FROM THE PAST
Guest Book Entry's for 2010
I have been requested to include recollections from various personnel that have either worked on the SR-71 or have been closely associated with the program through support operations. Bear in mind that the SR-71 could have never flown had it not been for the expertise of personnel in a wide variety of specialties in the US Air Force and civilian industry. These include but are not limited to KC-135Q Refueling Support, Air Traffic Controllers, Security Policemen, Base Fire Suppression Support, Medical personnel, Lockheed Technical Support, Physiological Support Division (PSD) and a vast array of top notch people that expended that extra effort to insure the success of the program. If you have been associated with the Blackbird Program and wish to share something with others, please feel free to make an entry in:
Additionally, if you feel you qualify to join the Blackbird Association see the link at the bottom of this page or Click Here and go directly to that link.
There are Twenty total web pages that comprise the
"SR-71 Alma Mater and Recollections of the Past"
The original web page (the one you are on now) had grown to over 3 Megs in size. To expedite your Browser loading, I have divided the "Guest book" Entries into Chronological year groups by dates the e-mail was received..
Search the entire 232 web pages of the "SR-71 Blackbirds" Web Site:
1. Buz Carpenter, SR-71 instructor pilot and Docent at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC has provided a PowerPoint Presentation directed at SR-71 Docents at other museums throughout the United States and the one in Great Britain. Docents can download the PowerPoint to their computers. Visit the web page here: URL: ./Docent001.htm
Posted April 03, 2009
2.OL-8 SR-71 Combat Briefing Summary Kadena AB, Okinawa February 23 to March 16, 1969. This report relates how the first SR-71 combat missions were flown . This set of 7 pages is probably one of the most accurate presentation of those procedures necessary for successful flights over denied territory. And that is how it was in 1969. Link here: ./OL8_FSR_Combat_Report.htm
Posted September 27, 2009
3. After a lengthy absence, The D-21B and the 4200th Support Squadron web page has been revised and is back on this website. History of the D-21B Drones and the B-52H launch vehicle story is documented here by those that worked directly with the "Senior Bowl" program. Link here: ./srbowl001.htm
Posted May 13, 2010
4. Colonel Buddy Brown recalls his Mach 3 Flameout over North Vietnam in this article from the February 2010 issue of Flight Journal. Read the whole story here at this URL: ./SR71flameout.htm
Posted September 04, 2010
5. Buddy Brown's book on the searchable database check-ride qualifications has been updated for 2010. They include Master qualification list; Alphabetical listing of crewmembers and Category by position (eg Pilot, RSO, etc.) Two Pages of data. URL for Page One is here: ./Supp_BBook.htm
Posted September 05, 2010
The 2007 Blackbird Reunion DVD is now available. This is the entire video presentation shown at the Saturday night banquet at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Reno, Nevada on 23 June 2007.
The DVD has been revised with new captions and additional images that were not shown at the Blackbird Reunion. If you did not attend the Reunion, this DVD will keep you informed of the Blackbird Community's commitment to excellence. Relive some of the golden years of the Blackbirds and see what is happening in Reconnaissance today. Price $25.00
Go here to check it out or order:
Tony Landis' New book is now available
Probably one of the best resources for all those photos you wish you had. Incredible shots that only Tony (NASA Photographer) could capture of the Blackbird Family. I highly recommend this book to add to your collection of reference material. Leland
Lockheed Blackbird Family
Order today or contact Tony Landis directly here:
has published his memoirs in this new book
Great reading. I didn't know that Donn bailed out of an F-86!
Book Price is $24.00
Contact Donn direct for an autographed copy here at this email address:
Order directly from Amazon.com
A Boy Who Loved Airplanes,
This review is from: A Boy Who Loved Airplanes (Paperback)This is one of the most honest and open autobiographies I've ever read. Yes, it's the story of a USAF fighter pilot and has a lot of "There I was at 30,000 ft" stories. But more, it's the story of a kid growing up in a military family, a young man trying to figure out what he really wants to do with his life, a husband, and a father. Byrnes doesn't hold back on much--it's a life story that includes the good times and the bad times and is told using hundreds of anecdotes--most of them humorous. Besides building up lots of flying hours in the F-86D, U-3, and T-33, Byrnes had the opportunity to be a key participant in several of the great USAF weapons programs of the Cold War--the SR-71 and F-15. His previous two books--Black Bird Rising and Air Superiority Blue--beautifully covered the inside story of the development of these two great aircraft. The current autobiography gives a lot of insight into the man behind those two books and fills in additional details. This is a great read about not just a USAF officer, but a man who served his country during a tough part of its history.
2010 Guest Book Entries
Updated July 28, 2013
soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines."
Sat, Dec 18 2010, 8:02 am PDT Sgt. Shayne Stewart writes:
Nov 26 2010, 10:01 pm PDT Cpt. Clifford Ells writes:
Nov 26 2010, 10:01 pm PDT Cpt. Clifford Ells writes:
Tue, Nov 26, 2010 David Allison Writes:
MSgt Leland Haynes has passed away.
6:06 pm, EST SMSgt Robert Molder Writes:
11/21/2010, 6:06 pm, EST SMSgt Robert Molder Writes:
SMSgt Robert Molder
Nov 16 2010, 1:49 pm, PST Dave Nolte
Tue, Nov 16 2010, 1:49 pm, PST Dave Nolte Writes:
Lloyd Bruce Rayworth, Civilian: has passed away. His obituary follows:
Lloyd Bruce Rayworth born March 27, 1938 in Everett, Massachusetts entered into rest on November 13, 2010 at Rideout Memorial Hospital, Marysville California. He was a devoted and loving father and father in law to Cheryl and Dave Dawson of Asheville, NC, Kim Rayworth and Mauricio Gonzalez of Sacramento, Kathy Rayworth-Beltran and Jesse Beltran of Yuba City. Cherished Grandfather to Ben and Megan Murphy, Evan Gonzalez, Mia and Tayah Beltran. Great Grandpa to Zachary, Bailey & Caleigh Murphy. Loving brother to Neil Rayworth of Peabody, MA. Long time friend to Judy Heiden and many more close friends along with his boyz Mickey, Max and Mr. Hershey. Lloyd served one term in the Navy and 42 years of dedicated service to our country as Senior Field Service Engineer while supporting the SR71 and U2 Reconnaissance programs. He was also a Mason and Shriner. A visitation is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 18th from 4:00 â€" 7:00 PM at Ullrey Memorial Chapel. Services will be on Friday, Nov. 19th at 2:00 PM at Ullrey Memorial Chapel. Inurnment will be private. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Shriner's Hospital, PO Box 21-4477, Sacramento, CA 95821. Send Condolences www.appealdemocrat.com
Editor's note: LLoyd worked on the OBC Camera and for Itek.
11/14/2010, 6:36 pm, EST MSgt Lawrence Holley Writes:
MSgt Lawrence Holley
11/3/2010, 7:56 pm, EST Sgt. Daniel Humlick Writes:
Sgt. Daniel Humlick
Tue 10/26/2010 7:21 AM
Tue 10/26/2010 7:21 AMLew Sultzle Writes:
Edward (Tommy) Gilpin, 71, of Marysville, CA, passed away September 25, 2010. Born January 26, 1939 in Overton, TX. A resident of the Yuba-Sutter area for 40 years. Edward was a Chief Master Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force for 29 years. As a member of the Bible Baptist Church in Linda, he attended religiously every Sunday and Wednesday. Survivors include his loving wife and companion of 15 years, Thoa Hall Gilpin of Marysville; sons: Douglas and Derek Gilpin of Arkansas, Stephen and Kenneth Gilpin of Texas; step-sons: Jay and Delano Hall of Yuba City; step-daughters: Goldee Madrigal and CeCe Fan of the Sacramento area; brother, Joseph Gilpin of Texas; sister, Mary Ann Gilpin of Lawrence, Texas; eighteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Visitation is scheduled from 2:00pm- 8:00pm Thursday, September 30, 2010 at Lipp & Sullivan Chapel. Memorial service will be held 2:00PM Friday, October 1, 2010 at Lipp & Sullivan Chapel, with Pastor Kerry Brown from the Bible Baptist Church of Marysville officiating. Burial will immediately follow with full Military Honors at Sierra View Memorial Park in Olivehurst.
Lew Sultzle: He was in the TEB Branch and NPA/Support section for a while then eventually ended up as the OMS Branch chief where I worked for him at Kadena from Nov 1978 to May 1980.
Wed, Sep 15 2010, 8:31 pm, PST E-5 Richard B. Sharp Writes:
I was a P.I. in the 9th RTS during 71-72.
E-5 Richard B. Sharp
Tue 9/28/2010 11:38 AM
Tue 9/28/2010 11:38 AMJust received word from Harvey that Colonel Ed Payne passed away last month. Here is his obituary:
Guestbook Entry:August 24, 2010
September 8, 2010 5:36 Rich Graham Writes: Colonel Thomas B. Estes, SR-71 pilot has passed away. Tom passed away Monday, September 6th, Labor Day. There will not be a burial or memorial service per Tom's request. He was in a San Francisco hospital for some time prior to his passing. Jo's address is 859 Jones Road #30, Yuba City, California 95993. Her phone number is 530-674-2337. (Email address firstname.lastname@example.org) Any contributions should go to your favorite charity. Calls and cards will be much appreciated.
Col Estes and Ltc Vick received numerous awards for their record flight--at that time. Col Estes held several staff positions after SR-71 crew duty. Mort Jarvis
Colonel Estes' record achievement flight is documented here at this URL:
15,000 Miles Non-Stop in the SR-71
9/25/2010, 1:20 am, EDT MSgt Jim Esson Writes:
Det 1, 9th SRW, Kadena, 1980 - 1983. DET 1 was my last assignment in the AF, retired at Travis. Worked in the PI vans in the hanger. Great crew. Saw some names I recognized and it made me smile.
MSgt Jim Esson
9/15/2010, 3:51 pm, EDT SGT. Rick Stone Writes:
I was stationed at Beale from December 1970 off 1970 to June of 1972. I remember the first time I saw the SR-71. I couldn't believe my eyes. SMSGT Patrick was the first person that met me at gate and escorted me to the job shack, we talked for a little while and then went out to the first hanger to see the aircraft. It was love at first sight. I will never forget working on the aircraft it was unbelievable. I also remember doing two TDY tours @ ol-rk. I would love to hear from any one that was in the 9th.
SGT. Rick Stone
Mon, Sep 13 2010, 11:49 am, PDT Col Jon P Kraus [Ret] Writes:
Passing of Tom Estes, great HABU loss.
Col Jon P Kraus [Ret]
9/2/2010, 2:30 pm, EDT MSgt (Ret) Mike Murphy Writes: I was in the 456 AMMS from 1966 trough 1968. It was always an amazing sight to see an early morning SR take off with the spectacular plumes of flame.
MSgt (Ret) Mike Murphy
4:58 pm, EDT Sgt. Richard J. George Writes: This goes out to who ever was at Beale from '69 to '72.
I was in the hydraulic shop from those years. I'm actually looking for photographs from those years of the SR, or any of the grilling parties @ OL-8, any of the base ETC.
Why, because I'm putting together an album of all the SR-71's on static display. So far I've got pictures of the SR at Oregon, Utah and Nebraska. I'm getting close to retirement and we'll be traveling so I plan on seeing all the BIRDS, even the one in Duxford, England. So if you could help in any way I sure would appreciate it, thank you and have a great HABU day.
Sgt. Dick George
8/28/2010, 4:58 pm, EDT Sgt. Richard J. George Writes: This goes out to who ever was at Beale from '69 to '72.
8:50 pm, EDT. Adam posted this for his father TSGT Armand
8/26/2010, 8:50 pm, EDT. Adam posted this for his father TSGT Armand Lessard:
Just wanted to say that my father, Armand "Skip" Lessard passed away August 10, 2010 due to "ALS". He was a great dad and will be missed.
8/11/2010, 11:59 pm, EDT SSgt David Aguilera Writes:
I worked in the electric shop.
Where is my Philippine motorcycle buddy?
SSgt David Aguilera
Jul 28 2010, 6:24 pm, PDT TSgt
Joseph C. Hentz, NYANG,(Ret) Writes:
Wed, Jul 28 2010, 6:24 pm, PDT TSgt Joseph C. Hentz, NYANG,(Ret) Writes:
Stationed at Beale 69-73.
Crew'd a Q model tanker.
Had an 8 year break in service.
Finished 20 years of service with a Guard unit in New York which got activated for Desert Shield/Storm in '91.
TSgt Joseph C. Hentz
Sun 7/25/2010 10:18 AM CMSgt
Steve Pennington, USAF, (Ret) Writes:
Sun 7/25/2010 10:18 AM CMSgt Steve Pennington, USAF, (Ret) Writes:
I was in the 9th FMS, Structural Repair Shop, '72-'73.
I am interested in joining the Blackbird Association.
CMSgt Steve Pennington, USAF, (Ret)
7/23/2010, 1:37 am, EDT TSgt Ira B. Hulihee Writes:
I was assigned to Det 1, 9th SRW at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan from April 1976 to June 1983. I was the NCOIC of the Stock Control section of the units supply division where our SOPs was the SSM 400 rather than the standard base supply manual.
TSgt Ira B. Hulihee
12:19 pm, EDT TSgt Maurice (Moe) Works
7/15/2010, 12:19 pm, EDT TSgt Maurice (Moe) Works Writes:
I am entered in 1999, but thought I would update my email.
I am totally retired and living in Thailand.
I was a hydraulic tech on the Blackbird from 1976-1980 at Beale.
TSgt Maurice (Moe) Works
4:52 am, EDT Mark Hesling Writes:
7/9/2010, 4:52 am, EDT Mark Hesling Writes:
My great uncle Leon Morin worked on the SR 71 (Hydraulics).
He said he was offered to fly in it, but he turned it down.
If anyone knows of him, please email me. Thank You
10:01 pm, EDT SRA David W. Johnson Writes:
7/6/2010, 10:01 pm, EDT SRA David W. Johnson Writes:
Looking for Anthony Birchem.
If anyone knows were he is call me. (650) 388-0113.
SRA David W. Johnson
Jul 2 2010, 9:24 pm, PDT MSGT.
John J. Mortlock ( RET. ) Writes:
Fri, Jul 2 2010, 9:24 pm, PDT MSGT. John J. Mortlock ( RET. ) Writes:
The SR-71 was the Greatest aircraft that I had ever worked on.
Sorry to know that they are ALL gone .
MSGT. John J. Mortlock ( RET. )
Tue 6/8/2010 10:52 PM
Tue 6/8/2010 10:52 PM Lew Williams Writes:
I just received this "E" mail from
I received phone call at about
2:00 PM today from Char Nudson with the sad news that Ken had died a few days
ago. He had been going down hill for some time.
5/18/2010, 11:20 am, EDTWG 11/ WS 10/ GS 12/ Anthony W Raduazo Writes:
I served the 9th RECON Squadron at Beale AF base for 25 of my 40 years. Employed by the SOA, USAF Civil Engineering Services Agency, OLK, CEMIRT. HQ at Tyndall AFB. My task was to lead up grade projects to SR 71 sites World Wide. As well as to Supervise, Operate, Maintain, Modify, and Repair all CE Engineering and Electrical Power Projects at Beale AFB facilities at the 9th RECON BLOCK HOUSE facilities. POC.. Mr Gary Cambell dsn--837 5211 Travis AFB CA CEMIRT SUPER..verification..for Mr Anthony W Raduazo AFESA/CEMIRT for 25 of my 40 years of service to support the 9th RECON SR 71 Squadron Beale AFB Ca.. Electrical Power Facilities..Now retired. HABU
Anthony W Raduazo
6/21/2010, 11:47 pm, EDT Sgt Keith Jackson Writes:
I maintained SLR on the SR-71 from 1977 to 1981.
There is no one on this web site from this time?
5/10/2010, 3:59 pm, EDT Sgt. Thomas R.C. Smith (TRC) Writes:
I work in OMS on the line from 1973 to 1979. What a great time in my life.
Worked with good people and had a great time, years I will never forget.
MSgt. (Ret,USAFR) TRCSmith
Mon, May 3 2010, 10:37 am, PDT Sgt. Thomas J. Lacey Jr Writes:
I was at Beale from 66 thru the end of 69 with 456OMS, Asst.
crew chief on the 135Q water wagons, several tdy's to Kadena, Alaska, Philippines,
etc. I have many fond memories of what in hindsight has become
probably the best years of my life, and would do it all over again in a minute. My only wish is that I had a greater appreciation back then for what we were really doing and what we were responsible for, but at 18,19
years old at the time you just don't have the benefit of life's experience to see the much larger picture of it all, I still am amazed when I think of some of the things I was put in charge of. I mean sitting in the cockpit of a multi million dollar aircraft alone, running the engines for FMS techs for any number of issues at age 21,22 is probably at the top of the list of things that not every young guy gets to do. To this day when I tell folks about it, they just don't really relate, I know, you had to be there, anyway I'm close to 64 now and I have lots of great memories of Beale and the Tankers/Bombers/T-38's and of course the SR71s. It was a great tour, everyone should be as lucky as I was.
Sgt. Thomas J. Lacey Jr
7:28 pm, EDT Christy Dimitry Writes:
4/27/2010, 7:28 pm, EDT Christy Dimitry Writes:
My husband worked on the SR-71 as an electrician at RAF Mildenhall Det 4 from 1982 to 1986. He was a civilian contractor employed by Lockheed. While he was working maintenance to keep the birds flying at any and all hours, day and night, I was doing my part by painting signs and PR for the Det. I painted both the yellow target sign with both the U2 and the SR71 on it, and later the white dartboard with the Blackbird only.
I can honestly say that these 4 years were the best of my life.
10:16 am, EDT SSgt Richard Chaffin Writes:
4/24/2010, 10:16 am, EDT SSgt Richard Chaffin Writes:
I was stationed at Beale from 1972-1975. The flight line was my home and I was fortunate enough to work under
Sgt's Haynes, Spangler,
Harris, Polejewski (Pogo),
Maloof (excellent Teachers all) and was trained by
TSgt Paul Long. I have many fond memories and still possess a great deal of pride in having been associated with, what is still, the worlds fastest aircraft and the most talented and dedicated support group.
A short tale...While home on leave, in 1974, I remember telling alcohol induced stories of the speed of this beast and being called a boldfaced liar. 17 Years later and after the L.A. to D.C. flight I got a phone call from the man who told me I was full of beans. "Rich this is Tom...I called you a liar 17 years ago, while we were pounding down draft beers at a local Pub, and you told me the SR-71 was faster than a speeding bullet (I actually said 3300FPS).....he went on to say " I stand corrected and want to apologize.....I will buy the next 5 rounds." I actually received 2 of those apologetic calls within a few years.
Today I wear the honor of being part the SR-71 history; as a badge. I have spoken at Aviation Club Meetings (I am not a member of any) about the SR-71 and even today they still have trouble believing many of the tales as truth.
I would love to hear from Rich Gucciardi if he is out there.
SSgt Rich Chaffin
1:55 am, EDT Don Lyon, MSgt (Ret.)
4/23/2010, 1:55 am, EDT Don Lyon, MSgt (Ret.) Writes:
Saddened by the news of Phil Sage's passing.
Many memories of Phil and his sense of humor.
He will be missed.
Don Lyon, MSgt (Ret.)
6:54 pm, EDT Sp 5 Dan Mauldin Writes: My Dad was Captain/ Major AJ Smith of OMS at the beginning of the program at Beale
Nice to see old friends names . Bill
Gornik, I don't see Tom
Ryan's name or Col
Pythyon's, but they were also there. One of the pictures I have seen on the site is one we still have a copy of, when the squadron was assembled in dress blues.
I remember Dad griping about that, but it also coincided with a visit by General Lemay
The picture you have, his name is mislabeled, but in the group of 3, with Bill Hayes in the center, Dad is center in the right group
Bill had two sons, one my age, Bob, and I believe he also went into the Army In early Feb 0f 69, I had just gotten back to my base Camp, Dong Tam, with the 9th Infantry Division
Late one afternoon, an AF Captain, found me, a PFC at the time.......he came into my section, FDC, for C Btry, 1st Bn 11th FA , 105s and announced that he had a Top Secret message for me.
I looked around and told him, we all have top secret clearances here....he hesitated, then said.........you have an NVA Division dug in around you
My two Lts suggested I walk him back to the flightline as he was anxious to get out of there in his Birddog
When I got to his plane I told him.....Tell Dad I said Thank You. I doubt if he ever knew who sent the info, but there was no question in my mind where it came from.
As a result, the next day, an 8 inch Self Propelled unit came roaring in, and within a few short days we were under attack
I thought the world of Bill Hayes I was lifeguarding a pool party one evening at the Officers club there at Beale, most of the commanders were there
I watched two Bird Colonels get in a knock down drag out fight that night When I asked him about it, he said it had been building up for some time and he let it go up to a point
Then finally waded in and broke then up. I spotted two that I had just had a problem with and Bill noticed it and asked me why I was watching these particular two.
So I told him. The prior evening, at the end of the day , while I was cleaning up , I had to get done on my knees on the concrete and clean the cigarettes out of the sand around the trees as usual.
These two Lts were having a drink or two down there and just as I got up, they both pitched their cigarettes into the sand......I looked at them , then bent down again and got them too.
Bill got as mad, with that Irish temper as I had, and got someone and told them, find out who those two Officers are.
I didn't find out for a day or so. But they were both dentists, and were assigned the next day to Thule so they could learn to " act like Officers
"Dad asked me once what I thought the name of the plane should be.......Raven was one of the suggestions....I immediately said " Blackbird "
He said some of the younger airman thought that too A year or two before he passed on, I sat and sang the song to him.
" Blackbird singing in the dead of night ...take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment "
4/18/2010, 6:54 pm, EDT Sp 5 Dan Mauldin Writes: My Dad was Captain/ Major AJ Smith of OMS at the beginning of the program at Beale Nice to see old friends names . Bill Hayes, Tom Estes, Fred Carmody, Bill Gornik, I don't see Tom Ryan's name or Col Pythyon's, but they were also there. One of the pictures I have seen on the site is one we still have a copy of, when the squadron was assembled in dress blues. I remember Dad griping about that, but it also coincided with a visit by General Lemay The picture you have, his name is mislabeled, but in the group of 3, with Bill Hayes in the center, Dad is center in the right group Bill had two sons, one my age, Bob, and I believe he also went into the Army In early Feb 0f 69, I had just gotten back to my base Camp, Dong Tam, with the 9th Infantry Division Late one afternoon, an AF Captain, found me, a PFC at the time.......he came into my section, FDC, for C Btry, 1st Bn 11th FA , 105s and announced that he had a Top Secret message for me. I looked around and told him, we all have top secret clearances here....he hesitated, then said.........you have an NVA Division dug in around you My two Lts suggested I walk him back to the flightline as he was anxious to get out of there in his Birddog When I got to his plane I told him.....Tell Dad I said Thank You. I doubt if he ever knew who sent the info, but there was no question in my mind where it came from. As a result, the next day, an 8 inch Self Propelled unit came roaring in, and within a few short days we were under attack I thought the world of Bill Hayes I was lifeguarding a pool party one evening at the Officers club there at Beale, most of the commanders were there I watched two Bird Colonels get in a knock down drag out fight that night When I asked him about it, he said it had been building up for some time and he let it go up to a point Then finally waded in and broke then up. I spotted two that I had just had a problem with and Bill noticed it and asked me why I was watching these particular two. So I told him. The prior evening, at the end of the day , while I was cleaning up , I had to get done on my knees on the concrete and clean the cigarettes out of the sand around the trees as usual. These two Lts were having a drink or two down there and just as I got up, they both pitched their cigarettes into the sand......I looked at them , then bent down again and got them too. Bill got as mad, with that Irish temper as I had, and got someone and told them, find out who those two Officers are. I didn't find out for a day or so. But they were both dentists, and were assigned the next day to Thule so they could learn to " act like Officers "Dad asked me once what I thought the name of the plane should be.......Raven was one of the suggestions....I immediately said " Blackbird " He said some of the younger airman thought that too A year or two before he passed on, I sat and sang the song to him.
Sp 5 Dan Mauldin
4/15/2010, 4:22 pm, EDT MSgt Richard Pope Writes:
Anyone from PSD at Beale AFB during the periods of May 1968 - March 1969 or September 1976 to September 1982 or September 1986 to March 1988 or Edwards AFB from May 1971 to December 1971? Would really like to hear from PSD and our experiences support SR-71 crews.
MSgt Richard Pope
09, 2010 Phillip
3, 1940 - April 6, 2010) Just
got the news from Edward Kimmel ' old support branch member that Sage was found
dead in Olivehurst, Calif . Info provided by Ron Dickneite
April 09, 2010 Phillip Sage (December 3, 1940 - April 6, 2010) Just got the news from Edward Kimmel ' old support branch member that Sage was found dead in Olivehurst, Calif . Info provided by Ron Dickneite
Family and friends are invited to a Military Graveside service on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 11:00AM at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA. There will also be a Celebration of Life on Sunday April 18, 2010 from 12:30 to 2:00PM at the Moose Lodge in Olivehurst, CA. You can sign the Guest Book or send flowers at the Lakeside Colonial Chapel at this link: http://www.webfh.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=302044&fh_id=11193&ck=1
830 D. Street
Marysville, California 95901
Phil was assigned to the Blackbirds in the Organizational Maintenance Section of the 9th SRW. His assignment was around the 1970-1974 time frame. Having personally know Phil, his passing leaves us all in mourning. He had a great sense of humor and will be greatly missed by those close to him. God speed Phil.
Leland Haynes, Webmaster, SR-71 Blackbirds
3/31/2010, 11:33 pm, EDT MSgt (Ret) Ron Murdock Writes:
Looking for information for anyone stationed
at Beale AFB from 1970-1974 in the fuel shop.
MSgt (Ret) Ron Murdock
Mar 31 2010, 2:52 pm, PDT Sgt Danny (Squeak)
Wed, Mar 31 2010, 2:52 pm, PDT Sgt Danny (Squeak) Grattan Writes:
KC135Q Crew Chief at Beale From 1967 to 1970.
It is still the best base on the planet.
Sgt Danny (Squeak) Grattan
Sun 3/28/2010 8:11 PM
Sun 3/28/2010 8:11 PM Mort Jarvis
Colonel Bobby M. Locke,
an SR71 RSO passed away several weeks ago. I'm sorry that I don't have the
exact data concerning his death but I do note that his death has not been
noted in your SR-71 Web site--a top notch website. I hope someone with
more information about Bobby's death will inform us about his passing.
Bobby was the one of the first crewmembers to be part of the
crewmembers of the SR-71 program and went forward after the SR-71 program
to other note worthy tasks in the USAF.
Left- Brian K. McCallum- Pilot
Right- Robert M. Locke- RSO
Captain Robert M. Locke qualified as an RSO on 08 June 1967. His qualification number was #173. He retired as a Colonel.
3/24/2010, 1:00 am, EDT William E. Hoyt "Bill", SSgt Writes:
Looking for information on CMSGT Ulm and CMSGT Reynolds.
Stationed at Beale 1969-1971
William E. Hoyt "Bill", SSgt
2:27 pm, EDT E-4 SSgt, Jeff Spink Writes:
3/23/2010, 2:27 pm, EDT E-4 SSgt, Jeff Spink Writes:
BAFB from June 1977 - September 1981.
9th OMS Crew Chief, Phase Dock
SSgt, Jeff Spink
3:03 pm, EDT SMSgt Bruce Swartz
3/22/2010, 3:03 pm, EDT SMSgt Bruce Swartz Writes:
I was in the 30th Weather Sq and stationed at Kadena AB Okinawa during 1975-78. I had the pleasure of directly supporting the "Habu" with weather data during my last year and a half. Showing up late at night and setting up weather data and then getting off early to go over to Habu hill to watch that awesome bird take off was a treat that I will always remember. BTW: I have photos of the Habu and the U2 taking off together. I was told it was the first time in history they had been on the same base together outside the US.
SMSgt Bruce Swartz
Wed 3/17/2010 11:06 PM
MSgt (Ret) James R.
Wed 3/17/2010 11:06 PM MSgt (Ret) James R. Overton
Joe Richard (Rick) Sexton, 63, passed away suddenly
March 11, 2010, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
Born November 14, 1946, he was preceded in death by his
father, Malvin Cecil Sexton; one brother, Allen Cecil Sexton; and several aunts
He was an attorney for many years, practicing in several
Tennessee counties, including Scott. He graduated from the Nashville School of
Law, was admitted to practice law in the United States Federal Court, and was a
former Public Defender for Scott County. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War,
serving in the Air Force as a crew chief for the SR-71 Blackbird plane, and was
honorable discharged. He served many years in the Tennessee Air National Guard
as Staff Sergeant and base historian; and was the former manager of Concord
Cable, Sevierville Cable, Sevier County Cable, and Halls Telephone.
He is survived by two sons: Allen Morrow Sexton, and Richard
Lewis Sexton and wife, Angela; one daughter, Christa Hedtke and husband, Brad;
two grandchildren, his mother, Sadie Ellen Morrow Sexton; ex-wife, Cynthia
Costner Sexton; two sisters: Carole Burke and husband, Donnie, and Suzanne
O’Neal and husband, Paul; two brothers: Robin Sexton and wife, Brenda, and
Chris Sexton and wife, Cheryl; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and many
Memorial service will be held at Sevierville Methodist Church
at a later date.
Four Oaks Funeral Home of Huntsville had charge of arrangements.
1:10 pm, EDT SSgt Bruce Ingram Writes:
3/8/2010, 1:10 pm, EDT SSgt Bruce Ingram Writes:
Assistant crew chief 00337 at Kadena 9/77 - 3/80.
SSgt Bruce Ingram
Tue 3/2/2010 6:11
Tue 3/2/2010 6:11 Robert Elwell (Itek) Writes:
was an assembly Master Tech at Itek from 1969 to 1995, and was much involved in
the actual assembly of both the 24" and 30" apochromat cameras, and
had the privilege of travel to both Beale and Palmdale a number of times.
sincerely hope SR-71's story can more fully told, along with that of Itek also,
since all of us involved took great pride in being a small part in the life of
the aircraft that said to the whole" We are America, and when we choose, we
can be the very best there ever was!!". May we all LIVE FREE OR
2/21/2010, 8:35 pm, EST Flight Test Mechanic, Ken Martin Writes:
My dad was Vernon R. Martin. He was a mechanic on Frank Powers plane. He has now passed away. He did leave me a piece of one of his test planes that crashed in the desert of Calif.
It has the serial # of the plane on it. If interested please e-mail me .
My pops enjoyed his 47 years with Lockheed and the Skunk Works.
Flight Test Mechanic, Ken Martin
2:08 pm, EST Sgt. David T. Rule Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB from 1966 to1968 with the 9th FMS Jet Engine Shop (Flight Line). We did inspections on the SR-71 engines, replacing the engines every 100 hours. Some of you might remember me as the skinny kid with the gold 1966 Dodge Dart convertible.
Most of the time was engine changes & inspections. When running full afterburner at the trim pad, the noise was so loud my ears are still ringing.
I was on two recovery missions: one at White Sands and one at McConnell. At McConnell the Pilot did a high speed flyby I’ll never forget. I remember the team work it took to get the aircraft back home.
There was an airman I worked with named Robinson. “Stuff him in the inlet with the spike on” was a phrase commonly directed at Robinson and myself. Luckily, we were not claustrophobic. I was just being pulled out of the inlet, once, when a colonel came up to me and wanted to know how we did the inspections. I explained to him, “You remove all unnecessary items (shoes belt, anything that might be F.O.D.) and all the air in your lungs. He tried to do it himself. He made it half way in and said “Get me out of here!”
A funny thing: one night on midnight shift in the engine shop one airman was inspecting the afterburner rings. He must have dozed off, because we quietly moved the engine afterburner up to the wall so there was just a small opening. A short time later we could hear him yelling to let him out. He was pretty mad. We released the brake on the engine stand, pulled it back and ran out the door.
One scary moment came when I was moved to day shift before I got my discharge. When walking back to the shop from the flight line on October 10, 1968, I stopped and watched 977 take off. After liftoff white smoke came from the left wing then both engines shut off. It looked like it slid for a mile then dust and more smoke. I saw RSO Major Kogler eject. Major Kardong was helped out of the cockpit. I am glad they made it out okay.
Thanks to all the training from the U.S.A.F. and the noncoms at Beale, I made it through Spartan School of Aeronautics and 20 years as a corporate Pilot. I have over 12,000 hours of flying but would give it all up for 1 hour in an SR-71.
Sgt. David T. Rule
2/19/2010, 11:20 pm, EST SSgt Mike Irwin Writes:
My life has been a blessing. I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters. I have been teaching for the past 37 years and I have been so fortunte to earn a Master of Divinity Degree. As an ordained minister, I am now involved in chaplaincy work in local hospitals and nursing homes. I've lost contact with everyone associated with the SR71 program, but hopefully this message will encourage someone out there to say hello. A special hello to Bill Miller and Al Mason, as well as a lifelong and gracious thank you to Col. George Bull. Yours In Christ, Pastor Mike Irwin
SSgt Mike Irwin
10:34 am, EST MSGT Robert Cook Writes:
2/19/2010, 10:34 am, EST MSGT Robert Cook Writes:
First exposure to A11/SR family was while I was still assigned to USAFSS. However, upon my rotation to CONUS, in 1967, I was assigned to the 9RTS, cross trained to PI. It was an exciting 12 years that I spent with the squadron and the wing, until my retirement in 1979. I still enjoy getting together with so many of my fellow Habus at each reunion and am looking forward to 2011 in Sparks.
MSGT Robert Cook
Jiggens, SR-71 and former Thunderbird Pilot passes away. The following information
is relayed from various sources:
Jim Jiggens, SR-71 and former Thunderbird Pilot passes away. The following information is relayed from various sources:
I received your note I called Barbe Jiggens. She confirmed Jigs passed
away on 3 Feb. He has been cremated and is awaiting burial in
Richard Graham writes: I just received the above email about Jim Jiggens passing away. It sounds as if his wife, Barbe Jiggins, would like to hear from other Habus. Below is all the contact information. For those Habus who didn't know Jim, he was a former Thunderbird pilot and joined the SR-71 program in the 80's.
Tue 2/2/2010 9:46 AM
Dennis Lydston Writes:
I worked on the Blackbird from 1968, fresh out of tech school,
until April of 1974. I was in the 9th OMS Sqdrn until I left to join the Boeing
Tue 2/2/2010 9:46 AM Dennis Lydston Writes:
I worked on the Blackbird from 1968, fresh out of tech school, until April of 1974. I was in the 9th OMS Sqdrn until I left to join the Boeing Companywith several SR crew chief's. Ed Thorner and Don Carrey (sp) to name 2. We were hired for a 707 project in Iran. Have met a good number crew chief over the years with one or two showing up at Boeing in Seattle. Maybe you remember Ron Dicknite ? He was the Crew chief for the B model. I think it was 956. As I recall we buried 957 at the end of the runway a year or so before I left. I think we had 3 or 4 acft in the squadron when I got there. As a side note Ed Thorner and I (and some times Don Cary) helped put the Blackbird back together at the Seattle Museum of Flight. That was fun...
Met some very interesting people. Chief Gornik was in Seattle not long ago for a show and tell on the blackbird and I think to promote his new book. I missed his presentation however.
Sun, Jan 31 2010, 7:55 pm, PST AIC Randall (Randy) Plumley Writes: It is nice to see more PSD techs visiting this site and adding their comments into the Guestbook. I was assigned to the Physiological Support Division at Edwards AFB from 1974 thru 1976. Back then we supported the blackbird program (skunk works) at Palmdale CA. and NASA's testing of the YF12 at Edwards. I'm interested in hearing from all of those who served with me in the USAF at Edwards and both support groups at Palmdale and NASA.
Randall (Randy) Plumley, AIC
Fri, Jan 29 2010, 4:58 pm, PST MSgt Ret. Ronald L. Cade Writes:
I was one of about 110-120 people in the Photo Exploitation Section from 1965 to 1969. I'd bet everyone in the section remembers Andrenacci. This is a fun experience to visit this site.
I tried Don Shipman's email address and no luck. My best to all Blackbird Associates. "In God We Trust. All others we monitor". I read that on Military.com but didn't recall seeing it in the hanger at Osan.
Cheers! Ron Cade....
MSgt Ret. Ronald L. Cade
Jan 17 2010, 10:01 pm, PST Linda "Andrenacci"
Sun, Jan 17 2010, 10:01 pm, PST Linda "Andrenacci" Campbell Writes:
My dad (MSGT
Eugene "Andy" Andrenacci) was with the 9th RTS
in Beale from the late 60's until the early 70's. We lived off base near Lake Englebright and remember clearly watching Batman and Robin flying through the skies Just wondering if anyone remembers my dad.
MSGT Eugene "Andy" Andrenacci
Sincerely Linda Campbell
8:45 pm, EST SMSgt William Todd (Ret) Writes:
1/25/2010, 8:45 pm, EST SMSgt William Todd (Ret) Writes:
Assigned to PSD @ Beale AFB Jul 71 - Jul 89
SMSgt William Todd
12:16 pm, EST MSgt. Juan Bustamante (Ret)
1/15/2010, 12:16 pm, EST MSgt. Juan Bustamante (Ret) Writes:
I was with the 9th RTS from '67-'72, served with CL Brown and JC Counts. On my wall at home above my computer is a framed picture of the SR-71 with the setting sun behind it. Around the picture are signatures of those that worked with me. It was given to me as I was leaving for the PI. Some of the writings have faded over the years, but some, like Joe Spann, Paul Lindke, Jim McIntyre and Virgil Ditch are still legible. It's a time I shall never forget, especially the TDYs to Kadena, the section parties at the park and all the other good times. I retired in 1981 at Fairchild.
MSgt. Juan Bustamante (Ret)
9:51 am, EST Bernard Breitbart SSgt Writes: I was stationed at Beale AFB in the PSD unit from 1966-69. I found this site because a friend sent me a
YouTube video about an actor from the TOP GEAR TV show getting a ride in a U2. Seeing the full pressure suit started me thinking about my SR71 days. A little googling and I found your site.
The only person that I know of who was not in the program that got a ride in the SR71 was Senator Barry Goldwater. He came through our unit and was trained in the use of the suit.
I went TDY to Kadena AFB in support of the SR71 where I got to spend all my money on stereo and camera equipment. I just got rid of the AR speakers I bought there.
I also went TDY to Florida for parasail training. That was more fun. Some of the heavier crew may not have thought so after being dragged through the water for a while before we could get them up into the air.
In the altitude chambers we gave all flying personnel training rides up to 43,000 feet. The SR71 crewmembers got to go a little higher. They got a rapid decompression from 26,000 feet to 65,000 feet. To do this we took our large chamber to over 100,000 feet (where room temperature water would boil and turn to ice). The crewmembers were in a smaller chamber hooked up in their suits. When a solenoid was activated the two chambers equalized at 65,000 feet in about a second. The suits inflated instantly, protecting the crewmember.
I was amazed by the technology that I was exposed to during my time in the Air Force.
Bernard Breitbart SSgt
Jan 2 2010, 10:57 am, PST TSgt
Dan Freeman Writes:
Sat, Jan 2 2010, 10:57 am, PST TSgt Dan Freeman Writes:
Happy New Year to all HABU's,
A special thank you to everyone of you who have made my goal in distributing many of the last remaining Active Duty, SR-71 Titanium and Hastelloy X parts. As of now, there is about 1/4th of these original materials remaining.
After 2 years, I have made hundreds of collectible pieces and sold them to Blackbird Fans in all parts of our nation.
A great portion of these funds make it possible for us to send care packages to our deployed troops, who now, includes my own grandson deployed in Iraq.
Many letters of thanks can be seen on my web site at http://mach3ti.com.
Special thanks to Leland Haynes, his great interactive memorial and historical record of the Worlds most phenomenal aircraft, The SR-71 Blackbird.
Thank you Leland!!!
Best Wishes for the New Year,
Dan Freeman TSgt, USAF (Ret) 9th FMS, Chief Metals Technology,
(Machine Shop) Beale AFB 85-95.
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
Do you meet the following criteria established to join the Blackbird Association?
1.You must have been Directly Associated with the SR-71, U-2 Programs. Being stationed where the Blackbirds were operational does not qualify. We have received numerous requests to join the Association by personnel that do not qualify, for example CBPO, Supply, Etc. Certainly these personnel contributed indirectly to the programs but remember the qualifications states: "Directly Associated".
2.The Blackbird Association is Not a Locator Service! Questions directed in this area will be ignored. If you wish to try and locate a former member you may search this page you are on to see if the individual has left a message.
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You MUST include "Blackbird Association Membership" in the subject line
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