srpatch.gifSR-71 ALMA MATERsrpatch.gif

ashield.gifRECOLLECTIONS FROM THE PASTashield.gif
Guest Book Entry's for 2010

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

Donn Byrnes 

has published his memoirs in this new book

"Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines."

Sat, Dec 18 2010, 8:02 am PDT Sgt. Shayne Stewart writes: 

I had the honor of working the camera systems on this beautiful aircraft from 1984-1986 at Beale AFB. Still in awe yet very sad...

Shayne Stewart

srpatch.gif Nov 26 2010, 10:01 pm PDT Cpt. Clifford Ells writes: 

Served from 1981-1985 9th RTS, mostly as Section Chief for INOE. Got there just before the mission surge from 82-85 as part of President Regan's strat to control the spread of Communism in Central America. That kept us very busy. Did some TDY to Det 1 just before it became PCS in 82. Lots of great memories from that tour and good to recognize names from that time. Best wishes to all who served.

Clifford Ells

srpatch.gifTue, Nov 26, 2010 David Allison Writes:

MSgt Leland Haynes has passed away.

Leland Haynes passed away on November 26, 2010. He was an SR-71 crew chief who created this web site and this guest book. He is survived by his wife Diane, his children, and their families. I am honored to have been his friend. While he has passed on, his devotion to the SR-71 and his web site will live on forever.
His obituary follows (

Leland "Sarge" R. Haynes May 7, 1941 - November 26, 2010 LEBANON - Leland, 69, died Friday in Corvallis. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Salem graduating from South Salem HS in 1958. Leland retired from the US Airforce in 1980 after 20 years serving during the Vietnam War. He moved to Stayton in 1980 and to Lebanon in 1999. Leland owned and operated Sarge's gun shop in Stayton from 1983 - 1998 and was a gunsmith. For many years he taught hunter safety courses. Leland became a Webmaster in 1995. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and helped found the Stayton post #5638 Santiam Canyon. Leland was a lifetime member of the NRA, and a member of the Blackbird Association and the Roadrunners Association. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, being outdoors, computers and the SR-71 website. Leland married Diane Herder on December 26, 1964 in Albany. He is survived by his wife, Diane of Lebanon; daughter, Debbie (Ken) Love-Wagner of Keizer; son, Carl L. Haynes of Lebanon; brothers, Carl E. Haynes, Ron McFadden and Roger McFadden; sisters, Sue McFadden, Carla Berrier and Margie Porter; and 6 grandchildren. Services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, December 3, 2010 at the Mt. View Wesleyan Church in Aumsville. Interment will be in Lacomb Cemetery in Lebanon. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.

srpatch.gif11/21/2010, 6:06 pm, EST SMSgt Robert Molder Writes: 


I was NCOIC Reconnaissance Operations 15AF 1979-1980

SMSgt Robert Molder



srpatch.gifTue, 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 

Editor's note: LLoyd worked on the OBC Camera and for Itek. 

srpatch.gif11/14/2010, 6:36 pm, EST MSgt Lawrence Holley Writes: 


I had the opportunity serve as a crew chief on the SR-71 from 1985 to 1989 (Beale AFB and Kadena Japan) and the U-2 from 1989 to 2001. This was an incredible assignment and I never met so many talented folks that felt like family. I retired and moved to San Antonio and this website brought fond memories. Thanks!

MSgt Lawrence Holley


srpatch.gif11/3/2010, 7:56 pm, EST Sgt. Daniel Humlick Writes:

I was a Davis Monthan transplant. Came up to Beale around late 1975, got out in 1979. Did a few TDYs to Oky Rock. I was in Spherics (aka ECM) at Tucson (DM 100th AMS). We were all consolidated at Beale to do ECM for both U-2 and SR-71 + EMR systems for the SR. Lots of memories and lost faces. I only kept contact with Rick Krisnosky.

Sgt. Daniel Humlick



srpatch.gifTue 10/26/2010 7:21 AM Lew 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.

srpatch.gifWed, 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



srpatch.gifTue 9/28/2010 11:38 AM Just received word from Harvey that Colonel Ed Payne passed away last month. Here is his obituary:

Edward D. Payne

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Col. Edward D. Payne, born in Lamar, Colo., passed away Friday, July 16, 2010, at his home at the age of 76. Col. Ed Payne was an honored U.S. Air Force veteran who was respected as a SR-71 RSO, missile maintenance commander, and always a great boss to the many military personnel who served under him. After serving 30 years, Ed retired from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and became a realtor, a passionate cattle rancher and was an active member of the American Legion in Box Elder, S.D. Always persistent and determined, he fought off many medical conditions and passed after a recent bout of metastatic prostate cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Millie; five daughters, Sherry Packer (Ed), Brenda Kamber (Ken), Janet Payne, Diane Geske (Bill) and Amy Lyons; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three sisters; and two brothers. He was a cherished patriarch who will be forever loved and missed by all. We take consolation in his passing into the peaceful hands of our Lord. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at Black Hills Chapel at Ellsworth AFB. A reception will follow in the chapel annex.

Guestbook Entry: 

August 24, 2010
I had been in the USAF for only 17 months when Col. Payne retired in March, 1986, and I remember seeing a sea of blue shirts from all of the folks at Parade Rest, paying their respects for his 30 years of service... At least half of the base must have been there. While I didn't know too much about Col. Payne at the time, I remember how he would take the time to say hello or chat for a minute with the junior enlisted people working that worked in the 44 SMW for him. I saw and sometimes spoke with him at several functions long after his retirement, and like many, thought the world of him... During his retirement ceremony, one of the last things he said before leaving the podium concerned the younger Airmen in the crowd, concerning their careers in the Air Force: He said (I'm paraphrasing here) "...Don't worry about making mistakes or how you might appear to others, just approach life in this way: On a piece of paper, draw a square, then inside the square a circle... Now put a dot in the center of the circle... and jump right in..." In effect, live life to the fullest not being afraid to take calculated risks and learning as you go... It's been many years since I left the military, and I will always remember the advice and honor the memory of this really good man.

srpatch.gifSeptember 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   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

srpatch.gif9/25/2010, 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


srpatch.gif9/15/2010, 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




srpatch.gifMon, 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] 




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

Guest Book


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.


      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.

3.When you contact Jack Madison the first time:

You MUST include "Blackbird Association Membership" in the subject line

Your Name and Affiliation with the Blackbirds (SR-71 or U-2). 

Your Complete Home Mailing Address. Please insure the address is correct in all aspects. Sending just your E-Mail address is not sufficient. 

Email you Blackbird Association application to:

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