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View Diary: Flying the B-52 - Part 1 (216 comments)

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  •  I grew up in Spfld, Mass. 60's-70's (9+ / 0-)

    not far from Westover AFB in Chicopee- a major SAC base, busy as all hell the whole time I was a kid, especially with Vietnam, Cambodia, etc...  There was nothing so awe inspiring for a young boy than seeing and hearing the B-52's rumbling overhead. (and I say rumbling because you do feel it in your chest).  And you didn't even have to be too close to one to get a sense of its massiveness and loudness, we were a good 3-4 miles from Westover's runways.  Eight engines is a world of difference compared to anything else.

    I'll never forget one night as one passed overhead, looking up at its underside, its bomb bay doors must have been open because I got a good look at the inside, and the light within was so bright and orange I convinced myself that it was filled with fire!... like some big open furnace!  It was a transformative moment.  No matter how or when I resolved the actual mechanics of their flight- it just filled me with yet more awe and wonder at what they were.

    Below is a link to where we would go swimming right at the foot of the runway.  That was a real treat!

    There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

    by NYFM on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 03:08:36 PM PST

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    •  WOW! I grew up on Holyoke - same time - B-52s out (8+ / 0-)

      and in to Westover - you could see them across the Connecticut River - there were also those F-111s and Phantoms coming and going ... ??

      I left Holyoke for Boston in '78 after out of high school ... not much in the way of opportunity given how un-connected my family was, hence not much to keep me around...

      I've been in seattle 23 years, and I MISS the foliage, so bad.  


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:26:12 PM PST

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    •  I grew up in Westfield, MA (4+ / 0-)

      left in '66, B-52's were all the talk back then.  We had Barnes Field just across the hiway.  It had an ANG detachment with F-86's.  In the earliest days, I can remember sonic booms as something (clearly not a B-52) went supersonic.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:18:46 PM PST

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    •  I remember spending... (5+ / 0-)

      Some summers in a cottage across Great Bay from Pease AFB, NH and seeing B-52's, Gas Passers, and FB-111's coming overhead in approach and departure patterns....

      Always awesome to see and hear...

      I also recall some aircraft using JATO on takeoff but I'm not sure what that aircraft was... (B-47 maybe)

      At home on the Connecticut shore the only view that we had were usually aircraft flying in and out of Westover AFB but they were at altitude passing overhead...

      Such is the beauty of having a VOR/Tacan sited only a few miles from your home... It's an airplane magnet!

      Later served in the USAF stationed at Mt. Home AFB, ID as a CNE troop on F-111A+F's

      "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
      I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
      ~John F. Kennedy~


      by Oldestsonofasailor on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:26:12 PM PST

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