srpatch.gifSR-71 ALMA MATER srpatch.gif

RECOLLECTIONS FROM THE PAST
Guest Book Entries for 2000

I have been requested to include recollections from various personnel that have either worked on the SR-71 or have been closely associated with the program through support operations. Bear in mind that the SR-71 could have never flown had it not been for the expertise of personnel in a wide variety of specialties in the US Air Force and civilian industry. These include but are not limited to KC-135Q Refueling Support, Air Traffic Controllers, Security Policemen, Base Fire Suppression Support, Medical personnel, Lockheed Technical Support, Physiological Support Division (PSD) and a vast array of top notch people that expended that extra effort to insure the success of the program. If you have been associated with the Blackbird Program 

please feel free to make an entry in:

The Alma-Mater Guestbook .

Guestbook

Additionally, if you feel you qualify to join the Blackbird Association see the link at the bottom of this page. 

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There are Nineteen  total web pages that comprise the
"SR-71 Alma Mater and Recollections of the Past"

The original web page (the one you are on now) had grown to over 3 Megs in size. To expedite your Browser loading, I have divided the "Guest book" Entries into Chronological year groups by dates the e-mail was received:

 

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Sat, 30 Dec 2000 19:36 A1C Brian Coffman Writes: I was a Jet Mech at Beale from March 86 until April 88. I just stumbled over this site and was pleasantly surprised at the content and comments. It would be great to hear from some of the ole gang.

Keep up the great work!!!!!!!

A1C Brian Coffman

Email: lost1zmarbles@hotmail.com
Editor's Note: That is for sure his Email address!

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Wed, 27 Dec 2000 17:27 Col. (Ret.) Gid Terry Writes: What a great set of web pages. Of course the subject deserves only the very best. I spent many years associated with the SR - 71 and U -2 programs. It all started when I was a KC-135 Q model pilot out of Little Rock . Then after a stint in Terrejon Spain as the Asst. DCM of our tanker operation, I went to Beale first in the 456th Bomb Wg. as the OMS SQ. CMDR. then over to the 9SRW and subsequently the DCM. What a great assignment and for two reasons: the fantastic maintenance troops and the exciting aircraft that we had under our care. A couple of the great troops included CMSgt Frank Tucci, CMSgt Don Campbell, CMSgt Bob "Slick" Fraizer, and tech reps like Fred Carmody. These are just a very few of the folks that made this one of the most exciting tours a fellow could experience. I even got to fly both the SR and the U-2 and all that is thanks to Col. Mike Kidder. Those were the days when we had two wings, two DCO'S and one DCM with one large and hard working maintenance complex with several Dets around the world. What a HOOT!! But we punched out about 40 sorties per day at the home place..I happened upon your web after visiting Gilmer TX . on the occasion of dedicating the airport to Col. Fox Stephens. Thanks for such an outstanding opportunity to reflect and perhaps run upon some of those who had as much fun as I did.

Col. (Ret.) Gid Terry

Email: gterry@shreve.net

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Sat, 23 Dec 2000 19:19 Sgt Gayle Kirkland Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB with the 9th OMS from Feb 67 thru Sept 69.  I was assigned to the Training Section under CMSgt A J Smith.  I was transferred to the flight line about 4 weeks before I shipped out to Thailand . I think when they found out I could read and write and type better than most of the clerks, I never made it to the flight line.

Sgt Gayle Kirkland

Email: gkirknub@aol.com

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Sat, 23 Dec 2000 18:56 Ronald Dickneite MSgt (Ret) Writes: I was one of the first few personnel to be assigned to the Blackbird program at Beale AFB, CA. In fact we were assigned to the 4200 OMS. I had arrived at Beale in May of 1965. We didn't have any aircraft to work on so some of the people were loaned out to the 456th to help them out, some did squadron duties around the base. I can remember coming to work and standing around the little building across from the chow hall. There we all would get in groups by our rank and have roll call. This is the time they were picking crew chiefs and assistants to go down to the factory to pick up their assigned planes and others were sent to the other place to work on flying aircraft so we could get some experience on them. Some of the peoples names I remember are C D Allen, William "BILL" Bell, James Martin, Eddie Roper, Don Carey, Leroy Hanson, Larry Harris, Clifford Fessler, Ed Thorner, Chuck Carter, Ken Becker, Bill Gornick, H. Hollis, Williams, Don Bennett, Schwartz, Kennedy, B. Kuperwitz, Roger Massey and many more through out the years. Some of the best times were had were in the early days when every one was treated fairly and equally. The Squadron picnic that some of the guys put on a show with top hats over their bodies and their stomach's showing, and dancing to some tune. I can remember going to OL8 for the first time what a blast; Kobe beef steak for dinner, the NCO Club, the riding stables, and the Shi Shi dogs. I put in for an Instructor job in the 525 FTD to replace Ed Stratton upon his retirement. I was there for several year teaching the APG course along with Seat Safety and other courses. Some of the other instructors were Hanks (Radar), Gary Campbell (Autopilot), Davis (Engines), Lasky (HYD). I don't think there was a better unit / wing in all the AF, even better than the 89th at Andrews. All the people that started that program are long retired and all we have left are the memories.

Ronald Dickneite MSgt (Ret)

Email: ronald.dickneite@gte.net

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Tue, 19 Dec 2000 19:17 Scott Elder Writes: Nice job...Great site.  I operate another skunk works product currently.  A JetStar, know in the military as a VC-140 I believe.  My boss was worried about flying in a 1966 airplane.  I told him about Kelly Johnson and the Skunk Works and their Concorde beater.  Designs ahead of they're time, and the other manufacturers are still figuring it out.  My current wrench was Kadena based in the 80's for aircraft structures.  Dave Marchsteiner.  Seems he changed the leading edges on one bird that went a little too fast.  I always felt you could tell the devotion of a group by the product they put out.  The stories on this website represent a tremendous amount of devotion, professionalism and sense of duty.  Don't ever think the people on the outside don't appreciate it.  The legend lives.

Scott Elder, Civilian
Email:
seagullaircraft@worldnet.att.net

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Sun, 17 Dec 2000 15:17 Bob Mocklin Writes: I was with the 9th RTS from about June 1967 until my enlistment ended in Sep 1970. I always wonder what happened to some of the guys I worked with: how they are, where they are, how life's been treating them, how many times they've been married, how many kids do they have, and that sort of thing. I wish I could remember everyone's name, but I can't, so here are those that I can think of immediately, without much thought, in no particular order: Sam Lockridge (thanks, Sam, for pointing me to this site), Leonard Dill, Eddie Hickman, Joe Harrison, Mike Sonnenberg, Delmar Anthony, Jim Brown, Joe Felder, Steve Kelly, David Sourwine, Billy C. Langston, Sgt Kesterson, Charlie Painter, Jerry Ingram, Lowell Rollyson, Sgt LeTourneau from Maine, Sgt Dennison, Sgt Hector (whose last name escapes me) ...   and Thank You, Sgt Haynes, for putting this site together and maintaining it.

Bob Mocklin

Email: rmocklin@mediaone.net

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Mon, 11 Dec 2000 16:01 SSgt Richard A. Clark Writes: I was a Simulator Technician on the SR-71 Flight Simulator from 4-80 to 4-90.  It was a pleasure being associated with such an elite group of personnel and the overall program.  The experiences have been so memorable that it was like I was there yesterday and a web site like this just keeps them alive! Thanks.

SSgt Richard A. Clark

Email: richard.a.clark4@boeing.com

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Thu, 7 Dec 2000 11:59 Sgt Shermont E. Pressley Writes: Anyone from 1977 to 1981 Beale, Kadena, Osan.

Sgt Shermont E. Pressley
No Email address
Street Address: 1211 Hudson St.
City: Harrisburg
State
: PA

Zip: 17104
Phone Number: 717 2384265

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Wed, 6 Dec 2000 14:59 SSgt Lex A. Davis Writes: Trying to find any photos of cartoons I drew on Det.1 aircraft tails and shop doors.(1977 to 1980). I was an Elint/ECM specialist at Beale during this time.

SSgt Lex A. Davis

Email: flex1313@worldnet.att.net

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Sun, 3 Dec 2000 19:11:07 MSgt (Ret) Rich Hummer Writes: Worked Autopilot from Jan 1970-Jul 1973. Most rewarding memories of my entire AF career. Spent most of my time at Kadena. Great site keep up the good work.

MSgt (Ret) Rich Hummer

Email: RHUMMER784@aol.com

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Sat, 2 Dec 2000 09:18 MSgt Dennis P. Pugh, USAF, Retired Writes: My brother Tom Pugh flew the a/c from 70-84 when he retired.  Maybe you remember him as I think you shared time at Beale.  I'm retired from USAF as well and spent my time as avionics nav sys tech and later in the ELINT business.  I was stationed at Beale in 75/76 but with the 456 BW.  Tom was at Palmdale Plant 42 while I was at Beale.  I tried to get into the 9th but it seems now that the AF didn't want two Pughs in the same organization!  Thanks for your nice web page.

MSgt Dennis P. Pugh, USAF, Retired

Email: K7VAY@compuserve.com

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Fri, 1 Dec 2000 15:52 Roger Sharp Writes: Having worked in the PSD for several years, both at Davis-Monthan and Beale I can say I was thrilled to see this page.
Good memories.

Roger Sharp

Email: rsharp@canyoncounty.org

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Tue, 28 Nov 2000 15:04 SSgt Steven DeLong Writes: My first duty station was Beale with the 48th Intel Squadron with a Deployable Ground Station.  I used to walk around the SR-71 now on display on the flightline at least twice a week.  This was in the summer of 1994.  The SR-71 was supposed to come back and we were to implement our systems with it.  Unfortunately, Congress thought otherwise.  Great Website!!

SSgt Steven DeLong

Email: steven.delong@pressroom.com

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Mon, 27 Nov 2000 23:38 MSgt (Retired) Darwin Evelsizer Writes: I was assigned to the 9RTS Exploitation Section, (imagery analysis) from June 1965 to May 1977 with a one year break in 1971 for a tour in Viet Nam with the 12 Recon Intel Tech Sqd.  Some of the guys that I remember working with are Virgil Ditch, Dick Calahan, Bob Rossi, Ted Bollerud, Jim Bayle, Chuck Cordell, Morgan Warren, Don Jackson, Junior Songer, Paul Finkus and Bob Holsapple.  More later.

Tue, 28 Nov 2000 10:17 Leland:  Your web site for the Blackbirds is absolutely fantastic.  I have spent several hours looking through it and intend to look even more.  This has brought back many very pleasant memories of my years at Beale, 1965-1977.  You have produced a very fitting tribute to the SR-71 and the Habu's, Bat Caver's, etc who flew, maintained and supported the gorgeous, best, greatest, fastest, highest, one-of-a-kind, unstoppable, kick-ass, titanium wonder bird.

  One event from my time at Beale that sticks out in my mind is the episode of the "Great Orange Speck."  Several VIP type people left San Francisco on a sailboat on their way to Hawaii for a vacation.  Their boat developed some type of problem and sank leaving the people floating in a life raft somewhere between 'Frisco and Honolulu .  A U-2R was tasked to fly a series of parallel "tracks" over the area where the boat was thought to be.  The U-2 and the SR-71 normally carried only black and white film both because it was cheaper and it produced considerably better resolution than did color film.  Color film was selected for this search mission because it was felt that the contrast of the orange life raft against the blue-green ocean would outweigh the loss of image quality.

  Every PI in the shop was brought in to scan the film in an attempt to locate the boat or raft.  We knew from the size of the raft that it was going to be extremely small on the film and very difficult, if not impossible to detect.  I think that it was during the second day of searching that I found an almost imperceptible "speck" on the film that appeared to have a faint trace of orange color to it.  The photo processing folks took a very careful look at the film to insure that it wasn't a speck of dirt, pinhole in the emulsion or some other film defect.  There is a clock picture on each frame of imagery and we compared the time of this frame to the pilot's log and location of the speck within the frame in a W.A.G. (Wild A _ _ Guess) attempt to determine the location of what we hoped was the raft.  These coordinates were sent to the Coast Guard and they applied their S.W.A.G. (Scientific Wild A _ _ Guess) formulas for wind and current drift to determine the theoretical, present location.  They sent a C-130 search and rescue bird to the anticipated location to begin a systematic search pattern.  They arrived at the coordinates and BINGO, there was the raft with several people in it!  The media gave considerable coverage to the safe return of these folks, but very little was mentioned about the role the 9SRW and 9 RTS performed in the rescue.

  I went PCS from Beale to the 43 SW at Andersen AFB, Guam , in May of 1977 to do nuclear strike mission planning for the B-52D.  Two years later I somehow got transferred out of SAC and went to MAC at Scott AFB, IL to work in Air Rescue & Recovery Service and USAF Special Operations.  I retired in 1984 and still live near Scott.

Sincerely,

Darwin Evelsizer, MSgt (Ret.)
Email:
darwine@accessus.net

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Sun, 26 Nov 2000 00:29 Colonel Jon Kraus Writes: Browsing as usual, thought I might update my Email address. Great site keep up the good work.  [RSO 1967-1973,9th AMS CC 1974-1976 ,14th ADV LG 1979-1982] retired 1985.

 

Colonel Jon Kraus

 

Email:  mjkraus32@sbcglobal.net   Email address updated January 09, 2008

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Mon, 20 Nov 2000 16:18 A1C Thomas D. Moore (Tom) Writes: I first got to Beale AFB in July, 1967, and had never heard of the SR-71. I was in the 856th Med. Group., and assigned to the hospital there. I arrived at night, and bunked in the barracks across from the BX entrance, which backed up to the field at the end of the runway. I came out the first AM to a bright California morning, heard this horiffic roar, and looked left to see my first SR-71 taking off. It was love at first sight, and I lobbied from day 1 to get to the PSD section and work near that bird. I finally got there, and thought I had died and gone to heaven. I remained there until I went to Viet Nam , in Sep 68, and then requested to return to Beale, hoping to reunite with the plane. I got back to Beale, but was assigned to the ER at the hospital. I never made it back to PSD, but working with the crews and support personnel was one of the highlights of my USAF enlistment. I can still close my eyes and see that beautiful black baby taking off that first morning....I love that plane.

A1C Thomas D. Moore (Tom)

Email: hotglass@mediaone.net

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Sat, 11 Nov 2000 18:12 Jeffrey W. Shelton Writes: My Father-in-law is Ret. TSgt Marcus Mitchell, USAF. When I met my "future" Father-in-law 7 years ago, one of the first things he showed me was his work on the SR-71, The Blackbird. What he showed me was quite impressive. What he has showed me has sparked a great interest in what is the GREATEST flying machine ever. But most of all, what he has shown me is PRIDE. He takes great pride in his involvement with the SR-71. It shows every time he mentions it or when he shows me recent books or videos he has received. The same way the pride is shown through the various people included in this website. All of you gentlemen definitely have something to be proud of and this website is wonderful to search through.

Jeffrey W. Shelton

Email: jbsheltn@gateway.net

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Thu, 9 Nov 2000 13:17 Son of Sgt. Senua J. Hebert Writes: My father was attached to the SR-71 Squadron in April of 1965...I know the date well because I was a senior in High School when my father asked me and my family to move to Marysville, Ca. Leaving behind my fellow classmates for many years tore my heart out, but being an "Air Force Brat", I put it behind me not knowing that I would experience a once in a life time event. The birth of the SR-71. To this day I still possess the poster with the names of the original pilots as well as a gold lapel pin. These items I will treasure forever. As we approach Veteran's Day and as Vietnam Veteran myself, I salute my Father who has retired to post everlasting. I miss you dearly, my Poppa....Your Son Walt.

Walt Hebert, Son of Sgt. Senua J. Hebert

Email: wgheb611@bigplanet.com

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Mon, 6 Nov 2000 06:30 Steven Myatt, Capt Writes: I worked as an enlisted troop in the Habu photo shop from '75 -'77. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the AECP program and I left the 9th AMS for school in August of '77. So many great people I worked with back then (some are long gone): SMSgt Storer, MSgt Wagner, Sgt Howlett, MSgt Hyzinskie (misspelled no doubt), Sgt Dave Luna, Airman Cole, Airman Deb Manual (went hiking in the Sierras and was never heard from again), Airman Davidson. One of the more interesting moments in my Habu career came when I was at Det1 and I got to watch the SLR shop put together the tracking chart for the back-seater. At the end of the scrolling chart, the SLR guys put in a bunch of center-folds for the RSO to contemplate while the aircraft was being landed. I'll bet you never see this little tid-bit of information in SR-71 books! By the way, I happen to have taken about a dozen color photos of 979 when I went out with the launch truck in the spring of '77. If you'd like an e-mail copy or perhaps you're writing a book and would like to use Unique, Unpublished color photos of an operational SR-71 going out on a mission, then send me an e-mail at myattmr2@yahoo.com. Take care folks. We are all that are left.

Steven Myatt, Capt

Email: myattmr2@yahoo.com

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Sat, 4 Nov 2000 06:48 SMSgt. (Ret.) Charles (Chuck) J. Kanach Jr.Writes: I was initially assigned to 9th AMS Sq. during Aug. 1978. I worked in the Comm/Nav Branch, Auto Pilot Branch, I was acting 1st Sgt. and Training NCOIC. During this assignment, I was also loaned to the Base Education Office for a year to established the base PME program. I did all of the instructing for the first year of the program. In April 1981 I was re-assigned to Det. at Kadena AFB as the Avionic's NCOIC where I served until June 1985. I retired in June 1986 from Tinker AFB, OK where I still serve as a civilian in support of the E-3 AWACS. I considered the time with the 9th SRW as the highlight of of my 26 years of active duty. Thank you for the work you are doing keeping this web going.

SMSgt. (Ret.) Charles (Chuck) J. Kanach Jr.

Email: KC5EZS@TDS.NET

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Fri, 3 Nov 2000 11:37 Bill Burgett ECM/ANS Tec. Rep Writes: I was a rep at Beale AFB from 1965 to 1969 working primarily on the ANS system,(NAS-14). Went to OL-8 in Dec. 1969 and stayed until Aug. 1974 with the ANS and ECM equipment. Returned to Beale and worked in ECM until 1978. From 1978 until 1982 worked on numerous programs until I went to Mildenhall (Det. 4) in Mar. 1982 Until July 1988. Upon my return to the states I retired. Working on the SR-71 program had to be the highlight of my entire career. I also was on the U2 program on the NAS-21 flight test prior to my assignment to Det. 4. Met an awful lot of nice folks and the memories are still clearly the best of all. It would take reams of paper and hours trying to recall all of my many friends and acquaintances. See most of you in Reno next year.

Bill Burgett ECM/ANS Tech. Rep

Email: habu402@att.net

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Mon, 30 Oct 2000 19:57 MSgt (Retired) David "Mike" Berry   Writes: It is with great pride that I recall my experiences with both the SR-71 and the U-2R from 1970 to 1982.  Beale AFB was my first assignment out of tech school.  I worked in the 9th AMS ECM/EWS shop from Feb 1970 to Dec 1973, leaving for a short stint to Thailand/Guam in Nov 73/74, and back (thanks to code 51) to Beale AFB (1974) until my PCS assignment to Det 1 (RTS) in Okinawa (1980).  The many TDYs to OL-8/OL-RK/Det 1, Det 6, and other locations, provided me with the most unforgettable experiences of my life.  Although I went on to work the B-52D/G, and A-10 Warthog, no other assignment ever measured up to the caliber of camaraderie felt with people like Bill Donathan (where are you???), John MacNeil, Doug Bentley, Bill Whittle, Mike Hull , William Stewart, Malcolm Tarver, and the civilians;  (John Gianissimo, Stan Gryzbeck, Ron Badamo, on Okinawa) and Gerry Berger, Gary, Bill Burgett, Roger M. at Beale, and so many more I had the pleasure of working with over the years. Nothing can beat the many nights spent watching that sleek Habu flying off into the dark Okinawan night, tail rings extending behind in a halo glow and a thundering rumble in the air.  Waiting patiently for the Blackbird to roll back to its "nest"; seemed the longest time ever.  When you saw the flurry of activity as the crews pounced on it to recover the plane at engine shutdown, you knew another mission had been successfully completed and a sense of pride came over you for being part of that. The fact that so many people have searched for this site, even after many years away from the SR-71 program, attests to the impact this great program had on each of our lives.  Fantastic web site, Leland!  It was great fun reminiscing; I shall visit often.

MSgt (Retired - 1990) David "Mike" Berry
Email:
tigrr50@hotmail.com

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Mon, 30 Oct 2000 16:39 CMSgt. (Ret) Horst R. Goeritz Writes: Coming across this website has triggered emotions that have kept me crying and laughing all day. It is like coming home and talking about all the wonderful experiences of a lifetime. I would like to relate a few stories of a great bunch of troops I was privileged to supervise in the Instrument Shop from 1970 to 1976. I would like some time to collect my thoughts before submitting them to this website.

Thu, 2 Nov 2000 20:06 Additional comments added: CMSgt (Ret.) Horst Goeritz, 9 AMS 1970-1976. The most memorable event during my tenure as NCOIC of the 9 AMS Instrument Shop (better known as the INLET Shop), was the challenge to program the Inlets of 972 and the "Backup" with the best possible inlet schedule available without risking "Unstarts". Initially, the core team consisting of Ted Hansen, Airesearch Tech. Rep: TSgt Herb Greathouse and myself studied reams of digital data obtained from our friends at NASA. (The NASA SR's had a reputation of flying without the annoying "Unstarts") The data proved invaluable , because it taught us to rethink our approach and methodology in scheduling the Air Inlets. (this eventually led to the Digital Air Inlet Systems, DAFICS) (Note we were able to procure a couple of those newfangled, handheld TI Calculators to do the number crunching.) However, at the time it was impossible to duplicate a NASA schedule on the ground with the available support equipment. We needed another approach. Using the Mission Recorder System as a measuring tool rather than an analytical means, we extrapolated the data and determined the minimum Air Inlet Computer adjustments. Some folks in the know were not entirely happy with our methods. But it was hard to argue success. The effort was wholly supported by the prime crews of Sullivan/Widdifield and Adams/Machorek. Although I am quite sure they were not aware of how it was possible to improve the Inlets performance from one flight to the next. Suffice it to say, they were delighted. After each flight and formal debrief, Capt. Adams and Maj. Machorek would visit the shop and we would jointly read the tapes. Each time we figured another "tweak" until one day the only comment from Buck Adams was: "It's a Cadillac!" Well, you know the rest of the story. The day after the record setting flight, New York-London, the 9 AMS stood down and had a Picnic. I was on call and when the Tapes arrived I tore myself away from the cold suds, Hot Dogs and home made Chili. The tapes told a story I can not describe, except for one concern: the total inlet temperature was perilously close to exceeding exhaust gas temperature at some point in the 1hr 54 min 56 sec flight. I would like to dedicate this story, and give honor, to Capt. Buck Adams for the help he provided me for inspiring and motivating many three-levels to become outstanding airmen. Thanks, Buck, wherever you are!
P.S. Leland, it may have been you that stopped and questioned me about what I was doing to the AICS without a work order.

CMSgt. (Ret) Horst R. Goeritz
Email:
horstg@yahoo.com

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Sat, 28 Oct 2000 21:07 TSgt Marcus Mitchell Ret, USAF Writes: Having served in the United Stated Air Force for 17 Yrs. 6 Mos, I was a member of the 4200 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. I was the 13th original Chief in this Wing which later became the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. I received Acft. #61-7971 from the Lockheed Factory. I made the Air Force Acceptance Inspection on it. The Aircraft only had 14 flying hrs. logged in its records. In 1968 I prepared it to go back to the factory for IRAN it had 250:00 Flying Logged in the 781 aircraft records. I launched  971 nine times in succession and it landed after each mission with OK Flights written up in the 781A. That was a record that no other Chief matched while I was in the organization. I was nominated for the Master Chief Award, and received it. I can prove it, but because I was Black all other Chiefs received the same Award without having the same record documented. I retired from the USAF. Jun.1,1970. I was in the organization 1 year before we received the first Aircraft which was #61-7956B. I would like to locate CMSgt A.J.Smith

From: TSgt Marcus Mitchell Ret, USAF
Email:
aspen38@midwest.net

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Thu, 26 Oct 2000 07:56 A1C Carl Yelverton Writes: In March of 1966 I was assigned to the 4200th FMS (later 9th FMS) right out of tech school (airframe repair in Amarillo). All the shops in field maintenance were receiving new people to augment the career men which were previously assigned to the SR-71 program. There were six new men in the sheet metal shop all were A3C (E-2). They were Blucher, Stokes, Filier, Orca, St John and myself, we were all from California . There is a funny story that goes along with my being assigned to the 4200th FMS. I received my orders with about a week to go in tech school. It just so happened that going through high performance sheet metal school at that time was the shop chief of the 456th FMS sheet metal shop, the B-52/KC-135 wing at Beale. An instructor introduced me to him because he though I would be working for him. He looked at my orders and said something to the effect, "there is a mistake here, you can't be going there, you will never see this outfit" and then assured me I would work for him. Will I didn't and couldn't have been happier? By the way he was an SSgt (E-5), our shop chief SMSgt Reynolds was an E-8. One of my proudest accomplishments while working on the Blackbirds is my being involved with painting the Red 1 & Habu on the tail of 974 "ICHI BAN" It was around September 1968 (Could have been any time between August and January 1969, the time I was TDY). My shop chief at Kadena MSgt Paul (last name) cut the stencils and I did the painting. There were several other things that were painted on SR-71's, I can't remember them all, however, I wonder if anyone remembers the hobo on the outboard main gear doors with the words HABU HOBO under it? Or how about changing the serial number of an on a plane that was being rotated back to Beale to 978 because while we were TDY 978 went off the runway at Beale and was written off? I was discharged in February 1969 as a Sgt (A1C E-4) 9 months early, seems the Air Force only had enough budget for people or bombs not both, they chose the later. I currently work for Lockheed Martin (30 plus years) as the L-1011 Resident Support Manager, RAF Brize Norton. I would like to here from anyone stationed at Beale during the early years. Thank you for a wonderful web site, while the SR-71's may not be flying, they will always be cruising at Mach 3+ in my heart.

Thank You, Again

A1C Carl Yelverton
Email:
L1011BZN@aol.com

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Thu, 26 Oct 2000 10:18 SSgt Rod Stadum Writes: Served in the 9th AMS from Jun 71 to Dec 73, including TDY tours in Okinawa and New York .  I am fortunate enough to live and work near the USAF Museum , where 17976 is retired.  Give me a call and we can meet there at noon, when you get a chance to visit.  Best regards to each of you.

SSgt Rod Stadum
Email:  
RStadum@GMail.com

 

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Mon, 23 Oct 2000 22:03 Leonard Kania Writes: I just saw that Col. Bull has passed on. He had to be one of the most colorful of the crewmen I worked with. One morning, after suiting him and his RSO up (I worked in PSD), we headed out to the flight line in our van. Upon arriving at the MP gate, the MP stated he could not let us pass because there was a police drill in effect. Col. Bull rose from his seat and told the MP that he was interfering with a tactical flight; the MP was standing directly in front of me, the driver. Col Bull sat down and said to me: "Sgt. Kania, drive over that man!" Well, the MP's eyes became very large as he looked at me. I shrugged to indicate I had a direct order and put the transmission into drive. The MP moved aside and off we went. The flight took off as scheduled. I have many fond memories of PSD and Kadena AB. If anyone knows the location of Col. Ron Rice, please let me know. I would enjoy hearing from anyone at PSD, 1970 to 1972.

Leonard Kania
Email:
kaniason@vom.com

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Tue, 17 Oct 2000 15:37 MSgt (Ret.) Robert E. (Bob) Huff Writes: Great web site! See lots of names of people I knew in your Guestbook. I was assigned to Edwards and the SR-71/YF12A Test Force in early l965. I was an A1C in the Aircraft Fuel Systems Shop (Fuel Cell). What a shock when I saw the YF12 for the first time, (no SR's yet). The Test Project was great work and plenty of it in my career field. Being one of the very few airmen in the outfit, I did plenty of hangar sweeping also at shifts end. Then in 1967 it was off to Beale's 9th FMS Fuel Systems Shop. More great people to work with. Then off to OL-8 and back. Left Beale in l970 as a TSgt on my way to SEA to become a "Phantom Phixer". Sorry guys about the wet field jackets, and caps, we really did try to fix those leaks!! Never will forget the sound of the start carts, "awesome, just like the aircraft".  I retired in l978.

MSgt (Ret.) Robert E. (Bob) Huff
E-Mail:
Elaine_and_Bob@excite.com

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Wed, 11 Oct 2000 10:13 SSgt. Marshall O. Johnson Writes: Hi! I'm Marshall Johnson and was with the SR-71 program at Beale AFB from 1965 thru 1966 as a flight line mechanic with the 4200 OMS. What a great time that was even though at first there were no planes to work on. We built crew chief trailers to stay busy! Oh when the first planes did arrive, what a sight. This website's great. Keep up the good work.

SSgt. Marshall O. Johnson
E-Mail:
marshj99@earthlink.net

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Wed, 11 Oct 2000 11:58 John Horton Writes: I visited your SR-71 Website. My uncle was a flight engineer on the YF-12A project NASA did in the late '60's to mid '70's. My uncle's name was Victor Horton. He flew with Fitzhugh Fulton. My uncle Victor passed away about 5 yrs ago. I've known Fitz Fulton since I was about 10 yrs old.  I would like to tell you my experience with the "Blackbird". It was in 1974. I was 11 years old at the time. My uncle invited my father (his brother) and I to one of his flights at Edwards Air Force Base. We were on the tarmac when the engines were being started. Fitz Fulton waved to me and motioned me to walk up the ladder to the cockpit. He motioned for me to climb in and sit on his lap while the engines were being started. We then followed her while she taxied to the runway and we drove to the point on the runway where she would lift off. I have never heard or felt a rumble like that in my life even with the ear protection we had on. Once she was out of sight we then went to the control room and "watched" the flight from there. Since my father was a radar specialist in WWII he was noticed watching the radar and politely escorted out of the room. Soon, I was escorted out and we were taken back out to the runway for the landing. It was a thrill to see both Fitz and my uncle Victor waving at us through the cockpit windows. We followed the bird back to the hangar and then were taken on probably the best tour anyone could experience. I sat in the cockpit of the X-15 and a B-52. On the way home, my father asked my uncle why we were escorted out of the control room and he said that part of the flight was classified.  It was an experience I will never forget. I just wanted to share that with you. They made the 100th flight #935 in 1976. I can tell you that the aircraft was capable and actually flew faster and higher than was published. There has never been or ever will be an aircraft quite like the "Blackbird" because of the growth of technology with satellites and such. You have a very fine website and if you would like, I would enjoy hearing from you. Thank You.

John Horton

E-Mail: jhhorton@aeraenergy.com

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Mon, 9 Oct 2000 06:45 Major (Ret) Bill DeHoff Writes:
 

Enjoyed your Web page.
I was stationed at Beale (1967-71) as an Avionics Maintenance Officer.
That was my first assignment in the AF and the best assignment that I ever had.
 

Major (Ret) Bill DeHoff
E-Mail:
billdehoff@sprintmail.com

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Sun, 8 Oct 2000 09:00 Sgt. Dan Macdonald Writes: Great site. My tour at Beale was from 1975-1979. I was a life support tech and was assigned to the 9th SRW. I maintained the flight gear for the SR-71 and U-2 crews used during training sorties in the T-38. I worked in the old alert pad facility and enjoyed working with the BEST PILOTS in the world. Special thanks to Capt. Judson for taking me on a T-38 incentive flight. It was a privilege to serve with all the exceptional members in uniform at Beale AFB during my tour.
Thank you!

Sgt. Dan Macdonald
E-Mail:
Acculease@juno.com

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Sat, 23 Sep 2000 15:43 SSgt Rickie McDonald Writes: Being a part of the SR-71 program was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The training I received has helped me to consistently perform at the highest levels in the private sector. I was stationed at Beale from '73 to '78 working in the 9 AMS SAS/AP shop. I think I probably spent half that time in Kadena. What an eye-opener for a child. But, under the tutoring of such greats as Russ Kieter, Larry Tuttle, and Bill Dyer I made it through unscathed. This is a great site and I hope to hear from more of the best. At least that's what they told us.

SSgt Rickie McDonald

E-Mail: rickie_mcdonald@hotmail.com

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Sat, 23 Sep 2000 07:22 (former) Sgt Mark McLaughlin Writes: I was pointed to this awesome site by another former HABU, (thanks Bryan ), and have spent the last couple hours remembering my time in the 9th.  It's been a helluva trip down memory lane. I can almost smell the JP-7 soaking my clothes after walking under a wing :) I'd like to say hey to Larry LeBlanc & Lou Pagnoni, who also signed here, and everyone else I knew and worked with and befriended in the mid 70's at the ranch & the rock...Anybody up for All-U-Can-Eat Fish & Chips at Sam's By The Sea???

Sgt Mark McLaughlin

E-Mail: madmac56@bellsouth.net

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Fri, 22 Sep 2000 23:33 SRA Bradley Nickell Writes: I worked at the 9th SRW / PSD at Beale AFB, CA from 1989 until 1992.  I worked as a technician on the U-2/TR-1 and the SR-71 with the full pressure suits, parachutes, survival kits and other life support type equipment.  I remember there was a rivalry between the different "shops" in maintenance of the aircraft and PSD.  Some of the people I worked with and I am certain that some of the people that worked in the maintenance shops didn't seem to be very open minded about each other's respective units and their importance in the support of the missions.  It was a curious thing to me since we were all working for the same thing that the rivalry was there. I didn't stay in contact with any of the people that I worked with when I separated, I went on to a completely different quasi-civilian career.  However, I would welcome contact with a lot of the people that I worked around as we developed some real good relationships working in the environment that we did.  I look back on my experiences with the unit and mostly have good memories and enjoyed the time I spent there.

SRA Bradley Nickell

E-Mail: zzzoooyyy@aol.com

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Fri, 22 Sep 2000 21:11 Capt. George R. Mondie Writes: Was at Beale from 4/68-6/70.  Would be interested in contact with anyone who worked in the photo reconnaissance shop or knows people who did, especially any info on Lt. Col. John Paulman.

Capt. George R. Mondie

E-Mail: mondie@airmail.net

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Fri, 22 Sep 2000 17:19 Sgt Bryan Pollock Writes: I worked on the Habu's Autopilot from 1974-1977. Every time I see a picture of the SR-71 it brings back the memories of Habu Hill, MA1 alley and the pride of being able to work on a legend.

Sgt Bryan Pollock

E-Mail: bryanp@rfprotocircuits.com

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Tue, 5 Sep 2000 05:39 SSgt. Hilda Rodriguez Writes: This was the most awesome airplane I ever worked on.  I would like to find all my friends who were assigned to the FMS Electric Shop, especially Frank Carbullido and Mr. John O'Neal.

SSgt. Hilda Rodriguez

E-Mail: hgrod@up2me.com
 
 

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Tue, 29 Aug 2000 23:58 CMSgt Edwin Rodriguez Writes: Great SR-71 web site.  Beale was my first duty station and the SR-71 was the first aircraft that I worked.  I was at Beale from Jan 77-March 81.  It has been the best assignment I've had in the 24 years that I have served in the USAF.  I ultimately finished  my tour there as crew chief on aircraft #964.... the best of the fleet!!

CMSgt Edwin Rodriguez
HQ PACAF/IGO
Aircraft Maintenance Inspections

E-Mail: Edwin.Rodriguez@hickam.af.mil
 
 

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Sun, 27 Aug 2000 15:40 SSgt. Dennis Townsend Writes:

This is just a note to say I have moved back overseas to Rome Italy and Amsterdam
The Netherlands . Keep up the good Web site
Dennis R. Townsend At Beale from 1970 till 1972 in B flight (OMS)

My new email address is:

E-Mail: klmhabu@hotmail.com

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Thu, 24 Aug 2000 13:16 Robert Sweeney, MSgt Writes: I was in the 9th SRW from Dec.,'69 to Oct.,'71 when I retired from active duty. I worked in Acft Records at Beale and Job Control OL. I would like to contact A2c Duffy who worked for me at Phu Cat AB, Vietnam and came to the 9th SRW at the same time as I did or anyone else who remembers me and cares to contact me.

Robert Sweeney, MSgt

E-Mail: s1249@qwestinternet.net

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Thu, 24 Aug 2000 10:59 Sgt Lee R. Johnson Writes:
Member PSD unit supporting crew of the SR-71 from inception. Discharged November 1967. Would like information on the where-abouts of any PSD personnel from that period. Thank you.

Sgt Lee R. Johnson

E-Mail:  Leeanddee@juno.com
 
 

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Tue, 22 Aug 2000 20:46 MSgt Bob Rittenhouse Writes: Just stumbled across this great web page.  Sure brings back a lot of good memories.  My tour at Beale from '68 to '74 was the best of times.  What a pleasure to work with such a great bunch of people.  Thanks for a job well done.

MSgt Bob Rittenhouse

E-Mail: shabobr@worldnet.att.net

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Tue, 22 Aug 2000 13:24 Maj. Joseph R. (Rod) Mitchell Writes: Had eight great years with the HABUs.  Four at Beale, 1970-74 in the Recce Tech and four more as the IN at Kadena and Mildenhall between 1980 and 84. Fond memories of Sunday morning brunches, snorkeling north of Nago, Flying Tiger stews, and all the Mongolian barbecue in the world. Had some nice fog in Mildenhall.  God, I hated that IRIS camera format. Would love to hear from any IN folk who are still breathing.

Maj. Joseph R. (Rod) Mitchell

E-Mail: rodmarti@worldlynx.net
 
 

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Mon, 21 Aug 2000 15:14 MSgt (Retired) Steven K Bonnell Writes: Great web site!!! I was stationed at Kadena in 1975 - 1977, then did a quick stint on F-4's in the Philippines for 2 years. Then I went to Beale for two years and back with the SR-71/U-2 programs. What a trip...After numerous tdy's, sar's and air shows this quickly became the best part of my AF career. From Beale, I went to the Det in Osan Korea and did a year+ there with the U-2. Many many memories come back looking over these pages and it sure was good to see a lot of familiar names...Col Rich Graham was my re-enlisting officer at Beale for my second re-enlistment. Just looking at a photo in my office, I see names like Rich Graham, Don Emmonds, Tom Pugh , Tom Keck, Bob Crowder, Jim Blackthorn, Tim Shaw, and Ray Ellis, All SR-71 Crew members that I got to know well while working the "Habu". I was stationed in the Instrument/INS/Automatic Flight Control systems as an AFSC specialist but learned so much more. All the memories from getting arrested (all charges were dropped) for bar-b-queing hot dogs while burning up condemned lockers on the barracks roof top during a typhoon, (Ahh, the look on the fire fighters face when he came rushing out and I asked him if he wanted a hot-dog) to the TDY's to England and the London trips...Times never to be forgotten...Keep up the great work and I will be visiting often...Kudos to all you Habu's out there...

MSgt (Retired) Steven K Bonnell

E-Mail: skbonnell@yahoo.com

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Sun, 20 Aug 2000 19:15 Sgt. C. Hettel Writes: I was a 207X1 (Morse Systems OP) stationed at RAF Chicksands , England which provided flight support to the SR-71 Blackbird.  Although I would love to tell a lot of experiences with the Blackbird's missions, I am not allowed to talk about them.  I carried a Top Secret SBI clearance and probably would make some Air Force or Gov't Agency sweat a little somewhere so I won't.  I just want to say it made my enlistment in the USAF glorious!!!

Sgt. C. Hettel

E-Mail: indyohio@mindspring.com
 
 

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Fri, 18 Aug 2000 09:44 David J. Mobley (dependent) Writes:
I am another son of TSgt James C. Mobley (Beale AFB 1966-1968).  Although I was too young to understand the significance of my dads' assignment, I will never forget the sense of pride he instilled in us regarding the SR-71 Blackbird.

I still can hear the voice of a 6 year old telling friends and relatives that he came from Beale AFB, Ca. "Home of the SR-71". Like my brother, I would like to thank all the men and women associated with the SR-71 and this web site.
 David J. Mobley (dependent)

E-Mail: dmobley6@hotmail.com

Editors Note: David's brother Courtney has an entry further down on this web page dated Sat, 29 Jul 2000
 
 

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Tue, 15 Aug 2000 16:46 TSgt Daniel Freeman Writes: At Beale, 84-95, Chief Metals Technology, (Machine Shop / Welding Shop), 9 MXS, 9 FMS. Rebuilding forward by-pass doors, Wow! What a job, The engineers could not figure them out. But we did them good. Even though we had to stray from tech data.

TSgt Daniel Freeman

E-Mail: freemansr71@hotmail.com
 
 

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Tue, 15 Aug 2000 09:42 SMSgt Richard C. King Writes: I worked in the SR-71 Flight Simulator section from Sept '65 until May '76. Knew all crew members from that time period. Would like to find out what happened to CMSgt Leo Bessette. If any one knows about him let me know. Carl Bodey, Oscar Watson and others in the flight simulator section from 1965 till 1976.
 SMSgt Richard C. King

E-Mail: rk30907@aol.com
 
 

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Mon, 14 Aug 2000 22:30 TSgt Brantley R. Davidson Writes:
SR 71 Flight Simulator, Beale AFB, CA   Feb. 1967 to June 1975.

TSgt Brantley R. Davidson

E-Mail: HABU@prodigy.net
 
 

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Mon, 14 Aug 2000 19:35 SSgt Cippy Cardona Writes: I was in Okinawa from 1980 to 1983. I was with the SR-71 as a Jet Engine Mechanic and I am looking for anybody that remembers me.

SSgt Cippy Cardona

E-Mail: (none listed) International Recycling, 1215 South 14 Ave. City : Edinburg
         State: TX  Zip: 78539
 
 

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Fri, 11 Aug 2000 18:31 Ret. Col. Edward D. Payne Writes:

I was the Navigator on the SR-71 starting in 1966, with pilot Gen. Gerald O'Malley. Together we flew the first operational sortie in 1968.
Anyone that remembers me from the days when I flew, PLEASE feel free to contact me.  It would be great to hear from any of you.
 

Thank you very much,

Ret. Col. Edward D. Payne

E-Mail: PAYNERANCH@aol.com
 
 

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Thu, 10 Aug 2000 14:46 SMSgt David H Harrington Writes: Already a member of BBA card #404. Affiliation with 100th Strat ReconWing. A/C tail number and and type, U2R-339. Davis Monthan AFB. This is an update on Email address and phone.

SMSgt David H Harrington
E-Mail:
djconsults@usa.net
 
 

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Wed, 9 Aug 2000 12:38 Robert C. Ware Writes: I was at Beale AFB on or about May 1971 to November 1974.  I was in the Hydraulic Shop. I would like to find some of the people I worked with:  Frank Moseley, Bob Skinner, Ed Adams , Lamana, Willy Calious, Filamore P. Alcon. If anybody knows their where- abouts please forward my address to said individuals.

Robert C. Ware
E-Mail:
robert.ware@mccord.af.mil
 
 

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Wed, 9 Aug 2000 01:57 Les Jenik Writes: I was with the 9th OMS at Beale and worked as a flight line mechanic, 43151c, and Crew Chief from 1/77 to 8/80. The first bird I was assigned to was 17960, Quinn Jolly was the Crew Chief at the time. I ended up working on quite a few of the birds during my time at Beale and Kadena. CMS Tucci was the Branch Chief when I first arrived, later Don Campbell came back from Kadena to replace him. Both were top notch supervisors and great to work for. I had three TDY's to Kadena and actually enjoyed those tours. The group of guys I worked with were excellent. We were all young but handled the responsibility of maintaining this great aircraft very well. I have many memories of my time with the Blackbird, "Habu". I can still remember the smell of JP7. Many nights I went home with my hat and field jacket damp with the fuel. On one occasion after wet vacuuming the fuel off the hanger floor at Kadena, after a leaky bird was launched, I actually had to wring the fuel out of my socks. I really enjoyed the evening launches at Beale. The Habu made a nice silhouette with the Sutter Buttes in the background and the sun setting behind them. We would complete the final end of runway checks then stand by the launch truck and watch that bird spool up. It would start to roll then light the AB's and really start to rumbling and roaring down the runway. AB flames trailing long and bright, as the Blackbird lifted off, climbed and banked east. I have been in aviation ever since and nothing has impressed me more or made me as proud as that bird did. The most bone and teeth rattling place I have been is under the aft fuselage between those J58's while both are at full After Burner on a trim pad run. Wow! Crazy, but just something some of us just had to do. I would like to mention the names of some of the guys I worked with at the time: Jim Core, Tom Vankirk, Mike Burrows, TRC Smith, Danny Burns, Pat Lloyd, Edwin Rodriquez, Mike Zervos, Bill Borah, Jim Bob Smith, Bill Turner, Jim Dresher, Mike Austin, Harold Keim, Greg Blas, Mike Meckola, Ken George, Phil Sage, Joe Dousharm, Bob Hasty, Ron Schwekirt, Mario Petrillo. I have been employed with a major airline since 1986 and work as a Non Destructive Testing Inspector. This is a great web page and I am glad I stumbled upon it. I see some of the guys I worked with have discovered it also and I look forward to see who finds it next.

Les Jenik
E-Mail:
habu960@hotmail.com
 
 

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Tue, 8 Aug 2000 08:42 Chief Don Campbell Writes: First 431X1 assigned to 4200th SRW Beale AFB, Feb 1965, retired Feb 1, 1987 as 9th OMS Superintendent responsible for SR-71, U-2/TR-1, T-38 & KC-135Q. Went to work for Lockheed, Mar 87 as Maintainability Engineer for SR-71/U-2/F-117. Quit Lockheed in October 1990 with 25 years, 8 months continuous service to the Blackbird Community. Currently working for Northrop Grumman Corporation as a Lead Engineer for B-2 Flight and Ground Test Operations. Absolutely nothing will ever compare to the Blackbird programs. The people were and still are special and the camaraderie will never be duplicated.

Chief Don Campbell
E-Mail:
habu@qnet.com
 
 

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Mon, 7 Aug 2000 19:46 Ronald Girouard Writes: Just got this new computer system and was cruising around. I am a huge fan of the SR-71 and I have a rather large collection of Blackbird items. I am trying to acquire the largest collection possible of Blackbird related patches. I presently have close to 200. I am a member of the Blackbird Association as well as the Road Runners (early A-12 Blackbird). I'm always looking to chat with any one who is a fan of this bird. Please contact me sometime.

Ronald Girouard
E-Mail:
rrg207@aol.com
 
 

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Mon, 7 Aug 2000 18:08 TSgt (Ret) Dennis R. Browne Writes: A very impressive web site, outstanding!  As it did with many others, it brought back numerous memories of my time on Beale ('75-'84).  Working on the SR was an education, and a very satisfying experience, too.  Read many names from the past, and would like to extend hello's to Chief Kalinowski (FMS Branch Chief) and Chief Campbell.  Would also like to extend greetings to those who competed in a "great rivalry" between these two chiefs, and the bowling teams they captained.  Over the years, we established some great friendships. Proud to say that in '76 I was able to procure one of the specially flown Bicentennial Flags (flown in the SR), for dedication to one of the first Bicentennial Projects in the country (the new air terminal at Duluth IAP, MN).  The president of the Airport Authority there recently sent it back to me; a fond memory of Beale I will always be proud of.  I would also like to say hello to one and all who worked Dock 7, T-38 troops, besides the great NDI Lab personnel that I had the pleasure of saying I worked for, with and supervised.  Once again, an outstanding site; truly a sign of the professionalism that reigned at Beale. If anyone knew/worked with a Larry Wayne Guilford, Engine Shop (late 60's to early 70's), I'm sad to say, he has passed on.

TSgt (Ret) Dennis R. Browne
E-Mail:
udorn7475@yahoo.com
 
 

Thu, 3 Aug 2000 12:31 Edwin Rodriguez Writes: I was assigned to Beale AFB straight out of Tech school in Jan 1977.  I stayed there until March of 1981. I started out on the bus #956 and eventually became the crew chief on #964; the best of the fleet at the time. I worked  with some great folks to include: Randy Lewis, Jimmy Dresher, Joseph Dousharm, and Don Campbell; one of the best supervisors I've ever had.  It was a wonderful experience which I will always cherish. I spent a lot of time over at Kadena when it was our Det and also at Mildenhall England .  This is a great web site, one that I found about through Clyde Adkins.  Keep up the good work!

Edwin Rodriguez, CMSgt

E-Mail: edwin.rodriguez@hickam.af.mil
 
 

Wed, 2 Aug 2000 11:21
Vicki Doty Writes:
Terry Pappas was an SR71 Pilot in Antelope Valley, California we were friends.
I would like to locate him.

Vicki Doty
E-Mail:
haycowgirl@hotmail.com
 
 

Wed, 2 Aug 2000 08:51 MSgt. Paul E. Brundage Writes: I have many great memories working with the Blackbird at Beale AFB, CA. I never got tired of pulling my car over to the side of the road many times just to watch the Blackbird Take-off. It was a privilege to support the SR-71 and I made many friends from 1983-1986 and some I have seen over the years and others, I lost track of. I worked in the 9th RTS photo processing area and if anyone remembers working with me, by all means, I would like to hear from a friend of the past. We are all part of the Blackbird Family. Currently,
MSGT. Brundage of the NYANG.

E-Mail: rocket7@localnet.com

Tue, 1 Aug 2000 12:10 SMSgt Thomas J. Howell (USAF Retired) Writes: I was assigned to the 9th AMS photo Shop from May 1965 to Mar 1972 with 1 year '69-'70 out for a SEA tour. My orders actually read to 4200 SMW, a unit no one had heard of.  Some of the names I remember are: CMSgt Clyde Scarborough , our 1st NCOIC. One of the greatest I ever worked for. Others were AC Untalan, Ken Bonzo, George DuBell, Bill Aspelin, John Smith, Warren Stallings, Rich Barley, Tom Weston, Jim Beam, MSgt Williams, John Harless (U2s from 1954 til he came to the SR-71), Lee Cotton, Joe Mornese, Garth Hawks, Emsy Hackney.  A little later Ed Yocke-my cube mate at Phan Rang (600th Photo).  It was a great experience. Some of these guys were part of the team that launched the 1st mission out of OL-8 and then went to CCK to recover it.

SMSgt Thomas J. Howell (USAF Retired)

E-Mail: Thomas.Howell@f22.boeing.com
 
 

Sun, 30 Jul 2000 21:28 Msgt (Ret) Charlie C. Hanna Writes: I was stationed
at Beale from 1962 to 1968 and from 1971 to 1972 and again from 1973 to 1977. I was a Crew Chief on the KC-135's when they were "A" models and I was involved in converting them from "A's" to "Q's". I was there when the very first SR arrived and I was involved in a lot of TDY's in support of the SR. I was a member of Quality Control when we became members of the 9th SRW and all of us Tanker people in QC were required to be qualified on the SR and U2. Every time we were on a refueling mission, I always had one thought when I looked out the Boom sighting door window at the receiver (SR-71) and that thought was - We may be slow, but we're ahead of you - however that only lasted until the off loading was complete, then he was gone!!!! I was there the day the speed run from New York to London was made and I was there when the SR's set the international speed record as well as the altitude and the speed record for a payload, etc.
I watched Beale go from a little air base that no one heard of to the speed capital of the Air Force. I also have a lot of fond memories from there.

Msgt (Ret) Charlie C. Hanna

E-Mail: charlie.hanna@worldnet.att.net

Sat, 29 Jul 2000 09:44: Courtney A. Mobley (Dependent) Writes: Thanks to
all the men and women associated with the SR-71 and to this site. My Dad recently passed away and I was thinking of him when I stumbled onto this site. TSgt James C. Mobley stationed at Beale AFB 1966 - 1968.  I remember how proud he was to be a member of the team, which in turn made me proud to be his son.

Thanks again to you all.

Courtney A. Mobley

E-Mail: cmobley@gwu.edu

Sat, 29 Jul 2000 17:36 SMSgt Howard C. Aubrey (Ret) Writes: Great site.  I was in the 9th FMS from June 68-Mar 69 (I cross trained to Safety), in the Electric Shop.  I came to Beale (with a few others) from Glasgow AFB after returning from Kadena in 68 and closing Glasgow .  I'd love to hear from some other "spark chasers" who were on the Blackbirds.
I remember watching #977 when it aborted.  I was  assisting on an ADS change on #956 and went back to the blast fence to take a break about the same time he started take-off roll.  Anyone else remember the crowd standing on the crew chief stand watching helplessly as he rolled down the runway streaming flames and black smoke?  Watching the RSO punch out? And cheering when it looked like he was going to make it?  Wanting to get back to the shop to see if any of us had recently signed off on anything on that airplane?  (Geez, hope my name wasn't in the 781).

SMSgt Howard C. Aubrey (Ret)
E-Mail:
hca@fuse.net

Tue, 18 Jul 2000 21:14: James Gough, Civilian Writes: Former member of Detachment 6 at Norton AFB.  Great site and keep up the hard work.  Anyone form Det 6 or any of the great Air Force or Lockheed team members out there would love to hear from you.

James Gough, Civilian

E-Mail: goughjtx@flash.net
 
 

Wed, 5 Jul 2000 16:20 MSgt Lawrence C. [Larry] Le Blanc, Ret. Writes: MSgt Haynes, your accomplishments with this site go to show the quality of the people who were selected to work on the Black Beauty. You deserve a Medal for the amount of work and research that went in to it. You have my undying gratitude for a job not only well done, but excellently done. I was part of the Habu  Fishook paint team, and as I recall made the sign and because of it had to go see the Admiral, the "Hook" belonged to. Major at the time, Fruehauf had ferreted us out as the "perps" and I think I was the Ranking man, so I had to go bite the bullet. For the life of me I can't remember the names of the rest of the crew. Anyway there were two of us that had to go apologize to the Admiral. We reported in military fashion and was put at ease. We were asked, "Why had we painted his Anchor?". Being scared to death I can't remember what we told him, but I do remember him smiling and saying, "His Anchor would be white again by 0800 the following morning, Right?". In unison we said "Yes Sir" and were dismissed. It was.

I was one of the Original members of the SR-71 team at Beale, before we got our Birds. We did a lot of painting and other stuff while we waited for school, but enjoyed every minute of it. I left Beale and went to Thailand in 1970, returned to Dyess to do my part in the Buff's at Guam . Finally, I was able to get a base of choice and got back to Beale. I was Work Center Supervisor SAS/AP shop until I retired in 1978 after 24 years in the Air Force. I stayed the extra four years just to get back to the "Bird".  Thank you very much for your efforts in having this to look at and also for the memories that have gotten stirred up.

MSgt Lawrence C. [Larry] Le Blanc, Retired

E-Mail: lleblanc70@hotmail.com

Editors Note: The Habu "Fish Hook" story can be found on the following "Alma-Mater" webpage. It is located about half-way down the page courtesy of Bryan Romine. ./srre97~1.htm

Added E-Mail dated: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 15:59

MSgt Haynes, after viewing your web pages, it shocked my memory in to a lot of memories.
I recall bringing something to the Habu collection I got from a tour of duty in Germany with the F-102. It was called the Iron Horse club, I tried and was somewhat successful in reinstituting this in at least my shop and work center.
The basic rules of the Iron Horse club was that from an Iron Horse you didn't get any sh**. So it follows that if you were told something from a fellow member you accepted it as the truth. If the occasion arose, if ever, when you found out that what you were told was untrue, the punishment consisted of the liar being buried in Horse Sh**. To this day, to the best of my knowledge, a burial never occurred, this Club started in 1959 at Hahn AFB, Germany . I tried to restart it at Beale, and it survived only in our Work Center as a pretty private Club, but was as strong as ever while it lasted. It was really Great to know if you asked, you were going to get the truth, and in fellowship you would try and protect those that had strayed, within the bounds of the overall pledge of Allegiance and oath. Look at the "Site" almost daily, and I am still amazed at how much you have done, keep it up, this World needs more like you. Lest we forget the good that has been done.      Thanking you again, Larry

MSgt Lawrence C. [Larry] Le Blanc, Retired
E-Mail:
lleblanc70@hotmail.com
 

 

Wed, 28 Jun 2000 07:18 Ltc George "G. T." Morgan Writes: Hey guys, Good to see some familiar names! Bill Gornick, Tom Allocca, others. Sure miss those Det 8 days..... Daiquiri parties....Secret bar.....White beach.. Camp Hamby ... Sukiran coffee shop...BC street... American Airlines....FBIS....
Never have and never will meet a bunch of people like those I came in contact with during my 11 years as a RSO in the program.... thank you all!!

Hooks and Boogie!!

LTC George "G. T." Morgan

E-Mail: janmorgan@earthlink.net
 
 

27 Jun 2000 14:43 Darrell A. Martin Writes: I was stationed at Edwards AFB from 1963 thru 1965.  When I first saw this airplane I new it was sometime special.  Our Detachment was located on the center taxiway, and I would waive at the pilots as the taxied by.  I remember that day when President Johnson made the announcement and watched as the three airplanes made fly bys. I remember one of the aircraft nose was a little different than the others, and seeing on the tail a ADC (Air Defense Command) Logo.  I thought sure this was going to be the replacement for our F-106's, but unfortunately this was not to be.  It was a great experience for me to watch the big beautiful airplane land and takeoff, it never should have been retired.  Thank you for this web site, so I may continue by love affair with this mighty airplane.

Darrell A. Martin

E-Mail: mmartin168@aol.com
 
 

Mon, 26 Jun 2000 17:38 SMS William G. Todd Writes: I arrived at PSD, Beale AFB, CA in July 1971 and retired from Beale in July 1989.  Now work for United Space Alliance , contractor to NASA.  Still doing Life Support and Crew Escape ... only for a different mission.  After all this time, my heart is still with the SR71 and am still intrigued with the airplane and its mission as well as the 'supposed' follow-on aircraft.  I make many trips to Florida for the Shuttle launches.  They are awesome and spectacular but they are not as much a part of me as the SR71. Thanks for the memories!

SMS William G. Todd

E-Mail: wtodd1@pdq.net
 
 

Sat, 17 Jun 2000 20:04: Sgt Neal Pinkowski Writes: Served as KC-135Q crew chief out of Kadena in 71+72. I remember those longs days of Okinawa . Pre flight 4 hrs before take off, rendezvous with the SR to refuel then land at Utapao then the long flight back. Something I would not trade for anything. Wish I was back there.

Would like to hear from anyone who was there at that time or anyone at all. Let me hear from you.

.
Sgt Neal Pinkowski

E-Mail:pink124@pcom.net
 

Wed, 14 Jun 2000 16:35 William S Modes Writes: I flew Lear jet models 23,24,35,55 and currently instructing in my North American AT-6 at Prescott, Az.  I am looking for a long lost friend who flew backseat in SR-71/B-58's. his name is Jim Fagg, please help me find him.  I worked with Jim at Lockheed (Skunk Works) at Burbank , California . Thank you.

William S Modes

E-Mail: leslienbill@cableone.net
 


Sat, 10 Jun 2000 11:19 B.B. Cole (SGT) Writes: Great Site.  I was fortunate enough to be part of the SR-71 ground crew from May 1987- July 1989.  It was and still is a great aircraft.  After its retirement, I spent the remainder of my time in the Air Force crewing A-10A's and Tanker 135 Q models.  I must admit that after working on the SR, nothing else could hold a candle to its mystique, design, and speed.  Working on tankers at Beale in the early 90's, I still was able to see the SR hangers at night on the way to the tanker line, in a very quiet and lonely atmosphere.  Nothing in my mind could ever beat the launch, and  recovery of and SR.  All good things eventually come to an end.

B.B. Cole (SGT)

E-Mail: blkbrd@onslowonline.net
 
 

Wed, 31 May 2000 13:16 Leo V. Schesser Writes: I worked in the 9th FMS at Beale AFB from 1968-1970. My nickname was "Slick".  They called me this because to save time and money, I  could be slid between the intake cowling and the spike and check the compressor blades for cracks with dye and a black light. this would avoid having to raise the wing and drop the engine. I went TDY to Kadena Okinawa for 4 months and had a blast!! Two good buddies were John Tackett and Bob Barbash. Have not heard from any one since. I'd like to hear from anyone who remembers the good times. Sincerely,

Leo Schesser

E-Mail: lschesse@twcny.rr.com
 

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Mon, 29 May 2000 14:50 Msgt Elvis C. Minton Writes: Elvis Clayton Minton was my Father. He served at Edwards AFB from 1964-1968. He loved the SR-71 Blackbird. We was dedicated to keeping the "Big Blackbird up in the Big Blue". We was the NCOIC of the Auto-Pilot section while at Edwards. He retired in 1968 and past away in 1991. From the time he retired up until his death he loved to talk about his experiences with the people and the opportunity to be associated with the YF-12 and SR-71. If anybody has any insight about his work or worked with him at Edwards I would appreciate hearing from you.

Clay Minton

E-Mail: AboutTime@1starnet.com
 
 

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Fri, 19 May 2000 17:02 Tsgt Charles J. Karasinski Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB, Ca., from 1975-1980 and 1982-1987. I was a member of the " BAT CAVE ", the SLR/SENSOR shop. I remember the events of the "HABU FISHHOOK" night, our coconut crab hunts during our visit to Diego Garcia, the rag tag shop softball team we put together to take on the squadron teams, the great flood of Marysville and Linda, the earthquakes, the typhoon watches in the hangers and the numerous "bat" stencils that were spray painted on any building we could get to. There are only a few things in my life that I honor and hold dear. These are my family (past and present), country and the flag, my duty (to myself and others), and the time I spent working on "the greatest and fastest airplane, now or ever, in the world". There are a great deal of people that I would consider friends/family for life, but due to the fate of life and numerous moves I have lost track of them. For the most part, the time I spent at Beale AFB were good, (there were some bad times too). If there is anyone who knows how to get in contact with: Kenny and Karen Potter, Ed Martin, Fred King, Steve and Tammy Reueau, Chuck Stutzman, Bill Brooks, any members of the SLR softball team.
God Bless everyone who work on, supported and flew the SR-71.

Tsgt Charles J. Karasinski, Retired USAF

E-Mail:habu87@hotmail.com

 "Bat Cavers"

Editors Note: I questioned Charles about the origin of the Bat Cavers and here is his reply:

I WAS STATIONED AT BEALE AFB, CA. TWO DIFFERENT TIMES. BOTH TIMES I  WAS
ASSIGNED TO THE SLR (SIDE LOOKING RADAR) SHOP. SOME ONE CAME UP WITH THE
IDEA OF CALLING US BATS BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTION WITH RADAR. BEFORE LONG, IDEAS WENT FURTHER AND FURTHER TO THE POINT WE HAD T-SHIRTS, HATS, STENCILS, A SHIELD (COPIED AFTER THE SAC PATCH) AND THERE WERE EVEN A SET OF BATS MADE FOR THE SQUADRON COMMANDER WHEN HE GOT PROMOTED TO FULL BULL COL.
I KNOW SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO KEPT THE BALL ROLLING AND KEPT COMING UP WITH
MORE AND MORE IDEAS.

HERE ARE A FEW:

CHARLES WALTON:EMAIL  SHAG3@HOTMAIL.COM
 HE MAY BE ABLE TO FILL YOU IN MORE AND PUT YOU IN CONTACT WITH PETE
FISCHER. HE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, BUT WAS A KEY MEMBER OF THE " BAT
CAVE
". PETE IS THE STENCIL PRO AND THE ONE WHO MADE THE SET OF BATS, NOTED

ABOVE.

CHARLES STUTZMAN: EMAIL   STUTZMAN@BLUERIDGE.NET
STUTZ DID ALOT OF THE PROJECTS AND ART WORK, IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY.

STEVE STUDARDS: EMAIL   sstudards@cox.net
STEVE WAS STATIONED THERE WHEN I WAS AND MAYBE PUT SOME LIGHT ON SOME
EVENTS.

JOHNNY GRATTON: EMAIL   JGRATTON@USWEST.NET
JOHNNY WAS IN THE PHOTO SHOP BUT WAS ALWAYS PART OF OUR TO-DO AND TOOK
PART IN SOME OF OUR RAIDS.

WILLIAM SPACY: E-MAIL    SPACYB@AIRCADIZ.NET
COL. SPACY I BELIEVE WAS THE COMMANDER WHO RECEIVED THE BATS WHEN HE
GOT PROMOTED.

ALL ARE MEMBERS OF THE ALMA MATER.

LONG LIVE THE SR-71
LONG LIVE THE BAT CAVE MEMBERS.

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Thu, 11 May 2000 20:36 SSgt (RET) Anthony B. McKinney (Mac) Writes:

I was station at Beale from Feb.67 to Aug.69. I worked in 9th OMS This has brought back a lot of long nights, hot days and fun at Beale. Thank you for them. Please let me know of the next reunion. The SR-71 was the best aircraft that I ever work on. I am proud to say I have worked on the fastest airplane... SR-71 and the biggest airplane...C5A while in the USAF and USAFR. Thank you for the web site.

SSgt (RET) Anthony B. McKinney (Mac)

E-Mail:tony79605@sbcglobal.net  Email updated January 09, 2008
 
 

 

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Wed, 10 May 2000 05:31 Sgt. Mark Gaulin Writes: Worked in the SR-71 Program on Okinawa from 1981-1984.What an amazing aircraft! What an Great bunch of people! What a beautiful island! It was the best three years of my life. What a feeling of nostalgia I get when I think of that airplane and the great people that I worked with. But most I miss the friends that I made but didn't keep in touch with. I hope to change that now. I saw Skip Hoslers name on the Alma Mater pages. He was in the program for many years and was one of the Best. I had the privilege to work for him while at Kadena and not only was he a good jet mechanic, but also a great person. I have E-mailed him and hope to hear back from him. I would also like to find Tim Rogan, Joe Blair, Gary "Johnny Wad" Johnson, George Roberts, Brad Gaby, Terry Regis, Tom Shanahan, Glen Blomberg, and many others too numerous to list, but you know who you are, and if you are reading this, then please contact me. I'll never forget those people, that island, or that marvelous piece of machinery that we call the "HABU".

Sgt. Mark Gaulin

 E-Mail: mkg@autcon.com
 
 

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Tue, 9 May 2000 10:25 Wm. M. "Bill" Gornik, CMSgt USAF (Ret) Writes: In early May 1964, I received orders assigning me to a classified project at Edwards AFB, Calif. , which turned out to be the joint SAC, TAC & AFLC YF-12/SR-71 Test Program. I was the NCOIC of the SAC contingent with Major Victor Armisted ( Col Ret) as the OIC. We were part of the team that broke all the existing speed and altitude records with the YF-12A. I was in the Skunk Works when the SR-71's were being assembled and was at Edwards when the first SR-71 was delivered for flight testing. After a year at Edwards, we were transferred to Beale where a Wing was being assembled to maintain and operate the SR-71. Needless to say that I am extremely proud to have been selected to be part of the initial cadre of personnel assigned to this truly outstanding organization and proud to have been associated with such great personnel in the maintenance, operations and support units. Incidentally, I have submitted a story for inclusion as part of John Stones Blackbird Web Page. Editors Note: Go to this link to read CMSgt. Bill Gornik 's (Ret.) "Birth and Death of a Tradition", the story of the now famous SR-71 Tie-cutting Ceremony.

Wm. M. "Bill" Gornik, CMSgt USAF (Ret)

 E-Mail: gornik3398@cs.com
 
 

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Tue, 9 May 2000 20:42 MSgt Gerald L. Harrah Writes: Found your web pages a few weeks ago. You have really done an outstanding job. It brought back many fond memories of the Aircraft and the personnel associated with the Blackbird organization. I was assigned to the 4200 OE&T in Feb. of 1966. I was the first crew chief assigned to Aircraft 970. We sure put in many 14 and 16 hour days but I would not change a thing. Just to think that you were one of only a hand full of people in the Air Force to have the opportunity to be associated with such a remarkable Aircraft as the SR-71. Later I was Crew Chief on 971 until I transferred to Thailand in Sept. 1970. One thing I picked up on going through your web pages was the cost of the Aircraft. I remember it being $33 Million each. Shortly after receiving our first aircraft and a few modifications later the price went to 34 Million. Also attended 2003 Reunion.

 MSgt Gerald L. Harrah

Blackbird Assn #791

E-Mail: glhar@comcast.net
 

Mon, 8 May 2000 07:49: Dave Morgan Writes: Former 17XX from 1970-1978. Weapons controller in Vietnam, Thailand and Korea. Weapons Director, McChord AFB. We never tracked anything faster or higher. Col. Bob Stephens was commander of the 4628th Support Squadron in 1973 or 1974. The only items on his office wall were the FAI speed and altitude certificates and the picture of him and Lt. Col Andre. He was an excellent commander and a great proponent of the work hard, play hard management principle. Being able to serve with professionals like Col. Stephens is the high point of my Air Force experience. A salute to all who flew and supported this great aircraft.
Dave Morgan

 E-Mail: dmorgan1@unl.edu

Tue, 2 May 2000 Sgt Michael Lowe Writes:

First assignment was at Beale AFB Dec 1969. Spent next 3 years TDY to Kadena (8 tours) at barracks 108. Worked Photo shop and did one TDY as NCOIC. I remember Bob Almy, Dave Ryder, Msgt Cotton, Tsgt Rowe and a few others.

Would like to hear from or about them.
 

Sgt Michael Lowe

E-Mail: mlowe@micron.net


Fri, 28 Apr 2000 10:24 Dennis McArdle Writes:

Lockheed Skunk Works Burbank from 1980-1991. Flight Test Tech. Research  Development and Test both U2 and SR-71.

My fondest memory was the 25th anniversary fly-by at Burbank Airport with Kelley Johnson looking on. With the last pass the pilot rocking its wings to say goodbye.

Dennis McArdle

E-Mail: Metroisd@msn.com

 

Sat, 22 Apr 2000 15:51 LTC Thomas R. Allocca, (Ret) Writes: I had the good fortune of being stationed at Beale AFB CA from 1967 to 1974. I actually participated in two stellar programs .. the SR-71 and a related program with the 4200 support squadron. I enjoyed SR-71 crew duties immensely, as we all did. Some names I remember fondly are Maj. Gen. Pat Hal loran, Gen. Jerry O'Malley, fellow crew members like Jim Sullivan, Pat Bledsoe, Ty Judkins, Lee Ransom, Bob Cunningham, George Morgan, John Fuller, Duane Vick, and a whole bunch of others that I have many fond memories of. Needless to say, it was the highlight of my Air Force flying career and I was extremely proud to be associated with both units.

LTC Thomas R. Allocca, (Ret)

E-Mail: tomallocca@yahoo.com

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Sat, 22 Apr 2000 13:40 MSGT Gerald Berger Writes: Was a military member of the 9SRW from 1966 until I retired in 1969. During that time I was assigned to the EMR shop in the AMS Squadron and had 8 months of TDY in support of our efforts in Okinawa . A month after retirement, I returned to Beale AFB and the 9SRW as a Technical Representative on the Defensive Systems. In 1972 my wife, Darlyne, and I went to Okinawa and I was assigned to Det 1 Okinawa as a Tech Rep for the Def systems. In 1985 we departed Okinawa and I was assigned to Det 6 at Mildenhall where I was a Tech Rep on Def sys until the program was closed in 1990. I was happy to just play golf until 1995 when I got the call to help reactivate the SR-71 program. We went to Eglin AFB to bring the Def sys back to life and then went to Palmdale and subsequently to Edwards AFB until October 1997.

I'm still waiting for another call.

MSGT Gerald Berger
E-Mail:
jerryber@jps.net
 


Sat, 22 Apr 2000 18:29 Norman Bobb Writes: Thanks for all the hard work in putting the SR-71 history together.

 I am still hoping for an email from some of the guys I worked with in the simulator section and the MPC.  I am sure they will find it some day. I have a new address: bobbjo7@mc2k.com. Thanks again.

Norman Bobb

E-Mail: bobbjo7@mc2k.com

Tue, 18 Apr 2000 09:23 Lou Pagnoni Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB and worked in the Auto Pilot Shop in 9AMS from 76-79.  I look back with pride on the days/nights spent working on such an awesome aircraft.  I didn't know it at the time but I was very lucky to be apart of that great program.  I took several TDYs to DET1 and DET2 and had some great times.  Would like to hear from any of the people who were there during that time.

Lou Pagnoni

E-Mail: pagnonilj@nswccd.navy.mil

Sat, 15 Apr 2000 13:34:21 Formerly Sgt.  (E-4) John W. Schuff Writes: 9th OMS Feb 73 to Sept 76.  7 TDY's to Kadena with 13 stops at Hickam and one in Alaska on eastern leg.  1 TDY to Seymour Johnson AFB (A December non-stop roundtrip to Mid-East region prior to the opening of England Air base to us). The plane didn't much like the snow and cold.  MP's had the common misperception about the pitot tube (what caliber gun?). Watched the midnight launch of primary aircraft for the New York - London speed run.  Had an MP confiscate my camera even though there were TV cameras and lights in the hangar.  Got to "fly" the simulator during a familiarization prior to idle runs of J-58's.  Hated Okinawa.  Only went on one sight-seeing tour while there:  Got a traffic ticket (still have it).  Should have spent some time checking out the history there.  Took a lot of photos of plant and insect life plus some of SR-71 (you could do that at Kadena).  Have a good slide of a low approach in the climb out with blue sky and white puffy clouds in background.  How many noticed that the  cover photo of "Sled Driver" was backwards (attitude indicator sensor on the wrong side)?  Most lasting impression:  a chipped tooth from going up a ladder onto the left rear inboard wing.  I hit my head on the bottom of the rudder.  I guess my mouth must have been slightly open when it was forcefully slammed shut.
During my first year I broke my left little finger on the swing shift.  We were taking a rollaway tool box back to the Quonset hut by putting it into the back of the expediter van.  It stalled as per normal.  With the tool box in the open rear doorway, we gave the van a push.  The driver had it in first gear and when he popped the clutch, the toolbox fell on my hand.  I got two weeks in the hospital, two week of sick leave and two weeks light duty (I became Sgt. Polejewski's office assistant), which helped me get through the books I needed to upgrade to the 43151C job specialty

Two near accidents.  First one at Beale on the midnight, preflight shift.  While on the infamous left inboard wing I spotted a quarter turn fastener looking suspiciously un-secure on the outboard nacelle forward of the outboard wing.  Rather than get down, position a stand and check it, I choose to reach over the top.  Got over center and nearly took a nose dive.  Sgt. Paul J. "Jay" Tolbert, in the front cockpit with earmuffs on due to the noisy equipment heard my cries for help and came to my rescue.  Are you out there Jay?

The week before I was married (Nov. 1, 1975) I was in the hangar for the engine start before flight.  I was going from the front of the aircraft to the rear, perhaps to close up a panel we left open for inspection after flight control checks or something like that.  Rather than take the safe route around the side of the hangar, in my mental distraction just prior to marriage, I found myself walking straight toward the left spike/inlet area.  What is it about the left side???  I believe Sgt. Way (the oldest looking man in the squadron) was there.  He and others could see my folly.  Of course, their shouts were useless.  Somehow I spotted their hand signals and diverted my course, avoiding possible harm and perhaps a cancelled training flight. After marriage, I couldn't see staying with the 9th, due to the high rate of alcoholism and divorce, choosing to leave military service against the counsel of the older Sgt.'s.  (Frank Jones?)  The red head, not the dark haired one. There were 2 Sgt. Jones). Just prior to marriage I committed my life to Jesus Christ.  The change in me was noted by others. Sgt. Lyons at Beale and others..  Maj. Fruehauf at Kadena, called me to his office to inquire about the change he saw.  He thought it due to my recent marriage, but I assured him it was a change of heart only God could perform in me. I eventually was employed by Sacramento County at Metro Airport as a Fire/Operation Worker II.  I ran into Sgt. Dandridge year later when I worked at Executive Airport . I now work for the county but in the Sheriff's Dept. Biggest regret.  I never took my kids to a suit-up and launch before the plane was retired.  In fact, I myself never went over to see a suit up. Well,  that's about as much as I dare tell you.  Hope I haven't been too tedious. I honestly don't remember your name.  You probably don't remember mine either.
Take care,

Sgt.  (E-4) John W. Schuff

E-Mail: schuff@jps.net

Tue, 4 Apr 2000 20:02 A1C  Glenn H. Hawkins (Discharged 5-69) Writes: Assigned Beale AFB June 1967.  9th SRW (OMS squadron) Jet Aircraft Mechanic 1 & 2 engine. Worked on aircraft #71-72-73-74  Trainers #56 & 57 during this time.

Went TDY to Kadena AB , for approx 4mos.(1968). Was discharged in May 1969 at Beale AFB, Calif. Did pre flight inspections and launch, also recovery. I worked mostly the 12 x8 shift, but worked all shifts. Lived on base, not married during this time. I enjoyed working on the SR-71 and learned a lot about them. Did many walks to the run-up area and tie downs for engine run-ups. Was A2C during most of my time at Beale and was promoted to A1C sometime prior to discharge.

A1C  Glenn H. Hawkins

E-Mail:OPS48@Worldnet.att.net

Sat, 1 Apr 2000 19:34 Sgt Neal Pinkowski Writes: Hello to everyone. This is a great site that I visit often. Many fond memories here and lifelong friends I have met during my days in Okinawa . Served there in 71+72 with KC-135Q's. Would look forward to hearing from anyone who was there at that time or anyone at all. Take care to all of you.

Sgt Neal Pinkowski

E-Mail:pinky300@pcom.net

Thu, 30 Mar 2000 06:32 T/sgt  James B. Cordes Writes: Blackbird Charter Member #274 I was with the program in 1964 in 4200 OE&T. Went to Beale in 1967 (Ret) in 1971. Could not bring up my name on members list. I have a scrap book I started in 1964, I thought you might like to see what I have, Lots of early photos, speed runs & others.

Looking forward to the next reunion.

See you there.

James B. Cordes, TSgt (Ret.)

E-Mail: jbcordes@hotmail.com

Mon, 27 Mar 2000 20:32 MSgt  Shayne Meder Retired Writes: Hi, my experience with the Blackbird began in 1994 as the Restoration Manager at Castle Air Museum . Currently I am the restoration manager at March Field Air Museum , Riverside Ca. I am currently restoring SR71  61-7975. She arrived here in 1990. Other than faded paint and some corroded fasteners, she is in good form. Some questions I have mainly concern the markings. On the forward outboard side of each rudder are 2 red swords...are they from it's mission's over the Persian Gulf in the late 80's?  Also found a white tic-tac-toe on the left rudder. The most interesting thing I have found and very historical is that the left rudder was once on 978, Rapid Rabbit.  We found the ol's white tail number and bunny under the new paint. I know the story behind it, and we intend to keep the marking visible after the new paint job.  I am also looking to contact the crew chief...Tsgt Sellers or SSgt Mayfield whose names are on the nose door.  Also the where abouts of Pappas and Manzi, the crew who flew her in. I found a copy of the orders of the maintenance crew who de-mil'd her here in 1990, taped to the inside of one of the right forward panels. Very cool.  Hope to hear from some of you HABU folks out there. You can see our HABU at our web site at http://www.marchfield.org/
Thanks,
Shayne Meder

E-Mail:Rtrn2glory@aol.com

Sun, 26 Mar 2000 10:42 Dean R. Engberg (Msgt, USAF Ret) Writes: I arrived from Hamilton AFB to Edwards AFB, (Hanger 1810) for assignment to Detachment 9, 4608 Support Squadron (ADC) on June 1, 1965 as a crew chief. The Squadron was assigned to test and evaluate the YF-12A and part of the SR-71/YF-12 Test Force. The Commander at the time was Col Vern Henderson whom I knew at Hamilton . When I first arrive we were working side by side with maintenance personnel from SAC, AFSC and Lockheed. My first impression of the aircraft was awesome. As we tested the aircraft the program was on, off and on again. During the period we were off we kept the aircrafts (0935 and 0936) in flyable storage. Also at times we were assigned to assist SAC in maintaining the SR's. In 1968 the doors closed on YF-12A program. I, along with many others from the detachment received reassignments to Vietnam , Thailand or the Philippines . My assignment to Phu Cat AB ended and I returned in June 1969. My wife stayed at the Edwards Mobile Home Park during my tour and my original assignment was to Laughlin AFB, TX. I went to the Detachment orderly room to see what was going on with the program and the aircrafts. I was told that the government had signed a loan agreement with NASA for the two aircrafts provided that the government furnish the equipment and training. I was asked if I would be interested and I told them, definitely. My orders to Laughlin were cancelled and I was reassigned to the newly activated 4786 Test Squadron, (F-12/NASA Test Force).  Many of the personnel that were previously assigned were ending their tour and were assigned back to Edwards. We worked and trained with NASA personnel until they took over (0935). The Air Force continued to test with (0936) until its loss due to an in-flight engine fire. Most personnel received reassignments to other organizations on the base. I was Flight Chief for the T-38 fleet, then reassigned to the newly organized F-15 CTF as Line Chief then I retired in 1976. I am still in the testing business currently working at the F-16 CTF at Edwards in the Instrumentation Section.

Dean R. Engberg (Msgt, USAF Ret)

E-Mail: DEngb74120.aol.com

Fri, 24 Mar 2000 02:59 Dr. William Eu(GENE) Vedder Writes: Hello to all of my former Air Force & intelligence agency friends who served with me in the SR program at Beale AFB & Edwards AFB - you know your names and when.

Any of you wishing to re-establish contact are more than welcome to email me directly and all will be answered.

Hope all of you guys are doing well.

Dr. William Eu(GENE) Vedder
E-Mail:
brazos@airmail.net

Thu, 23 Mar 2000 18:25 MSGT Ronald J. DeLozier (Retired) Writes:
I just got a "netmindit" message there was new stuff on the Alma Mater page.  Going through it, I noticed Larry Webster's remark about one Crew Chief got a "Yellow" model of the SR-71.  I was there then and remember it took quite a few tries to get the aircraft to look like it did.  If the truth be known, that aircraft was a "Hanger Queen" and the model was put into an oven and semi-melted so that it drooped significantly, front to rear and side to side.  When the model was of the appropriate droopy shape it was then painted "AGE" yellow, and presented to the Crew Chief during an awards presentation at the picnic.  I wonder how many of the early folks in OMS remember Friday afternoons down at the "Support Q-hut", where cases of suds were cooled instantly with LN2 and passed around for us to enjoy.  Or how many of us made the trip to the hanger with screw bags in hand to "cook" the screws.  I've got a real neat story about that, maybe for another time.  Leland thanks again for setting up the site and maintaining it.  Hope to see you at the next reunion along with all the other folks that worked on the "Worlds Fastest, Highest Flying, Production Aircraft"!!!

MSGT Ronald J. DeLozier (Retired)
E-Mail:
namba209@4dcomm.com

Tue, 21 Mar 2000 22:45: Sgt. Daniel Lee Thompson Writes :

I Worked on the SR-71 Blackbird 9TH Field Maintenance crew at Beale AFB in Marysville California   1966-'68.  I  Am looking forward to hearing from you.  "3 +" !!!
How can I get a listing of the rest of the airmen?

Your Fellow Airman,

Sgt. Daniel Lee Thompson
E-Mail: None
City: CLATSKANIE
State
: OR

Wed, 8 Mar 2000 00:36 W. McQuaw Writes:
Hi. I Just found your great site on the Blackbird. It brings back a lot of memories. As a Lockheed supervisor I worked on the complete production run. I also made a few trips to Beale to help solve some of your problems. I retired in 1978 and am now living in Portland , Oregon .

 Keep up the good work. Regards,

W. McQuaw

E-Mail: ILLIMMCQU@aol.com
 
 

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Tue, 14 Mar 2000 00:08 Paul Bunnell (The Mobility Man) Writes:
I don't know if you remember me.
 

I worked on the SR-71 and the T-38's with Val at Beale.

Its nice to see some old SR people are around.

Paul Bunnell

E-Mail: pbunnell@charter.net
 
 

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Fri, 17 Mar 2000 07:16 MSgt Anthony Comberrel Writes:
I was assigned to the 9th Strat Recon Wg (Training Control Div) in 1964.
Later, after a tour of duty in Viet Nam , I was assigned to Acft Records
Section until I retired in 1972.

At the time of my retirement,

Col Estes was the Chief Of Maintenance.

MSgt Anthony Comberrel
E-Mail:
acomberr@bellsouth.net
 
 

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Sun, 12 Mar 2000 12:31 Milton F. Appelhof, CMSgt (Ret) Writes:
 I started with the SR-71/U-2 program May of 1979 as the Aero Repair shop chief until December when I was assigned as the assistant branch chief of Systems Branch until December of 1995. I was then assigned to Det 2, Osan , Korea as the Maintenance Superintendent of the Det. In January I was reassigned to Beale as the SR-71/U-2 Inspection Section Supervisor and in 1988 took over as the last branch Chief of the SR-71's. I was the Maintenance Chief when the last active duty SR-71 was put in the Air Force Museum as Wright Patterson AFB. In April 1989 I took over as Chief enlisted manger for the 9th OMS. In Sept. 1991 I was assigned to 9th Logistics until I retired 30 Sept 1993. I enjoyed the 14 plus years with the SR-71/U-2 program. Dedication From Mr. Fred Carmody and his personnel definitely made my job easier. I was proud to serve with the maintenance personnel and the other Chiefs in the various organizations assigned to Beale. CMSgt Frank Tucci was one of the first Chiefs I meet at Beale and he was always there to help. Sorry to hear we lost a great Chief.

Milton F. Appelhof, CMSgt (Ret)
E-Mail:
appelhof@jps.net
 
 

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Fri, 10 Mar 2000 11:57 Sgt James A. Forrest Writes:
My tour was from early 1967 to Sep. 1970. I was a member of the 9th SRW. My field was Mechanical Accessories. The field name was changed at least once during my tour I don't remember the other name. I remember the shop was was next to the hydraulics shop. Our boss the whole tour was M/Sgt Robert "Dutch" Holland . Some of the other guys names were Wade Ratliff,
John Anzalone, Clark Zaft, Bill Coccary. I had (2) tours at OL8. Until then I had never seen an ear of corn hanging from a pitot tube (sorry I don't remember the pigs number). I had (2) tdy's at Edwards when we were testing 981 after the crash of one of the other trainers, I believe it was 957. The most fun was OL8 and when we would go TDY on a recovery. It was nice to see this web site. Thanks for the memories guys.

Sgt James A. Forrest
E-Mail:
TDJDKTT@bellsouth.net
 
 

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Sun, 5 Mar 2000 16:41 Lt. Col John D. Small (USAF Ret) Writes:
I served as an avionics officer in the 9th AMS from 1969 until 1971 and then again in 1972 until 1973 when I went to 15AF as Chief of Logistics for Reconnaissance Aircraft. What a great unit.

 I spent about much time running phone patches (over phone) as I did doing my primary duty. It was great reliving old times by reading the comments from old friends.

Lt. Col John D. Small (USAF Ret)
E-Mail:
jsmallp@aol.com
 
 

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Sun, 5 Mar 2000 13:13 Bobby E. Jones Msgt (Ret) Writes:
Great web page guys. Lots of memories floating there. I was with the original group in '65. assigned to the 4200th, signed in at Jack Rabbit Hill. Any one remember that place? Worked on the B52 and tankers for the 456 before we got the black birds. Then spent a lot time stripping and painting jacks and equipment. sent to Edwards in Jan 66 to learn about SR 71 but only worked on Yf 12s there. Worked in the Fuel cell shop with a lot of great hard working folks that were truly professionals. I remember thinking that at the time that it was totally impossible to work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day on just one airplane. Went to OL8 with a great group of guys and have many memories of a lot of "firsts" that we accomplished. One of the firsts was getting a look at the D-21 under the wing of a B52 just after we stopped being the 4200th and became the 9th FMS and the D21 people were the 4200th. I have had many adventures since I left Beale in 69, including living and working in Saudi Arabia as an acft. mechanic on KC and C130 Aircraft. Working at NASA Langley at the NTF National Transonic Facility cryogenic wind tunnel( Great deal like working on the SR the first time, all new concepts and having to learn all new state of the art equipment. I also was lucky enough to be chosen to be a rocket mechanic at the Wollops Island launch sit for awhile with Hays International Co. I am presently a school teacher in a correctional facility where I teach water and wastewater treatment and college prep courses to inmates. These adventures were and are great but nothing compares with with my time with the elite people of the Black Birds.

Bobby E. Jones Msgt (Ret)
E-Mail:
yf12@hotmail.com
 
 

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Sun, 27 Feb 2000 Roy L. Poole Writes:
I worked for Lockheed in supervising assembly of portions of the SR-71. I worked for Lockheed for 18 years until 1972 at Marietta , GA and Palmdale , CA .

The SR-71 is such a magnificent plane that is awe inspiring. Its capabilities still defy my understanding. Anyone working with me please feel free to contact.
 
 

Roy L. Poole
E-Mail:
pooleer@mail.vmi.edu
 
 

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Sun, 27 Feb 2000 09:54 SSgt  John Palinkas Writes:
I was assigned to the 9th SRW from Dec 1970 to Dec 1972 in the AR&R SHOP.

Spent 3 tours at OL and still have many memories of 108 barracks.
Any one remember me please contact.

I was from New Jersey originally, now in California .

SSgt  John Palinkas
E-Mail:
ke6tfb@netzero.net
 
 

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Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:25 Sgt Mark R. Flaherty Writes:
Great web site, I just happened to stumble upon it.

I was at RAF Mildenhall U.K. DET 4 9th SRW from May 84 - Jun 86... Hello to all involved with this awesome group.

A special thanks to SMSgt Jerry Golson, SSgt EJ Holmes and to the distilled spirits Jeff Jolley, Bob Johnson, Rick Tuffs, Tom Molusis.

Sgt Mark R. Flaherty
E-Mail:
mrflaherty@mediaone.com
 
 

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Tue, 22 Feb 2000 13:52 Sgt. Danny Clymer Writes:
I served from Sept. 1976 until Aug. 1981 and was assigned to the security police squadron there at Kadena from March 1978 until early 1981. I guarded the SR-71 numerous times while stationed at Kadena. One thing I will very much remember was the typhoon that came thru in 1980 that nearly tore the roof off the "typhoon proof building".

Thanks for bring back some memories and letting me sign in. I currently work for the Broken Arrow Police Department, Broken Arrow , OK .

Sgt. Danny Clymer
E-Mail:
dclymer@city.broken-arrow.ok.us
 
 

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Mon, 21 Feb 2000 22:13 Noah H. Hampton Writes:

I worked in support of the SR-71
from 67-75.

I was a civilian employee working at Norton AFB.
 

Noah H. Hampton
E-Mail:
qhbs@Juno.com
 
 

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Fri, 18 Feb 14:45 2000 John L. Minor Writes:
Habu's Forever! Here's an update to my 15 Feb 1999 entry with a new email address. I'm no longer associated with the Lockheed Skunk Works. As of June 1999, I am now working at the USAF Test Pilot School as an instructor teaching Avionics Systems Flight Testing which includes, of course, Reconnaissance Systems. We don't use wet film anymore---everything is now solid state. I'm still looking for old friends from the 9th AMS photo shop circa 1976-1980. Thanks Leland for maintaining this great SR-71 web page! I still owe you a few "oldie" photos of the Habu--will get them to you soon! See ya'll back at the ranch some day!

John Minor
Email:
john.minor@edwards.af.mail
 
 

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Sun, 13 Feb 2000 20:02 MSgt (Ret) David Lindenmuth Writes:

I Would like to hear from any one of the Beale Bandits

That were at Beale AFB

between June of 1984 and July of 1989.

MSgt (Ret) David Lindenmuth

E-Mail:DGL103@AOL.COM
 
 

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Sun, 13 Feb 2000 02:49 A1C Donald L Arend Jr. Writes:
 I was stationed at Beale AFB from June '65 to Sept '67.

I worked on the T-38 line with Bob Ford and Jim. I can't remember his last name.

I also worked with Bill Erbele, Joe Deperreo and Bruce Allen who worked at one of the local radio stations during that time.

A1C Donald L Arend Jr.
E-Mail:
donandjudy@mciworld.com
 
 

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Fri, 11 Feb 2000 20:18 SSgt David W Mitchell Writes:
On reading Reid Cameron's guest book entry, it wasn't the back that ached, but my head. I think someone held my feet as I did a one-handed handstand, inserted head-first under the instrument panel. Amazing! I think of the sight of the afterburners climbing skyward in the early morning hours, twin blue-white spotlights gaining altitude. Nothing ever resembled a UFO more... Watching the intakes create mini-cyclones of JP-7 fuel being sucked up from the hangar floor. The sight of a Buick Wildcat start cart literally shredding it's V-8 engine during a start. And what the heck was a TELMU? I can't say... I have just joined the Blackbird Association, and hope to make it to the next reunion. See you there?

SSgt David W Mitchell
E-Mail:
punkert@inreach.com
 
 

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Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:44 SSgt Jack Pavia Writes:
I was assigned to the 9th OMS 67-70. I was in the second rotation to OL-8 with Col. Hayes. I was on the swing shift crewing #980; TSgt Brad Hornberg had days. When I made SSgt I became D Flight Team Leader. I was at OL-8 when a B-52 blew up on the runway with all its bombs tossed everywhere like popcorn. I can't remember many names but Phil DiVelo,
Phil Sage ("that's Sgt Sage to you boy"). We had a great time on swing shift worked hard and played hard. Night games with TEB, burning footprints in the sand. Counting shock rings and the engine trim pad...I think they got 15 rings out of the AC. Awesome site in the dark. Well we had a great bunch of guys and it was a great time in my life. Like to hear from some of the guys.

Email Updated April 08, 2005

SSgt Jack Pavia
E-Mail:
jpavia@cox.net
 
 

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Sun, 6 Feb 2000 19:08 SSgt Larry Webster Writes:
 I came to Beale in April '67 and was assigned to trainer SSgt Bill Hughes which was a super trainer. He not only made me feel welcome but told me what needed to be done to get my next stripe. He made sure I followed through. He was responsible for a great four years (the best four of my life). Through his efforts in guiding me, I was promoted with minimum time and grade. He was also responsible for me making Squadron Airman of the Month and Wing Airman of the Month. I worked on preflight crews as well as BPO crews. I made assistant on #955 under MSgt Enick on third shift. MSgt Don Carey was controller. I also assisted on #958 and #960. At the time, SMSgt Bill Reynolds was a flight leader. I remember working for MSgt. Tucci, MSgt. Bell , Msgt Pogo, MSgt. Arints. The Crew Chiefs that I remember are MSgt Darby, MSgt. Spangler, MSgt. Bailey. I'm sorry guys, but that's all I remember right now. SMSgt. Hamsbuger and SMSgt. Shafer were my last leaders of a flight. I almost forgot one of my controllers... MSgt Perry, "The Georgia Peach". I remember names like Sgt Slay, Sgt Martin, Sgt. McCraken, Captain (Sgt. Ramsey),
Sgt. Johnson, SSgt.  Fogel, SSgt. Tolver, Sgt. Joner. I found the web page by mistake and enjoyed it very much. I recognized a few names. One of the Crew Chiefs is the only one to get a yellow aircraft given to him at the squadron picnic. Let's see if he will admit it. There is not a day goes by that I don't think about the great bunch of airman that I served with in the 9th OMS. If anybody has a list of names in that time frame, I would like to hear from you. Also, if anybody has a extra Mach 3+ patch, I'm interested in one. I lost all of my stuff in a flood in '96. I retired in 1991 from Caterpillar Tractor Inc. after 32 years. Don't be too hard on me.... this is my first time on the Internet. I have always wondered why we all didn't get together. Please let me know when the next one (Blackbird Reunion ) is. What a high to read your web page.

SSgt Webster (Web)
E-Mail:
dustinb@nemr.net
 
 

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Fri, 4 Feb 2000 10:39 MSgt Norman E. Bobb USAF (Ret.) Writes:
I was stationed at March AFB, when I learned about a need for my AFSC on a classified project at Beale AFB, so I volunteered. Of course, I tried to find out something, and even though I worked at HQ level, I couldn't find out anything. I got to Beale in July 65 and learned that I and six others would be going to Binghamton , NY for flight simulator school. We didn't know what the aircraft would be, but we would surely find out at school-wouldn't we? As we soon learned, all flight simulators are driven by a computer, and it didn't matter what the aircraft would be. However, we knew it was going to be an aircraft that we hadn't seen before. We got back to Beale in November, and still didn't know what the aircraft was going to be. I'm sure my exclamations and excitement at seeing the SR-71 for the first time, was the same as everyone else, but only those who were there can appreciate the event. I worked in the flight simulator section on the bottom floor of the old SAGE building for about two years, until I wrangled a transfer to the MPC shop on the second floor. I was TDY at Edwards twice and was on the first TDY contingent in January 68, at Kadena, when the SR started flying recon missions to Vietnam . I had one other TDY to Kadena in January 69 and retired in November 71. This project was the high point in my career and it was an opportunity to work with a lot of dedicated airman. My supervisor was CMSgt Samuel Walden, for the last four years of my career, and we still stay in touch.

MSgt Norman E. Bobb USAF (Ret.)
E-Mail:
bobbjo7@mc2k.com
 
 

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Tue, 1 Feb 2000 20:39 Major Donald R. Sopiak, USAFR Ret. Writes:
Started with the 9th RTS INOE 1976 and ended with INC 1988 as a mobilization augmentee at Beale and Dets 1, 2 and 4.

Between that and a Goodyear Rep I recognize many of the names here especially those in the intell and SAR end.

Great site, hope to see more names in the future.

Major Donald R. Sopiak USAFR Ret.
E-Mail:
rox55@aol.com
 
 

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Mon, 31 Jan 2000 06:39 SSgt Dennis R. Townsend Writes:
I have just been reading the updates to the site and it brought back a lot of good times that I had from 1970-`972 in B-Flight at Beale. Last night I rented a movie called Black Thunder. It had some pictures taken at Beale. Does any one out there know when this movie was done at Beale? Also in the last messages I have sent in, I had my wrong email address. It should be
dennist9@hrtc.net. so if any one remembers me from Beale it me know.
Habu Forever.

SSgt. Dennis R.Townsend
E-Mail:
dennist9@hrtc.net
 
 

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Thu, 27 Jan 2000 18:09 Sgt. Cliff Lawson Writes:
I just stumbled across your site. I was at Beale 05-73 to 12-74. 9th OMS.. T-38 section. I recognize many of the names in the comments I've read. I worked with TSgt. George Loya, and SSgt Lester Knox, along with a bunch of guys that I apologize for not being able to remember names. Served a TDY at Kadena 8-74 / 10-74. Sure seems a shame that the Blackbird was taken out of commission!

Best regards to all served!

Clifford D. Lawson
E-Mail:
cdlawson@jps.net
 
 

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Sun, 23 Jan 2000 23:33 Matthew R. Moseley Writes:
GREAT SITE. The SR-71 has been a big part of my life, and a bigger part of my fathers that is for sure. My father is
Frank R. Moseley and worked in 9th FMS shop (hydraulics) I believe from around 66 through to retirement in 80. I joined the army in the spring of 89 and was assigned the 82nd AIRBORNE FT. BRAGG . That Dec I participated in Operation Just Cause. We were given photos of Panamanian barracks and other objectives reportedly provided by the SR-71. Can anyone out there confirm or deny this? Thanks again for a great site!

Matthew R. Moseley
E-Mail:
matthew_aimee@msn.com
 
 

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Sun, 23 Jan 2000 18:38 CMSgt Kenneth Kesterson Writes:
 Nice web page Leland. I was "Blue Feather" briefed in a vault at Offutt AFB NE in Dec 1964. We couldn't tell our families where we were going...but was encouraged to buy the local paper the next day cause President Johnson was about to make reference to this new airplane. A cadre of about 80 of us signed in at Beale in Jan 1965, where they had housing waiting for us. After unpacking the moving truck, three of us was on our way to Litchfield Park AZ to learn about the Ground Base Correlator. That was my beginning with what was to become the 9th SRW. It was the most interesting 13 yrs in my career. We was on the leading edge of technology in the ground based reduction system just like what was happening on the SR-71 APG. From our first Wing Intell officer,
Col Chuck Bailey, to the bump and grind airman working their jobs in the Central Processing Center {CPC} and Mobile Processing Center {MPC}, we couldn't have felt more useful or valuable. The project tech reps and the hand picked military personnel were the very best. Though what we did was so highly classified, you could go home from work knowing you had really contributed. Thank goodness a lot of them stayed in the area of Beale AFB and we get to see each other occasionally. My best to all associated 9SRW people.

CMSgt Kenneth Kesterson
E-Mail:
kdkes@otn.net
 
 

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Fri, 21 Jan 2000 15:59 MSgt (Ret) John G. Robley Writes:
 What a time, what memories in cherish of the people and machines that to this day never cease to amaze me, so far ahead of its time. As the AGE Branch Chief I had the pleasure of working with all sections of FMS/AMS/OMS. The great times at Beale, Kadena, and others. The mission demands were there, and our well trained personnel came through and made the 9th a name to remember. You old AGE guys should remember when we got together and souped up the 330's from Buick's to 454 Chevy's? I still have some great pics of that. To my troops, wherever you may be now, THANKS, and aloha from Hawaii .

MSgt (Ret) John G. Robley
E-Mail:
jrobley@juno.com
 
 

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Tue, 11 Jan 2000 21:33 A1C Wayne Palone Writes:
I was stationed at Beale AFB from Feb. 68 to Sept. 70. I was with 9th. FMS Fuel Sys. I started with the SR71 when it was still in testing, and remember when it went operational I went on OL8 in Nov. 69.

It was a plane I'll never forget. It was the best of times, It was the worst of times.

To all that were there with me, I still think of you guys, the good times, and the bad times.

A1C Wayne Palone
E-Mail:
palonethumper@aol.com
 
 

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Wed, 5 Jan 2000 15:31 TSgt Steven "Bad" Appel Writes:
 My name is Steven "BAD" Appel, I'm still in the Air Force and Stationed at Elmendorf AFB AK, my first and best air force experience was when I entered active duty and was stationed at Beale AFB CA in 1983. A lot of you will remember me because of my extraordinary ability to holler really loud and my Volkswagen bug hobby with Steve Koren. When I worked on the SR-71 83-87 I knew there was something easier than the SR-71 and probably more satisfying. When I got to RAF Upper Heyford in March 1987, I did notice that the F-111E was easier to work on and new and exciting because it dropped bombs. However, the F-111 community held me to a higher standard because it was generally understood that to work on the SR-71, you must either know someone in a high place or you were just groomed by the CIA from childhood....kind of like the Nazi Hitler Youth of WWII. Quite the contrary, we were held to higher standards than the rest of the Air Force because of the critical parameters of the engines and systems. But, we were very normal people and very humble as well, I never did meet a SR-71 Crew Chief with a chip on his or her shoulder, they and we were very down to earth and willing to do whatever it took to ensure that we met our mission. The people that I have met within the F-111 and F-15 communities are very good but, don't possess the drive that an SR-71 Crew Chief does....they also lack the system knowledge and attention to detail. This is only my opinion and does not represent everyone. I think a lot of the reason that I am the way I am was because of the high caliber people from yester-year and was somehow passed on and excellence was the rule, not an optional feature. I found that within a fighter unit, excellence was found only among a few top performers and not within the whole unit as was the case with the 9th OMS. I salute each and every one of you who either helped me, taught me, or provided the standard that I call "just doing' my job" .......it's what makes me proud to be a Habu dude and wear my hat and patches. Thanks Blackbirds-- Steven "BAD" Appel

P.S.......the SR-71 was the most exciting and rewarding.

TSgt Steven "Bad" Appel
E-Mail:
Steven.Appel@Elmendorf.af.mil
 
 

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Sat, 1 Jan 2000 11:03 M/Sgt Gerald John Sardonia Writes:
 I entered the blackbird family in April 1965 at Edwards AFB. Assigned to 4200 OET squadron. Helped out in May when the YF-12A set the records. Was NCOIC of the SAC EGRESS shop. Stayed there until March 1968 and then left for BEALE AFB. Was NCOIC of EGRESS shop at BEALE until I retired in March 1973. It was the greatest way to end almost 21 years of service. Would like to hear of any "Blackbird" reunions.

M/Sgt G.J. Sardonia
E-Mail:
gjsardon@bellsouth.net
 
 

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skunk1.gifIf you have worked directly with the SR-71 or U-2, you may qualify to join the Blackbird Association. Pilots, Maintenance Support Personnel, Contractors and PSD support are examples.

 

1.You must have been Directly Associated with the SR-71, U-2 Programs. Being stationed where the Blackbirds were operational does not qualify. We have received numerous requests to join the Association by personnel that do not qualify, for example CBPO, Supply, Etc. Certainly these personnel contributed indirectly to the programs but remember the qualifications states: "Directly Associated".

2.The Blackbird Association is Not a Locator Service! Questions directed in this area will be ignored. If you wish to try and locate a former member you may search this page you are on to see if the individual has left a message.

3.When you contact Jack Madison the first time:

You MUST include "Blackbird Association Membership" in the subject line

Your Name and Affiliation with the Blackbirds (SR-71 or U-2). 

Your Complete Home Mailing Address. Please insure the address is correct in all aspects. Sending just your E-Mail address is not sufficient. 

Email you Blackbird Association application to: 

BlackbirdMail@aol.com

 

"Skunk" is the Copyright property of Lockheed Martin Corporation
 

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Copyright 1996 Leland R. Haynes     Email: sr71webmaster@sr71.us

 

 SR-71 Front Page 

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"SR-71 Blackbirds"  Web Site Navigator

First Created: April 15, 1996 - Last Revised: March 29, 2004

Copyright 1996 Leland R. Haynes     Email: sr71webmaster@sr71.us

 

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