Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012

Air Weather Reconnaissance Association - WB-57F Night Intruder

For a number of years I have been a Lifetime Member of the Air Weather Reconnaissance Association (AWRA). At the time when I paid my dues I thought it important to belong to the organization that best represented my squadron throughout my military life. It took me some time to realize that not everything in life is black & white. I was one of those that could be considered "grey". I knew from a conversation I had years ago with my shop chief that I was not the only odd-ball in a very selective group of men. I have since found (and lost again) a web page written by that other odd-ball. It was the only time I ever read his real story and found out his first name only. He too wanted to tell the world what it all about but had the same fears I exhibited.
Through a year of psychiatrist and psychologist sessions, those fears were finally minimized and I was encouraged to write my book. I also returned to become a more active member of AWRA. In August 2012, AWRA will have their annual reunion. This year it will be  a joint reunion with Air Weather Association (AWA). They, together, will celebrate 75 years of air weather service. The reunion will be held near Offutt AFB, Omaha, Nebraska. This sounded good enough for me to take a hike out west especially when I read that the guest speaker was an associate from NASA. The topic was the two remaining WB-57F still in service with NASA. Again my interest was peaked. Then an update was issued and the news was that the last WB-57F stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona was being transferred to an unknown location and totally rebuild to join the fleet of two at Johnson Space Center, Ellington Field. There went my hopes of ever using the last
WB-57F in any movie I made plan in the future. So all said and done; I'm staying home this year, again.
It would appear that the fleet currently with NASA is not enough to complete all the mission handed them by the various governmental agencies, the military and civilian contracts.
Just one footnote on the current WB-57F at NASA, one was spotted in 2007 in Afghanistan with all NASA logos removed. We have gone International again.

All photos courtesy NASA JSP

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