page has a few views of Biggs taken at
different time periods. New ones
will be added as time and resources
permit. I am always looking for
photos to add.
MB-1 at the original location of Biggs
Field in 1919. This was when the
flying field was co-located with the
parade grounds on Fort Bliss. As
the serial number is not evident in
either photo it is not known if these
are two separate airplanes, or just
photo of both sides of the same
one. My suspicion is that it is
the same airplane.
This aerial photo
shows Biggs Army Airfield in February,
1941. The view is looking
towards the East with the old
"balloon" (airship) hangar in the
lower left center of the photo.
This hangar was built post WWI and
survived into the mid 1950s. It
was built with a North South
orientation, yet the prevailing wind
is West to East, so airship operations
were very restricted. Most of
its life it was used to house aircraft
and not airships. A large
transportation facility was built upon
this location in the late 1990s.
To the East of the hangar are several
aircraft, an A-20 and six O-47s
. Above and to the right is a
hangar under construction that would
later house the 4758th DSES and today
is utilized by Raytheon. To the
left and above the airship hangar is a
structure that looks like a castle,
but I really don't know what it
is. It could possibly be a
restaurant that was built in
via John Paul Jones)
U.S. Army C-2 non
rigid airship being moved into the airship hangar
at Biggs (left and center) and in front of the
massive hangar at Brooks Army Air Field,
Texas. The C-2 was later destroyed while
being taken out of a similar hangar at Brooks AAF
when the envelope caught and was torn on the
hangar. At that time hydrogen was used for
lift and the leaking hydrogen caught fire
destroying the airship. (John
An unidentified Curtiss A-3
front of the balloon hangar. My first
inclination is that the aircraft suffered a fire,
however the tires and other parts of the airframe
are not damaged. What caused the damage is
anyone's guess. (John Paul Jones)
A martin B-10B of the 1st
Observation Squadron transient at Biggs in 1941.
BC-1A trainer of the 120th
Observation Squadron (Colorado ANG)
at Biggs with the airship hangar as
a backdrop. (USAAF via John
An A-20A that
appears to have suffered a gear up
landing rests on the ramp to the
Northwest of the Airship
hangar. The main gear doors
are closed, which leads me to
believe that the main gear would not
extend versus an accidental gear
retraction while taxiing, which
would have damaged the doors and
most likely left them visible in the
photo. Also the propeller
blades while bent are not curled
back which would indicate they were
wind milling on landing. This
was most likely a dead stick, wheels
up landing. The A-20 also
served with the 120th OS.
(Photo stolen from David Garcia)
An O-47 taking
off from Biggs around the beginning
of WWII. Note the field
condition and the similar location
to the A-20 in the above shot.
This aircraft is most likely part of
the 120th Observation
Squadron. (Colorado ANG)
not always appreciated that on the
eve of the Second World War the
United States Navy and the United
States Marine Corps were still
operating biplanes in front line
service. Though their days
were numbered Curtiss SBC Helldivers
and Grumman F3Fs were only at last
being replaced in 1941.
The photo of the
SBC-4 above is not dated, so it is
next to impossible to determine when
it was taken. The barren area
behind it would remain unchanged for
decades. This photo was taken
very close to the color photo of a
B-24d further down the page.
Occasionally, it is
possible to put a face to an
individual whose contribution is
unknown or forgotten. One of
those individuals is Joyce E.
Geier. She was enlisted in the
Army Air Force and was a photographer
at Biggs Army Air Field in
1944. Later she became a
lifeguard for the base swimming
pool. She went on to live
a full life and an
Joyce was published in the
Massillon Independent . She
currently ( March 7, 2012) lives with
her husband Jack in Orlando,
series of photos are most likely part
of a shoot of a training
mission. It would be interesting
to know how the crew members are
posing with Joyce and what their
eventual fate was.
first photo of Joyce in the above
panel was taken along with
the one at the top of the section.
second photo is taken in front of
last photo is most likely part of
the series below.
During World War
Two many celebrities toured base both
state side and overseas to boost
morale. One of such visitors to
Biggs was Ginger Rogers.
in the segment are provided by D.
As far removed from World
War Two as we are today it is easy to forget what a
desperate struggle that war was and what an effort
the free nations had to put forth to achieve
victory. That Allied victory provided the
opportunity for us to grow up in a world where we
were able to more choose our own paths and a world
that was somewhat safer from those tyrants that will
always wish to control the lives of
others. Biggs played a major part in
America's war effort during World War Two, being a
major training base for B-17 and B-24 crews.
It is an unfortunate fact that many crew who trained
at Biggs did not come home. Many others became POWs.
above photo is of 2nd Lt. Waldo J.
Oldham's B-17 crew. Lt. Oldham flew with
the 350th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group. The
100th BG was often know as the "Bloody Hundredth" due
to heavy losses taken during the Summer of 1943.
While the Hundredth did not fly the most missions, or
even take the highest causalities, the unit was
representative of the effort of the Army Air Forces
during the war. Lt Oldham and his crew are shown
in a photograph taken at Biggs AAF on 11 August, 1944
and while the 100th was not based at Biggs many crew
that did train at Biggs later flew with that
group. On February 3, 1945 the B-17 "Dixie's
Delight" was shot down over Germany and Lt. Oldham and
his crew were taken prisoner. Fortunately the
war would be over in May. A first hand account
can be found here.
Standing from left; Ross J. Purdy,
Howard R. Leach, Waldo J. Oldham, the Pilot, and Carl
D. Dunn: Kneeling from left: Richard G. Chapple, Tom
E. Ramsey, Fred Eizenlord, Ralph J. Kalberloh and
William E. Charlton. (Courtesy of the 100th Bomb
am indebted to Michael P. Faley and the 100th Bomb Group
for the above photograph and account of the crew.
trained at Biggs as part of the 459th Bomb Squadron,
330th Bomb Group. The list reads "Front Row
S/Sgt H F Zoller, S/Sgt D L Ela, S/Sgt John H. Grinde,
S/Sgt John R. Hughes Rear Row Lt. W Rossi,, Lt. R. A.
Curelli, Lt. Vic Torrou, Lt. J. Papadopulos." Two
crew members did not sign the photo and one is missing
from the photo. The other two crew members were
Wesley L. Zimmerman and Raymond Shafer. On August
16, 1943 this crew was flying a mission over Italy in a
B-24D (41-23778) named "Lady Luck" when flak set fire to the
aircraft. The fire eventually reached the fuel
tanks and the airplane exploded. Wesley Zimmerman
was the only survivor. A more complete account
can be found
here, written by Zoller's nephew Bob.
taxing at Biggs, a common sight during the war.
photo and most of those below were
taken by Cpl. Clarence
E. Schurwan, USAAF. Cpl. Schurwan had been at both
Alamogordo AAF (present day Holloman AFB) and Biggs.
The photos were provided by Paul M. Webber M.D., and show a
bustling field during the intense training conducted during
WWI. The time period is roughly 1943 and the location
is towards the West end of the field, a little to the North
of the above aerial photo, with the Franklin Mountains
making a good background. It is interesting also in
that in the foreground are two B-17s , where as Biggs mainly
trained B-24 crews. In the background are two B-24s
and to the left what looks like a B-34 Ventura, behind
that is a B-25. The first B-17 in line is 42-2538, the
second B-17 is serial 42-5461. Both are B-17Fs
and even though they were probably about a year old, they
were also probably high time airframes by the time this
photo was taken. The first one is stripped of turrets,
while the second is not.
As already stated, Biggs mainly
trained B-24s with these two B-24Ds being typical.
With the puddles on the ground and the thunderhead in the
background the most likely time period would be late summer.
By today's standard's Privately Owned
Vehicles (POVs) were allowed very close to the flight line
and as can be seen from the tar paper shack, facilities were
Both of the first shots are
enlargements of from the above photos, showing airfield
equipment. The one on the left being the ubiquitous
Jeep and the one in the center is a WC-51 Dodge Weapons
Carrier. Both carry the "EL RTU" markings, which
stand for either "El Paso Replacement Training Unit", or
"Biggs Replacement Training Unit". During late WWII
Biggs based aircraft carried the letters EL on the top
portion of the fin. (Paul Webber)
The third photo is from a separate collection and shows a
Jeep used to run crews to their aircraft.
Some general photos from the
Clarence Schurwan collection:
A B-17C from the 19th Bombardment
Group, most likely during the fall of 1941. The
aircraft was transient at Biggs, the group was based at
Albuquerque, New Mexico at the time.
The second photo is Bell
Aircraft's FM-1A Aircuda.
The Aircuda was
envisioned as a bomber destroyer, but in reality was a
dismal failure and in actual wartime single engine aircraft
made the best "bomber destroyers". It is still a
futuristic looking aircraft for its day.
The P-12F is a "hack" for the 8th
Corps Area Organized Reserve, photographed at Biggs during
1941. It is one of twenty five P-12Fs, which differed
from the P-12E only in the engine exhaust arrangement.
(Second P-12 photo courtesy of John Paul Jones)
A double trailer fuel truck parked
in front of a C-47.
Shorty, a war wear B-24D serial number 42-40400 was
a demonstrator aircraft used by the 2nd Air Force to promote
The last two photos show mechanics
"wrenching" on a B-24. As can be seen from these
two photos most maintenance work is done in the open.
The work stand is labeled "579th Bomb Squadron" and notice
that one of the mechanics is wearing a sidearm.
An O-43A during a stopover at
Biggs. The SAAD acronym on the tail stands for the San
Antonio Air Depot.
Taken during one spring dust storms that
are so common in the Southwest, this photo shows a number of
aircraft probably waiting for the air to clear.
In the foreground are at least eight P-40s, behind which are
a P-36, an O-43A, two C-39s and a B-17B.
The paint job on the P-36 is fairly worn while the P-40s
look fresh. The best guess is that they were on a
delivery flight on the eve of WWII.
An early summer morning in 1942 finds
C-54 41-20143 preparing for a flight. The C-54 was a
fairly new plane in the AAF inventory at this time and it is
possible that this one had just left the factory at
Santa Monica. Most likely it had RONed at Biggs on the
way to a life of hard work.
The C-123B was also used extensively for support by
SAC. 54-0655 is shown at Biggs in 1964. "655"
was assigned to Biggs AFB. The photo to the left
shows a pre-flight and the one to the right is during
engine start up. (USAF)
The third photo is of an unidentified,
but ever present C-47 at Biggs in 1954. (USAF)
aerial photo show Biggs about 1947. The base was
little changed from World War II at this point. The
photo is taken from the South looking North. The
Balloon Hangar is out of view to the lower left and the
B-36 hangar has yet to be built. (USAF)
This is what the facilities looked like
about 1947. The view is towards the Northeast and
the balloon hangar is out of view to the lower left.
Col, Robert Scott on a wartime stopover
at Biggs. (John Paul Jones)
One of the many overlooked needs on
any airfield are the various support duties. Here is a
ubiquitous Air Force tug at Biggs AFB during the late
1950s. This vehicle is an MB-2 that was produced by
several manufacturers, with Euclid being the best
known. They were often called "Ukes" by ground
personnel. The MB-2 continued in production for many
years and the later models changed somewhat in
appearance. This "retired" MB-2 continues to soldier
on in civilian service at the Midland, Texas airport.
Airfield security has always been a
priority, but with SAC it was an obsession. Throughout
the late 40s, the 50s and even into the 60s the USAF used
many elderly M8 and M20 Greyhound
armored cars. The photo shows an M20. These
vehicles were normally painted in "Air Force Blue", or
"Strata Blue" (FS 15045).
Fire trucks have been a constant presence at air fields
since the dawn of aviation and like aircraft they evolved as
time went by.
The first photo above shows a REO (left) and
a Sterling DDS-235 truck at Biggs in the early
50s. These were World War Two vintage trucks and would
be replaced by newer designs during the 1950s.
The WWII designation was Class 150 (CARDOX), but by
this time both had been re-designated as O-1.
second photo shows the Central Fire Station and a
group of fire fighters. The truck to the left in
the photo appears to be similar to many civil fire
trucks, while the one on the right is a Ward La France
Type 750A . If personal
experience is any indicator many of the individuals
continued careers as fire fighters after leaving the
third photo is of Fire Station number 2. It is
too bad that this photo is backlit as many details are
lost. The first truck in that photo appears to
be based on an M34 chassis while the second could be
an International. There is an O-11A and two O-1
trucks. On the right appears to be an M37
Weapons Carrier. (USAF)
final photo is of an O-11A. This type would
remain in service for many years. (USAF)
I am indebted to Art Williams for
his help in properly identifying the fire fighting
equipment in the above photos. I do not claim to
be an authority on everything and my original
incorrect labeling of some of the above pieces
of equipment attests to that. It is most often
only through the help of many enthusiasts that the
best information is recorded. So, the current
text is a corrected text. Here are some great
tidbits from his email:
Photo #1: The two Sterling’s referred to in the photo is actually 1 REO on the left and 1
Sterling on the right. The REO is
verified by the serial number 508551 on the door.
That makes it the 45th one built out of a block of 125 REO’s. Also, at the time of the photos,
both trucks were deemed by the Air Force to be Type
0-1. That can
be seen on the Sterling’s door. Prior to that ( WWII) they were both designated as Class
150 (Cardox) . When the “type” system was adopted by the AF, they
became the 0-1. Both trucks shared the same
Cardox rear body. Only the chassis’s were different. They were both made around
1942 (contract date)
Photo#2: The pumper truck on the
right identified as a Ward LaFrance MB-5, is
actually a Ward LaFrance Type 750A (a structural pumper) . The MB-5 was a small Navy
crash truck built by Ward LaFrance. There were three different AF
contracts of the 750A made.
Photo #3: The crash truck
referred to as a Type 0-10, is actually a Type 0-11A made entirely by American LaFrance. (the early 0-10 were made by ALF, but Marmon-Herrington finished the 0-10 contract so ALF could build the 0-11A) The truck just to the left
of the 0-11A is an old Class 155 crash truck. At the
time of this photo, the Air Force now renamed it to
be the Type-05. The truck on the right, next to the 0-11A, is the REO again, and next
to it the Sterling.
#4: The truck mentioned to be an 0-10, is the
same 0-11A in photo 3. It is an early production
model of the 0-11A. (and it carries the early P number)
The first photo above is a page scanned
from a 1954 yearbook for the 810th Air Division. The
panel shows several scenes at Biggs fire stations.
The second photo shows a P-2 truck in
1964. By this time it was common to refer to fire
trucks as "Crash and Rescue". (USAF)
The current flight line station was
built in the 1960s and is in use by the US Army. This
is a 1987 photo, but it looks the same today.
Construction is an ongoing process at
most military bases and during the 1950s that was a constant
at Biggs. (USAF)
For many years construction at Biggs had
been minimal, but as of this writing (2008) Biggs AAF is
experiencing a building boom due to BRAC that is
unprecedented since WWII.
AH-1G on display at El Paso International Airport in
September, 1978. This Cobra was based at Biggs, but had
flown over to ELP for a display of military
aircraft. The last digit of the serial is not
clear on the negative, but the full serial appears to be
For a brief time in the early 1970s a few UH-34As called
Biggs home. 53-4547 was damaged in a hard landing
and later became a display at the 3rd ACR museum.
For some reason the serial painted on the side was
changed to "57-6141" which was the serial of an
L-20A (later U-6A) Beaver.
The UH-1 Iroquois, or "Huey" as it is usually known, has been around since
the early 1960s and in most people's minds is inseparable
from the Vietnam War. All three in the above photos
are UH-1Hs, the first being 68-15624. The two white
and orange ones are 73-21724 and 74-22367. Both were
based at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, but
flew between Biggs, Ft Bliss and White Sands on almost a
daily basis. All three helos are at Biggs in the
photos. They have since been replaced with the UH-72 Lakota,
which seem to seldom venture far from White Sands.
Though the "Huey" will be around for some
years to come, the UH-60 has replaced a great many.
UH-60A 84-23967 was on display at the 2004 Amigo
Airshow. The Blackhawk
was operating out of Biggs in the MAST role at the
The UH-72A Lakota. From crew
comments it is clear that the Lakota suffers from
density altitude issues and is not the best replacement for
The two panels above are from two
different yearbooks at different times. The one on the
left is from a 1954 book on the 810th Air Division and the
one on the right is from a 1964 book on the 95th Bomb
Wing. The chapel and the theater survived until the
A more contemporary photo (1989) shows
what I call the "B-17" hangars". They were just
as likely built to house B-24s. Biggs had two of
these hangars (note slight differences) that survived until
This vintage photo dates from 1947 and
shows the hangar to the right above as the backdrop for a
review by Lieutenant General Elwood Richard
Quesada. General Quesada was the Commanding General of
the Tactical Air Command at the time. He had a long
and distinguished career in the AAF and later USAF, retiring
in 1951. Early in his career he was one of the crew
members of the "Question
Mark" endurance flight in 1929, The
General passed away February 9, 1993. (USAF)
Two large hangars were built in the post
WWII era to house 97th BW B-29s, one on the East end of the
field and the other towards the West. . The hangar on
the right is the one to the East, it housed the Threat
System Management Office (TSMO) the Army's version of
DSES. That unit operated several former Soviet
aircraft: An-2, Mi-2, Mi-4, Mi-24 and several others.
The hangar on the West end of the flightline survived until
about 2011 and the one on the East end was reclaimed in the
Spring of 2013.
largest hangar on the field is what is
often called the "B-52 hangar".
In reality is was built in 1953 for
the 95th Bomb Wing's B-36s. It
is on the West end of the Biggs ramp
and houses several offices including
the U.S. Border Patrol. The
first photo was taken during the 1989
Amigo Airshow and shows three 188th
TFS, New Mexico ANG ("Tacos")
A-7Ds. Over the years this
hangar has been the backdrop to a
great many photos. In an
email Joe Kinman added this
about the hangar: "I had a good laugh when you
referred to the large B-52 hanger, we called it VHB hangar
(Vertical Hanging Bay-door hangar) ...there were more U-2s
in that hangar than B-52s."
was stationed at Biggs from
next two photos were taken in
September, 2007 and nothing has
As large as the VHB
hangar is it is not big enough for a
B-36 (or a B-52, or KC-135) to fit
completely inside. As can be
seen in the above photos there are
cutouts for the tail of the airplane
to stick out when "inside" the
hangar. (Pima Air and Space
A view of the old
Air Force era Operations building with
one of the B-29 hangars in the
background. 1987 photo.
based at MacDill AFB, later Ellington AFB and finally at
Westover AFB, the 5th Rescue Squadron maintained a
detachment of SC-82A Packets
at Biggs. The closest aircraft is C-82A
44-23033. This aircraft survived at least until the
late 1990s at the Tucson International Airport and is
shown in the second photo at that location in 1987.
A couple of Air Rescue Service SC-47Bs
(43-16157 & 43-16277) operating out of Biggs during
pilot survival training operations in the late
1940s. Like the C-82s above, the C-47s most likely
were with the 5th RS. (USAF)
In April, 2008 I received the following email from Robert
Finch that provided some background for the C-47
was really surprised to see the photographs of the Air
Rescue paratroops being dropped in the desert Northeast
of Biggs AFB in early 1948. I took those photos
with a K-20 camera from the backseat of an L-5. We only
dropped six men that day (pathfinders) because after we
took off the wind came up to about 50 mph, and the last
two guys were really banged up by being dragged across
the desert when they landed. They radioed for us to stop
dropping men and return to Biggs. I still have the
original 8"x10" photos of the ones in your website,
along with the ones taken from the ground showing me in
the L-5 as we went down to take a close look at the
injured men. The pilot of the L-5 really had his
hands full getting us back to Biggs, with the wind
blowing us all over the sky. He flew it right down to
the middle of the East-West main runway, and we hardly
rolled at all after touchdown. I was in the 85th
Squadron, assigned to the photo lab of the 47th Bomb
Group from October 1947 to June 1948."
Helicopters were just starting to come
into their own in the immediate postwar era. The
Sikorsky S-51 was purchased by the USAAF (USAF in October,
1947) as the R-5 and by the USN as either the HO2S
(YR-5A), or the HO3S (R-5F). In 1948 with a
change in aircraft designations, helicopters were
re-designated from an R designation to an H
designation. The photos of the two Air Rescue
Service R-5As above were taken at Biggs about the
time that the R-5 became the H-5 and they illustrate
transitional color schemes as well. 43-46641 on the
left appears to be painted in yellow and 43-46650 on the
right appears to be painted in olive drab. Yellow
would become the standard color for several years.
Both helicopters were most likely assigned to the 5th
Rescue Squadron. One has to wonder what point the airman
standing (with his hand on the main wheel) next to the R-5
on the right serves. (USAF)
in the post WWII era airships occasionally made an
appearance at Biggs. Here is the USN's M-2 blimp on
a cross country stop at Biggs in 1946. (USAF)
This photo is from the 1964 yearbook on
the 95th BW, but there is no sure way to tell when it was
actually taken. The B-57 most surely belongs to the
4758th DSES, but what unit the A-26 is with is anybody's
guess. It could very well be based at Holloman AFB,
but that is just speculation. The B-47E would have
to be one of the last few in service if the photo is
indeed from 1964. It is always possible that it is a
stock photo and if so it could show a 97th BW B-47.
This photo is taken towards the East end of the
ramp. The TSMO hangar is out of the picture towards
the right. (USAF)
Throughout the history of Biggs it has
not been uncommon for various units to use the base as a
temporary "home". In this case RB-57A Canberras of
the 172nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Michigan ANG)
are starting engines.
still serves as a transient point for
many aircraft. A regular site
has been one of NASA's two B747
Shuttle carriers. N905NA
(B747-123 serial 20107) delivered the
Space Shuttle Enterprise
in March, 1979. The
combination stopped at Biggs on its
way to Kelly AFB and was delayed to to
rain at the destination and a dust
storm in El Paso. The 747 had
been acquired from American Airlines
and at that point in time the letters
were still faintly visible stained
into the Aluminum finish.
N911NA (B747-SR-46 serial 20781) is
shown with the Shuttle Endeavor
during a 1991 visit.. 905
is shown again at the 2003 and 2006
Guppy (B377SGT-F) is shown during
"touch-and-goes" at Biggs in January,
An RAF Lincoln B.2
(RF523) of the Empire Air Armaments
School during a 1947 visit to
Biggs. RAF Commodore H.D.
Spreckley, O.B.E. and Col. Newton
Longfellow USAF are shown in front of
II during that visit.
Col. Longfellow was the CO of the 47th
BW at that time. (USAF)
The Amigo Airsho has been an annual event at Biggs
since 1981 and continues to draw some interesting
This Beech D17S Staggerwing
(N5447N) displayed at the 2007 show is registered
to Perlan Aviation. It had formerly belonged to
Malcom McGregor and is still christened Lady McGregor.
still hosts B-52s from time to time, though the tall
tailed B-52Bs are long gone it is always good to see
a B-52 come "home". The first photo shows
B-52H (60-0060) of the 5th BW during a deployment in
1982. The second shows a 379th BW B-52G
during the summer of 1987 and the final photo
shows a Griffiss AFB based B-52G (57-6516) of the
416th BW arriving at Biggs in 1989.
In late 1988 the 379th BW made a
deployment to Biggs.
Biggs AFB main gate in
1947. The entrance at the time was off Fred
Wilson road, versus the later entrance at the
intersection of Fred Wilson and Airport rd.
The rock pillars were still in place until 2009,
though that gate was long gone. The photo is
poor quality due to being spread across two pages of
a book on the 47th BW. The dark line through
the right portion is where the binding of the book
split the photo. (USAF)
This photo shows the main gate in
1953. This is the present location (2007),
though the guard shack is long gone, replaced with a
more imposing structure. The totem pole is a
device used in a safety campaign to implore base
personnel to "Get To The Top by Flying Safely
Aircraft Safety Campaign for 53". (USAF)
The main gate remained unchanged
until removed by the Army in the 1970s. This
photo is about 1960. It is little changed from
the 1953 photo. Too bad the totem pole is
(Pima Air and Space
Any organization only functions
through the effort of those involved. Their
stories, experiences and remembrances are important
to history and well, "how things work". I am
trying to collect the experiences (however long or
short they might be) of the people who served at
Biggs. Some are sprinkled though this page and
others and some will be tacked on here, at the end.
Here are some recollections I received from Gary
Jones in April, 2008: " I just finished reading
a very good book ("Jimmy Stewart Bomber pilot,")
and thought a lot about my time in the 95th
A&E maint Sq.
I arrived at Biggs in Sept 1958 as an E-5
re-trainee from ground radio maintenance into
bomb-navigation systems maintenance. There were
several of us who re-trained at AF request. We
attended FTD at Biggs and went right to work on
the B-36 A/C. All of us were very happy to be
working on airplanes.( I think). Soon all of the
36's were gone. I remember working long and hard
on the very last one which went to Ft. Worth as a
monument to the Convair plant. When the last one
left we went back to FTD to get ready for the
B-52's. I was there on the flightline the day the
first 3 arrived. I recall the tug operator
connected the tow bar to one and attempted to back
it into position and struck the A/C radome with
the front of the tug cab. (it was a B-36 towbar).
Sounded like a rifle shot and we now had a plane
which wouldn't fly until it was fixed.
If I recall correctly those B-52's came from
Limestone Maine and were in rough shape. We
worked like beavers getting them ready and up to
Lot's of interesting things occurred there, a U-2
made an overnight visit and was quickly rolled
into the big hanger. A C-133 cargo plane ran into
ice over Alice TX for about 15 seconds and he made
an emergency landing at Biggs and stayed
around for quite awhile getting repair to
sheet metal and windscreen damaged by the hail I
removed the badly damaged radome and replaced it
with another. Years later while working in Saudi
Arabia I was telling a friend about the C-133
visit and he said he was the Flight engineer on
that plane at the time.
I left Biggs Feb 1960 and spent the
rest of my AF time working of fighter A/C(
F-105, F-4D,E). I retired July 1974(E-8), and now
live north of Seattle WA."
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