2021 Summer Friends Journal Sampler

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Research for a Simulator

A Farm Boy Joined the Army Air Corps

Supporting USAF Water Survival School





The magazine of the Air Force Museum Foundation




Summer 2021, Vol. 44 No. 3

mike’s musings



Dr. Pamela A. Drew

Back in the 1930s when homes were heated by coal and the walls were covered in soot, a semi-sticky goop was developed to get it off. While this simple product of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil did not resonate with consumers at the time, a teacher in the 1950’s recognized its value as a nondrying clay for kids. As a result, more than three billion cans, and 700 million pounds of production later, the goop has become the consumer favorite we know as Play Doh. For me, Play Doh was the coolest product as I could roll it flat, press it against and copy my favorite Sunday color comic. And that was when the magic happened. The Play Doh was more than simply something I could mold in my hands; it was something that could be transformed by absorbing from its surroundings — picking up the story of the comic. And that’s what I value most about visitors’ experiences in the Museum. They absorb the stories told and are then transformed by what they absorb. Thanks to your continued generosity, this experience is repeated thousands of times a day, 362 days a year. Whether it’s a young woman walking through the Women in the Air Force exhibit, a young man viewing the GPS exhibit, or the conversations families have as they connect with the stories immersively conveyed, visitors to the Museum leave with an altered impression, or a completely new perspective they could never have imagined. All because of you. V/r,


Lt Gen C.D. Moore II, USAF (Ret) SECRETARY

CMSAF Gerald R. Murray, USAF (Ret) TREASURER

Brig Gen Paul R. Cooper, USAF (Ret) Ms. Angela L. Billings Col James F. Blackman, USAF (Ret) Mr. John G. Brauneis Mr. Roger D. Duke Ms. Anita Emoff Col Frederick D. Gregory Sr., USAF (Ret) Mr. Benjamin T. Guthrie Mr. James L. Jennings Mr. Scott L. Jones Mr. Ki Ho Kang Dr. Thomas J. Lasley II Mr. Scott E. Lundy Gen Lester L. Lyles, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Ted P. Maxwell, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Brian C. Newby, USAF (Ret) Gen Gary L. North, USAF (Ret) Mr. Edgar M. Purvis Jr. Maj Gen Frederick F. Roggero, USAF (Ret) CMSgt Darla J. Torres, USAF (Ret) Dr. Andrea Townsend Mr. Randy Tymofichuk


Mike Imhoff Air Force Museum Foundation Chief Executive Officer


Col Mark N. Brown, USAF (Ret) Mr. James F. Dicke II Ms. Frances A. Duntz Mr. Charles J. Faruki Maj Gen E. Ann Harrell, USAF (Ret) Col William S. Harrell, USAF (Ret) Mr. Jon G. Hazelton Mr. Charles F. Kettering III Mr. Patrick L. McGohan Lt Gen Richard V. Reynolds, USAF (Ret) Col Susan E. Richardson, USAF (Ret) Gen Charles T. (Tony) Robertson, USAF (Ret) Mr. R. Daniel Sadlier Col James B. Schepley, USAF (Ret) Mr. Scott J. Seymour Mr. Harry W. (Wes) Stowers Jr. Mr. Robert J. Suttman II, CFA

what’s inside 19 IN EVERY ISSUE



We’re here to help








Medal of Honor recipient: 1st Lt Edward Rickenbacker


36 |

28 |

“I also couldn’t help but notice how close the H-3’s rotor was to the C-130’s tail.”

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Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

52 |


12 |



SURVIVAL SCHOOL “He was in danger of drowning in his suit.”

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“Conventional photomapping was rapidly being replaced by overhead (satellite) assets.”

“To tell the personal stories of the struggles and successes of aviation and Air Force personnel.”

Open Aircraft Days and more

14 |

45 |

54 |


Reunions Around the Country


“Perdomo shyly stated that he had destroyed five aircraft.”

19 |


AIR CORPS “All of a sudden the two left engines stopped and also the outer right engine.”

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“Another B-17 dropped out of the overcast at our twelve o’clock position coming directly toward us.”

On the Cover: Curtiss C-46D Commando at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Photo: U.S. Air Force


summer 2021


“The local T V news had just announced that a “sonic boom” had pounded the town of Middletown.”

48 |


“I could train a gorilla to fly, but I’m having a problem with you!”

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“The supplies were all in India, and could only get into China by air.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the Friends Journal articles and Feedback letters are solely those of the authors in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., the United States Air Force or any other entity or agency of the U.S. Government. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.


editor’s notes


Michael Imhoff


Christopher Adkins-Lamb



Gary Beisner


Mary Bruggeman

Reunions are an important part of commemorating significant life events. They enable us to keep in touch with people we share some strong connection with, and to re-engage with people we’ve lost touch with. Class reunions and family reunions are summer gatherings we all have on our calendars. Military reunions rank near the top in terms of groups commemorating significant life events. There are scores of military groups holding reunions every month, and the Friends Journal is happy to help enable veterans to reconnect with each other at these gatherings. However, the number of reunion listings in the Journal is rapidly dwindling. While reviewing the Summer 1995 issue of the Friends Journal recently I noted there were over 300 Air Force unit reunions covering eight and a half pages of that issue. In the Spring 2021 issue we had 18 reunions on one page, and eight of those were from Army and Navy units. Granted most of the reunions in the 1995 issue were WWII units that have since disbanded as their membership dwindled due to the passing of that generation. Yet there are still groups from Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, and even Desert Shield/Desert Storm who meet regularly to catch up with each other. If you are a member of a reunion group, or know of one planning a reunion, please let the reunion chairman know that we publish reunion notices. In addition to helping notify group membership, we can also help notify those veterans who may not be part of the organization but served with the unit or at the base your group represents, and who would like to attend a reunion. We’ve also posted notices for reunion groups who have opened their reunions to other veterans who didn’t serve with the unit but were associated in some other way (for example, the gunship group who opened their reunion to “anyone whose bacon we saved”). So, if your group or a group you know is planning a reunion, please encourage them to email the information to me at aarmitage@afmuseum.com. We want you to have a successful reunion, because we know how important it is to stay in touch with your past.

Alan Armitage aarmitage@afmuseum.com



Chuck Edmonson


William Horner


Melinda Lawrence


Sarah Shatzkin


Crystal Van Hoose


David Tillotson III


Alan Armitage


Cheryl Prichard


John King, Art Powell, Robert Pinizzotto

If your Friends Journal is damaged during delivery, you have a question about delivery, or you have a change of address or other information, please contact the FRIENDS OFFICE:

937.258.1225 friends@afmuseum.com The Friends Journal is published quarterly by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of the National Museum of the U.S. Air ForceTM and to the preservation of the history of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no government status. Printed in the USA. USPS Standard A rate postage paid at Dayton, OH. The Friends Journal is mailed on a quarterly basis to donors to the Air Force Museum Foundation..


friends feedback

O YT N A 0 12:0 M P


DECEMBER 31, 2020, THROWBACK THURSDAY ARTICLE MSGT NICK MERTES, USAF (RET) WROTE: I read the Linebacker II article Megan Rehberg included with this week’s Throwback Thursday email with great interest. It brought back a lot of memories. I was assigned to the 432nd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Udorn RTAFB from late November 1972 to early November 1973 as a Precision Photoprocessing Control Specialist (AFSC 23450). I worked in the Quality Control shop (QC) as a shift supervisor managing the eight Kodak Versamat 11c film processors and four Kodak Niagara continuous printers in the lab. My time at Udorn included many long shifts, good off-duty memories, and the following joke perpetrated on a former Army enlisted troop who got his degree and commission. I had four bottles of film cleaner labeled “Peanut Butter & Jelly Remover,” “Liquid F-Stop,” “Cloud Eradicator,” and “Film Cleaner” on my desk in the QC shop. Everybody in the lab and photo intel (PI) shop knew all four contained film cleaner. The PI shop had an Army captain intel officer working with them who was a former enlisted troop and was gung ho to the max (one of those guys you could cut your finger on the crease of his pants). One day someone in the PI shop sent him over to the QC shop, when I was working a day shift, to ask for a bottle of Cloud Eradicator; ostensibly to remove clouds from a frame of film (something that is physically impossible). I handed it to him and after he left, asked my boss, MSgt Bob Berwaldt, how long before he would return. Five minutes later, the captain came storming into QC and started ripping me up one side and down the other loud enough that the lab boss, Capt Bob Frascatti, heard the commotion and came to see what was happening. Berwaldt and Frascatti stood there trying to keep from laughing out loud.


When the PI captain finally quit yelling at me, Captain Frascatti told him in no uncertain terms that if he had a problem with one of his troops, he needed to follow the chain-of-command and bring it to his attention first. The PI captain was still steaming when he realized what he had done. About that time one of the other PI officers arrived to let the Army troop know that he’d been had and the joke was on him. He went back to the PI shop with his tail tucked between his legs and was never seen in the lab again.


THIS ISSUE’S STAMP The stamp in this issue is a 1995 60-cent international-rate stamp honoring Eddie Rickenbacker, aviation pioneer and World War I ace. It depicts Rickenbacker along with the SPAD XIII in which he achieved most of his victories. Rickenbacker was born October 8, 1890, in Columbus, OH. A professional race car driver before the war, he was the leading American ace of World War I, shooting down a total of 22 planes and four balloons. During World War II, Rickenbacker provided his knowledge and services, visiting Allies and assessing their operations. While on an inspection trip of US bases in October 1942, Rickenbacker’s plane was forced to ditch in the Pacific. He and seven others were rescued after floating in rubber rafts for 24 days.

TALK TO US Send your comments to P.O. Box 1903, WPAFB, OH 45433 or email aarmitage@afmuseum.com. For comments or questions directed at the Foundation that don’t pertain to the magazine, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page at afmuseum.com. facebook.com/ Air.Force.Museum.Foundation @AFMFoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation @airforcemuseumfoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation

MSgt Nick Mertes, USAF (Ret)

summer 2021


friends feedback


I just finished reading the Spring 2021 issue of Friends Journal and one story that stuck out and brought back a flood of memories was “Preventing Nuclear War,” looking back to the Cold War. I was stationed at RAF Upper Heyford from 1961 to 1964. During that same time (1960 to 1965) Lt Col Valens was fortunate enough to be a copilot on the B-47 bomber, I was unfortunate enough to be a Security Policeman walking point guard on B-47s on the alert pad. We were affectionately known as "Ramp Rats.”

I received the 2021 Spring issue in yesterday’s mail and consumed it in one sitting today. Thank you for publishing the magazine. It is really great, and I thoroughly enjoy receiving it.

Lt Col Valens wrote at the sound of the klaxon the aircrews made a mad dash for their airplanes and by the time they got there the crew chief would usually have power on the aircraft. I don’t mean to take anything away from the crew chief and I do not know how things were run at Greenham Common. However, at Upper Heyford it was the Security Policeman’s responsibility to fire up the MD-3 power unit, throw power to the aircraft, pull engine, pitot tube and gun covers. Furthermore, we then pulled the wheel chocks and pulled fire guard as the engines were started. Once all engines were up and running we would unplug the MD-3 unit and move it out of the way. This was followed by pulling the wheel chocks. From that point the crew chief would take over and using the wands direct the plane from the hardstand to the taxi way. More than once the crew chief did not get there in a timely fashion and the guard would do that job as well. Lt Col Valens, please give the “Ramp Rats” a little credit. We had a thankless job looking after your airplane 24/7 and in all kinds of weather. Believe it or not but we actually looked forward to alerts as it gave us something to do besides walk around your bird, count rivets, and try to stay warm and dry.

Lt Colonel Valens replied: TSgt Tomory, It's been a few years, but I do not remember the Security Police getting involved in power cart operation, chock pulling, etc., when we responded to an alert. The crew chiefs did that as best I can remember at Lincoln, Greenham Common, Moron and Zaragoza. Maybe Upper Heyford had a different policy, but I just don't remember the Security Police getting involved in those activities. They were certainly an important part of the alert program, but they did not get involved in aircraft operations that I can remember.




There were a couple of items in the photo on page 39 provided by Maj John MacDonald that piqued my curiosity. The first item is that the names on the helmets do not match those in the caption. The second is that Lt Farrell is slinging what appears to be a very non-regulation western holster with a Colt Peacemaker in it. In 1968 I was a USAF first lieutenant aircraft maintenance officer at Langley AFB. Our standard sidearm for officers was a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 15. In my squadron, a number of us purchased our own sidearms, but I never saw anyone with a Peacemaker, although that was much cooler than what we had.

friends feedback

Major MacDonald replied: It was a photo op, set up for a number of crews. We just posed behind the equipment (which, incidentally, was from a Select crew on which I'd been seasoned as a copilot before getting my own crew.) It was definitely not an issue pistol that Farrell was wearing, but a long-barrel single-action Colt revolver which was his pride and joy. Being left-handed, he had a special holster made. Trying out a quick draw with his new holster, he shot a hole in his left calf and was in the hospital a few days. When he came back on duty, he was dubbed "Sugarfoot" after the cowboy hero of a popular TV program in the late '60s.

As I was reading Col Holt’s article and remembering back to my evening out with the young B-58 crew member, I wondered if I could find some information about the crash in order to remember the young captain’s name, which I had forgotten over time. To my surprise, the next article, “The Ghosts of Grissom” by Tom Kelly provided the answer. As soon as I saw the name Captain C. Dale Lunt on the plaque erected at the crash site in Kentucky, I remembered that was the name of the young captain.

GHOSTS OF GRISSOM DONALD SHRADER OF EATON, OH WROTE: Reading the article by Col George Holt, Jr, USAF (Ret) entitled “My Recollections of the B-58” in your Spring 2021 edition of the Friends Journal brought back several memories for me. As a college ROTC cadet, I was sent to Summer Camp between my junior and senior years (in the summer of 1966) – kind of the ROTC version of boot camp. Since I was in school at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I was sent to Bunker Hill AFB for Summer Camp. Of course, we cadets in training there called it “Bunker Hole.” During that month, one evening we were parceled out to various officers’ homes for a “motivational” evening with the officer and his family. I remember that three of us were sent to spend the evening with a young captain and his family. The captain was part of a B-58 crew. I don’t remember a lot about the evening other than it being an enjoyable break from the daily drill routines of boot camp, and that the officer and his family were most hospitable. I never saw nor heard from him after that.


Fast forward to December of that year. I was married and living in Oxford, Ohio, while finishing my last year of college. I remember hearing on the news about a B-58 crash in Kentucky. As best I remember the day, it was a cold, overcast day with low hanging clouds. I wondered at the time if the B-58 was on a low-level training run through the hills of Kentucky and the poor weather conditions contributed to the crash. That, of course, was speculation. I was sad to learn later that one of the crew members was the young captain with whom I had spent the evening while at Summer Camp.


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Research for a

Simulator BY THOMAS GRUZLESKI Aside from two years of ROTC, I did not serve in the Air Force, but a subsequent career with Link Flight Simulation and then Lockheed Martin gave me a lifetime of Air Force (U.S. and foreign), Navy, and commercial airline experiences. This included working with program offices, aircrew, and engineers from all our services and several foreign services as well. One of the most memorable experiences occurred in the early 1980‘s as part of a contract to build USAF aircrew trainers for several models of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. At that time I was managing Link‘s flight systems d e p ar t me nt, w hic h includ e d simulations of the aerodynamics, engines, and onboard flight systems for all military contracts. Similar depar tments were responsible for navigation/communic ation simulations, motion sys tems, instructor-operator stations, flight controls, cockpit hardware, etc. Most simulators are fairly straightforward in that they only need to account for one aircraft. The HC-130P was built for search, rescue, and aerial refueling of 8

helicopters, and this last role made it a little special. The HC-130P would be flying in close proximity with, and sometimes ac tually connected with, another aircraft so we had to include simulations of the helicopters and any possible physical interac tions bet ween the aircr af t during refueling operations. To help us understand the complexities of adequately simulating this particular type of mission, we arranged for a small team (myself, two audio and motion cueing simulation engineers, and an ex-F-4 pilot systems engineer) to take part in a practice refueling mission at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, in early October 1980. Some of our areas of concern and candidates for related data gathering were (1) could the C-130 aircrew feel any turbulence effects when the helicopter was in close proximity, or yaw effects when it was attached to the refueling drogue, (2) did the drogue itself have enough drag to require flight control compensation, (3) could the flight crew hear rotor beats from the helicopter, and (4) were answers to some of these questions unique for different helicopter types?

The refueling mission was to be held over a practice range near Kirtland, and would include refueling of a Sikorsky H-3 Jolly Green Giant, and then a Sikorsky H-53 Super Jolly Green Giant helicopter. It was scheduled to last about six hours while flying a “racetrack pattern“ over the practice range. The wind was gusting up to about 40 knots and the temperature was 40 degrees that day, and we were told that normally they might postpone the mission under those circumstances. However, since we were there with our recording equipment, and with our return flights scheduled for the next day, they‘d proceed and see if the weather became any worse. It stayed about the same, hence the rest of this story. After arriving over the test area, we went into the “racetrack“ pattern at about 1,000 feet and waited for the H-3 to show up. The gusting wind made for increasingly uncomfortable flight as we partially extended wing flaps and slowed to a few knots above stall speed for that configuration. This was so the H-3 could catch up and maintain its pre-fueling position, behind the

C-130 and a little higher than the left side refueling pod and drogue. There were no plans to use the starboard side pod that day. I was positioned by a left side window (near a mammoth cylindrical fuel tank occupying the center of the cargo area) with a camera, hoping to get a few photos to help in computing relative positions in our simulations. Our simulators with motion systems gave a fair approximation of the types of gusts we felt that day, but I‘d never flown one for more than an hour or so, and probably not set at that intensity. The wind gusts however caused only part of our discomfort. The HC-130P had a very efficient heating system, so we were fine (and maybe even a little too

warm) in spite of the low outside air temperature — until the loadmaster had to open the paratroop door in order to observe and advise the pilot as to the H-3‘s positions as the refueling progressed. The warm air was quickly sucked out of the cargo area, and the flight coveralls we were wearing over our clothes didn‘t provide much help against the quickly dropping inside temperature. The H-3 had to start from a position to the left of, and a little higher than, the C-130‘s horizontal stabilizer, and execute a slight diving maneuver to gain a little more speed and insert its refueling probe into the now extended (from a pod under the C-130‘s wing) drogue basket.

With the wind gusts destabilizing the drogue basket, the H-3 missed its first attempt at hook-up, and had to drop back, gain a little altitude to again achieve its prehook-up position, and start over. We briefly closed the paratroop door and warmed up while the H-3 re-positioned. The process then started all over, with the door reopened, cold air sucked into the cargo bay, another hook-up attempt, and another miss. Each time I also couldn‘t help but notice how close the H-3‘s rotor was to the C-130‘s tail. The third try was the charm and they made a successful hookup, but then I noticed the gusts moving the H-3 around during the fuel transfer, with its rotor ☛

The HC-130P used in the research waits prior to the flight at Kirtland AFB in October 1980.



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The H-3 Jolly Green Giant rendezvous with the HC-130P over the practice range (top), swoops in from the pre-refueling position for the first attempt at hookup (middle), and misses the drogue basket on the first attempt.


sometimes too close for my comfort to the refueling hose. Of course, this was all in a day‘s work for both aircrews, and the refueling and subsequent detachment maneuver were successful, lasting only a few minutes. Our recording equipment in the cockpit later showed no abnormal audio or motion effects due to the H-3‘s proximity or attachment (after filtering out C-130 airframe and weather effects) so our data-gathering was also successful.


Then we were back to comfortably warm air again, and one of the aircrew used a small onboard oven to heat a burrito for his lunch. The smell reminded me of the dinner we‘d had the night before at an outof-the-way restaurant and didn‘t help much with my discomfort, although I did manage to hold down both dinner and breakfast. The H-53 showed up about an hour later, and I immediately noticed that its larger rotor came even closer to our tail when it was in pre-refueling position. It was however a larger, slightly faster, and more stable helicopter than the H-3, so the hook-up with the “basket“ went more smoothly. Once connected, the refueling didn‘t take long, even though the H-53 probably took on more fuel than the H-3. The data we gathered was similar to that from the H-3 except for one interesting anomaly: our engineer in the C-130



The H-3 refueling after successfully hooking up with the drogue basket.

cockpit later reported that the audio recordings showed no noticeable sound from the larger rotor, but he could slightly “feel“ the rotor beats in his chest. We reasoned this to be from air pressure waves from the rotor (possibly tip-vortices), and discussed with the aircrew the value of trying to simulate this phenomena in the trainer. Luckily, they concluded that it was hardly noticeable to the aircrew and needn‘t be simulated. So ended the data-gathering part of our flight. With the paratroop door closed and a return to a clean configuration and cruising speed, things became more comfortable. FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙

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We landed back at Kirtland about 6 ½ hours after take-off and held an informal debriefing with the crew who were all very professional and knowledgable. They reviewed and agreed with our findings, answered our questions where clarifications or minor details were requested, and wished us a safe trip home. I believe the data we gathered and implemented in our simulator (along with the airframe, engine, flight manual, and systems data we received from the manufacturers, of course) made for fairly realistic training for refueling missions, since we never had any negative feedback after the device was fielded and put into use.

Author Thomas F. Gruzleski is a retired aeronautical engineer. He spent most of his career working on military flight simulators, first for Link Flight Simulation (Ed Link invented flight simulation — the Museum has one of his “Blue Box” simulators on display) and then for Lockheed Martin. In addition to simulations for numerous aircraft, weapons, and sensors, he also worked on a sinus surgery simulator for the Army. He is a lifelong aircraft history buff, and lives in Beavercreek, Ohio.