A History Lesson

What some people don’t know about me is that other than my love of barns, I love planes.  Being on the outside of them that is, not the inside lol.  I like the ground, but I think planes, most planes anyway are fascinating.  One of the best things about being military is that I have access to air forces bases.  And I haven’t been on an air force base yet that didn’t have planes mounted on it.  I took a few photos today, but you’re only getting this one plane for now.  It has a history all it’s own and I wanted to share it all on it’s own.

This is a B 52D Bomber.  It’s pretty cool.  The dork in the corner is my husband.  I swear I didn’t know he had jumped in the frame lol.

This photo was taken from across the street.  It’s HUGE.  According to the plaques mounted at the scene, this plane was in use from October 1956 til October 1983.  It’s wing span is 185 ft, it’s 48 ft tall, and 156 feet long.  Apparently when this plane was retired, it was moved from Peterson Air Force Base to the Air Force Academy, where it currently resides.  (December 1983) It took almost a year to prepare this area and reassemble it.  (September 1984)

This is where the history lesson comes in… you can jump to the bottom, and it won’t hurt my feelings at all LOL.

From June 1965 to August 1973, B 52’s were operating from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan; Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, and Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand.  They flew over 126,000 combat missions in Southeast Asia.  The extensive B-52 bombing raids against targets in North Vietnam in December 1972, known as “Linebacker II”, brought the North Vietnamese to meaningful discussions in Paris that led to the release of the American POW’s in February 1973.  More Recently in Operation Desert Storm, B 52G’s performed conventional bombing missions.  As a result, B 52’s dropped 31% of the bombs during the Persian Gulf War.

The B 52, a long time symbol of the cold war and heavyweight of the Strategic Air Command Bomber Force maintained 24 hour continuous alert status from 10 October 1957 til 28 September 1991.  The B 52 prototype first flew in April 1952 and SAC received it’s first boeing B 52 in October 1952.  Today, Air Combat Command has the B 52G model and the B 52H model in it’s inventory.  In addition to it’s nuclear capabilities, the B 52 is also used in a conventional contingency role preforming such missions as conventional bombing, aerial mine-laying, sea surveillance and surface ship air interdiction.

Anyway…. I took a few close ups and I’ll explain what I can, with the help of my hubby that is.

Apparently this is the unit identification of the last unit that used this particular plane.

My husband seems to think this was the pilots signature.  Diamond Lil… looks like a female cowboy riding a bomb.

This is the number of bombs dropped by this particular plane.  I count 208 little bombs.  But the bombs weren’t little at all, as a matter of fact since this plane could carry as much as 60,000 lbs of bomb load, I assume that means they were pretty big.

This plane held a 6 man crew, including the gunner which would sit in this little area operating the 4 – .50 Calibre (50 Cal) guns you see here.  Can you imagine sitting in this small enclosed space?  Okay, that’s the history lesson for today 🙂  I promise I won’t do this too often.  Educational information included in this blog was taken from the plaques mounted on the plane site.  Just in case you’re wondering :).  I wish I could have gotten more detail on the plane, but I had to be so far away from it to take the photos that it just wasn’t possible.  Have a wonderful week everyone!  By the way, if you click on the photos you can make them larger if you want to see the photos better.

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I'm a Mother, a Military Wife, a Student, a Blogger, and an Amateur Photographer. I may wear many hats, but deep down I'm still me.

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