Grounded at Parkersburg Airport, aka Stewarts Field
In the years following the Civil War, towns throughout America requisitioned for relics to display in remembrance of the conflict. It was in the manner than Parkersburg received "Long Tom", the siege cannon that guards City Park.
The same scenario existed following WWII. The plane shown in the photo was purchased by the town of Elizabeth as a "war trophy", to be placed on the high school campus.
At the time of the plane's arrival the only field it was capable of landing upon was Stewart's Field, now the site of Grand Central Mall in Vienna.
An item in the February 5, 1946, edition of The (Parkersburg) Sentinel indicated that Elizabeth had a major problem - how to move the plane! The highway department had offered to move the plane on a low trailer, but even with the wings folded up, the plane was about a foot too wide to be moved on the then sixteen foot wide roads. The plane was also too wide to take advantage of a second proposal, moving it up the Little Kanawha River by barge.
Though Elizabeth town officials considered a third proposal of dismantling the plane, the cost and fear that the Navy Department wouldn't permit it jinxed plan number three.
It was reported that the townspeople of Elizabeth were planning a gala reception for the fighter plane. Unfortunately, the plane never made it to Elizabeth. According to stories heard by Paul Borelli, of Artcraft Studio, the plane reportedly remained at the Vienna airfield until it was of no value to anyone.
(Taken from Vol. 21, No. 2, Apr-May-June, 2014 edition.)