06/30/2011. Manufactured in 1945 under the USN BuNo. 66302, this aircraft was transferred to the USCG and used for SAR and weather reconnaissance missions, designated P4Y-2G. To be disposed of in August 1958 at NAS Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA the airplane was instead purchased by Ace Smelting Inc, Phoenix, Arizona. In 1959 it was converted into an aerial tanker and 1,700 hp Curtiss-Wright R-2600-35 Cyclones replaced the original 1,350 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94 Twin Wasp radials. The aircraft gained its CofA on May 26, 1959.
It was acquired by Mel Christler and Morris Avery and registered as N2871G to Christler-Avery Aviation at South Big Horn County Airport, Greybull, Wyoming. After Christler and Avery set up their individual businesses, the aircraft stayed with Avery Aviation at Greybull, listed as tanker number A20, B21, and A23. Avery passed away in 1969 and the assets of Avery Aviation were bought by Dan Hawkins and Gene Powers. N2871G served with Hawkins and Powers Aviation at Greybull as tanker number 121 until all
P4Y-2s were withdrawn from service in 2003.
The aircraft was auctioned in 2006 and acquired by 4Y-2 LLC, of Phoenix, to whom it was registered on January 10, 2008. Since 2009 the aircraft is flown in the US air show circuit by pilots Woody Grantham and Bob West. Above the tanker number 121 is written: "Protecting our environment since 1943".