srpatch.gifSR-71 ALMA MATERsrpatch.gif

ashield.gifRECOLLECTIONS FROM THE PASTashield.gif
Guest Book Entry's for 2005

1 "SR-71 Movie & Screensaver Order Form" Print out this page if  ordering by US mail the SR-71 Screensaver; SR-71 Movie Screensaver or DVD's of  the movies "Blackbird Tribute" which  includes 6 movies; "Touch and Go" and SR-71 Retirement Ceremony at Beale AFB. All funds go to promote and maintain the "SR-71 Blackbirds" web site you are now visiting.  Go Here to Order: ./Screensaver_Form.htm

2. "PayPal Secure Order for DVD Movies and Screensavers" Now you can order the DVD's and the Screensavers with your PayPal account or any Credit Card using PayPal's secure ordering web pages. Go here to select DVD Movies or Screensavers and add them to your shopping cart. All proceeds go to support and maintain the SR-71 Blackbirds website. It's fast and no hassle. Thank you for your support. URL: ./PayPal_Order.htm

3. "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause": Check out David Burns' SR-71 personal photo collection of 22 Images at this URL: ./david_burns.htm

4. "Conny Seagroves Memorial Page": Jenny Dunn, daughter of Conrad Seagroves, RSO on the Blackbirds, has contributed her fathers photo scrapbook for posting on this web site. Included are photos of the early days..circa late 1960's and 35 Crew Member photos. URL: ./Seagroves.htm

5. SR-71 Random Web Page: Added some new information provided by CMSgt Bill Reynolds on the early days of the Blackbirds. URL: ./srrandom.htm

6. The Incredible Blackbirds are Operational: Movie added to the SR-71 movie web page 02/13/2005. This color 14 minute film was shot by the U.S. Air Force in the early '70's and shows deployment to Kadena AB, Okinawa (Det 1 AKA OL-8) in 1968. Shown is crew members Lt. Col. Darrel W. Cobb, Pilot and RSO Reggie Blackwell. The movie file is 37MB and is in a streaming Windows Movie Video (wmv) format. You need Microsoft Widows Media Player to download and view the movie. Grateful credit is given to the folks at Lockheed Martin for researching and  providing the movie to this web site. To download and view the movie, click the link: ./BB_Operational.wmv

7. The 2005 Blackbird Reunion PowerPoint Presentation is available: The 35 minute PowerPoint Presentation shown at the 2005 Blackbird Reunion Banquet can be purchased for $25.00 (includes $5.00 shipping (U.S. Postal Priority mail and handling) The Presentation includes a 25 year history of the SR-71 and U-2 Blackbird Achievements; Earth photos taken from a U-2 at 70,000 feet;  photos of  prominent people that have contributed to the success of the Blackbird programs and a 14 minute movie presentation of the SR-71 takeoff,  touch and go's, landing; refueling with a KC-135Q tanker and close-up aerial SR-71 in flight including afterburners lighting. This CD-ROM also contains a Microsoft (TM)  PowerPoint Reader than can be installed on your computer if you do not have PowerPoint. All funds go to support the "SR-71 Blackbirds" web site you are now visiting. Go here to order or to browse the DVD order page: ./PayPal_Order.htm

8. 2005 Blackbird Association Reunion web page: The Blackbird Associated hosted the 16th Reunion June 09-12th of 2005 at the Nugget Hotel in Reno, Nevada. This web page recaps events, awards and speakers attending the memorable event. Included are 50 thumbnail photos taken during the Banquet and in the hospitality suite. Info is also available on how to join the Blackbird Association. Posted June 27, 2005 URL:./2005_blackbird_reunion.htm

9. A Tribute to Major General Douglas T. Nelson: This web page is dedicated to the legacy of former Commander of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB in California. General Nelson formed up the first cadre of Pilots and RSO's to fly the SR-71. He established the 9th SRW with a Strategic Air Command commitment of global reconnaissance, maintaining world peace through surveillance. Go here to review his dedication and achievements to the success of the Blackbird Programs: URL: ./Nelson_Tribute.htm

10. Kelly Johnson Web Page: Updated this web page to include photos of Kelly's Student flight certificate and his flight log. URL: ./kelly1.htm





The latest SR-71 Video/Movie DVD collection now contains Seven Blackbird movies on one DVD. If you want to sit down, have some steak and eggs for breakfast, don your pressure suit and fly at Mach 3+, then this DVD is as close as it gets. Add this "Master SR-71 DVD" (Item SR004) to your collection and help support and maintain the web site you are now visiting. 

60 Minutes in length. 


Go here to check it out or order:



 Blackbird Symposiums and Special Upcoming Events can be accessed through WWW. Habu.Org

At this URL:


If you have been associated with the SR-71 and would like to have your experiences or recollections listed on these Web Pages please fill out the form on the

Guest Book



In November of 2004, Lockheed Test Pilot Bob Gilliland visited SR-71A #61-7962 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, United Kingdom . He was escorted by a guard of honor from RAF, Mildenhall during his visit. A very fitting tribute to the man who flew the first SR-71. These photos were provided by Cliff Caswell, UK; writer and photographer for British Forces press.

(Click on Image to enlarge)

2005 Blackbird Reunion Update

1. For those Blackbird members that missed the 2005 Reunion, the web page is now available. The  page recaps events, awards and speakers attending the memorable event. Included are 50 thumbnail photos taken during the Banquet and in the hospitality suite. Info is also available on how to join the Blackbird Association. Those wishing to send in photos of the Reunion contact me at Leland Haynes,

2005 Blackbird Reunion web page link: ./2005_blackbird_reunion.htm

2. The 2005 Blackbird Reunion PowerPoint Presentation is available: The 35 minute PowerPoint Presentation shown at the 2005 Blackbird Reunion Banquet can be purchased for $25.00 (includes $5.00 shipping (U.S. Postal Priority mail and handling). The Presentation includes a 25 year history of the SR-71 and U-2 Blackbird Achievements; Earth photos taken from a U-2 at 70,000 feet;  photos of  prominent people that have contributed to the success of the Blackbird programs and a 14 minute movie presentation of the SR-71 takeoff,  touch and go's, landing; refueling with a KC-135Q tanker and close-up aerial SR-71 in flight including afterburners lighting. This CD-ROM also contains a Microsoft (TM)  PowerPoint Reader than can be installed on your computer if you do not have PowerPoint. All funds go to support the "SR-71 Blackbirds" web site you are now visiting. Go here to order or to browse the DVD order page: ./PayPal_Order.htm

3. You may order the art print "Outrun the Thunder" by artist John Shaw and signed by 106 Blackbird Maintainers at the 2005 Reunion. All funds go to support future Blackbird Reunions. Go here to order your limited edition autographed print: ./shaw_print.htm

 4. A final tribute web page to Major General Douglas Nelson is available here: ./Nelson_Tribute.htm 

2007 Blackbird Reunion

We have locked in dates for the next reunion in Reno, NV at the Nugget Hotel. They are 21-24 June 2007. The Blackbird Association reunion is for members (and their guests) only. 

srpatch.gifFriday, December 30, 2005 at 13:29 A1C Mark Weippert Writes:

Was crew chief on the KC-135Q, Beale AFB, from 1980-1983, tail #58-0089 with SSgt. Bill Arey.



A1C Mark Weippert




Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 16:11 MSgt  Ret, USAF,  Robert S. Smith  (Bob Smith) writes: I was assigned to 9th Field Maintenance Squadron , A/R shop from FEB 1976 - 1982.I had to leave the base before I realized what a talented and professional group of people that I worked with. I would like to thank all those men and women that I encountered while there . Some of you might not know that Bob Parker passed away , He was my best friend and I sorely miss him . We spent many a late night rigging flight controls or changing a landing gear, or some other maintenance requirement on the HABU!!! Well it's time to be moseying along , thanks for letting me ramble on . I could say more , maybe next time ?

MSgt Ret, USAF, Robert S. Smith



srpatch.gifWednesday, December 28, 2005 at 14:37 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes:

BINGO! Got a Christmas card after many years without contact from good buddy Sgt. Dan Bohrer of the ECM shop (79-82, I think, he was still there when I got out). I'm going to give him this link, but if anybody wants to holler at Dan B., drop me a line. Talk about an optimist: Dan's got a 20 month old son! Both of us want to find out where our pal/nemesis T/Sgt Bill Donathan is these days.

 Sgt. Dan Goodwin




Wednesday, December 28, 2005 at 11:17 Linda (Zwayer) Pugliano Writes: My Father was James (Jim) Zwayer; twentieth person to fly the SR-71 and his Mach 3+ certificate is numbered 12. His first flight was 28 March 1965.  He was the only pilot ever killed in an SR-71 crash; over Rogers NM, January 25, 1966. He was in the 8th Air Force and flew 41 missions as navigator/bombardier in B-17's, eventually moving into the B-58 program at General Dynamics in Fort Worth as the Air Force liaison, a bird colonel at the time. Lockheed recruited him for the SR-71 program in 1964 and he joined them in 1965. He is our hero, who flew an heroic plane. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife Lucille is 86 and still resides in Fort Worth.

Linda (Zwayer) Pugliano



December 22, 2005 at 11:35 CDR John Parrish Writes: A colleague emailed me this site and it is great. I am the son of an original Recon/Nav SR-71 Air Force Officer, Bill Parrish, and remember well the Habu's of Beale and Kadena (I was stationed with him at both places). My father brought me to a hangar in Kadena once and let me touch one. I think I was about 10 at the time and can still remember how awesome it looked. I don't think I'll ever forget seeing them take off either. What an airplane. I went on to work for Lockheed for many years and was able to meet some great SR types such as Ben Rich. As a matter of fact, I had him sign an SR picture for me. Thanks for some great memories...

CDR John Parrish


Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 10:38 Sgt. George Marlow Writes:

I arrived at Beale AFB Aug.1964. The first thing that struck me was the size of the base. Coming from a small base in Japan (Itazuki APO 929) served first in the 456th FMS machine shop. Then the 4200ed FMS and, finally the 9th SRW as a machinist then I cross trained to production control 9th FMS. Remember OL8 very well, helped run phone patches back to the states.
Retired march 1971 due to loss of vision.
Very nice web sight.  Brings back many thoughts both good and bad.


Sgt. George Marlow



srpatch.gifWednesday, December 21, 2005 at 10:58 T/Sgt William Zorros Writes:

I was a crew chief on the SR-71 from 1965 to 1969. Then went to Vietnam and ran the crash recovery at Saigon. I then went back to Beale AFB. in 1971 and retired in Dec 71. I was a crew chief on the SR-71 aircraft 61-7972 - 9th organizational maintenance squadron. I was also the crew chief on the SR 71 aircraft 61-7972 at the test force at Edwards Air Force Base between 1965 and 1969. It is nice to hear that the aircraft is now in Washington D.C. Very fitting for a fine aircraft. Truly proud to have been part of history. May it be there for quite a long time. It is a fine tribute to truly a great aircraft.

T/Sgt William Zorros



Monday, December 19, 2005 at 02:39 TSgt, Ronald L. Gifford Writes: 
DAFICS shop chief with the HABU Kadena AB 1987-1990.

Would like to hear from Col Lee M. Shelton again.

TSgt, Ronald L. Gifford



srpatch.gifDecember 02, 2005 2:53 AM Anonymous post: 

Really enjoyed your site – came upon it by doing a Google search for Buck Adams, whom I just met in the course of my work – he’s now working as a senior executive consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington DC, mostly on DARPA projects.

Once again, great site! -lewis


Email: Not Available

srpatch.gifSunday, December 18, 2005 at 21:20 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes: The board is working well. Got a note from 9th AMS ELINT/ECM master of time and space Sgt. Harry Broskie via e-mail just yesterday. 

Since it's cold in Tennessee tonight, it reminded me of those glorious skinny dipping trips up the Yuba River canyon below Grass Valley. The Sierra snow melt as so cold you didn't need a beer cooler and we were all young enough we looked OK nekkid. Those were the days, my friends. Been more than 24 years since my last all over tan!

ECM folks and other AMS personnel from '78-'81, drop me a line.

Sgt. Dan Goodwin


srpatch.gifSunday, December 18, 2005 at 10:28 Sgt Mark Gaulin Writes: 


Hoping to get in touch with friends I had at Kadena from 1981-1984. Left an entry back in 2000 but my e-mail address has changed. Saw an entry from TSgt Barry Hoover but his e-mail address is wrong or has changed. If you read this Barry drop me a line.

Sgt Mark Gaulin



srpatch.gifThursday, December 15, 2005 at 12:34 Sgt John T Edwards Writes: 


Crew Chief 1985 - 1989 . Lost touch with all I knew . God Bless 

Sgt John T Edwards





srpatch.gifThursday, December 8, 2005 at 18:13 SSgt David Dell Writes: When I came home from Tech school at Lowry AFB, I asked my recruiter where Beale AFB, California was. He told me it was north of Sacramento, and that I would love it. That is if I liked to hunt and fish.

I joined Team Recce in April of 1986 as an A1C in the Base Graphics/Visual-Information Shop on C street. It was right across the street from the Dining Hall (Galaxy Inn?).

My sponsor was A1C Dan Parker (he posted on a previous page) and I worked with SSgt Greg Whedon (Kansas), SSgt Eddie Armour (Virginia), A1C Dan Parker (California), A1C Lisa White and Amn Dianne Wardlaw (Illinois). MSgt Tibor Warganich was the Branch Chief and he reported to Major Larry Reynolds in Operations.

I spent 3 wonderful years on the Beale AFB Honor Guard under the direction of SSgt JP Meier, and then 1Lt David Ragsdale. A1C/SrA/Sgt Wayne Likens and I would spend HOURS tearing the M1 rifles apart and cleaning the nastiest crud from firing blanks at funerals from every part and nook and cranny. Wayne and I learned an awful lot about those old rifles.

For nearly 3 years I was tasked to work in the SCIF, in the CPBO (cement blockhouse missile control building) creating briefing slides for pre and post missions from both the SR-71 and U-2 airframes. It never ceased to amaze me how that information would show up in the Appeal-Democrat newspaper 2 weeks later.

I helped MSgt Randy Stearns, TSgt Mark Barager and SSgt Randy Cook in the Edward F. Beale Museum over 150 hours over the 5 years assigned to Beale. I was pretty proud of the renovations and improvements we made to the old tank barn in 1990. Meeting Colonel (Ret) Hubert Zemke when he came down to preview some WWII gun camera he found in an old trunk at his home was mind-blowing. Meeting General (Ret) Chuck Yeager at the Beale Hospital was more than UNDER-whelming.

Even though I got divorced while at Beale, my 5 years there were BY FAR the best of my 8 year Air Force Career. If only my next assignment had had the quality of personnel with the determination to excel at every endeavor.

I was really saddened when I was standing on the ramp on a rainy January day 1990. When they retired the SR-71 I knew that life would be a little bit different for all of us...

Great Website!

SSgt David Dell



srpatch.gifSunday, November 27, 2005 at 18:46 Sgt. Richard Spiess Writes: 

Hi, I am a Viet Nam vet. (1967-68) and returned to my stateside assignment in 1968 to be stationed at Beale AFB, of which I was assigned to the 9th Material Control dept. of the SR71 squadron. I am very disappointed to see the program scraped. I got out in 1971 (after four years in the AF) and the assignment was superb, and glad I could be a part of the elite program. I recognize a lot of the retired personnel that were here. I also was TDY to Okinawa, and still see a lot of my fellow buddies in Yuba City, California. I wish all the SR71 group Gods best, and hope all of you enjoyed the tour and association with this elite airplane as much as I did. I also have a painting of #7967 on my wall. Ricard Spiess- Yuba City, California


srpatch.gifFriday, November 25, 2005 at 12:43 SSgt George Johnson Writes: 


I'm looking for a Terry Ezra Gilmore who was an AGE Technician at Kadena in the SR-71 squadron in the year 1982-1984? Any assistance would be great!

SSgt George Johnson



srpatch.gifThursday, November 24, 2005 at 22:03 Retired Russell M. Mangio Writes: Working as a Photo Troop at the 9th AMS at Beale, I was station there for 10+ years and I thought I would never get out of there. I was there when we had to bed the sled down and crossing our fingers to bring out of moth balls during the Gulf war. Reading this website I remember most of the friends I worked, been TDY and of course, staying in those 12 hour mobility lines. I missed the early SR HHQ launches, Kadena Tanker TDY run, and the familiar JP7 smell that drips on you when your loading up a sensor in the morning. Thanks for setting up this website and all that remembers me, drop me a e-mail.
Take Care

 Retired Russell M. Mangio


srpatch.gifThursday, November 24, 2005 at 20:38 Sgt. Keith Zorn Writes: 

My first day at RAF Mildenhall,513 OMS KC-135Qs,the first plane I saw was a C-130,but the next one was the "Haboo" still gives me shivers seeing it for the first time (Nov.1982-85)
taking off in the dark morning "WOW" what a show!!!!

Sgt. Keith Zorn




srpatch.gifWednesday, November 23, 2005 at 16:43 TSgt, (Ret) Terry Wickham Writes: 

I was in the 9th AMS SLR and Photo Shop until my retirement in 1976! 

Boy,,,,, now to mention the SR-71 , still brings chills to my neck! 

Little at the time did I know , that I was a part of a prestigious unit, that will always be a part of me, HABU Ya'll

TSgt, (Ret) Terry Wickham


srpatch.gifSunday, November 20, 2005 at 17:44 Deputy William Stevens Writes: 


I worked as an avionic technician on the SR-71 and the U-2/TR-1 from 1986 until 1988. I was assigned to the 9th AMS.

Deputy William Stevens




srpatch.gifNovember 19, 2005 Duncan Cunningham Writes: I signed the guest book in 2005, my name is Duncan Cunningham. I was assigned to the 9th FMS Electric shop from Feb 71 to July 73. I have changed ISP and was wondering if you could change my email address on the post to I use this email address for the veterans group I belong to. After I left Beale I went to Utapao Thailand and was assigned to the 307th FMS. I have found my old buddy MSgt Julio Neveis though you site and hope that some one may find me though the guest book. Also if you could pass along this site to some of the old Blackbird guys who may have served there are welcome to join our group. 

Thank you. Duncan Cunningham " SparkyDunc" still an Electrican


srpatch.gifWednesday, November 16, 2005 at 11:36 SRA Bradley Nickell Writes: 

I have been in the guest book before back in 2000. I am back, just looking to see who has been here and updating my email address. I have exchanged email with a couple of people that I used to work with in the Physiological Support Division. I sure have some great memories of Beale AFB and working on the sled. That was an opportunity of a lifetime. I left the USAF in 1992 and have been a police officer in Las Vegas, NV ever since. If anyone who knew me is ever in town, get in touch with me and maybe we can share a meal together or something.

SRA Bradley Nickell


srpatch.gifTuesday, November 1, 2005 at 16:27 Lorne E. Cass Writes: 

My Dad, Lorne E. Cass, was a design engineer on the SR71, working for Lockheed and Kelly Johnson. I remember well growing up with this plane - she was a member of my family!
Are there any other Lockheed folks out there? I didn't see any names that I remembered on this site...
Robyn (Lorne's daughter)




srpatch.gif10/28/2005 9:39 AM Tony Landis Writes: 

Looks like the A-12 there took a pretty good hit. NASA is working with the USAF Museum to get them any spare parts we may have. Looks like it's going to be a tough job restoring it.

Tony Landis, NASA

Editors Note: 

Blackbird Number 60-6930 located at Alabama Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama. I think it is time for Museum Directors to make every effort possible to preserve the Blackbirds that has been relinquished to their care. There are still Blackbirds on public display, out in the weather and deteriorating with little care directed to their preservation. Although Blackbird #930 at Huntsville sustained major structural damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the fact remains, had it been inside a hanger, it may have well survived unscathed. There is no excuse for these National Treasures to be subjected to deterioration and damage as if they were common aircraft. Perhaps the Museum Directors would like for the U.S. Air Force Museum (The Owners) to relieve them of their responsibility (and large crowd draws) of their Blackbirds and send them back to Davis Monthan Bone Yard. At least there, the Blackbirds would be in a somewhat controlled climate. If this applies to you as a Director, get with the program and protect your Blackbird assets as your number one priority or face the consequences.

Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds


246.89 Kb

294.42 Kb

321.63 Kb

313.99 Kb

164.03 Kb

298.39 Kb

srpatch.gifTuesday, October 25, 2005 at 12:48 MSgt Vernon Duncan (ret.) Writes:

Any of the folks I worked with in Okinawa from July 82 until July 87.(Ed Whiteman, you out there?)



MSgt Vernon Duncan (ret.)



srpatch.gifTuesday, October 25, 2005 at 06:50 Maj FC Prasse Writes: Great website about the SR and all the folks associated with getting both of the Beale "blackbirds" on the mission and back home. Definitely evoked a lot of memories scanning through the guestbook. I noted Rich Graham as a frequent visitor -- Rich and his RSO, "Snake" Emmons, were frequently in the same rotational cycle as my aircrew (9 AREFS, Crew 171) in the KC-135Q.

I remember one evening Rich, another 135 AC, and I were in the O Club at Mildenhall and we concocted the plan to set the boom-to-boom record for a refuel (shall we say a "slightly" modified AR formation?). I think we did a pretty good job -- #1 disconnect to #2 connect in 25 seconds as I recall. I still think we could have done it in 15-20 seconds had we ever had the chance to do it again. Then there's the 135 3G post AR "clear track" maneuver (fastest 180 you'll ever see a tanker do)... And of course, Club 101 (our quarters) at Kadena -- the only place the the world that served peanut butter daiquiris (until the blender burned up)... Oh, yeah, the notorious "Beale Bandits" also stole the Kadena base commander's staff car (along with anything else that wasn't nailed down). I remember the Kadena O Club Christmas wreath made the trip back to Beale one year; we hung it outside the AC's window when we pulled into the chocks for the traditional Beale welcome home.

After my stint at Beale in the late '70s as AC in a KC with over 1,000 hours in the 135Q, I went back to instructing in the T-38 (totaling over 12 years flying the White Rocket).

Maj FC Prasse


srpatch.gifSunday, October 23, 2005 at 01:28 SSgt Kevin Matsumoto Writes:


376 OMS Kadena AB 1970-72 


SSgt Kevin Matsumoto




srpatch.gifSunday, October 16, 2005 at 18:20 Sgt William Douglas Writes: 

I was assigned to the 824th Security Police Squadron in March 1967 the first SR71's arrived at Kadena Air Base some of the Security Police were assigned to Project Little Creek we secured the Flight Line and Hangers area for the SR71,s on Habu Hill.

Sgt William Douglas




srpatch.gifSaturday, October 15, 2005 at 19:03 SSgt James Williams Writes:

I was stationed at Beale from January 1983 till March 1986. I was assigned to the 9th FMS Jet Engine Shop Flight Line and also worked out of the phase dock. However not assigned to the SR71 I did work on the KC135 and the T38. I lived off base at Wheatland and would love to hear from anyone stationed there at that time. Al Obst, Curtis Pruitt just to name a couple.

Great WEB site!

SSgt James Williams


srpatch.gifThursday, October 13, 2005 at 09:42 SSgt/Maj Andy Woody Woodrow Writes: 

Entered the program as a PSD tech in '82...came full circle back to Beale as the Flight Commander for PSD (without the HABU). Recall the filming of 'Call to Glory' a short lived 80's show...Craig T Nelson (lead roll), other cast and crew gather a few techs together and dressed-out in 60's AF uniforms..pretty cool to see the images we lived daily now depicted on television as a drama.

SSgt/Maj Andy Woody Woodrow



srpatch.gifMonday, October 10, 2005 at 21:12 MSgt James J. Moorhead Writes: 


I worked as an Aircrew Egress (Ejection Seat) maintainer.


MSgt James J. Moorhead




srpatch.gifFriday, October 7, 2005 at 08:49 Mark Hahn Writes: I was an Air Traffic Controller at Kadena AB, Okinawa from 1972-1974, I absolutely remember each and every pilot that came to the tower during flight ops. We were treated with respect and I believe we returned the honor. Buck Adams, whom I first met as a Captain, and Major Sullivan did most of the tours, along with many others. I was proud to know the "right stuff guys" and I was one heck of an Air Traffic Controller back then. I retired from the F.A.A on 9/11/2001 from The Headquarters floor Air Traffic in Washington DC. 34 wonderful years in the business (including my Air Force.) I have all the Blackbird (HABU) guys to thanks for the wonderful memories. I would be pleased to here from any of you. Thanks. Mark

Mark Hahn


srpatch.gifFriday, September 30, 2005 at 14:02 Sgt. Glenn Clark Writes:  I was stationed at Beale AFB from August of 1980 till August of 1984. I was a flight line jet engine mechanic and worked on all 4 birds, the KC, the T38, the U2, and the SR-71. One of my favorite memories was laying on our backs on the "Christmas Tree" while the SR-71 flew over our heads. There just wasn't anything like the sound and the beautiful shot of green TEB and the afterburners kicking in their blue flames. That image will be embedded in my brain for as long as I live. We were all so proud to work on those planes and felt pretty special since we had to have a special clearance to work on them. Back in those days, the SR was still shrouded in a lot of secrecy so we had fun listening to all the debriefings of attempted shoot downs over North Korea and Russia. We just all grinned when they said that the SR had been fired upon and simply outran the missile! Those were awesome days and I still have the newspaper clipping from the day they retired the blackbird. I couldn't help but feel a little sad, but proud to have had the opportunity to work on such an awesome piece of artwork, muscle, and class.

Sgt. Glenn Clark


srpatch.gifWednesday, September 28, 2005 at 16:18 Air Man First Class MAS NARASAKI Writes: 


I am trying to locate Major James H Shelton, who last wrote me when he was last stationed at BEALE. 

Air Man First Class MAS NARASAKI


srpatch.gifSunday, September 25, 2005 at 19:45 Submitted by the son of Vernon Ray Martin (passed away): 

My father is Vernon Ray Martin he worked on the U2 and SR71 with Lockheed and Skunk Works.  He never said much about what he did.  I am just looking for folks that knew him.
Does the term Queenie 1 1956 ring a bell with anybody?. 

He was with Lockheed for over 45 years he retired in the 1980s.

Reply to:


srpatch.gifSunday, September 25, 2005 at 12:41 (E-4) Orville Curtis Culbertson Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB 1965. With the 4200 SRW. 4200 AEMS (Later the 9th)SAS/AP shop. I feel very fortunate to have been picked to be part of the wonderful organization. To be there from the beginning and watch the growth. I still have contact with a few of my co-worker from the SAS/AP shop. When we get together, we talk about "wonder what old so an so is doing" and we always remember the good old days at Beale. Thanks Curtis.


(E-4) Orville Curtis Culbertson


srpatch.gifFriday, September 23, 2005 at 13:25 Civilian Art Fischbach Writes:


Oxcart, Black Shield 1965-1968 Kadena OKI


Civilian Art Fischbach




srpatch.gifWednesday, September 21, 2005 at 20:08 Sgt. Waylon Wallace Writes: 

I was stationed at Beale Air Force Base from 1968-1972. I was a part of the the Security Police unit of the 4200th Squadron. I remember going TDY to Guam and Okinawa. I remember eating on Buckley Blue Goose. I am glad I stumbled upon this site while looking for Air Force paraphernalia. The person I seam to most remember is TSgt Charles H. Topping.


Sgt. Waylon Wallace



srpatch.gifMonday, September 19, 2005 at 6:17 PM, Ronald Girouard Writes: 

Sad news. Don't know if you heard the news yet but Marta Bohn-Meyer was killed in a plane crash. Apparently she was practicing for an upcoming event and crashed. I was sent this from a friend who works out at NASA Dryden:

DFRC Employee Killed in Aerobatics Crash
Deadly Plane Crash In Oklahoma City, KOTV 9/18/05
Reader note: "Marta Bohn-Meyer, Chief Engineer at the DFRC was killed in a crash in Oklahoma today. She was practicing for the Aeronautical Aerobatics trials upcoming. Husband, Bob Meyers, was also there. He is an Associate Director at DFRC."


Photo Courtesy Larry Johnson @

Associated Press Article: 

NASA pilot from California dies in Oklahoma plane crash

LOS ANGELES  Colleagues of a NASA precision pilot and chief engineer who died in a small plane crash over the weekend recalled her Monday as a woman committed to the advancement of aeronautics. Marta Bohn-Meyer, 48, of Tehachapi died Sunday when the single-engine plane she was piloting crashed in Oklahoma City. She was practicing for an upcoming air show and flying solo when she crashed shortly before noon.

Bohn-Meyer was one of two flight engineers assigned to fly in the SR-71 high-speed flight research program at Dryden Flight Center in the desert north of Los Angeles. The SR-71s are used to obtain high-speed, high-altitude data to improve military and civil aircraft designs. In a message to staff, center director Kevin Petersen called Bohn-Meyer "an extraordinarily talented individual." "She committed her life and career to aviation and the advancement of aeronautics and space in the United States," he said. Bohn-Meyer's husband, coach and several ground-crew members witnessed the crash, according to local officials. Bohn-Meyer's husband is Robert R. Meyer Jr., associate director for programs at Dryden, located at Edwards Air Force Base. Dryden spokesman Alan Brown said the couple was in Oklahoma training for the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship competition next week at Grayson County Airport in Denison, Texas.

Oklahoma City police Lt. Don Holland said the aircraft, a Giles G-300, had just left Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport in Yukon, Okla., when witnesses reported seeing part of it fall to the ground. The crash was being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Bohn-Meyer came to NASA Dryden in 1979 and became chief engineer in October 2001. She also participated in numerous youth education programs, particularly those for girls interested in science.

A private memorial service was scheduled for Friday at Dryden.

srpatch.gifFriday, September 16, 2005 at 10:23 Kathy Myers, Spouse of Sgt. Ted M. Meyers (Mike) Writes:

I am Sgt. Meyers's widow, Kathy. I am looking for John Waller or Tom Mollicone who served at Beale AFB with my husband in 1969-1971. In addition, anyone who was at Korat from April 68 to April 69 who might have known him would be welcome to reply. The names I remember him talking about are: Ken Silvay, Mike Schmidt, Mike Teeter, Rob and John.

Thanks so much.

Kathy Myers


srpatch.gifSeptember 13, 2005 at 12:40 TSgt Barry Hoover Writes: 

I was a crew chief at Kadena from 1981 thru 1984.


TSgt Barry Hoover





srpatch.gifMonday, 9/12/2005 5:53 PM Donald Campbell & Richard Graham Writes: 
To All Habus and Friends of Habus,

Just received the word that Gen. Pat Halloran was selected to be inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of fame (MAHF) on May 13th 2006, at Bloomington, MN.

Another Habu does well!!

A great honor for a most deserving gentleman.



srpatch.gifSaturday, September 10, 2005 at 22:20 Sgt David Postlewaite Writes: I served in the 9th FMS Electric shop from 75-78. Miss all you guys. Michael Moore, Sgt Murphy, Rich Boyce, Carl Turner, Paula Prevost, good 'ole Jack Turner, Greg Pectovich, Casterdarlyn "Pete" Rhodes, Dave Nichols, and a great guy, MSgt Schwepke. Pardon my spelling. And so many more. I loved the electric shop and the people who worked there.

Sgt. Murphy once told me a tale about a Mach 3 snail.  I believe it was in the possession of Billy Walker from engine shop over in Okinawa. If either of them read this post could you please elaborate on it. Thank you all for making the SR-71 experience some of the best times of my life, in retrospect of course.

Sgt David Postlewaite


srpatch.gifFriday, September 9, 2005 at 21:13 Major Richard Kossol Writes: I would like to reconnect with some old friends from the 70's and early 80's in the Black Bird program. I'm new to this web site and have a lot of historical reading to do.

If you remember the 2nd LT of the early 70's or the Major at HQ SAC LGXR, the maybe you can place the face. My stint at Beale in the early 80's was my last in the AF.
Names like Tucci, Massey, Velarde, Dickhaus, Souther are top of mind for me.

Major Richard Kossol 


srpatch.gifTuesday, September 6, 2005 at 06:07 Ron Schwedland Writes: 

I spent my first three years as a gas turbine engineer helping develop the J58 engine.
This was the most exciting and demanding program I have worked on in 43 years in the business. Very gratifying to see the results.


Ron Schwedland



srpatch.gifSaturday, August 27, 2005 at 15:00 SSgt Michael Covey Writes: I was on the tanker side of the house. My best memories of my military duty in Okinawa was while I was assigned to the Tanker Task Force. They made me come back to the states. Someone told them, the powers to be, I was having too much fun. So funny, I "assumed" that when I first showed up, I would have been a "2nd class citizen (figured I already had 2 bad marks, 1st a 702 (admin), 2nd (tanker toad. what I soon learned was the Det 1, 9th SRW was a very close knit family. I ate that up.
I'll never forget the very important missions, because that gave me a sense that I'm doing something important. Call it Air Force pride, but to this day, I still talk about it.

SSgt Michael Covey


srpatch.gifThursday, August 25, 2005 at 23:57 Afc Michael Strand Writes: 

I was in 456 OMS on B52's and KC-135Q's at Beale AFB. 

Are there any others at 1970-1973?



Afc Michael Strand


Wednesday, August 18, 2005 at 08:30, Mort Jarvis forwarded the following death notice. It  was sent to Bob Roetcisoender by McNeer's wife, Ellen. 

We are writing to you to let you know that my husband and our father
Charles J (Red) (Mac) McNeer passed away from complications from the lung (cancer) surgery on Tuesday August 16, 2005 at 11:53PM. Daddy went peacefully and we will miss him greatly.

The arrangements have been made. As per his wishes he will be buried at Barracas Cemetery in Pensacola, FL on Monday August 22, 2005 at 10:15AM. We have a viewing for him on Sunday August 21, 2005 from 3:00PM to 5:00PM at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, FL. 

Daddy appreciated all of his friends that he has made over the years. There will never be another one like him and that is why we loved him so much.

With love,
Ellen, Kelley & Faith McNeer


Charles J. McNeer

Lt. Colonel Charles J. "Red" McNeer, USAF (Ret.) of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully Tuesday, August 16th, 2005 due to complications from lung cancer.

Red was born in Portsmouth, Ohio on December 13th, 1931. He was the son of William F. and Lura Wade McNeer.

Red enlisted in the Air Force on his 17th birthday and proudly served his country for 22 years. At the age of 19, he served as a navigator-bombardier on a B-29 named "The Outlaw" with the 19th Bomb Group and flew 50 combat missions over Korea. He later served as a B-47 Navigator at Lake Charles AFB, then as a B-52 radar-navigator at both Eglin and Barksdale AFBs. He transferred to Beale AFB in 1965, to become one of the earliest Reconnaissance Systems Officers (RSO) assigned to the SR-71 program. He flew several combat missions over North Vietnam. But Red's proudest achievements were with the SR-71/YF-12A Test Force where he served as Chief of the Operations Division and the RSO on all of test missions flown. In a report written by his immediate superior, he wrote: "Lt. Colonel McNeer is devoted to all phases of aviation. He has a broad background in all elements of strategic bombing and reconnaissance. He possesses those qualities that mark him as an outstanding military leader."

Red was an avid sports car enthusiast and an excellent mechanic. In his spare time, he enjoyed racing his TR-4 in SCCA sporting events.

A devoted husband and father, Red was truly proud of his family. He is survived by Ellen, his wife of 47 years; two daughters, Kelley Hall and her husband Ray of Destin, Florida, and Master Sergeant Faith McNeer of Wichita, Kansas; two grandchildren, Crystal Donaldson and her husband Sean, and Jared Hall; one great-granddaughter, Sierra Donaldson, all of Destin, Florida. Also surviving are two brothers and one sister: William F. McNeer of Tampa, Florida, Claude E. McNeer and Margot Peggy Miller both of Norfolk, Virginia. 

Red was buried at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida with full military honors on August 22nd, 2005.

August 23, 2005 10:03am Bill Campbell Writes: I attended Red's funeral yesterday at the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida where he was buried with full military honors. Red and I were neighbors at Beale AFB for 4 years. In 1969, when I had moved to the SR-71/YF-12A Joint Test Force at Edwards AFB, I asked Red to join me. We needed an experienced RSO who was expert in all of the aircraft's systems, and no one was better qualified than Red. He accepted and we flew together until the test force moved to Palmdale. As Chief of the Operations Division, he did an outstanding job of insuring that each test mission was properly planned, scheduled and flown. Red was truly one of the very best of the "Habus".
Bill Campbell

srpatch.gifTuesday, August 16, 2005 at 15:50 David Hall Writes: I was surprised and pleased to read Bill Weaver's story of the SR-71 breakup in the Aug. 8, 2005 edition of AW&ST. I had heard the story from Bill himself when we worked together. It brought back memories of strapping Bill into various production birds when I was a flight test engineer at Palmdale. I started on the program as an instrumentation engineer on Article 122 in 1962, and was laid off at the end of 1966 after my new assignment as flight test engineer on the Lockheed Shipbuilding hydrofoil was cancelled, and we lost the SST bid, where I had a job offer (when the contract was signed). Went out the door with about 400 engineers in Jan. 67. I remained in aviation for about 40 years, mostly as a test engineer and then accident investigator. Now I have retrained in another field and teach at the college level. Just discovered the Blackbird Assn and submitted my application. 

Dave Hall


srpatch.gifSunday, August 7, 2005 at 10:25 MSgt (Ret) Ben Raines Writes: Wow...This brings back so many great memories. I was stationed at Beale right after Tech school in 1977. I was assigned to the 9 FMS Hydraulic shop. Work with some of the best hydraulic people in the career field like, Wilkerson (Wilkie), MSgt Elliason, Frank Mosely and Bobby Skinner, just to name only a few. My time with the SR was from 1977 to 1983 and then from 1987 until the dark day of the SR retirement from service. I was lucky enough to head down to Palmdale to refurbish a few "Hot Gigs" when the program was being reactivated. The rest of my career has been with the U-2 until my retirement in 2001. What a great 24 years with the U-2 and SR-71. Some of my fondest (and worst) memories have been with the program. All the TDY's to the "Rock", yearly trips to Mildenhall England, Air shows and ERT's in the US. For those who remember, yes, I'm the one who was Court Marshaled in 1982 when '964 fell on it's right wing (my worse days in the program) but to clear the air, I was finally cleared and findings over turned by then General Davis (SAC/CC). I meet my wife while assigned to Beale in the early years. I married Mary Cardenas (McKinley) (divorced from MSgt Mac McKinley from the hydro shop). And yes, Mary was my supervisor in the hydraulic shop. We've been married for 25 years now. Damn that's a long time. I'm presently working for Lockheed Martin as a Tech Rep on the U-2's. I work with some of the old SR boys (Mike Burrow (CC) Norb Budzinski (RSO)). Some days we'll sit back and reminiscence about the "Old Days". Talk about all the Habu love bites. The same days you could drink 2 beers during lunch and have shop parties on Friday nights after work. Try that now!!! For those of you who are reading this, never forget the times we had working on the greatest plane ever built. 

MSgt (Ret) Ben Raines


Editor's Note: There is a photo of #964 resting on one wing in the Hanger on Page Four of the Blackbird Losses web Page at this URL: ./loss_4.htm 

The photo is near the bottom of the web page.

srpatch.gifSunday, August 7, 2005 at 09:23 SMSgt (Ret) Dan Johnson Writes: Of all my great experiences in my 26 years in the Security Police Career Field, my most exciting and rewarding had to be my exposure to the Habu at Kadena from 86-90. Especially the day Col Lee Shelton allowed my 10 year old son and myself to ride with him and observe a launch. What a rush! I was always impressed by the absolute professionalism of everyone associated with the SR...days I will never forget. Thanks to all, especially Col Shelton.
Dan Johnson
Kadena 86-90

SMSgt (Ret) Dan Johnson


srpatch.gifMonday, July 25, 2005 at 20:59 DiMarcia Ancrum Writes: 

I was an ELINT analyst at Offutt AFB Neb. I knew Col Locke there. I also recovered missions, debriefed crew and analyzed data from missions flown out of Kadena, Beale. 


DiMarcia Ancrum


Email: DA120591@NCR.COM

srpatch.gifMonday, July 18, 2005 at 14:48 Sgt James Page Gibson "Hoot" Writes: I was a jet engine mechanic at Beale AFB for three years. I was on the flight line the day of the crash.  1967-1971 discharge. I worked closely with the SR-71 as an Engine Mechanic on and off the flight line. I worked with SSgt Bill Walker of state of Mississippi and would like to talk with other members of our outfit during this time. There are too many to name even when we were at Okinawa. The way I might be remembered is, I could slip into the inlet without other members having to remove the spike. I would like to hear from anyone in my squadron. 

Sgt James Page Gibson "Hoot"



srpatch.gifJuly 16, 2005 at 08:47 A1C Steve Flint Writes: I worked in the 100th Supply Squadron back in '78 to '81 as a Fuels Specialist refueling the SR and eventually ending up in the Fuels Lab. Being a 17 year old airman backing 5000 gallons of jet fuel into the hanger of the worlds fastest aircraft was quite a nerve wracking thrill!
Also got to go TDY to Mildenhall during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan back in 1980. There were many good times had on Beale back in the late 70's and early 80's. 
I've got some good in flight refueling pictures if anyone is interested. Just drop me an email.

A1C Steve Flint


srpatch.gif6/28/2005 9:46 AM Kim McCreight Writes: As a former Pratt & Whitney engineer I have had the pleasure of working with many of the people responsible for the J-58 engine. The O&R (overhaul and repair) of these engines was handled by Pratt & Whitney. As a follow up to the crash investigation the engine(s) were returned to Pratt & Whitney's Government Engine facility in West Palm Beach , FL. My office was just outside the secure area where the J-58 engines were overhauled. We knew of the crash of course but where the engines ended up was a matter of speculation until I asked one of our technicians about the latest engine they had received. He replied, "Well, I can't say...but I can say that it's the first J-58 that I've found a crab in." One of my last duties at Pratt & Whitney back in 2000 was to design an engine display stand for the mighty J-58 engine. Several museums had the engines and wanted to put them on display. It was a great environment for a young engineer just out of school to find himself immersed in. Here's another bit of J-58 trivia: the early engines had their external plumbing gold plated! I've heard several explanations for it but I can't say definitively what the reason was. Regardless, the measure was discontinued pretty early on in the program. We had a non-flyable mockup engine over in the corner of the O&R facility that had external plumbing that still showed traces of the plating however.

Kim McCreight, Pratt and Whitney Engineer


Editors Note: Kim is referring to 61-17974 (SR-71A) Nicknamed "Ichi-Ban", this aircraft was lost on 21 April 1989 over the South China Sea and is the last loss of any Blackbird. The full story is here: ./Luzon.html

srpatch.gifFriday, July 15, 2005 at 23:06 Mr. Arthur W. "Art" Moss Writes: I joined the U-2 & SR programs in 1980, in the Quality Assurance -Reliability group. I was doing the Monthly reliability reports. This also involved answering all of customer Quality Deficiency Reports. In effect I was the lone Quality Analyst/Engineer securing corrective action from the skunk works factory and the various suppliers. All of my QDR responses went back with Engineering Management signature. I was doing this on both Programs until I retired from Lockheed in 1990.  I was able to make one memorable trip to Beale to coordinate with the QA folks at Beale and the Det 6.  The airplane Retirement Party at Palmdale thrown by the Det. 6 folks, also was a very special and memorable occasion. It was a chance for all of the hard working Det. & Burbank folks to get a last, up close and personal look at the airplane. The party was done shortly before the Record flight to the Smithsonian.
Also the last low level fly-by by 972 at Burbank was amazing, especially since Kelly Johnson was present, (out of the Hospital for the occasion). Most of the ADP-Burbank crew was lined up along the Taxi-way fence. 972 two low passes and seemed so close to the crowd, that when the AB was lit (about where we were standing), we could feel the heat from the exhaust. The sound of the AB, also was tremendous. My family did not have a clue what I was doing until the special family day for the delivery of final F-117, and when I retired from LAC.

Mr. Arthur W. "Art" Moss, QA Engineer-Retired 


srpatch.gifWednesday, July 13, 2005 at 14:29 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes: I promise I'm not trying to clog your fantastic site, but looking at it has kicked off the replay button in my head and names and faces have been popping up of old ECM guys and gals I'd like to hear from.

Anyone know how to get in touch with Pete Peterson, Bill Whittle, Lex Davis, John McNeil, Curtis Johnson, Dale Johnson, Harry Broskie, Dave Troutman, Bill Stiles, Rich Sweo, Rick Mallot, Esther "The Pearl" McKinney, Gary Jackson, Steve Tesch, Mike McGowan, Bob Turner, Mike Berry, "Ho-Ho" Horton or Dave Bird, Mike name just a few of the ECM jammers I had the privilege of serving with. I believe Old Sam Patton from Soddy (Daisy) Tennessee was a former ECM guy.

OK, one quick memory of life in the ECM shop. One day, Bob Turner and I were trying to redo some wiring in one of the U2 noses in the shop and he needed to cut open a bundle. Being a Tennessean, I had my Case XX Sodbuster Jr. in my pocket and gave it to him. Bob was about 5'4" and high strung when he wasn't drinking. Bob slipped the blade under the tie wrap, and right as I said "Bob be careful that's a razor sharp knife" the tie wrap parted and the Sodbuster's blade sliced about one-half inch off of Bob's finger tip. The tip flipped slowly through the air and landed on the floor, blood spurted and Bob's eye saucered. "Here," he said. "Take your damn knife" and handed it to me. Then he walked out in front of one of our tech-reps and passed out cold on the linoleum. Bob drove a huge '77 Ford T-Bird and a green blue Kawasaki 400 that he liked to ride while standing on the seat. He was unlucky. Got into horses at the Beale Stables and broke both his arms one time. Truly this website has released the floodgates of my mind and I realize what a special place Beale, the 9th SRW were and what a special brotherhood to which I belong, those lucky few who got to work on the SR-71 and U2s!

Sgt. Dan Goodwin


srpatch.gifWednesday, July 13, 2005 at 10:17 MSgt Robert Bragg Writes: 


I was with the 456 OMS, KC135Q from Feb '68 through Oct '69 Crew Chief on #58-117 many trip to OL-8.  Would like to hear from some of the old gang known as "Logan's Crates".


MSgt Robert Bragg


srpatch.gifMonday, July 11, 2005 at 23:25 SSgt Steve Kirkman Writes: Hi to all in the SR-71 Alma-Mater. My time with the Blackbird began in April 1984, when I was assigned to the 9th AMS at Beale in the Avionic nav workshop. I was there until November 1986. I'd like to get in touch with CHAD MOBECK. We were buddies through tech training and our time at Beale, but as often happens we've lost touch. If anyone can pass on to Chad that I've been trying to get in touch that would be great. And if my name rings a bell with any of the other guys from the workshop it would be good to hear from you all as well

Best regards
Steve Kirkman


srpatch.gifMonday, July 11, 2005 at 14:48 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes: 

If the Animal House question was aimed at me, I never stayed at a two-story building while TDY at Kadena. The girls were in two-story barracks quite a ways from where we were. The AMS guys stayed at the single story barracks (two guys to a room) near the lobby that had the Koi in a pond out front. There was also a little hollow behind our barracks that was being farmed by Japanese Nationals. 

Savory and unsavory memories from Kadena '78-'81: Mongolian BBQ; Charlie's Tacos (never even came close to T/Sgt. Ray Clark's record); bargaining for fun with the worn-out mama sans in Whisper Alley (Pssst! GI!), then running away when we got them down to 50 cents; threading my way through all the passed-out, sun burnt Jarheads and their vomit on the hill behind the Class 6 store every payday; picking on Dan De Moreen an artillery jarhead who somehow wound up in our barracks for about a month (had a vocabulary of about 50 roughly English words, but a good friend); making up a story about how a guy in my shop broke his ribs in the barracks (the truth: too many OTC valiums from downtown; Black Russians and disco fever on top of the chest of drawers); the Filipino bands doing songs from Saturday Night Fever at the NCO Club; listening to permanent station WAFs tell each other at the chow hall how they banked their paychecks every month because Japanese businessmen took them out to dinner every night and bought them presents; wondering where the hell I could get a Habu stencil and do some serious vandalism; the right-hand drive cars covered with un-buffed wax; watching jarhead jump jets take off; telling jarheads about our underground hangars, nuclear weapons and wetbars; finding out a guy from the camera shop (I think) got caught bringing in a pound of weed on a KC and then spent a year of hard time in the Japanese prison plus a dishonorable (does a lot to keep you merely drinking your young butt off). Whoa, another long post.

C'mon ECM folks, drop me a line!

Sgt. Dan Goodwin


srpatch.gifThursday, July 7, 2005 at 14:08 MSgt Eric C. Sabadin Writes: 

I began my military career as an Administrative Apprentice (702) in the Physiological Support Division (PSD) and donned many of the Space Suits for the technicians to hone their skills of integrating pilots with aircraft. I worked under Colonel Jacks and his Secretary, Lorna Duck, in the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Headquarters. I was very lucky to be at stationed at Beale at the tail-end of the eighties to experience the awesome power/beauty of the SR-71.


MSgt Eric C. Sabadin


srpatch.gifTuesday, July 05, 2005 at 9:25 Russell Harvey, Tech Rep. Writes: :

"The Animal House Story"

A question for you. Since you were in the program about the same time as I was, I wonder how much you remember about the "Animal House", Barracks 108 in Kadena, Okinawa. That would make a story all in itself!

Do you remember the horse our guys got up onto the second floor, but couldn't get to go down the stairs, or the huge mounds of beer cans that "someone" used to build outside the door of the first sergeant, or the two a.m. "bowling" of bowling balls stolen from the lanes next door, into trash cans at the end of the hallways? Or the nightly screaming of "Habu" then slamming of the room doors.

Even greater accomplishments such as stealing the welded iron globe of the world from Kadena Wing Headquarters, and rolling it all the way up the hill and over the chain link fence into the Base Skating Rink? And I still haven't found out how in the world "somebody" built that huge "rocket" of 55-gallon drums on top of Barracks 108. 

And I don't know about you, but how in the world did our troops pull off all these stunts and yet showed up
to work the next morning, and did a damn fine job of keeping the "Habu" flying?  I guess making everything "permanent party" sort of toned all these shenanigans down, probably taking all the fun out of everything.

And who could ever forget the wonderful? smell of mary jane throughout the barracks. I watched one of my troops impale himself on the sharp corner of the RSO's canopy, not even noticing that he was bleeding all over the place. Can't even begin to tell you how many hours I spent with the OSI over that little incident! 

And the Technical Representative who mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth, only much later to be discovered that he was smuggling some drugs back to the U.S. in cameras.

And not to forget the wonderful "Over" phone conversations courtesy of Senator Goldwater and his powerful HAM radio. And best of all those wonderful "Care" packages coming over weekly on the tanker!

Russell Harvey, Technical Representative-Cameras


srpatch.gifTuesday, July 5, 2005 at 12:13 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes: I am a writer so this is long! I was thrilled to get my orders to work on SR-71 & U-2 during my last weeks of training at Keesler's Hewes Hall for Electronic Warfare Systems Tech. One guy actually tried to give me $500 to swap orders with him and work on BUFFs at Minot AFB. Five hundred bucks was more than a month's pay in early '78, but No Way! After spending a month back home at the recruiter's request lining up more volunteers, I arrived at Beale in early April '78. I spent many wild and wonderful times there, usually working 2nd shift. Yeah, it was dry heat, but I'm sure Hell might feel like the inside of a U-2s nose section on those afternoons when the mercury was hitting 105 on the flightline. And sometimes I'm sure my hair still smells of JP7 from the steady drip-drip 976 wrinkled black belly and those of all her ass-hauling sisters. Can't ever forget those leisurely naps on top of the EMR screen room while Sgt. Barney Schwartz looked for me, or those glorious FOD walks down the runway and painting our equipment wagons again and again. BTW, I'm pretty sure ex-Blackbird crewchiefs write most of the dialog for Deadwood on HBO; I've never heard such foul language!I did two or three TDYs at both Kadena and RAF Mildenhall, and that was a blast _ Shane Willey was the ultimate shop chief in England and he knows why. I fondly recall the Squadron Beer Busts every Friday night at 9th AMS; and was glad it wasn't MY boys who dropped a Side Looking Radar through the nose bay of a Blackbird that one Friday night after a few too many. Let's not forget the parties with the "cool" tech reps in Grass Valley or skinny dipping all day in the Yuba River canyon. I decided to not re-enlist in order to go to Middle Tennessee State University on the GI Bill _ and because I DID NOT want to do a year in Korea! I got out in June '81 and headed to Tennessee. I'd love to get in contact with my old buddy/nemesis then TSgt Bill Donathan who is probably still on the flightline, SRA Dan Bohrer of Virginia, Sgt. Ken Hamlin of SoCal, Sgt. Rich Sweo of Wisconsin and SRA Elizabeth Houghton of Massachusetts from my shop. Not to mention roommate Jim Trago of SLR and Jim Walker and anyone else whose name I can't remember right now at _ gasp _ age 45. If y'all can run it, let everybody know I've got two boys and a girl, still married to my wife since '88, have been a college (Sigma Chi) fraternity president, newspaper reporter and editor, just finished 13 years (mostly as a SMG-toting Narc Detective) with the sheriff's office, taught college and wrote for gunmags on the side and just began another chapter as a gun company executive with Barrett Rifle Manufacturing (.50-caliber sniper rifles _ the SR-71 of the rifle world). Yes boys and girls, Dan "Crash" Goodwin went Ryukan and still hasn't come back. It was my distinct honor to work with those ECM Crows and the golden space-suited Habus who drove the Snake at the edge of space spying on the Evil Empire and our buddies behind the Bamboo Curtain who are still a threat. God Bless and let me join the Blackbird Association! Never forget: SAC, Peace is our Profession (War is Just A Hobby!)

Sgt. Dan Goodwin


srpatch.gifThursday, June 30, 2005 at 11:37 Col (Ret) Lew Stewart Writes: While I was stationed at Kadena (1973-1976), working in the Supply Squadron, I used to play golf every weekend and enjoyed watching the Habu's doing their touch-and go's on Sunday mornings. What a machine, and what a beautiful sight!! 

While I was stationed at Kadena, there was an "urban legend" that the remains of a crashed Habu were buried on the side of a hill not too far from the Kadena golf course. There is a little maintenance building on the site with a chain-link fence around it. I wasn't sure whether or not to believe it, but I have always wondered whether or not the story is true. Does anyone happen to know?

Col (Ret) Lew Stewart


srpatch.gifWednesday, June 29, 2005 at 15:07 Harold B. Summers Writes: During my tenure at Transco Products Inc. a past contractor for Lockheed Aircraft, I was the project engineer for the flush type L band antennas utilized by the SR-71 Blackbird. The design and delivery of the antennas covered a two year period with most of the design spent on the testing and selection of materials required to withstand the high temperature environments. Because of the classified nature of the program, I was practically a one man team overseeing every phase of the design, assembly, processing and RF testing of the antennas until they were picked up at the back door. I have always felt I was a team member.

 Harold B. Summers


srpatch.gifWednesday, June 29, 2005 at 09:37 Sgt. Raymond Zacher Writes: I originally posted in November, 2001. I was an Illustrator in the 9WHS in the mission planning area in the vault on the third floor in the old S.A.G.E. building. I was stationed at Beale my whole four years from November 1969 to August 1973. Two TDY's to Okinawa, Sept. through Dec. 1970 and Dec. 1971 through Feb. 1972. I won't repeat everything I said, but I am listing everyone I used to know and work with one last time, as no one has posted except SSgt Bill Duffy and MSgt Charles Aldous before he retired.

Here goes: SSgt. Art (Lump) Lombardi, Sgt. Glenn Sweet, SSgt. Bill Miller, A1C Mark Kramer, SSgt. Jerry Miller, A1C Rob Graves, A1C Dave Cheney, SSgt. Pete Swanson, A1C Greg Lund, Sgt. Greg Skillern, A1C Steve Christiansen, Sgt. Duane Herrmann, Sgt. Bob Braun, Sgt. Joe Bane, A1C McKelvey, Sgt. Beaven, SSgt. Hardesty, SSgt. Dave Heslop, SSgt. Dave Burk, Sgt. Lee Fong, Sgt. Ernie Kraus, Sgt. George Pinson, TSgt. Jay Brazell, A1C Gary ("Kankovitch") Kanoski, Sgt. Huber, MSgt. John Harmon, Sgt. Vic Roth, TSgt. Jessie Suggs, SSgt. Short, MSgt. Tom Porthouse, TSgt. Dom Creazzo, Sgt. Tom Amos, A1C Jim Hyde, Sgt. Jim Long, TSgt. "Charlie" Charlton, Sgt. "Bo" Bofinger, SSgt. "Worm" Williams, SSgt. Dave Horn and Sgt. Rich Belton.

As for the officers: LtCol. John Hewitt, LtCol Joe Hilliard (deceased), LtCol. Ward, LtCol. Wilt, LtCol. Duane Ball, Major Larry Gindlesperger, LtCol. (Cash) McCall, LtCol. Gilliland, and LtCol. Steve Harrop.

For those of us who worked in the "vault", ours was a unique service experience in the flight planning area. We took care of our own and avoided most of the Air Force "chicken" that occurred on the outside. Also, there was much fraternization between the officers and men and necessarly so. We had it very good and we knew it!

I have been extremely fortunate to have served (although a very immature young man) along side top-quality personnel at the pinnacle of the USAF. Although I did not fully appreciate it at the time, Beale AFB and the SR-71 was unique and as a result I cherish those years today as the finest time of my young life (even basic training!) and am the better man for it. I remember those experiences like they were yesterday. Even though my life's focus now is on a totally different path, I still draw on my experiences from those years almost daily and continue to learn from them and to share them with others.

Sgt. Raymond Zacher


srpatch.gifWednesday, June 29, 2005 at 05:03 Machinist John W. Nugent III Writes: Although I was not in the military I feel as though the SR-71 was a friend of mine. From 1985 until it's retirement I was a machinist at Pratt-Whitney in W.P.B. Florida, the only place in the world for overhaul and repair for the J-58 engines. I machined quite a few parts that was repaired or replaced during overhaul. The burner ring inside the engine was the part I most often machined. This part was not repaired but replaced. Assembly was right across the hall and if I walked by while the door was open I could see the mechanics putting them back together. Once I was lucky enough to be down at the test area when they were running the J-58. Several times the pilots and support crew toured our shop to check us out and say Hi!

Machinist John W. Nugent III 



srpatch.gifThursday, June 23, 2005 at 19:42 A1C Rober Richardson I arrived at Beale air force base in January 1971. I was assigned to the security police squadron there. I never even heard of the SR-71. When I first saw it it reminded of the twilight zone. I really became a fan of that plane. When I told my dad about it he was stunned. 

I found myself guarding 12 of them....a lot. 

Thank you,

A1C Rober Richardson


srpatch.gifMonday, June 20, 2005 at 10:01 MSgt (Ret) Leland (Lee) James Writes:

 Jan 1974-Apr 1977, 5th wiper on all of the flight line SR-71s. Worked mostly swings and mids. Was on the crew that launched the record breaking missions in 1976. TDY to Det 1 a couple of times. The people at that time left me a lasting impression at an early and set the stage for a successful Air Force career. People that helped me form the right attitude, MSgt Lane, MSgt Jay Halsteader, and MSgt Flowers.

MSgt (Ret) Leland (Lee) James


Email: Not Submitted

srpatch.gifTuesday, June 14, 2005 at 10:57 MSgt Gary R. Ledford Writes: 

Worked in the Mission Recorder Shop (MRS) from '87-'90. Yeah, we were the guys you all were always asking, "Where's my strip charts!?" And that heavy orange recorder...yep, that was ours. Ah yes, those days of transducers, phase, hydro fluid, start carts, chili cook-offs out behind AMS, and so much more are gone now...and strangely enough, missed.

MSgt Gary R. Ledford



srpatch.gifSunday, June 12, 2005 at 17:01 Sgt. Gregory D Walendzik Writes: I was assigned to Beale A.F.B. in 1983 and the the SR-71 along with the U-2 was our primary mission! Even though I wss in the 9th SPS my mission was to protect that base and those pilots and planes with my life! The U.S.A.F gave me enough weapons to see to that!! I was very proud to be a part of that 
mission and regarded HABU pilots as the best in the Strategic Air Command!! Sincerely, Gregory D. Walendzik Sgt,Honorably Discharged.

P.S. I even made sure when I moved back to my home state of Michigan, I was in the direct flight path of then Selfridge AFB, Now re-designated as Selfridge ANG Base! I love the roar of the mostly F-16 Fighting Falcons!! I keep up on U.S.A.F. History and also see the Thunderbirds whenever they are out here for a show! The U.S.A.F was my pride and joy and I wish I would
have made a career out of it!

Sgt. Gregory D Walendzik


srpatch.gifTuesday, June 7, 2005 at 00:24 Wm. Sisson Writes: I fly Radio Control airplane and am in the process of scratch building a 1/12 scale twin turbine powered SR-71. If anyone would like to see the progress, I will be more then happy to share photos with them. My question is this. On the wing of the plane there is a " DIP " in the leading edge, and for the life of me, I can not find information on what that " DIP " was put in the wing for? I can only imagine that it has to do with air flow over the wing at high mach speeds and or for stability? That is my wild guess.
If anyone could let me know what that dip was designed to do I would appreciate it very much. Also, how much dip is there from the top of the wing? We have the SR-71 trainer here in Michigan to where I could go measure the dip to calculate how much I need to put in my wing, but I was hoping someone could let me know the reason it was put in the wing to begin with. 
Also, I would like to say, that it is a pleasure to just be able to write to someone that has had something to do with the plane. I think this is one of the most fascinating aircraft there ever has been. Kelly Johnson & the Skunk Works people did a great job in creating one of the best aircraft ever. I envy all & anyone that has ever had the chance to just take a ride in a SR-71. That had to be the ride of a life time. I'm still looking to see one fly someday out of NASA, but then again, I may only ever have video memories. I wish I could say I knew someone that flew or was an RSO, but I can't, but what I can say is, I am very happy to know we had TOP PILOTS flying one of the most prestigious jets to ever. THANK YOU to all of the pilots & RSO's that did a job well done. 
Thanks again and hope to hear from someone on my question.

Wm. Sisson



srpatch.gifSunday, June 5, 2005 at 23:13 SSgt Terry Twigg Writes: 


I would like to reconnect with old friends!
Johnny Gratton, James Tucker, Bev, James Cheeley


SSgt Terry Twigg




srpatch.gifSunday, June 5, 2005 at 10:30 CMSgt Norman J Broussard Writes: 

Pneudraulic Shop Chief and Aerospace Systems Branch Chief.


CMSgt Norman J Broussard





srpatch.gifJune 4, 2005 at 08:22 SMSgt Bill Kuzma Writes: 

Looking for David Lawrence.


SMSgt Bill Kuzma






srpatch.gifFriday, June 3, 2005 at 14:35 Dottie Sakers-Roche Writes:

Here is my email address for those interested in contacting me. I worked at the Precision Photo Processing Lab. We processed all aspects of camera systems from the SR-71 and U-2 aircraft.


Dottie Sakers-Roche





Friday, June 03, 2003, Richard Graham, Col (Ret) writes: 

I just received an email from a close friend of Pat Halloran's, Les Tugaw, informing me that Pat is being operated on right now with open heart surgery.

Les said he was taking his daily walks over the past few days and experienced mild chest pains. He went to the doctors and they discovered blockage that required him to be operated on ASAP. He is having a double bypass.

I have no more information as far as hospital, room, phone, etc., but will let you know as soon as more comes in.

General Pat Halloran's home address is: 3791 Blue Merion Court, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.

Richard Graham


Dick Roussell adds this information today: There are only 2 hospitals in Colorado Springs and Pat is in "Memorial Hospital" 
PHONE NUMBER IS: 719 365-5000

Col. Cary Malott told me that they will not say anything to anyone at the hospital other than to the immediate family. At least someone can send a card or whatever. Hopefully this will help.

Dick Roussell

Saturday June 04, 2005 Richard Graham Updates Pat Halloran's condition:

To All,

Putting together several emails here is what was passed along to me.

Walter Halloran, Pat's brother passed the following:
Budd Butcher called to say that he spoke with the surgeon who said Pat went through the procedure very well. Budd will call them again in the morning to see how the night went. Pat is at the Memorial hospital and Pat's room # is 4532 B and his phone is 719/365-5382. This is at his bedside and of course he isn't ready to talk yet. I spoke with Pat this morning just prior to going into the OR and, as usual, he was upbeat reminding me that I had the same procedure done a few years ago and still have a clean FAA ticket.
The following came from Larry Boggess:

Pat is at Memorial Hospital, 1400 East Boulder Street, Colo Spgs. Last night he was in room 4564, but the patient room locator phone number is 719-365-5229. I called yesterday about noon and his surgery was just starting. I called again in the evening and spoke to someone at the nurse's station - she said the surgery went well and he was doing well but gave no other information. They wouldn't let anyone visit him except family, but might today - if so, we'll go see him. Gray & Suzie Sowers are in town, and Gray had spoken to Pat on Thursday, and Pat said the surgery would be a double bypass. 

Richard Graham

Sunday, June 05, 2005 : Larry Boggess Writes: Update on Pat Halloran from Larry Boggess:

We just returned home from visiting Pat at the hospital. He is in the Coronary Care Unit, and you must check in with the CCU nurse's station to see him. A nurse took us to his bed, but almost didn't let us stay because he was sleeping and they don't want him awakened. Luckily, he opened his eyes and waved his hand to us across the 4-bed room, so we got to talk to him for 5-10 minutes. He looks quite good, but is pretty beat. He has his arms clasped across a cushion on his chest, and said the pressure makes it feel better. He said breathing is difficult and his lungs hurt more than the incision. He spoke quite softly but is clear headed. He expects to be better able to talk and less tired in a day or two. He will be in the hospital for about a week and then will be recovering at home for the next 5-6 weeks, and doing very little. His friend Les (who notified Rich Graham originally) is staying with him for a 6-week stint while in town to flight test a replica of a 1930s airplane. Pat hadn't seen his brother Walter yet, and wasn't sure whether he'd arrived yet (from Rochester, MN).

Larry Boggess

Monday, June 06, 2005, Larry Boggess Writes: Pat Halloran update:

I visited with Pat this afternoon. He was sitting up in a chair and talking to his brother Walter when I got there. You would not know that he had just had surgery by the way he talks; he does move around a little slower than normal. There is a possibility that he may get to go home tomorrow or the next day. He is looking good. He will have to stay at home for about six weeks, and he feels bad about not making it to the reunion. He had lunch while I was there and just as I left went for a walk, to be followed by a nap. He is now in room 4530, bed B.

Monday, June 06, 2005: Leland Haynes, Webmaster of this site adds: I talked with Pat this evening at 18:30 Hrs. and he sounds real good. He is upbeat about the results of his surgery and knows that he will have to take it easy during the recovery period. He is in good spirits and looking forward to going home. He was also looking forward to the 2005 Reunion but of course will not be able to attend. He said that General John Storrie will be the speaker, giving the remembrance portion of the banquet for General Douglas Nelson. I reminded him that Diane and I as well as  Blackbird Community is wishing him a speedy recovery in the days and weeks ahead.

Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds

srpatch.gifFriday, May 27, 2005 at 02:20 TSgt Joe Weller Writes: 

I was a photo-interpreter (later called an imagery interpreter) and worked with the SR while TDY to Det 1 at Kadena AB (1976) and for almost four years (1982-86) at Det 4, 9SRW, RAF Mildenhall. We were the folks who looked at the radar and optical reconnaissance photos taken by the Blackbird. (Also worked with the SR's imagery at 548 RTG, HI and at 544 IES, SAC HQ) What a great plane and great intel platform. Never minded the long hours sitting at a light table checking out what the bad guys were doing, 12-16 hours per mission. The after mission keggers weren't bad either!

TSgt Joe Weller


srpatch.gifThursday, May 26, 2005 at 10:43 MSgt Enrico Calabrese Writes: I was in the Sheet Metal Shop from 71 to 73. 

I recently noticed Robert (Max) Hughes comments and tried to email him, but it didn't go through. So Max, if you see this shoot me an email, it would be great to hear from you. 



MSgt Enrico Calabrese


srpatch.gifThursday, May 12, 2005 at 13:51 MSgt (Ret) Ed Burkhalter Writes: 

I worked the SR-71 and, to a lesser amount, the U-2 at Beale AFB from 1978 to 1982 (as an Advanced or Astro-Inertial Navigation System tech) and 1986 until it's retirement. I did TDYs to Det 1 and 3 (where I met my wife of 10 years) and 4 as the AMS shop chief. I was the last SR-71 Guidance and Control troop at Beale. I was the guy who "turned out the lights" of my shop. I worked with Jim Trago ( Hi Jim!) and knew Jennifer Moxley (both posted here). I spent a total of nine of my 22 years working the 'SR' and I have to say it was some of the best years of my career.

MSgt (Ret) Ed Burkhalter


srpatch.gif5/12/2005 1:26 PM, Sgt Duncan Cunningham Writes: 

I was assigned to 9th FMS electric shop from 1971 to 1973. I did three TDY's to Kadena AB, 1971, 1972, 1973. Did one recovery to Kunson Korea and was sent to Andrews AFB for static display during the 25th anniversary of the Air Force. Left Beale AFB in July of '73 to do a tour at Utapao AB Thailand. 

I have fond memories of working on the SR-71's. Even got to see a double launch in Okinawa in 1972.

Sgt Duncan Cunningham


srpatch.gif5/12/2005 12:06 PM George Kamburoff Writes: While an avionics tech at EAFB, I stood on the top of the large Maintenance & Modification hangar to watch the taxi tests of our last XB-70, (the first having been lost in June of 1966). While waiting, a Blackbird, (an SR, instead of YF, I believe) was doing touch-and-go, (from West to East, or right to left from the hangar). However, on one pass, the bird didn't rotate, but kept going, . . off the runway, off the overrun. Just as it hit the desert, I saw the canopy jettison, and could see the pilot in his silver-white pressure suit pushing his way out of the cockpit. The bird was still sliding across the lakebed when he threw himself out, scrambling to clear the right wing. As the wing cleared him, the bird exploded, throwing the pilot down face-first. Our old H-21 rescue chopper was already in the air, probably for the XB-70 and picked him up immediately. For the next several months, I peeked in the door of the small hangar (to the immediate West of the M&M hangar), and checked as they rebuilt it. It flew again just before I left for overseas (I left in early March 1967). I don't know what happened to the pilot.

George Kamburoff


srpatch.gifMonday, May 9, 2005 at 19:01 Frank Aguirre Writes: 

I was a member of the 9th FMS Fuel System shop for the SR-71 from 1981 to 1986. It was the first base I was stationed to and to work on the blackbird was the best. I was there when by accident the landing gear was set and the aircraft landed on a mule. Have so many memories of the blackbird. Hope I can be a member of the Association. I also went to Det 1 on TDY. The Habu is still number one in my book. The display one at Lackland Air Force base was one I actually worked on. Have lots of pictures of the BLACKBIRD.

Frank Aguirre


srpatch.gif4/29/2005 10:07 PM, Eldon Case Writes: 

Enjoy your website immensely For myself - I worked for Lockheed about 20 years. Kelly would bring a movie projector & screen down to the production shop, when I was working on 2nd shift, & show us pictures of the SR-71 doing touch & goes. He really new how to motivate people!
Last I worked for Lockheed, was 1990, when the P7A was cancelled. That was rough, to say the least.

Eldon Case


srpatch.gifFriday 4/29/2005 9:49 PM A1C Pat Barber Writes: 

Thank you for the webpage. I was assigned to Det 4 in Mildenhall from 84-86. It was my first assignment and it ruined me, each assignment after could not compare. I'd enjoy hearing from anyone that was there; Mike Birch, Thom Molusis, Jeff Jolly....anyone else. The experience stands out in my life experience, not because of the phenomenal aircraft, but because of the phenomenal people I worked with. It is apparent that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Pat Barber



Thursday, April 28, 2005 at 23:45 L/COL George Albert Johnson Writes: I was the HQ SAC DORQ Requirements Officer on the SR71 Program from 1965 t0 1969. I was responsible for insuring the SR71 met the operational requirements established along with all the members of the SR71 SAC HQ group which I chaired & included members from training, recon center, maintenance, intelligence & plans. I attended the 1st SR71 crew ground class at Lockheed with all the SAC pilots who participated in CAT II testing. I represented SAC @ the meetings held @ Lockheed & WRI-PAT SPO office. I was @ Beale for the arrival of the 1st SR71 & participated in the surveys of Okinawa & Mildenhall OL's. I was born & grew up in Ishpeming, MI where Kelly Johnson also spent his early years. Call if you have any questions about the early SR71 program. 

George Albert Johnson 


srpatch.gifTuesday, April 26, 2005 at 19:50 Thomas J. Brown Writes: I was stationed at Beale from 1964 to 1966 and was sitting on the runway in an O11-B Crash Truck when the first SR-71 flew into Beale and it was one of the most beautiful sights that I have ever seen and I was transfixed. I don't know who the pilot was or anything like that because I was just an Airman third and a handline man on Crash Rescue trucks. I remember having classes on how to standby while refueling the SR-71 and well remember standing on the wing with a handline in case of fire. I was a 19 year old kid and having the time of my life. I would love to hear from the old Crash Rescue gang from that period. I seem to remember a McConomy?, Richard Morisette (who used to talk about the Chicago mafia all the time), Sgt. Chauff, Sgt. Landis and Jimmy Watkins (another Louisiana boy). I am 60 now so I guess some of them have gone on but, if not, drop a line.

Thomas Brown



Friday, April 22, 2005 at 08:22 SSgt. Brett Cabell Writes: I was happy to work in the 9th OMS on the SR-71 Flightline at Beale AFB. from 1980 to 1987. Donald Campbell was the Branch Chief at the time and he was a great guy to work for. I still proudly wear my "Habu" baseball cap made in Okinawa and now have a tattoo of the SR-71. I was on the crew that went to Bodo Norway on a recovery mission and went TDY to England three times. But I would have to say that my favorite memory stems from a weekend duty at Beale. I was out at the end of the runway awaiting the return of one of our SR's that had been launched out of England that morning. I noticed that there were several officers out there that Sunday morning and knew that was unusual. I was a young Airman and didn't know their names but I knew one of them was a Full Bird Col. I over heard him make a comment about showmanship.
Out over the horizon I spotted the landing light approaching. When it came over us he was nearly low enough to count the rivets and he was really moving. He didn't follow the runway but went across the flightline flying by the tower. I don't know who the pilot was but he did give us a show that morning and I'll never forget it.

SSgt. Brett Cabell


srpatch.gifWednesday, April 20, 2005 at 09:07 SSgt. Michael C. Irwin Writes: I served in the Physiological Support Division (PSD) from 1970-73 at Beale AFB. I worked extensively with the pilots and would like to be considered for membership in the SR-71 Association . If it is at all possible, I would be extremely grateful to you in assisting me in locating Col. George Bush. I realize that he may have passed on at this point in time, but there is always the hope of speaking with him again. Many thanks.
Col. Bush was an SR-71 pilot. 

SSgt. Michael C. Irwin


Email: Address not included in email to this site.

srpatch.gifSunday, April 17, 2005 at 16:08 A1C Michael J. Glidewell Writes: 

I was with the 9th FMS as a Hydraulic mechanic from 5/76 to 11/77. Went to Okinawa mainly on TDY. Do you know where any hats can be gotten with squadron and the Habu on it?



A1C Michael J. Glidewell 


srpatch.gif4/13/2005 7:02 PM Colonel Richard Graham (Ret.) Writes and forwards this Tom Pugh Update message:

To All Habus and Friends,

A good friend of Tom Pugh (Jack) sent me the following update on how he is progressing along with a picture.

Rich Graham

Dear All,
    Deanna had a dentist appointment so I went over to spend the morning with Tom. We went out and both ate a huge breakfast. Tom took some sort of a drivers test about a week ago and they told Deanna and Tom he can drive with someone in the car with him. Tom would like to start out locally, so I will go over in the next couple of weeks and we will start out on his local roads until he feels comfortable to go in town. On the way back from town, Tom had to remind me to get in the left hand turn lane for a turn. He is ready and more alert than I. Tom is ready for more guests. I mentioned Bliss was planning on my next visit and Tom indicated he would like that and wants to see Bill. We should plan a loose schedule with anyone and all who would like to have a ferry ride and visit.
Wes Schierman had been to The 560th Dinning in/ reunion at Randolph AFB and Tom Griffin asked him to tell Tom hello. I did but could not remember Griffin's relationship with Tom. Tom wrote out "Civ" and J-58, of course, Griffin (now a Civilian) had been one of the "engine" guys when Tom was Wing CO at Beale. Tom is obviously thinking and attempting sentences but except for a few words unable to get them out. You can sense the frustration. I reminded Tom what Scott Baumann had said. Tom nods his head with that wry smile. Tom's patience and grace with his "temporary" handicap is an example for me.  Since it was Buck and Tom that gave birth to the Oshkosh trip plan,  Buck reminded me and suggested we chat with Tom about it. I did and Tom has indicated he is not interested in this year but definitely wants to  plan the trip for 2006. Buck, you were right on, so that will be the plan and something for Tom to shoot for. We will delay a year. Elissa didn't want to see us without Tom anyway. More on that under separate cover.  I had recorded "Deadliest catch" from Discovery Channel last night. Tom enjoyed watching that. It is about the Crab fishing out of Dutch Harbor (Lauri and Sherrie's back yard) the next two in this series are on Apr 19th and 26th. I suggest ya'll watch it, pretty exciting stuff. In fact Deanna could not watch it all, too scary. The four legged Col ate most of an apple fritter and still loves sweets. As I was leaving Cathy came by to take him for a vet visit. About all for now,
Regards, Jack 

Tom and Deanna Pugh

srpatch.gifSunday, April 10, 2005 at 12:56 Civilian Herbert W. Matthews Jr. Writes: I was very pleased to recently buy a 36" x 24" original oil painting on canvas at Columbus Flea Market, near McGuire AFB, NJ. It shows a Lockheed SR-71 BLACKBIRD (tail number 17957 with gold/yellow lightning bolt thru red 1 underneath) performing an in-flight refueling with a KC-135Q (tail # present but not distinguishable). It's signed by the artist STIGALL, A in name as Delta, and dated 87. The seller actually knew nothing about the artist or incredibly even the aircraft. In fact, he said to me, "Nice fighter plane, eh." In my opinion, his lack of knowledge enabled me to capture an unusual bargain. Although my only contact with Lockheed was as a Senior Training Specialist on AEGIS, Shield of the Fleet, any information from SR-71 Alma-Mater members about the BLACKBIRD portrayed or the artist would be sincerely appreciated. I can email a digital attachment to any who are interested. 
Thanks in advance, Herb

Civilian Herbert W. Matthews Jr.


srpatch.gifTuesday, April 5, 2005 at 13:00 SSgt Clayton A. Jenkins Jr. Writes: 

I worked in the engine shop from Mid 1968 to early 1970. I was wondering if you ever hear from anyone stationed there around the same time I was. I believe the Branch Chief was a Chief Gaudett. I had a room mate by the name of Barry McFarland, and another one named Mungia.

SSgt Clayton A. Jenkins Jr.



srpatch.gifSaturday, April 2, 2005 at 16:25 Mr. Mitchell, John Writes: 

Was with Det 6 at Norton AFB from August 1981 through the closing of the Senior Crown program. It was the age of DAFICS, non parallel electrical system, ASARS etc etc. Was a wonderful job with wonderful people!

Mr. Mitchell, John




srpatch.gifMarch 31, 2005 at 17:27:08 SSgt Jim Trago Writes: 

This is Jim Trago checking in to see if any old friends out there remember me! I've gotten in contact with several old friends from Beale within the last year. It really feels good to revisit the past. I was in the ANS shop from 1978-1983.To this day, working with this group and this aircraft are highlights in my life. I made some great friends and had a lot of fun at Beale. The coordinates N39'08.6 w121'25.9 still echo in my mind! It's good too hear from you!
Jim Trago



srpatch.gifSunday, March 27, 2005 at 13:16 Major Andrew Shumate Writes: 

KC-135 Aircraft Commander
Little Rock AFB


Major Andrew Shumate



srpatch.gifSaturday, March 19, 2005 at 00:54 SMSgt (Ret) Aniceto "Al" Martinez Writes:

The SR-71 was one of the most interesting aircraft that I was ever associated with. I was an ELINT guy but some of the people I worked with included Andy Abadia, Frank Adams, and Sgt Duquette who were computer operators. I also worked with Ted Siuta, Greg Chocianowski, Poplewski, Frank Hudleston, Butch Bowers, Marty Snedeker, Frank Carter, Joyce Harris, Glenn Lebsock, Mike Alexander, Dennis Paulson, and Don Davis who were all Elinters. What a great bunch of guys to work with during my early years with the 9RTS. Thanks again for this super site. Best to all, 

SMSgt "Al" Martinez

srpatch.gifWednesday, March 16, 2005 at 20:37 Herbert W. Johnson Writes: 

I was on security duty assigned to the 456 CDS when the first blackbird arrived at Beale. Security was very tight. I can remember when it came in with a T-38 escort and landed. I  was in the K9 division of the squadron and my dog King (A-618)and I patrolled the area around the hangar where the bird was kept.

Herbert W. Johnson



srpatch.gifWednesday, March 16, 2005 at 08:45 TSgt Jennifer Moxley Writes: 

Assigned to Beale AFB in August 1979 through December 1984. One of the first women to work on the aircraft as an Electronic Warfare Systems Specialist. Spouse, Greg Moxley also assigned to same shop. Always felt pride for having belonged to this family. Looking for any other avionics repair staff that might have served at the same time.

TSgt Jennifer Moxley



srpatch.gifSunday, March 13, 2005 at 12:43 

CMSgt Francis J Frank Writes: 

Communications/Navigation Branch

CMSgt Francis J Frank




srpatch.gifFriday, March 11, 2005 03:26AM Charles Korte Writes: This is the second entry I have made to your wonderful site. I think the last entry was in 2003. I was stationed at Beale from May 1966 through May 1969. I spent my entire Air Force enlistment at Beale except for basic training, technical school and TDY’s. After my last entry, Bob Rooks made contact with me. We exchanged emails, photos, and relived some good Beale and TDY memories. It is good to know that he is doing so well. I have maintained contact with one of my best friends, Richard Belton. Richard arrived at Beale in 1967. We have been friends since then. Richard is a Renaissance Man. I am still trying to locate David F. Hollingsworth. We were stationed together in Tech School, at Beale and TDY’s, but I lost contact with him after I left the AF. David was one of the most honorable people I have ever known I always wanted to say hello to him again. I would also like to contact William (Bill) Powell. I worked for him when he was a SSgt. in Supply in the ’66, ’67, ’68 era. I heard he later made Chief. If that is true, it was well-deserved. He was an outstanding man and a great leader. If anyone knows how to contact either one of these men, please give them my email address –, or contact me with their information. There are so many great people I worked with and for. If there is anyone who I served with who remembers me, please feel free to contact me. I would like to hear from you. I enjoyed reading what so many good men and women have to say about their experiences with the SR-71 and the people involved with it. I still think about my old friend, Chief Master Sergeant Glenn Boyd. He died a few years ago, or as the last sentence of the unofficial Air Force poem “High Flight” says, he “Put out his hand, and touched the face of God.” His widow still lives near the base. All of us had a unique experience with this great organization. How could anyone have been a member of this organization and not have been changed for the rest of their life? Each of you made a difference! Thank you for your service to our country and God Bless the wonderful men and women who are serving now.

Charles Korte


srpatch.gif3/10/2005 7:53 PM TD Barnes, Webmaster of "The Roadrunners" updates us on memorial services for M/Gen Douglas Nelson:

General Nelson was interned at Arlington National Cemetery on March 4th. A memorial will be held at 1500 hours, March 18th at the school in Page, Arizona. We hope those of you who can, will attend. Doug was an aviation icon, leader, and friend whose loss will be felt by all. 



srpatch.gifWednesday, March 2, 2005 at 11:46 Brett Darrough Writes: 

Crewed KC-135Q's from 1979 through 1981 at Kadena AB with the 376 OMS, our flight supported the "Habu" and our aircraft completed many refueling missions. I am trying to locate any crew chiefs who may have been assigned there during that time..especially John Lynch, Mike Carpenter, and "Skip" Thompson.

Brett Darrough



srpatch.gifWednesday, March 2, 2005 at 00:13 Lt Col George Albert Johnson Writes: 

M/G Doug Nelson was very close friend @ MacDill AFB, Fla in the 1st B47 Wing & @ Hq SAC where I was the requirements DORQ officer for the SR71 from 1965 to 1969 and he was @ Beale. We attended many meetings @ Lockheed together evaluating test problems with the SR71. Doug was a key figure in the overall success of the SR71 program. Fortunately I saw Doug & Claudine at the last SR71 @ Reno & the SAC Reunion @ Castle AFB. He was highly respected & an inspiring leader.

Lt Col George Albert Johnson


srpatch.gifMarch 1, 2005 at 06:24 Sgt Ken Norsworthy Writes: 

I had a great 18 months at Kadena working in the photo processing lab for the Habu. I would really like to locate some of my buddies that were there from July 1999-Dec 2000. In particular I would like to hear from Bart Laske, Ed Tarbell, Jerry Rookard, Mike Neudigate, Patty Koller, Russ Feeley, Dave Anderson, or David Vaughn. If anybody knows the whereabouts of any of them, please email me. Thanks,

Sgt Ken Norsworthy



srpatch.gifFriday, February 25, 2005 at 20:28 Charles Herschbach Jr. Writes: 

The SR-71 is the most fantastic of all airplanes, and I am the proud grandson of one of the painters of that wonderful plane. Harold Robertson passed away Tuesday February 22, 2005 in Corpus Christi, TX. His daughter Susan Herschbach ( my mother ) was at his side. Harold was so proud of his work with the Blackbird that he obtained the California license plate LOCKHEED. We will miss him dearly, but we have his memories and memorabilia of his pride in working on the SR-71 Blackbird, Built for Peace, Flew alone...Unarmed, our greatest treasure of all time.

Charles Herschbach Jr. 


srpatch.gifWednesday, February 23, 2005 at 11:26 MSgt (Ret) Alan Fisher Writes:

Stationed at Beale from 1979 - 1981 was an AGE guy, what fun times and TDY's. 

Could not ask to work with a better group of professionals. 


MSgt (Ret) Alan Fisher



srpatch.gifFriday, February 18, 2005 at 00:05 (E-4) Sgt Wylie Hudson Writes: Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan 1974-1977. KAB was made up of two major areas, Air Force area one, Navy area two. I was escorting a flatbed truck laden with explosives from area one to area two. I was not familiar with the route, which ran along the runway to a lengthy perimeter road. I got confused at one point and veered left when I should've veered right. The first thing I noticed in front of me were miles of tire tracks and to my horror I then realized where I was-----on the runway instead of along the side of it, with the flatbed right behind me. Then I heard a deafening roar and looking left, I was staring death right in the face, which came in the form of an SR-71 taking off and heading literally straight at us. It lifted off just as it reached me but seemed to pass over in slow motion, the noise itself seemed to make time stand still. Watching it pass over close enough to touch, I could see what looked like hundreds of rivets, then could only see the intense brightness of the fire shooting out the engines. Blackbird had somehow missed. I went on to finish the escort, then drove back to the station where my Sgt, Sgt Ramirez, walked up to me and said, "Okay, what happened". I was never called upon to do anymore escorts. 

Sgt Wylie Hudson


srpatch.gifWednesday, February 16, 2005 at 17:43 Retired USAF Kevin Olley Writes: 

Great website. I was stationed at Andrews AFB 1992-96 in the 99th ALS at the 89th AW. I was on missions with a LTC Ed Yielding as PIC on C-20 aircraft. He was a SR-71 Command pilot prior to flying the C-20. I would like to contact him if anyone knows of a contact address or e-mail. 

Kevin Olley



srpatch.gifTuesday, February 15, 2005 at 21:32 Alan Anderson - civilian Writes: I worked as a civilian computer technician with Control Data Corp. at Beale AFB from 1973 to 1978 and then to 1979 in Mildenhall England. I worked TDY in Okinawa for 1 month in 1974 or 75 and also deployed to Seymour Johnson AFB for about 5 months. 

I worked with the CDC 3200 computers at Beale. One was installed on the second floor of the 'Sage Building' and the other was set up on the first floor in a mobile configuration. Not very mobile but it was deployed twice, once to Seymour Johnson AFB and again to Mildenhall England. 

I am still impressed with the awesome SR71 and am glad I was able to work in that program.

Alan Anderson


srpatch.gifMonday, February 14, 2005 at 19:09 Sgt Johnson Writes: 


BEALE AFB 1965-1967


Sgt Johnson




srpatch.gifSunday, February 13, 2005 at 09:31 Sgt Cary Bergman Writes: 

I was stationed with Det 4 at RAF Mildenhall from 86 - 90. I would like to hear from anybody who was there at that time. It was a very sad day when they decided to retire the SR-71 Blackbird.


Sgt Cary Bergman



srpatch.gifSaturday, February 12, 2005, Steve Hill Writes: After visiting your SR-71 site, I recollected a time when, as a young Air Force airman stationed at Blaine AFS, Blaine, Washington, I tracked a very fast moving ‘unknown’ track from Utah, west over the Pacific Ocean, and south into California. The BUIC computer calculated the speed at 2,400 mph! At first, I figured this to be erroneous data. After a few minutes I took a call from upper ‘brass‘ at McChord AFB, instructing me to “drop the track out immediately”. I did drop the track number from the system, but we kept the symbology in our local computer. By now we figured out this was either a -71, or, maybe, an A-12 variant. Whatever, repeated height-finder requests returned altitude data of 90,000+, which was at the very top of that radars spec.! The date of this incident was 1966. the BUIC computer calculated ground speed as a function of the velocity vector data. This would be updated every computer ‘cycle’. The velocity vector for the unknown aircraft track was huge, and the data ‘trail’ was the longest of any I had seen. Naturally, being young and curious airmen, our small staff (I.D., Surveillance, Weapons) was memorized with the unknown aircraft’s performance. As I remember it, the BUIC computer software was computing speeds of between 2150 and 2350 mph. It should be mentioned, these computed speeds were usually quite accurate. The height of the track was somewhat more difficult to obtain with a degree of accuracy, because, most of the remote height finder radars were either an/fps-6, or, an/fps-6A models. The -6A was spec’ed for 75K feet, but, would “paint” returns up to 100K feet, albeit, with unknown accuracy. We were told to drop out this track before a reliable, computer generated, height request was obtained. Thereafter, all our height requests had to be made by manually selecting the closest radar site to the track, then manually inputting a request for height. Upon the receipt of this request, the selected radar would slew to the approximate azimuth and expected height. A radar operator would then manually fine-control the antenna until the a proper radar return was obtained, whereupon the operator would use a cursor to ‘punch-in’ and complete the height request. In the course of a only a few minutes, this track had traveled throughout the path of multiple radars, allowing us to develop an average for height. I distinctly remember, with great excitement, ALL requests for height came back at, or very close to, 92K feet! I have been trying to remember the track ID number we gave it after we dropped off the SAGE environment. I’m just guessing it may have been something like L001, or LF001. An interesting aspect of this story is the fact that the object we tracked over flew 4 states - Utah, Idaho, Oregon; a turn over the Pacific coast; then down into California - all supersonic!  In those tense, Cold War days, you could get away with something like that, I guess.

I hope my commentary sheds a bit more substance to the incident. There were about 5 or 6 of us in the Operations Room at this time. Perhaps one of the other people will recognize this and contribute his take on it as well.

Sincerely, Steve Hill


Major Ronnie C. Rice

Saturday, February 12, 2005 11:56 AM, Kathy Rice Writes: Sadly, I have to report that Ron passed away yesterday, Feb. 11th, from complications of cancer. 
As you know, he has been suffering from this devastating illness for several months. If any of our Habu friends are in the area, the service information is as follows:

February 16th funeral mass at 1:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
6390 Hoadly Road
Manassas, VA

February 24th burial at Arlington National Cemetery at 1:00 p.m.

Kathy Rice


Editors Note: Major Ronnie C. Rice qualified as an SR-71 Reconnaissance Operator; Qualification number:  #231 on 15 April 1970. He subsequently flew many classified sorties with Colonel Tom Pugh as his pilot. The Blackbird Community extends their condolences to Kathy; the family and friends of Ron Rice.

Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds

Major General Douglas T. Nelson

February 09, 2005 TD Barnes Writes: 


Gentlemen, in case you haven't received the word, M/Gen Doug Nelson passed away yesterday at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. According to his widow, Claudine, he will be interned in Arlington sometime this summer. I don't know much more than this at the present time.

TD Barnes, Webmaster, Roadrunners Internationale

Richard Graham forwards this information: Some bad news to report from Gen Pat Halloran. Gen. Doug Nelson died Monday afternoon in a Phoenix hospital with congestive heart failure. As a starter, their address is 331 N. Navajo, P.O. Box 1417, Page, AZ 86040 and the phone is (928) 645 3053. He said that Claudine Nelson is a little disorganized at this time and has not set any plans in motion for a memorial service. Says that Doug will eventually be buried in Arlington, but not until next summer.


February 13, 2005 Raymond Haupt Writes:  I spoke to Claudine Nelson this afternoon, the first time I've been able to get an answer on the phone. Doug Sr.'s interment at Arlington Cemetery is scheduled for March 4th at 11:00 AM. I suppose it's safe to give that to everyone, he may have some Roadrunner friends who would want to attend from that area. As an aside she said she would probably hold the local memorial until after that date. She is apparently not initiating calls to anyone other than Luke AFB Casualty Assistance, Halloran, and me.

For those planning to attend the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, the following information is provided from the Arlington Cemetery guideline web site: Family and friends of the deceased should arrive at the cemetery in their private vehicles or in vehicles provided by the funeral home. These vehicles will be needed to go to the gravesite or the Columbarium for the services. The cemetery does not provide transportation. For interment or inurnment of cremated remains, you should arrive with the urn, a cremation certificate (or death certificate), and a burial flag if military honors are being provided to the veteran. For casketed remains, the funeral home will provide the hearse, the casketed remains (flag draped, if a veteran), and a transfer permit (if crossing state lines). 



srpatch.gifWednesday, February 9, 2005 at 13:43 SMSgt Bob Olson Writes: This is a great loss to our cadre of professionals ! I have been lurking here for years, reading the posts from many I worked with in the past. But the news of the passing of Gen Nelson brings me out of hiding ! I worked under him at Beale, but never knew him personally. After leaving the Habu's in 1983 and being assigned to the 509th at Pease AFB, NH, I was honored to not only meet Gen Nelson, but to work with him on a special project for several months. In my 23 years in the Air Force, I NEVER met a officer of his caliber! I was awed by Gen Nelson and his accomplishments. I thought to myself, Wow, that's what they meant by the phrase "Officer and Gentleman!" I am sure many here had the pleasure to know him better, and for longer than I, but the time I spent with him was very special. I'm sure if all here knew his history... things like him taking the first U-2 to England; him flying the first SR-71 to Beale and probably many, many more facts... all here would be as awed as I with this fine officer and person! I am very sad at his passing and offer his wife, Claudine, my heartfelt thoughts and prayers. As much of a loss this is for us, it must be devastating for his family !!

SMSgt Bob Olson


srpatch.gifWednesday, February 9, 2005 at 14:26 SSgt David M. Fry Writes: 

Served '67 to '75 Little Rock; Beale; Utapao; DaNang; Saigon etc. Still have some old photos of in flight refueling on SR's. Four Years OMS Four years FMS A/R shop. I Kinda wished I'd never gotten out, but then again I wouldn't be doing what I am now. Miss all my old friends and would love to see them again. Crewed some great aircraft and served with some of the best people I've ever met.
Flying Pump Jockey's for ever.

SSgt David M. Fry


srpatch.gifMonday, February 7, 2005 at 14:51 Sgt. Thomas C. Kasprzak Writes: I was stationed at Beale from May 1968 until Sept. of 1970. I spent three TDY's at OL-8; two of which were the normal 120-day stretch (12 hours on and 12 hours off and worked the whole 120 day stretch) and the other was about 60 days. I worked in the SSO (Special Security Office) both at Beale and at Kadena. We were the Communications guys that set all the door combinations at the Command Post and sent much of the info recorded to all those three-letter designated intelligence agencies about the missions. We were a close bunch of really good guys that I've stayed friends with over the years. I remember some pretty good stories about the pilots: the time "Big Kid" and I tried on the suits...and Big Kid got a helmet stuck on his head that we couldn't get off. Pulled and pulled and was getting close to mission time and knew all hell would break loose if we got caught. Well, as luck would have it, one last huge pull that barely left his head on his shoulders, pulled the helmet off and just minutes away from everyone arriving. We were working a mid shift. The men I worked with were the best bunch of guys-unique in their own ways-but dead serious when it came to our jobs. Our security clearances were higher than most of the guys associated with the plane and we handled some very sensitive stuff. Was there through the big typhoon that tore off some huge hangar doors that cut a couple cars in half in the comm center parking lot. I think it was the one that lasted about 3 days - just hung outside the island and hardly moved. Big Kid and I volunteered to stay in the comm center and were glad we did. The barracks toilets had all backed up and there was no power. Not to mention the smell. All of us remember just how hot that place can be in the summer. The comm center with all its crypto gear was nicely air conditioned with its own power. Got lots more memories. Anyone remember the time a B-52 failed to take off and crash landed loaded with bombs just off the runway at OL-8? The whole crew was lost. A security guard and I were standing just outside the door to the flightline and were knocked off our feet when it went off. Glad to hear that there are a bunch of guys that have reminisced about the plane, have worked on it, with the pilots and just everyone involved with such a unique aircraft. I still marvel at the plane and the people who served so professionally - we had some fun too. Best regards to all.
PS My son was born at the base hospital in Beale. We are both police officers and I'm retiring next month-but he isn't! We lived both in Marysville and Yuba City during our stay. 

Sgt. Thomas C. Kasprzak


srpatch.gifWednesday, February 2, 2005 at 13:35 SSgt Thomas M. Fenwick Writes: 

I was a fuel system specialist for 6 years with the Habu, the number of people I would like to meet is very long. I was one of the first PCS people to DET 1 after 3 years of TDY to the H barracks. B.I.O.T. Christmas took on a new meaning!!!!!!!! We worked very hard and Captain Carpenter did us proud over the USS DRUM. Black Cat beware we were there also and did a lot. Too many 6 hour missions and debriefs. I really miss all those great people and would give my right hand to be standing at the hammer head waiting to see #978 take off again with the South China Sea in the background; to feel the vibes; to see the chase vehicle moving; to smell the exhaust! God gave us a small taste of heaven and it was the chance to be a part of that which we did. My God, not even being President could be as thrilling as having been with the SR-71. Thank you for this moment, Once a HABU always a HABU!!!!!!!!!

Habu for ever!!!!!!!!!Muff Man go one.

SSgt Thomas M. Fenwick


srpatch.gifTuesday, February 1, 2005 at 15:01 SSgt Craig Freeland Writes: 

A proud member of the 9th Recon, 1968-70 after rotating back to the world from the 3rd at Bein Hoa. What a "tech shock" that was. From F-100D's to the Blackbird. Worked in the instrument shop. Part of our duty was spike calibration. In any event I am very interested in the SR71 Association. Also I am in the hunt for unit shoulder insignias and ball caps. Looking forward to hearing from someone...craigf.


SSgt Craig Freeland


srpatch.gifJanuary 29, 2005 at 20:01 Rex Brunelli Writes: 

Greetings; I was in the SR community from 81-89 as an ELINT analyst. Served in the 9th at Beale, Mildenhall, to include TDY's to Kadena. This was the best job I had in the USAF! From an ELINT aspect this platform can't be matched even today (I'm still in the business). Anyone who did the ELINT thing feel free to contact. To the Webmaster --- Thank you! for providing a forum for the greatest reconnaissance aerospace vehicle known. 

Rex Brunelli 



srpatch.gifWednesday, January 26, 2005 at 13:28 T/Sgt Bill D. Choate Writes: 

I never had anything to do with the SR-71. From '65 thru '69, I was in Area 51 with the YF-12A, including two TDY's of 90 days each with three of the blackbirds on Okinawa for operation "Black Shield". Up until '69, it was not an Air Force operation. It became Air Force in 1969. I think it still may be classified as to who was running the operation prior to the AF, but I was threatened with everything except castration if I ever disclosed anything about the blackbird and Area 51 when I retired from the AF 1 Jan 69.

T/Sgt Bill D. Choate


Editors Note: The CIA "Black Shield" operation with the YF12A on Okinawa, Japan can be researched at this URL: ./kadena.html

Additionally, the official website for the CIA Roadrunners and operation "Oxcart" can be researched at this URL:

srpatch.gifTuesday, January 25, 2005 at 05:57 TSgt Terry M. Wickham Writes: 

Always remember the Habu days!!!!!! And with fond memories too! Oh , just to be back with a Proud bunch of Airmen and Officers, that truly meant the Epitome of PRIDE,,,,,,,,, Yessireeeeeeeeee,,,,,,, Proud to call myself , an Ex- Habu in reality, but in mind always One!!!!!!!! Habu!!!!!!! 

TSgt  Terry M. Wickham



srpatch.gifFriday, January 21, 2005 at 14:02, SMSgt Robert Burch Writes: 

I was assigned to the 9th A&E in June, 1970. Was with this unit when I retired in Dec, 1972. My first assignment was as the SLR Branch Supt, and then I was moved to the Optical Sensor Branch as the Supt. I was on a 90 day TDY to Kadena from Jan thru Mar, 1972.
I will be glad to hear from anyone who might remember me.

SMSgt Robert Burch



srpatch.gifFriday, January 21, 2005 at 11:30, Mike Relja Writes: 

In response to Chris Anderson, Feb. 24, 2004, not sure if they ever found the missing pitot tube and nose panels that were taken. But NASA did ship a new complete nose to the museum immediately after the request was submitted, so 61-7967 is complete.


Mike Relja


srpatch.gifTuesday, January 4, 2005 at 11:23 MSGT Robert Barden Writes: 


9 RTS Oct 70 to Feb 74

Ran Mobile Processing Center 73 -74

MSGT Robert Barden



srpatch.gifJanuary 04, 2005: Leland Haynes, Webmaster post: Tom Pugh update: I talked to Tom's wife, Deanna this morning. Tom's condition has steadily improved over the past several weeks. He has overcome all symptoms of paralysis. I think most of us are aware that Tom was paralyzed on the right side but that is now gone. Deanna takes Tom to Rehab three times a week and steady progress is being made. His memory and comprehension is great. At this time, Tom still cannot communicate or speak very much but understands most everything. Additionally, he cannot write. Jack Kastien, a very good friend of the Pugh family comes over to the house once a week and spends the entire day with Tom. This gives Deanna some time off from the schedules. Positive progress is being made in Tom's health and the Blackbird Community is looking forward to a full recovery for Tom. Deanna also said that, if possible, they will attend the Blackbird Reunion in June of 2005.

Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds


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.


"Skunk" is the Copyright property of Lockheed Martin Corporation

Page #38 of the SR-71 Blackbirds