Blytheville Air Force Base (BAFB) Exhibition: BAFB Exhibition - Blytheville/Eaker AFB - See 9 traveler reviews, 32 candid photos, and great deals for Blytheville, AR, at Tripadvisor. For those wishing to explore BAFB history and its impact, the Blytheville Air Force Base Exhibition is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to tell "the story of the war that saved the world.". Compared to hose style fueling systems, flying booms of KC135s are very unforgiving to errors. Gym - Center of Wing's Athletic Activities.  Other aircraft stationed at Blytheville AFB included: KC-97 refueler, B-52G bomber, KC-135A tanker, T-33 jet fighter, and the T-37 traineramong others. "Valkyrie" was known to the USAF as 58-0183, a B-52G Stratofortress. In December of 1992, the base officially closed. The airplane dismantler used most of the tarmac we were using and we havent been back since before covid. . Arkansas Razorbacks. action specifically caters to closures and revitalization of U.S. military bases. Note that the outrigger landing gear is off the ground: naturally, "Valkyrie" is empty of fuel, and so there is no wing droop. For the families, GI's, and community that was Blytheville AFB "Hoosier Hotshot" was originally applied to a B-17G Flying Fortress of the 91st Bomb Group during World War II, but when SAC began applying nose art to their B-52s, a 97th Bomb Wing B-52G crew reproduced the nose art on 57-6486 as a tribute to the original. Tom Sylvester used to look up at the sky above Blytheville in the 1970s, watch the planes fly out of the nearby Air Force base and dream about being able to glide among the clouds. The facility now operates as the Arkansas Aeroplex and Arkansas International Airport. NUMBER BUILT: Douglas built a total of 10,047 C-47s and derivatives. This increased the B-52Gs range over earlier B-52s, though it also added considerable weightone reason why the tail was shortened; to help the heavy bomber get off the ground, the water-injection system already present was increased. I was stationed at this base in 1972-1976 and worked in the 97th Supply Squadron which is one of the large buildings located near the center of the photo. There are some items of interest in this photo of things that didn't appear on my uniform. by Ryan Nix, Photos by Jamison Mosley. I really hope some other people can find this service and get in touch with people like I did. Club was demolished. The G models most noticeable feature was its 8-foot shorter tail, done to ease maintenance and to save weight. My father manufactured this and built a front wheel carrier for my motorcycle so I could mount the front wheel and removed the chain and allow the rear wheel to freely roll as we towed it down the road. The aircraft was flown from Castle AFB to Hill AFB, Utah, in its final flight. at the old Blytheville Air Force Base now called the Blytheville Aeroplex where the city is planning to invest $20 million . The nine surviving jets are scattered from coast to coast most of them restored and on display. It was always fascinating to hear stories about how papers were left on desks and furniture left abandoned. My 1972 Suzuki looked exactly like the one in the brochure. 58-0183 joined the USAF and the 4135th Strategic Wing, based at Eglin AFB, Florida; the 4135th oversaw several B-52 squadrons dispersed over the American Southeast to lessen their chance of being caught on the ground by a Soviet nuclear strike. The Blytheville Air Force Base Capehart Housing Historic District encompasses a large residential area built between 1957 and 1962 as part of a military housing program for service members stationed at the now-closed Blytheville Air Force Base in Blytheville, Arkansas. machine guns in tail plus up to 43,000+ lbs. "Valkyrie" would fly a few more missions during the war, the only time she would drop bombs in anger. Coupled with the more regulation bound USAF of the 1950s, almost no B-36s or B-52s carried nose art, despite a larger "canvas" than the B-29 or B-17. On January 31st, 2022, the Arkansas Aeroplex officially announced that work had been started on restoring Building 1225. In any case, out of a sense of history and because commanders were now favorable to the idea, nose art began to return, though the USAF was very careful to ensure any "painted ladies" to have nothing more risque than bikinis. Location. Sheila Russell Thurber. Blytheville AFB became fully operational when it was equipped with a wing of three squadrons of B-57 bomber on 19 July 1955. The aircraft remained there until November when it was reassigned to the 320th Bombardment Wing (H) at Mather AFB, California. Eaker Air Force Base Historic District, Arkansas International Airport, and Blytheville Municipal Airport. , On 15 July 1955, the facility was reopened as Blytheville Air Force Base (AFB), when the 461st Bombardment Wing was moved from Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The last duty station for this aircraft was with a previous owner, the 93rd Bombardment Wing (H) at Castle AFB, where it arrived in December 1988. Since then, there have been only 744 aircraft built by Boeing. The hospital has been tightly sealed up. Some were torn down. The Library. Enter your email address to subscribe to Abandoned Arkansas and receive notifications of new posts by email. The 97th comm mustve been a very short lived entity as it was the 2101 CS / AFCC when I was there. The B-52 had 8 engines but the two AGM-28 engines could also be used for take off and getting up to altitude. All photos. The plane . 1-2 hours. BX and Cafeteria. On the evening in question, Bruce was working for a local radio station, performing tests on their transmitters. The base contributed greatly to the economic and . Thousands of jobs were lost. There were VIP transports (designated VC-47A/B) and there were SC-47s used as search and rescue aircraft. I think it is lost on most Americans that the first time a B-52 was used in actually live combat was in Vietnam and it was the only time a B-52 was lost to enemy fire. Washington -- Today, Representatives Crawford, Hill, Westerman, and Womack, along with Senators Boozman and Cotton, introduced legislation to name the Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base located in Blytheville, Arkansas, the "National Cold War Center." The Eaker base opened in 1942 as a World War II advanced pilot training school, and later became an alert center during the Cold War. After Eaker Air Force Base was B.R.A.C.d, multiple buildings on the base were put up for sale, but never put to use properly. This area was developed pursuant to guidelines established by the Federal Housing Administration , and is laid out with . Did you serve with BLYTHEVILLE AIR FORCE BASE? The B-52 Stratofortress force had always been intended to be supplemented by newer designs, allowing older types and eventually the B-52 itself to be retired. The KC135 fuels other aircraft through an extendable boom on the aft of the aircraft. , The Blytheville Air Force Base Strategic Air Command (SAC) Alert and Weapons Storage Areas Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. All photos (32) Top ways to experience nearby attractions. In December 1972, after being repaired, it flew four additional missions over North Vietnam. However, the B-58 was delayed, and in accordance with General Curtis LeMays prescient worries that the B-52 force would simply fall apart, Boeing began development of a new variant of the B-52, the B-52G. Here's a little blurb about the alert facilities themselves (aka "mole holes"): "The SAC alert crew quarters, like the SAC command post, were partially below ground structures. The B-47 Stratojet was slated to be replaced by a mix of both the heavy Stratofortress and the Convair B-58 Hustler high-speed medium bomber. Building 1225, will be added to the collection of buildings as part of the future National Cold War Center. CENTCOM commander H. Norman Schwartzkopf demanded continual B-52 strikes-- eventually forty percent of all ordnance expended--and the results were devastating. In the Monett City Park is displayed the USAF Thunderbird F4 Phantom #3 Jet. See original furniture from the famous alert compound, pictures, uniforms & other memorabilia including a . The 456th completed deployments to Anderson AB in Guam with this B-52G. Those dorms were pristine (almost new if I remember correctly) when they were abandoned. Armament: Four .50-cal. Though, the program and its members were not considered truly military nor pilots until the 1970s. The USAF Thunderbirds flew the F-4E Phantom II from 1969 until Feb 1974 when they were retired due to the October 1973 fuel crisis. At the former Blytheville (Eaker) Air Force Base, now Arkansas International Airport, Delta Air Lines has stored many aircraft because of the downturn of passengers due to the 2020 Corona Virus. Originally Blytheville Air Force Base, the base's official name was changed in 1988 to honor air pioneer and commander of the Mighty Eighth Air Force during World War II, Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker. As Soviet air defenses increased in numbers and lethality, the B-52 was switched from high-altitude attack to low-altitude penetration; the job of Hound Dog-equipped B-52s was to use the nuclear-tipped primitive cruise missiles to destroy SAM defenses, giving the follow-on B-52s equipped with gravity nuclear weapons a better chance at reaching their targets. The B-52G entered service in February 1959, and eventually 193 would be built, making it the most produced B-52 variant. Any monthly plan. In May 1962 the aircraft returned to the Boeing factory in Kansas for wing modification and strengthening to counteract the fatigue cracks occurring in the B-52 fleet. The heavier steel fuel tanks of the tall-tail series were replaced by integral fuel tanks, in which the entire wing served as a tank. 1942-1946, 1953-1992. Electrical work and flood damage repair have begun. Profile pictures. Though it is referred to these names, the airport officially goes by Arkansas Aeroplex. If the alert force had not received that second "stand down" code, they would have taken off; and (as we saw it, back then) if that happened, very soon, we would have been in the midst of a nuclear war. Blytheville Air Force Base was established in 1942 as a pilot training station. Evans at Blytheville air show in 1980. It was retired in July 1991 and donated to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona. GitHub export from English Wikipedia. They could go out of the facility to visit family, go to a movie or the BX, but the whole crew had to go everywhere together. Unit of Service: 311th Tactical Airlift Squadron; Air National Guard. It was renamed Eaker Air Force Base in 1988, in honor of General Ira Eaker, an aviation pioneer and second . These women had proved their selves capable of flying aircraft such as the B25 and the B29. (USAF Museum Official Website), Objects and images related to Blytheville Air Force Base, aka Eaker Air Force Base, The patch for the 340th Bomb Squadron assigned to the 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base aka Eakers Air Force Base. Community Profile: Blytheville, Ark., Spreads Its Wings after Air Force Base Closing. Today the base is mostly in a decrepit state of disrepair. Hopefully the site will become available again for us. Streamline your workflow with our best-in-class digital asset management system. Communism had shriveled in the world. The Cold War had come to and end. Thanks to Dave Howell for posting this photo of Miss Piggy and her crew. The WASP program tasked select women with many key roles on airfields across the nation. The crew started to lose control of the plane and went to bail out. Use code: FLICKR10, International Air Tattoo 1987 - RAF Fairford. The US needed a long range aircraft able to refuel other long range aircraft. The alert force aircraft remained parked just outside this facility (on a ramp, over to the left); there were armed airmen patrolling the ramp at all times. For nearly 50 years, residents of Blytheville, Ark., proudly supported the Air Force base in their town. After 30 years and learning the computer and finding VetFriends, I went to my first reunion of the USS Navasota AO-106. It has the exact same problems as the hospital, though both buildings trade off on extremities. or the notorious F-105 "Cherry Girl," which positioned a full-frontal nude girl strategically over the refueling port on the nose. BLYTHEVILLE AIR FORCE BASE EXHIBITION.  It was located 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Blytheville, Arkansas. of conventional or nuclear bombs, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=294. The worst building on base is the hospital. In June 1965, B-52s entered combat in Southeast Asia. During the second World War, the United States needed more areas to train pilots, and launch aircraft to respond to the threat on the Eastern front. Eaker Air Force Base was complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, a grocery store, a dental office, a nine hole golf course, a theater, multiple clubs, visitation centers, a gym, and on-base housing for military families. Save up to 30% when you upgrade to an image pack. Location of Service: Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Williams Air Force Base, Arizona; Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio; Vietnam; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas; Des Moines Air National . The facility now operates as the Arkansas Aeroplex and Arkansas International Airport. https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Eaker_Air_Force_Base, https://www.boeing.com/history/products/b-52-stratofortress.page, https://www.boeing.com/history/products/kc-135-stratotanker.page, https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1771/text?r=1&s=1, https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2020/12/bill-designating-national-cold-war-center-in-blytheville-introduced-in-senate, https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/107172/general-ira-c-eaker/, https://www.afcec.af.mil/Home/BRAC/Eaker.aspx, https://www.npr.org/2010/03/09/123773525/female-wwii-pilots-the-original-fly-girls. In July 1991, she was retired, and as one of the Secret Squirrel aircraft, was donated to the Pima Air and Space Museum immediately. The exhibits are impactful and tell the story of Base history. The Iron Curtain was torn down. Blytheville Air Force Base was a United States Air Force base from 1942, until it closed in 1992. Blytheville air force base photos. Extensive efforts to offset the negative economic effects on the community of Blytheville were undertaken by local and federal officials, who cleaned up the site and then distributed the land to various organizations, including the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Granted today, the area has stayed well populated due to industrial jobs, but Blythevilles unemployment rate is four percent higher than the national average (pre-covid). As a result, the B-52Gs took heavy casualties in the first days of Operation Linebacker II in December 1972, losing 15 aircraft; it was decided to pull the Gs out of operations after the first week. The pictures and history lesson accompanying are amazing. Like many B-52s, 58-0183 was shuttled around through several units--in this case, no less than eleven bomb wings. Blytheville AFB was created in 1942 as a location for pilot training, originally named Blytheville Army Airfield. In 1988, the facility was renamed Eaker Air Force Base in honor of World War II General of the Eighth Air Force, Ira C. Eaker. I was one of four Production Supervisors who coordinated the P-Check maintenance and retrofitting of existing 737-200's (42 aircraft) for MetroJet; this included all coach interiors and .