Viola Hobbs Ziegler (54) – This article is all about you that Dick has provided: email@example.com
Viloa, This is an amazing story that your husband has written. Who is the LeRoy mentioned in this Article? Would it be LeRoy Birkland? Gary
Article Posted by Dick Johnson (68):
Gary and Friends, The January issue of Reminisce ‘Extra’ just came and as I was reading through it, the name ‘Dunseith’ caught my eye. This is an international nostalgia magazine with stories from individuals from all over. This is an article by Richard Ziegler of McMinnville, Oregon and it bears reading—-you will see why! Thanks Gary! Dick
While serving in Korea at Camp Humphreys in 1980 I remember seeing the SR-71’s that were flying out of Osan Air Base while visiting friends that I attended Korean language school with (Osan was north of Camp Humphreys by 9 miles or so.). Even in Camp Humphreys all the Army personnel knew when an SR-71 was taking to the air for a flight over North Korea, or possibly China or the Soviet Union and who knows where else. The way we all knew was that the SR-71 had a very distinctive series of sonic booms, usually 3 in very quick succession as the plane accelerated through and then to, two (2) or three (3) times beyond the speed of sound. These sonic booms were just seconds apart as I recall.
When I first heard these sonic booms I asked about them and learned, from Army friends who had been stationed at Humphreys longer than I, that they were caused by the SR-71s flying out of Osan. I later confirmed the sonic boom stories with my Air Force friends. Ellen, thanks for the info on the SR-71 and bringing back some fond memories of the time I spent serving overseas in the US Army.
If you would like to see the maps of Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base south of Seoul Korea follow this link:
Camp Humphreys is SW of Pyongtaek across the river and Osan Air Base is straight N about 9 miles just S of the city of Osan. Both military installations are easily identified by their air strips and surrounding airfield and military building layouts.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and that your 2009 New Year will become your best year yet!!! Thanks to everyone for all their stories.
Joe Johnson (77)
Reply from Bob Lykins (60’s DHS teacher):
Gary, What a great piece of info on the SR-71 submitted by Ms. Myrick. What a great airplane that was. I remember the SR-71 very well from my days of living on Okinawa near Kadena Air Base 1977-1979. You always knew when an SR-71 was about to take off. The roar from their engines was very distinctive and seemed to cover the entire Island. We had a nick-name for the 71. We called it the “Habu” after the local poisonous snake. The take off times for the 71 were supposed to be secret for security reasons but ask any kid on the Island and they all seemed to know just when the bird would take off. I remember a rare night on the Island when, in late Fall, the sky was so clear you could see forever and the moon was very bright. I heard the roar of a 71’s engines and walked to the top of a hill near our base house. The plane took off and you could see the flames shooting out the back of the engines. Suddenly, the 71 literally stood on it’s tail and became a rocket ship shooting straight up into the sky. How high it went I really don’t know but one could follow it’s path from the trail of smoke and condensation it left behind. It was truly an amazing aircraft and this was really brought home to me when, several years later, I met one of the electrical engineers and aircraft designer who had worked on the design and creation of the SR-71. He was retired and had accompanied his wife to Germany as she worked on a consultant contract for our school system. He was a very interesting chap and told me a number of things about the airplane. The technology was very advanced and much of what went into this aircraft still remains a secret. However, much has also been realized in commercial aviation from the development of the 71. I was saddened when they retired the SR-71. As was stated she was an expensive bird to fly but perhaps the main reason was she was no longer needed as satellites had taken over much of the surveillance operations of our military. As anyone who was connected with the Air Force and the SR-71 will tell you she was a great aircraft that brought back the “romance” of military aircraft. Bob Lykins
Reply from Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):
Dear Gary, Don’t know what was in #342 but guess my computer doesn’t like it because it still hasn’t gotten through. Unusual. I rec’d today’s message #343 what a marvelous story from Ellen Graff.
Folks, again please don’t hesitate to let me know if you do not received a message. Bonnie did finely receive #342 when I sent it to her as an attachment to a message. Gary
Folks, I have this photo in my files labeled as a Smith girl. I forgot who sent it. Do any of you recognize which one of Winthrop Smith’s daughters this would be. His daughters are Doris (Pritchard), Betty, Beverly, Lois & Judy. I’m sure if there was a way for Doris, who lives in Bottineau, to see this, she could tell us. Gary