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307th Bomb Wing History Book is complete and on the market

 

Michael Hill, a LAFB SAC BRAT from 1958 to 1965, is proceeding with writing of the story of the 307th BW during it’s Lincoln lifetime. His dad, Sedge, served with the wing in several areas during that period. His memory of growing up at LAFB and its people is vivid and his objective is that those hectic days of serving with SAC should be preserved for future generations.

Possessing a proven author’s track record, over the last 15 years he has had the honor of having seven books published by Schiffer Publishing of Atglen PA. They are one of the foremost publishers of military history in the United States. The titles include Black Sunday-Ploesti, Peace Was Their Profession and Role Call,Thud. His dad and he also did a history of the 451st Bomb Group called The Fightin 451st. Later came a rewrite of the book for Schiffer Publishing and then a history of the 464th BG in World War 2.

With a background of published books behind him, he knows how much work goes into a project like this. It is not a thing to undertake without a lot of prior planning, research and thought before sitting down at the computer and hitting the keys.

Mike Hill
1405 8th St SW
Minot, ND 58701
1-(701) 838-9288
mikendaf@srt.com

Below are some of the more interesting "encounters" Mike had while researching the book.

1/10/2007
Got a good story about the KC-97s going to the Azores. Seems that one of them lost an engine after passing the point of no return, and then had another get a bad case of the flu so they went into Lages with one out and one sicky, a good addition to the history. I am real pleased with the way this project is going. I am hopeful that when we are finished it will not only be a fitting tribute to the 307th but will also convey the true happenings and how things were back then. I really get upset at "revisionist historians" who try and paint a different picture than the way it really was. In my other projects I have tried to be accurate and not pull punches.

12/11/06
I got a very nice surprise the other day. I got a letter from Mary (Bowling) Ashton. She sent me a nice letter and a copy of the dedication ceremony program. It outlined the whole smear, and who was attending along with the time line for the ceremony. A GREAT BIG help. It was like fate out of the blue because I was just getting to that area in my longhand draft and was wondering how I was going to write it. We are running into a problem with the history however. July, August and September are missing from the microfilm, so I had to fill in with some generic things that happened in SAC and around the world. The problem that is arising is that we need more personal anecdotes from the flight crews. I know that most of the flying was the routine stuff, but we are going to need some of that. I am going to begin another email campaign after the holidays to try and drum up some flying stories.

10/7/06
Yesterday was a red letter day in our research. Thanks to Dave Avery of Kansas we now have the date of the Navy jet going into the hanger at Lincoln. A week or so ago he emailed me and said he was going to Lincoln, would he like to have me stop by the Historical Society and have a look see. I said sure have at it. Well time passed and no word from Dave. Then yesterday I get this email headed "scan-1, scan-2". Well my download is not the fastest in the world. It took a few moments to see that the Newspaper headlines dealt with the accident. After a few minutes there it was everything we needed except the date. A quick follow up email to Dave and his reply with the date of December 18, 1955. I immediately emailed him THANKS  and the fact that I was recommending him for the DRC (Distinguished Research Cross).

8/15/06
I got an interesting package of goodies from Dick Grammes yesterday.    He gave me details of when he "pranged" a KC-97 in July 1958. Most interesting as usual the microfilm for that month is missing. Seems that in months where there was a accident or major incident the microfilm for that month is missing. Perhaps they were deleted for security reasons at Maxwell. I don't understand why but an interesting pattern has developed along those lines.     Grammes also opens a can of worms. He mentioned an incident that I have heard about before. This time a crew is mentioned.     Seems that the crew returned from a night mission and were parking at the refueling pits. Either a crewman or crew chief accidently walked into one of the props. Others that have mentioned the incident thought it happened in Nov 1956.

8/10/06

Don Hickman sent me some 8mm movie film that he acquired after the crash on Feb 3, 1963. Seems there was a pilot from Dyess AFB there and he was out on the runway area taking movies of departing B-47s. He got the crash on film. Shows the whole thing including Dick West punching out and the B-47 disappearing into a cloud of snow. Some incredible footage.     I have had it transferred to DVD and will send him a copy of the DVD.     I am of the opinion that the footage should be in the 307th Achives

7/28/06
Here's the poop that I have on the N V Meeks Trophy. After the accident Mrs Meeks was presented the DFC by Gen John D Ryan on March 13, 1963. The 307th BW established the N.V. Meeks Memorial Trophy in his honor.     It would be presented to the crew that completed 50-8 requirements in the timeliest fashion. The award would been given every six months to that outstanding crew. The name of the crew and Squadron Co would be engraved on the Trophy     The first crew to win the award was S-97: Maj. Alfred Hunt (AC), Capt. Roger Beamer (CP) and Capt. Richmond Boykin (Nav). They were presented the Trophy on Aug 15, 1963 at a formal Dining Inn.     The only other awarding of the trophy that I have any info on was on August 15, 1964 when it was awarded to Maj Glen Hesler's crew.     It is mentioned in the Feb 5 1965 issue of the JET SCOOP that Col. A.W. Holderness presented the Trophy to Mrs. Meeks for her keeping as a result of the impending 307th deactivation.     That is all I have on the trophy.

 

 

 

 




 

 

Where We've Had Reunions

Lincoln 1986

Tucson 1986

Both of the above were organized independently of the other and were attended mostly by those living in the local area.  Our first nation wide reunion was in 1988 and resulted in the formation of our Association.

Las Vegas 1988

Lincoln 1990

Orlando 1992

Seattle 1994

Dayton 1996

Colorado Springs 1998

Lincoln 2000

Fort Worth 2001

Las Vegas 2004

Charleston 2006

Branson 2008

Dayton 2010

Lincoln 2012

Barkdale AFB 2014 (307th Combined Reunion)

Lincoln 2015 (50th anniversary of closing)

 

The 370th Bomb Squadron lives on...

On 24 September 2001 the 370th was reactivated as the 370th Flight Test Squadron and became an Air Reserve unit on 1 October 2001.  It is assigned to the 452nd Operations Group at Edwards AFB.

This was discovered by Douglas Matthews who is the son of David Matthews, a member of the 370th BS in World War II. 

And Now...

The 307th Bomb Wing Lives On:

January 8th, 2011 saw the reactivation of the 307th Bomb Wing at Barkdale AFB in Louisiana. The new 307th is a B-52 wing under the Air Force Reserve Command. and is detailed to the nuclear mission under Global Strike Command.  The 307th is the only reserve wing flying B-52s.  For more info go to their website at http://www.307bw.afrc.af.mil/

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

Copyright 2003, 307th Bomb Wing Association