B-52 Story Attn: Caver 60

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by DonD, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. DonD

    DonD

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    Since BUFF stories are going around, a slightly humorous one.

    A friend of mine flew B-52Ds in Vietnam, bomb trucks.

    After coming back stateside he happened to be flying one of the old Spooky gunships and was making an approach for a landing. A B-52 declared an emergency, one engine (of 8 of course) was out. Approach control threw him out of the pattern. My friend keyed his mike and said "Oh, you mean the dreaded 7 engine approach?". Don
     
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  2. Current Resident

    Current Resident

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    That must be something to see dropping bombs from those altitudes and watch what you just dropped.
     

  3. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    We came in for a landing one day after flying for over 26 hours. A 141 was in the pattern, and they broke him out so we could land. He started griping about it.

    The controller just replied: "That B-52 is Left hand flight." The 141 guy never said another word.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  4. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    We dropped from about 32 to 33 thousand feet. The pilots could not see the impacts, unless the frag order called for a 45 degree bank turn, just after bomb release. Then the pilot on the down wing side, could look back over the wing and see the impacts. For most bomb runs we just kept on flying straight and level for a while after bomb release. So the pilots didn't see anything.

    We could feel them leaving the aircraft. When getting rid of about 58 thousand pounds of bombs in about 12 to 15 seconds, you had to pull off power (and if the autopilot wasn't working) do some trimming to keep a constant airspeed and altitude.

    The radar navigator had a set of optics designed for visual bombing (which we never did in Nam). He could put them on the target area and watch the explosions night or day. Also there was an onboard camera, which in daylight could film the impacts.
     
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  5. Current Resident

    Current Resident

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    12 to 15 seconds is incredible, how much weight did you have on-board at take off?
    How many drops did you have on a flight?
     
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  6. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    We started engines on missions from Guam and Okinawa weighing 456,000 pounds. That was calculated so that on takeoff roll, as we flew into the air after about a 9,000 foot takeoff roll, we weighed 450,000 pounds. The basic weight of an empty B-52D model (my aircraft) was approximately 186,000 pounds.

    We used a lighter fuel load from Thailand, due to the shorter mission duration.

    We only made one drop on one target for each mission. We were bombing with a true airspeed of 444 KTAS. Of course winds at altitude would affect our ground speed.

    We had an assigned target box that generally was about one mile wide and about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles long. We would put three planes on each target.

    The desired bomb impact pattern was for lead to put his bombs right down the centerline of the target box. The first bomb should impact a few hundred feet inside the target box. and the last bomb hit a few hundred feet short of the end of the target box.

    Depending on several factors; that required a bomb release time of about 12 to 14 or 15 seconds to release all the bombs to hit within the target box. The number of bombs released could vary from the mid eighties to a maximum of 108 bombs. All bombs should impact inside the target box.

    Then the number two and three plane should put their bombs about 500 feet either side of leads bombs. That in theory should give a path of total destruction about 2,500 feet wide and the length of the target box.

    Below is a picture of the results of a B-52 strike.

    B-52 DASK.png
     
  7. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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  8. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    A little different prospective.

    ;)



    upload_2020-7-3_0-1-15.jpeg
     
  9. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    ^^^ Wouldn't want to be standing to close to one when it detonates.

    Interesting story that I was told. Don't know it was true or not?

    Supposedly the VC leaders told their soldiers that if they dug an 'H' shaped foxhole and got in the crossbar of the 'H' they would be protected from a bomb blast, because it would equalize the pressures.

    Somehow I kind of doubt that story.
     
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  10. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    Here's what the bomb release looked like from the air. This is an old picture from when we used to fly a B-52 version of formation. That's why you also see bombs coming down from another B-52 on the left side of the B-52 in the foreground. This tactic was abandoned after a mid air collision in 1967.

    After that mid air, we flew three aircraft in trail, with 500 feet of altitude separation and one to two miles behind each other.

    BTW the B-52G model (which also participated at times) could only carry a max load of 27 iron bombs, vs the D model max load of 108 bombs. The D model was the 'heavy hauler' over there.


    BUFF normal bomb drop 2.png
     
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  11. napp32

    napp32

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    That's kinda like the story that chopper pilots told. The VC leaders told their soldiers to always shoot in front of a helicopter and it would fly into the bullets. Many chopper pilots would tell you about the time they were hovering while watching a stream of tracers crossing in front of them.
     
  12. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977 "Cynical Little me"

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    Most people forget but once they Loosed them the B-52's brought the commies to the peace table and motivated them highly to make a deal. The Jabo's helped some and property values in Hanoi and Haiphong crashed because there wasn't a whole lot of them left anymore.

    The Reds treacherously broke the agreement but that came Later. The Buff jockeys did their duty.
     
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  13. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    The pilot Richard Curry, was the uncle of one of my best friends. He passed away recently.
     
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  14. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    :flag:

    The man knew how to fly a B-52.
     
  15. AF-Odin

    AF-Odin

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    We referred to the SVN and Cambodia missions as "making matchsticks and killing monkeys" since the target was usually "suspected troop concentration" or "suspected supply depot."
     
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  16. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    In 66, most of us wanted to go to Hanoi and bomb them back into the stone age; and end it. But that wasn't politically correct.

    At least when they did go, it got the POW's released. I had a pilot training classmate who was in the Hanoi Hilton from 67 through the end. Watching the POW's return on TV, I saw him come off a plane and they put his name on the screen. He stayed in the AF and made a career out of it. He has a website now.
     
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  17. volky

    volky NRA Member Millennium Member

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    Take a seat facing the door.
  18. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    I've watch videos of the daisy cutters being dropped to make LZ's. A fast white ring expands away from the blast. Compressed air?
    I've read this is like a brick wall coming at you.
     
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  19. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Yeah, compressed atmosphere. If you are too close, that kills you by rupturing your lungs.
     
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