HONOLULU — Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has added an F-16A Fighting Falcon (serial number 80-0498) to its collection of modern jet fighters with a dedication Sept. 27, 2017, in Hangar 79.
The museum received the F-16 on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force in July 2016, and since that time, it has undergone restoration in the Pacific Aviation Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop.
The arrival of the F-16 was made possible by a donation from United States Air Force (USAF) veteran and philanthropist Dr. Lawrence Tseu and his late wife, BoHing Chan Tseu, of Honolulu.Tseu’s donation was made in honor of retired USAF General Gary North, who served as Commander, Pacific Air Forces and Executive Director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu.
“I first met General North in 2012 at the Carole Kai Annual Great Aloha Run VIP Military Dinner in Hawaii,” said Tseu. “Carole Kai gave me the honor and privilege of sitting next to General North. We had a good laugh when I told General North he wasn’t even born when I entered the U.S. Air Force in 1951. He was so kind to invite me to be his guest at his head table for the Annual Air Force Ball. Because of his extreme kindness, I promised myself that some day I would do something really unique to honor General North’s heroism, achievements and friendship by creating a legacy for him in Hawaii. Providing the funds to bring an F-16 to the museum not only provides me with a great opportunity to help the Pacific Aviation Museum, but also keeps the promise I made to myself to honor this great American hero.”
“It is an honor to introduce the F-16 at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor,” said Museum Executive Director of Operations Kenneth DeHoff. “This is another famous supersonic fighter jet built in the mid-70s. It is still one of the most maneuverable and versatile aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory. In 1991, Lt. Col. Gary North shot down an Iraqi MiG-25 in Iraq’s southern no-fly-zone with an AIM-120A missile, marking the first beyond-visual-range kill and the first combat air-to-air victory for the F-16 Falcon. We are thrilled to honor General North and thankful for Dr. Tseu’s donation and long term support of the museum.”
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is on historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Visitors to the museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79.