File Size: 4721 KB
Print Length: 130 pages
Publisher: Col. George Holt Jr; 1 edition (September 20, 2015)
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
I had been a DSO (systems operator) at Little Rock Naval pilot Base when the wing was all of a sudden deactivated. People stationed there were shocked when we exposed up the local newspapers in October, 1969 to discover all B-58s were to be removed from service. Less than 3 several weeks later, all of us started getting transfer orders. Most aviators went to Vietnam, navigators to B-52s and FB-111s, and DSOs to KC-135s. By January, three months later, all traces of our own side and 45 B-58s were gone! I had seen military bases closed before, but nothing at the speed this happened.
The sad thing was that nothing of us all really knew why we were so suddenly removed. The most logical rumor is that Air Force was given a budget choice between keeping the B-58 and buying the newer FB-111s. Also, as time gone on, we started believing the myths about maintenance problems, operating costs, crash rates, and design flaws. But, nothing of these were true! As an insider at the Pentagon, Encolure. Holt sets the record straight about how simply a few Generals decided they would rather keep 4 more mature B-52 wings than maintain the most complex bomber in the Air Pressure. He also does a best wishes of dispelling all the myths that were made up about the B-58. All of us all in the B-58 program were hand-picked from either B-47s or B-52s, and we knew there was no comparison with other airplane. The B-58 was more powerful, faster, and more precise than any other bomber at the time.
Once again, a great book for a aircraft/military historian, or lovers of great airplane. I flew 3 models of the B-52, the B-58, KC-135s, RC-135s, and was a staff officer with the SR-71. The particular B-58 was definitely the highlight of my 21 years in the Air flow Force. Sad day in history when it was lost!!, I've always thought the B-58 to be a futuristic Beast. From its first flight in 1956 to its final in 1969, it always oozed sleekness, speed and sex. I was dependent a Davis-Monthan AFB when they started flying directly into be stored at MASDC (AKA " the Boneyard" ) during late 1969. Eventually nearly all of the remining Fleet of 86 or so was there, in two lines in the In-processing part of MASDC. From the time I accepted the statement that they were being retired to free up funds for the future B-1. Over the next few years, whenever I saw them in strong storage, I was minted by the fact that they weren't fully pickled, and that security around them was fairly lax. I wondered if someone at HQ/USAF had a more personal reason to get rid of the Hustlers ( the ghosting of Curt LeMay's closing out the whole B-36 Fleet years earlier for no other reason than he wanted an all-jet fleet kept plucking at my thoughts). And now a retired Colonel who was part of the B-58 Crew Force and later at SAC and AF HQ has confirmed those lingering suspicions.
Chapter 5 of this short (127 page) textual content ) provides the answer why the 58 was grounded so quickly. It transforms out that a couple of Generals at BARDA DE GOLF HQ colluded with Congress and the then-SECDEF ( Robert Strange McNamara) to sacrifice the 58 in favor of retaining several Wings of older B-52s and increasing the Minuteman ICBM Force. Using a variety of weak justifications, all documented and refuted in this book, the Hustler was shot down in mid-career by the own side. And then for no good reason. The more mature B-52s in question were retired a few years later anyway and the Minuteman Force was prescribed a maximum at 1, 000 missiles. The 58's did not linger long in retirement, but were cut upward in the mid-late seventies. A few (8? ) escaped the scrapper and remain in Museums ( NMUSAF, PASM, SACM, Travis AFM, Edwards AFB, and elsewhere), (some glorious, some derelict) to remind us all of what might have been.
This self-published smooth cover book is brief, with a greater font, and often a fair amount of space between the ranges to puff up the text. If it were done in the typeface and line size size of - say - Miller's slightly longer (152 page) book on the B-58, it would be closer to 40 pages. It is far from an operational or technical historical past of the B-58 - rather it is more just like a memoir, which is what I believe the Creator intended If you are buying a much more comprehensive history of the B-58, Jay Miller's " Convair B-58 Hustler - the World's First Supersonic Bomber" (Aerofax, 1985, Midland Journals, UK, 1997 ) remains the gold standard. Nevertheless as a look at the rear of the scenes of the political side of airplane production and retention, it is most illuminating. Recommended for all B-58 Followers., He flew in it and had a entrance row seat about how the Pentagon killed it off. First time I have seen such inside info on the rapid alert take off times related to why the B-58 was not dispersed in 15 plane squadron sized Bomb Wings like the B-52. Great info on the very best speed beyond the usual Mach 2 limit. The cost comparison of two B-58 Wings vs half a dozen B-52 Wings tale has been told and retold as gospel, but I never before heard the Author's explanation as how this was a bogus apples to oranges assessment rigged to help make the B-58 look bad. If that's indeed true, it would mean the Pentagon high brass and general officers didn't know the make up of their front line BARDA DE GOLF Alert force! While I loved the myth eliminating section of the guide, it quickly glosses over the primary weakness of the B-58, its shortage of adequate intercontinental range. Any case to be made about overcoming the aircrafts limited range is worthy of a full chapter. Noting that the B-52 also needed air refueling, just isn't a effective argument that the brief legged B-58 could really reach its EWO focuses on in Russia. With adequate range, the rest of the shortcomings of the B-58 might have been overlooked. An interesting insightful book, and the Author can be forgiven for a little of prejudice after having served in this best aircraft.
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