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 B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 celebrates 60 Years

Posted 4/10/2012   Updated 4/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives and Megan Meyer
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

4/10/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the B-52 Stratofortress on April 15, 1952. This flight was made by the YB-52 prototype in Seattle.

Air Force Global Strike Command will commemorate the airframe's anniversary with events centered around the theme: "The B-52: An Icon of American Airpower."

During the celebratory campaign, AFGSC will recognize the heritage and accomplishments of the B-52 and the people - both past and present - responsible for the development, acquisition, operation, maintenance and security of the weapon system.

The B-52's long and rich heritage is illustrated by stories of families who have up to three generations of Airmen who worked on the B-52, such as 1st Lt. Daniel Welch, a B-52 co-pilot at Minot. Welch is a third-generation crew member on the airframe.

According to Welch, his grandfather flew every B-52 model and commanded Welch's current squadron at Minot, the 23rd Bomb Squadron. Welch's father was also a B-52 crew member during his time in the Air Force.

Through the course of the year, the Command will highlight the history of deterrence and combat capabilities the B-52 has provided through its distinguished career, in conflicts from Vietnam to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Some accomplishments to be highlighted throughout the year include:

April 15, 1952 - The first flight of the YB-52 Stratofortress will be commemorated with a long-duration flight from AFGSC Headquarters at Barksdale.

May 10 through Oct. 23, 1972 - Operation Linebacker - Linebacker was the first continuous bombing effort conducted against North Vietnam since the bombing halt instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in November 1968.

June 18, 1965 - Operation Arc Light - The first use of the B-52D Stratofortress as a conventional bomber from bases in the U.S. to Guam to support ground combat operations in Vietnam.

Aug. 2, 1994 - B-52's first round-the-world bombing mission.

Oct. 26, 1962 - Strategic Air Command received the last B-52 from production line

Dec. 18 through 29, 1972 - Operation Linebacker II - This operation saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II.

11/13/2012 10:27:34 PM ET
I lived in Minot ND from June 1972June 1973 with my AP husband. We lived in a small mobile home nea the base directly under the flight path of the fabulous B-52. I loved the rumble as they flew in out and they will always be my first favorite USAF plane.Congratulations BUFF
pamella doak, Tucson AZ
4/20/2012 10:15:54 PM ET
I worked as an aircraft electrician on the Cs and Ds at Amarillo AFB TX 1967-68 Did the Arc Light out of Guam. The worked Hs at Wurtsmith AFB MI 1968-69. I worked on a lot of aircraft in my career 114 different to be exactbut the BUFF was my favorite
AJ Tholkes Msgt Ret , Centennial CO
4/20/2012 9:50:23 AM ET
I love that band but I don't think they've done any of this stuff.
Jeremy Razor Rumba, Terre Haute Indiana
4/16/2012 6:28:06 PM ET
i was a g model gunner from 78 to 82.
chet robbins, virginia beach va
4/16/2012 6:20:55 PM ET
My father worked at Boeing in Wichita and Seattle in the early to mid 50s and had plenty of anecdotes about B52s and 707s. The best B52 one was When he was dating my mother there was a 'lover's point' area overlooking Puget Sound. Tex Johnston the test pilot heard Dad was going to be there that night and when he was out testing the B52 glided it in low and slow and then went full thrust with afterburners over the site. According to my parents he nearly broke the glass on the car
Mark Ernest, Eagan MN
4/12/2012 10:43:59 AM ET
I spend 26 years in the Air Force working on this Aircraft was 17 when I went to work on the B Model at Biggs AFB TXand Finished at Minot AFB on the H Model and am finishing it off with the B-1 for the last 26 years.My hat is off to all the young Folks who have bettered this Great Machine and maintain it today.
Wilson Scott Cmsgt Ret, Oklahoma City OK
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