FROM THE PAST Guest Book Entries for 2021
Leland Haynes passed away on November 26, 2010. I was honored that he and his family asked that I continue keeping this web site going after he passed. Since he passed away, there have been no postings to the Guestbook/Alma Mater page, because all submissions went to his personal email address, to which I had no access.
At the request of many people in the Blackbird Community, I am resuming the Alma Mater page. I have created a new submission site, in the same format and with the same rules as the one created by Leland. All of Leland's rules below will be followed to the letter.
- David Allison (www.habu.org) on behalf of Leland Haynes and family
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 ensure
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 the:
There are Twenty-Five 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
The first year group starts in 1996 and includes the year 1997
"Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines."
Mon, Dec 21, 1:24pm PST, SSgt Aaron Brown
Assigned to Det 4, 9SRW Maintenance from October 1986 to August of 1990.
Wed, Dec 16, 10:37am PST,TD Barnes
writes: Dean Engberg has passed away.
Roadrunners Internationale is saddened to inform the aviation community of Dean R. Engberg (Msgt, USAF Ret) taking his final flight.
Engberg arrived from Hamilton AFB to Edwards AFB (Hanger 1810) for assignment to Detachment 9, 4608 Support Squadron (ADC) on June 1, 1965, as a crew chief for testing and evaluating the YF-12A Mach 3 interceptor under Col Vern Henderson's command. There, he worked side by side with maintenance personnel from SAC, AFSC, and Lockheed on both the YF-12 formerly flown at Area 51 and the SR-71.
Engberg served a tour at the Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam after which he was assigned to the newly activated 4786 Test Squadron (F-12/NASA Test Force) at Edwards AFB to train NASA personnel in the YF-12A. Engberg was the crew chief for Air Force YF-12 Article 936 that crashed near Barstow, California following an engine fire.
Mon, Dec 14, 3:11pm PST,TD Barnes
writes: Dennis Sullivan has passed away.
My sad duty is to inform the Central Intelligence Agency, US Navy, the US Air Force and friends that today, 14 December 2020 of BGen Dennis B. Sullivan's final flight.
General Sullivan is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a command pilot with 7,000 flying experience hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
In 2011, the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame - EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin inducted General Sullivan into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.
President, Roadrunners Internationale
Mon, Nov 23, 3:14pm PST,TD Barnes
writes: Jack Fenimore has passed away.
It is with a heavy heart this I must inform you that Jack Fenimore took his final flight and
headed West into the sunset on 17 Nov. 2020. Jack had been fighting a courageous fight with
Agent Orange over the past two years and it finally won the battle. May he rest in peace.
Jack first flew the U-2 in 1966 and went on to become an outstanding instructor pilot. He
ended his military career at Beale AFB as the Wing's Director of Operations.
Interment details are being worked out but it will most likely be a private service with full
military honors. Details to follow.
Fri, Nov 20, 7:08pm PST, Civ. Justin Queal
My father is Lt. Col.William N Queal III. He was on the maintenance ground crew for the SR-71 speed records in 1976. Al Joersz was the pilot. I am trying to find him, haven't seen him in 22 years. Does anyone know him?
Tue, Nov 3, 7:30pm PST, SSgt Kim A. Kirschenman
I was an Air Traffic Controller from 1975 to 1981 at Beale AFB. One of the most beautiful moments of my time at Beale was standing just outside the GCA Radar unit, 550 feet from the center line of the runway, just after sunset, and watching a SR-71 take off. It was breathtaking watching the aircraft lift off at about 5000 feet down Runway 14, with full afterburners roaring. Standing 550 feet from the take-off was pure magic. The five and half years stationed at Beale, as a Controller will never be forgotten.
Kim A. Kirschenman
Fri, Oct 16, 10:01pm EDT, Civ Kelly McDonald Hammerle
I'm hoping to find anyone who might recall my father, MSgt James T. McDonald. He was a jet engine mechanic. We were at Beale from 72-77. He sold his hand-built Metro, it was red with a white top, when we had to go to McGuire. Just wanted to see if anyone recalled him. Thank you all for your time and service. The SR will always be one of my favorites.
Kelly McDonald Hammerle
Sat, Oct 10, 4:41pm CDT, Civ David Allison
writes: Dave Fruehauf has passed away.
I just heard from his son Eric that LtCol (Ret) Dave Fruehaf passed away this morning at the age of 83. He was a good friend and a truly unique individual.
My Husband was Eugene Vertner Darby Jr. I lost Eugene on April 18, 2015. If it is O.K. with you, I would love to have information on my husband while he was a part of DET 1 Ichiban.
Gene was so very private about what his role was and his military career. He talked and reminisced infrequently about many things. He also talked about being the first to start the initiation of cutting the tie. I have an article that I saved relating to this but I currently cannot find it. It has been a number of years but I am still finding items that make me curious as I continue to learn how dynamic he truly was.
He was a part of the 4200th SRW established in 1965 commanded by Colonel Douglas T. Nelson. He along with others crewed the SR71 Blackbirds, his was 17966.
I would very much like for you to add my email to the Alma Mater page, so that those who knew him can reply to me directly. Thank you.
Rosie L. Darby
Mon, Aug 10, 2:20pm EDT, MSgt Robert Bragg
Thought I would update, been a while. Was stationed at Beale twice, 65 to 67 and 68 and 69 on Q tankers. Crewed 58-0117. Several trips to Kadena. Left Beale and was at Kadena 69 to 73.
Thu, Aug 6, 1:51am CDT, E2 Shirley Williams
1975 Beale, I was the first woman in the Command Post at Beale AFB. Absolutely loved watching the SR-71 do everything! Didn't stay in the AF. But, I still love the Blackbird!
Sun, Jun 26, 11:20pm PDT, TSgt Herbert A. Greathouse
writes: Russ Keiter has passed away.
Yuba City, CA
Tue, Jul 21, 10:49pm EDT, Sgt Benny A. Greene
Com/Nav shop--Radio. 1966-1969.
Thu, Jul 9, 6:09pm PDT, LtCol Michael C. Krotchie
I was an aircraft maintenance officer in the "Program" from 1975-1981.
Las Vegas, NV
Tue, Jun 23, 9:49am EDT, Army Specialist (Ret) Brian LaMar Linville
SSgt USAF James D. Linville's family
would love to get in touch with Sgt. Victor Cherry, who served with
him in the 9th Field Maintainance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, California from 1966-1970.
Sun, Jun 21, 9:20am PDT, Civ WSLO Sandy Brierty
I was secretary to Lee Olson at Beale & Norton AFBs, Calif. under LtCol Selberg. The SR-71 Blackbird Program & Skunk Works, Pave Paws.
Cave Junction, OR
Wed, Jun 10, 5:05pm PDT, Col Tony Bevacqua
writes: Jerry Crew has passed away.
My original RSO who was medically retired in about 1969. He had been living in Webb, Iowa, when he passed away suddenly. Really a good guy and one of the originals. He always looked the picture of health. Bad loss.
Yuba City, CA
Sat, Jun 6, 1:07pm PDT, Sgt Gary Meeks
Crew chief on the Q models 1490 and 077. 1968-69 PCS, U-Tapao Dec 69-Dec 70, and then PCS right back to Beale. Great assignment and a lot of TDY. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Brian Loescher let me know; he was also at U-Tapao and then PCS Beale in 71-72. The training I received translated to 33 years with United Airlines. Well I donâ€™t want to run on so if anyone wants to talk give me call. Thanks for the time and space.
Fri, Jun 5, 9:45am EDT, TSgt Steven E. Hinrichs
I was assigned to the Electrical Shop from 1977-1982. I miss all the friends and people I had met during that time. Working the SR was tough but yet some of the best times ever. I will never forget Beale nor its people during my tenure there.
Mon, Apr 27, 11:16am PDT, TSgt John Floe
The SR-71 was my first jet as a crew chief critical task instructor, quality assurance and phase dock as well. From 1981-1990.
Mon, Apr 14, 1:41am CDT, SSgt Gary Chaffin
writes: Jack Kennedy has passed away.
Jack Kennedy passed at 18:07 4/13/2020. He was a great friend..
Wed, Mar 11, 12:18pm CDT, Sgt Neal D Pinkowski
Former crew chief on Q model 135, 59-1520. I always check into this site and have found a few from the past that remember me. It feels good to open the hangar doors with someone who has gone through the same as me. I was at Kadena in 71+72 and would like to hear from anyone who was there at that time. Hung out in the Bell Bar on Gate 2 Street. Best C+W music on the island. Stayed in barracks 134 room 116. That building is no longer there. Anyone drop me a line, God bless you all.
Mon, Feb 10, 8:15am PST, TD Barnes
writes: Lonnie Liss has passed away.
Fri, Feb 7, 2020 9:36pm CST, MSgt Thomas Tegen
Spent 3 years working the bird as a hydro troop 83-86.
De Pere, WI
Thu, Feb 6, 2020 4:08pm PST, Civ Marjorie Gersten
Just browsing this site. I am daughter to RSO Lt. Col. Mark H. Gersten and sister to Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten.
Yuba City, CA
Wed, Jan 15, 7:03pm MST, Capt Don Shipman
writes: Ron Cade has passed away.
I would like to pass on that Msgt. Ron Cade passed away in Aug. 2018. Ron was a photo interpreter in the 9th RTS in 1966-69 and was also assigned to VN, March AFB, and DMA as a PI. Ron was a friend and we worked together on several assignments.
Sun, Jan 12, 12:57pm PST, TD Barnes
writes: Frederick Milton White has passed away.
Roadrunners Internationale is saddened at the final flight of Lockheed engineer, Fred White. The Roadrunners remember Fred as the one responsible for directing and producing the flight manuals needed for operation of the A-12, YF-12A, SR-71 and U-2 aircraft at Area 51. In retirement, Fred was the official photographer at the Roadrunners Internationale Association reunions. More about Fred is available at http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/fred_white.html
Fred White, 98, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 24, at Summit Estates in Reno, Nevada, where he had lived since September 2018. He was a longtime resident of Sonora. A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Columbia Presbyterian Church of the 49ers in Columbia.
Thu, Jan 9, 11:07am PST, TD Barnes
writes: Robert Murphy has passed away.
The Roadrunners Internationale alumni must sadly announce the final flight of Robert â€œBobâ€ Murphy, an aviation icon of the Lockheed Skunkworks and Area 51. In 1962, Bob was promoted as superintendent for the D-21 development program and also assumed responsibility for the manufacturing of non-metallic fabrication for all ADP programs. In August 1964, he received a promotion to plant manager of Site 2 in Palmdale, assuming responsibility for production, final assembly, flight test, and delivery of all SR-71 aircraft.
Services for Bob are Monday, February 3, starting at 9:30 am rosary/10 am Mass at St. Johnâ€™s in Encinitas, then internment at Miramar @ 12:30. Reception/wake to follow at Officers Club.
The family requests any cards go to address below for sharing with everyone at the service:
2127 Oxford Ave
Cardiff CA 92007
Wed, Jan 8, 2020 2:09am PST, MSgt Bruce Smith
I worked SR-71 and/or U-2/TR-1 from 75 to 89 in the ANS and guidance and control shops, at Beale, Kadena and Alconbury.
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".
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:
MUST include "Blackbird
in the subject
with the Blackbirds (SR-71 or U-2).
Complete Home Mailing Address. Please
ensure the address is correct in all aspects. Sending just your E-Mail address
is not sufficient.