Thursday, January 29, 2009

B-36 Peacemaker

The Convair B-36 (nicknamed Peacemaker) was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the United States Air Force (USAF). The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engined aircraft ever made and had the largest wingspan in a combat aircraft ever built (230 ft (70 m)), although there have been larger military transports. The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering thermonuclear weapons from within a fully-enclosed bomb-bay. With a range of over 6,000 miles (9,700 km) and a maximum payload of at least 72,000 lb (33,000 kg), the B-36 was the first operational bomber with an intercontinental range, setting the standard for subsequent USAF long range bombers, such as the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, and B-2 Spirit.

Here's an incredible video clip I hope you can access. It’s a trip into the past. Where did we get such men (& machines!)? The first aircraft big enough to carry the first H-bomb weighed 46,000 pounds, and it could fly 60 hours without refueling!!!

"Strategic Air Command" (the movie) was filmed in Tampa at MacDill AFB. Enjoy this incredible sight (5.5 minute clip). Whoever created this clip took some great shots of the interior. Remember, "Six Turnin' and Four Burnin"".. .the six props and the four jets that were hung out on the wing to help the production models get off the ground.

Worth it for the sound - six piston and four jet engines. You will also see Jimmy Stewart on the jump seat. Look at all those instruments and engine controls at the Flight Engineer station. Also note that the Co-Pilot controls the jet engines while the Flight Engineer controls the pistons.

Additional note, thanks to Mitch Miller:
If I'm correct, the flight engineer (seated next to Jimmy Stewart) is none other than Harry Morgan (Col Sherman T. Potter of MASH fame). Listen closely to his voice as he reads a portion of the checklist. Mitch

Our Crew Colleague, Don Byrnes replied with an e-mail about this very B-36 flick playing a significant role in his military decision which resulted in his becoming a USAF pilot. See his Comment posted below......(click on: Comments).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Black Book Review Sequel

Back in November, 2007, our Reviewer, Rick Spencer, published his perspective on The Black Book of Communism on this blog (click on: Spencer Review of The Black Book). He's now discovered a new review of the same book by the Mises on this link: Mises Review of The Black Book.

Here is Rick Spencer's comment he left today on the Mises Institute blog regarding this book:

"I reviewed this stunning book nov07 for a small military blog of USAF members flying the world's largest cargo plane in the 60's. It seems to be a book not publicly touted. A major reason, I believe, is that the academic/left world would have to shut the door forever on the concept of Utopia if these misdeeds were researched. The lack of such research and publicity about this evil of the 20th century is almost criminal in itself." Richard Spencer Published: January 20, 2009 3:00 PM

FYI, the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, AL, is self-described as:

The Institute is named to honor the life and work of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973). In six decades of teaching and writing, he reconstructed economic theory and method on a sound basis of individual human action and showed that government intervention is always destructive, whether through welfare, inflation, taxation, regulation, or war. His vision of the free and prosperous commonwealth is carried forward in all the work of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

For more information on the Mises Institute, click on: About Mises.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

U2 Carrier Landings?

The following brought to us by our colleague, Rick Spencer:

Written by someone who was there in the 60s:

The aircraft carrier you see in this video, CV 61, was the
Ranger, retired in 1993.

The U-2 was a cold war spy plane used by the Air Force
to keep tabs on The Soviet Union. It flew so high it was
thought that it couldnt be shot down by anything that
existed then...that is until Gary Francis Powers was shot
down over the Soviet Union by a new SA 2 Guideline
surface to air missile...used extensively later during the
Vietnam war. It caused the demise of many Navy and
Air Force aircraft. The U2 is a glider with an engine....
NEVER meant for anything but land based operations.
Note the wing tips hitting the deck and the ships crew
holding the wing up for launch. For experienced Navy
tailhookers.....note the very shallow glideslope...
definitely Air Force runway approach procedures
because of the delicate landing gear. Navy planes are
made to "crash" onto the deck and the landing gear
on all Navy aircraft are significantly more beefy than
any Air Force airplane. This took significant skill and
guts to see if it could be done. These pictures are a
first .....very few people knew that this was done.

This cruise was in late 62 or early 63. After the U2
carrier quals, we departed Oakland with 2 U2's and
about 6 F4's. aboard the Ranger (CVA61), We had
7or 8 crews, some maintenance guys, and 3 Air Force (or
maybe CIA) U2 pilots. Our OinC was John Young
(later Astronaut) . We were gone about 3 weeks.
Never found out where we went except that we
crossed the equator and had a big shellback
ceremony. After about a week the U2's flew
several 6 or 7 hour missions and then we turned for
home. We flew several times during the cruise just
for proficiency but just in the landing pattern. No
TACAN locks and no radar returns (and no bingo
fields!) so we were way out in the middle of

You won't believe this!

Click on: U2 Carrier Landing Video Footage from the 60s

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vietnam War Resources

If there is ANYthing you ever wanted to know about the Vietnam War, here is the website that can link you to any related subject, from Agent Orange and POW/MIA stories to the Enemy Perspective and Lessons Learned. Literally hundreds of links....

Thanks to Sandy Sandstrom for the reference!

Thursday, January 1, 2009



Our Reunion Planning Survey has been sent to the 60 current e-mail addresses that we have on file. If you received one, PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO RESPOND. We need your input!!

If you're NOT on our e-mail list, and didn't get a survey, and are interested in anything C-133 related, let us know your e-mail address and other contact information. That's all you have to do to be a "member" of the C-133 Crew "society." Join us!

And have a Great New Year!