The Mohawk Valley B-52 Memorial
The static display B-52G aircraft, "Mohawk Valley" is located at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York. This monument is structurally and historically significant as a Cold War era aircraft. The Mohawk Valley completed several successful combat missions with honor and played a vital role in America’s defense. This airplane represents the men and women of the 416th Bomb Wing "keep’em flying" for over 31 continuous years. To the city of Rome, it is a lasting reminder of the long and prosperous relationship with Griffiss AFB, and remains a symbol pointing with promise toward the future.
Major Bill Penzier made the first landing of the Mohawk Valley on January 12th 1960 at Griffiss AFB just 7 days after the Boeing Aircraft Corporation finished building it in Wichita, Kansas. The name Mohawk Valley was on the plane when it first arrived at Griffiss AFB. During the 31 years of operation it logging in over 12,000 flying hours and was home to Andersen AFB, Guam; Castle AFB, California; and Loring AFB, Main. Finally on May 9th, 1991 Colonel Mike Loughran landed at Griffiss for the last time. The Mohawk Valley was then placed on static display serving as a historical monument and a memorial artifact for all to view. After the announcement in 1993 of the closing and realignment of Griffiss AFB, Henry P. Smith Post #24 started action to gain custody of the Mohawk Valley and to maintain the aircraft for the future and all to view.
Throughout its life there were extensive modifications, inside and out, keeping this aircraft an effective weapon system. The Mohawk Valley flew over most of the worlds oceans, serving with honor in the Vietnam War, trained crews for the Persian Gulf War, and deterred war by standing alert. The nose art "Ultimate Warrior" on the right side along with the mission markings form the Perisian Gulf War symbolize the entire span at Griffiss AFB. Today, the "Mohawk Valley" stands in tribute to all the men and women who dedicated their lives to the defense of our country.
Henry P. Smith Post #24 still maintains the aircraft and established the Mohawk Valley B-52 Memorial at what is now called the Griffiss Business and Technology Park.