The attached photo came from my fathers collection. 

He worked for Marquardt for 46 years and was a senior project manager 

The picture is of the "XRJ-59-MI" 36 inch Ramjet weighing 850 pounds. 100,000 horse power at 3,000 miles per hour. 

The photo is dated "1955".

Brad Braendlein


Editor's Note: A test cell photo of the engine (or one of it's variants) used in the Lockheed "D-21" Drone.

srpatch.gifWednesday, December 13, 2006 at 19:10 (Captain when I left the Air Force) Johnny Mapp Writes: 


Would love to hear from Phil Loignon. Hope you are doing well and still flying high in life.



Johnny Mapp, Capt.


srpatch.gifSunday, December 10, 2006 at 05:26 Sra Wendell Watkins Writes: 

1987-1989 teardown, buildup of j-58 engine. 

The best shop ever. 

MSgt. McKern, SSgt. Crawford, Sgt. Lemus, SSgt. Lowrimore, SSgt. Stephens, Mr. Antoiniwitz (?sp) SrA. Carnes.


Sra Wendell Watkins


srpatch.gifThursday, December 7, 2006 at 21:55 Sra Larry Sipe Writes:

 I was a 455X Photo Shop 1988-1991 Msgt Frank Fotta was my Shop NCOIC. 

Hutchinson was assistant.

I have a lot of fond memories of being a member of something historic as the SR-71.

Sra Larry Sipe 



srpatch.gifWednesday, December 6, 2006 at 12:47 MSgt Donald Ellis Writes: Arrived at Beale AFB in February 1976 as a Staff Sergeant. My specialty was as an Aircraft Egress Systems Technician. By the end of April I was on my way to Det. 1. I ended up making 6 trips there in a 3 year period. I left Beale in July 1979 with a line number for Tech. I returned to Beale in October 1982 as a Technical Sergeant and retired from there in June 1987 as a Master Sergeant. Before I arrived at Beale the first time my military career was stagnant and boring. Being around those beautiful birds gave new life to my career. Being a part of that proud organization made me proud to be one of the elite few. I felt privileged to be part of the Blackbird Family. I once again felt proud to be a member of the United States Air Force and to proudly serve my country.

MSgt Donald Ellis



srpatch.gifMonday, December 4, 2006 at 21:21 SGT Al Reeves Writes: 

I served in the 9 AMS between 1971 -1974 including several TDYs to Kadena and one to Thailand to recover film and camera systems from a bird that landed there due to problems. I was at Kadena when one of the birds blew its chute during the early stages of a typhoon that created high crosswinds on the runway. The bird had to abort the landing and land without a chute, go over the barriers, lose it's landing gear and slide to a stop on its belly in the mud. I crawled under the aircraft to remove the camera systems. A lot of great friendships were made during that time.

SGT Al Reeves 



srpatch.gifMonday, December 4, 2006 at 19:35 Sgt. Jerry Long Writes: 

Served with the 9th FMS from March 1975 to May 1976, with about 3 months of that time spent in Okinawa, Japan. I worked in the Hydraulic Shop, mostly on the swing shift. I'm not able to remember to many names of folks I worked with except TSgt Ronald Smith, A1C Eugene Sanchez, SSgt Michael Wilkerson and shop chief TSgt Donald Sewer, then there were people I remember only first names that work in the hydraulic shop, Roger and Gerry. I liked working with the SR-71 aircraft and the people that I worked with, although I was only there for a short while, I'll never forget the experience of working and watching this work of art fly.

 Sgt. Jerry Long


srpatch.gifSunday, December 3, 2006 at 09:46 Captain Gene H. Carswell Writes: Former Capt. USAF... Squadron Instructor Pilot 9th Air refueling Sq. 1971-1976. I Refueled Buck Adams outside the London Gate for the speed run to LA. It was Mach Tuck for the 135Q (355 indicated) and an extemporaneous finger tip formation. Buck and Bill Machorek will remember the 18 sec boom to boom time to get both offloads. We canx the first day and made it the second day. The only problem was the hot hydraulics and the broken windows in LA. All highlighted on the Sonny and Cher show. We had a great time in Farnborough at the Intl. Air show. Especially watching the Russians photograph the SR. All the way around the perimeter. It was also interesting to see the wives show up. I was unable to attend the Reno presentation of the key chains (from Kelly Johnson) for those of us that participated? Wonder if any of those are still available? I am currently a retired 767 airline captain in Western NC. I fly a King Air, Aztec,182 and 172 occasionally. I loved M/Gen then Col. Pat Halloran's story one night at the HABU HUT in Kadena about his experience in the U-2 when he did the unthinkable in the old g-suit. He said the brown ring was all the way around his neck by the time the mission was over. He said the Physiological guys bailed out when they popped his helmet off. I drug one SR from a high fast run with an engine out from south of Bankok across South Vietnam all the way back to Kadena.

We launched out of the PI one time with an emergency refuel request and didn't have enough time to get to the R Point. So we went direct and violated god knows how many airspaces. We gave our position reports as if we flew the filed route. Had we flown the filed route the SR would have been in the drink. If anyone would have calculated the mach number for the position reports that we gave, they would have come up with a 135 Q that could go supersonic. Thank God it was VFR.

I was also the Capt that was redeploying from Kadena when the female airmen controllers decided to streak the A/C. This STORRIE is almost as good as the speed run Story.


Capt. Gene H. Carswell


srpatch.gifSaturday, December 2, 2006 at 01:26 Sgt. Gregory (Scott) Irick Writes: 

I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall between the years of 1985-1988. 

I worked in POL and remember while as a refueler how badly those black birds would leak. 

Also worked in the fuels lab and was constantly testing the JP-7 for quality. 

Was rewarded for all the call that I had to take by watching the truly majestic sight of watching a SR-71 take off  (launch)!

Sgt. Gregory (Scott) Irick


srpatch.gifWednesday, November 29, 2006 at 16:41 SrA Robert Lui Writes: 

Finding my photo with the SR-71 while stationed at Beale AFB [9th SPS] brought back a flood of great memories. It was my best stationed assignment during the best decade, the '80's, under the best President. The Blackbird will forever be the ultimate aircraft that never ceased to impress and awe not just me but the rest of the SP's while pulling flight line duty.

SrA Robert Lui



srpatch.gifTuesday, November 28, 2006 at 11:25 E-4 John McEntire Writes: 


1979-1983 AR Shop 9th FMS


E-4 John McEntire



srpatch.gifMonday, November 13, 2006 at 16:40 A1C Emil Fray Writes: 

From 1963-1967 I was assigned to Beale AFB after completing photo school at Lowry AFB in Colorado. The base photo lab was my job site and I do believe I took the official photograph of Maj. Gen Nelson when he came to Beale as 456th SAW commander. Part of my duties was shooting 16mm film of take offs and landings of the SR71...Seems so long ago, yet the old plane still retains that certain futuristic look. If anyone remembers me and would like to make contact, please feel free to do so...

Emil Fray



srpatch.gifSunday, November 12, 2006 at 02:21 SSGT Steve Wood Writes: Stationed at Beale, AFB 1979-1981 Kadena, AFB Okinawa 1981-1984 Crew Chief "We did it with more Thrust" All the friends and memories the BBQ'S, party's, the beaches, diving, golf, driving on the wrong side of the road. Oh and watching our #1 show you guessed it: General Hospital or just GH. Oh and I think you can remember my 50gal trash can fruit punch made of fresh cut fruit, lime and orange ice cream, 151 Rum Everclear vodka. But I remember the Habu pit and all the good times. Typhoon party's, Stereo Wars. I won a couple of those. It was the best years of my life. I had a chance to meet some real good people and they became my extended family! I hate that it came to a end. But it will be a part of me forever. Like the early mourning launches; a warm breeze coming off the ocean; signing off on the last Red X and watching the specialist finish their last minute preflight test. Pushing the two Chevy 454 engine start carts into position . Making sure that "C" bay breakers are set and panels are secure. A calm relaxing down pour of fuel falling from its wings onto our heads filling our boots, the sound of squeegees across the cement pushing the fuel away to the drains. The PSD truck pulls up with our pilots that are wearing space suits, I Greet them with a salute and a hand shake climb with them up to the cockpit, secure them in close the canopy and quick thumbs up. I now have them on headset going through pre-launch checks. Its now time to start those 454 Chevy motors and bring up the probes to the J-58; the sound of the zoomy headers like 2 race cars at 7000 RPM; the J-58,s just gets over the hump and then the TEB hits.  The SR jumps and we unleashed the beast. There is something about the whine of its jet engines that lets you know you have just started the most powerful jet known to man. Faster than a 30-06 bullet and let me tell you its awesome!!  I have crewed the Thunderbirds and I am cross-trained on every jet in the military... 33 to be precise. There is nothing that compares to the feeling you get when you marshal the HABU out of hanger and to the right a sharp salute and a thumbs up.  I'll see you at the end of runway. A quick end of runway check Flight controls; run around checking its under belly;  power up engines and off she goes to the runway. Now its time to "Unleash the beast" she has clearance, engines powering up afterburners kick in. The ribbons extend out of the turkey feathers a 150 feet against the early morning sky and the thunder rolls. She's off to catch a tanker and then, well I could tell you but then I would have to kill you. I had finished my career working with the most dedicated group people that became apart of me on and off duty. All of you or most of you probably helped me back to my room on occasion and I wanted to thank you for that.  You know who you are. Drop me a line call me.  Hey!, I saw some names in this web site. Mark Gaulin, Brad Gaby and more you better drop me a line.  Miss you all.

 Steve "The Love God" Wood SSGT Det 1, 9th SRW Crewchief, Kadena, Okinawa Japan.


srpatch.gifFriday, November 10, 2006 Rob and Brenda Bendall USAF, retired Writes: 

I was at Beale 1975-76.I've lost touch with a very good friend Maj. Leland Ransom who was an A/C on the SR  .My primary duty was on the T-38s  (64-0270) but we also worked on the SR. 

If you have an address or way of contacting Lee I would much appreciate it.

Rob Bendall USAF, Ret.



srpatch.gifFriday, November 10, 2006 at 12:49 MSgt, Ret Robert (Bob) Ross Writes: 

I left Lincoln AFB in early 1964 and started out by clearing the fields where we would eventually have the AMS building. Finally went to SLR school at Goodyear, AZ in September of 64. Was stationed at Beale from early '64 to August of '69 when I went to Udorn Thailand. Tried to return but ended up in RAF Alconbury, UK. I never got back but I sure do remember my time at Beale & Kadena in '68. I would love to hear from old friends. I ran across a book on 71's at the Space Museum in Manhattan Kansas and was thumbing thru and saw my picture hunched over the SLR recorder on its maintenance frame. I remember a TSgt Brisbois and Thacker, but not too many others.

MSgt, Ret Robert (Bob) Ross


srpatch.gifNovember 2, 2006 at 17:29 MSgt (Ret.) Richard Pope Writes: My first PCS assignment was to Beale AFB, CA in May of 1968 as a Physiological Support Technician. I left Beale in April 1969 but returned in September 1976 when the U-2s moved from Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ to Beale. One of the assignment between those assignments was at Edwards AFB, CA where I worked in Physiological Support of the YF-12 and SR-71. In 1982 I left Beale and went to RAF Alconbury, 17th TRW, to support TR-1s. When my assignment was up in September of 1986 I returned to Beale for my third tour at Beale. I went TDY with both the SR71 and U-2 to various locations around the world. McCoy AFB, Kirkland AFB, NAF Fallon, Offutt AFB, Wright-Patterson AFB, Guam, Kadena, Utapao, Osan, Mildenhall, Weathersfield, Cyprus, and others.

MSgt (Ret.) Richard Pope



srpatch.gifThursday, October 26, 2006 at 20:44 SSGT Robert Buhrman Writes:

I worked on the SR-71 from 1966 to 1970 at Beale. Got a Master Tech award. 

Had a lot of good times and friends. 


Robert Buhrman



srpatch.gifTuesday, October 24, 2006 at 14:07 MSgt (Ret) Chad Mobeck Writes: I was stationed at Beale for 3 years from March 1984-July 1987. Great experience working on the SR-71 at Beale and TDY to Kadena 84-85 and again in 85-86. I also worked the U-2/TR-1 and CT's as well as the T-38's and KC-135's. I started out as a 32851, Navigation Systems Technician, which evolved into Communication and Navigation system Technician. My buddy Steve Kirkman showed me this site. Steve if you are reading this "Hey". Nice Job on the website. Keep up the good work!!


MSgt (Ret) Chad Mobeck 



srpatch.gifMonday, October 23, 2006 at 18:38 Sgt  Mike Mueller (E-4) Writes: 

My name is Mike Mueller and was stationed at Beale AFB 1984-1988 and worked as Security Police spending countless hours with the U-2's and SR-71's. I look back and what an awesome time this was..probably the most memorable in my life to be a part of the program. When 2 KC-135's ventured out we knew the SR was about to take it's run. Never knew where..but the roar near the flightline was absolutely astounding! It still makes my hair stand up! Still in contact with a few partners and would love to speak with Jim Perea who I worked alongside with during this time. If he is anywhere out there give him my information please. Thank you. Sincerely,

Mike Mueller 



srpatch.gifThursday, October 19, 2006 at 21:41 MSgt Jerry J. McFarland Writes:

 I was the clerk in the 4028th SRWS at the time we lost several of our pilots to the SR 71 program. If any of the originals are around it would certainly be good to hear from them . I have to many stories to fit here but I must say I never met a finer group of individuals anywhere that I did there. Thanks for this opportunity to express my thoughts. Now being semi retired it is very relaxing to think back about my days at Davis Monthan and even OL-20.


MSgt Jerry J. McFarland


srpatch.gifWednesday, October 11, 2006 at 09:46 Sgt Mark Gaulin Writes: I was in the SR-71 program at Det 1 Kadena from 1981-1984. It was the most memorable 3 years of my life. What an amazing aircraft and what a great bunch of people that I had the privilege to worked with. I made many friends that I have lost touch with. I would love to hear from Tim Rogan, Joe Blair, Gary Johnson, George Roberts, Terry Regis and too many others to list. If you read this and remember me please drop me a line. I will never forget my time in the SR-71 program nor the great friends that I met in that organization. Thanks to people like Leland Haynes to keep the memory of the greatest aircraft ever built alive. God Bless America!!


Sgt Mark Gaulin


srpatch.gifThursday, October 06, 2006 Doug Rogers Writes: 

My dad worked on the SR71 from 1963 to 1971. 

He passed on 10/28/06. Does anyone remember him and could you send me information about my dad and his job?





srpatch.gifWednesday, October 4, 2006 at 17:39 SMSgt Jim Zellmer Writes: I accidentally stumbled onto this website and was quite surprised at the number of people assigned to the program who had logged into the guest book and provided comments. It has been a long time since I gave any serious thought to the people I had the pleasure of working with over 35 years ago.

I recognized a few of the names mentioned in some of the guest book comments....Don Jackson, Virgil Ditch, Dick Calnan, Darwin Evelsizer, Phil Lembo, Rod Mitchell, and Paul Fincus. It sure brought back some great memories.

I was a member of the 9th SRW from February 1968 until October 1971 and worked in the Intelligence Directorate as a mission planner. I came to Beale from the 67th Reconnaissance Technical Group at Yokota AB, Japan. I had the opportunity to exploit the Black Shield mission that was flown over North Korea immediately following the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo. The whole country was imaged from one mission, something that none of we imagery analysts had ever experienced before. I saw first hand the value of the aircraft platform and its sensor systems and that experience gave me a totally different prospective on just what the Blackbird was capable of.

Some of the names that I can remember were Colonels Charles Bailey and Melvin Tiemann, who served as the INs while I was in the wing.

Lt. Col. Fischer was the division chief for Mission plans, with both Lt. Col. Cecil Braden and Lt. Col. Ed Payne coming into the position after they came off of crew duty. SSgt "Mike" Michaels and SSgt Bob Miller were the administrative support personnel for the division, with A1C Glenn Sweet as the shop illustrator.

Maj. Dick Ryan, Major Bill Pekarek, Major Jack Marek, Capt Pete Sharp, and Capt Andy LaChance were in the planning shop, as were MSgt Ron Groth and TSgt John Spinelli.

The imagery sensor planners were TSgt Bob Helmstadt, TSgt Ed Miller, SSgt Chuck Cordell, SSgt Tony Biondi, Sgt Don Amitrani, Sgt Terry Thomas, and me. Eventually, three other imagery analysts came up to the wing from the 9th RTS and they were SSgt Bruce Kearns, SSgt Lonnie Hymer, and Sgt Phil Carroll.

The electronics system planners were TSgt Larry Freeman, SSgt Shelby Sergant, SSgt Bill Radigan, and SSgt Dan Nibbelink. We also had a couple of intelligence analysts assigned to the shop toward the end of my tour and they were MSgt Tom Porterhouse and TSgt Bob Schultz.

I always considered my time with the 9th SRW as the pinnacle of my career, even though there was a lot of temporary duty assignments to the operation location at Kadena AB, Okinawa. But even with the "stress" associated with being away from family and friends, one could see that our efforts and labors were instrumental in making the Senior Crown program a success.

As the years have faded into the sunset, I encounter less and less people who were a part of the SR-71 program. Over the past eight years of so, I've found only two former alumni that worked on the program....with both being former aircraft maintenance people who currently live in Southwest Oklahoma. That translates to there being a lesser number of people who fully understood the importance of the program and the intelligence collection capabilities that the SR-71 program provided to the Department of Defense.

Again, thanks for the opportunity to revisit a past time and a reconnaissance program that I so fondly remember.

SMSgt Jim Zellmer


srpatch.gifWednesday, October 4, 2006 at 19:06  Eric Schipper Writes: 


I was a test cell mechanic at Beale AFB 6yrs:  1971 to 1977


Eric Schipper


Email: None submitted

srpatch.gifFriday, September 15, 2006 at 04:34 Sgt Robert Hall Writes: 

Heard about this sight from a good friend recently, who was also stationed at Beale from 1988-1991. 

Just popped in on a whim. 

We were in the 9th AMS photo shop.

Sgt Robert Hall 




September 11, 2006  Bill Duffy has passed away:  Ray Zacher writes: Hello, Leland; I'm the "Habu" illustrator from a few years back. I met you a couple times in OL, but being in 9th WHS, (1969 - 1973), never really knew you, or many of the guys who made the Blackbird fly. Although I did get to know a few of Bill's pals (Dave Horn ("Room"), Dave Heslop, Pete Swanson and Ed Arrioja ("Jeep", "Aerojet")! In any event, just a brief note to tell you that I received a phone call from one of Bill's sisters that Bill passed away this past Saturday evening, Sept. 9th. I know he introduced me to you as "Sgt. SAC", so I knew you two worked together on occasion. I decided to let you know privately, as I don't have all the details, but he had some very serious health issues for many years, but was always upbeat about life in general, and always optimistic about everything. I am expecting an e-mail from Chris, one of his sisters, and I will mention this web site to her, although I'm sure she knows about it, and will post notice of his death in due time. "Wild Bill" and I maintained contact through the years, but the last time I actually saw him was 1994. Ironically, he was supposed to come to Cincinnati to visit me today or tomorrow. He was on a road trip when he got sick. When I hear from his sister, I will send her a copy of this e-mail, and she may fill you in with any other details.
I thought you'd like to know...
Raymond L. Zacher
Senior Structural Designer
Creative Resource Group 
Altivity Packaging, LLC 
407 Charles St. Middletown, Ohio 45042

srpatch.gifWednesday, September 6, 2006 at 20:56 SSGT Robert DiNello Writes: 

Served from 1980-1984, mostly at Beale AFB, with TDY to Patrick AFB, Mildenhall, and Japan.

I wish I never left.



SSGT Robert DiNello


srpatch.gifSat 8/26/2006 12:04 PM Tricia Moyer Writes:

Dear Friends,
My dad, Del ("Spark") Hultman, worked at Skunk Works for many years in Burbank and Palmdale...  He passed away in 2001 (before 9/11--I'm glad he didn't see that day, but I think he would have been very proud to know how his work has helped our country again and again--I know I'm very proud!).  Growing up, my dad could never tell us what type of work he did at Lockheed--just that he was an EE...  Just a few months ago I was able to see some of the awards/commendations my dad received during his tenure at Lockheed, as I looked through some of the memorabilia his wife gave to us (his children), and it was the first time I understood more of what he was a part.  Again, I am so proud! I stumbled across Ben Rich's book about a year and a half ago, and learned so much, but at that point I had no confirmation about what my dad actually did. I'm wondering if there's anyone within your group that worked with my dad, or if there might be any pictures of him in any archives.  I'd also just like to express my thanks to those of you who worked with him in such a vital area for our nation.
Warm regards,
Tricia (Hultman) Moyer
Cumming, GA


srpatch.gifSunday, August 27, 2006 at 14:07 TSgt (Ret) Beth (Finney) McCane Writes: 

I worked in the AGE shop at Beale AFB, CA from April 1985-Sept 1991. I loved working on the ol' Buick and Chevy start carts! Of course, the other AGE was ok too. I was lucky enough to have been on some SR starts and was there in 1990 when we launched out the remaining "flyable" sleds to various locations around the country for static displays. After I got off of active duty, I worked for a year (1992-1993)at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards AFB as a civilian AGE mechanic. Got to work with the SR again. It was awesome! If you're ever at the airpark in Palmdale, CA you'll see a static display with a Chevy start cart painted black with chrome on it. That was my project to work on in 1988-89. My name & Jeff Blake's are stenciled underneath the front axle. Would love to hear from any AGE mechanics who worked at Beale from 1985-1991! I now work for the CO Army National Guard, so hearing from some "Blue" people would be nice!

TSgt (Ret) Beth (Finney) McCane


Editor's Note: Photos of the Start Cart can be seen at this URL: ./ag330_sr.htm

srpatch.gifThursday, August 24, 2006 at 19:14 MSGT Ronald E. Craft Writes: 

I was assigned to the 9th in July of 1968, attended the SR-71 school, and was assigned to the Periodic Inspection Crew. After a short time, I was moved into the Office, working for CMSGT A.J. Smith in a variety of jobs in the Technical Administration branch. CMSGT Gornik was the flight line Branch Chief, under him were lots of Chiefs and Senior Master Sergeants. Reynolds, Turner, Collier are a few of the names that come to mind after about 35 years. I do remember your name, Sgt Haynes, and I think at that time you were either a SSgt or a TSgt. The only time I saw you was when you came in to the coffee shop in the admin area.

I left Beale in October of 1971, had to do my time at Bien Hoa AFB, Vietnam. When I came back to the States, I was supposed to return to Beale, but SAC had another idea and sent me to Offutt, where I retired.

Before I left Beale, Chief Smith had retired, was teaching school in Maryville. Chief Gornik had retired, I think he went to Idaho. Chief Collier had retired, I think to Arizona. I have had no contact with any of the people I knew at Beale, don't know where any of them are these days.

MSGT Ronald E. Craft


srpatch.gifThursday, August 24, 2006 at 09:48 MSgt (Ret) Dave Hemlock Writes:

Assigned to the Det 1, 9th SRW, Kadena Okinawa, 1887-1989, MRS Shop


MSgt (Ret) Dave Hemlock




srpatch.gifMonday, August 21, 2006 at 05:34 Major Michael Provost Writes: 

On my first assignment out of SIGINT Officer training I was assigned to Hq SAC and the 544th SIW. My principle duty was writing threat assessments for recon routes for all SAC recce acft. Along with that, me and my staff worked with the SAC Strat Recon Center and the SR-71 staff pilots and RSOs to develop provocative routes for SAC Coordinated Recon Missions.


Major Michael Provost 


srpatch.gifTuesday, August 15, 2006 at 08:36 RAY WHITE Writes: 








srpatch.gifThursday, August 10, 2006 at 09:45 MSgt Chuck Walton Ret. Writes: 

What a great site, sure brings back the memories. I was excited to find Sgt Leland's link that had pictures of the door art in the T-Hanger on Kadena. I was afraid all of that fine art was lost forever. I came into the program when I returned from Thailand in 1970 and worked in the SLR shop until Det 1 was closed down. Sgt Leland's post reminded me that there was some great art work on the day room walls in barracks 108. I was wondering if anyone out there might have some old pictures of them or the great wall painting in the T-Hangers debriefing room. The years working with the Habu were the best of my career and the friends I made are life long. Chuck Karasinski, Dave Leach, Ed Martin, Fred King, Bill Brooks, Kenny Potter, Munch Bat, Bald Bat, Fish Bat, Howie, Chumlie, Snuffy Smith, Chubby Cheeks, Wag, Mongo, Maggie, Margret Copp, just to name a few and the hundreds more I have such great memories of. I miss you all and the great times. This is an email address change for me.

MSgt Chuck Walton Ret. 


srpatch.gifSunday, July 30, 2006 at 15:11 SSgt Mahlon (Lee) Klimes Writes: 

Certified comm plotter at Beale AFB, California 1973

9th SPS Ubon Thailand Oct '71- Oct '72

635 SPS U-Tapao Thailand Jan '73- Oct '74


SSgt Mahlon (Lee) Klimes 


srpatch.gifSunday, July 30, 2006 at 04:37 SSgt Alan W. Johnson Writes: 

The youngest airman to be sent from Tech-school to the 9-SRW as an Egress Technician. I also went on the first deployment to Kadena (OL-8) Senior Glow Project. I have many fond memories, and the SR-71 aircraft is still one of my favorite, Major Jim Koegler, I remember him best, as I worked on the Ejection seat that he used at Beale AFB, the Egress shop gave him e a plaque with the D-ring and one of the initiators on.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.


Alan W. Johnson


srpatch.gifThursday, July 27, 2006 Tom Duffy Writes: 

My father, Tom Duffy, worked as a engineer at Norton from 1969 until his retirement in 1987. He was one of the engineers on the Blackbird. I am interested in hearing from anyone that worked with him, and could pass any stories on.


Tom Duffy, Jr.



srpatch.gifSunday, July 23, 2006 at 15:31 SRA Suzi (Sue, Suzanne) Simmons Writes: 

OK Dan, I am not going to be left brained and NOT post something. It has been good chatting with Dan Goodwin. Other than my ex husband, he has been my only contact with a Habu in years. I was assigned to the 9th AMS ECM/EWS Shop from 1980-1983. I married someone from the DINS Shop and later divorced. I have so many fun recollections of the time at Beale both SR related and friends related. Some of the best times were the parties at SSgt Reid Cameron's place in Yuba City. The parties there were, spontaneous and planned, were the best the squadron had. I still take out my pictures from one of the Halloween costume parties he had. I remember a bunch of us sitting around trying to speak as much acronym-ese in one sentence so as to make it undecipherable by non Habus. Got to love the Military for being the master of acronyms.

My favorite SR recollections are the stupid accidents that happened (hello, checklist). The DINS antenna that got snipped off, the engine that was killed by an intake cover not being removed etc. My son said his favorite stories from anyone in the family are the SR stories and military stories he hears from me and his dad.

I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. Especially Reid Cameron, Jim Trago, Marilyn Clendinen and Stu Redden.

SRA Suzi (Sue, Suzanne) Simmons


srpatch.gifSaturday July 22, 2006 Kevin Coyne Writes: 

I just wanted to let you know that the SR-71 simulator has been loaned to the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Ft. Worth Texas. Under the direct control of the Curator, Chris Woodul, it will have minimal conservation and restoration done to it before it is put on display for visitors. The entire simulator system, both cockpits, the hydraulics, and electronics have all arrived in excellent shape and are being evaluated and prepared for display. The opening date for the display has not been set as of yet. Richard Graham is a local to the area and an often visitor to the museum.

Kevin Coyne

The Ejection Site.

Photo credit - Chris Woodul, Curator, Frontiers of Flight Museum museum URL -

Click image for a close up look

srpatch.gifFriday July 21, 2006 Mark Willis Writes:

Here is my SR-71 story.  I was not directly involved with them so you probably won't want to post it.  From 1977 to 1980 I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota as an Airman to A1C, working as a 69150 Management Analyst in the 44th SMW (SAC).  We had of course Minuteman II missiles and B-52G's, before the G to H conversion. 
One day a Blackbird put in for emergency repairs to the hydraulic system.  They flew a crew in from Beale to repair her.  On the day it was to return to service, the wing and base commanders put out the word that we had an unofficial stand-down, all non-essentials were invited to watch the exotic Blackbird take off. 
At the appointed time there were what looked like a few thousand airmen lined up along the flight line fence.  We watched them roll that big black bird out of the hangar and excitedly talked about how fast she was and what we would see her do.
We were disappointed when, as fast and exotic as she looked, she took off just as slow and sedate as a lumbering old olive drab Buff.  We were muttering to ourselves as we watched her swing in a wide arc in that big blue South Dakota sky.
Then she came back and looked like she was going to land!  We thought maybe she had more problems and needed more repairs.
The pilot brought her back to the flight line, to what looked to be about a foot above the tarmac.  Then he pulled her nose up to about sixty degrees and cracked the afterburners!  In a few seconds she had dwindled to a black dot in the sky as we watched openmouthed.
I never will forget that bird or how she put on a show for us that day.  Best stand-down we ever had!
Mark Willis


srpatch.gifFriday July 21, 2006 John fields writes:

My name is John Fields.  I flew C-141s out of Travis and I was a newly designated aircraft commander when the trip to Farnborough came down.  I remember burning time on the ramp at Travis, waiting for meals, before we took off for Beale to pick up members of the 9th SRW and their support equipment and off we went. It was an honor to meet Chuck and Buck and I was thrilled to be anywhere near the SR-71 operation, as the aircraft had fascinated me from 1964, when I first read about it as a senior in high school.  You may recall upon arrival in Farnborough, that no accommodations had been arranged for us and the American Embassy in London sent a bus out to haul us to some ritzy hotel near Heathrow.
I broke our airplane.  A hydraulic leak in our rudder pack grounded us until hardware and bodies from stateside could effect repairs.  As a result, we got to see the show a few times and, of course, we were all standing there in the mist and chill of a English country-side summer day when the SR-71 arrived.  Stunning!  I love the web site......
Thanks for the memories.
John Fields


JANE COLLINS, Wife of Colonel Ken Collins

The aviation community is deeply saddened by the loss of Jane Collins, wife of Col. Ken Collins, USAF (Ret) and former CIA A-12 pilot for Project Oxcart at Area 51 and Operation Blackshield at Kadena, Okinawa. 

Memorial Information: Ken Collins Writes:

Diane Ray, who loves Jane very much, has been so much support to me and has accomplished so much in such a short time. She has arranged the service at  this beautiful church, the Neighborhood Church in Palos Verdes Estates, California and has blocked rooms for us at the Palos Verdes Inn also in Palos Verdes Estates,CA. Both the church and the Inn are near to Diane's home (my home away from home) where we are invited after the service.  
SERVICE: 20 JULY 2006 at 1:00pm
                The Neighborhood Church
                415 Paseo del Mar
                Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
                Rev. Blair Kirkpatrick
       Note: There will be snacks and coffee after the service at the church.
Diane Ray's Home:
               2533 Via Anita
               Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
      Note: Diane has graciously invited us to her home for buffet and refreshments.
               PARKING IS LIMITED. Share rides.
Hotels:    These are about 15 miles south of the Los Angeles Airport
              Palos Verdes Inn
              1700 South Coast Highway
              Redondo Beach, CA 90277
              310-316-4211  or  800-421-9241
              Rates(Adjusted) $108.00
              Best Western (Near the other Inn)
              Redondo Beach Inn
              1850 South Coast Highway
              Redondo Beach, CA 90277
              Rates: $129.00 (?)
Flowers vs Donations:
             Jane has supported and worked with the General & Mrs Curtis E. LeMay Foundation from 1968 through 1980, until we retired from the Air Force.
This Foundation provides financial assistance to Air Force indigent widows in need help. For those who wish make a donation in the name of
                            JANE BINGHAM COLLINS
                General & Mrs Curtis E. LeMay Foundation
                                17050 Arnold Drive
                               Riverside, CA 92518
          I am sending this to all, especially our children and the close relatives and our friends.  Jane was such a loving, giving, personable lady, I can not keep up with all the calls and email. I hope that I do not forget anyone.
It's interesting. Our marriage survived all those 54 years when I was gone for weeks and months at a time, but more amazing it had survived the last ten years where we were together every day...every wonderful day with her. They were good days because of her. What a void that has been left.
Ken Collins

srpatch.gifTuesday, July 11, 2006 at 04:34 SSgt Thomas A. Stirling Writes: 

 Assigned as a in-flight refueling system repairman with the 376 FMS from 1971 to 1973. 

Worked on the KC-135A and KC-135Q. 

Had occasions to go to the HABU site to repair fuel leaks.

SSgt Thomas A. Stirling 



srpatch.gifSunday, July 2, 2006 at 18:31 MSgt Allen R. Scott Writes: 

Was in AFSPPF,6594th, 497th, 601st,460th and a few other photo recon outfits I cant remember.


MSgt Allen R. Scott




srpatch.gifSaturday, July 1, 2006 at 11:08 MSgt, USAF, Ret. Ken Lilly Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB twice, (my first assignment after Tech School) from Jun '61-Oct '64 (made a big move to Travis AFB), and Apr '67-Mar 71. I was an Air Traffic Controller during my 21 years in the Air Force. I was part of the committee for designing the Airspace utilization for the SR71 with FAA controllers from Sacramento Approach Control and Oakland Center to meet the special needs of the SR71 (an experience that was made use of at Patrick AFB, FL for the handling of airspace and traffic for the first and subsequent Space Shuttle launches). The procedures we put in place for the SR71 worked extremely well for all its handling needs, including the delays in runway closure after landing. Through many experiences with the SR71 in both normal and emergency conditions I was always awed by its capabilities. The worst, I was on duty in the Tower the day the SR71 caught the siphoning fuel on fire on departure. The amazing thing was that both crew members escaped the inferno, even though one rode the rolling inferno to its finish beyond the overrun. LY (controller initials)

MSgt, USAF, Ret. Ken Lilly


srpatch.gifThursday, June 29, 2006 at 19:57 MSgt (Ret) Dennis Hanner Writes: 

Photo Troop from 76-81 at Beale - Looking for any other photo/SLR troops from that time frame

Received word that Rudy Ruehl passed away a while back -

Time passes so quickly - But Beale was one of the best times in my life.

MSgt (Ret) Dennis Hanner




srpatch.gifThursday, June 22, 2006 at 03:59 Sgt Ross Yarnell Writes: 

I was at beale in the 456 OMS as a crew chief on KC-135Q's from 1971 to 1975. My nickname was Hoss and I am looking for some of the fellows I was stationed with. Looking for Bob Heller as he was my best friend at the time. We had many TDY's to the rock and various bases. Like to hear from any one who remembers the times we had together. We were a special group. Our nicknames were the Beal Bandits. Thank you.



Sgt Ross Yarnell 


srpatch.gifWednesday, June 14, 2006 at 10:04 Sgt Robert F. "Bob" Deurloo Writes: 

Came to Beale from Bien Hoa Viet Nam in Jan of 1967 to March of 1968. Worked in the Fuel Systems shop, mostly on the swing and Graveyard shifts. Much preferred over day shift. Greatest aircraft ever made, have met some of the past crew chiefs over the years, and we remembered each other. SSgt Bobby Jones, SSgt Hans Appelt, and TSgt Daniels are the only names I remember now. Worked a lot of SR's including the nameless ones. Had a chance to meet Bob Gilliland (first test pilot) back in '89, what a great guy. Good times, bad times, and so/so times. Hello to all who remember what we accomplished!!

Sgt Robert F. "Bob" Deurloo




srpatch.gifThursday, June 8, 2006 at 15:19 SSGT Travis Bennett Writes: 

I had the great pleasure of working in the 9th AMS Photo shop in the late 80's, and a TDY to DET 1. 

Sure do miss seeing those planes fly!


SSGT Travis Bennett



srpatch.gifFriday, June 2, 2006 at 18:51 Sgt. Dan Goodwin Writes: 

Since my last post I got bored at Barrett Firearms and went back to the SO. Still need action at 46! More to the Habu Point: Have also heard from Sgt. Dave Troutman, SSgt. Lex Davis, SRA Suzi Simmons and SRA Rick Scott.

Lex is making some cool replicas of artwork he did for the 9th AMS at Kadena and putting them on wooden plaques. He is still a jammer working on technology to help our boys on the ground in GWOT. In his spare time he's helping restore old military aircraft for museums in Southern California. I'm pretty sure he was the inspiration for the character "Hyde" on That '70s Show.

Dave has been at Boeing in Washington for more than a quarter century. 

Just heard from Suzi today and she is a new grandma living in Utah. Rick reminded me he was married to my old roommate Dale Johnson's sister. Me and Dale lived in a little old house in Linda (?)and enjoyed many evenings totally twisted listening to Dark Side of the Moon and Firesign Theatre on his reel to reel purchased at the Center of the Universe BX at Kadena while he was TDY.  IIRC, there were also several forays to the local drive-in with gallons of home-blended strawberry daiquiris with a big gang of AMS guys. Rick is the only one who's gotten up the gumption to post anything here; you're my favorite aging hippy, Rickster!

More names that recently popped back back into mind: Sgt. Ho Ho Horton, Sgt. Mike Tesch, Sgt. Rock Carbone, Sgt. Bill Malotte and Sgt. Jimmy Price. And let's not forget T/Sgt. Byron Ghee, the pipe smoking QC Wallah who made us quake with fear...Or SRA Rod Damiano, the first guy I ever knew that actually bought a Harley back then.

I strongly encourage anyone associated with the program to dredge up anecdotes and share with the rest of us.

Sadly, most of the folks we worked with were extremely left-brained which is great for electronics, cameras and spy gear but sucks hind tit when it comes to oral history.

For instance, given the spate of ghost related documentaries and television programming currently on cable and broadcast TV, does anyone want to relate any weird experiences in the AMS barracks at The Cantonment? Word has it some of the German POWs held at that site during WWII...never left.

Finally, Sgt. Ken Hamlin, where are you!!!????

Sgt. Dan Goodwin


srpatch.gifFriday, June 2, 2006 at 16:19 A1C Eddie Wagstaff Writes: 

I  missed the old bird. I loved watching her fly. I was at Beale AFB from 1975-1977. 

any old me or e-mail me. 17th communication sq, the best.


A1C Eddie Wagstaff




srpatch.gifTuesday, May 30, 2006 at 09:28 Sgt Michael Carnahan Writes: 

One of my life's greatest experiences was to work on the SR-71 and be part of such an incredible project!

Ps. Thanks to the pilot that lived in LWW for the fly-bys-they extended the bliss!


Sgt Michael Carnahan




srpatch.gifSunday, May 28, 2006 at 12:25  SSGT Scott Downs (Zoads) Writes: 

I was assigned to the SR-71 program in 1976 as a ground crew member. I made 4 tdy tours to det 1 Okinawa and 3 tours to det 4 RAF Milldenhall. I picked up the nickname Zoads along the way. In 1985 was reassigned to Det 1 for 18 months. Returned to Beale in 1987 and was assigned to AR shop for a short period then I was transferred to the tool crib during the transition to Rivet Force I believe they called it. Returned back to the SR flightline after two years in the crib, just before the phase out of the program in '89.Then most of us sled chiefs were shifted over to the TR-1/U2 side. In '90 was assigned to 17th cams at RAF Alconbury. Over the years I have worked with a lot of great people like: Jeff Thompkins, Chris Mauro, John Meckola, Jim Core, Clint La Fontain(tunes) Terry Brushette, Matt Raven, Jim Barron,Mike Burrow, Edwin Rodriguez, Bob"Gumby" Straues, Steve Koren...ETC and a great Pilot: Stormy Boudeaux..HABU's Rule

SSGT Scott Downs (Zoads)


srpatch.gifTuesday, May 23, 2006 at 19:57 Maj Garrett Clark Writes: 

Arrived at Hq SAC Mar 1964 assigned to the Recon Division under Col Elsworth Powell (DCOR at that time). Upon being Assigned to the command post, I was TDY to Beale for my briefing of the SR and toured the hangar. At that time the bird was yet to fly. 3 years later while stationed at Kadena, I was one of the Recon Ops officers with the 4252nd SRW. Got my flying time in the T-33 while at Kadena and could only just dream of flying the Habu!!.

Maj Garrett Clark 



srpatch.gifFriday, May 19, 2006 at 06:30 SSGT JOHN CHESAR Writes: 




COM: 757-764-3822  DSN- 574-3822


srpatch.gifTuesday, May 16, 2006 at 06:51 Denzel Morton Smith Writes: 

While reviewing my military records I noticed I was TDY to Kadena with the 376th OMS during the time period May-July 1972 and would like to know how this happened since I was assigned to the 306th OMS from McCoy AFB from 1969-1973.

I was a crew chief on a KC-135A but on my report it does show that I had extensive knowledge of the KC-135Q and of course I will never forget watching the refueling of a SR-71 from the boom pod of the tanker. Being young & single at the time I tried to go TDY as much as possible and my favorite place was Okinawa. 

Denzel Smith


srpatch.gifMonday, May 15, 2006 at 13:54 MSgt Christopher C. Lincecum Writes: 

I was assigned to the 9th RTS from 1985-1990 as the NCOIC, Select Print, processing and printing imagery from the SR-71 and U-2 aircraft. Just wondering if anyone from the 9th RTS is still out there.


MSgt Christopher C. Lincecum



srpatch.gifMay 13, 2006 at 18:59 SSgt Dominic Armato Writes: 

I was stationed at Beale AFB from 1975-1978 assigned to the A/R shop. Then spent time running the wheel and tire shop.I spent many hours raising and lowering the wing on that bird, along with changing many MLG tires, and removing the spike for maintenance. It was a great bird but hard to work on at times. Also spent my time at the "rock" Kadena. It's still a great bird.


SSgt Dominic Armato



srpatch.gifWednesday, May 10, 2006 at 20:59 Sgt. Brad Gaby Writes: 


Stationed @ Beale from 1980 thru 1986. TDY assignments to Osan ROK, Mildenhall,UK and Okinawa, Japan.


Sgt. Brad Gaby



srpatch.gifWednesday, May 3, 2006 at 19:51 Jeff Pawlowski Writes: 

I wasn't associated with the SR-71's. My father was stationed at Kadena AFB,Okinawa. My mother was from Okinawa, born and raised. We moved to Kadena from Homestead in 1977. So I am guessing around 1979 or 1980 I was 6 or 7. My Mother knew the squadron Commander (Det 1. The Habu ICHIBAN) and was given a tour of the hangar and got to meet some pilots and watch them suit up for a night flight. I will never forget that moment hearing that bird come to life. Watch them run their pre-flight while we sat on the side of the runway about halfway down was great......... But to see those afterburners light up and see, hear and feel that plane come blasting by was like nothing I can explain. I know this is for crew and others related to this bird but I had to share this. I wish I could remember their names. I am now 33 yrs old and still will never forget that day. 

Thank You for such an experience.

Jeff Pawlowski

srpatch.gifWednesday, May 3, 2006 at 01:40 Sgt Michael S. Lawson Writes: 

9th RTS LGU from 1983 to1987. 

I would like to see some picture of the old base and what it looks like today



Sgt Michael S. Lawson


srpatch.gifThursday, April 27, 2006 at 18:54 SSgt Jeff Tompkins Writes: 

In 1982 I was assigned to Beale right out of Tech school. I would be assigned to the 9th OMS squadron as a ground crew member on the SR-71. I spent from 1982 thru 1985 at Beale then 1985 thru 1987 at Det1 Okinawa Japan, then back to Beale until the day they retired the SR-71. Over those year I met many outstanding people in the SR-71 organization. Chief Davis, Chief Miller, MSgt Koren, MSgt Fisher, Skip Lessard, Chris Bennett, Terry Melanson, Bob Mabry, Bud Jackson, Paul Sites, Zoads, Tim Rogan, the list goes on. Finding this site brings back a lot of memories and good time I shared with all my crew chief buddies!! 

Please contact me .

SSgt Jeff Tompkins


srpatch.gifWednesday, April 26, 2006 at 12:23 David Aguilar Writes: 

Hi ...formerly SSgt AGUILAR. I worked in the Electric Shop in FMS in 1981-83. Would like to get in contact with my old buddies. I had some biker buddies at Beale AFB. 

I'll never forget the time my friend did a stunt I will never forget.

He locked the throttle and sat in the back of the bike with his legs crossed and his arms crossed and his hat over his face.

David Aguilar


srpatch.gifMonday, April 24, 2006 at 16:40 Sgt James Lowe Writes: 

I was a sentry dog handler assigned to the 824th Security Police Squadron Kadena, Okinawa, from 1966/1968 when the SR-71's arrived there. 

To watch these planes in operation was simply amazing.


Sgt James Lowe


srpatch.gifSunday, April 23, 2006 at 08:57 SSGT Julian G, Fullmore Writes: 

I was assigned to Beale from Feb 1968 untill Oct 1977. I was in the Instrument Shop working for MSGT Bruce Bryant. Too many TDYs to O.L.8 to count. I went to Griffiss N.Y. in Oct 1973 and to Goose Bay, Labrador on a recovery. Lots of good times . Your site makes them more memorable. I saw lots of names I remember and events that I will never forget. Thank you for bringing back the good old HABU days.

SSGT Julian G, Fullmore



srpatch.gifThursday, April 13, 2006 at 19:26 Sgt. Craig Hettel Writes: 

I was a 207X1 with the 6950th Electronic Security Command stationed at RAF Chicksands where we provided support for the SR-71 Blackbird until it's decommission in the early 1990's. This was a marvelous aircraft and I am proud to have spent my Air Force career with it, and involved with the missions it went on. My job was to monitor the Russian radar signals that were relayed via high speed Morse code and this aircraft really caused a stir beyond the Iron Curtain! If I am correct, she is still being used by other agencies in the government!

Sgt. Craig Hettel



srpatch.gifThursday, April 13, 2006 at 15:32 Capt. James M  Hall, MD Flight Surgeon Writes: 

I was stationed at Beale AFB 1968-1970. Had three tours to OL-8. I'm not sure the new hippa rules would allow discussion of some of the episodes we experienced at Kadena, Koza City, Iha Castle,etc. 

I would appreciate the names and addresses of the crews from that era. 


Capt. James M  Hall, MD Flight Surgeon


srpatch.gifThursday, April 6, 2006 at 12:43 MSgt Eddie M Ingman Writes:  For 9 years while active duty I was a Pneudraulic Systems Technician. Lots of hard work but very rewarding. The SR-71 was the very first aircraft I worked on right out of tech school. I had very good trainers to teach me the tricks of the trade to work on this very special aircraft. A civilian named Bobby Skinner was the best along with another man named Warren Teraoku. They were just awesome and I still keep in touch with these guys. Warren still lives in the Sacramento area. I spent 3 years on Okinawa with the Habu then traveled back to Beale. I really miss that aircraft. I am still in the military but in the Montana Air National Guard as a flightline Expediter. I have a lot of co-workers that are truly amazed that I worked on that aircraft. Just recently the History channel aired a piece on the Blackbird and a lot of memories came back to life. I just wish there was more on video about this aircraft. Once a Habu always a Habu.

MSgt Eddie M Ingman


srpatch.gifTuesday, April 4, 2006 at 21:28 Sgt Rick Scott Writes: 

I was in the 9AMS Comm Shop from April '78 to August of '81. Best gig in the Air Force, period. I was also an instructor with FTD 525 from the June of '85 to April or May of '87. I saw Goodwin, Trago and Moxley's posts, had flashbacks. You had to be there.



Sgt Rick Scott


srpatch.gifWednesday, March 29, 2006 at 20:43 MSgt/Captain James F. (Jim) Bard, Jr. Writes: 

As a TSgt, I was assigned in April 1965 as the NCOIC, Management Analysis, working for Colonel Nelson. That was before we moved into the SAGE facility. I shared space with the Safety Officer (don't recall his name) in one of the old buildings. About the same time as we moved into the SAGE, I made MSgt and got a brand new 2Lt to train (Gordon Oliosi). We shared an office with Major Dick Unger (Budget) and assisted him in preparing the Wing's budget. (In 2004, Gordon and I met for lunch in Connecticut while I attended a reunion of the 91st SRW.) Among other things, I gathered SR71 systems reliability data and briefed the wing staff. After General Nelson went to Division and Colonel Hayes became Commander, I continued the wing briefings and repeated them for Division. While at Beale I served as Treasurer of the Little League and on the Board of the Credit Union (two years as President); I also graduated from Yuba College in June 1968. In September 1968 I went TDY (Operation Bootstrap) to the University of Nebraska at Omaha; graduated in May 1969; then went to OTS. I was commissioned in September 1969. I never returned to SAC. I retired as a Captain from the 347th TFW, Moody AFB, in 1980.

MSgt/Captain James F. (Jim) Bard, Jr. 


srpatch.gifMonday, March 27, 2006 at 18:52 Sgt. Richard J. George Writes: 

I worked on the Blackbird from 1969 to 1972 as a hydraulic repairman did 3 TDY's to Okinawa, I was always volunteering to go on recoveries. The best was coming back from Homestead AFB in Florida from an air show, I actually got to see the SR in a mid flight air re-fueling it's a sight I always will remember. I know we always took bets on launch dates, to see what engine would light first. And over in Okinawa I remember we where getting ready to do on a mission, and one of the officer's forgot to get the TEB in the plane, which ignites the fuel, anyway they had to scrap that mission. And to this day I still get sick if I smell port wine, good ol Akadama !!!! And the only names that I can still remember are Ron Green,(Tx.) Ron Schlinker?, Tom Bailey(Atlanta,Ga.)


Richard J. George


srpatch.gifSaturday, March 25, 2006 at 08:50 SSgt Roy Price Writes: I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall 1983-1992 with the 513th security Police squadron then with the 100th security police squadron. One time I remember was the base commander brought Loretta Lynn out to see the aircraft. I enjoyed many talks with the maintenance and flight crew. I was sad to see the SR-71 retire, it was such an awesome aircraft. I saw a documentary here recently on tv and one of the flight commanders that was talking I had recognized him and I told my wife whom I have only been married to for less than a year that I remembered him at Mildenhall flying the SR-71. Well I guess that's about all for now I can honestly say it was a privilege to serve my country and protect some of its finest resources.

SSgt Roy Price



srpatch.gifWednesday, March 22, 2006 at 12:30 TSgt Jimmie L. Gray Writes: 

Comments: Asst Crew Chief under C. D. Allen 1966-1967

Crew Chief 1967-1970

Viet Nam 1970-1971

Crew Chief 1971-1973

Job Control 1973-1975 Retired from Air Force

Worked for Beale AFB Post Office 1983-1998 Retired from U. S. Postal Service.

Also know where Calvin Spangler (Linc) and Charles Carter III (Slick) are hiding out. Two old original Crew Chiefs. Need to know basis only.

TSgt Jimmie L. Gray


First SR-781 Crew Chiefs


srpatch.gifMonday, March 20, 2006 Raleigh Gordon Writes: 


My wonderful wife just found this site for me and I am interested in anything to do with the program,but in particular contact with any electronics people with the 4200th or 9th SRW . I came from Lincoln AFB in early 1965 and was released in Nov 1968. I went to Edwards for OJT on the SLR system with a TSgt Brisbois any hope for contact? Raleigh Gordon alive in Tennessee!

Raleigh Gordon



srpatch.gifMonday March 20, 2006 5:03PM TD Barnes (President of Roadrunners Internationale) Writes: 

Gentlemen, thought I'd better give you a heads-up that Hank Meierdierck is gravely ill and his chances of recovery are pretty bleak. His family is with him.  He has been hospitalized recently for a number of things, but it all boils down to old age.  He was moved into a hospice facility this afternoon.  He is not responsive, so I don't imagine he will last long. He will be given a military burial at the VA Cemetery at Boulder City, Nevada.

  Hank was one of the first at Groom Lake where he trained the first CIA U-2 detachment pilots in 1955. He retired from the Air Force and returned to Groom Lake for Project Oxcart as the CIA project manager.  He returned a third time as the CIA project manager for Project Aquiline, one of our nation's first attempts to develop an unmanned spy drone. (We'd have to check timelines on this as the D-21 Tagboard drone project was going on about that time.) Hank is a former president of Roadrunners Internationale.  

Additional information may be found on the Roadrunners Web site here:

  THORNTON D. "TD" Barnes

Roadrunners Internationale


srpatch.gifSaturday, March 18, 2006 at 13:34 Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Juan C. Fernandez Writes: I was assigned to the 9th SRW at Beale from mid 1980 to January 1983 as an intelligence officer. At the time I was a Captain. My immediate supervisor was Major Low. Above him was Lt. Colonel Hammond. Tom Pugh was the Commander at the time and I used to brief him regularly. I also frequently briefed SR-71 and U-2 pilots. I particularly remember Bruce Cuckle (Not sure of the last name spelling - sorry) Mark Spencer and Doc Hammer. We certainly had some good times at Det. 3 during the spring of 1982. Perhaps someone will remember an incident involving the "repair" of an aircraft at Det. 3 involving myself and a gourd. It was an honor for me to have served with the 9th SRW, and all the great people associated with it. I went on to Panama and DIA, Venezuela, Special Operations and the Southern Command afterwards, but never found a better group of truly dedicated officers and NCO's. I retired in 2000 and now live in the Miami area. Feel free to contact me.

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Juan C. Fernandez


srpatch.gifWednesday, March 15, 2006 at 14:00 TSgt William (Bill) Clingan Writes:

Stationed with the 9th SRW from 1975 till 1979, I was the NCOIC of DOT training. I worked with Majs Deletine, Pittman, Welch and many other fine officers,. Also worked with Tom Nealy, Matt Mickens and Tom Dewey, left the Air Force after 16 years and finished my time at the Pentagon, SecDef office of PA, ran into Gen Halloran and Gen Storey while stationed there, good to be back in Yuba City where I still train and and run the Korean Karate Academy

TSgt William (Bill) Clingan 




srpatch.gifMonday, March 13, 2006 at 13:29 Captain Bill Capp Writes: 

I was a KC-135Q Navigator at Beale AFB from 1977 to 1980. I was Nav on the tanker crew that received an Air Medal for helping to get an SR-71 back to Mildenhall, England during the summer of 1980.

Captain Bill Capp





srpatch.gifSaturday, March 11, 2006 at 19:59 Carl Calfee Writes: 

In 1973 I was an Army Brat that went to school at Kadena Elem. I remember seeing HABUs taking off from the school playground. The images remained in my mind. As an adult living near SAC AFB, I would go to the museum often. When they got an SR-71 I was in heaven. To see up-close what I had only seen in the air was a total thrill. I went back often. On 28-03-92 I got engaged under the right wing, placing my soon to be wife on the landing gear to ask the question.

Carl Calfee



srpatch.gifFriday, March 10, 2006 at 19:47  Sgt Neal Pinkowski Writes: 

Hello to everyone. Crew chief on KC-135Q 59-1520 in 71+72 out of Kadena. 

I miss all the people I was lucky enough to be associated with. 

Would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

If anyone remembers me drop a line, or anyone at all. God bless.

Sgt Neal Pinkowski 


srpatch.gifFriday, March 10, 2006 at 10:59 Adam Pereira Writes: 

I have worked with the only SR-71 OBC Guru, (Lloyd Rayworth: Wyle Coyote OBC Senior Field Service Rep.) at Edwards AFB during the reactivation program. My wife and children will always remember the awesome experience.

Adam Pereira

P.S. My respect and acknowledgement to the rest of people of the special calling, including my dad who worked on the first A12

Adam Pereira




srpatch.gifWednesday, March 7, 2006 Captain Jim Bard Writes:

My 9th SRW background: As a TSgt, I was assigned in April 1965 as the NCOIC, Management Analysis, working for Colonel Nelson.  That was before we moved into the SAGE facility.  I shared space with the Safety Officer (don't recall his name) in one of the old buildings. 
About the same time as we moved into the SAGE, I made MSgt and got a brand new 2Lt to train (Gordon Oliosi).  We shared an office with Major Unger (Budget) and assisted him in preparing the Wing's budget. 
Among other things, working with Maintenance and Test & Evaluation, I gather SR71 systems reliability data and briefed the wing staff.  After General Nelson went to Division and Colonel Hayes became Commander, I continued the wing briefings and repeated them for Division.
 In September 1968 I went TDY (Operation Bootstrap) to the University of Nebraska at Omaha; graduated in May 1969; then went to OTS.  I was commissioned in September 1969.  I never returned to SAC.  I retired as a Captain from the 347th TFW, Moody AFB, in 1980.
Jim Bard


srpatch.gifTuesday, March 7, 2006 at 05:07 MSgt Ret. Fred Palato Writes: 


Looking for 9th SRW Flags or banners, especially during the 70 through 80's era. Thanks

MSgt Ret. Fred Palato




srpatch.gifSunday, March 5, 2006 at 10:35 MSgt (Ret) Mark Walling Writes: 

I was stationed at Beale from 1986 to 1989 (as an airman) as a Jet Engine Mechanic, first with FMS for 6 months and the rest of the time with OMS until I PCS'd to Kadena AB. I found this website just the other day and decided to post a message to try and contact other people that I used to work with. 

If there are other "HABU" fixers out there that I worked with at the time, I would be happy to hear from you.

MSgt (Ret) Mark Walling



srpatch.gifFriday, February 24, 2006 12:21 AM  Sgt Eddie Keator Writes: 

Before being transferred into the 9th AMS, I was an Avionic Nav Tech (32851) first with the 456th, then the 17th (without a physical base move) and then when the 17th was deactivated and the B-52G were shipped out. The U2's were relocated to BAFB and I worked them all... I like watching the SR71 fly... in the air, it was beautiful. It was a maintenance nightmare... but still very cool to watch fly.

I knew some of the Pilots due to involvement in Boy Scouts; Bob Crowder, John Veth, and some others who names escape me.

Sgt Eddie Keator 




Friday, February 24, 2006 10:47 AM MSgt(Ret) Lee James Writes: 


Looking for Dwayne Sharpe, my old room mate when TDY to Kadena, 1975-76. 

I last seen him at Beale 1976.

MSgt(Ret) Lee James


srpatch.gifMonday, February 20, 2006 at 15:51 SMSgt Retired John Neal Writes: I was associated with the SR-71 from 1969 to 1974. Was in the 9th FMS A/R Shop. Spent most of the time at the OL location at Kadena, because I was one of guys not married and liked the duty and mission at the OL, starting with OL-8. In those early days we raised so many wings for maintenance, I remember going to bed at barracks 108 and dreaming of it. Also the changing of wheels and tires, and flight control problems. Bob Parker and me got pretty good at flight control remedies. Sorry to hear that he has passed on. I still remember him also for helping me fix a brake light problem on my 1964 gold Thunderbird at Beale. Also, who from OL-8 days remember the NCO CLUB at Kadena and the stage we used to roll up on performers, while we were yelling "HABU". Or putting your arms up after yelling "HABU", because the bouncers were coming to kick you out. I truly enjoyed working on the SR's and the prestige associated with the program in those days. I miss it. Now, Barksdale AFB, La. Museum has SR-71 #967 on display. Beautiful display, which I plan to help on. Would love to hear from anyone from my time on the SR. I just retired after 35+ years with Airforce and civilian Airforce service. God bless all. "HABU" FOREVER!!!!!!

SMSgt Retired John Neal 


srpatch.gifMonday, February 20, 2006 at 10:38 Staff Sergeant Gilberto Lucio (1983-1992)

Beale was my first duty assignment for the security side of the 9th Security Police Squadron from 1983 to 1986. I worked the security in the restricted areas for the Sr-71's, U-2's, and KC-135's. I used to escort the planes to the runways and watch them take off (It was an incredible experience) While stationed there, I remember one U-2 breaking apart on take off and a KC135 crash. I also went TDY to Puerto Rico with the U-2 and they painted the Bacardi bat on tail section of the U-2. I still have that picture.

Staff Sergeant Gilberto Lucio




srpatch.gifSunday, February 19, 2006 at 02:43  M/SGT WILLIAM SPRUILL Writes: 








Friday, February 17, 2006 at 17:23 Sgt James C. Kurth Writes: 
I was stationed at Beale AFB from 1975-1977 with the 9th RTS as an Electronic Intelligence Analyst and Mission Planner. 
I really enjoyed the people and the work.  The most memorable moment was just after they installed the Halon system in the 
computer center.  The technician was installing the glass in the alarm pull and the glass broke and the entire system discharged.  
It had the computer operators running and ducking for cover. I worked with the team that deployed and setup the mobile 
photo-processing lab that was stationed (I think they called it DET 4) at Mildenhall, UK. My best friend was and still is SSgt
Keith Bankey in FMS.  Some of his best stories were about his father, who was a fighter pilot ace in WWII.

Sgt James C. Kurth


Friday, February 10, 2006 at 15:08  MSgt Robert Wedman Writes: 
Assigned to Oxcart project from the Dragon Lady Project{4080TH SRW) in Dec '64 and arrived at 4200th OE&T 
squadron at Edwards for the R&D of the SR-71/EMR until delivery to Beale in '66. In '69 assigned to 9th QC&E 
till '70 and did a stint in Korea and was reassigned back to Beale 9RTS and was in charge of EDP Maint. 
(MuDRE inc.) MRS Data Reduction Equipment.  A lot of good people and talents were in this program. It was too
 bad that there were some idiots in the upper levels of management of this country and armed forces.
I served almost all my 20 years in the Recon Wings of SAC, 55th SRW and the U-2 And Sr-71 (9th SRW) Go Blackbirds!!

MSgt Robert Wedman




Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 11:50 CMSGT JAMES TAYLOR Writes: I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 9TH SRW IN 1965. 


Email:  JRT1928@AOL.COM



Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 12:39 TSGT  BILLY A ONEAL (Ret) Writes: 
I was assigned to the 9th Field Maintenance Squadron, Engine Shop from Jan.1968- Apr.1972 and again in Mar.1973- Aug.1979.  
I was one of 26 airman that came to Beale straight out of tech school.  I got my run license on the SR-71 & T-38.  
In my later years, I was in charge of the shop equipment & stands.  I am looking for some of the guys the were there when 
I was.
Additional Email: I was assigned to the 9th Field Maintenance Squadron as a JET Engine Mechanic for the P&W J58. From Jan.1968
 in 1972 I went to Korea for one year then returned to Beale in March 1973. While I was at Beale I made 10 TDY trip to OL-8. 
In Aug 1979 I went to Germany for 6 years. I retired Aug. 1987. I am looking for Gaudet and SSgt Robinson you and I were at OL-8 
when we were told we made SSgt. You also could go down the inlet of the SR71 without removing the spike. The time frame is 1971- 1979.


Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 17:27 Sgt. Douglas Kelly Writes: 
9th Field Maintenance Squadron jet engine mechanic for the P&W J-58 June 1974 
to August 1975; 9th SRW Wing Historian from August 1975 to September 1977.  
Based at Beale AFB, TDY to Kadena AFB, Okinawa March 1975 - June 1975.
Sgt. Douglas Kelly


Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 18:10 Ron Murdock, retired Writes: 
Fuel systems repair from May 1970-Feb 1974. Been to OL-8 a few times like 6 or 
7 times, many TDY's to most bases in the US. Just trying to find some of the guys 
I've worked with.
Ron Murdock, Retired



Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 11:58 Sgt. Johnny C. Rasmussen Writes:
I remember running the engines at the test cell and how amazed I was at the 
power. The light rings the exhaust produced and glow of the turbine wheels 
through the case. The rumble through your body and stomach flutter from all 
that power. I marveled at the 4 stage afterburner and the unique oil system 
as well.
Sgt. Johnny C. Rasmussen



Friday, January 27, 2006 at 14:52 Dale Daniel Writes: 
My father was General Walter Daniel, part of the original AF test pilot team 
that broke Several SR71 records at Edwards in 1965.  Going through his things 
I saw a membership card to the "2,000 MPH Club".   It was signed by Kelly 
Johnson of Lockheed.  Just curious, was there such a club, or was that a spoof?

Dale Daniel




Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 21:55 Sgt. TRC Smith Writes:  
The great people I worked with, record setting flights in 1976.
 Sgt. TRC Smith


Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:47 MSgt Robert Johnstone (Ret) Writes: 
On my return from Southeast Asia, Vietnam War, I was assigned to the 9Th Organization 
Maintenance Squadron (OMS), Beale Air Force Base from February 1974 to July 1978.  
I was assigned to the non-powered Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) section.  My duties 
were to service the SR-71, J58 power plant with triethylborane (TEB) and to maintain SR-71 
related maintenance support equipment.  Furthermore, during my time later at Beale I was the 
Crew Chief for T-38, 64-13271.  After leaving Beale, I was station at Travis Air Force Base from July 1978 to 
December 1997.  I was a Flight Engineer on the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter.
MSgt Robert Johnstone (Ret)


Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 13:06 Derek Brantley Writes: Hello everyone. I was assigned to 
the 376 FMS from '80-'82 as an aircraft electrician, on the KC-135Q, so I knew when the Habu 
was lifting off. I would always be on the flight line watching  as the Habu taxied to the hammer 
head and sat for what seemed like hours, but it was worth the wait to see it clear the runway and
pull straight up...nothing but two flames on a clear night . I always envied the pilots. It must have 
been a rush.... thanks for a great web site... love thinking of those good old days.. 
Derek Brantley


Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 12:51 Luis Romani Writes:
I was stationed in Kadena AFB from June 1972 to December 1973. 
I was a member of the crash and rescue unit fire department on 
July 22 or 23 1972 a SR71 crashed.
 Luis Romani
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 13:47 SFC (Ret) Weaver, David Writes: 
I was stationed with the 376 FMS as a Hydraulics and Boom Mech at Kadena AFB from 1979-82. 
I had the opportunity to help trouble shoot some Hook up problems between the tankers and 
SR's a few times. I remember how awesome the blackbirds looked rolling by and watching the 
engine runs behind our shop and hanger. I haven't had any contact with folks from there in a long
 time and would love to hear from you. I got out of the AF in '82 and joined the Army in '87 and 
retired in 2002. Good Luck and God Bless all........David
SFC (Ret) Weaver, David



Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 09:45 TSgt Steven J. Smith Writes: I was assigned to the 9th 
Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Beale AFB, CA from 1987-1993 and again from 
1995-1997.I used to process the various types of film from the SR-71 while stationed there. 
It was the most gratifying and fulfilling job I had for the 8 years I was there. The teamwork and 
the memories will never be forgotten. I know that many of the personnel have moved on to 
different things in life, and some are still involved in the Intel side. As a young impressionable airman, I learned so 
much about life and the Air Force in those days. Wishing you all the best.
TSgt Steven J. Smith
srpatch.gif Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 07:11 E-4 Rock Erlandson Writes: 


Worked PSD from 1979-1982.... loved my job.
E-4 Rock Erlandson
srpatch.gifMonday, January 16, 2006 at 23:42 SSgt Curtis Harke Writes:

Well gentlemen, I found this site by accident. I remember the times in Moldy hole and Kadena as some of the best. I was a KC-135Q model Boom Operator and as a 19-20 year old kid I didn't know how good I had it. I feel privileged to have been a part of this program and I think back on it fondly. My most memorable time was when I did two emergency in -flight refuelings in one trip with the SR. Oh!, and the turn over parties were a close second. I was at Beale from 87-94 and if you'd like to contact me feel free.

Curtis Harke


Monday, January 16, 2006 at 14:32 M/Gen Pat Halloran Writes:
There was a lot of coverage in the Guest book about my double heart 
by-pass this summer so I should update it.  Everything came out great 
and my recovery was exceptionally fast. Clean living and lots of 
Kadena beer!  I'm working on getting my FAA medical back and then 
I will resume flying my Lancair homebuilt bird.  If it was painted black 
it would probably go faster, but it's OK as it is.
M/Gen Pat Halloran


Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 08:03 SSgt William Kinsell Writes:My wife Michele and I were 
assigned to the 9th FMS AGE shop from 1978 - 1981.  We enjoyed working closely with the 
SR-71 and other aircraft assigned to Beale AFB.  Working on the specialized equipment for 
the SR-71, i.e. the AG330 start cart, was a great experience.  Being a part of the SR-71 
experience has been one of the high points of our lives.  Out of all my assignments in the USAF
 and ANG, the time at Beale and Det 1 were the most exciting.  Nothing like watching a Blackbird take off in the 
dead of night with those signature blue flames.
SSgt William Kinsell


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 06:36 MSgt Allen R. Scott Writes:

Was at the 6594th/AFSPPF form 59 to 63 and 69 to 73.
Worked in the R& D section, testing new films and printing photos from the PET team for the Big Wigs in D.C.

MSgt Allen R. Scott






Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 17:41 Robert A. Izzo Writes:

 I am looking for friends for my father MSgt Achille (Al) Izzo assigned to Beale AFB 1968-1972 SR-71, that would wish to get in contact with him.


Robert A. Izzo



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


 SR-71 Front Page   Links Page   Index Page   Recollections   2001 Reunion  
"SR-71 Blackbirds"  Web Site Navigator
First Created: April 15, 1996 - Last Revised: November 13, 2004
Copyright 1996 Leland R. Haynes     Email:

Page #38C of the SR-71 Blackbirds