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Guest Book Entries for 2021


2021 Guest Book Entries

Updated November 2, 2021

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

Sat, Oct 30, 6:49pm EDT,
SSgt Michael Blanc writes:

I served under MSgt Roland "Duke" Aird in photo maintenance and job control 1984 to 1987 at Kadena Air Force Base.

Michael Blanc
Naples, FL

Mon, Oct 25, 10:04am EDT,
Civ David Reese writes:

I would like to ask for your assistance with finding contact information for one of Richmond L Miller’s family.  I think my father Maj. Walton Daniel Reese 1922-2002, a Flight Engineer with Lockheed knew Col. Miller as a pilot with the SR-71 program at Edwards in the mid sixties.  My brother Steven remembered our father introducing him to Col. Miller one time in about 1965.  I have been unable to find a record of my father's service with Lockheed on Buddy Brown's List or a copy of his Mach 3+ Certificate signed by Kelly Johnson.  My sister says she has seen the certificate but it seems to be lost.
If one of Col. Miller’s family is willing to share any recollection of my father as a friend of their father that may be helpful.  I would be most grateful for your assistance.

David Reese
Athens, TN

Sat, Oct 23, 12:58pm PDT,
Civ Larry White writes:

Member of 9RTS from July 69 to December 74.

Larry White
Olympia, WA

Sat, Oct 16, 6:58pm EDT,
GySgt Carl Nielsen USMC writes:

An early entry in the Guest Book relates a story about a certain ‘Drag Chute Deployment’.  During one of my many deployments to Okinawa with the Marine Corps, I met (and ‘dated’) a Blackbird Drag Chute Packer at Kadena.  She worked on lights and electrics for the Okinawa Choral Society, during some of her off-duty time.  She traveled back and forth between Beale and Kadena, we lost touch over the years.  While searching the internet, I ran across the “Drag Chute Deployment” story and wondered if The Author didn’t want to be named by request, because it might have been HER.  Whether it was or not, you have a wonderful web site for one of the greatest aircraft in the annals of manned flight!  And some remarkable stories from the men and women who knew them, intimately.

Carl A. Nielsen
Becket, MA

Mon, Sep 27, 12:57pm PDT,
TSgt Bill Clingan writes:

Ran training at Beale AFB.

Bill Clingan
Yuba City, CA

srpatch.gif Sat, Aug 28, 9:32 PM EDT, Mike Bryan writes:
George Parsons has passed away.

My uncle George Parsons, who was #18 on the list, passed away in July 2011.  He was an FCO on B-58 Hustlers which helped land him the FCO on the YF-12.
He did share a couple of stories.  They were shooting at the B-47 target drone that was at 500 AGL over the Gulf of Mexico.  They had some kind of emergency and had to land right away.  They went to an airfield near Houston.  It just so happened that particular airport was having a air show that day.  He said that they landed and taxied into the hanger and the doors closed with a guard outside.  He was sure that the spectators were all wondering what they just saw.  He didn’t have a change of clothes with him so they had to take him into town in his space suit to get some clothes.
He was my favorite uncle.

Mike Bryan

srpatch.gif Sat, Aug 28, 11:42am PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Robert Powell has passed away.

U-2 Brother Robert “Bob” Powell (solo Aug 1959) made his final flight today after a long illness.  Bob checked out in the U-2 at Del Rio on 3 Aug 59 and the SR at Beale on 5 July 67.  Bob accumulated over 1,500 hours in the U-2.  He was one of the 8 early U-2 pilots to transfer to Beale to be in on the activation of the SR.  He was the first 9th SRW pilot to reach 1,000 hours in the SR-71.  He was one of the 10 pilots in the AF to fly operational missions in both the U-2 and the SR-71.  He is the only crew with 1000 hours in both aircraft.

His obituary is at

TD Barnes
Hendersonville, NV

srpatch.gif Wed, Jul 28, 3:19pm PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Bill Weaver has passed away.

Today, the aviation community lost another of its icons, Lockheed test pilot, Bill Weaver, a great friend, mentor, and colleague to many.  Bill Weaver once said, "Among professional aviators, there's a well-worn saying: Flying is simply hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.  And yet, I don't recall too many periods of boredom during my 30-year career with Lockheed, most of which was spent as a test pilot."

This describes Bill's most memorable flight that occurred on Jan. 25, 1966 when Jim Zwayer, a Lockheed flight test reconnaissance and navigation systems specialist, and he were evaluating those systems on an SR-71 Blackbird test from Edwards AFB,Calif.  His account of what happened is a must-read.

We’ll never forget you, Bill.  Our condolences to Bill’s family.

TD Barnes
Hendersonville, NV

srpatch.gif Tue, Jul 27, 7:53am PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Bill Fox has passed away.

The Roadrunners International Association of former Area 51 veterans is saddened by Bill"Foxy” Fox's, past association president and a good friend, departing on his final flight.  Bill was one of 20 charter members of the Blackbird Laurels Society organized to honor those deemed most responsible for the success of the Blackbird.  In April of 2005, Bill received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Osage Educational Foundation for outstanding achievements and contributions to society following graduation.

More about Bill Fox:

TD Barnes
Hendersonville, NV

Fri, Jul 23, 10:34pm EDT,
E-4 Darryl McKinney writes:

I proudly worked in the Orderly Room, Working under LtCol Murphy, LtCol McKean and others.  I once went on a KC-135 to refuel the BLACKBIRD.  Working three years in the Det, and witnessing firsthand El Dorado Canyon Mission.  My association with the SR, and Det 4 personnel will NEVER be forgotten.

Darryl McKinney
South Bend, IN

srpatch.gif Fri, Jul 23, 4:20pm PDT, Robby Butterfield writes:
Lee Shelton has passed away.

I'm sorry I have to pass this on, I found out this morning that Lee Shelton passed.  He was the commander at Det 1.  A tribute page has been set up for him here:
He was a really good commander and a very good person, he will will truly be missed.  Funeral will be Friday.

Robby Butterfield
Las Vegas, NV

Wed, Jul 7, 10:32am PDT,
Sally Anne Johnson writes:

Thank you all who serve at such a high level.  I am proud to have known Dick Kratt.  Proud that we both set off Geiger counter bleeps at Lowes from yellow cake Uranium residue in our bones.  You may not be visible, the cost of the job, but you will never be forgotten by those who count.  With love and respect, a "salley", Sally Anne Johnson

Sally Anne Johnson
San Jose, CA

Mon, Jun 21, 8:24pm CDT,
SMSgt Debbie Atkinson writes:

Looking for old friends from Okinawa.  Possibly attended or was part of Debbie and Ed's marriage.

Debbie Atkinson (Tilschner)
Norman, OK

srpatch.gif Tue, Jun 15, 3:27pm EDT, Kevin Lantz writes:
Myron Gantt has passed away.

Just thought I'd let you know that LtCol Myron L. Gantt, an SR-71 RSO from 1968 to 1972, has passed away, May 5, 2021.

Kevin Lantz

srpatch.gif Mon, Jun 14, 3:46pm EDT, Cindy Murphy writes:
Jim Sullivan has passed away.

Col James V. Sullivan passed away March 1, 2021.

Cindy Murphy
Woods Cross, UT

Sun, Jun 13, 11:16am PDT,
Ron Burton writes:

Could you be so kind as to add the Annual BBM picnic to the BlackBird Events Page.  Full details at

Ron Burton
Yuba City, CA

srpatch.gif Wed, Jun 9, 1:40am PDT, TSgt Herbert Greathouse writes:
William Shelby has passed away.

TSgt William (Bill) Shelby passed away June 8th, 2021.  He was in the 9th FMS/AMS Instrument Shop at Beale.

Herbert Greathouse
Yuba City, CA

Tue, Jun 8, 3:04pm EDT,
Civ Don Turley writes:

My father TSgt Ronald C. "Jonesy" Turley worked on the SR-71 and was in from 1965-1980.  I know he was crew chief on F4 phantoms and in the end did egress systems on F16s at Hill AFB.  He was at Kadena and Beale at some point in his career.  I am piecing his story together after his death in 2017 and looking for any stories.  Maybe one of you guys knew of him.

Don Turley

Mon, Jun 7, 4:13pm EDT,
SSgt John V. Pavia writes:

In 1969 I was a crew chief on an SR-71 on Swing Shift.  Hornburg was day shift.  I was the one who got a bath in JP7 when I was changing fuel filters.  Come to find out the cannon plug was not connected, so I had to pull the tire can with fuel dumping on me to get to the manual lever.  Thank you Brad.

Jack Pavia
Beverly, MA

srpatch.gif Thu, Jun 3, 11:16am PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Mike Schmitz has passed away.

The Roadrunners Internationale association and the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame are saddened to announce Mike Schmitz's final flight.  Mike was the photographer for both organizations, a task that he excelled at and enjoyed very much.  In addition, Mike was a proud USAF SR-71 enlisted veteran and a member of the SR-71 Blackbird association.  Our condolences to Mike's family and many friends.  Funeral services will be private.

TD Barnes

srpatch.gif Tue, Jun 1, 10:43am EDT, Maj Harry Pittman writes:
Jack Veth has passed away.

Lt Col Jack Veth died during the night May 27 from cancer.

Harry Pittman

Thu, May 20, 1:48am PDT,
MSgt Tommy Spahr writes:

At Beale AFB March 1972 to 1980, assistant crew chief on 58-0103 with Paul Scott then crew chief on 59-1460.   Started on B-52's then about 75 went to the tankers.   What great job, I enjoyed every minute.  Hopefully there are still some Beale Bandits out there?   Now I'm retired Master Sargent in Atwater, California.

Tommy Spahr
Atwater, CA

Sun, Apr 18, 3:41pm PDT,
Civ Timothy Gardner writes:

As a Senior Technical Representative from Itek Optical Systems Division, I supported the SR-71, OOC (Operational Objective Camera System) and the OB (Optical Bar Camera System).  I served at both Beale Air Force Base, Ca. and OL-8, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1969 thru 1971.

Timothy Gardner
San Jose, CA

Sat, Apr 17, 10:10am CDT,
SSgt Pete Fischer writes:

I was in the SLR Shop from May of ‘74 to August of ‘79.  Bat Approved!

Pete Fischer
Forest Lake, MN

Wed, Apr 7, 7:29pm CDT,
Maj Ronald B. Jenkins writes:

Every now and then I log onto this web site to see if anyone from my old unit has popped up.  I was a Side Looking Radar (SLR) Spec. & part of the first group assigned to Beale in '67.  Our unit was the 4200 SMW, later, it was changed to the 9th SRW.  I was selected for the AECP, went to CSU, commissioned a 2nd LT in 1970.  Retired 1985 as an 04.  Now a resident of the Army Retirement Community for 11 years with my aussie bride of 40 plus years, from a hardship tour down under.  Love to hear from any survivors from Beale or Oz.

Ronald Jenkins
San Antonio, TX

Sat, Feb 20, 9:04pm PST,
E4 Dennis Dunne writes:

Beale AFB, Yokota AFB, Hickam AFB.  1969-1973, Precision photo processor, QC.

Dennis Dunne
Reno, NV

Tue, Jan 19, 12:08am PST,
TSgt Eloy Sandoval writes:

Former SR crew chief turned tanker boom operator.  Just wishing all of you a blessed life.

Eloy "Sandy" Sandoval
Albuquerque, NM

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 ensure 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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