History of the 307th Bombardment Wing (Medium),
Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, 1954-1965
here for 307th AREFS History
BW History (revised 12/09)
(Right click on link to save)
Dale K Christians
Charles E Gingrich
Glen D Hesler
Donald W Hickman
Robert E King
Robert J Loffredo
Billy S Lyons
Anthony D Minnick
Alton “Bud” Ostgaard
Ernest V Pence
Harold W Todd
Bert Vorchheimer – cover photo
Billy D Williams
And Many Others
Published June 2000
The 307th Bomb Wing B-47 / KC-97 Association
We are pleased to present to you, the members of the 307th
Bomb Wing B-47 / KC-97 Association, this history of the 307th Bomb Wing
at Lincoln AFB. This history pays homage to those we served with and to
those we lost.
This project had its genesis a several years ago, at the
time of our Memorial Bench dedication at the Air Force Museum. We found
then that we had nowhere near a complete list of our aviation related
casualties. Our remembrances were disjointed and somewhat inaccurate.
Ernie Pence, our co-historian volunteered to see what he could do.
After great difficulties, Ernie succeeded in obtaining microfiche
copies of the official semi-annual wing history submissions from the Air
Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB. He found that references
to accidents or casualties were either not included or had been deleted.
Also discovered was the fact that references to nuclear weapons had yet
to be declassified, and that historical sections containing such references
were not releasable to us. Thus, there is yet an unknown quantity of history
still in the archives, awaiting declassification and not yet available
To complement the official Air Force records, we searched
the archives of the Lincoln newspapers, and the former LAFB publication,
the Jet Scoop. Several members sent in extensive files of newspaper clippings
that helped immensely. In addition, Ernie obtained from US Strategic Command
(SAC’s “successor” organization), historical overviews
of our predecessor 307th units, and our successor unit, the 307th Strategic
In our presentation of this to you, Ernie Pence has done
all the hard work, and we all owe him great thanks. Several others have
toiled also, checking and supplementing the information and editing it
into publication form.
Our history is intended to be a living document. It is presently
incomplete. As we become aware of new information or corrections, we will
incorporate those into revisions of this document. You have a role in
this by calling to our attention, facts, stories, or other information
that may have escaped our attention to date.
Again, our thanks to our historians, Robert Loffredo and
Finally, it is only appropriate that we dedicate this, our
history, to those who lost their lives serving the wing and the nation.
We owe them so much.
Your Chairman (1992-2002),
We, the present living members of the 307th Bomb Wing B-47
/ KC-97 Association, wish to dedicate this compilation of the history
of the 307th Bomb Wing at Lincoln AFB, to our comrades who have gone before.
Those, whose names follow, lost their lives through aviation-related
accidents while serving the 307th Bomb Wing, or in subsequent service
to their nation.
B-47, Ceresco, Nebraska, 6 April 1956
- Captain James W Sullivan,
- Lieutenant Anthony C Marcanti
- Lieutenant Lawrence A Schmidt
- A1C James J Berry, Crewchief
B-47, Lakenheath RAFB, England, 28 July 1956
- Captain Russell R Bowling,
- Lieutenant Carroll William
- Lieutenant Michael Joseph
- TSgt John Ulrich, Crewchief
C-118, Enroute From Lakenheath To The Azores, Atlantic
Ocean, 10 October 1956
- Captain Kenneth E Goodroe
- Captain Robert W Ryan
- MSgt William A Caisse
- SSgt Thomas I DeCota
- A1C Alton J Gaines
- A1C Orest D Giancola
- A1C Billy B Grogan
- A1C Eugene D Gruenberg
- A1C Richard K Hunter
- A1C Ronald L King
- A1C Robert Lada
- A1C Joseph D Loontiens
- A1C Michael C Macedonia
- A1C Ronald F Mountain
- A1C Stanley L Osgar
- A1C Keith A Peterson
- A1C James L Schorr
- A1C Robert C Urban
- A1C Earl F Vasey
- A1C Herbert A Banks
- A2C Albert L Beard
- A2C Dale R Brockman
- A2C Conrad J Buehler Jr
- A2C Edmond R DeWolf
- A2C John F Disanto
- A2C Raymond E Drake
- A2C Lyle C Giberson
- A2C Gene O Godfrey
- A2C Cloyse A Hepler
- A2C Gerard A Hummel
- A2C Robert H Lipina
- A2C George F Luce
- A2C William R Ray
- A2C Leonard J Roman
- A2C Henry J Schuver
- A2C Robert D Spurling
- A2C James B Whitlock
- A2C Frank C Williamson
- A3C Roscoe F Deel
- A3C Willie B Ferguson
- A3C Ronald L Gardner
- A3C Charles W Hannah
- A3C Lloyd D Harding
- A3C Lee R Kane
- A3C Sherman W Lock
- A3C Ralph M Pacelli
- A3C Donald L Reynolds
- A3C Abelardo Siller Jr
- A3C Bruce B Stewart
- A3C Earl E Tanner
ANG F-80 Jet Collided With LAFB Fuel Pits, 17 November
- A1C John Lawrence DeLancey,
- A2C Donald Russell Price,
B-47, LAFB, 8 October 1959
- Major Paul R Ecelbarger,
- First Lieutenant Joseph
R Morrisey Jr, A/C
- Captain Lucian W Nowlin,
- Captain Theodore Tallmadge,
B-47, LAFB, 18 June 1961
- Captain Russell Holst, A/C
- Captain Albert Marinich,
- Captain Allan Matson, CP
B-47, McConnell AFB, Kansas, 11 January 1963
- Captain Paul Pudwill, A/C
B-47, Greenham-Common RAFB, England, 3 February 1963
- Captain Richard C West, CP
B-47, LAFB, 7 March 1963
B-47, LAFB, 27 July 1964
- Captain Thomas E Sutton, A/C
- First Lieutenant David C Williams, CP
- First Lieutenant Terrance P Murphy, Nav
- Major John F Sakry, Nav
Perished in South East Asia Conflict
- Yale R Davis
- Earl M Freeman
- Ivel D Freeman
- Otis Gordon, Jr
- Andrew Matyas
- James R McElvain
- Robert D Morrissey
- Leon G Smith
- Walter H Trisko
- Courtney E Weismueller
Lost In Other Military Aviation Accidents
- Clifford E Hanna
- Robert J Morrison
- Curtiss E Robertson
Air Force Base History
The base was originally known as Lincoln Army Airfield and
at one time had more than 20,000 military personnel assigned.
Lincoln's first connection with the Army Air Corp. began
during World War II, when it was activated as a training base for aircraft
mechanics, and a deployment center for B-17 aircraft and crews headed
for England. Lincoln Army Air Field was dedicated in October 1942. It
later became a deployment center for B-29 crews for SE Asia, most headed
for 20th Air Force on Saipan. The base was deactivated after the war in
Lincoln AFB was reactivated in February 1954, and was assigned
the primary mission of providing support for the 98th Bomb Wing and the
Air Refueling Squadron. Less than one year after its reactivation the
base increased two-fold when Congress decided to make it a double wing
base. This increase came in October 1954 when the 307th Bombardment Wing
returning from Okinawa was made part of the Lincoln strength.
We of the 307th during
1954-66 saw much of the construction that occurred during WWII - the tarpaper
shacks and the old-time barracks. Remember the old "ICE Box"
we worked out of in the early days? "Chilly wasn't it?” Remember
the above ground steam pipes which ran all over the base for heating?
These are all gone now, as are most of the WWII buildings.
Lincoln AFB was first placed under the command of SAC's
15th Air Force at March AFB CA. On 1 July 1955, the 818th Air Division
was placed under the command of SAC's 8th Air Force at Westover AFB MA.
Finally, on 1 January 1959, it was placed under the control of SAC's 2nd
Air Force with headquarters at Barksdale AFB LA.
April 1961, Lincoln AFB entered the missile age as the 551st
Strategic Missile Squadron was activated and 12 Atlas "F" missile
sites ringed the city of Lincoln and the base. These intercontinental
missiles brought the assigned military strength of the base to 7,000 persons.
The departure of the Division Headquarters and the 307th Bomb Wing came
on 25 March 1965. The 551st was deactivated 26 June 1965.
The first B-47's first arrived at Lincoln 7 December 1954,
and they left exactly 11 years later on 7 December 1965.
In addition to Lincoln, the following Nebraska airfields
were active in WWII: Alliance, Ainsworth, Bruning, Fairmont, Harvard,
Grand Island, Kearney, Scribner, McCook and Scottsbluff.
Today, the Lincoln Airport Authority manages that which
was the Air Base. A new commercial terminal was built in 1974 and a parking
garage was added in 1988. The Nebraska Air Guard now flies KC-135 tankers
out of Lincoln, after having flown F-86Ds and RF-4Cs previously. Former
Air Force buildings are utilized by local businesses. It is a great economic
asset to the city of Lincoln.
History Of The 307th Bomb Group/Wing
Whoever reads this short history in the future can only
imagine the climate of the times, the tense political situations, and
the sacrifices in blood, sweat and tears. Because of the times we lived
in, these men endured long hours of tedium and moments of terror while
serving their country under a command that could not accept anything less
Ernest V Pence
A B-47 Crew Chief from a By-Gone Era
We bought you a short time of peace, how long it endures
is up to you. Like the man says, if you love freedom, thank a vet.
Summary of the 307th in World War
II, Korea, Cold War and Southeast Asia
The Best of the Best
The 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated in 1942 by the Army
Air Corps Combat Command after an attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United
States into war with Japan. In succeeding years, the 307th’s participation
in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Cold War, and the Vietnam Conflict
proved it to be one of the most renowned bombing units in military annals.
On April 15, 1942, the 307th began operations as a B-17
Flying Fortress bomber unit at Geiger Field, Washington. Its first mission
-- to guard the northwestern United States and Alaskan coasts against
armed invasion--prepared the group for its later role in the Pacific Theater
of World War II.
After patrolling the coastline of America for five months,
the 307th’s B-17s were replaced with the famous B-24 “Liberators.”
Subsequently, the entire unit was transferred to Sioux City, Iowa, for
a brief training period.
After completing a three-week B-24 familiarization program,
the 307th relocated its entire cadre and 35 bombers to Hamilton Field,
California. Three days later the B-24s deployed to Oahu in the Hawaiian
Islands. An old Norwegian freighter slowly transported the remainder of
the group to its “Pacific Paradise”.
Upon arrival at Oahu, each of the group's four squadrons
was assigned to a different Hawaiian location--the 370th to Kipapa, the
371st to Wheeler Field, the 372nd to Kabuka and the 424th to Mokaleia.
Headquarters for the 307th was at Hickam Field.
Finally settled at Oahu, 307th bombers began search and
patrol missions over the surrounding Pacific area. Maintaining a 24-hour
vigil, the bombers were to avert any naval attack against the Hawaiian
Group bombers received their first taste of combat December
27, 1942. Twenty-seven of the group's aircraft were deployed from Oahu
to Midway Island. From here, the B-24s staged their first attack against
an enemy fortress on Wake Island. The enemy was taken by surprise during
the predawn raid. Before Japanese units responded with a barrage of anti-aircraft
fire, 307th bombers had blasted 90 percent of the Wake stronghold. All
aircraft returned safely from what was considered the longest mass-raid
of that time. It was from this mission that the 307th Bomb Group became
known as “The Long Rangers”.
The 307th moved to Guadalcanal in February 1943. From their
new location on the largest of the Solomon Islands, group bombers attacked
fortified Japanese airfields and shipping installations within the Southwest
At Guadalcanal, ground support troops were subject to massive
air attacks by enemy bomber and fighter aircraft. On a warm day in March
1943, three waves of Japanese planes blasted the airfield, causing the
greatest number of 307th casualties during the war.
On November 11, 1943, the 307th participated in the largest
aerial strike of the South Pacific War. In conjunction with United States
naval elements, group bombers pounded enemy war and merchant ships at
Rabaul, New Guinea. Amidst swarms of Japanese “Zeros” and
heavy anti-aircraft fire, 307th aircraft released their bombs, leaving
the port of Rabaul in complete ruin.
Throughout the remainder of the war, 307th aircraft continued
to cripple the debilitated enemy. Group elements neutralized Japanese
forces at Yap, Truk, and Palau islands. Bombing strikes against Japanese
shipping centers in the Philippines inhibited the enemy from gaining a
further strong hold in the area. An unescorted attack by group aircraft
against oil refineries at Balikapan, Borneo, October 3, 1944 helped assure
an allied victory in the South Pacific.
Following V-J Day in August of 1945, 307th aircraft ferried
former American war prisoners from Okinawa to Manila.
No longer needed, the group returned to the states in December
1945 and was subsequently deactivated.
While in the Pacific, the 307th was awarded two Distinguished
Unit Citations--one for an air strike against Truk on March 29, 1944 and
another for a strike against the refineries at Borneo on October 3, 1944.
The group was also awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for
its active role in the Philippines campaign.
With barely time to form cobwebs, the 307th Bombardment
Group was reactivated August 4, 1946. Located at MacDill Field, Florida,
the group was equipped with huge B-29 Superfortresses and the wing was
appropriately designated “Very Heavy.”
Strategic Air Command (SAC) then selected the 307th as its
first antisubmarine unit in December 1946. Precursor to similar SAC units,
the group acted as a “guinea pig” in the development of new
anti-sub tactics and operational procedures.
During its training years, the 307th was continually called
upon to demonstrate bomber effectiveness. At the 1949 inaugural ceremonies,
group bombers led an aerial display honoring incumbent President Harry
The 307th continued to train as an anti-sub unit until war
erupted in Korea. In 1950, the group was temporarily assigned to Kadena
airfield on Okinawa.
From the Okinawa airfield, group bombers staged attacks
against the rapidly advancing communist forces in South Korea. By mid-1953,
United Nations forces had contained the enemy north of the 38th parallel
and the war was more or less over.
While in Okinawa, the 307th was awarded the Republic of
Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its air strikes against enemy forces
in Korea. It was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation and several
Finished with its task in Korea, the 307th returned to the
United States in 1954. Assigned to Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, the group's
B-29s were replaced with swept-winged B-47 Stratojets. The sleek new bombers
were the first jet-propelled aircraft assigned the wing. The wing was
then designated as the 307th Bombardment Wing (Medium).
In 1962, six of the wing’s B-47s were modified into
EB-47s. They were dubbed “Pipe Cleaner” aircraft and their
mission was to act as an airborne UHF radio relay platform for promulgation
of the emergency action (Noah's Arc) messages.
While at Lincoln, the 307th functioned as Combat Ready Unit,
conducting combat training missions and maintaining an alert force commitment,
both at Lincoln and overseas bases, until its deactivation on March 25,
While at Lincoln AFB, some of the wing’s TDY and overseas
Reflex stations were located in the UK at Lakenheath, Upper Hayford, Fairford
and Greenham-Common, and in Spain at Moron, Torrejon and Zaragoza.
After another brief retirement period, the 307th was reorganized
from the 4258th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, to support
the air war in the Republic of Vietnam. Designated the 307th Strategic
Wing on 1 April 1970, the two-war veteran unit began operations as an
aerial refueling wing. Equipped with KC-135 Stratotankers, the wing refueled
Vietnam-bound fighters under the nickname “Young Tiger.” From
1967 to mid-1970, wing tankers flew over 50,000 sorties and were credited
with 80 aircraft “saves.”
In spring 1967, the wing added strategic bombing to its
mission. Equipped with B-52D Stratofortresses and crews loaned from other
wings, it began high altitude bombing of enemy targets in South Vietnam
on April 11, 1967. Under the operational nickname “Arc Light,”
wing bombers flew over 35,000 strikes against the communist enemy from
1967 to mid-1970.
The 307th Strategic Wing was selected as SAC’s outstanding
wing for 1972, and received the Omaha Award for its support of SEA operations.
It was deactivated on 30 September 1975. The wing was awarded four Air
Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat “V” Device, and
twice was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
During its brief history in Southeast Asia, the 307th received
three Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards--two of which were with other
Eighth Air Force Units--for their role in the Vietnam Conflict.
During its tenure at Lincoln AFB, the wing set records that
may never be equaled again. It won a SAC Bomb Competition and participated
in the Cuban Missile crisis. On October 1st 1959 the wing established
a never broken SAC record for 2327 consecutive sorties without deviation
from the flying schedule. Years later, after the 307th was deactivated,
a crew chief from the 307th received a letter from the last commander
of SAC, and in that letter, Gen. Lee Butler referred to the unit as the
“Famous 307th Bomb Wing”. A fitting tribute to a proud organization
that performed its mission with style, determination and panache.
The 307th Bomb Wing (Medium) at Lincoln
A Salute to All of the Professionals of the 307th
The Mission of the 307th Bombardment Wing (M) was to organize
and train a force capable of immediate and sustained long range offensive
bombardment and air to air refueling operations in any part of the world,
utilizing the latest technical knowledge and advanced weapons.
What follows is a brief chronology of the 307th Bombardment
Wing (M) from their last mission in Korea, through their conversion to
SAC's first swept wing jet bomber, through their training and crisis missions,
and their disbanding in 1965. The 307th was formed again as a tanker wing
for the “Vietnam Conflict,” and later in the “Conflict”
served as a “B-52 Wing” flying “Arc Light” missions.
Men were lost while maintaining the peace during the “Cold War”,
and some during the so-called “Conflict” in Vietnam. Crewmembers
and Enlisted Men, all served with distinction and devotion to country
that has been the hallmark of the United States Air Force since its inception.
The 307th Bombardment Wing won SAC's coveted “Fairchild Trophy”
in 1959 and set records that will never be equaled. Bear in mind as you
read this chronology that the 307th was equipped with a sophisticated
six-engine bomber. They were stationed in an area of the country that
received all of the extremes of Mother Nature.
Their mission became more varied and complex as adversary
capabilities matured. They began their mission training to penetrate enemy
air space at or above 35,000 feet. Later missions would see these brave
crews flying at tree top level, popping up to obtain their target, making
their bomb releases, executing high jink breakaways and dropping back
down on the deck to dodge missiles and triple A. This country owes a great
deal to these brave crews. Things happen very fast at tree top level at
high speed. These men did not have the benefit of terrain following radar
when these missions were flown. It is no exaggeration to say that these
crews were true professionals. The B-52's got the headlines, but B-47's
were the backbone of SAC!
27 July 1953, Kadena AFB
Word filters through the grapevine that a truce will be signed to end
the “Korean Conflict” within twenty-four hours. The B-29's
of the 307th are serviced; bombs and ammo loaded, preflighted, and take
off for their last bomb run of the conflict. This is the 573rd mission
of the conflict for the 307th. Colonel Austin J. Russell of Monett, Missouri
led the raid. There will be a full eclipse of the moon before they reach
the target. There are thunderstorms over the Yalu River so there will
be no fighter opposition this night. The bombs are dropped and the wing
returns to Kadena AFB, Okinawa. With this mission the 307th has flown
5,810 sorties and dropped 58,100 tons of high explosives in Korea during
The year 1954 witnessed the return of the 307th from Okinawa,
and the depositing of their B-29 aircraft in the “boneyard”
at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson. Their advanced cadre arrived at Lincoln
to start establishing the new 307th, and to prepare for the introduction
of the new jet-propelled six-engined B-47. The 98th Bomb Wing was already
in place at Lincoln, having reactivated the base from its post-WW II mothball
status. Many personnel attended various B-47 training courses while enroute
to Lincoln. Having flown recips, jet engines were an entirely new entity,
as were the advanced electronics, radios, electronic countermeasures and
bomb/nav systems proprietary to the B47. Tanker personnel started to arrive
in midsummer, even though there were no KC-97s in place.
19 January 1954, Kadena AFB
The wing is flying training missions in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Colonel Fahy is to schedule the wing for bomb runs on the “Taeso
Shoran” bomb range. He mentions the fact that the range has a few
unknown factors: such as, the exact location of the island, the length
of the island, etc.
10 October 1954, Lincoln AFB
The advance party from Okinawa arrives at Lincoln AFB.
26 October 1954, Davis Monthan AFB
All 307th Bomb Wing B-29's complete trip the from Okinawa to Davis Monthan
AFB, where the aircraft were placed into the storage facility.
8 November 1954, Lincoln AFB
What will become the 307th ARS is attached to the 98th Bomb Wing for support.
The tanker squadron at this point is yet unnamed, with no aircraft in
place. The aircraft arrived later from various locations, and many personnel
came from the 380th Wing at McDill. Most KC-97 aircraft commanders had
either KB-50 or B-29 previous experience.
The 307th Bomb Wing is reorganized to B-47 unit authorization.
20 November 1954, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing Headquarters is opened at LAFB.
24 November 1954, Lincoln AFB
The first 307th Bomb Wing officers begin B-47 transition training.
25 November 1954, Kadena AFB
The 307th rear echelon departs Kadena AFB.
15 December 1954, Lincoln AFB
Colonels Thorup and Hardin arrive at LAFB to assume their respective positions
of commander and deputy commander of the 307th Bomb Wing. (Note: Col Thorup
had earlier assumed command on 8 June 1954, while the wing was still on
January, February, March 1955, Lincoln AFB
The operations and training section of the 307th Bomb Wing made preparations
for the conducting the conversion-training program. (See appendix).
February 1955, Lincoln AFB
The 307th ARS was officially activated as part of the 307th BW, and was
then known as the “Paradise Squadron.” Later this year, they
made their first 60-day deployment to Goose Bay, Labrador.
March 1955, Lincoln AFB
The 307th is one of last wings in SAC scheduled to be transitioned into
the B-47 Bomber.
28 March 1955, Lincoln
The first crews arrived from training at McConnell AFB at Wichita. The
first training missions were flown from LAFB in March with the arrival
of its first nine B-47's.
24 May1955, Lincoln AFB
B-47E 52-0054 uanable to stop
after a brake chute failure. went of the end of the runway and was totaled.
The crew, John Koudsi, A/C, Jim Evans, Nav, Dean Knight, CP, and 4th man
Edward Seagraves, were uninjured.
1 July 1955, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing comes under the command of the Eighth Air Force. While
flying a “Red Cell” mission, Capt. Darwin was attempting to
air refuel while penetrating some cumulus. The tanker, attempting to find
a hole in the clouds, made several evasive maneuvers, which Capt. Darwin
followed. In so doing his aircraft fell off the boom, stalled, went over
on its back and went into a spin. Capt. Darwin recovered the aircraft,
returned to the tanker and received the rest of his fuel. This was witnessed
by the boomer. The boomer and the B-47 crew are filling out incident reports.
July, August, September 1955, Lincoln AFB
Three graduation type missions were flown, and the wing’s official
USCM Graduation Exercise, operation “Melon Rind,” was flown
in October 1955.
December 1955, Lincoln AFB
A note of interest in the Wing History states-there's nothing one can
do about the weather. Nebraska is the land of extremes---when it’s
hot, its torrid; and when it snows, it’s a blizzard. In any case
you just don't fly!
31 December 1955, Lincoln AFB
There were 43 B-47's and 21 KC-97 type aircraft assigned to the wing.
There were 26 combat ready crews and 17 non-combat ready crews and 19
KC-97 combat ready crews.
February 1956, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing participated in Operation “Swan Dive.”
Valuable initial experience and confidence in navigating in semi-polar
areas was accomplished.
1 April 1956, Lincoln AFB
On April 1st, 1956 after a period of 15 months, the Wing was pronounced
6 April 1956, Lincoln AFB
The wing suffered its first casualties, when a B-47 went down near Ceresco,
Nebraska. Captain James W Sullivan, Lt Anthony C Marcanti, Lt Lawrence
A Schmidt, and A1C James J Berry lost their lives.
19 June 1956, Lincoln AFB
307th Bomb Wing made its last ferry flight in connection with the replacement
of its older aircraft. The Wing is preparing for deployment to Lakenheath
in the United Kingdom.
3 July 1956, Lincoln AFB
15 B-47 aircraft departed Lincoln AFB on 3 July and arrived in the United
Kingdom at Lakenheath, as scheduled. Due to a weather delay, the second
and third waves of B-47's departed Lincoln two days later than the planned
deployment date. The KC-97's deploying to Greenham-Common, were not so
fortunate. Due to propeller difficulties they were delayed indefinitely.
28 July 1956, Lakenheath RAF Air Base
On Friday afternoon, Crew R-38 was involved in an aircraft landing accident
in which all crewmembers were fatally injured. On board aircraft 53-4230
were the following officers and A&E technician: A/C Commander, Captain
Russel R. Bowling; Co-Pilot, 2/Lt. Carroll W. Kalberg; Observer, 1/Lt.
Micheal J. Selmo; A&E Technician, T/Sgt. John Ulrich. The aircraft
was shooting touch and gos. On the fourth approach the aircraft porpoised,
and a go around was attempted, but the right wing tip dragged and caused
an explosive crash.
13 August 1956, Lakenheath RAF Air Base
The 307th Bomb Wing participates in operation “Pink Lady.”
Target “Bravo” was the top of the Bell Tower of the Tower
of London. Target “Golf” was the center of the bridge at Windsor
10 October 1956, Redeployment from Lakenheath
During the first leg of their redeployment back to Lincoln, fifty wing
personnel are lost aboard a Navy MATS C-118 enroute from Lakenheath to
the Azores. An air/sea search was held for a week, with the only trace
being two empty life rafts found off the northwest coast of Spain. Nine
Navy crewmembers were also lost. A stunned base attended a Memorial Service
at Lincoln on 29 October.
17 November 1956, Lincoln AFB
In another tragedy, an ANG F-80, while landing, crashed into the flight
line fuel pits, striking two parked B-47s, 52-369 belonging to the 98th
BW, and 53-4235, a 307th aircraft. The F-80 pilot and two ground crew
were killed, and four ground crew were injured. In 53-4235, two men were
in the bomb bay changing a boost pump. A1C John Lawrence Delancey, Crew
Chief, and A2C Donald Russell Price, Assistant Crew Chief, lost their
lives, and the B-47 was destroyed. A1C Roger F Smith and A2C Melvin O
Werschky, who were refueling the second B-47, escaped with burns. Chaplains
V F Kullowats and L M Copeland Jr conducted a later memorial service,
at which Colonel Thorup, the Wing Commander, laid a wreath, and Airman
Wayne Powell rendered Taps. First Lieutenant Robert J Cox, 371st BS was
later presented with the Soldier’s Medal for saving an airman’s
life and preventing further damage to other aircraft.
May 1957, Lincoln AFB
The 307th ARS is preparing for operations at Thule AFB, where it would
pull a 90 day tour.
June 1957, Lincoln AFB
307th ARS A/C Commander Captain Everett G. Caudel is rated as pilot of
the month in the 8th Air Force, for successfully landing his KC-97 aircraft
with the nose gear in the full upright position.
November 1957, Lincoln AFB
First Lt Robert J. Cox, 371st Bomb Squadron, was presented the “Soldiers
Medal” for the outstanding heroism he displayed during a fire on
the flight line in November 1956, when he saved the life of an Airman,
and prevented further damage to an aircraft.
One military disabling injury was reported in the Wing in
November. This injury, with an estimated loss of 30 days and $900.00 occurred
when A3C Vernon L. French Jr., 307th ARS fell on iced concrete while leaving
his duty station and received a simple fractured skill. (TYPO appears
thusly in the official Wing History records!). No horseplay was indicated
in connection with this injury.
The 307th Bomb Wing is involved in Reflex at Greenham-Common
RAFB. The Wing shall maintain 5 aircraft on alert at this station on a
rotational basis. The B-47 aircraft are to rotate approximately every
December 1957, Lincoln AFB
Aircraft 53-4226, a B-47 assigned to the 371st Bomb Squadron was involved
in an incident concerning the Navigator’s ejection seat. The initial
stages of the ejection of the seat occurred from movement of the rotational
locks and leg braces in an unknown manner. This occurred during flight,
which caused the Navigator some concern.
During this year, the
307th ARS pulled a 90-day rotation at Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland.
In succeeding years they would also deploy to Lajes in the Azores, Malmstrom
AFB, Montana; Edmonton, Churchill, Cold Lake, Frobisher, and Namao, in
Canada; and Sondestrom in Greenland.
9 January 1958, Greenham-Common RAF Base
The 307th Bomb Wing Reflexed to Greenham-Common with aircraft of the 98th
and 310th Bomb Wings. They shall maintain an Alert Force there and at
their home bases.
February 1958, Lincoln AFB
In February, 307th crews participated in operation “Noon Day”.
This operation supplied training for crews from the 307th and helped evaluate
the defense capability of the 37th Air Division. Various radars were encountered
and fighter opposition was F-84, F-89, F-94, F-100, and F-102's. Sweep
jamming and burst chaff tactics were used.
In February of 1958 the average alert response time at Greenham-Common
for 15 aircraft was 4.5 minutes for Alfas, 7.7 for Bravos.
18 February 1958, Greenham-Common RAFB, UK
A B-47 jettisoned both fuel tanks following a heavy weight takeoff and
number 2 and 3 engine fire indications and wing overheat : one tank hit
the Aero Repair hanger and the other struck a 98th BW B-47, 53-6204, being
preflighted, killing the crew chief and an A&E repairman. Among those
injured were A2C Clive D Wilson, 307th FMS, and the fuel tank driver.
Sample Alert Message:
" THIS IS COTTER PIN", PREPARE TO COPY, BREAK BREAK, THIS
IS A PRACTICE, REPEAT PRACTICE, SAC ALERT. "TEAM PLAY" GROUND
RULES APPLY. NOTIFY THE SENIOR COMMANDER PRESENT AND INITIATE ALERTING
PROCEDURES. BREAK BREAK. TIME 0140 HOURS ZULU. YOUR AUTHENTICATION IS
April 1958, Lincoln AFB
During April of 1958 a near miss with a tower that was not on the sectional
maps was a hair-raiser for a “Pop-Up” crew. It was near Wessington,
Minnesota. The two towers were approximately 600 feet tall.
May 1958, Lincoln AFB
In May of 1958 we began to send aircraft to depots for operation “Milk
Bottle” for a wing strengthening modification so they would be safe
for “Pop-Up” missions.
General Sweeney, Commander of 8th Air Force, visited and
was pleased with what he saw.
1 September 1958, Lincoln
In 1958, the Wing, having been directed to maintain one-third of its force
on alert, found that more crews were needed. To alleviate this, a fourth
bomb squadron, the 424th, was activated on 1 September, with Lt Col Walter
F Duch as commander. The 424th had been part of the wing in WWII and Korea,
but had since been inactive.
The one-third alert posture also dictated a change in the
maintenance concept. Until this time, all flight line crew chiefs and
assistants were organic to the various bomb squadrons, which also had
their own supply support. Crew chiefs were then consolidated into a newly
created squadron, the 307th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, and squadron
supply personnel were integrated into base supply. Lincoln and Little
Rock were test wings for this concept, which was later implemented by
all SAC wings.
For several years, wing crews had practiced
Pop-Up bomb deliveries starting from low altitude. However, in 1959, with
the improvement of Soviet high altitude air defenses, training to provide
SAC a credible low altitude penetration capability started in earnest.
SAC initially designated seven low-level routes; each approximately 500
miles in length. Crews routinely flew the routes at altitudes between
500 and 1500 feet (unofficially, much lower), day and night. These routes
were designated as “Oil Burner Routes” and are believed to
still be in use for low-level training.
In addition to winning SAC’s Fairchild Trophy in 1959,
the wing set another SAC record, not since equaled. From 27 March 1959
until 1 October 1959, the wing amassed 2327 consecutive sorties without
a flying schedule deviation. KC-97s contributed 774 sorties and B-47s
accounted for 1553 sorties in this effort. Colonel Elkins Read, the wing
commander stated, “This could only be accomplished by the concerted
and continuing efforts on the part of maintenance and the flight crews.
This was truly a fine effort by everyone.”
During this period, the wing fulfilled a commitment of having
one third of the force on alert. An overseas Reflex commitment was added
in July of 1959. These commitments, combined with normal training requirements
presented a heavy load, which many times resulted in crews being denied
crew rest and time off. To try to make things better, SAC started experimenting
with variations of the alert schedule. Initially, a crew was on alert
for seven days at a time. Then, SAC experimented with 3 days on –
2 days off – 4 days on cycle for a while. This turned out to be
not too popular: crewmembers would awaken in the middle of the night and
have to concentrate to remember if they were in the alert barracks or
at home. SAC then tried various other permutations of the alert schedule,
but none seemed to work as well as the one-week tour. With the shorter,
chopped up tours, much time was also frittered away on crew changes. Finally,
SAC took an integrated approach to the problem of Alert – Reflex-
training, and came up with the six week cycle as a guideline for crew
scheduling (see “6 Week Cycle” in appendix).
1 January 1959, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bombardment Wing along with other units at Lincoln AFB, was
transferred to the Strategic Air Command’s Second Air Force (2AF)
headquartered at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana on 1 January 1959.
The 307th Bomb Wing “Alert Effectiveness” was
scored at 100 % in January 1959.
7 January 1959, Harmon AFB
The 307th ARS aircraft began rotation to LAFB from Ernest Harmon AFB,
14 January 1959, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing was directed to fly four aircraft in support of an
Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) project (Swordfish) on 14
January and 23 January, four flights on each day. Swordfish flights were
to assist radar calibration of the new SAGE air defense network.
February 1959, Lincoln AFB
The effectiveness score for the 307th Bomb Wing’s Alert Force in
February was 100 %. The 307th ARS shall support the 340th Bomb Wing, Whiteman
AFB, Missouri during the period that the 340th is TDY to Lajes.
October 1959, Lincoln AFB
A successful unit simulated combat mission coded “Team Scrimmage”
was flown in conjunction with other flying training.
In early October, the 307th participated in the 11th Annual
SAC Bomb Competition, and came away with the grand prize, the Fairchild
Trophy. One hundred eighty eight SAC crews participated in 94 aircraft:
20 B-52s, 27 B-47s, 20 KC-135s, and 20 KC-97s. Air refueling was included
in the competition for the first time.
Bomber events were staged from McCoy AFB, while the tankers
flew out of Homestead AFB, both in Florida. Four crews, two bomber, two
tanker, comprised the winning 307th team. The two bomber crews were Mitchell,
Norris, and Kinyon, and Christians, Timmons, and Jordan. The tanker crews
were Normandin, McGill, Novetzke, Nikkel, and Kessler, and Jett, Reinhard,
Monk, Bradley, and Martens.
Five maintenance personnel received spot promotions for
their outstanding job in the competition: Foster, Hall, Hoffman, Myatt,
8 October 1959, Lincoln AFB
Misfortune returned again to the 307th, when a B-47 performing an northbound
ATO takeoff crashed right on the airfield. Major Paul R Ecelbarger, First
Lt Joseph R Morrisey Jr, Captain Lucian W Nowlin, and Captain Theodore
Tallmadge were killed. (See “AFT CG” in appendix).
November 1959, Lincoln AFB
The 307th participated in operation “Red Mike” (team scrimmage),
operations order 312-60, during November. This was a no-notice simulated
combat mission and special weapons exercise. Generally the aircraft were
to start refueling near Hastings Nebraska, start the Electronic Counter-Measures
near Hibbing Minnesota, and start the navigation leg next to Hibbing but
near the western most border of North Dakota. From there the navigation
leg pointed toward Yellowstone National Park, then turn toward Oklahoma
where the 4 ship cell was to fan out at Oklahoma City, to head for the
pre-initial point at McCallister, Oklahoma. The initial point was at Fort
Gibson, Oklahoma and the first target at Joplin, Missouri. The aircraft
were then to swing into Kentucky and turn Northwest for the second target
at Saint Louis and then return to Lincoln. The raw scores received from
headquarters SAC gave the wing 97.5 % in generation, for a “satisfactory”
score, 90 % in mission effectiveness, for an “outstanding”
score, and 96.2 % in bombing reliability, for another “outstanding”
December 1959, Lincoln AFB
For the month of December the 307th Bomb Wing was able to record the first
100 % reliable high altitude synchronous bombing since conversion to B-47's
REFLEX TAKEOFF PLANING FACTORS
|RAMP FUEL LOAD
|GROSS WEIGHT RAMP
|FUEL USED START ENG.
|START ROLL GROSS/WT.
|TEMP. (CRITICAL MAX.)
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A new alert force facility was opened in April
1960, situated off the northwest corner of the main runway. It included
a cafeteria, game room, TV room, briefing room, and crew quarters. The
crew quarters were located underground, and were exited by several sloping
tunnels toward the alert aircraft parking area. After base deactivation,
the alert facility was torn down in 1970-71 when the FAA deemed its presence
to be a hazard to both the main and diagonal runway.
May witnessed the transfer of the 307th ARS to Selfridge
AFB in Michigan. This was done as part of SAC’s plan for aircraft
dispersal and to position the tankers farther along the EWO routes of
the egressing bombers. The ARS remained at Selfridge until deactivated
in 1964. The unit was later reactivated in KC-135 tankers and served through
the Persian Gulf War.
SAC started testing a B-47 dispersal program when in times
of crisis, the aircraft would be deployed to civilian airfields and non-SAC
April 16th, Good
A KC-97 on a northbound
takeoff, lost directional control, collapsed the nose gear, and skidded
off the runway into a refueling pit, where it was destroyed by fire. A/C
Tom Hedges, CP Bill Novetzke, Nav Tom Artman and twenty-one others successfully
evacuated the aircraft.
August 1960, Lincoln AFB
There is a shortage of “Jet Mechanics” as Higher headquarters
has directed that Jet Mechanics be used in lieu of vehicle operators.
The result is that each flight line section while authorized 63 personnel,
actually performs duty with approximately 40.
September 1960, Lincoln AFB
During a “CoCo” alert, aircraft 53-2139 was taxing toward
the active runway when the A/C felt a thud, but all instruments checked
normal and he continued. Another A/C called a right outrigger fire on
the aircraft. The tire had blown and left the rim. With a full EWO load,
the rim soon ran down to the bearing and caused a fire.
10 September 1960, Lincoln AFB
SAC aircraft participate in operation “Skyshield.” Aircraft
of the 818th Air Division provide a simulated aggressor attack against
the North American Continent. (This was a North American Air Defense Command
exercise, which lasted for a 24-hour period. All civilian air traffic,
including commercial airlines stood down for the duration of the exercise).
November 1960, Lincoln AFB
Aircraft from the 307th Bomb Wing participated in operation “Clutch
Pedal,” a test of the dispersal program. In the case of the 307th
, two aircraft were flown to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and
two also to General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee Wisconsin.
December 1960, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing was short by 36 men for the Jet Mechanic over 2 Engine
The new Kennedy administration directed that half of the
force be on 15 minute ground alert. This level was attained by the 307th
in July. An accelerated B-47 phase out was also ordered to provide more
trained crews for B-52s for the expanded ground alert
February witnessed the beginning of the SAC Airborne Command Post operations,
dubbed “Looking Glass.” This operation continued unabated,
24 hours a day, until after the Gulf War.
March 1961, Lincoln AFB
The 307th completed the first quarter of 1961 by again scoring 100 % in
50-8 training requirements.
1 May 1961, Lincoln AFB
The 307th was required to fly a “Big Blast” mission once each
month. The 307th Bomb Wing phase was to be referred to as “Tan Glove.”
Specifically, SAC was to conduct B-47 and B-52 multiple aircraft penetration
missions with maximum ECM.
18 June 1961, Lincoln AFB
A B-47, 53-2111, making a southbound night takeoff was unable to attain
sufficient flying speed and crashed just south of the runway, with only
one crewmember surviving. Captain Russell Holst, Captain Albert Marinich,
and Captain Allan Matson lost their lives, while Lt Thomas T Wesner successfully
10 to 21 July 1961, Lincoln AFB
3908th Strategic Standardization Group (SSG) visited the 307th Bomb Wing.
This group was to administer flight checks and to evaluate the standardization
activity of the wing. Specific areas checked by SSG included Alert procedures,
take-off and climb, bombing, radar navigation, celestial and celestial
grid nav, celestial assistance, safety, emergency procedures, electronic
countermeasure procedures, instrument check, air refueling, traffic pattern,
and landing. The only area listed that did not score 100 % was instrument
checks, which scored 88.8 %.
30 August 1961, Lincoln AFB.
Complete conversion of all aircraft for operation “Clip In”
was completed as of 30 August 1961. This was a conversion of the bomb
bay mounting racks, which enabled the aircraft to carry several new, smaller
MK-28 nuclear weapons.
October 1961, Lincoln AFB
The 307th fails an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI): action taken
for the next several months included key personnel changes, reorganization
of one squadron, retraining and re-evaluation. An unpleasant time for
The concept of "flying relay" stations came into
being shortly after explosives ruined a radio relay station in Nevada
in 1961. Contracts were let and two prototype B-47’s were modified
to serve this purpose. First step in making this plan operational came
in July 1962 when the four support squadrons were activated. The 4362nd
Post Attack Command and Control Squadron (PACCS) was organized under the
307th at Lincoln, with Lt Colonel James M Pumford as Commander. “Pipe
Cleaner” was the nickname for the operation and the aircraft. The
mission of the 4362nd and the entire “Pipe Cleaner” system
was to provide survivable UHF radio communication links between Airborne
Command Posts and SAC aircraft over the Continental US and Canada.
11 March 1962, Lincoln AFB
The 307th is released from probationary status, after an ORI recheck was
conducted and passed.
April 1962, Lincoln AFB
No engine changes caused by FOD for the entire month.
May 1962, Lincoln AFB
Another entire month with no engine changes caused by FOD.
It is discovered that poor bombing reliability on the “Steel Man
Express Route”, was primarily caused by the poor quality of the
200 series air target chart.
June 1962, Lincoln AFB
Release of Airmen held over for the Berlin Crisis caused some maintenance
reliability and morale problems.
On 12 June 307th officials were alerted to the fact that
in accordance with the “Single Integrated Operations Plan”
for fiscal year 1963 (SIOP63), 307th Reflex aircraft and crews would move
to Greenham-Common, United Kingdom.
19 July 1962, Lincoln AFB
Prevented by thunderstorms from returning to Lincoln, and running low
on fuel, Major Art Stokes decided to land his B-47, 53-4218, at Des Moines,
Iowa airport. Because the runway was shorter than what B-47s usually land
on, Stokes elected to use the entire runway. Unfortunately, there was
construction going on; the over run had been excavated, and there was
a 24-inch lip on the end of the paved runway that was not illuminated.
The aft main gear caught the lip and was ripped off. The aircraft flew
down the runway about 3000 feet, under control, before settling down and
skidding to a jolting and noisy stop. The crew, CP Jerry Bachner, Nav
Walt Snyder, and 4th man crewchief Walt Fonderhide successfully egressed
the aircraft. To the chagrin of the pilots, the navigator was later heard
to say, “It seemed like a normal B-47 landing to me.”
17 August 1962, Lincoln AFB
First “Pipe Cleaner” missions flown by 4362nd PACCS (Post
Attack Command and Control Squadron). Last of Reflex B-47's at Moron AFB
switched to Reflex at Greenham-Common.
2 September 1962, Lincoln AFB
Reflex tour for B-47 crews in Europe and North Africa would be 21 days
instead of 28. On 4 September a message was received which outlined the
responsibilities for two “Pipe Cleaner” B-47 aircraft and
their participation in “Operation Dominic” nuclear tests in
22 October 1962, Lincoln AFB, Cuban Missile Crisis
In response to President Kennedy’s missile crisis declaration to
the nation, orders directed the initial dispersal of some 307th Bomb Wing
personnel and aircraft to civilian airfields. Four aircraft were directed
to General Mitchel Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 8 aircraft were ordered
to Duluth Municipal Airport, Duluth, Minnesota. All Reflex deployments
and redeployments were canceled during the “Cuban Crisis.”
Crews were sent to the UK to man several B-47s, which had been reconfigured
from training aircraft to EWO status. The remaining aircraft at Lincoln
were generated to EWO configuration and were placed on alert. Base support
personnel were used as augmentees with the security forces and in other
direct support roles. Every aircraft had a guard assigned around the clock.
This could be pretty tough duty at Zero Dark Thirty on a ten-hour shift,
and one’s imagination could render up threatening things in the
darkness. One young security guard augmentee lost it, and fired his carbine
clip into the air.
Those crews who dispersed to civilian fields found that
initially, once in place, they were on their own, and had to rely on good
old Yankee resourcefulness. To have their aircraft refueled, several aircraft
commanders had to pull out their personal gasoline company charge cards
to pay for the 10000 gallons or so that their bird devoured. Hopefully,
SAC reimbursed them!
Following conclusion of the missile crisis, the aircrews were ordered
to return from their dispersal bases to Lincoln. One crew did not receive
a properly authenticated “go home” order, and remained at
their dispersal base, until they finally received a legitimate order,
via a higher headquarters fly-in visit!
December 1962, Lincoln AFB
There is a slight lull after the wing returns to normal operations after
the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 307th prepares for “Pipe Cleaner”
During 1963, the wing Reflexed to both Greenham-Common
and Brize Norton bases in the UK. As other wings shut down, additional
aircraft and crews influxed into the 307th, until at years end, the 307th
had sixty B-47s and over eighty crews.
11 January 1963, McConnell AFB
Captain Paul Pudwill and his B-47 crew were taking off at night in light
icing conditions from McConnell AFB, Wichita, Kansas, following a weather
RON, when Q-spring icing developed. This made the aircraft very difficult
to control. Captain Pudwill attempted to return to base and ordered his
crew to abandon the aircraft. He then realized he could not make the field
and sacrificed his life while steering the aircraft free of populated
areas. Captains Harry Jones, navigator, and Frank Medrick, co-pilot, successfully
escaped the aircraft. In an oddity of nature, the force of the ejection
tore the navigator’s gloves from the leg pocket of his flying suit,
while the co-pilot’s weightier flashlight, also in his leg pocket,
stayed with him.
3 February 1963, Greenham-Common RAFB
While landing in a snowstorm, a strong crosswind caused the B-47 to drift
off the runway. The Aircraft Commander, Captain Paul Canney, attempted
a go-around, but number six engine did not accelerate, resulting in asymmetric
thrust and causing a wing to drag. As the aircraft was being wrestled
to the ground by the A/C, the copilot, Captain Richard C West elected
to eject, but his seat malfunctioned and he did not gain sufficient altitude
for his chute to open before he hit the ground. Captain West perished
from his injuries in the base hospital. Canney, Lt Don Hickman, the navigator,
and SSgt Bobby Odom survived the crash, uninjured.
7 March 1963, Lincoln AFB
Major N V (Jim) Meeks is killed when his lap belt fails to open because
a gas port was not drilled when it was manufactured. The B-47 experienced
a fire on the aft fuselage during an “ATO” take off. He was
known to his squadron friends as “Old Soldier Meeks”, and
to the crew chiefs as “Tiger Jim Meeks” for his salty conversation
during preflights. Meeks held the aircraft under control while his crew
bailed out, before he attempted ejection. The navigator, Clifford Cork
and the copilot, Larry Talovich, ejected successfully, and the fourth
man, Arthur Ingle, a second copilot, successfully exited via the entrance
July 1963, Lincoln AFB
The 307th is alerted to begin operation “Golden Jet Bravo.”
September 1963, Lincoln AFB
“ Noah's ARC” (Pipe Cleaner) aircraft are experiencing wet
transmitters after all missions, problem turned over to OCAMA. EB-47L
aircraft at Mountain Home AFB, are not experiencing wet transmitters.
October 1963, Lincoln AFB
The 307th has 60 B-47 aircraft assigned at the end of October 63. Only
45 of these aircraft are authorized, with 47 actually possessed by the
Wing. Lt Colonel James M. Pumford, 4362nd PACCS Commander, retired from
the Air Force. Lt Colonel Russel M. Heller, Jr. then assumed command of
the 4362nd. He was formerly with the Wing’s 371st Bomb Squadron.
This year saw the wing Reflex commitment transition to
Zaragoza AB in Spain, with the result that 15 B-47s were on home alert
at Lincoln, and 10 on alert at Zaragoza. Even though preparing for deactivation,
the wing was directed to practice nighttime Minimum Interval Takeoffs
(MITO), which can be a hairy maneuver, even in daytime. In an 18 month
time period, the wing experienced four ORIs.
21 January 1964, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bomb Wing is awarded the Revere Bowl and three Square Boxes
for the best “Bar None” July through December 1963.
6 April 1964 Lincoln AFB
The 307th received an excellent rating on the ORI, which began on April
The 307th terminated Reflex operations in preparation for deactivation.
3 June 1964, Lincoln AFB
The Wing is sending “high hour” aircraft to Davis Monthan
for destruction. Wings that are deactivating are sending their low hour
aircraft to the 307th.
During a night Minimum Interval Takeoff (MITO) the last
aircraft, 53-2363, in a 3-ship cell experienced an inboard engine fire
on the #3 engine. The crew aborted takeoff and successfully egressed the
aircraft. The aircraft was consumed in the fire. The entire crew, A/C
Leroy McMath, Nav Tom Package, and Copilot Stanley Tooney, all successfully
exited the aircraft and assembled upwind. The aircraft commander was heard
to remark, “My track coach sure would have been proud of me; I set
a new speed record running away from that burning aircraft.”
27 July 1964, Lincoln AFB
A B-47, 53-2366, performing a southbound takeoff failed to accelerate
to flying speed and crashed off the end of the runway. Captain Thomas
E Sutton, First Lt David C Williams, First Lt Terrance P Murphy, and Major
John F Sakry, all perished.
December 1964, Lincoln AFB
The last Bar None ORI was flown by the wing against a target at Kirksville,
Missouri. The wing bombing results were so outstanding, the SAC Director
of Operations sent a message to all B-52 units admonishing them because
older aircraft, with outdated equipment, scored better than they had.
The wing was released from its alert force commitment in
preparation for deactivation.
January 1965, Lincoln AFB
The 307th Bombardment Wing begins deactivation at a rapid pace. They send
their B-47's to Davis Monthan AFB where in an earlier era, they had deposited
The last B-47 off the Boeing production line, number 53-6244,
was prepared for a trip to its final resting place at the Air Force Museum
at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. This aircraft was also the bird depicted
on the cover page of the Dash One. For weeks, ground crew members cleaned
and polished it so well, that it picked up 10 additional knots of airspeed
in flight. A departure ceremony was held, and on 22 January 1965, Gene
Hickman, Pete Todd, and Al Ottaviano, accompanied by Crew Chief Jim Sine,
flew the bird to Wright-Patt. Painted on the side of the plane were the
names of a different crew: Mitchell, Gerber, and Evans, who were not available
to perform this last mission. For several years, 6244 was displayed in
front of the 17th Bomb Wing HQ at Wright-Patt. The Museum people were
unable to take 6244 to the newly built Museum complex because of highway
obstructions. When the 17th BW closed, 6244 was towed to an area of repose,
and was used for fire department training, whereupon it was destroyed.
Talking to Curators at the AF Museum, one learns that the demise of 6244
is a very sore point because the B-47 the Museum has on display is a former
research aircraft, and not a real B-47E.
25 March 1965, Lincoln AFB
The 818th Air Division and the 307th Bomb Wing are deactivated. Many crews
remaining are transferred to the 98th, and remain at Lincoln until the
98th is deactivated and the base closes.
7 Dec 65.
The last B-47 departs Lincoln, 11 years to the day after the first one
arrived in 1954.
Summary historical information provided by Vince Giroux,
Historian, USSTRATCOM J077.
Microfiche films of the 307th Bomb Wing (M) official history
reports provided by the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell
Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947-1977.
Charles A Ravenstein, United States Air Force Historical Research Center,
Washington DC, 1984.
Memory Book, 307th Bomb Wing 1990 Reunion, Lincoln Nebraska
Newspapers: Lincoln Star, Lincoln Nebraska; Lincoln Journal,
Lincoln Nebraska; Des Moines Tribune, Des Moines, Iowa; Jet Scoop, Lincoln
B-47 Aircraft Losses, Col Sigmund Alexander, USAF (Ret)
Commanders of the 307th Bomb Wing (Medium)
At Lincoln AFB, Nebraska 1954-1965
Col Louis G Thorup, 8 June 1954
Maj William T Minor, 20 November 1954
Lt Col Douglas M Conlan, 1 December 1954
Col Louis G Thorup, 15 December 1954
Col Ernest C Hardin Jr, 11 January 1955
Col Ralph G Vaughn, 23 February 1955
Col Ernest C Hardin Jr, 26 February 1955
Col Louis G Thorup, 15 March 1955
Col Robert B Nowell, 13 May 1957
Col Elkins Read Jr, 18 May 1957
Col Walter W Berg, 14 October 1960
Col William E Bertram, 27 November 1961
Col William E Riggs, 5 April 1963
Col Arthur W Holderness Jr, 18 January 1965
307th BW Historical
Cared for by Wing Co-historian, Robert Loffredo
B-47 Control Column
Box of Chaff
Air Force Flag
1996 Reunion Portraits
1987 and 1988 reunion pictures
30 8X10 pictures of Lincoln AFB people, including Commanders
Flight Hand books (basic) #1-4 (B-47 Dash One)
Flight Hand books (basic) #5 and up (B-47 Dash One)
Flight Manual Performance Data book (B-47 Dash One)
B-47 Power Plant Manual
B-47 Low Level Operation manual
Crew checklist (donated by Larry F.Garrett)
Emergency checklist (donated by Larry F.Garrett)
1957 Combat Crew Volume
B-47 50 Years Ago brochure
Air Safety books
307th Bomb Wing Plaque
307th Bomb Wing Newsletters
B-47 Squadron/Signal publications
307th Bomb Group Association Reunion #7 1988
307th 1996 letter/Plaque from Chief Of Staff
Box of Jet Scoop newspapers
Guide for Lincoln AFB
307th Dayton 1996 reunion & Memorial Dedication video
1998 Colorado Springs reunion video
Program on SAC (1hr)
SpeedVision Planes of Fame (B-47) video
B-47 Last Flight video
307th BW Crew
Chiefs And Their Aircraft
This is very
incomplete. Help us fill it in
||53-2362, 53-6244, 2416
|James R Berry
|James D Boothe
|James S Bradley
|Ansel B Chase
| L C Coins
|Charles B Davis
|Paul E Garland
|Leo J Halpin
|Robert C Hart
|Theodore A Hegelee
|Jerome E Hoffman
||53-2134, 53-1911, City of Lincoln
|Donn W Kimmel
||53-4222, 4214, 1906, 1909
|Alton “Bud” Ostgaard
|James D Rusher
|Edward F Seagraves
|Richard St. Louis
|T R Taylor
||53-1901, 53-4223, 51-5808
|Robert L Tysinger
|Donald C Watts
|James R Yandle
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The number following the type designator is the production block number
LM=Lockheed Marietta, BW=Boeing Wichita, DT=Douglas Tulsa
| 53-1853 B-47E-60-LM
| 53-1867 B-47E-60-LM
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370th BS with Andy Devine,
Bowling Lake, 1958
370th BS, 1958
424th BS, 1960
OMS & A&E
OMS, date unknown
A&E Personnel, April 1965
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SAC Bomb Competition, 1959
Normandin, Nikkell, Novetzke, McGill, Kessler
Christians, Jordan, Timmons
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