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Report in Barbados: N4610 Departed U.S. from Air Force Base in North Carolina

This just in from the Daily Nation in Barbados [Extremely slow server. Give the link time]:

A UNITED STATES registered plane at the centre of controversy after being detained on Monday with 64 suspected mercenaries aboard by the Zimbabwean government did stop at Grantley Adams International Airport last Saturday morning.

Informed sources told the DAILY NATION yesterday that the aircraft, a Boeing 727 (100 series), with registration number N4610, landed in Barbados shortly after midnight for refuelling before leaving around 6:30 a.m.

Sources also indicated that the aircraft, which Zimbabwean officials alleged also carried military equipment, had arrived from the Hope Air Force Base in North Carolina, United States, before its stop-over in Barbados.

Further reports stated that the plane, originally a commercial PanAm Airways aircraft up until a week ago, was being operated by the American Air Force, but international Press reports stated it had been sold to a South African company.

The plane was detained by Zimbabwean security officials after its owners made a false declaration of its cargo and crew at Harare's main airport.

I think they probably mean Pope Air Force Base.

We'll discount their discussion of the plane's provenance, which is a bit garbled, and presume their information about its itinerary comes from local records.

Another question for the next White House Press conference: Did flight N4610 depart the U.S. from Hope Air Force Base in North Carolina?

ONE MINOR FUSSY POINT: If you've been following my attempts to track down all the Boeing C-22Bs, you know that I have had a little bit of a hard time tracking down exactly how many there were. I thought I'd cut it down to four, but this photo of a C-22B, on the web site of the U. S. Air Force, clearly shows a plane with a number just beyond the sequence I was researching: the 34618 indicates a serial number 83-4618 associated with an original tail number N4618. Interesting.

(On an extremely speculative note, an anonymous commentor apparently on the scene at Wonderboom Airport in South Africa claims that there is a second 727 at Wonderboom. He implies that it is also of U.S. military provenance.)