School

Dr. Kerry Donaldson honored as ‘Alabama PTA Principal of the Year’

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones Jazz Band to play at Jazz Brunch at Madison Senior Center

Harvest

Madison Lions’ air filtration helps Village of Promise, Second Mile

James Clemens High School

Jets audio/visual students ace state, head to nationals

James Clemens High School

James Clemens, Liberty reach finals in Science Bowl

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – May 8, 2024

Bob Jones High School

City Rivalry Like Never Before: Baseball Playoffs- Bob Jones vs. James Clemens- A “Hatfields and the McCoys” Local Battle

x