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Tag: Strategic Air Command

Remembering the B-58A Hustler speed records and the 1962 Bendix Trophy
On Mar. 5, 1962, Capts. Robert G. Sowers (pilot), Robert MacDonald (navigator) and John T. Walton (defensive systems operator) flew from Los Angeles to New York City in the Hustler in only 2 hours 56.8 seconds, an average speed of 1,214.17 miles per hour. The U.S. Air Force's first operational supersonic bomber,...
The Palomares Broken Arrow Accident
The B-52’s incoming speed was too fast and caused the aircraft to collide with the KC-135’s fueling boom. Major Larry G. Messinger, one of the bomber co-pilots, recalled, “All of a sudden, all hell seemed to break loose.” The U.S. military uses the term “Broken Arrow” to refer to an accident that involves...
Remembering the 1952 Carswell AFB Tornado that damaged two-thirds of SAC’s B-36 Force
Maintenance docks used to work on the B-36 bombers outdoors were thrown about and the steel cables tying down the bombers snapped as the planes were thrown about by the tornado like toys. In the 1950s, prior to the arrival of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the responsibility for the long-range strategic deterrent...
"As we approached the helo-ship, I noticed ten guys facing us, standing in a line across the landing pad. As we approached, all ten turned, dropped their pants, and mooned us. Navy guys, what a hoot!" Jay Lacklen is a former B-52 pilot with 12,500 flying hours and the author of two books, Flying the Line: An Air Force Pilot’s Journey and...
SR-71... or RS-71? How the legendary Blackbird got her designation
The tale said that President Johnson was supposed to name the Blackbird the "RS-71" and that he confused the letters, reversed them, and said "SR-71" The following story appears in Col. Richard H. Graham's book Flying the SR-71 Blackbird. On 24 July, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave a news conference at the State Department auditorium with 315 people in attendance. For...
B-52s at Andersen Air Base, Guam, during preparations for Operation Linebacker II in Dec. 1972.
"The three B-52s sat behind the runway hold line awaiting permission for the final B-52 takeoff from U-Tapao. Then tower cleared us for takeoff. On interplane frequency, I said, 'OK, guys, let's take our Buffs and go home,'" Jay Lacklen, former B-52 pilot Jay Lacklen is a former B-52 pilot with 12,500 flying hours and the author of two books, Flying...
The incredible story of the B-52 that landed with two engines "dancing on the wing"
"'Ah, IP, copilot!' Oh, great, I thought, what problem could this rookie have now? I told him to go ahead. 'Ah, are there supposed to be holes in the engines?' 'Yes,' I told him, 'one in the front, one in the back.' 'No,' he said, his voice now quavering, 'I mean holes in the side of the cowling,'" Jay Lacklen, former...
Former B-52 driver explains what it's like performing a Minimum Interval Takeoff (MITO) departure
"One of the most insane maneuvers we practiced in SAC was the MITO, where we would take off fifteen seconds behind the preceding B-52 to practice our wartime departure procedures," Jay Lacklen, former B-52 pilot The cool video in this post features U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress bombers during a Minimum Interval Takeoff (MITO) exercise. A Minimum Interval Takeoff is...
The story of Bud Holland, the Rogue Pilot that crashed his B-52 after having maneuvered it beyond its operational limits at low altitude
"Apparently Bud Holland fancied himself the best B-52 pilot who ever lived and took pride in displaying his prowess in inappropriate, irresponsible ways," Jay Lacklen, former B-52 pilot Jay Lacklen is a former B-52 pilot with 12,500 flying hours and the author of two books, Flying the Line: An Air Force Pilot’s Journey and Flying the Line: An Air Force Pilot’s Journey Volume...
Descending into Armageddon: SAC Go Codes
If instructed, the orbiting crews would open their top-secret decoders and validate the "Go Codes" sent by radio from SAC headquarters in Omaha, NE. If the Go Codes were validated, crews were ordered to complete their dreaded missions Jay Lacklen is a former B-52 pilot with 12,500 flying hours and the author of two books, Flying the Line: An Air Force Pilot’s...

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