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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by G19Tony, Feb 21, 2020.
Even though he has always been one of my favorite actors, I didn't know his military service was that extensive.
A true American patriot......
One of the good guys for sure....
A good read on Stewart's secret VN mission.
" Guam, Feb 1966. A B-52 back from a highly classified Arc Lite bombing run over Vietnam was headed in for what was supposed to be a routine landing. The crew had done so dozens of times without incident. So, this time should be no different, right? However, when Capt. Bob Amos heard his co-pilot, Capt. Lee Myers, exclaim nervously, “The flaps are splitting!” Amos’s heart dropped. There’s nothing worse than being responsible for the wreck of your bomber back on home base, the damage to your crew, and, oh, yeah….. for the death of a internationally famous decorated American war hero and a Hollywood legend….their very highly classified passenger. "
He never talked about his combat service. This is quite common.
I had no idea. New respect for the part of his life we didn't see on the big screen. And he was danged good as an actor too!
Amazing person. Had to beg to get in combat. 20 missions is damn impressive.
The man was legit.
From the article:
"20 February 1966: Brigadier General James M. Stewart, United States Air Force Reserve, flew the last combat mission of his military career, a 12 hour, 50 minute “Arc Light” bombing mission over Vietnam, aboard Boeing B-52 Stratofortress of the 736th Bombardment Squadron, 454th Bombardment Wing. His bomber was a B-52F-65-BW, serial number 57-149, call sign GREEN TWO. It was the number two aircraft in a 30-airplane bomber stream."
Jimmy Stewart was a great military man and a great actor. Not trying to upstage him here.
I had mentioned in an earlier thread I thought the F's were involved early in the war. I arrived at Guam later in 1966; and by that time we were flying D models, which had been modified with what was called the Big Belly modification. We could carry a max load of 108 bombs, vs the much smaller load of the B-52 F model, and the even smaller bomb load of the G model.
SAC was still using the old WWII tactic of multiple planes on target. Late in 1966 they had cut back to 12 planes on a target, vs the 30 planes in the mission Stewart flew. Which was still a waste of resources for several reasons. First of all, much of the time the enemy was already gone from the target area. In that day it took at least several days to get B-52 strikes on a target.
First of all the politicians were involved in selecting most targets. Once a target had been approved. The mission planning took awhile due to the fact we were still using synchronous bombing techniques which required a lot of mission planning. Also there were many security leaks in the system and frequently the VC already knew we were coming.
With the implementation of the 'Combat Skyspot' techniques in 1967 our success rate improved and continued to improve as I detailed in the thread I started a week or so ago. Also we went from 12 planes on a target to 6 and then to 3 planes on a target, unless it was a high value target, in which case 6 planes would be used.
Early in the war we almost never got a secondary explosion. If somebody did report a secondary, it was exciting news in the early days. Later on secondaries became almost routine.
Edit: This was the thread I started last Valentine's Day.
His service record speaks for itself.
Split flaps is a very serious emergency. Those big barn door flaps required almost a full minute to retract them, or lower them. We never used any intermittent position. They were always either full up, or full down.
During any movement of the flaps, one duty of the pilot not flying the aircraft, was to monitor for split flaps. The 50% point was the cutoff.
If they were more than 50% down, the split section would go to the down position. If they were more than 50% up the split section would go to the up position. The driven section could easily go to the other position. If that happened, you did not have enough control authority to keep the plane from rolling over and crashing.
So if they split, the pilot not flying the aircraft had to move the flap selection lever to 'chase' the split section.
One of my Hero's as a kid. A great American, he inspires airmen to this day.
The OP's read on Jimmy Stewart's career is too good to let die on a weekend.
Great story about his accidental "promotion" to Major General. Starts at the 00:01:50 mark . . .
The man flew B-36's, B-47's and B-52's
How cool is that?
Along with B-17's and then B-24's.
Don't forget the wartime service in 8th AF B-24s...