COANG Brig. Gen. Jerome Limoge first to see Yugoslavian MiG 21 display

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. B. Kevin Coulter
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
Colorado's Assistant Adjutant General for the Colorado Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. Jerome Limoge II, was given the honor of being the first visitor to see Slovenia's newest addition to the Park of Military History in Pivka, Slovenia.

The curators of the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Dr. Martin Premk and Matjaz Ravbar, could barely contain their excitement that something big had arrived earlier in the morning.

A Yugoslavian MiG-21 "Fishbed" was being bolted into its permanent display cradles, and after a quick tour of the museum the General would become the first visitor to see it.

The museum has an extensive collection of American and Soviet tanks, German arms and Yugoslavian produced hardware. Slovenia's first helicopter is on display - the one that was acquired by two defecting pilots leaving a crumbling Yugoslavia. There's even a sabateur mini-submarine on display, curiously out of place overlooking a wooded Slovenia valley.

The curators' pride of the exhibits and depth of knowledge inspired the General to remark that they were like walking technical manuals - but much more easy to understand.
After a few hours, word was sent that the MiG-21 was ready. The tour proceeded to the new building that is still under construction to see the newest arrival.

Painted in Yugoslavian colors, the MiG-21's paint was so fresh, the masking tape and paper were left on the wings. The paint on the pedestals was unscratched and dust free. Only a few tools and a ladder shared the enormous empty space with the fighter.

Limoge surprised and delighted his hosts by citing a few obscure facts about the airplane. Then the tour ended with the General presenting the POW/MIA flag to The Park of Military History, Pivka, Slovenia, on behalf of the Colorado Air National Guard.

Designed by Newt Heisley, a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the flag was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1990, and caries the distinction of being the only flag other than the Flag of the United States to have flown over the White House.

Thanking his guides, Limoge invited the curators to visit Colorado where he would give them a tour around the Colorado Air National Guard's F-16s. Not missing a beat, both were quick to ask if one could be sent to the museum.