Crew Chief Corner

This page contains information and stories from and about the ground and support crews associated with the mission requirements of SAC and the B-47 aircraft. Please feel free to request your experiences be published in this area.

1. The Crew Chief’s Symposium held at the Tucson Reunion.

2. Pictures from the Crew Chiefs Symposium  (click on any photo to enlarge)        (by Gus Letto)

                                Dave Neel, Moderator -*- Crew Chiefs on the panel -*- Jim Diamond’s story

Those in attendance


RAF Brize Norton had four B-47s assigned  for air crews that were assigned to the 7th Air Division to remain proficient in the B-47. The assigned Crew Chiefs were Joe Rosario, Marvin Nelms, Earl Jones and Claude Loveless. They called their four aircraft flight the 7th Air Division Aero Club.  

Brize Norton Base Flight B-47 52-581

Joe Rosario’s B-47 52-581

Marvin Nelms about to fly on 52-581 on a trip to Spain.

Msgt GlassThis above photo is of Msgt. Carl Glass who was known quite well by all in the RAF Brize-Norton maintenance area. He was the NCOIC of the Alert Branch and an Indian from Oklahoma. He ran the section with a firm hand, no exceptions!


The 40th Bomb Wing Maintenance personnel and their wives had their biannual meeting in Branson, MO on Sep.30 to Oct. 3, 2013.  A lot of stories were told and re-told. Most of us came into the USAF in 1953-54 time frame so this was our 60th Anniversary  of getting to know each other.         (Click on each photo to enlarge).

Our entertainment for the last evening was a show by Barbara Fairchild. During the show Bud East told me she had her eye on me as we were sitting right beside the stage. I told him it is you she is looking at and sure enough she came right over and sang to Bud. 


The following 7 pictures are from Wes Bender and were taken at RAF Brize Norton This photo taken while standing on top of the sod covered WWII hanger.A view of the plane undergoing after-flight inspection.Same day different view.POL has arrived with a load of fuel. Appears to be Carterton or Brize Norton village in the background.Looks to be bedded down for the night! Opps!, Wes the optics cover is left open. Yes, the optics cover is open for sure!It sure looks lonely out there all by itself.

530th BS Crew Chiefs; Standing, A2C (Unknown), TSGT Tom Monaghan C/C 2349        A2C Kenny Bloom AC/C 2028, SSGT Wes Bender C/C 2028, A2C Henry Appleby AC/C 2340, A1C Jim Barron PE Spec. Knelling: A1C Parker, SSGT Larry Brahaney C/C 2340, TSGT Harold Lippens, SSGT Ed Gleason C/C 3370 


Crew Chief Bob Stokes at Whiteman AFB going over the Aircraft 781 Forms with the flight crew. Bob would like help identifying this flight crew, any help is appreciated. Picture was taken in 1958 or59. (Click on picture for larger view)






252 thoughts on “Crew Chief Corner”

  1. Hi Jim:
    What a good place for our “Hey Chief. . . . Reunion discussion paper to be placed.

    Sierra Hotel,
    GPO sends!

    1. Hi guys, my name was Sgt. Lewis Cheek, I was at Lake CharlesAFB 1953. 44th PMS as Dock Chief for Periodic Maint.. on B-47s,Left in 1956 to reactivate Homestead AFB in Fla.. 379thPMS.. Left in 1958 to attend OCS. Came back to Lake Charles after the base changed it’s name to Chenault Field in 1958 to go to 68th Bomb Wing,, Maint. Control. and last as crew/chief of Acft. B-47 # 2360 , sending it to the grave yard at Davis Monthan AFB as we were closing out all B-47s at that time in Mid. 1962 After 10 years, 1 Month & 14 days, gave it up to help raise my 6 children,rather than continue on constant deployments.. If anybody recalls those days, it would be nice to hear from you, please reply to Lewis Ray Cheek, 414 w. 5th St. ,Burlington, N.C,

      1. Lewis,
        Any chance you knew my father-in-law TSgt Edgar Stoelting. I believe he was on a RB-47 crew. Dave Gaw Thanks

  2. My favorite plane was 53-1953. It seems when we were scheduled a flight time we were on time almost always. I never understood why we were in a critical field and promotions were frozen. Revelation -then came the B-52. The “broken Arrow” and alert status were a challenge to test your resolve, but sadly I wonder if the new generation of Americas appreciate our efforts. When we were young we were told” work hard, save wisely and plan for the future.

      1. yes I was there from 1953-1963. I was a crew chief when the wing was shut down in 1963. my aircraft tail number was 1946. I have a question in that what did the copilots refueling panel to refuel on the ground look like. I had to use it when we flew out to the other small bases during the Cuban fly out and 4 planes flew out and landed and I had to manually refuel with me and the truck driver to do the job

      2. yes I was there from 1953-1963. I was a crew chief when the wing was shut down in 1963. my aircraft tail number was 1946. I have a question in that what did the copilots refueling panel to refuel on the ground look like. I had to use it when we flew out to the other small bases during the Cuban fly out and 4 planes flew out and landed and I had to manually refuel with me and the truck driver to do the job. Is that you Ben Hines?
        We where at FE Warren AFB?

  3. I was stationed at Dyes A.F.B TX from 1959 thru 1962, Crew chief on B-47E , 341 OMS and then transfer to 96 OMS in DYESS AFB Tx til I finish my four years . work at Enid OK, from 1963 thru 1965, from 1965 thru 1970 work at Sheppard AFB Wichita Falls TX , work on T-37b acft .I retired from the Puerto Rico Air Guard rank, C.M.S 1998. I still live in P.Rico.

    1. Hey Guy. I was with the 341st A&E from Feb 1959 – About May 60 then I cross trained to Nuclear Weapons Tech (331X0) wokring in the assembly/diassembly/inspectiuon section of the 42nd MMS also at Dyess. Left Dyess in April 61 and went to Nouasseur AB, Casablanca Morocco and the “Plant” of 6th MMS. Came back to states in May 62 because all SAC bases were closing in Morocco. Sent to Biggs AFB until Dec ’65 then to March AFB, Calif until I was discharged in Spet ’66. Went back in the reserves in July 74 with 507th TFG at Tinker AFB, OK working F105C/D 74-84, F4C/D 84-94, F16A/Bs 94-96 all flightline weapons. Retired Dec 2000 at Mcalester Army Ammuniton Plant. Mcalester OK as E7 and AFRAT detachment NCOIC for Operations. Gl;ad to see someone else from Dyess during my period. I was beginning to think I was the only one. Good Luck.

      1. Charles “Chuck” DeAndrea 12th Bomb Sq Dyess AFB
        Hey Guys. I was with the 341st from 1956 to 1957 when it was Abilene AFB then renamed Dyess and crewed 51-5227 Then was transferred to Walker AFB in Roswell NM to the 6th Bm Wing 39th Bm Squadron where I served out my enlistment For the last 5 months was head of all ground crews on SAC alert forces at the other end of the field
        Good luck to all who served

      2. Tom Nation, I was a B-47 crew chief in the 379 OMS at Homestead from 1958 – 1961. We had a pilot who I remember as a Lt Col Nation. He had a blue birth mark on his left upper lip. Damn good pilot he was. Was he kin folks?
        Roy J. Curl, MSGT, USAF, Ret
        Warner Robins, GA 31088

      1. Yes, the Wing Commander.
        As a history buff I would also know who your Grandfather was.
        Was in 96th FMS from August 1958 to August 1963. Went on to AECP, then OTS and retired in 1980

      2. Yes, I was in the 96TH A&E, Bomb-Nav unit, under Col Andrus from 1999 to 1961. Great memories!

  4. Stationed at Little Rock AFB early 60*s. First with 70th OMS, they phased out, sent to other end of flight line to 384th Oms, stayed there till they closed out and brought the B58 in. Finally left SAC and transferred to MAC, liked it far better than SAC. CC on C141a , Fine aircraft.

    1. Sandy Sandberg I was stationed at Little Rock AFB from Sept 1955 to July 1962 was in 70th OMS and moved to 384 OMS and then reassigned to 55th SRW at Forbes Kansas. Just missed living in tents at Camp Robinson and moved in to first barracks built at Little Rock AFB.

      1. Good day gents,308th PMS, Hunter from 7/’53 till 9 /55,LRAFB 384 PMS Post Dock (backline) Chief,till discharge 2/11/’57, flying status in ’56 on all test hops out of PMS.We would perform a retraction test out of the docks,checked OK,test hop and get a gear wtite up (ELGE),duplicate the test,check ok.Approached my CO,suggested I fly on test hops,he agreed,went to Schreevesport for Altitude chamber,and started flying (eliminated duplicate retraction tests) I would Elge the gear down.4th man flying was no fun but it kept beer on the table Point of info Jim,Jery Woolderidge and I signed up together,they took my about 2 weeks before Jerry,Friends for life,we used to double date.pre AF. Fred

      2. I was in the 384A&E squadron bomb/navigation. 1955/1961. Also lived at camp Robinson waiting for barrracks to be built . Barracks 744

      3. my name paul Strickland crew chief in 384 bomb wing .i was station there from 1955 to1962

  5. On the listed (Stories), an RB47 land with the nose gear retracted. The crew were featured in the Combat Crew magazine in 1962, (according to the story), then it shows the RB47 in Yokota, Japan 13 months later after repair. In the background are two C141 aircraft. That RB couldnt have been there 13 months later. The Air Force didnt take formally accept the C141 until 1964.

    1. Gerald; While not knowing the exact date the later photo was taken it was about 4 years later as stated in the story, not 13 months as you suggested. Therefor the C-141s were there in the photo. Don Foster was still in the 55th SRW more than 4 years later I’m sure he was aware of the operation of the 55th SRW. Thanks for your input.

      1. I was a crew chief along with Don Foster who was aboard that RB47. I was working flight line when the RB from Forbes had the tanker boom come thru the canopy durning refueling.

  6. Hello, given your extensive knowledge of the B-47 I was hoping that you or one of your colleagues there might know about the B-47 Spotter Recognition scale model? I know Allyn made a desktop model of this aircraft but this model is one piece of monotone acetate/plastic with a clear canopy + it has the smaller hole through the fuselage for a string. The only markings are B-47 and July ’51. It has a 9-3/4″ wingspan and is 10″ long. If anyone has any ideas at all I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts.
    Regards, Gary Goodson

    1. I seam to remember there was a string on the nose of the fuselage in front of the pilots windshield to indicate yaw when coming in for landing.

  7. New to site. Mechanic 1960-63 SAC 509th OMS Pease AFB NH B-47E 51-2480 (Scrapped)
    C/C 1963-65 56th WRS Yokota AFB Japan WB-47E 51-2387 (Wichita KN) Where/when is next get together?

    1. Dan; We will be listing the complete information on the Next Reunion as soon as all information is firmed up. What we have now is that it will be held in Ft Walton Beach, FL – Dates and other info not yet firmed up. Look for the information on the ‘Reunions’ page.

    2. Hi, I am the daughter of Robert L Martin (Bob) I’m looking for anyone that knew my Father. He was a mechanic at Pease AFB in 1961. On Nov 27th 1961 the B-47E he was flying in crashed on approach to Plattsburgh ABF. He was killed. I wasn’t yet 2 years old. Any memories of him would be appreciated.

      1. I was at Pease at that time and remember the crash. Was your father with the 100th or the 509th Bomb Wing? I will try to remember

      2. Dennis Brandt, Thank you for responding to my comment. My father Robert Lee Martin (AKA Bob) was with the 100th Bomb Wing at Pease AFB.

    3. i was in the 100 oms 1962 to 1965 at Pease AFB N.H. asst. crew chief B47E Then to C-130E until 1966 in Tenn.

  8. Great site guys !
    I was a crew chief on F-4Cs at RAF Bentwaters England from 1970-72.
    Only 2 engines to take care of and a lot smaller the B-47. I was surprised how much work it took to load a drag chute in the pictures.
    The B-47 was a beautiful aircraft…..looks like a giant fighter !.
    Sad that they are all gone
    Really enjoyed looking thru this site.

  9. Was it a regular practice for the CC to fly in the B-47 ?
    A few years ago I spoke with a B-52 CC at Oceana NAS who had flown to Oceana in his aircraft.
    CCs did not fly in the F-4, it was strictly against regs, although my CO ( 100 missions over North Vietnam ) ) a Lt Col, used to arrange for the CCs to fly when we were TDY for weapons range time. It was his way of thanking the CCs and also felt that it would inspire them to take better care of the aircraft ! LOL
    He was liked and respected by the men and would sometimes walk out on the flight line to talk with “his” crew chiefs.
    Even took a group of us into the officers club for a few beers once while TDY to Aviano Italy.

    1. John; No the Crew Chief was not a member of the flight crew on the B-47 but most did at times fly with the plane. Normally this was done when a possibility of the B-47 landing at a air base that normally was not used by B-47s. It also allowed the Crew Chief to be on hazardous duty pay to compensate for the extra duty of traveling with the plane and extra hours maintaining the aircraft as well and the extra pay was helpful as well. To maintain this pay you had to fly at least 4 hours a month, but at times it greatly exceeded that. It was boring duty to fly where you could only see outside by looking straight up as the seat for the 4th crew member was located along side the co-pilots feet just above the cockpit entry door.

      1. Thanks Jim….at least in the back seat of the F-4 we had a great view. While TDY at Zaragoza AB Spain, our F-4s were like toy aircraft on those enormous ramps previously used by the B-47s. In England, we had “revetment” style parking areas which held 2 aircraft, back to back. Zaragoza was nice with that big flightline !
        One more question please.
        I have a “Steve Canyon” DVD and it shows a B-47 starting engines. As the engine is starting a crew chief appears to be squirting water (?) on the ramp under the engine.
        Could you please explain this ?
        Thank you

      2. John; That was not water squirting on the ramp, it was JP-4. The normal start procedure went like this. When the Crew Chief (CC) was in position slightly behind and off to the side of the engine, he told the Aircraft Commander (AC) “ground ready on #4” (starting sequence was 4,5 6,3,2,1.) The AC would engage the starter and the CC would see the exhaust turbine start rotation and say “rotation on 4”. When the engine reached 6% RPM the AC would advance the throttle on #4. When that happened the fuel would flow to the engine causing the air from the plumbing to escape until the fuel started out the drain on the bottom of the engine until it reached a slight pressure that would close that drain. When the CC saw the fuel flow out of the engine he would say on the inter phone “fuel flow #4”. Then the CC would wave his hand slightly to the side of the exhaust and when he felt heat he would say “Combustion #4” (at night we could stand further back and to the side and see the combustion take place) Then we would proceed to #5 and say ground ready on 5. Along with this conservation the Co-Pilot would be saying “Oil Pressure #4” and “EGT reading on 4” etc. To start #6 we always stood inboard of #6 so as to not walk behind or in front of the engine after it started, and then under # 4 & 5, then under the aircraft to # 3 engine, repeating the above sequence, all the while dragging a 50 Ft. inter phone cord and a fire bottle.

      3. Being a crew chief from 1956 to the day the b-47 was phased out , which was in the middle 1960s ,I was stationed at little rock afb in the 384 th oms. I was on flying status ,it was not called hazardous duty .an we were not scheduled to fly on an aircraft because it may land at a base that did not cater to the b-47 . We were scheduled once a month on the weekly flying schedule along with the aircraft number , date an time . I guess I probably know as much an probably more about that old airplane as most crew chiefs .

      4. Some of us other maintainers flew in that 4th man position. I was an A&E guy and soon learned I had to do some CC things when we landed at other bases. CC’s worked hard to keep their aircraft combat ready.

      5. This is true about hazardous duty pay. My mother told my father she didn’t want to know when he was flying high risk missions. They needed the extra pay since my brother had been born 3 months before my fathers death. My father had just returned from a tour in Spain when he was killed.

      6. We were not part of the flight crew but did fly quit often especially when going TDY not the most comfortable seat, had a little foot print on the right side of my flight helmet with the words no step on it just for the copilots and you were the only one with out a ejection seat had to leave the way you got in

    2. I was a crew chief on a B-47E at Lockbourne AFB from 1961 to 1965 and was on flying status. I was required to fly at least 4 hours per month and that added an extra $55.00 to my meager pay. Sometimes the shortest flight I could get was maybe 12 hrs. due to higher ranking personnel getting the shorter flights. Was a very uncomfortable seat for the forth man.

  10. Hello,
    Great site! I love the B-47 and the more I read, the more I crave technical information. I was fortunate to find some SAC instructional manuals on the J-47 engine and how to build them up for installation on the B-47. But the information is very basic. As a master mechanic/ technician (my wife and I volunteered over 5,000 hours each to the restoration of the Memphis Belle B-17 in Memphis some yrs ago), the quest for knowledge never ends. Does anyone have the engine o/h, illustrated parts manuals, and service instructions? Also looking for erection and maint., illustrated parts, service, and tech orders for the B-47 series. Any help greatly appreciated.

  11. Hello stationed at Little Rock AFB 384 OMS MOS43151E A2C E3 from 1960 to 1963. Worked on the 54 Series. Reflex Morocco and Spain and Terrahote, Indiana during Cuban Missile Crisis.
    Launched and lost an aircraft that blew up over Little Rock. The co pilot survived with chute still on his back and said that the hand of God laid him on the ground.
    All us crew chiefs worked hard rank was frozen the base commander stated we not promoted because we were dispensable. More likely indispensable.

    Jim Diamond you remember a lot would like to hear from you and all my fellow crew members.


    1. I was station at Little Rock AFB at the time the aircraft blew up over Little Rock I was involved in pick up some pieces at the crash site if my memory serves me right part of a wing took the back porch of one house and entirely destroyed another.

  12. Hi new to site was assigned 384 oms SAC lrafb 1960 to 63 mos 43151e reflex duty morocco then spain, tear haute indiana for Cuban crises , like to hear from fellow crew chiefs from 50 plus years ago . Jim diamond started me thinking because he remembers perfectly about the B47 ,we all worked hard.really enjoyed reading this site

    1. 384 oms 1955 CC B-47 3373 stayed there until B-47 was phased out, don’t remember when. Transferred to Titan missiles. Retired at LRAFB 1973. Clyde Padgett

      1. Sgt. Padgett,I was stationedbat LRAFB about the same time you were.384PMS,post dock chief,Sept/Oct.’55 till Feb 11 1957 (discharge).I was also on Flying status (only person in the squadron at the time.We would run traction tests out of the docks ,no problems,test hop ,return with gear write-ups(usually ELGE),I approached CO about flying status,he agreed, went to altitude chamber in Lousiana,and flew on all test flights out of the docks,eliminated duplicate retraction tests.I ELGED the gear down.Flying 4th man was no joy but it kept food on the table.Good site,enjoy reading it.Domer Wooldridge(Jerry) and I signed up at the same time(1953)

  13. I was a EB-47 crew chief while stationed at Lockbourne AFB, Oh yes Jim the B-47 4th mans seat was very small. One time when flying to Upper Heyford AFB on reflex the pilot banked the B-47 and I was standing looking out of the copilots side of the canopy and the view of the hedge rows and castles was amazing. I retired as Chief in 1984, 22 years SAC, 4 years TAC and ADC, 4 years in Test Wing.

    1. Chief Patterson, my father, the late Col John E. Dickson flew on EB-47’s out of Lockbourne as an EWO. I lived there too. Two of his aircraft still survive, one at Pima Air Museum in Tucson and one at Dyess AFB. I took pictures of the Pima B-47 this year.

    2. Don’t forget being “tapped” on the back of the helmet by the copilot’s foot if he happened to want to use the UHF control box located by the 4th man’s head.

    3. Ron,
      I also was stationed at Lockbourne AFB, Oh in the 301st OMS late 1961-Feb 1964 was transferred to the 376th OMS as AC/C on one of the first B-47’s to go to the 376th from the 301st. I got out after 4 years but came back in and spent the rest of my career on C-130’s retired as a E-7 in 1982. The B-47 was a great plane, would love to hear back from you and anyone else that was in the 301st.

  14. My dad is 76 years old, and was a Master Sgt. Crew Chief on a B-47 in Spain, Greenland & Texas. He’s still with us and sharp as can be. He’d like to find his friends. Can you help us find anyone from his Wing? I’m working on getting that info from my mom. I have a partial tail number of either 4011 or 1011, and it was taken in the USA. He got a crew chief award for 350 consecutive bombrons, but it’s one of his many boxes that I’ve yet to find.

  15. I was a B-47 crew chief in the 380th BW at Plattsburgh AFB, NY. We used to Reflex at Brize-Norton. I never thought that I would ever see MSGT Carl Glass again, but there is his photo at the top. He sure was a character. Jim do you still have the photos of the City of Plattsburgh that you posted on the old website for me, if so I would like to see them on here.

    1. Jim; I’ll have to check my computer and see if I still have it, I’m sure I have it somewhere.

    2. Jim, I was a young troop at Plattsburgh in 1964 on B47’s. I’ve been looking for my first crew chief SSGT Ralph Vickery. Do you remember him?

      1. John, sorry I’m late answering your inquiry. I just now noticed it. I was at Plattsburgh from 59 to 63. I can’t seem to remember SSGT Vickery.
        Jim Brown

  16. This is my first time posting on this site, I was stationed in the 301st OMS at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio from late 1960 to Feb 1964 and transferred to the 376th OMS in Feb then I got out in April which didn’t make anyone happy. I re-enlisted 11 months later and spent the rest of my career on C-130-B and E models. I would like to hear from anyone who was in the 301st OMS during that time frame. My e-mail is bl1816@hotmail, use 301st OMS in the subject. I live in Niceville, FL and am planning the reunion next year in Fort Walton Beach.

    1. I was stationed at Lockbourne AFB from April 1955, came there from Pinecastle AFB to form the 70 SW at Little Rock AFB and shipped out to Little Rock in Sept 1955. Had a B47 land short and torn the #2&3 Engine pod loose and dragged in down the runway I was part of the maintence team to go out and put a flat bed under the eng Pod to be able to tow the aircraft in.

      1. Sandy do you remember Donald grim from 70 sw he was in 70 when did you leave lrafb did you go to 384 bw when the 70 disbanded

      2. I left Little Rock AFB in summer of 1962 for Forbes AFB Kansas and was assigned as Crew Chief in the 55th SRW. Left Forbes in 1967 when 55th noved to Ofutt AFB
        Neb. Left Offutt for Thailand in 1969 and then to Loring Maine in 1970 and to Blythville AFB in 1975 and from there to Anderson AFB Guam 1980-1982 back to Ellsworth AFB and retired in 1984.

      3. Sandy, did you know Lt Curtis Ford who was killed November 1960 in a runway crash at Lockbourne? Do you have any details about that crash?

  17. I was a young Jr assistant third wiper to the Crew Chief on a WB47E at McClellan AFB, acft 218. Some good times back then. Was on them when the last ones went to the bone yard. Ended up in the Nam and wished I was still on the 47 and back home.

  18. I was at Amarillo AFB for Aircraft Mechanic School for April 1954 to Sept .
    First assignment was PineCastle AFB from Sept 1954 to April 1955, then to Lockbourne AFB April 1955 to July 1962 to form 70th SW had a short stay with 384th, reassigned to 55SRW at Forbes Kansas from July 1955 to August 1962, and with 55th at Offut AFB Neb till Sept 1969 then to Thailand for a year then to Limestone AFB Maine. Would like to hear from any one who was stationed at any of these locations. Spent a two years in Guam 1980-82. Returned to Ellsworth AFB and retired in 1984

    1. Hi, I was stationed at Forbes AFB from April 54 to March 57. I started in the B29 program and then went back to Amarillo for B47,s. We received new RB47E from Wichita and ended up as crew chief from 1955 to discharge in March 57. I was assigned to
      321st SRS, 90th Wing. Aircraft No.2825. Hoping to hear from you. Promoted to S/Sgt in 1955 and T/Sgt immediately after discharge while in the AF Reserves.

      1. I was at Forbes the same time as you were. I was in the electric shop and in the 90FMS. I know I have worked on your plane, and many more. Once I was TDY to Goose AFB and got a ride on 52-740 (forgot the squadron)-was a big thrill. I still am in contact with 2 members of the electrical shop. Even made S/Sgt!

        Bill Shay

    2. I was with the 55 th A &E from 12/55 11/ 58. Worked on air craft of the 38. 343 and 338. Also the tankers……it was a busy time and many TDY assignments. Ken

  19. Was stationed at Lockbourne AFB from Jan 54 till Apr 55, made the SES to MacDill AFB,FL. Nov. 54. Electronics Technician B-47

  20. I was bom/nav mech at Schilling A.F.B. in Salina, Kansas from1957 until 1959 (in 310th A&E). Would like to hear from anyone that shares this period.

    1. I was assigned to the 310th A&E at Shilling AFB in Salina for training for a short time in 1959, then went to the 90th A&E then to the 55th A&E at Forbes in Topeka getting discharged in 1963. Lots of TDY with the 55th.

  21. Brings back good memories seeing Msgt Glass picture (Crew Chief Corner Page). now if you could find Sandlin, Marsh.and the rest of the OL-1 from Forbes it would be great.

  22. Spent about 5 years at Davis Monthan AFB as a crew chief on B-47s. It was the 303 rd bomb wing. Was then transferred to Plattsburgh AFB in Plattsburgh NY. Pulled reflex in Guam and Alaska from Tucson and Brize Norton and Upper Heyford in England. Left Plattsburgh (thankfully) in 1965 for 8 years of recruiting duty in South Dakota . Then to Hickam in the MAC Maintenance Control supporting enroute MX into the pacific area. Retired in 1977 as An E7. Recruiting was a great job but promotions were very slow. Tucson (303rd) was a great organization as was Hickam. Plattsburgh was just so so.

    1. Hello Ed, I was especially attracted to your comments dated 9-21-13 regarding the time you were stationed at Davis Monthan in Tucson. Why? Because I’ve been searching for a old friend, a crew chief who was stationed at DM beginning in early 1957 forward, (his name is illustrated below) We both completed the Jet Mechanics Tech School Courses in Amarillo, Texas. We lost track of one another after our PCS relocation. I did receive one letter from him after his arrival at DM dated February 1957. Subsequently I’ve not heard from him AND I’ve not had any success in locating him through out the years that have subsequently passed, even though I’ve tried. I DO have his AFSC number.
      He was transferred to DM and I to Altus AFB in Oklahoma and subsequently to Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. His name is George Walker who lived in Missouri prior to his enlistment, Having said that, you did not mention the dates that you were stationed at DM……. BUT, I thought I would give you a shout anyway, HOPING that you might have been there during that time period. What say you? OR, if you have any suggestions that might be applicable to my effort, they would certainly be appreciated.
      Thank you Ed for your time and effort regarding this subject. I can be reached directly at OR you can leave a reply on this site. I’ll check this site regularly for any response…………Thanks, George H. Brewer Illinois

      1. Hay George
        Ken Clark Here I was in the 337 BSQ. when we went to Dyess does the name ring a bell use to hang with Ski nose Swider got out in 1960. now living in Fl . waiting my turn

    2. Ed: I was stationed at D.M. in 1962-1964, when it closed. They had U-2’s at that time and I headed for Loring on 52,s and KC-135’s. From there I went to Mather on 135’s then out in 1968. Went to work for Western Air lines and then after 8 years of twist’n wrenches became a pilot for the next 25 years. Some of my best times were as a mech on the ol’47. My name is Kent Mosdale C/C on #2323. I was an A/1c at that time.

  23. George, Received your e-mail yesterday & started to respond & while checking the b-47 site found your request HERE. I located a roster of attendees but did not see George Walker listed. If you have already contacted Dave Neel then disregard.
    I did have a call from a gentlemen prior to the 2012 Tucson reunion that had been a radio/electronics technician at DM (Davis-Monthan) in the same time frame, after discharge stayed on in Tucson & attended the University of Arizona (engineering) & upon graduation secured a job with General Dynamics in San Diego & eventually retired near there. Name was not Walker but he may have known your friend. Unfortunately I don’t recall his name.

    Also: my contact info has changed FYI:

    William L Clark (Bill) (wife Ginny)
    13900 Panay Way Unit M-317
    Marina del Rey, CA 90292
    Mobile: 310-694-1508

    We have moved from the desert to the beach.

    Should I come across any tips on persons that might know of George Walker I will pass along.

    1. I did have a call from a gentlemen prior to the 2012 Tucson reunion that had been a radio/electronics technician at DM (Davis-Monthan) in the same time frame, after discharge stayed on in Tucson & attended the University of Arizona (engineering) & upon graduation secured a job with General Dynamics in San Diego & eventually retired near there. Walter K. White. DM from Aug 1856 to Feb 1958

  24. Was stationed at Davis Monthan From the fall of 53 to spring of 57, 43rd Bomb Wg. 63 Bomb Sqd. Went to England, Fairford, onTDY in 55. It does’t get much better duty than Tucson. Went on to become an electrial engineer. One of my highlights was having LT Col Dutchendorf as A/C for about a year. Not only was he great guy but found out much later that he was John Denver’s dad. I found this site and it really brings back good memories of the AF and what good experience it was.

    1. Hello John Dillbeck I read your message dated 10-22-13 above regarding your days at DM in Tucson until your departure in the Spring of 1957. My question, which I posted originally on 9-29-13, was regarding my effort in trying to locate an old crew chief friend who was stationed at DM beginning in early 1957 forward. (Please read my comment above for additional information) Did you ever meet George Walker on the Flight Line while you were stationed at DM?
      Thanks for your effort John,
      George H. Brewer

  25. Good to see some one is looking after the B-47 Crew Chiefs.It was a trying job at times and not many folks gave a second thought about the hard work and long hours that Crew Chiefs put in.
    I was a Crew Chief on B-47 with the 441st Bomb Squadron At March AFB CA in 1953 & 1954 and 339th Bomb Squadron at Altus AFB OK in 1955 till 1957. I was burnt out and got out of the Air Force as a S/Sgt in 1957
    I am now 79 and am working on C-130s.I have now been working on commercial aircraft from DC-3s to B-747s all over the world for over 60 years and still love the work.
    S/Sgt James Dodds
    USAF Quit

    1. I was at March field 320 wing 442 sq. we went to brize Norton england for 3mo. I was on crew on AC #195 and cc. On #295. 295 was the first b47 with water ejection. I went to Boeing with 195 and returned to California with 295 it was my job to test the water.we tested engines #4 5&6 it was quite a boost. Primo tend to staf in 55 and to assistant flight chief. I got out of AF in1955. That was a mistake.

    2. Hi James, I was stationed at March from 1953 to 1960. Started out in the 442nd Bomb Sq on the postflight crew. Worked my way up to CC and after we went to the 320 Maint SQ I stayed until going to Missile School in 1960. Good tom see some old 320th guys still around.I retired in 1982 as a CMSgt.
      Herb Smith

      1. Herb I was in 320. th. 442 in 1952 to December of 1955. Do you rembyer John Robens, Tom Long,Wilber Hays? I spent a lot of time
        With them. We were together on Sat night most of the time, M/Sgt
        Long was line chief at this time

  26. I was stationed at Forbes AFB from Apr 64 thru Apr67 as asst crew chief under Shorty Adams on RB 47 then transferred to Offutt on RC 135 got out in 67 &returned in 71 to finish 24 years

    1. I was stationed with Shorty Adams at Forbes AFB Kansas. We were TDY from Forbes Kansas to Clark AFB, if my memory serves me correctly, a group of us were doing some bar hopping and went in to a place and found Shorty standing on the bar singing bringing in the sheafs.

      1. I was at Clark when they had one of the last WB-47’s there in 1966.

    2. Were you, at Forbes when you lost two planes at Ironwood MI, 1961 10 weeks apart and crashes were about 1 mile apart?

  27. I was stationed at Platsburg AFB from 1963 to 1966 on the flight line, went to Brize Norton several times. Anyone out there from this period send me an E-mail. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Elmer Billips

    1. Elmer, I tried to email you twice, but, bounced back both times. I was at PBurgh 59 to 64. I’m still in touch with Merril Sanders,Bob McBall, Charley Johnson, and Dave Neal. Jerry Wooldridge

      1. Hi Jerry, I was browsing through C/C’s Corner and saw your message to Elmer. You may or may not remember me. My name is Herb Lewis. I was at P’burgh from ’58 to ’63. I crewed 7047 until it was in a mid-air with, I believe 1967, Townsend’s airplane, over the Atlantic en route to Brize. After that I crewed 1864. A couple of my running partners have passed away; Bill Martin and Les Buck. I keep in touch with “EJ” Jones who lives in Williamsburgh VA and Jim Henry and George Stewart who live in Vacaville, CA as I do.
        Keep on keeping on, Lew

  28. After reading the long blog by a Jim diamond I feel that some of his recall on engine starting procedures need a little review . The co- pilot did not call out to the crew chief any readings on egt ,oil pressure etc an the crew chief never called fuel flow when he saw fuel on the ground. Our memory can some time fail us

    1. I thank you are right clyde..that is the.way I remember it. I was in the same organization you were. I too went to titan 2 after b-47. I had complex 3-7 . Now I do work at usaf museum . Still see b 47 and we even have a titian 2 here as well.

    1. Merle and Elmer, we were at Plattsburgh together straight from Amarillo tech school in 1961. We lost touch after being transferred to other bases.
      Merle and I and our wives spent quite a bit of time together while at Plattsburgh.
      Elmer, the last time I remember seeing you was with Sam Goforth in Bluefield about 12-13 years ago.
      Both of you Email me at if you please.

  29. Hi, I’m Steve Carkeek, a onetime E4, a onetime 43151E, a B-47 assistant crew chief, an OMS troop. I was lucky enough to be assigned to the 303rd Bomb Wing at Davis Monthan AFB beginning October 1961 to about a time just before it was deactivated, roughly April 1964. I was the not so very sharp troop who rode a ten speed bike on the flight line, probably the only ten speed bike on the base at that time. Not so sharp, fatigues that were too big and not ironed. My initial job was working in Inspection Branch assisting with B-47 periodic inspections and servicing. I learned how to clean pancake fuel filters, repack drop tank drag chutes, grease flap jack screws and service hydraulic accumulators. Staff Sargent Smith, he was never addressed by his first name, was my mentor. He was a hard working and highly competent African American, one of the few African American men not guarding planes or working in the chow hall.

    After a while I was transferred to the flight line, and functioned as an assistant crew chief. Working on the B-47 was fun. It was a challenging, it required the development specialized knowledge and skill, it was something a person could get to be really good at. I could spread engines, change EGT harnesses, hang tanks, change tires, service fuel and oil, up load, down load, launch and recover “like ringing a bell”. My last year in the AF was spent at Fairchild crewing KC-135s. Not nearly as much fun. KCs didn’t break often enough to be able to get good at fixing them.

    DM maintained a reflex alert operation at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage AK. Being a low ranked unmarried troop, I was ordered there September, 1962. God, I loved Alaska! My memory is questionable, but I believe there were 21 birds cocked on alert and three turnarounds four day a week. Sometimes I was on alert, sometimes recovering and launching the turnarounds. I remember the alert birds being setup so that when the AC hit the first rung on the entry ladder, power from the ground power unit was put on the plane. Number three engine started turning, hydraulic pumps started running, the flaps came down, lights came on etc.

    Seeing a B-47 alert force start engines and taxi caused some serious thinking.

    Memorable was the time a ’47 landed on an icy runway, missed the exit to the pits and ended up all by itself in the snow a couple of hundred feet away from any pavement. I was running the Follow Me truck. Seeing a B-47 sitting in the middle of a snowy field with six engines running is an interesting sight. I ran over, did a very quick look around for unusual wrinkles, unhooked the outrigger scissors, opened the entry hatch and gave the AC a thumbs up hok sign. We had that bird back on the pavement before any Suits arrived, thankfully, the ground was frozen hard.

    When I was in high school I helped with rebuilding wrecked light aircraft. We replaced a Cessna 195 box section, repaired a ground looped Cessna 140, recovered a Stinson 108, installed wide spray rails on and painted a Seabee, so I had some experience with light aircraft maintenance. One afternoon I discovered the “A & E School” not too far from the barracks. Elmendorf supported the operation of what was supposed to be an educational facility that would provide the training required to pass a test for a FAA airframe and engine mechanics license. It was really a hobby shop, a place permanent party troops could work on their toys under the supervision of the “instructor”, a licensed A&E with an inspection authorization. I spent many hours, helping to recover a Piper PA-20 owned by a C123 AC, did some work on a Ranger Powered Fairchild 24 owned by a F-102 pilot, and helped our Wing Commander with his Stinson.

    In exchange I was invited to fly down to Ninilchik for salmon fishing, caught some interesting hops on C-123s flying supplies to remote radar sights, was introduced to caribou sausage and moose teriyaki and logged my first hours as a student pilot.

    Supporting recovery was a four day work week assignment, Monday thru Thursday. Those could be long days, receiving three in-comings, cocking one and turning the other two around, rotating a cocked bird out of alert, and then launching the three returns. I remember eating early morning chow, morning chow, noon chow, evening chow and late evening chow. I weighed about 135 and didn’t gain a pound.

    I expect everyone reading this knows enough about alert. I wonder how many remember the occurrence that made the Cuban Missile Crisis such a memorable time for those who were on alert at Elmendorf.

    Skiing was great at Mt. Alyeska. If I was off alert I would take my skis and a rucksack with overnight gear and hitch hike to Girdwood on Fridays. I met some folks there who had a place I could sleep. The Double Musky served an evening meal family style, you had to call early in the afternoon to let them know you wanted to eat. In the fall the lodge was open to locals on the weekends. The bar was on the honor system. I never had more than four cars pass before I got a ride in either direction. A lift ticket cost a GI five dollars. Life was so good! As I said, I thought Anchorage was a wonderful place. I always volunteered to extend and ended up credited with almost two years “Over Seas” time and pay.

    DM ended its Elmendorf alert support after the Good Friday earthquake, another memorable experience.
    I was transferred to Fairchild and ended my four year enlistment crewing tankers. DM and B-47s were a far better assignment.

    After the Air Force I completed a college education and worked more than thirty years as a college faculty member. I have owned a couple of Cessna’s and am a current private pilot with close to 3000 hours logged.

    In my entire life I have never had a chance to work with a more dedicated, able, and professional group of people than those I was lucky to meet and work with during my Air Force enlistment.

    1. Steve, I would like to communicate with you regarding your time spent on the Flight Line at DM. Do you have an e-mail address other than this site that you would be able to share with me? I can be reached at

      1. George, were you the TSgt. that marched us (road guards out) to the chow hall for mid-night chow on a frozen-snowy night at Elmendorf after a rather unruly party in the barracks? Sobered, we were very happy you called a bus to take us back to the barracks.
        I trained on B-47s at Amarillo, TX in the fall of 1960. In the spring of 1960 I was assigned to the 303 BW at Davis-Monthan. I was in support branch first, towing and refueling B-47s. I believe I worked for a SSgt Collins – he wore a brace on his leg and I later worked for TSgt. Herbie Blair. Head dog for Support Branch was SMS Marion. I then became third wiper on Douglas built B-47E 52-0168 crewed by a SSgt. “Deacon” Dishong. The aircraft was unique in that it was a 52 model with a 53 model nose. My understanding is the aircraft was in IRAN – Inspect and Repair as Necessary – at Douglas Tulsa. The depot team was working in the Forward Main Fuel Tank. They took a break. When they came back, they cranked up the heater/blower again and blew the nose off the aircraft. I believe both were killed.
        The 52 model had a hydraulically-controlled sliding canopy and the 53 model had an electric actuator clamshell canopy. If I can remember correctly, it was hydraulically locked. I use to get a kick on launch preflight when the crews would say, “Chief, the canopy will not close.”
        My response was always, “Fifty-three model nose, Sir; hit the switch on the lower right.”
        A few seconds later, his checklist response was, “Canopy, closed. latched, and locked, resets horizontal.”
        I reflexed to Eielson the first time as an Asst. Crew Chief. The second time, still an A2C, I went to Elmendorf as a Junior Job Controller in the Alert Force. Worked from 4 p.m to 8 am. – three on, two off. Both trips were Feb. to May. Most memorable event at Elmendorf was recovering of three “Chrome Dome” B-52s when a crashed KC-135 closed down Eielson. I believe you ran the team that recovered them.
        In the fall of 1963, Robert Snow and I went to the 34th AREFS at Offutt and worked on EC/KC/RC-135s. Except for the year (11 months, 28 days, 16 hours) in Vietnam, I spent 20 years on tankers. In the 1965/66 time frame, the 55th SRW became our parent wing. The RB-47s were still at Forbes although one would occasionally show up on the Offutt ramp. In that same time frame there was a refueling accident with a 55th RB-47. The co-pilot was in the front seat for the refuel. The boom nozzle punched through the canopy, hit the pilot seat headrest, and killed the co-pilot in the pilot’s seat. The accident tore off the boom to the boom fairing and snapped the up/down cable. The tanker landed at Offutt without further incident. The RB returned to Forbes. Does anyone remember this incident and know the tail numbers of the aircraft?
        I spent hours prowling the B-47 web-site ant thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the memories.
        Richard A. Pare’
        CMSgt. USAF (retired)

    2. Steve, did you go to B-47 tech school at Amarillo in 1961? There was a Carkeek in my class but I forget his first name.
      I, too was stationed at DM, but at a later date. 1975-1978 on DC-130s.
      Seems that you have had an interesting life since leaving the AF.
      Sebert Toney

    3. Hi Steve. I was at DM from 62-64 when it was deactivated. I was an A/1C Crew Chief on 63-2323 with Larry Knapp and Floyd Grugal. What a wonderful place it was to be. I was sent to Loring AFB then to Mather on KC-135’s. Got out in 68′ went tp work at Western Air Lines as an A&P then got hired as a pilot in 76′. Ended up retiring from Delta as a 767 Capt. in 2001. Flew the 737-727-L1011-757 and the 767300Er. Flew in the Pacific and to Europe as an international pilot. Sure loved the B-47 times….Those were the best…

  30. I was a CC in 44th BW in Lake Charles, La. from 1956 to 1960 my B47E was 53-1891 loss in a fire on the ramp with one other B47E. Had a bad wreck and left Sac in late 60 ( loss my profile) finished out my 20 yrs. in the Army (3th Cav. Regiment) Tanker

    1. Hello Richard. I also was a CC with the 62nd from 56 to 59 then went to Guam. There were a lot of loses from the 44th during that time. I was in the line when the one crashed on take off and my plane was the next to taxi out. What base did they send you during Audrey? They sent us to Roswell. Did you go to Goose Bay? I remember that fire they were changing the Bomb Bay Boost Pump the explosion caused the Drop Tank to fall off and roll to the plane next to it and explode burning off the nose. I was on the ramp when it happened. Ed Tieman

    2. Hello Richard did you know my dad Norvin Humphries? Trying to get a sense of what he was doing at Lake Charles. He has passed and we were parted in the 60s. He worked on B29s WW II CBI and lastly B47. He was a handful and did stint at Thule. Tough Arkansas man. I did 4 yrs 72 – 76 munitions maintenance and found that we were connected by a string of Cold War threads unbeknownst to either

    3. RIchard, Do you remember a crash on take-off of 53-1933 on Oct 25, 1956? My dad was on that plane. Any info would be appreciated.

    4. I was in the chow line when this happened. Saw the smoke etc from the fire. I think it was caused by a elect. hooking up a boost pump wrong.

  31. Hello,

    I’m trying to help my brother-in-law, Jerry, apply for disability for his Parkinson’s. He served as a crew chief on a B-47 from 1953 to 1957 with the 19th Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Wing, and was stationed at March AFB. His full name is Gerald E. Stoller, but he goes by Jerry. He’s 80 now and has advanced Parkinson’s. We filed for a service-connected disability claim for Parkinson’s based on his exposure to certain toxic chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene and jet fuel. We believe that his exposure to TCE and other chemicals increased his risk of developing Parkinson’s. He also suffered a head injury while in Upper Heyford, after falling off the wing of a plane. He was hospitalized for two days and confined to barracks for a week after the fall. His VA claim was denied because the VA couldn’t access his records. Apparently they may have been destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in 1973. I found this site and am hoping someone can help me get information to support his claim. Specifically I would like to find out the following:

    1. Is there any way to document what solvents or chemicals a B-47 crew chief or mechanic would have been exposed to at that time?
    2. When he fell and injured his head at Upper Heyford, would he have been taken to a military hospital on base or to a local hospital? We’re trying to document his fall and resulting hospitalization.

    Any help any of you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    1. JP-4
      hydraulic fluid
      synthetic engine oil
      zinc chromate paint
      jet engine exhaust fumes he inhaled during engine start
      In fact the AF now requires rubber gloves when hndling these chemicals

      Also regarding how to sumbit the VA claims either go to the local VA and contact one of the reps i.e. American Legion, DAV, VFW or go to one the orgs in your city. They will be helpful.

      1. Thanks, Ron. We did file a claim through the San Diego VSO, but it was denied, in part because Jerry’s records may have been destroyed in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. I’ve contacted them and requested any records they may have. It appears they would be the only source of information on Jerry’s fall off of an aircraft while at the Upper Heyford base.

        Do you know where I could get some kind of documentation on the use of the chemicals you mentioned, or specific duties of a crew chief? Would there be any manuals or documents on procedures, even in archives?

        Thanks so much for replying. I appreciate it. We will be filing an appeal with an attorney who specializes in VA claims.

      2. B-47. Hi, Ron. I am trying to locate anyone who knew my dad, JOHNNY E. KUBALA. He was with SAC in NEWFOUNDLAND in the late 50’s to early 60’s. We lived on the HARMON AIR FORCE BASE for 4 years until I was 5 years old. My dad was a Master Sergeant/Flight Engineer. He had an idea concerning de-icing planes. ( SUPPOSEDLY, he told his idea to another military person, and his idea was implimented by SAC. ) I am just trying to find out more about my dad who passed away in 1977, when I was 19. He loved the Air Force, but he never talked about his 20years there. He was a very intelligent, humble, quiet man, so the only info I have comes from my mom. I know he was located in KANSAS, ENGLAND, LOUISIANA, AND NEWFOUNDLAND. ( Also, the VA hospital in Houston sealed his records , so we could not find out if he had cancer or subcumbed to heart issues. I wish I could find out.) Sorry this is a sad post, but I thought I would give it a shot.
        Susan Kathy Kubala Sugar Land, Tx (suburb of Houston).

  32. Hello, I just submitted a post regarding my effort to find information to help my brother-in-law Jerry, apply for a service-connected VA disability claim. If any of you has information, please email me at:

    Thank you1

  33. Hello. I am a great fan of this site! My father flew B-47s 1954-1960 at Castle and Little Rock AFB’s. I am familiar with the “ops” side of the B-47, but I am asking for any comments on the maintenance side. My uncle was a member of the 321st PMS at Pinecastle AFB, FL.

    What was live like in a PMS squadron? (I’m not even sure what the did compared to say OMS or AMS troops) Did they get to go on reflex tours with the crews?

    Would anybody have a lead on a 321 PMS patch?

  34. Just found the site. Was ECM Tech in 307th BW at Lincoln in 1955-56. But of course there was no RECON ECM in our B-47E’s, so was cross-trained to Special Weapons Release Systems…J Hooks, Sway Bars, Ring-outs and all that.

    On TDY at Keesler, missed the return flight to Lincoln in C-119 from Lakenhurst that went down in the Azores killing so many in my maintenance organization.

    Sent to Yokota in 1957-58. Worked on RB-50’s (the B-29 with the better R-4360 Engines and taller tail). Then to Maintenance Control/Workload Control, making S/Sgt in three years. Discharged at 4 years.

    Interest gained in Japan brought me back with BA in Economics & Japanese. Stayed 20 years as executive for US companies as well as Kawasaki.

    Now retired and enjoying the trip down memory lane.

    Gene Werlich

    1. Hi Gene

      I was station at Lincoln with the 371st BS when we lost the 60 airmen on the C-118 Oct 10th 1956

      My wife was pregnant so I stay in Lincoln.

  35. 49thBomb Squadron Hunter A.F.B. Savannah, GA, Feb. 1957- Sept.1960
    Just a reply to the Crew Chief’s comment on engine starting. After the flight control checks were made, and the engine start sequence was to take place the crew chief positioned himself at the side of the tail cone of # 4 engine, the A/C after flipping the 6 ignition switches to ON ( PLEASE GOD ) would start rotation of # 4. The Crew Chief would observe the turbine wheel turning and call out rotation. The Co- Pilot would announce 6% and the pilot would advance the throttle and fuel was then sprayed into the engine cans and ignition would then occur. This procedure would be continued until all the engines were started, beginning with # 4,5, & 6 started first, then #3, 2, and # 1 last..

    There is a great deal of concern about an atomic bomb that was dropped off the Savannah coast, during a inflight accident. It was my understanding at that time that the arming device called “THE BIRD CAGE” was never installed in the bomb until the aircraft was in route to a war destination. I hope I am correct as I live in Savannah and am not a big fan of going to the beach !! I have recently had some 49TH squadron patches made and I am proud to have served as a member of S.A.C.

    1. Hi Tony

      There was a cord that ran from the Navigators position down the crawl
      way to the Bombs (2) which he would pull over the activate the bombs.

  36. Attn: Wes Bender

    I read your article today “Flipped by a fuel quanity indicator” and will tell you my story. When I was stationed at Lockbourne on EB-47 aircraft on the alert pad the AC told me that the Forwar aux tank was not reading full. So the pilot told us about the procedure and for me to open the valve and for me and my assistant to come up the ladder and he would show me the procedure. Well he did the procedure and we came down the ladder and there was fuel everywhere. The IFR seal blew and it was like old faithful, fuel even on the MD-3. I immediately shut down the MD3 and pulled it away from the aircraft and the fire department and others showed up at the aircraft.

  37. to Tony Calandra;; I too was in the 49th bs from oct 1953 till dec 1962,, course we went over to the oms system I guess in 1959 ot wondering if you remember any of these crew chiefs from the 49th. Herb Huffstutler, Jerry Gregory, Carl Murphy, Richard Thomas,, Tweety Mckay,, yhink Bobby Clark was our last line chief before we merged with 308th BW. the last bird I crewed was 53-2170.. took it to bomb comp. Ben Hines,, Lester Warren and I were selected for the missile program and went to Minot in dec 1962.. keep tryin to place You,, bit don’t remember You. thnks Bill Henderson ret Cmsgt in 1974.

    1. Hi Bill,
      I remember you. I was assistant to Sgt. Donald Dale later to Sgt. Thomas, then to Sgt. Jim Poston. MSgt.. Bobby Clark was the Line Chief, and Lt. Col. Hammner was the C.O. I also served as a roving Temp. Crew
      Chief when the regular Crew Chief went on leave or TDY. I loved the job , but it was a very demanding job & I was newly married. I still live in Savannah. I have fond memories of a lot of the guys. Bobby Cowden and I were coming back to base on motor cycles after having a few cool ones at the Brass Rail in Tybee. We were trying to beat a thunder storm that was brewing, and it caught up with us on Victory Drive & Bull Street.
      I was wearing a navy blue jacket and It took weeks to get my under ware white again.

      1. Tony, I visited savannah last week,,changed so much over last 65 yrs,, was surprised that the fltline was same on Hunter,,same hangers and nose docks, city very large. was nice to visit.. guess the older one gets,,the military memories are great. life is good.

    2. “Heavy”,Wade Buchanan from Greer, S.C., here, just discovered this site
      hope you remember me, I recall many trips to S.C. from Hunter, mainted
      a repport with Al White, CC on 320, I had 53-1932, I also remember that
      new 1956 black ford you purchased. I got out in late 1958 , went to
      Univ of Georgia,gred with degree in pharmacy, to Tennesse for my
      doct. came to Wyoming in 1969 where we ranch and still work in
      hospital (Torrington, wyoming) If you get this PLEASE let me hear
      from you. e-mail: mail 202 Lupine Dr
      Torrington, wy 82240 tel;307 532 3343

      1. Buck,, man I think of You ever time I go to Greer. ill call You one day. Bill Henderson

    3. Hey Bill Henderson, I thought your nickname was “heavy”, but didn’t want to guess and maybe be disrespectful. I just saw your post to “Buck” Buchanan. I always thought Buck was a sharp guy, I remember him telling a flight crew (Maybe Major Moore) he was going to become a senator & come back to Hunter & get it to shape up ! Looks like he did a better job by going into the medical field helping to save lives & cure illnesses.

      I remember some N.C.O.s . Like Hornbuckle, George Thompson, Trotter & Sherrel ,and the funny stories they told. Hornbuckle tried to give me fatherly advise about getting married so young. He said they usually don’t last.I guess he meant well , my wife & I will be married 57 years this November. So far so good Bill Austin lives in Savannah, and I talked with Bobby Clark and Meyers from Q/C several years ago.

      I am very disturbed by the behavior of the young people as seen in the recent riots and hate to think this is the future of America. When we were young it was a more simple time, and our values seemed to have been better then. Keep well & if you ever get back to Savannah, Call us up & we can swap stories, (912) 354-2020

    4. My name is Ben Hines and it was my honor to ride to Minot AFB ND with then TSGTs Bill Henderson and Lester Warren. Was once Crew Chief on B47E 53-2119 that crashed on Wrigh Peak near Plattsburgh AFB NY ON THE NIGHT OF January 16, 1962. Had THE HONOR OF BEING AT THE FOOT OF SAID Peak 10-27-2016, signed the guest book at the Lodge. Wanted to see where my favorite B47 had its last moments IN FLIGHT, being flown by USAF First Lieutenant Rodney Bloomgrin. Was on a trip to NH and ME, they were the last two States that I had never been in, they were on my Bucket List. Retired Oct 1983 as CHIEF. Been Register of Deeds in and for the County of Alexander, NC, since December 1986, in my 30th year. Eight Successful Elections.

  38. I’m looking for anyone who may have served with my father. His name was Furman Smith and he was a CC at Homestead between ’58-’61.

  39. Anyone help me out – looking for Master Sergeant Richard Lee – was in UK and maybe part of a crew in the tdy 1955-56 Fairford or Brize Norton

  40. I too just found the site, love it. I was stationed at Pease from Jan. 56 till Apr.64, 350th BS and than OMS. Crew chief on B47E until going into maintenance control.
    (as I remember the engine start sequence, Jim is right on the money. I have started and test run so many engines I can still recite the start engine check list from memory.) After Pease I went to B52Hs at Homestead, in 64 cross trained into 461×0 munitions. After training at Lowry spent 13 months between isolated duty in Japan and Viet Nam. Came back to Pease for a year than on to Travis for a short stint in C141s than back to Nam as a munitions supervisor at Phu Cat. Returned to Nellis until discharge Dec 71. Will attend the next reunion if someone will let me know when.

  41. stepen pain

    was he from oklahoma and part indian? if so last time i saw him he lived in dubois or dawson nebraska.

    1. I guess we were there at Lincoln at the same time. I was with 98th A&E. Visited the B-47L PACCS shop (some time in 63) that had been taken over by 307th after 98th stood down.

    2. Ed Seagraves I was at Lincoln with 370 BS CC of B 47 52064. I WAS ON 52054 that went off end of runway
      ..Later drove radiotruck.

  42. Hello Dave. The only reason I was asking about any B-47’s still flying was, a gentleman in Indiana told me he owned a flying B-47, and a B-36. After 20 years in the AF as crew on 52’s I found this very hard to believe, and figured I would ask the people who should know if there was one and who owned it. Hope you had a good New Years. Thanks Jim

    1. The last active duty B-47 I saw was at Clark AB P. In 1966 and it was a Weather Bird

      I’ve never heard of a anyone owning a B-47 or a B-36.If there was one you would have seen it at a Airshow somewhere.

  43. Thanks Bud. The only ones I ever saw flying one was being brought into the Bone Yard and the one at Wright PAT and that’s it on both AC. The other one is in Spatafore’s back yard in chunks. I guess this guy is trying to impress me since he is suppose to be some kind of Military AC collector. So far I have not been able verify any of his yarns and none of it adds up. I figured if anyone knows of one flying you guys would be all over it. Take Care and thanks for your help and service.

    1. Jim,
      I believe strategic bombers are controlled items and not given to foreign entities or private individuals. There are exceptions as the RAF flew B-29s as the “Washington” until their V bombers were delivered. All remaining were returned to the US. One B-47 was loaned to the RCAF as an engine test bed and it was returned. The CAF B-29 “Fi-Fi” was demilitarized and allowed to fly by DoD. A second B-29 is now flying.
      Many private museums have bomber aircraft (Pima County Air Museum in Tucson, AZ and the New England Air Museum at Windsor Locks, CT for examples) but these aircraft are on loan from the USAF. The famous B-17 “Memphis Belle” was reclaimed by the USAF when the aircraft went into neglect. Many B-17s are privately owned but the present policy was not in effect after WWII.
      Yet I wonder what happened to the gate-guard and museum B-47s aircraft at many closed bases (Castle, Chanute, and March come to mind). Plattsburgh, NY had a gate-guard B-47. It was rather unique as it had a large radome under the aft fuselage. I have no clue what it was for. Our B-47s with the 303rd BW at Davis-Monthan had ECM pods that hung on the fuselage above the bomb doors. These pods made a made a successful spoiler door bail-out nearly impossible. I have never heard of a privately owned B-47 or B-36 because it is not Air Force policy. I suspect, unless your friend belongs to one of the museums, he is blowing smoke.
      Richard A. Pare’

  44. Hi guys !
    There is an “A “model on site at the Mighty 8th Air Force display off of highway I 95 at the Pooler Savannah GA.

    I believe it is an “A” model because it has Oxygen bottles instead of the liquid oxygen system that was in the later models.

    Tony Calandra

    1. Tony,I was stationed @ Hunter from Aug of ’53 till late ’55. 308 PMS,then to Little Rock 384 PMS till discharge Feb.’57.A few years ago I was headed south on I 95 and commented to my grandson (in another vehicle) that his grandpa use to work on and fly in those airplanes.A strange voice came over the CB which said”now you’re telling your age”(he was right) ’80 yrs young. Fred Hawkins

  45. Tony, I was at Hunter from Feb ’59 to Aug ’62. Started out in 2OMS, then to the 96th Bomb Sq. I saved my 96th BS patch. Rmember going to the Globe Drive In ???

    1. Hi Chuck !
      I remember well the “Globe Drive In” You wouldn’t recognize the area now. Savannah has grown into a large town. shopping malls and new industry have changed Savannah and that book ” the Garden of Good & Evil” has made Savannah an even greater tourist town that it ever was.
      I see Dick Moran from the 96th or the 20th regularly in church, he has a fine family. Good to hear from you, I wish more fellows from the 2nd bomb wing would post a note.

    2. Hi Chuck !
      I got out 4 Sept. 1960. The 49th B.S.( as I remember it) , maintenance was being discontinued for 2nd O,M.S. Did S.A.C. later go back to crew maintenance like it was when I first got to the 49th Bomb Squadron ?

      Tony Calandra

  46. Thans for the Shout Out Tony! I got tranferred in ’67 with IBM , to Florida and wanted my wife and daughter to see Hunter. I din’t realize that is was Hunter Field then. I explained my situation to the MP’s and the gave me a pass and said be our guests. Quite a few changes even then, 5 years late. I also miss the Bamboo Ranch, think it was in Pooler.

  47. Hi Tony,
    I was stationed at Hunter from 1956-1960, worked in the 2nd FMS Instrument Shop. I remember the “Globe Drive In”, I believe most all of the 308th and 2nd BOMB wing guys went there. I have a lot of great memories of the guys I met and worked with. The bond of young men back then was unbelieveable strong. I’ve tried to contact some of my fellow airman but haven’t been lucky enough to find any. I can still see the B-47 flying around Hunter burning fuel off to land, lost their canopy somewhere. Also the bird that crashed in front of the control tower and the worst was the KC-97 that crashed at the end of the runway with a good buddy on board, lost 11 good men that day. E-mail

    1. Hi Donald Denton ,
      I was at H.A.F.B. .at the same time as you were. 49th B.S. We had a lot of mishaps while there. The one that almost got me was when Bob Roberts was struggling while installing a drag chute. His plane was next to mine and so I went over to help. After had we installed the chute he offered to buy me a cup of coffee at the BX. While we were drinking our coffee, we could hear cannons going off. It seems that a series of events occurred as the flight forms were filled out in error. The flight forms had indicated that the ammo. from the previous gunnery mission on the plane backed up to Bob’s had been down loaded. NOT !! When the A&E tech. tested the guns for the next gunnery mission the guns shot several rounds thru Bob’s plane. How lucky we were when we were having that life saving cup of coffee. We had three B-47s at one time, as wrecks caused by one thing or another I will not elaborate, but a lot was caused by errors that could have proved deadly. E-Mail bucktote@comcast.,net.

  48. Hello, Hunter AFB airman, just caught your postings. I was was there in the 96BS, in ’54 to Oct. of ’55. Have only recently found the B-47 Association and joined up to renew some memories. My first assignment with B-47s was at Lockbourne AFB with 91st SRS. They had RB-45s when I arrive in’53. After the change over there a group of us were reassigned to Hunter Jan. ’54, where they were waiting delivery of their new B-47’s. The B-50’s were gone. . Love B-47’s and Savannah, lots of good memories.

  49. I was glad to see that the B-47L was added to the list. When I first worked with Looking Glass the B-47L was the relay bird. There were two on the west link to 15th and one on the East link to 8th.

    Was stationed at Lincoln AFB 58-61 with the 98th A&E. Flew with the B-47E and KC-97G from time to time. Was at Lincoln when all the tankers went to the Azores and got to go to Upper Hayworth on a B-47E. First Sergeant gave me hell when I got back as I didn’t know I was supposed to sign out when I left and back in. Was also there when we lost one on the runway. I was working on the fueling pit when it happened… talk about scared.

    1. Hello Dave, Owen Ose here. I also worked on this aircraft with Sgt. E; Earl. While TDY to Upper Heyford I also worked on the ECM 47 that is now at the Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

  50. Dedication

    We, the present living members of the 307th Bomb Wing B-47 / KC-97 Association, wish to dedicate this compilation of the history of the 307th Bomb Wing at Lincoln AFB, to our comrades who have gone before.

    Those, whose names follow, lost their lives through aviation-related accidents while serving the 307th Bomb Wing, or in subsequent service to their nation.

    B-47, Ceresco, Nebraska, 6 April 1956

    Captain James W Sullivan, A/C
    Lieutenant Anthony C Marcanti
    Lieutenant Lawrence A Schmidt
    A1C James J Berry, Crewchief

    B-47, Lakenheath RAFB, England, 28 July 1956

    Captain Russell R Bowling, A/C
    Lieutenant Carroll William Kalberg, CP
    Lieutenant Michael Joseph Selmo, Nav
    TSgt John Ulrich, Crewchief

    C-118, Enroute From Lakenheath To The Azores, Atlantic Ocean, 10 October 1956

    Captain Kenneth E Goodroe
    Captain Robert W Ryan
    MSgt William A Caisse
    SSgt Thomas I DeCota
    A1C Alton J Gaines
    A1C Orest D Giancola
    A1C Billy B Grogan
    A1C Eugene D Gruenberg
    A1C Richard K Hunter
    A1C Ronald L King
    A1C Robert Lada
    A1C Joseph D Loontiens
    A1C Michael C Macedonia
    A1C Ronald F Mountain
    A1C Stanley L Osgar
    A1C Keith A Peterson
    A1C James L Schorr
    A1C Robert C Urban
    A1C Earl F Vasey
    A1C Herbert A Banks
    A2C Albert L Beard
    A2C Dale R Brockman
    A2C Conrad J Buehler Jr
    A2C Edmond R DeWolf
    A2C John F Disanto
    A2C Raymond E Drake
    A2C Lyle C Giberson
    A2C Gene O Godfrey
    A2C Cloyse A Hepler
    A2C Gerard A Hummel
    A2C Robert H Lipina
    A2C George F Luce
    A2C William R Ray
    A2C Leonard J Roman
    A2C Henry J Schuver
    A2C Robert D Spurling
    A2C James B Whitlock
    A2C Frank C Williamson
    A3C Roscoe F Deel
    A3C Willie B Ferguson
    A3C Ronald L Gardner
    A3C Charles W Hannah
    A3C Lloyd D Harding
    A3C Lee R Kane
    A3C Sherman W Lock
    A3C Ralph M Pacelli
    A3C Donald L Reynolds
    A3C Abelardo Siller Jr
    A3C Bruce B Stewart
    A3C Earl E Tanner

    ANG F-80 Jet Collided With LAFB Fuel Pits, 17 November 1956

    A1C John Lawrence DeLancey, Crewchief
    A2C Donald Russell Price, Asst Crewchief

    B-47, LAFB, 8 October 1959

    Major Paul R Ecelbarger, Instructor Pilot
    First Lieutenant Joseph R Morrisey Jr, A/C
    Captain Lucian W Nowlin, Nav
    Captain Theodore Tallmadge, Nav

    B-47, LAFB, 18 June 1961

    Captain Russell Holst, A/C
    Captain Albert Marinich, Nav
    Captain Allan Matson, CP

    B-47, McConnell AFB, Kansas, 11 January 1963

    Captain Paul Pudwill, A/C

    B-47, Greenham-Common RAFB, England, 3 February 1963

    Captain Richard C West, CP

    B-47, LAFB, 7 March 1963

    Major N V Meeks, A/C

    B-47, LAFB, 27 July 1964

    Captain Thomas E Sutton, A/C
    First Lieutenant David C Williams, CP
    First Lieutenant Terrance P Murphy, Nav
    Major John F Sakry, Nav

    Perished in South East Asia Conflict

    Yale R Davis
    Earl M Freeman
    Ivel D Freeman
    Otis Gordon, Jr
    Andrew Matyas
    James R McElvain
    Robert D Morrissey
    Leon G Smith
    Walter H Trisko
    Courtney E Weismueller

    Lost In Other Military Aviation Accidents

    Clifford E Hanna
    Robert J Morrison
    Curtiss E Robertson

  51. I remember some good times at Hunter AFB, was there Feb 57 to Jul 59. Went to Plattsburgh when the 308th moved up there. I was just wondering what happened to the main front page of …….. it had a lot of information on it …….such as photos of class members in the B-47 tech school and other interesting things. Who ever removed it please put it back…thanks.

  52. Hi Wade Buchanan,

    Just saw your post to “Heavy Henderson”:
    I remember helping in you on an engine start when the A/C forgot to put the ignition switches in the start position. The result being your eyebrows getting toasted and when the A/C asked if combustion had occurred, you responded :” your —– — a tweedy” . I got out in Sept. 1960 just as we were being sent to 2nd O.M.S.. I stayed in Savannah and retired from the paper industry as a maintenance supervisor. My wife & I have two sons, 6 grands. & a great grandson . We have a tree farm in Bulloch county. I enjoy planting for wildlife and hunting. When I retired I operated a quail hunting operation for a while, and raised Pointers. I see Bill & Barbara Austin in Savannah. Bill & Barbara have had some health issues as of late, but seem to be doing better now. Keep well & God Bless

    Tony Calandra

  53. Gentlemen

    I was not in the B-47 series as I was Navy Crew Chief (we were called Plane Captains) guy in the A3 airplanes, (B-66 with a tailhook).

    But since I retired, I have been working every month leading the Restoration Crew at Edwards AFB Museum, kinda cool work. We ahve a good mixed service work crew that is pretty good if I don’t say so.

    As I am sure most of you are aware, the Museum at the old Chanute AFB in Rantoul, IL is shutting it’s doors in December 2015.

    They have gone to Wright-patterson and told them they no longer can support the Museum and it’s displays, and of course one of those is the remaining oldest XB-47, 46-066, ship #2.

    Edwards has been given the aircraft to save, and we are trying to put together a cost estimate to disassemble and transport the airplane to Edwards, and then of course, rebuild it out here for display forever (or at least as long as there is an Edwards AFB.)

    Big job, made even more challenging by the noticeable lack of pubs available in Museums, Wright-Pat has a smattering, but nothing really useful.

    Now I know that all Crew Chiefs are of same mind, service affiliation does not matter, and I am willing to bet there are some guys out there who have rat-holed some old B-47 pubs. (I have an A3 Structural manual if anyone needs one).

    An airframe maintenance manual, an airframe parts book, and a structural Repair manual would really help in saving this old gal so we don’t do something anti-social in disassembly.

    If anyone has any of these books, I would be more than happy to pay for the reproduction of them, no names mentioned, or pay for shipping of the book and I promise to return it after I reproduce it.

    Anybody who can help here will be named on the Donor Plaque that will be either on or next to the airplane when it is finally finished relocation.

    Appreciate anyone who gets this passing it around to the old Crew Chiefs, and sincerely appreciate any help we can get.

    Mike Glenn
    AFCM USN (Ret)

  54. Mike,
    Do you have any idea of what happened/will happen to the B-36 at Chanute? My understanding is it was damaged and had a section of fuselage removed. I went to weight and balance school at Chanute in about 1970 out of Plattsburg, N.Y. Were you shore-based or ship-based in the Navy. Are you aware of the three aircraft refuel between a KC-135 to a Navy KA-3 to a Navy F8U?

    Richard A Pare’
    CMSgt. USAF (retired)
    use B-47 in the title or I will not open it

  55. My name is 1stSgt Pete Thornton, USMC(Ret). My uncle, James Richard Yandle, was stationed with the 307th in the late 50s to early 60s. He has since passed on and I am trying to get some photos of him with his B47. If you knew my uncle and might have photos please let me know. I found some a few years ago on the web during some operation or readiness comp. that was held in Lincoln during the time but can no longer find them on the web. Any assistance you could give me would be helpful.
    Pete Thornton

    1. Jim said he flew on the B-36 as a rear Gunner. ,was also on the RB-47’s

      at Forbes Field Kansas.

      He’s buried in Blue Rapids Kansas

  56. interesting… I completed Aircraft Mech School at Sheppard AFB TX in 1958 . My first assignment was to the 1605th Field Maintenance Sq at Lajes Azores..1958 – 1960, worked on C-124s, C-118s, C-121s
    C-133s. We had 30 min, 1 hour and 3 hour turnarounds, I could change a magneto on a C-124 in 30 minutes! It was a great training ground for my later assignments as Crew Chief on KC-97s, C-97s,
    C-54s. I was a SAC Master Crew Chief..and Flight Mech on all those airplanes,My bases were, McGuire, March and Clark. TDYs to Viet Nam
    I was selected for Bootstrap Commissioning in 1969, went to Aircraft Maintenance Officer School and stayed in maintenance until I retired in 1983. I flew on the SAC Airborne Command Post EC-135s as the Logistics Battlestaff Officer..3rd ACCS, Grissom,AFB IND
    Maintenance Control Officer, 26 and 86 TFW, Ramstein AB





    Sincerely, Ken Brown, Mount Holly, NJ

    1. Ken Are you the one I meet in Pa IN 2018 ? You were a friend of Glenn.You were his assistance at Lincoln Ne.If this you hope to see you in Texas reunion

  58. guess no one still alive from atc mconnell afb b47 c/c 1954 to 1961, then brize norton for 3 1/2 years

    1. Hi Marvin,

      I had to chuckle at your comment when I read it.
      I just joined the Asso. recently and I didn’t realize how old I’ve become :> Unfortunately, I guess there aren’t a heck a lot of us left.
      I did a stupid thing a few months ago: I got on Google Earth and looked for the B-47’s at the bone yard. I couldn’t see any of them ! Then I counted the years. Yee Gads ! Well, just wanted to let you know there are at least two of us left.

      All the best to you and yours,

      Ken Brown

  59. Sorry I haven’t responded for a while but my Wife Betty of almost 60 years had been battling Azlheimers for the past 10 years and passed away on Jan. 18th of this year. For you Lincoln folks, Betty and I were married Sept. 8th 1956 in Seward Nebraska,she was 17 and I was 19 .We have 3 children and returned here after I retired from the Air Force in 1974.

    Dave Avery

    1. Dear Dave,
      Be assured Betty, will be in my prayers and you as well. My wife and I were also married young and have many wonderful memories growing
      up together.

      God bless you & your family,

      Lavonne & Tony Calandra
      Savannah, GA

    2. Dave I was in Lincoln from 1954 -1964 I was in the 98 th Crew chief from 1958 -1964 Would like to talk to you if you were in the 98 #402 486-1717 Was married in 1956 also still with my # 1 wife

  60. I was in brize Norton in 1954 for 3mo.from March field Calif 320 wing 442 sq. some of us went to Chelenham to,dance. The girls told us they turned off the lights at 9! We found out they really did turn off the lights.
    Sargent Carl hoon

    1. Carl, I sort of remember your name as we were both in the 442 at March. I remember well the TDY to Brize Norton and the adventures in Cheltenham. I lucked out while over there and got to go to Edinborough Scotland for a week.

  61. Hey Marv,
    Not mconnell. I was at Lincoln from 1961 to 1964 and McGuire until Oct 1967.
    I was also Reflex at Zaragoza, Spain and Upper Heyford, England.

  62. My daddy was A1/C Robert L Martin, assigned to 100BW at Pease AFB NH. Would love to hear from anyone that knew him. He was Assistant Crew Chief on B47-E that crashed on approach to Plattsburgh AFB on November 27th 1961. He and 2 fellow crewman died, while one survived. I wasn’t yet 2 years old, my brother 3 months. Anything???

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for responding to my comment. My father, Robert Lee Martin, AKA Bob, was with the 100th Bomb Wing out of Pease AFB. Laura Martin

  63. I was also at March from 1953 to 1955 in 442 sq’ I started out on B29s
    post flight when the B47s came in I was on B47 tail # 195 Sgt Jim Beam Crew Chief When his time was up I was made Crew Chief.
    I flew to Boeing on #195 and came back on #295. I and some buddies spent a lot time at a dirve in Riverside.We went to England for 3 Mo
    at Brize Norton I got out in 1955 hope to hear more.
    S/Sgt Carl Hoon

  64. Herb am sorry, but I don’t rember well these days. I and a buddy went to Edinburg on a 3day pass. I cannot rember his name, but I think he was from Minnesota. I now live in St Louis Mo, I retired from McDonnell Douglas. (Now Boeing) in 1993.


  65. What ever happened to Bomb/Nav Techs? Many of them flew. Are there
    any Bomb/Nav Techs. still around?

    1. Dr. McCormick, I’m still alive and kicking. I was in the 96th A&E Bomb/Nav unit Dyess AFB, from 1959 to 1961. Spent a year in Ben Guerir, Morocco and finished at Sheppard AFB being retrained into B-52’s in 1962. Was hired by Boieng as a jr, engineer and now retired living in Lisle. IL just west of Chicago, Would love to hear from you.

  66. Hello anyone, a family member was on a kc135a Strato Tanker that crashed out of Loring AFB on May 9, 1962 case # 56-3613. Does anyone know if I can get a more detailed report on the incident. T/Sgt Raymond J Brugioni was my uncle. Just thinking about the past and started a search to little avail. Appreciate any info. Thanks to all of you for your service to our country!

  67. Olathe, KS Air Force Jet Crashes, Oct 1954

    Submitted by Stu Beitler

    Kansas | Air Disasters | 1954

    B-47E in flight.jpg


    Olathe, Kas., Oct. 30 (AP) — The identities of three officers killed in the crash of an air force jet reconnaissance plane southwest of here Friday night were announced today. The pilot parachuted but was injured.

    Those killed were:
    Capt. HASSEL O. GREEN, 32, instructor-pilot, formerly of Newsite, Miss.
    Capt. GEORGE H. MILLER, 33, co-pilot, formerly of Burbank, Calif.
    Capt. ARTHUR F. BOUTON, JR., 31, observer, formerly of Little Rock, Ark.
    All had been living with their families of Topeka, Kas.

    Capt. NORMAN PALMER, 32, Rochester, Ind., identified earlier by the air force as the pilot of the six-engined RB47E reconnaissance version of the B-47 jet bomber, was reported in “very good condition” today.

    PALMER suffered fractures of the right arm and shoulder after parachuting from low altitude.

    GREEN is survived by his widow and a daughter, ROSEMARIE DIANE, 9; MILLER leaves his widow and four children, ANN LOUISE, 9, PAULINE, 6, GEORGE, JR., 8, and ROBERT, 2; BOUTON leaves his widow and two children CLIFTON, 6, and JOEL, 1.

    The plane, a six-engine RB47E reconnaissance version of the B47 jet bomber, had taken off from Forbes Air Force Base at Topeka, where it was stationed, just 25 minutes before the crash.

    A witness, Dr. Jack Flickinger of Baldwin, Kas., said the burning craft went into a vertical dive at 1,000 to 2,000 feet and plunged straight into the ground.

    It blasted a hole 40 feet deep. Dr. Flickinger said burning debris was thrown 500 yards in all directions.

    Lt. Allen Oppegard, Air Information Services officer at the Olathe Naval Air Station, said the pilot told medical personnel from the base that the plane went out of control at about 10,000 feet but that he did not know why. The pilot said he did not recall how he got out of the craft.

    Salina Journal Kansas 1954-10-31

    Add new comment

    1. Chuck Draskovich
      FEBRUARY 27, 2017 AT 11:36 PM
      Do you have any memory of the crash of 52-0770 on Oct. 30 , 1954?
      Thank you.

  68. Hello all,
    What a great website I stumbled across! My dad, Joe Kroboth, was stationed at Forbes AFB 1957-196(?) as an ACFT, under the 55th OMS as I recall. I really need to pull out his papers to find out his specific unit and trace his steps. Would his discharge papers list his unit?

    He was at Amarillo AFB for training May-Oct 1957.

    Thank you for sharing your stories!


  69. IT TOOK ME 50 YEARS –
    After tech school at Chanute AFB, IL,(1961)I transferred to Lincoln AFB, NE. When I found SSgt Glenn Newton, I told him I was scared to death when I first saw that flight line full of B-47’s. But when the line chief introduced me to Glenn, with that Oklahoma smile and personality, from then on I enjoyed my entire Air Force career of seven years. He took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew and soon I was crew chief of my own B-47. Since then Glenn and I have enjoyed many exciting stories about his life and telling him about mine. And this has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.
    For more info about my time in SAC ON B-47’s, try Togetherweserved, SSgt Kenneth R Brown Jr or try YouTube My Air Force Story – SSgt Ken Brown
    God Bless All The Women & Men of The Air Force and God Bless
    Our Country !

      1. Hi Dave,
        Thank you for the question about Glenn Newton. I had to get in touch with Glenn before responding to you because I wasn’t aware some called him Fig. I told him about you and that I didn’t call him anything but Sgt Newton, since I was his “under study”. He was at Lincoln before it reopened, to help get it ready to accept the B-47’s. He said, Some of his buddies were later transferred to the 307th. He sure got around in the Air Force and retired in CA.

        All the best to you, Dave,

        Ken Brown, Lumberton NJ

  70. I was a crew chef on the B-47 1966-68 at Ramsey air Base. Went to
    Hunter Air Base after training then we moved to Ramsey Air Base. Looking for any one that was in 53rd Weather

  71. Dave Avery

    Somewhere along the way, we lost contact.

    My wife is suffering serious illness as well and I had to give up working on the 307th news letter.

    I look forward to renewing the connection

    Earl Hill

  72. I’m glad I found this group. I hope someone may be able to help us with some information to help with our upcoming restoration of the B-47 on display at the former Plattsburgh AFB. We need to remove the bomb bay doors for repair. Can anyone tell us how to manually open the doors for removal. I was a KC-135 maintenance troop so I have some experience with Boeing aircraft but it could help to know where to look for a manual operation point.
    Thanks in advance!
    Bob Taillon, USAF, MSgt (ret)

    1. Bob, sorry to be tardy with this reply. Just noticed your request. The bomb door system was hydraulically operated, but electrically controlled. I don’t know how much work was done to make all this tamper-proof when the airplane was put on display. I suspect most systems were deactivated. Additionally, the bomb doors may have also been sealed closed to prevent tampering.

      If the electrical system can be energized and you can get a little hydraulic pressure, there should be a bomb door switch in the access panel where you plug in ground power. That switch would open or close the bomb doors.

      If all systems are inoperative, look around the Observer’s station in the nose to find the Bomb Salvo Tee handle. That was a last ditch thing that would unlatch the bomb doors and release the bomb(s).

      Hope that helps (or maybe you’ve already got the doors open….)

      Wes Bender

  73. Hi Bill (Heavy) Henderson.
    Just saw your post about visiting Savannah last year. Since we communicated last I have spoken to Wade Buchanen, and I visited
    Clyde S. Farmer. Clyde lives in Knoxville Tenn. I looked him up when I was visiting my son in HiltonsVA.Nexttime youcome to Savannah call me & we can visit and maybe go to dinner. Tel # 912 354-2020. Keep well.

    Tony Calandra

  74. glad that I found this site. sta and we reflexed to england and spainrted in b47e’s in 1959 at pease afb nh after cross tng into ecm tech. our b47’s had two pods with 4 transmitters in each onewas in 509th avionics sqd and retired in 1973 as sr msgt now live in texas at age 87.will check site to see if any 509ers are out there.loved my af career.

  75. Greetings All!! And Thank You for your service…We are in the process of restoring 53-2385 “Pride of the Adirondacks”. I have been tasked with opening the landing gear doors on the wing landing gear doors….it looks to be a clamshell set up….Can ANYONE out there tell me how to open them? I am a Crew Chief….but NO Experience on this old girl!! Anyone who can help me….I will gladly send you a coin!! Scott Johnston Crew Chief C-5A and F-111A
    Anyone interested you can see our progress on Plattsburgh AFB Facebook page….we are selling coins to help with restoration! Feel free to call me as well if you can give us ANY guidance!! 518-593-0373

    1. Scott, see my post of January 19th a few comments up the page. You may have to look around the Observer’s station in the nose a bit, but there should be a Tee handle on the right hand side that was used to salvo the bomb in an emergency. It should unlatch the doors. If it doesn’t, they may have mechanically locked them closed when they put it on display. You can get access to the bomb door latches if you crawl down the crawlway into the bomb bay. The latches would be at the front in the center. As I mentioned above, there is a switch in the (AC I believe) power access on the left side just forward of the bomb bay. That’s where we would open or close the doors on the ground. You would need DC power on the plane to use the switch. You may get it to unlatch the doors even if you don;t have hydraulic pressure. Again, I don’t know what modifications they may have made to secure the plane for display.

      Wes Bender
      wlbender47 (at) if you need to contact me.

  76. Oops, you said outrigger landing gear doors. They were spring loaded open and closed and were operated by the landing gear strut as it went down and as it came back up. Normally they were open whenever the gear was down. You might be able to pry them open, but I would first remove a side cowling and see if you can get some leverage where the strut would fit into the cradle that moved the doors. Sorry about the first post. Did you ever get the bomb doors open?

  77. Scott:
    About 2/3 o f the way down the side of each door is a hole about 1/2″ around. One almost at the top of the door & one near the bottom. I believe you can go in the bottom hole with a large screw driver at the same time on each side & push to open the interlock cradle. Maybe pull on the bottom of each door at the same time. I have never seen them closed with the gear down except on display aircraft.

    Don Foster

  78. Scott:
    That is a tricky problem you have and I am glad Don had a good reply for it. Never had that one come up when I was crew chief on 53-2364 at Hunter AFB. It was a great time and place to be in USAF, but then most any time it is good.

    Wish you well on the restoration project. It is always good to know a few of those old birds are still around and cared for.

    Butch Richardson

  79. Anyone remember Tech Sgt Paul C. Meadows, USAF. Madrid, Spain 1956-57, then Savannah, Ga, 1957-58, Presque Isle, Maine, 1958-62?

  80. Hi – When I was a nav / bombardier in B-52s, I picked up a “Fist Type Nylon Parachute” on eBay. It’s marked “Boeing Airplane Co.” and “Airplane Model No. B-47B.” Date of Manufacture is Feb 1953 and the Part No is 19.06.
    The packed chute is approx 10″ from back to front and about 13″ side-to-side. It also has two long heavy duty nylon straps with metal buckles or connectors attached.
    I’m donating it to the ongoing restoration of the B-47 at Plattsburgh and would like to understand if it was the approach drogue chute or if it had a role inside the plane. Please contact if you have any info. I can send photos (didn’t see a way of posting them here.)
    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    1. Sounds like the approach chute from the size you quoted. It was deployed on approach to stabalize the approach. The drag chut was much larger, deployed on landing.

  81. Wow you need a different setup, like outfits and other places I have just found this through google chrome images. I was looking for a photos from up high of the 90 + RB-47-Es at Forbes Air Force Base Topeka Kansas 1955 or so. I was in the 343rd Squadron 55th Wing there till 1957. Here is our page

  82. All those B-47E’s that blew – up for no reason was caused by one of the in-board engines having a bearing freeze up, tearing the engine from the wing and slamming into the fuselage causing the plane to explode. If I’m wrong I would like to know otherwise. I flew 4th-man out of Biggs AFB,TX, 97th A&E, 97th Bomb-wing,”56 and ’57. I was a K-series-sys Specialist (Bomb-Nav.) The reason I got to fly was the radar set would sometimes work perfectly on the flight-line , but, have problems at altitude. When word got out about the bearing problem a lot of 4th-men refused to fly. Because it was voluntary. I got my 4 hours in almost every month. Man that B-47E was abeautiful aircraft. God bless those brave crews that gave their lives. I am A/1C Charles E. (Gene) Noblett.

    1. Remember the “Milk Bottle” project? It was the B-47 depot level modification to fix structural problem that caused the wing to break off. The wing failure is what I remember as being the cause of most B-47 crashes.

    1. My father, Furman T Smith, was stationed at Homestead from ’58-’61. Does anyone here remember him? I believe he was in the 379th.

      1. I did not know your Dad. I was a crew chief in the 379 OMS. OMS was one of the squadron in the 379 Bomb Wing. There were 3 or 4 other squadrons in the Wing. At the time there were 2 Wings of B-47 at Homestead. The other being the 19 Bomb Wing which also had KC-97 tankers.

    2. The crew chief who tried to close the entrance door of the B-47 in flight was Norman Jones. I was once a B-47 crew chief at Homestead and worked with Norman Jones in civil service at Robins AFB GA. Norman died about 10 years ago.

  83. I have a 19th BW and 379th patch of his. He may have been in the 19th. I know he was at Homestead and spent time in North Africa.

    1. In the B-47s I am familiar with there glass dome in front of the co-pilot when he was facing aft. It contained the antenna for the Radio Direction Finder.

      1. Richard, wasn’t there a dome of some sort behind the pilots seat in front of the copilots instrument panel?
        Roy Curl
        379 OMS
        Homestead AFB FL
        July 1958- Jan 1961

  84. Crew Chief Robert H. Crossman, 55th SRW, 90th SRW; Firefly, TT, among other things. Did anyone know him?

    Abt. ’54-’74
    PCS Forbes KS, McConnell KS, ? Texas, ? Arkansas, ? Spain
    TDY Morocco, England, Thailand, Greenland

    He had a daughter named Stephanie and a son, Robert.
    Stephanie got to run engines a few times.
    He disliked Acosta the gun plumber and “fixed” him.
    He had a black CC friend named Flanagan.

    I think he was on 135s later in his career after all the RBs had retired.

    I’m his grandson and want to connect dots.

    Thanks and best regards!

  85. Does anyone remember a Walter Hoerler, Col. USAF (Retired) started his career in 1942 with the Army Air Corps Pilot Training Program. Later he became an instructor at Lubbock Field in Texas and spent his war years training bomber pilots. After WWII, he remained in the newly created US Air Force and flew B-47 bombers. He spent 27 years as a career military officer at various bases throughout the United States rising to the rank of Colonel. After returning from duty in Thailand during the Vietnam War, he retired in October 1969

  86. I was a third wiper on the B-47 in the 509th OMS at Pease AFB IN1964-65 until the were phased out. The worst thing I Remember was taking baths in JP4 while changing fuel filters in the wing root next to the fuselage & the rechutes.

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Preserving the legacy of the Boeing B-47 StratoJet Bomber