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Guest Book Entries for 2019

 

2019 Guest Book Entries

Updated June 7, 2019

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

srpatch.gif Thu, Jun 6, 5:18pm EST, Tony Landis writes:
Ben Bowles has passed away.


"Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles has passed away.  January 14, 1932 - June 1, 2019.  He was the first SR-71 pilot to reach 900 hours.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving SR-71 #960.  We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.  Ben was an American hero."

The greatest generation is disappearing way too fast.

Tony Landis
Avon, IN

srpatch.gif Thu, June 6, 12:49pm PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Jacob Kratt has passed away.


The Roadrunners Internationale mourn the final flight of Col. Jacob Kratt, Jr. of Spokane, Washington. 3 February 1925 – 28 April 2019

In 1951, the US Air Force had accepted the F-84 as a first-line combat aircraft. Because of the urgency of the Korean War, there was no time to ship F-84s by an aircraft carrier. Jake Kratt and others led mass flights of F-84s across the Pacific Ocean to Korea, using the sextant. Kratt, later a CIA U-2 pilot in Detachment A, shot down 2 MiGs and a Yak-3 while flying the F-84 in Korea.

The Roadrunners remember Jake for his flying for the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1955, Jake Kratt, Bruce Grant, Glen Dunaway, and Hervey Stockman, now flying for the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, met John Raines from CIA security at the Brown Derby in a hotel on Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles. From there, they went to the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank where they boarded a C-54 for their first flight to Area 51 in Nevada where they met Marty Knutson, Wilburn Rose, and Carl Overstreet already in place as U-2 Detachment A.

On 14 April 1956, Flying west over the Mississippi River at the Tennessee border, Jake Kratt’s U-2 experience a flame out. Six hundred miles later, he experienced another, becoming the pilot of the first off-test site flameout landing at Kirtland AFB near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kratt’s U-2 flight covered over 900 miles, including more than 300 by gliding.

Deployed to England ad Detachment A, On 2 July 1956, Jake Kratt flew Mission 2009 over Eastern Europe, heading south from Wiesbaden across Austria into Hungary. Kratt flew past Budapest and turned south flying along the Yugoslav border. The route extended across Bulgaria to the Black Sea back to Wiesbaden, making it a 7-hour sortie.

TD Barnes
Henderson, NV

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Tue, May 14, 2019 7:40pm EDT,
Sgt Danny Grattan writes:

I was a crew chief on the 135's from 1966 to 1970, made many trips across the pond in support of the 71's. This was the best time of my life, thanks for keeping this site going.

Danny Grattan
Long Island, NY
dgrat100@gmail.com

srpatch.gif Tue, May 14, 3:31pm PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Ray Haupt has passed away.


We just received word that U-2 Brother Ray Haupt (solo Feb 1957) took his final flight West.
He had been in hospice for just about two months.  A great guy with a long background in the U-2 and SR-71.

TD Barnes
Henderson, NV

srpatch.gif Fri, Apr27, 1:01pm PDT, Civ Michael Czarnecki writes:
Matthew Czarnecki has passed away.


My brother MSgt Matthew F. Czarnecki (USAF, Ret.) was a Maintenance Crew member on the SR-71 in the USAF.  Sorry to say that he passed away and I am his brother, Michael Czarnecki who wishes to help his surviving wife and daughter collect memories/photos of his life.
Matthew retired when attached to Beale AFB and settled in Petaluma California.  His daughter Tracy received from him a SR-71 ring that was carried onboard during the SR-71 Speed Run Record.  The Czarnecki Family is in the process of gathering any memorabilia in the public domain of this part of his life for a Celebration of Life Memorial sometime in June near his birthday, he would of been 79.
If anyone could assist the Czarnecki Family in any way to help us gather information about his time associated with the SR-71 it would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Czarnecki
mikeczar@me.com

srpatch.gif Fri, April 19, 10:05am PDT, TD Barnes writes:
Billy O'Neal has passed away.


Billy O'Neal passed away on Sunday, April 14.  His son posted the following on Facebook:
It is with a broken heart and lots of tears that I let you all know that my father passed away on Sunday.  He is now with my Mom in Heaven which is all he wanted....I will miss the stories about his military career on the SR-71 and his trips to Korea and Okinawa. The reminders with his memories of our time in Beale Air Force Base and Hahn West Germany.

TD Barnes
Henderson, NV

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Sun, Apr 7, 2019 7:00pm PDT,
Sgt John Peterson writes:

I was a J-58 mechanic in the jet shop from 1986 to 1990.  I am so proud to have been a part of the SR-71's history.  I would love to hear from any of my old co-workers. Ssgt. Wayne Stephans...you out there?  Pamela HendersonCrispy CritterNatalie, Thrash, Turner, Pete, Wendell, SSgt. Lorrimore and CrawfordSSgt. Conod?  Anyone from that time in life feel free to drop me a note!

John Peterson
Monterey, CA
jplocal104@gmail.com

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Thu, Mar 28, 2019 4:12pm PDT,
SrA Ronald Lostica writes:

In 1980 Beale AFB, CA was my first assignment and was fortunate to be assigned to the 9TH FMS Hydro Shop.  I want to thank everyone that I worked with that worked in 9th FMS 1980-1984.

Ronald Lostica
Fairfield, CA
rglsotica@gmail.com

srpatch.gif Sun, Mar 24, 9:40pm EDT, Maj Robert Rieser writes:
Stanley Knight has passed away.


Stanley Knight passed away Wednesday 13 March 2019.  I was privileged to work with Stan in the 1980s at RAF Mildenhall where he played a key role as our civilian expert keeping the TEOCs ready for each mission.  Stan was the man we could count on to troubleshoot any camera anomalies.  Stan was top notch.  He could be counted on to expend that extra effort to ensure mission success.  I will miss his sense of humor and his friendship.
Here is a link to his obituary:
https://obittree.com/obituary/us/indiana/bloomington/the-funeral-chapel/stanley-knight/3775663/index.php

Robert Rieser
Falls Church, VA
barcroftkayaker@aol.com

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Mon, Mar 4, 2019 5:59pm CST,
MSgt Menko Christoph writes:

Already looking forward to the June 2019 Blackbird Reunion in Sparks/Reno Nevada.  At the same time, I'm anxious to know who from my former co-workers (primarily 9 AMS) are planning to attend this year's get-together? Feel free to contact me anytime at 636-447-8539.  Cheers aka "Prost".... Habus ueber alles...

Menko Christoph
St. Peters, MO
menko_christoph@yahoo.com

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Sun, Feb 24, 2019 9:54pm PST,
MSgt Jerry McKern writes:

Ran Jet engine shop and flight line engine battle from 1991 to 1995.  Looking for maintainers who live in Oregon.

Jerry McKern
Keizer, OR
jerrymckern@yahoo.com

srpatch.gif Fri, Feb 4, 3:44pm PST, Sgt Richard J. George writes:
Larry Hart has passed away.


I would like to inform you that Larry B. Hart, 70, from East Haven, CT passed away on January 30, 2018.  He was stationed @ Beale AFB and worked in hydraulics.  We actually got in contact through this site, years back.

RJ George
Dallas, OR
crazyolmoon@sbcglobal.net

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Wed, Jan 16, 2019 7:42pm PST,
Civ Steve Bolton writes:

Chair of the National Air Force Museum of Canada.  Follower of blackbird info and stories.

Steve Bolton
Trenton, Ontario
boltonsteve0@gmail.ca

srpatch.gif Fri, Jan 11, 6:13pm EST, Tony Landis writes:
Reg Blackwell has passed away.


In case you didn't hear, Reg Blackwell passed away last week.  His full obituary is here:

http://www.englandfamilymortuary.tributecenteronline.com/obituaries/Reginald-Toney-Blackwell?obId=4018798#/obituaryInfo

Tony Landis
Avon, IN







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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