AMARG: America's Military Aircraft Boneyard by Nicholas Veronico and Ron Strong

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

AMARG: America's Military Aircraft Boneyard is the story of the aircraft storage and salvage facility at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tuson, AZ. The book provides the technical details of preparing aircraft for storage.  "Storage" implies possible reuse, and yes, many aircraft have been recycled for reuse. However, the majority of aircraft entering the facility become feedstock for metals recycling as aviation technology progresses. Occasionally, a last-of-a-kind aircraft escapes the scrap pile and makes its way to an air museum, somewhere in this country.

The book is a pictorial history of the aircraft storage and salvage facility -- from the end of World War II to the present. The facility also played a part in nuclear disarmament when a treaty specified certified evidence of destruction of numerous B-52 strategic bombers. The allotted aircraft were chopped into five recognizable pieces and the pieces were left in the open for satellite surveillance.

"AMARG: America's Military Aircraft Boneyard" is a recommended read for anyone interested in aviation history and the technical aspects of aircraft storage. Modelers and preservationists will find the book rewarding with aircraft detail.

Reviewed by: John R. R. Faulkner (2010)

Author's Synopsis

This country's largest military aircraft storage center began in the heady days following the end of World War II. At first only a small desert site holding bombers and transports in reserve for possible future use, it later became more of a salvage and parts recovery operation, and in many cases, a final resting place known as "the boneyard." In the 1950s and 1960s, with new wars erupting in Korea and Vietnam, certain aircraft stored in this desert center were once again in demand, and this famed storage and salvage facility in Tucson, Arizona, answered the call. Numerous photographs taken both from the air and on the ground show vistas of the 4,000 total airplanes stored at this site, while a detailed appendix gives a comprehensive listing of all the aircraft types currently at AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group). In many cases, the numbers are quite staggering and are sure to surprise the reader.