SR-71 Tail Art Image Collection


#968 "DBX" Dolby Stereo (C)
Tail Art Markings in no particular order is as follows:

 

 

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
tail001.jpg
tail001.jpg
Air Defense Command #934
tail002.jpg
tail002.jpg
Air Defense Command #934 
tail003.JPG
tail003.JPG
Air Defense Command #934 
tail004.jpg
tail004.jpg
Air Force Systems Command #934
tail005.jpg
tail005.jpg
Outstanding Unit #935

tail006.jpg
tail006.jpg
AFSC & Pres Unit Citation #935

tail007.jpg
tail007.jpg
#935/937-Early NASA
tail008.jpg
tail008.jpg
Lockheed Skunk Works #955
tail009.jpg
tail009.jpg
Lockheed Skunk Works #955
tail010.jpg
tail010.jpg
1,000th Sortie #956
tail011.jpg
tail011.jpg
White Cobra #958
tail012.jpg
tail012.jpg
9th SRW #958
tail013.jpg
tail013.jpg
9th SRW #958 at Diego Garcia
tail014.jpg
tail014.jpg
Red One with Habu Det 1 #960
tail015.jpg
tail015.jpg
9th SRW  #960
tail016.jpg
tail016.jpg
"Bald But Bold" #961
tail017.jpg
tail017.jpg
"Numero Uno" #962
tail018.jpg
tail018.jpg
Skull & Crossbones or Jolly Roger #962
tail019.jpg
tail019.jpg
Rest In Peace #962
tail020.JPG
tail020.JPG
9th SRW #963
tail021.JPG
tail021.JPG
"Bodonian Express" Bodo, Norway on 14 August 1981 #964
tail022.jpg
tail022.jpg
Red BB #967
tail023.jpg
tail023.jpg
Det 2, Red BB #967
tail024.JPG
tail024.JPG
Red One #967
tail025.JPG
tail025.JPG
Lightening Bolt #967
tail026.jpg
tail026.jpg
No Cherry #968
tail027.jpg
tail027.jpg
DBX (Dolby Stereo) #968
tail028.jpg
tail028.jpg
"Fakawee" or Where in the Fakawee #971
tail029.jpg
tail029.jpg
Det 2 Red BB #971
tail030.jpg
tail030.jpg
#972-Charlie's Problem 1st Original -All White-
tail031.jpg
tail031.jpg
Charlie's Problem #972
tail032.jpg
tail032.jpg
#972-Too much idle time
tail033.JPG
tail033.JPG
AFLC Skunk Works #972 @Dullas D.C
tail034.jpg
tail034.jpg 
    

Dennis the Menace #974

tail035.jpg
tail035.jpg
Ichi Ban #974
tail036.jpg
tail036.jpg
Ichi Ban #974
tail037.jpg
tail037.jpg
Black Cat. Done for U-2 folks in Taiwan. #975
tail038.jpg
tail038.jpg
Red One and Habu #975
tail039.jpg
tail039.jpg
Snoopy with Limp Habu #976
tail040.jpg
tail040.jpg
Bengal Tiger #976
tail041.jpg
tail041.jpg

Bengal Tiger #976

tail042.jpg
tail042.jpg
Playboy Bunny #978 (Stencil: White Tornado-Col Hayes)
tail043.jpg
tail043.jpg
Playboy Bunny #978
tail044.jpg
tail044.jpg
Night Hawk #979
tail045.jpg
tail045.jpg
"Rosemary's Baby-San" #980 
tail046.jpg
tail046.jpg
Det 4-UK #980
tail047.jpg
tail047.jpg
Dartboard, Mildenhall UK #980
tail048.jpg
tail048.jpg
Olympia Beer Can #981
tail049.jpg
tail049.jpg
#935/937-Early NASA
tail050.jpg
tail050.jpg
#844-Current NASA
zdoor001.jpg
zdoor001.jpg
#974 Door before Flight from Midway
zdoor002.jpg
zdoor002.jpg
#974 Gooney's after Hot Flight
zdoor003.jpg
zdoor003.jpg
OL-8 Original Hobo
zdoor004.jpg
zdoor004.jpg
"Homo Ne"-Japanese for "Hobo Me"
zdoor005.jpg
zdoor005.jpg
Do Unto Others, Then Split
zdoor006.jpg
zdoor006.jpg
#970-Have no Fear, Groundhog is here
zdoor007.jpg
zdoor007.jpg
Lonnie's Lobo
zdoor008.jpg
zdoor008.jpg
Crew Chief Chuck Dodgins
zdoor009.jpg
zdoor009.jpg
Crew Chief Bartlemay
zdoor010.jpg
zdoor010.jpg
Crew Chief SSgt Countryman
zmark01.jpg
zmark01.jpg
10 Hot Sorties over Vietnam
zmark02.jpg
zmark02.jpg
#974-14 "Hot" Sorties and One Gooney Bird
zmark03.jpg
zmark03.jpg
#974-12 Hot Sorties
zmark04.jpg
zmark04.jpg
44 "Hot" Habu Sorties

Michael O'Reilly sent the following four photos taken in 1978. He Writes:

Here are four photos for your collection. I took these photos on 13 December 1978 at Det 2 Osan AB Korea. The plane had engine problems and spent a couple days waiting for parts. I recall during ground based engine tests the revetment behind the aircraft was emptied of gravel and a nearby stop sign was blown off the pole. The Lockheed Tech's Reps weren't impressed with the humor displayed by the U-2 folks.

Michael O'Reilly
PSD 1978 - 1980

(Photos Copyrighted by Michael O'Reilly, June 30, 2002)

Reprint permission Email Mike at: ayedive@attbi.com

 
tail967_1.jpg
tail967_1.jpg
U-2 Folks (Black Cats) paint a Zero after #1 Tail #967 (Left Rudder)
tail967_2.jpg
tail967_2.jpg
U-2 Folks (Black Cats) paint a Zero after #1 Tail #967 (Right Rudder)
tail967_3.jpg
tail967_3.jpg
U-2 Folks (Black Cats) paint "For Sale-.69 Cents"

#975 Taken at Mildenhall, United Kingdom by Michael O'Reilly


 

"The Gooney Bird Story"

MSgt Dwain Allen, Crew Chief on SR-71 #962 and #978 recalls:

We painted the Playboy Bunny on #978. All three of the paintings happened around the same time. I can't remember for sure which one was first. I believe we did #974 then #978 with the help of the guys in the paint shop. We got the stencils made and I remember we did #978 in the early morning hours before the brass came to work. I remember we thought they would raise hell and it would be taken off before it ever flew but everyone went along with it; the crews really liked it. I think that is what saved our butt. As you know when they stopped everyone from doing the painting, the original three got to stay on.

The one of the Goony Bird on the landing door is a story in its self. Tony Bevacqua, Pilot and James Kogler, RSO were in #974 and they lost a generator. They landed on Midway Island, so we jumped on a KC-135 to go get it. We changed the generator and had it "OR", in no time. Well, we were stuck there for 4 days, weather and then tanker scheduling. Bevacqua and Kogler had met this Navy officer and his wife at the club. She was an artist and they brought her out to the ramp and she spent about 4 hours painting the Gooney Birds on both landing gear doors. We got the all clear to launch and the runway was so short that we had to back the bird all the way back onto the overrun to launch it. Then we barely got off the runway with the tanker. 

 


Ichi Ban #974

Don Person, one of the first SR-71 Crew Chiefs, relates how #974 was painted with the red number one and the Habu Snake around the number and why it was called "Ichi Ban".

I hope this clears up why #974 had "ICHI BAN" painted on the rudders. I was in the second group of crew chiefs to arrive in Kadena. We started our operation in the Little Creek area and moved to the CIA complex shortly after arriving, but did several launches backing aircraft out of the old complex. I crewed #974. Jim Martin was the first crew chief on #974 and had painted the first (6) HABU's on the fuselage. Look at  www.Habu.Org  #974 and my pictures. One reflects me pointing at my first hard sortie #7 on 974. I went on to get five additional sorties for a total of (12). When #974 was prepped for return flight to Beale then SSgt Don Campbell, my assistant crew chief and I decided to show the arrival crew at Beale that #974 had the most HARD SORTIES. We decided to have a white HABU snake and a big "ONE" in red with "ICHI BAN" painted below it in red. We were in an area, time frame, as you know that nothing was done without approval. We took the risk and decided to paint it anyway. This was done the night before #974 launched back to Beale not knowing what reception it would get when the flight crew and the on site commander arrived in the morning. Pilot Lt. Col. Pat Halloran thought it was great and we got the thumbs up. I had a nice hand written note from Pat Halloran when the next tanker arrived stating the paint job was well accepted. I still have that note. Bottom line this event had nothing to do with the first hard sortie from Kadena. #974 had the most hard missions painted on her when #974, #976 & #978 returned to Beale after the first aircraft rotations. And that's the truth. Dwain Allen can relate the first hard sortie story as I have no idea who flew it but had heard #976.

Editors Note: Special thanks to Don Person for his recollections and above personal photos; to Ron DeLozier for tracking this information down and also to David Allison at www.Habu.Org for maintaining the above photos on his web site. 

Speedy Gonzales; Rosemary's Baby-San and Pink Panther

In an email received from Sgt. Art Lombardi: During the OL-8 campaign, there was a "Pink Panther", "Speedy Gonzales" and a "Rosemary's Baby-San". They were painted on the tail prior to a rotation of aircraft from Kadena to Beale in 1967/68. One of the paintings was completed just a few hours prior to preflight. I know this for a fact, as I was the artist. As for the artwork the crewmen themselves chose the character, and I did the renderings from a reference photo. It was a last minute thing and I was up all night trying to finish. Sgt. Art Lombardi: lombardia@TIMCOGSO.com

Missing Artwork:

Editor's Note: The following known artwork is missing from this web site: Dice on #973; Macon Bacon on #980; Tom Cat's Kitten on #969.  Lonnie Countryman, Crew Chief on the Blackbirds recently provided us with the Pink Panther; Super Skater photo of #970.  If you have a photo of any of these Blackbirds, please contact me at: sr71webmaster@wvi.com 

Credits: Photos: tail036.jpg (RIP) courtesy of SSgt Matt Moran; tail002.jpg copyrighted by Tom O'Neill; zdoor001.jpg and gooney_974.jpg copyrighted by MSgt Dwain Allen. Mike O'Reilly submitted photos: tail 967_1.jpg; tail967_2.jpg and tail967_3.jpg. AFFTC photos courtesy of Jim Goodall. All other photos are from the Blackbird Auburn Files. Permission to reprint may be obtained by contacting sr71webmaster@wvi.com 

 

 

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