The Crossville City Council in their regular meeting this Tuesday night (March 9, 2021) is expected to renew a loan agreement with the U.S. Air Force for “Miss Nettie.” This has to be done yearly.
The T-33 training aircraft was loaned to the City of Crossville for display at Cumberland County High School by the U.S. Air Force. “Miss Nettie” has served as the mascot for the school since Crossville, Pleasant Hill and Homestead high schools consolidated and became CCHS.
Part of the contract agreement states “Miss Nettie” be kept at her “historically correct painting schemes” and that has taken place in the past with the plane being restored.
The jet was originally brought to CCHS through the help of a high school cheerleader, Nettie Stevens. At the building dedication ceremony for Cumberland County High School in 1962, U.S. Senator Albert Gore Sr. served as the speaker. Following his speech, Stevens approached Gore asking him if he could possibly find a jet for the school. The T-33 training aircraft was officially loaned to the city in 1964 and dedicated as the school’s mascot. Miss Nettie was originally set up in front of the gym.
A second aircraft, a A-4F Skyhawk II Blue Angels plane, is now in front of the school. CCHS alumni Curt Watson was instrumental in bringing it to the school.
In 1952, Douglas designer Ed Heinemann proposed the Navy’s newest attack plane be smaller, lighter, and faster than others. Starting in 1956, the Skyhawk flew with Navy and Marine units, including flying combat missions during the Vietnam War. The Skyhawk had one of the longest production runs of any American combat aircraft, with 2,960 built over 26 years. It would later be part of the iconic planes of the Blue Angels in the 1980’s.
The Skyhawk in front of Cumberland County High School is there courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.