THE TWELFTH STAGE
This section has stories that members have published that may be of interest. By clicking on the below links you will be taken to each story. We also call this area the “Twelfth Stage”. On the B-47 the “Hot Air” for heating the cockpit was obtained from the 12th stage of compression of the inboard engines. One might find a bit of “hot air” in this section as well.
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These stories are listed in reverse order with latest added listed first
15. The Day We Nuked Mars Bluff By Clark Rumrill
14. “Way Up North” KC-135 Pilot Refueling RB-47s in Alaska. By Gerald Hanner
13. Gear Up Landing On Guam – The Crew Chief’s Version By Don Foster
12. The Saga of B-47E 53-6244 The Last B-47E manufactured. By James Villa
11. My 22 Years At Douglas Flying The B-47 For The Navy By Dean Abrams, Navy B47 Pilot
10 A Crew Chief’s Story by Harley Dahler
9. Broken Arrow by Col Howard Richardson
9 b Broken Arrow Two
8. An Inside Look At The Boeing B-47 by Walter J Boyne Col. USAF (Ret)
7. Three a Day in Tampa Bay by William W. Simmons, Col. USAF (Ret)
6. A Gathering of Eagles by Michael J Larkin
5. A B-47 Down in the Atlantic by Sigmund Alexander
5 a A Kids Eye View of “A B-47 Down in the Atlantic” by Teri Brennan Kidd
4. The Ultimate Back Seat Driver By Jim Diamond
3. I’m the Navigator And I Had Nothing To Do With That Landing by Alex P. Brewer, Lt Col USAF
2. An Overflight of Russia – 1954 by Colonel Hal Austin
1. An Alaskan’s assault on the Mackinac Bridge Recalled by Michael J Larkin
63 thoughts on “Stories”
Great web site! I was with the 68th BW, Chennault AFB, Lake Charles, La
1957 to 1960. My proud bird was B-47E, 53-1885.
Thanks Frank, I appreciate the feedback. My old bird was 53-2033, 48 planes after yours. Check back and look at the Omaha 2010 page as have just finished it tonight
I am trying to find one of the models that was made by Boeing and given to crew chiefs? Where could I find one? It is for my dad. He had one but in a couple of moves,it has been lost. Please help.
Ron; Those models are really hard to come by. It has been like 50 years since they were made and those of us who do have one do not want to part with them. Hopefully someone seeing this post might have one they would like to get rid of and make contact with you.
Jim, thank you for your reply and YES I understand completely! Hopefully someone will see our posts! I appreciate your words.
Does anyone here remember the incident at Chennault during the mid-1950’s in which a ground crew stole a fully loaded and armed B47 for a couple hour joy-ride, finally landing safely back at Lake Charles ?
Rick; I have doubts that ever happened. Do you have any thing to support this? Surely something like this would have made the news of the day.
Do you have any information about a B-47 that caught fire, destroying a nuclear weapon, and crashed into the tow vehicle? I would appreciate any information you might have concerning this incident.
The incident occurred in November 1958.
Frank, my husband was stationed there from 1, 1958 through 1959. He has told me about an accident that happened there in Nov. 1958. He recalled that a B-47 JATO bottles fire prematurely causing the plane to jumped the chalk, catch on fire, killing several servicemen and destroying the nuclear weapon. Do you have any details about this accident that you could share? Would appreciate anything you could remember.
Thanks, Doris Wilson
I was stationed there when this happened and I new its was on the Alert Line loaded with an A Bomb and we were scared that it would blow. I was in the Airborn Radio and Radar maintenance group.
Thanks for your reply. Were you anywhere near the plan when it exploded?
My buddy and I were on the line when this happened. We jumped in the maintenance triucl and left the area. Latter we were told that when they applied power to the plane from the MD3 portable power generator the ATO bottles ignited and the plane jumped the wheel chocks and crashed into a vehicle parked in front of it.
I was stationed at Chennault AFB during 1959-1960 and worked for the staff judge advocate. My secondary duty when an alert was called, was to travel to igloo’s where jato bottles were stored and help load and transport the bottles to the flight line. It took two men to hoist the jato bottle in place on the aircraft, and I believe we had to install fifteen bottles under each wing. I would like to know if anyone else was involved in this function, and if affirmative, to detail how the jato bottles were attached to the aircraft.
Remember the B-47 in the atlantic. I was at Plattsburg from 59 to 64. Prior to Plattsburg I was in the 2nd BW and Crew-Chief of 53-1965. When SAC moved out of Hunter 53-1965 came to Plattsburg, and I really would like to have had her back, but she was assigned to a different flight. I had crewed 1965 as a brand new airplane fresh from Lockheed. 53-1967 was assigned to the 380th, but 53-1965 was the airplane involved in the mid-air. While in the 380th I was Crew-Chief of 53-1865, 53-2120, and 52-067, in that order. They were a Lockheed, a Boeing, and a Douglas, all good airplanes. Capt Brennan had flown my airplanes many times. He was a good guy and a true professional.
Hello Domer; I see you and I might have crossed paths back in our younger days. I was PCS at Brize Norton from late 1961 to early 1964. Its also great to hear from our members as well. I hope to see you in Tucson in November, I’m sure we will lots of stories to discuss.
I was at March AFB from 1953-57, working in the 320th Periodic Maintenance Sqdn. I enjoyed reading your story of the pilot landing a B-47 from the backseat with the canopy gone. I always understood a Lt Schroder (I’m unsure of the spelling of his name) did that in one of the 320th’s B-47 in about 1954 or 55. A similar situation to the one described in your article.
Donald; Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. As far as I know this was the only time a landing was made without a canopy.
A few years back I sent a letter about my tour in the AF, out of boot camp(1954) to Amarillo to Altus, no A/C when I got there (late 1954-337 BS).assistant CC.to S/Sgt 1957. All moved to Dyess in 1957.. was on the ramp when the 341 b-47 co-driver landed w/o canopy @ night. Still in touch with sevral ol’ buddies that was there. the copilot was on tv (this is your life program..don’t know what happened to the old post i sent a few years ago. Some may find it interesting and I wasn’t alone. Hope to hear from ya……..Ret..USCG Previous service USAF for 10 yr.
Jim; Go to the ‘Stories Page’ and click on the 4th story, called “The Ultimate Backseat Driver” for the full story of this incident. Jim Diamond
Donald: My uncle Capt. David J Clare was in 320th BW in 441 BS in Oct’55. He was Co-pilot killed after take-off Oct.13,1955. Did you know of him??
The aicraft was from Dyess AFB and I met the Lt a couple of weeks later when he was arriving at March AFB to be awarded the Air Medal at 15 AF Hq.Even with large dark glasses on the wind bruises to his face were still black and blue. His exploits were later featured on TVs General Electric Theater and I’m not sure if Ronald Regan was the host at that time. Added note: This incident broke the stalemate in allowing young Lts from upgrading to Acft Cmdr as many Korean war recallees/WW II vets, often senior Capts, were riding the back seat on select crews for their spot promotions to Maj. The young copilots with 500 to a 1000 hrs didn’t have a chance to upgrade to Select Crews or get their own crew. I was sent to Forbes AFB soon there-after for upgrade training when the Forbes Recon Wg was converted to a B-47 training school.
I have Photos of Forbes if your interested some of B47’s and some photos of Forbes out of Guidebook and Directories.
After this incident the aircraft was sent to the factory for repairs and sent to Pease AFB New Hampshire where I became the crew chief. The tail number was 52-0278 and the co_ pilot wrote a book about it named the “Jimmy Obinoff Story”
Jerry Van Boxtel
Hey guys! I’m trying to ID two birds that were at Pinecastle AFB. I’m trying to find the serials of “City of Orlando” and “City of Winter Park”. There are pictures out there of their noses, they won the 1957 SAC Bomb/Nav Comp. Thanks,
Ed Nissen. AC-130H/U Loadmaster
Ed; Thanks for your question. How about it, any of you former Orlando guys have any info to help Ed with the aircraft serial numbers of “City of Orlando” and “City of Winter Park” that were stationed at Pinecastle.
Ed I was on the ground crew for the 321st. A & E (Radar/Bomb Sight) for the two B-47s that you are referring to. We flew out of McDill Air Base for the competition. For the life of me I do not recall the ID # of either bomber, however, one aircraft was from the 447th. Squadron and I recall the tail number was 347. May be wrong as this was a very long time ago. If you have secured the numbers I would appreciate you sharing them with me.
I was involved with operation “Snow Flurry” in 1958 and I remember when the Hunter AFB B-47 dropped the bomb on South Carolina. When we arrived in England, we heard about the accident. I remember seeing a political cartoon in the local newspaper showing a B-47 with a log chain wrapped around the fuselage keeping the bombay closed.
James; Thanks for your post. It would be great to see that cartoon.
Hello; I am SMSGT Harold Payne (USAF Ret) and reside in Birmingham, Al. I congratulate you on the quality of the B-47 Stratojet Association website. I have checked out the website over the years and it has evolved into a “first class” presentation. It has been an enjoyment for me to see pictures and read about experiences people have had with this aircraft. I have had an interest in the B-47 for quite a few years now. I joined the Air Force in April 1952 and after attending A&E Mechanic school at Sheppard AFB Texas and Hydraulic School at Chanute AFB in Illinois, I was stationed at Pinecastle AFB Fl. In Feb 1953. At that time it was in the Training Command and the pilots were learning to fly the B-47. I had some anxious moments watching those aircraft “porpoise” down the runway and rebound into the air at an angle to the runway centerline at full power with black smoke trailing! I went through the B-47 Mobile Training Detachment School and was assigned to the hydraulic shop. SAC subsequently took over the base and I was transferred into the 321 Bomb Wing . In 1954 I was transferred to the 19th Bomb Wing which had moved from Okinawa and converted to B-47’s at Pinecastle AFB. In Aug 1954 I attended the B-47 school at Amarillo AFB Texas and returned to the 19th BW at Pinecastle. I made two trips to SIDI Slimane AFBi in French Morocco (1955, 1956). The pictures on your website of the Sidi Slimane flightline with the Atlas Mountains in the background and the buildings brought back memories. I was discharged from active duty in April 1956 and entered the active AF reserve where I spent the next 26 years. In my civilian occupation I was a QA supervisor for 37 years for an aircraft company that modified and repaired military aircraft. Please forgive me for rambling and perhaps being somewhat boring but I did want to acknowledge and commend your efforts to create a memorable website to those associated with the B-47.
Harold: Thanks for your input to the Site. I appreciate the comments and hopefully you may be re-connected from others from those Reflex Operations. I appreciate the picture you sent as well and will post it on the site as well with the other picture from Sidi-Slimane. This site exists and is only possible as long as those connected with the B-47 keep sending me information, pictures and questions. You and the others are who make this site possible.
Like the new look of the website Jim – its been a while since I last visited.
Being a great fan of the B-47, having seen hundreds in England during my teenage years, I find the stories from ex air and ground crews to be compelling reading – sometimes answering some of the questions I’ve pondered over for many years.
Gerald’s excellant Tanker/Elint story brought back many memories of seeing 55SRW E/RB-47H’s at their (OL-1) Brize Norton and later Upper Heyford. Sometimes I would get lucky and saw one in the air but usually they remained firmly on the ground. It was unusual to see more than two in situ but here’s a couple of exceptions:
Brize Sun 30June’63 RB-47H’s 34282, 34294 and 34301
Upper Heyford Thurs 10June ’65 RB-47H’s 0-34298, 0-34303 and ERB-47H 0-36245
Looking back I’m certainly glad that I was able to witness that part of SAC’s history in England.
The photo of KC-135 ’77AJ’ refueling an RB-47H raises one of those questions I’ve been pondering over – what was the purpose of those Boom Codes? I saw several different number/letter combinations on KC-97G/KC-135’s up until about 1965 then it seemed like they were discontinued. Were these connected with radio silent air refueling procedures whereby reciever crews would be given their tankers boom code prior to departure? It would be good to know the real reason.
Graham; Glad to see you back on the site. You sure did keep a close tab on what were were doing way back then. Yes the code on the tanker booms were call signs so that the tanker could be identified without the use of radio.
I was a B-47E maintenance crew chief at Lincoln AFB, NE, Oct ’57 – Mar ’60; commissioned via USAFOCS in Sep ’60; flew 5000 hours as navigator-bombardier in B-52D, E, F, G, H, including 72 Arc Lite and 6 Linebacker II missions in Vietnam.
Here is a link to a Linebacker II (the 11-day B-52 bombing campaign in Dec ’72 that led to ending the Vietnam War) article in current (Dec) Aviation History Magazine that I helped to write, edit, etc. http://www.historynet.com/the-11-day-war.htm
I was also deeply involved in helping to write, edit, etc., a book by the author of the above article, Robert O. Harder, “Flying From The Black Hole:” The B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam; available at amazon.com
I was also deeply involved in helping to write, edit, etc., “The Goldsboro Broken Arrow,” by Joel Dobson, a book detailing the 1961 crash and recovery of a B-52G and its two nuclear weapons near Goldsboro, NC; available at lulu.com and amazon.com
Wilton Strickland, LtCol, USAF (Ret)
B-47 Stratojet Assn. Memb.
Wilton; Thanks for your contribution and your service. I have read the article your link points to and highly recommend it to all. I also have the book authored By Robert O. Harder “Flying From The Black Hole:” and highly recommend it to everyone’s collection.
Great reading about you guys. I left Hunter AFB when closed out for school on the B52 ECM program,
We had a crash at hunter also and I don’t think they ever figured what caused it. Lots of opinions floated.
I was at Hunter AFB (2nd Bomb Wing) in 1958 and had a part in the recovery of the F-86 that had a mid-air collision with the B-47 from Homestead AFB. At that time I was a 1st Lt., aircraft maintenance officer, and my squadron commander was Maj. Joseph Hojanaki . Can anybody relate to this event?
Arthur; In case you have not read it I refer you to the ‘Stories’ page and read the items 9, 9a & 9b on that page.
I am looking for information on Capt. Byron Foster. He was killed in the crash of B-47, 52-0766 at McConnell AFB on 9 Jan 1961. He was assigned to the 4347th CCTW at the time of his death. He was my cousin and I am researching this information for his sister.
Capt. Byron Foster was my father. I was about 3 1/2 years old when he was killed. I thought his sister was dead. I am just learning about his side of the family. I have no photos of him and not any memories of him. Would love to hear from you and maybe we can exchange some family history.
Hello Peggy, long shot here, but my grandfather was on that plane(John Keller) I believe my mom was about your age when the accident happened. I cam across this trying to find more info about the crash, but no luck. Do you have any information other than the plane cart-wheeling?
I’d like to hear more stories/opinions from B-47 vets about:
a) What they did as the B-47 was retired in the early-to-mid-60’s (move to B-52’s or B-58’s? move to TAC/MAC/other? leave USAF?)
b) Memories/thoughts of Cuban Missile Crisis.
c) Memories/thoughts of Gen. Curtis LeMay.
d) Memories/thoughts of
— SoD Robert McNamara
— his famous trade studies between missiles vs. bombers (ultimately favoring the former)
— how hard is it (if it’s at all possible) for a SAC pilot to be dispassionate about that since it represented the loss of a terrific flying opportunity for you guys who won those hard-earned skills.
John; Great idea! anyone out there care to contribute more stories and opinions? Just send them please. We’ll find a place to put them. By the way many of the B-47 pilots went on to become B-52 pilots and several were selected for the B-58 program as well. Some even, who in their initial training flew in a fighter type aircraft and had that on their records were used in F-100s, F-105s and F-4s as well as some ended up flying C-130s and even the observation type planes in the height of the Viet-Nam era.
Hi Jim, How are you?
This is Teri Kidd. To jog your memory, we spoke last summer about my dad, Maj. John L. Brennan. You were kind enough to send me an article about his mid-air collision in September, 1960. Story # 5
Since our conversation in July, I have been able to speak directly with his co-pilot, Richard Glogowski, twice, and his wife, Donna, who was a good friend of my mother. It just so happens, that my mom and dad were his son David’s godparents. So many great details have come of my contact with you that I wanted to follow up and tell you what you have indirectly inspired, along with Col. Glogowski. I’m not sure what exactly caused me to start wanting to know my dad again, but your conversation made much of him real to me.
Thanks, Teri Brennan Kidd
Teri; I am real honored and pleased to reply to your post. This type of posts makes it a real pleasure to do this site. I am pleased you have made the re-connection with Col Glogowski. I hope to have many more posts similar to yours. Thanks for contacting us to begin with. Jim
I was a civilian employee at March AFB, married to a SSgt and living in
Wherry housing across the freeway from the base. One morning sometime in the 1960s, a B47 took off on the long runway, had trouble and crashed on the end of the runway, just short of a freeway overpass filled with cars. All 7
aboard died. I could see the flames and smoke from the Base Civil Engineering office and felt heartsick! Does anyone who is familiar with this crash recall the date?
I recently found out from a relative that my father was killed in a B47. Growing up I was always told it was a B52. Wow, incredible the amount of information I am now able to find knowing the correct information!
Hello. I’m trying to research any information I can find about my Grandfather’s crash. He was a Major in the Air Force, Robert Dean Dowdy. He flew a B-47E, 51-7033. He perished on 2/12/1955. It’s my understanding the rest of the crew were able to eject and survive. I’m struggling finding many details. Any help or direction you could provide would be great! I appreciate all the work you do on this website.
Jason; The only information I have on this incident is:
12 February 1955, B-47E 51-7033, 22 BW, March AFB, CA. The aircraft was destroyed when an engine exploded and tore the right wing off the aircraft while it flying over Saskatchewan. Three crew members parachuted to safely, but the navigator was killed. Capt. Thomas P. Pittman survived three days in the subzero weather without food. However, doctors were forced to amputate the lower part of his right leg after he was rescued.
Hopefully some way you might be able to get in touch with Thomas Pittman. I don’t show him to be a member of our organization
Jason, my father found two of the survivors of 51-7033 while flying his De Havilland Beaver equipped on skis. He picked up and flew out Lt. Kenneth McGrew from a frozen lake and he walked through the trees and heavy snow to Captain Lester Epton,. Dad was a naval aviator in WWII and a Bush Pilot following the war before he became a doctor. I have a few more details of what he did that morning. He is 93 now and is not in a condition to answer any questions.
Feel free to contact me by email, I am in Libya Africa until the first week in February then will return to Canada.
Hello Jason. First off I’m sorry about your Grandfather’s passing in this accident. I thank him for his service and sacrifice for our country. I’m replying because my uncle was a crew member aboard the
U.S. Air Force HU-16 Grumman rescue plane that spotted Thomas Pittman. I am ex Air Force as well and had never talked in depth with my uncle bout his time in the service so we met yesterday for lunch and he related to me the story of this rescue operation. I looked it up today to find out more about it and found your post. Hope you see this. Here are a couple of links with additional info: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1955/02/13/page/3/article/ski-plane-lifts-survivor-from-wreck-of-b-47
I arrived at Maccill a.f.b. in 1951-1955. thought i would share some of the crashes we incountered during that time. The first one involved a b-47 and a kc-97 during inflieght refueling.There was static electricity on the boom and when it touched the b-47 both exploded.
Being a aircraft electrician I was involved on a better grounding fix on the refueling boom.
The second one was a b-47 going down on the practice bombing range about one hundred miles from Macdill the plane went in with such force the eighteen foot engines were compressed to three feet.
There wasnt a crash but we lost a Engineer when he ejected going down the runway on takeoff.
then there was one lost on takeoff in Tampa Bay.
The Air police when relieved from guarding a B-47 are suppose to clear there weapons out from under the plane. We had one who cleared his weapon under the plane, the weapon went off and the bullet went thru a lot of wires giving me a rough job repairing them. Maybe there will be some airmen out there that will remmber some of these events at the beginning of the B-47s early days
I’m the youngest son of Maj. Richmond Case, Base Supply Officer, I believe – at that time. 1960-1963. Chennault Air Force Base. I would be very interested to know anything about him and that time. He passed away many years ago. Thanks.
Mr. Hagberg, My father worked as a civilian employee at Chennault Air Force Base during the late 50’s and early 60’s up until just before the base closed. When I was very young he told me and my older brothers of an incident where the ground crew accidentally ignited the JATO rockets on a B-47 and caused the plane to run into a fire suppressions system that spewed water all over the place. The water carried burning jet fuel to other parked planes. Some of the planes might have been armed with nuclear weapons. No explosions took place, but for a breif time, things were a little tense. Do you recall anything like this? I was born in 1953 so I was very young when he told me this and unfortunately he passed away some years ago. Thanks so much for any informatipon you might be able to provide. Mike CLark
Air Force time was 1950 to 1954. My B-29 got no abort record going 600 hours with only one engine change. Went to B-47. My plane flew 76 hours in one month. I got a letter from General Haines for this TDY. Went to French Morrocco from Lake Charles, Louisiana, where I was stationed, My flight crew while flying another B-47 crashed in Atlas Mountains. This was the 13th crash as I remember. The pilot went down with the plane, co-pilot and navigator ejected up-side-down. Their names were Torphy and Hardman. My assistant crew chief was Leiny, (not sure how it’s spelled), Anyone out there remember this? My picture was on Combat Crew Magazine with canopy off to look like it was going down. I would love one of these magazines or picture of it if anyone has one. Jordon Lockmiller
My late and very dear stepfather Lt Col Robert F. (Bob) Savage was an observer in B-47’s from 1954-60. He was in the 513th bomb sqd of the 376th bomb wing at Barksdale AFB and Lockbourne AFB and was lead observer in the lead crew of his sqd. He was regularly involved in the SAC bomb competion and did well.
I believe the 376th was a pathfinder wing tasked with being first to target in order to jam Soviet radar and at the limit of their fuel range but details are hard to find.
He flew two tours in the Pacific as bombardier in B-26’s and another over Korea in B-29’s. He was awarded the Silver Star, DFC and four Air Medals.
Because he was a bombardier/navigator and not a pilot his career options were limited beyond 20 years service (does “rifting” ring a bell) and he retired in 1961 to work for Boeing and later on revolutionary IT systems for Lockheed. He died far too young in 1973.
Strangely for a B-47 observer he was the ranking member of his crew along with A/C Major Dean Derrick and co-pilot Cpt Grady Kitchens.
On a base open day with the flight-line full of civilians Dad took me, aged about twelve, through a crowd of envious kids, up into the guts of a B-47 and we taxied to the end of the runway and back in order to run checks for his mission the next day.
He will always been a hero to me.
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers him or his crew and any info you might have on the 376th bomb wing.
any information mid air crash from Homestead A F B in the late fifities beteeen 1956 and 1958 .I belive one of the surviour was Lt Rose . I was a fire control tec in the 19A& E Maint Sqd .one 0f the A/C involved was one of my 5 A/C
I was the only E4 jet engine mechanic qualified to run and test engines after installation or maintenance on the flight line at Whiteman AFB in 1963. I was about to be reassigned to Anderson AFB on Guam, so this was my last run up on a B-47. for a test after maintenance. I noticed the ass end was pointed toward a hanger now housing civilians working on the transition to Whiteman becoming a missile base. I got permission from the tower to “test water alcohol on an engine” Sooo, after proper run-up time I hit the switch and watched as black smoke rolled across the flight line and began filling the open doors of the hanger. Soon the DCM raced to my aircraft in his station wagon and came up the ladder shouting while I continued to pour the coals to the engine. He gave me the high sign to shut down since “I couldn’t hear him over the noise”. Later as the colonel chewed my ass, I obviously claimed ignorance to it all and the poor civilian women that came running out of the hanger rubbing their eyes. After all, the tower had given me permission to fire off water alcohol don’t you know.
Something I will always remember since I was usually spit and polish and very gung ho. Best years of my young life. Loved SAC!
I was working on the flight line when this happen. I was assigned to the Radio Radar Maintenance group and we were on the line for the daily check out of the 6 B47 that were load with A Bombs. I think that when they applied power to that plane the ATO bottles fired off the plane jumped the chocks and rammed into the maintenance truck that was parked in front of it. My buddy said let’s get out of here and we drove to the nearest exit gate and left.
I am looking for help that can assist me in finding a
movie that was made in the 50s about a situation that
involved my Dad on May 26 1954.
Name is Terrence P. O’Sullivan , My dads name is David
G. O’Sullivan. He was a pilot in WWII, Korea and
Vietnam. I am really having a tough time finding a
movie about a flight my father made. I thought I would
tell you what my dad told me so you might be able to
locate it in your archives. I don’t know the name of
it. But I can tell you the story he told me and I have
gotten the Military records that back it up from, The
Department of the Air force Historical Studies office.
He was one of the first instructor pilots on the new
B-47s and was bringing in a new group of planes
replacing the older ones. Will checking out the crews
on the new B-47s is when it started. There had been
several crashes of new 47s on landing. They had not
been able to figure out why they were crashing. Well
when the 47 that my dad was in was coming in for a
landing after checking the crew out the tower told
them not to land because someone saw that the nose
gear had not come down. Well they were kept in the air
for a record amount of time and refueled more then
anyone in history wile the engineers tried to figure
out the problem. After a long time days they finally
sent them out over the Ocean to dump any excess
material that would be dangerous doing a belly landing
on fome. Wile they were out there my dad said he saw
the planes Shadow on a cloud and there appeared to be
something hanging down on the nose. So they had a
chase plane look and they saw nothing there. So the
engineers started working on it and figured out the
there was a small wedge like a v in front of the
landing gear that was there to cut the wind so that
when bombs drooped they could drop truer rather than
tumble when the force of wind hit them when dropping
out of the bomb bay. That
wedge it turned out was causing a suction in the wheel
weal and they were able to go below and do something
that allowed the nose wheel to descended lock. Could
you check with your sources to try and confirm any or
some of this or tell me were I might try looking for a
copy of the movie?
Here is some of my dads information from the time when
1.David G. O’Sullivan Service # A0807777
Started Instructing B47E Feb 1954at 2nd AF (SAC) 2nd
Bomber Wing 96th Squadron . Hunter AFB Savannah GA
until July 1954 Thin 2nd AF 6th Strat
Recon Sqd (M) 70th Strat Recon Wing (M) At
Lockbourne AFB Columbus Ohio from May to Aug 1955
Thin On to Little Rock AFB Jacksonville
Arkansas from Sep1955 to Aug 1956
This information I received is the
actual incident reports from the Dept. Of the A.F.,
A.F. Historical Studies Office. There are three
reports but all described the same incident like what
I said I remember my dad telling me.
This is the crew list
Major David G. O’Sullivan, AO 806666, IP
Capt. Daniel L. Berry, AO562527, A/C
Major John B. Vickery, AO 661681, P.
1/Lt. Donald E. Marcho, AO785146, VO.
They were nominated for “Crew of the Month” and “Heads
Up Flying Club” on June 3rd 1954. Those are for best
in the whole Air Force
The B-47 received from the KC-97 five refueling
totaling 137,000 pounds.
At one point the report states that “by this time
Boeing had almost the entire engineering section
working on the problem and shortly after 0800E May 27
1954 they hit the answer. They talked my father threw
the proses that was necessary to finally get the
landing gear to come down.
I hope this information might give yall some ideas of
were I might find information that would lead me to
Any help will be greatly appreciated thanks for your
time Terrence P. O’Sullivan
Help If someone could rewrite these to get better attention I would appreciate it . Please pass on the info to everyone so maybe someone with knowledge of the movie , name of it and any info at all.THanks everyone.
Anyone have memories of Reflex at Upper Heyford ?