Ralph also tells us that he lived only a few houses down on North Carolina Avenue from the tail gunner of Buzz One Four and the bombardier was his Little League Team coach. Ralph also knew Francis Gary Powers of U-2 fame and Thomas W. Ferebee, the bombardier on the Enola Gay’s Hiroshima mission.
Planned in 1945, the B-52 was designed for a range of 10,000 miles with enough internal capacity to contain a nuclear bomb measuring 8 feet in diameter and stretching 25 feet from nose cone to tail. In November of 1951, Boeing rolled the first production prototype of this airplane out of the factor doors.
Nearly 160 feet long and supported by swept wings spanning 185 feet, the plane weighted nearly a half million pounds loaded. Its fuselage was supported by four twin-wheel landing trucks and outriggers supported its drooping wings in which fuel was stores. There were eight Pratt & Whitney J57 turbo jets under the wings. The plan could fly at 595 mph and cost $8 million each.
Made by Republic Aviation Corporation of Farmingdale, L.I., N.Y, the F-84F Thunderstreak has sleek, clean lines which attest to the super-fast speed. The Air Force’s first swept-wing fighter-bomber, the T-Streak’s versatility qualifies it equally for interceptor and escort missions. As a fighter, the "F" is capable of very high speeds and exceptionally long-range operations. As a ground support plane, it is designed to carry more armament than the record breaking loads of its sister plane, the F-84G Thunderjet. The Thunder-streak is in full scale production for supply to major USAF commands and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries.
U.S. Army PT-17
Serial Number 40-1858
Marked 2146 AAFBU (CPS.S), Albany, GA
This picture was taken in 1945 at Oakland, California Army Airdrome by CAP Cadet, Ron Gerdes, who is pictured here with a Lt. Morgan. This airplane was transferred to Oakland from Albany.