Convair B-58 Hustler
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Roger W. Hale, e-mail, 30.04.2024 13:46

I also was stationed at Grissom at the same time you were.
Crew Chief on 074 until its departure to the boneyard in early 1970. It’s been over 50 years now and memories fade except for 074.

Gary Martin, e-mail, 17.07.2023 16:54

My Dad was in Security Police, stationed at Whiteman AFB, from 1963 until 1970. I can remember the B-58's from Little Rock sitting alert (4 of them) at the end of the runway in their shelters. The aircraft and crews would rotate about every two weeks if I remember correctly. The relieving 4 ship would arrive, and always fly by at around 400 knots...then pull up into a beautiful chandelle to enter the pattern. Each aircraft performing the same maneuver. Sometimes, when the air was really humid, almost the entire aircraft would disappear in a cloud of water vapor...I can remember this as if it were yesterday, as we lived in a house overlooking the flightline(that area is all officer housing now). The departing aircraft would always make a pass over the base before they left...nothing like the 4 J-79's in full burner at twilight. I joined the USAF in 1972, became a crew chief on F-4's, F-16's, and was a Maintenance Superintendent with the 416th TFS/AMU operating the F-117. Retired as a Cmsgt....sure miss it all...

Bill Keith, e-mail, 22.05.2023 22:37

Worked on Armament & Electronics on B58. Remember That 555 was always clean. Lost my on time club pin at a cleaners in Japan.🇺🇸

Richard Adams, e-mail, 12.10.2022 23:37

I also worked on the B58 at Grissom AFB Indiana in the DFCS. Was there from 67 to 70. Would so enjoy hearing from anyone that was stationed in Indiana.

Warren Spain, e-mail, 22.07.2022 21:51

My father in law, Lt. Col. James K. Brown, was a navigator on b58's in the 305th @ Bunker Hill. I'm wondering if anyone has assembled an accident data base for all the B58 aircraft accidents. Tail number, location, accident report, crew members etc. Any links? Thanks
Warren Spain

JD LaMarr, e-mail, 26.01.2022 15:30

Was your trainer TSGT James LaMarr ?

Mary, e-mail, 08.09.2021 00:18

I read a comment here left back in 2008 that said ....

"Noticed the name of Maj. Henry (Dutch) Deutschendorf above. He was the father of John Denver. With navigator-bombadier Cpt. Wm. L. Polhemus and defensive systems operator, Capt. R.R. Wagener six world records were broken on the flight mentioned above."

In fact, the record-breaking pilot on that flight was Maj William R. Payne. How do I know this? Captain Wagener was my father. My dad did fly with Maj Deutschendorf, but not on this flight.

Darrell Schmidt, e-mail, 13.08.2021 03:16

The Hustler was a great airplane. I flew it in the 2nd half of the 1960s. All the other pilots I knew loved it also. It was part of the U.S. deterrence against the Soviet Union during the cold war for 10 years.

Norman Ray Myers, e-mail, 21.07.2021 01:07

Lawrence: I wish I could remember you as one of the technicians in the flt/control shop. I was involved with the b-58 program when it was just a test program at Carswell AFB, Texas which later to became the 43rd Bomb wing. I was transfered to Bunker Hill AFB, 303rd Bomb Wing ( Later Grissom AFB ) in 1961 with the prime responsibility of establishing the Flt/Control Shop. My supervisor Many more but this will get you started ) was then SMSGT (later CMSGT) Thomas. I was with the program from 1961 to 1969 . I have many, many found memories of my time at Bunker Hill/Grossom and new many of the pilots and crew members. I am sorry to say I have lost contact with many of our fellow airmen but two I know are still with us...Smsgt(ret) Ken Poirier and Msgt Frank Robinson. Hope we can share some memories. Smsgt (Ret) Norm Myers

Al Boka, e-mail, 05.07.2021 23:33

I was stationed at Orly Field in Paris, France from 1957 to 1961. I specifically visited the 1958 Paris Air Show to see the fabled B-58...I brought my, then, French wife. It was very impressive at first and after watching the flyby I anxiously awaited to see the return landing which, of course, never happened. I did not learn of the accident until the next day. What a tragedy. One of the most beautiful aircraft ever built.

bnav, e-mail, 09.06.2021 22:43

This a/c was a VERY expensive go-fast that served little other purpose. In the beginning it was a wonder that soon faded as it's true capabilities became known. Proof: 10 yr service life, for a program, 118 a/c, that cost more than $3 billion (1960 money). It was worth more than it's wt. in gold. A dog is a dog and will always be a dog.

Michael McLaughlin SSgt, e-mail, 21.02.2021 22:40

Was stationed at Little Rock AFB '69-'70, MSgt Fisk was my boss and SMsgt Stoy Wooster was the shop chief for Defensive Fire Control. This was my first PCS assignment out of tech school, myself and trainer (can't remember his name), worked the last plane that was headed for Dayton, Ohio for the museum. Enjoyed those years, then left for Barksdale AFB in '70 where I then worked on B-52's.
Time in service was '68 to '76. Little Rock AFB, Barksdale AFB, U-Tapao AB, Robins AFB and then two tours on Guam at Anderson AFB.

Joe Darlington, e-mail, 22.03.2018 02:26

I was the crew chief on Aircraft 61-2070 the last plane to leave for the bond yard around Feb.12 1970. I'm still proud
for being a B-58 crew chief and being station at Bunker Hill/Grissom AFB 1966-1970. I loved that plane and still miss it. Good memories.

Don Clifford, e-mail, 12.06.2017 22:59

I was stationed at Bunker Hill from Jan. 1967 till Sept. 1970. I worked in the base supply research section. I remember the B58 that crashed on takeoff and also seem to remember one that had the nose landing gear collapse. That second one was repaired and put on display for awhile. After the B58's were retired, the base became a air refueling wing with KC-135's.

Rob Ransone, e-mail, 06.02.2017 22:59

I have 106 hours in the B-58 as a flight test engineer at the Air Force Flight test Center, Edwards, AFB, California, between 1957 and 1964. I flew the Category II Stability & Control Evaluation with Charlie Bock, the Heavy Weight Performance Evaluation with Charlie Bock, the Refused Takeoff Tests with Fitz Fulton, and the Stability and Control Evaluation with Fitz Fulton to evaluate the flight control changes made after the accident over Oklahoma, and to learn how to slow the unstable airplane safely from M=2 after a complete stability augmentation system failure. These stories are documented in my book "More Than An Engineer," available form

Ralph S Miller, e-mail, 06.02.2017 08:18

I am a retired Army Aviator and retired Professional Aeronautical Engineer (Texas) who graduated from Purdue in 1952. I went to work at Convair in 1953 as a Structural Engineer. Although very junior, I worked with experienced Engineers measuring the deflections under various load distributions on an elastic structural model of the B-58 vertical tail. We determined that it needed to be stiffer. I moved on to another local aircraft company so do not know when that was done. I believe it was a factor in the loss of the test plane in the outboard sudden engine failure test over Oklahoma. This is discussed in a great little book available from Amazon entitled The B-58 Blunder published in 2015 by Colonel George Holt, Jr., about $10 or $12. His point about blunder is related to withdrawing the B-58 from service ten years too soon. I recommend you get a copy. I am sure you will find it interesting. He tells much about the program including losses. RSM

Fausto DelGrosso, e-mail, 29.12.2016 04:16

Does anyone out there in 58 land know Bill Shunney.He was a pilot/AC on one of your birds back when..... maybe early1960s. We were in Flight school learning to be navigator/ bombardiers back in 1952-53. Then sent to Loring AFB , Limestone, Me. Great guy. Had many years doing SAC's thing. He went to pilot training, I went back to college. Would be interested in any tales.


Robin Geiger, e-mail, 23.09.2016 21:39

My father, Melbourne Arthur Paceley was one of the men of the 305 Wing A, as a Nuclear Weapon Specialist, discharged as Sargeant in 1967. He told me several stories, the one that stands out the most was the incident the sirens went off, an explosion of the plane in the hangar? I would love to get a listing of all of his buddies in the same batallion. He went to basic at Lackland AFB, down in TX, then went to Lawry AFB for training, and then transferred to Bunker Hill AFB. Is there a link you can lead me to? My father is alive and well, living in Decatur, IL presently. I would love to hear from his buddies, people that knew him and I can pass on the information to him since he does not use internet that much.
Thank you in advance!

Ralph Holm, e-mail, 16.08.2016 21:27

Would love to have photos of the B 58

Ralph Holm, e-mail, 16.08.2016 21:25

I just turned 70 so this is not a new experience for me. My uncle Fleet Wilson worked as a specialist for Convair on fitting the cockpits and gear sections for pilots of the B58 at the Ft Worth Plant. He knew what a plane nut I was and gave me his colored photos of the 58 when it rolled off the line ,filled me in with all the particulars of the aircraft and how blazing fast it was. Loved that plane and watched as often as I was in Ft Worth as a 10 year old .

David Curran, e-mail, 07.05.2016 21:29

It was in 1959 that I saw my first and last B-58 Hustler. I was 9 years old and was outside throwing a football with my brother in the front yard of our home in Lawton, OK.
I happened to look up and saw a beautiful B-58 Hustler glistening in the sun light far over head. I was really into building model planes, so I quickly knew what plane it was and its name.
I looked down for a moment and threw the football to my brother. Then I looked back skyward to take another look at the B-58. To my surprise all that was in the clear blue Oklahoma sky was a white cloud of smoke where the B-58 should have been. Can't remember if I heard the explosion or not?
I ran into the house and told my father that a jet plane had just exploded. He just laughed and said for me to go back outside and play. About 30 minutes later my father came out and told me the TV news had just reported that a jet plane had blown up over the local area.

Gary Louderback, e-mail, 01.04.2016 03:19

My father, TSGT. Clarence "Clancy" Louderback

steve fowler, e-mail, 27.10.2015 23:34

I was at Little rock 66-70. I was a KC-135 crew chief all of my roommates were 58's. I was actually on the flightline when Rigleys baby landed and the landing gear collapsed. I watched in disbelief as it occurred. My acft 60-0339 had the left wing burn up when #2 engine threw compressor blades during engine run. my KC spent several months in the hanger being repaired. Great times at Littlerock.

George Haloulakos, e-mail, 03.09.2015 23:20

The Convair B-58 Hustler was a pioneering aircraft whose history makes for a unique prism by which to examine the highs-and-lows of the 1960s as well as the nature of the Cold War. In my new book, CALL TO GLORY {ISBN 978-0-692-47545-4] it is shown that the B-58 Hustler actually produced a positive "economic" return [i.e., there were multiple spin-off benefits arising from the Hustler being a technology driver not reflected in the cost accounting data used for explaining its retirement], increased the versatility and strike capability of the overall SAC bomber fleet while reducing the overall fleet risk profile.

Doug Crow, e-mail, 10.08.2015 19:10

My grandfather was an engineer that worked on "Project Quick Check" with Convair. This was a pod-mounted Hughes radar system that flew under a B-58. According to one site it was the 0668 aircraft that I believe is now on display at Little Rock Air force Base in Jacksonville, Ark. I also have a picture of this exact plane hanging on my office wall dated 08-29-61 numbered 50668. Would greatly appreciate any information on this project and this aircraft. Thanks!

Bill, e-mail, 16.06.2015 20:08

I was stationed with the 43rd Bomb Wing (SAC) at Carswell and the trasferred with the 64th Bomb Sq as AIC of the Sq. I worked in both Combat Operations and the Alert barracks at Little Rock. It was a magnificant plane and nothing could beat watchin MITO takeof of this aircraft. I had 2 crew members killed from my Sq ejecting fro this aircraft at ground level. It was a beautiful and fast aircraft. Had an opportunity before leaving AF at Little Rock to ride this plane with my Sq CO, but was doing other things getting discharged and moving family back home. Always will regret not taking that ride.

Rod Robison, e-mail, 16.03.2015 21:43

Ann Hale: I witnessed the B-58 crash your husband was in. I was 9 years old. My dad, Lt. Col. Elmer Robison, was a KC-135 pilot stationed at Bunker Hill. My friend and I were playing near the cornfield that separated the flight line and the housing where we lived. My friend shouted, "LOOK!" pointing toward the flight line. I turned to see a massive fireball. I'll never forget that scene.

robert etheredge, e-mail, 22.02.2015 03:22

I was a crewchief @ LRAB, I was there from 1966 thru 1970,and 1974-1978,wonderful acft,will never forget it or team mates.........

Ken Walker, e-mail, 06.02.2015 02:28

Hi Ms. Hale, I am Ken Walker and I was born in 1962 on Grissom AFB. My Dad is Lt. Col Wallace Joe Walker. He and my mom are in Austin now and I just sent them this link. Nice to come across it while random surfing this morning here in Asia.


rich, e-mail, 02.02.2015 01:04

Thanks for your story, Ann.

Ann Hale, e-mail, 27.01.2015 17:06

My husband was Bill Hale pilot on the B-58 at Grissom AFB. He retired as a LT. Col. and recently passed away. We were in the 305th Bomb Wing from 1955 to 19 70 when the airplane was sent to the boneyard. Bill crashed the first B-58 at Grissom on April 12 1962 on take off. Pete OConnor ejected and landed on the runway Bill ejected sideway out of the plane when it was 80feet from the ground his chute did open and he was not hurt. His navigator Duanne Dickey died in the accident. At the last minute when the B-58 was to leave Grissom forthe boneyard he was assigned to fly it out. So we use to say he crashed the first one at Grissom and flew the last one out. He entered the 305th Bomb Wing as a 2nd Lt. after Air Cadets and retired as a Lt. Col. from the Bomb Wing. He loved the B-58 said what a great plane it was. I was so proud to be a part of the great airplane. Ann Hale

William Londree, e-mail, 02.12.2014 07:40

I was stationed at Cannon, AFB, NM in 1958 as an Airborne Radio Repairman. One Friday evening in December, 1968 I was one of several Airmen who stayed on Base for the week end and was requested to volunteer for a search and rescue operation involving a crashed B-58 Bomber about 38 miles NE of Cannon AFB. I was 18 and now 75 years old.

I recall picking up maps and other cockpit materials that were spread out over many miles of high desert terrain. We were in groups stretched out for miles looking for anything associated with the flight. We moved in a direction towards the final crash site where there was a huge crater. Parts of the landing gear were visible and no pieces seemed larger than a man's fist. One of the crew died in the crash and I heard that they passed Mach 1 on the way down. The one who dies was unable to eject. They found one still in his ejection seat on the ground, alive. I do not remember the fate of the third crew member. We were all very sad and depressed at the sight of all the damage. It was late in the evening when we were relieved of duty from this event.

I worked mostly on F-100 and F-101 Airborne Communications and Navigation systems and had witnessed several accidents near Cannon, AFB. The B-58 incident is still vivid in my memories.

Joseph Wheat, e-mail, 23.10.2014 18:28

Does anyone remember my dad Anthony Joseph Wheat (Joe), who was a B58 Pilot from 1965 to 1969 at Little Rock AFB? I am 52 and have such fond memories of that part of my childhood, and considered the men who flew with my dad to be heroes. Dad volunteer for Viet Nam in 1965, went over in 1970 (flying RF101 Voodoo) and was sent back home with Leukemia in 1971. Would love to hear reflections on the B58, life at Little Rock AFB, and my dad as well.

Dale Jones, e-mail, 11.09.2014 01:58

I was stationed at Chanute AFB back in the early 70's (metals Processing Specialist) when we were approached about being a detail to recover parts and items left from the crash of a b58 hustler that had gone down in a field by the Base. When we got there the house by where it hit was really close and the hole it left was rather large. We could see pcs, of the aircraft as you dug into the ground at the hole. There wasn't much left of the plane a twisted gun. Looked like a giant just grabbed it an twisted it. Part of the landing gear. And pcs of rubber tires. Mudd clods were across the field and and pcs all over. They had said that someone was on the phone when it hit and scared them some bad. We'd heard that there had been two pilots and had gotten out before it had come down. If anyone has any more information on this crash please advise at this email.

William Harris, e-mail, 10.09.2014 04:52

I crewed 61-2059 which is still alive in Iowa I told my baby she was special y'all know me as bull Harris .i loved my aircraft but we all must go.thank you.

George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 28.06.2014 23:35

Visitors to this wonderful web site may recall seeing footage of the B58 as the fictional Vindicator Bomber in the 1964 film “Fail Safe” and again in the 2000 made-for-TV remake of that same film. In the novel, aviation fans can infer that the Vindicator Bomber capabilities described on the printed page match up with the Convair B58 Hustler.

Identifying real aircraft featured in TV or motion picture fiction is part of my love for aviation. The love for aviation inspired me to write this book [which includes insights on the B58 Hustler and its place in aviation history among strategic bombers:

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at:
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
“Partial proceeds support aviation heritage”

George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 25.06.2014 21:57

The B-58 program experienced a loss of 26 aircraft (22.4% of production) during its brief operational career. Other insights and information on this high-speed/high-altitude bomber can be found in chapter 3 of my new book.

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at:
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
“Partial proceeds support aviation heritage”

Howard F. Keck, e-mail, 17.06.2014 20:37

I was Crew Chief on B-58, 59-2445 at Little Rock AFB, 1967 TO 1969. Also worked on BPO/PHASE insp team, and Job Control. 43rd Bomb Wing at Carswell and LRAFB. A great organization with the best people I've ever had the privilege of being associated with. I retired in 1976

Thomas Murray, e-mail, 08.05.2014 01:02

I left Little Rock AFB in Nov 1966 for a tour in Thailand. Was a crew chief on B-58
112 the last year at LRAFB. My understanding of why the "Hustler" was trashed had to do with metal fatigue in the backbone of the aircraft due to the nose high attitude during landing caused some hard landings. After my tour in Thailand I went to work for General Dynamics as a graphic designer for 36 years. Some of my digital B-58 art is on the USAF web site. While working on designing some of our displays for the FOD program, I got to know some of the guys in the model shop. They built a 10th scale flying model of the B-58 and another beauty the XB-70. I have photos of the Hustler model I can send if anyone is interested,

Barry, 28.02.2014 17:43

Why was the life of the Hustler so short? Well apart from the fact that not only had the USA and Britain developed fighters that could keep up with it, but also the Russians. It was at the end of the day money. When isn't it? As one of these cost about 5 times the cost of a B47 and more importantly cost 3 times as much to fly than a B52 coupled to the massive drain on the U.S. defense budget of the Vietnam war there was only one way to go and that was goodbye.Like a lot of women I have known fast and high maitainence!

Bob Doernberg, e-mail, 01.02.2014 23:01

I too loved the look of this aircraft. Not sure about the accuracy of what I heard was the reason for the Hustler’s short life, but I remember being told by someone, during a visit to Davis Monthan, it was because some of the critical electronics in the aircraft were potted in epoxy and could not be replaced when they failed. Perhaps some of you who actually worked on them can tell us whether that was true or not.

Phil Young, e-mail, 20.01.2014 22:57

I was stationed at Bunker Hill AFB, near Peru, Indiana (it became Grissom AFB in 1967-1968. I worked on the Bunker Hill AFB "Hustler" newspaper, first as a reporter and later as the newspaper editor. Since we worked in the base information department (located in base headquarters) we had free access to the entire base and I interviewed and reported on several projects and interesting people during my time there. One question I have to anyone stationed there during those dates, do you remember the dates and where the crashes were of the B-58's during that time? I know there were a few but I can't remember. The B-58 was truly a remarkable plane but it did have several design flaws that shortened it's life as a SAC bomber.

Steve Butts, e-mail, 13.01.2014 19:04

I was on the ground crew of 61-2072 from 1966-1969 at Grissom AFB. I was the most demanding aircraft I would work on in my 21 year career. It was also the most gratifying experience. My brother worked in the Electronic Countermeasures Shop at Grisson also from 62-65. Everyone I know who was part of the B-58 program are proud to have done so and sad at how short it existed and how quickly they scrapped them at the boneyard. Speculation still abounds about why such a quick removal and disposal from service. I am grateful that a few survive to show rare beauty and grace in Aviation Engineering. I raise a toast to all of my B-58 comrades and affectioatoes.

John Johnson, e-mail, 05.01.2014 01:56

I was a Bomb/Nav technician on the B-58 at General Dynamics
in Ft. Worth from October, 1960 to January, 1962. It was an extremely complex and beautiful airplane. At the time, it's systems were unique very complicated to work on and maintain. Performance standards were very high and each aircraft required a lot of skill and time to get ready for Air Force acceptance. I believe the B-58 that crashed at the 1961 Paris Air Show was the 54th off the assembly line and I recall that it was very problematic- requiring many hours and a lot of individual effort to achieve Air Force acceptance... longer than most other aircraft. Jinx?

David, e-mail, 15.12.2013 00:50

I would like to know if you have any record of a B-58 Hustler Bomber crashing in Jennings County Indiana back ithe the 1960s? If you, could you e-mail me the information. Thank you very much for your time. David Klakamp

Ashley Casia (Mello), e-mail, 05.12.2013 23:16

My dad, Victor Mello, was a Jet Engine Mechanic for the B-58 from 1967-1970 and was wondering if there were any Jet Engine Mechanic boys out there during that time!

nick berris, e-mail, 03.11.2013 12:50

my father waspart of a classified radar program in Biloxi Mississippi during the time of the hustlers, he said that they came on so quick that the radars couldn't pick them up until they were right on you, he said their flight route was from Cuba North simulating Russian supersonic bombers,that's pretty impressive considering that the radar he was working on could pick up contacts from the moon

George Fisher, e-mail, 21.08.2013 10:17

I lived for several months in Bismarck N.D. in 1967. One day while walking home from school I say three B-58 glinting in the afternoon sun turning in formation over the city. They were not that high and I still remember the fantastic screaming sound and the sparkling natural finish. he formation was staggered with each aircraft behind and to the left. A most impressive sight to see at 13 years of age.

Mike Williams, e-mail, 13.08.2013 08:05

My dad and I were throwing horse shoes in our back yard in Duncan, OK. We saw the B58 in flight and then saw an orange glow and heard the explosion. Many white streams started falling from the sky. My dads farm was 7 miles west and North of Duncan and many pieces fell on our farm as well as the magnetic tape. You won't believe this but I found a piece of the plane 20 years after the crash on our farm. I still have it today. I could not find anyone to turn it in to. The squadron commander out of Wichita Falls Texas even came to our house and ask permission to search the farm. Dad gave him a key to the gate. I heard years later the pilots were experimating and running a series of test with shutting off the fuel to one side or two of the engines on one side of
the plane and doing restarts. It is my understanding that it was the tremendous yaw condition during one of these test that caused structural failure and caused the airplane to explode in flight. It was a sad day. The crews were well trained and dedicated to the program and the plane they were flying. I will never forget. It was a big deal back then and something I will never forget.

edward ginnegar, e-mail, 26.02.2013 10:33

I was 1/4 mile from crash site . Iwas supporting U.S. army helicoptor h-13 display .I was a mechanic . I saw the b-58 go down inverted . The first aircracft to the seen was a Kayman helicoptor . It was there on display for the show .It crashed in a field where animals were grazing .The whole U.S. air force and navy contingent of aircreft did thier flyby followed by the b-58. Not much left of aircraft at crash site .Right away they said it was sabatoseged. I guess later they concluded it was fog and instrumentation failure at such low altitude. thats all I can say . We all felt heart sick at that moment . Edward Ginnegar Army E-5

edward ginnegar, e-mail, 26.02.2013 10:33

I was 1/4 mile from crash site . Iwas supporting U.S. army helicoptor h-13 display .I was a mechanic . I saw the b-58 go down inverted . The first aircracft to the seen was a Kayman helicoptor . It was there on display for the show .It crashed in a field where animals were grazing .The whole U.S. air force and navy contingent of aircreft did thier flyby followed by the b-58. Not much left of aircraft at crash site .Right away they said it was sabatoseged. I guess later they concluded it was fog and instrumentation failure at such low altitude. thats all I can say . We all felt heart sick at that moment . Edward Ginnegar Army E-5

Bill F, e-mail, 07.02.2013 20:17

First of all thanks to all for your accounts of this aircraft the B58 was being design way before me,As young boy buying models to build I thought this was nothing but bad ass! now being much older I have decided to rekindle my child hood desires aircraft like this into yard art my first project is the B58 I am not building it to any precise scale. the plan is to keep its masculinity with simplicity. I will post progress on a blogger I hope you will enjoy Cheers!

David Malone, e-mail, 15.11.2012 22:02

On a warm Saturday afternoon--- on November 7th 1059--- my dad and I were tending his little garden in our back yard---- he had a camera to take pictures of a tomato plant--- as he was getting ready to take the picture there was a huge explosion to the southeast of us--- we lived at Fletcher OK at that time--- a large cloud of white smoke hung in the air along with streamers of debris-- he took the picture--- and the only known color picture of a 58 Hustler exploding in mid air----- the Lawton Constitution had a article and picture in the Sunday paper--- my dad and I were saddened by the loss of the crew--- and the wonderful airplane---------

Jim Carr, e-mail, 05.08.2012 07:43

LRAFB is readying a B-58 for static display.

Bob Stormer, e-mail, 04.07.2012 01:25

I was stationed at Little Rock AFB from spring 1963 to about the end of 1964. I was assigned to the 27th MMS as a bomb loader. The B-58s came from Carswell AFb and were fun to work on. I remember it being the first aircraft that I worked on to have an audible warning system. While wringing the system out prior to loading, we would occasionally trip a alarm just to listen to the female voice. The only "mission" I remember, other than maintaining the alert pad with loaded aircraft, was March 1964 when we loaded a camera pod and the aircraft flew to Alaska to take pictures of the great Alaskan earthquake, and flew directly to DC to get the photos downloaded and analyzed. Supposedly, the total flight only took about six hours, but I had no way to confirm that. I think it;s top speed would support that possibility. It was really a neat aircraft, but unfortunately it was very expensive to operate and maintain.

Earl Faubion, e-mail, 17.06.2012 22:04

Regarding the November 1959 explosion of the B-58 in mid flight near Lawton, Oklahoma, I was a 13 year old boy playing in my back yard in southwest Oklahoma City and noticed the high altitude contrail to my southwest. I looked away and moments later looked back and the contrail ended in a white puff with white streamers falling toward the ground. I didn't witness the explosion, just the aftermath. Lawton is about 75 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The next day my parents and I heard on the news about the B-58 explosion with no survivors.

Ray Self, e-mail, 02.06.2012 00:39

I've not seen anything about "Snoopy", the B-58 delivered to Hughes Aircraft.

GARY CLARK, e-mail, 29.03.2012 18:58


Ken Pasco, e-mail, 05.03.2012 08:46

I was stationed at Bunker Hill AFB from 1966 to 1968 and loved to watch those B-58's take off. Those J79 engines were LOUD, especially in the winter with the cold air. A few years later I cross trained to air traffic controller (tower) and had the pleasure of observing the SR-71 in action at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Those are my two favorite aircraft ever!

Helmut J. Mueller, e-mail, 08.12.2011 19:13

While working at Edwards AFB in 1964 I was dispatched to do some work on the "Bear-Shit-Express". I learned that it was the B-58 that was used to eject a bear at high altitude. Apparently the bear realized what was going on and it turn out to be "too close for his laundry!"

Rodrigo, e-mail, 23.11.2011 17:57

Hello, my name is rodrigo i'm 24 years old and i'm a aviation fanatic, listen, i heard a story about a B-58 who landed with the Landing gear damaged on NASA Dryden research center in Edwards AFB after 14 houers of flight, my question is ¿WHAT WENT WRONG WIHT THE LANDING GEAR ?

alvin dunbar, e-mail, 13.09.2011 06:32

In 1979-80 I was working as a farmhand in southwest
Kansas south of Garden City. My job was to check on center pivot irrigation systems we had in the area. After checking one of the systems I heard a roar coming from above. I looked up and saw what I believed was a B-58 Hustler flying at low level over me. Having the model as a kid it was inmistakeable. I collected model aircraft and still do. It was a B-58. Does anyone know when the last B-58 flew?

alvin dunbar, e-mail, 13.09.2011 00:46

I witnessed the crash of the B-58 near lawton, Okla. in November, 1959. My friend and I were traveing to lawton from Hulen to go skating at Doe Doe Park. We were looking out of the rear window of his dad's 58 Impala watching this airplane when it suddenly blew up. We were right under it. Fire shot out of one side, then the other and then it exploded. We followed one engine to the ground. Small parts of the fuselage were raining down all around us. The main part of the fuselage landed aout a quarter of a mile behind another friends house just southeast of Hulen. It was said that they had to call a demolition team in from Ft. Sill to disarm the ejection seat so they recover the body of one of the crew. One section of the wing came down about 3/4 of a mile north of my friends home. At the time my friend and I had constucted a tree house on the creek that ran through his family's farm and several helicopters checked it out thinking it was part of the plane. I never got the true story of what happened that tragic day but we were told that one of the engines sucked in a weather ballon released from Ft. Sill.

This is a day I'll never forget and have told it to my grandchildren over and over.

Doug Shirley, e-mail, 31.08.2011 07:11

My Dad, LTC Don Shirley was at LRAFB 63-66 and was Cmdr of some of the missle sites. I was aware of the 58s and thought they were the best looking aircraft ever. Little did I know how spectacular they were! Would like to know if any of you guys here remember Col Jim Gueydan or Col Pete Peters? Especially Peters as his 2 sons were my very good friends and if you know where Col Pete is please let me know. Or if you knew my Dad. Doug.

Eddie Thompson, e-mail, 17.08.2011 06:05

I was stationed at Little Rock When the 58 was sent to the bone yard.Rigleys Bird was used as a training aircraft for loading bombs and fuel tanks. When the scedual to send the planes to the bone yard was printed the first plane on the list was Rigleys bird. It was not flyable and we all thought that was funny. I think that plane was used at Little Rock for display. Over all have some fond memories of working on that bird. 1968-1969 time frame.

robert bogdan, e-mail, 28.07.2011 18:37

Is there a 58 hustler at wright af museum and are any near the east coast ?

ROBERT L. CARR, e-mail, 29.06.2011 19:15

I worked on the Bomb/Nav system at Carswell AFB (1959) and at BunkerHill AFB (1960 to 1964). Extremely sophisticated systems and complicated to repair but it was an experience and an enjoyable one.

Lawrence Hess, e-mail, 09.05.2011 16:12

I was a flt/cont autopilot repairman stationed at Bunker Hill AFB from 1962 to late 1966. I remember having to check out flt controls on an aircraft that was scheduled to have an engine run. The crew chief said "Why don't you get in the cockpit and check out the flight controls while I do the engine run?". I did and I can still remember the noise and vibration was off the scale! I still have a pitot tube cover from aircraft #116 I found in my old toolbag years later. I have worked on the B-58 that is now at Wright Pat AF museum when it was stationed at BHAFB. The 305th A&E squadron members are planning a reunion at Grissom AFB this year. A1C L.R.Hess

Robert Nethken, e-mail, 02.05.2011 21:53

I worked at Convair-General Dym on the design of the Control Bomb Pod for the B58. The control Bomb Pod never went operational. It was one of my life experiences when they let us go and look out the window and watch the first take off.
I remember when Mr. Erickson approached mach 1. He said there is a slight quiver in the Mach Meter as he passed through Mach 1. The entire engineering group let out a Yell. This is some thing I will never forget.

ken phail, e-mail, 24.04.2011 01:39

The approach for a '58 was flown at 12 degrees angle of attack. You held this right down to the runway ! After touchdown you lowered the nose so you could see how you were lined up, then pulled it back up to get the braking effect of that barndoor delta wing. After landing from a mach 2.2 run I can remember the paint from graphics on the nose being all melted toward the tail !

Bob Bryan, e-mail, 19.04.2011 02:30

I worked for Convair in the 1950s, while the B-36 was bein built. I was there the day the YB-60 (competition for the B-52, using the B-36 fuselage, but a sharper nose, and swept back wings) made its first flight. Then later, I was in tool design for the B-58. I never got to see it fly, but I really liked the looks of that plane!

S Doke, e-mail, 06.04.2011 21:05

Worked on 59-2453 Top Cat with H. Ward my crew chief at Carswell AFB then moves to Little Rock AFB loved this aircraft.

Ken Pulverenti, e-mail, 06.04.2011 06:40

I was stationed at Bunker Hill/Grissom AFB from June 1966 until July 1968. I was an admin specialist and I always admired the B58. I remember the awesome views when it took off at night, or the super loud noise of the thrust, especially in the winter time. Since then, I cross trained into the air traffic control field and worked the tower at Kadena, Okinawa. I fell in love with the SR-71 blackbird, but I will always hold the B58 in high esteem.

RON THOMAS, e-mail, 09.03.2011 05:10

I was attending the FAA Academy, at Tinker AFB, in January 1962 until March.
There was a B58 crash during that period, that was reported
to be near Tulsa. Best I remember, the crew ejected around 15000 feet. This may have been the crash near Lawton. Not sure.

Gerry Keffer, e-mail, 07.01.2011 02:39

I remeber watching movies of a B-58 Hustler crashing at Aircraft Maintenence Tech School at Chanute AFB, IL in 1971. What I remember that part of the lesson had to do with the magnesium wheels that overheated (due to breaks or something) and the plane catching fire and eventually burning up. Does anyone else know of such an event?

Herb Jones, e-mail, 06.01.2011 23:21

From 1960-1964 I was assigned to the 28MMS of the 43rd Bomb wing at Carswell AFB and I maintained, loaded and was responsible for all aspects of the Pod and weapons systems of the Hustler. I was able to paint graphics and name many of the pods that flew below the aircraft. I also performed tests on the electrical release systems of all the weapons aboard...The best four years of my life. What a thrill to sit in all the cockpits on a daily basis.

Jim Carnahan, e-mail, 03.01.2011 01:19

I was a structural repairman, at Little Rock AFB, on B-58's.
They were something to see takeoff at night.

Howard Bialas, e-mail, 28.12.2010 02:44

Had the honor of being the first to log 1,000hrs in the Hustler, be a member of the best bombing crew in SAC in 1960 Bomb Competition and setting three world speed records in Jan 1961. Flew with a lot of great aviators, was truly blessed with 7 years in the program, from 1958-65. No other aircraft earned all the honors/trophies that the Hustler received. A great tribute to the men and women who designed and built this fantastic aircraft. A super salute to the gents who maintained them and allowed us to fly their birds.

Dan Farrar, e-mail, 10.12.2010 09:28

I was an Air Traffic Controller at Little Rock from 4/1966 to 12/1968 and had the pleasure of seeing many, many B-58 takeoff and landings day and night. Every one was a thrill to watch and after 16 years of ATC, working everything from the Concorde on down, the B-58's were definately the greatest aircraft I ever worked. We worked them in GCA using a modified PAR approach so they touched down at the end of the runway instead of 500' down the runway as "they used all of it."
There was only one runway at LRAFB (06/24)and with a couple of flights of 4 transit Navy F-4's in the pattern plus 3 or 4 (or more)T-38's with student pilots, a DC-3 or two and throw in a few Cessna's from the base aero club, then add a few B-58's and the airshow was on for sure. What a great experience that was!! Thanks USAF.
The B-58 was built way ahead of it's time. Bring it back.

Bob Leander, e-mail, 28.11.2010 03:02

I was assigned to 43rd FMS from 1962-1966. Worked r/r shop and egress. I am still working in aviation. All the young people don't have a clue.

Ray Walters, e-mail, 27.11.2010 20:49

I flew in the Hustler as a Nav/Bomb from 1964-1970. To answer L.L. Cooper: The aircraft you saw in the boneyard at Little Rock (Rigley's Baby) was aircraft 59-2437. Our crew; Maj. George Tate, Capt. Ray Walters, Capt. Frank Mosson, crash landed in the aircraft on 16 July 1968. The right main gear collapsed, leading to other gear failures and the demise of the aircraft after sliding 6000 feet down a dry runway. You wouldn't believe the noise in the cockpit! The crew escaped the ensueing fire, but the aircraft was deemed beyond salvage (Class 26). The aircraft was towed to the boneyard and left for several years. It was finally rescued by some folks at Kelly AFB and now sits as a monument, complete with plaque, at the main gate of Kelly. With the exception of some amateurish and ugly engine cowling repairs, she looks pretty good! Best regards, Ray

Ed Doherty, e-mail, 27.11.2010 09:31

I was a supply officer at Bunker Hill/Grissom AFB from 1965 - 1969. The B-58 was indeed an awsome aircraft. The incident L.L. Cooper mentions involving a B-58 that had it's windscreen shattered occured, I believe, over Texas. The pilot could fly, but not land, and the crew ejected. I remember a B-58 crashing on takeoff at Grissom, almost hitting the tower. I believe it was in 1967. During the name change of the Base in honor of Astronaut Gus Grissom there were several B-58 low-altitude fly-bys, including two B-58's being refueld by a KC-135. Wonderful memories of a terrific airplane. Grissom is mostly closed now, but there is a great static display there of many USAF (and Navy) airplanes, including, of course, a B-58. Would love to hear from anyone that was at BH/Grissom AFB in the '60s.

L.L. Cooper, e-mail, 08.11.2010 15:00

A couple questions.
I recall a story of an incident where the windscreen was shattered during flight, blinding the pilot. He and his crew were able to save the acft. This story was on a T.V. show called, "THIS IS YOUR LIFE", and they were honoring the pilot/crew.Anyone remember this?
Next, During the time frame of 1979 to 1983, I remember seeing a damaged B-58 setting off the side of the ramp at Little Rock. I think it had "RIGLEYS BABY", painted on the nose.Does anyone recall what became of it?

ROBERT L BROWN, e-mail, 07.11.2010 22:23


Bob White, e-mail, 06.11.2010 18:47

From 1963 to 1965, I was assigned to the 92nd OMS at Fairchild AFB as a clerk and had the opportunity to look at the B-58s visiting for Bomb-Comp twice. Watching them take off with a simulated bomb load was impressive enough, but the crews put on a real show when they departed for home without the weapon pod. The A/C switched on afterburners at rotation and the flames hit the runway, bending back, then the plane "shot" up like a rocket. It was such an incredable departure from the routine flights of the B-52 and KC-135s. It was only in Vietnam a year later and watching F-4s take off under combat alerts that I was more impressed. (Only in a real emergency are fighter pilots allowed to put "balls to the wall", and combat take offs are just that.)

Mike Bender, e-mail, 24.10.2010 23:11

As a teen fascinated with planes I had plastic models on my dresser and hanging from the ceiling. Of all the planes, I always thought the B58 was the most awesome one ever. Looking at the stats it is almost unimaginable that it could take off and fly with that much weight. The blackbird is a wicked plane but the B58 is still my favorite design. I salute the men who made her fly. Gutsy fellas they were.

Lawrence Yannotti, e-mail, 22.10.2010 00:04

My Company Distribute Aire of Salt Lake City Utah disasembled the last B58 that was located at Carswell AFB TX and relocated it to the Lone Star Flight Museum at Galveston Island TX with the help of Les Chapman Trucking Company moving the Fuselage with wings attached 22 Feet in width after removing the outer wings and Tail .Quite a Logistical move . I hope it withstood the Hurricanes

Richard Butters, e-mail, 30.09.2010 05:34

I was statioed at Shepard AFB in Whichita Fall Texas in 1959. As I came out of the Chow hall I and a couple of others looked up to see a B-58 streaking across the sky at high speed, then going into a cloud, the problem was, it went into its own cloud when it exploded. What I had heard is that one of the engine inlet spikes had failed along with the above problems that Gerald Churchill described. The next day a detail from Shepard was sent to help the recovery.

JG Dickson, e-mail, 29.09.2010 08:08

My good old Dad was a DSO on B-58's at the 43rd around 64-66. He eventually retired as a Col. I remember these aircraft taking off and landing in that characteristic nose high attitude (with all that noise). I asked him how the bomb runs on the deck were, and he verified they were rock steady. Dad informed me that when the DSO wasn't operating radios, jammming equip, firing the gun, balancing the fuel load and other checklist-related tasks, they conducted all of the timing for the bomb release when the aircraft was on the deck. He also related to me a story that began with Carswell tower calling his aircraft as they entered the pattern, reporting a fuel leak in the wing. The small tires and brakes tended to heat up when landing, so his pilot flared the B-58 long and ate up all of the runway until the aircraft stopped. As they did the fuel continued to drain out and steam on the hot main gear tires and brakes. Dad told me about his aircraft encountering a B-52 in flight and the last minute hard break required to clear it. He also mentioned an unlimited departure and climb out that his aircraft performed without the pod. This aircraft was a precision delivery platform for nuclear weapons that kept our adversary at bay. Dad eventually served his SE Asia tour for the most part in the back of a EB-66C, jamming enemy SAM radar. I am honored that after all of this he allowed a novice pilot(me)to fly him around in a rented Cessna. One dark note is that I remember sitting in the back seat of the family car when Dad and his pilot drove out to look at the crash scene of a B-58 that had crash-landed gear up (near Little Rock AFB). The ejection pod wasn't designed for low altitude and a crew member was killed. They were looking at something on the ground but I stayed in the car. The picture of Dad and his crew in front of their B-58 still hangs on the wall at home.

Vernon L Lambert, e-mail, 21.09.2010 21:37

I checked out as pilot on the 58 in 64 and flew it to the end of 66. It was a very stable aircraft and not difficult to fly except for the landing. With no flaps or other lift devices we crossed the end of the runway at not less than 210 Knots. I enjoyed flting it a lot!

Hal Kelley, e-mail, 13.09.2010 09:26

I was stationed at Bunker Hill AFB as a security guard with
the 305th Security Police Sq. around 1968/69 and was there
during the ceremony for the base name change to "Grissom",
and was on duty when a TB-58 crashed on takeoff. The
wreckage was placed in a hangar which I had to guard once
or twice. (I have some melted metal and a small piece of one
of the engines, fan blades, from that crash.

Cindy Wallin, e-mail, 26.08.2010 07:12

My father was the nagivator on the crew that picked up the last B-58 from the factory in Ft. Worth, Texas in October 1962. I'm trying to locate the photos that were taken that day so that I may give one to my father for his 79th birthday in early September. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!

10/23/1962 First flight
Assigned to 305th BW

Last B-58A built. First Flight 10/23/62; accepted by the AF and delivered on 10/26/62.

01/06/1970 Arrived MASDC
Sent to MASDC but saved and placed on static at Pima Co. Aerospace Museum, Tucson, AZ.

Pima County Aerospace Museum
6000 E. Valencia Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85706
(520) 618-4800

Thomas Smith, e-mail, 04.08.2010 09:01

I was working on a ranch in northern Arkansas sometime in the late 60's when a pair of black 58s at extremely low altitude flew directly overhead. It was in the middle of summer so the windows in the ranch house were fully open, they began rattling in their frames and then the curtains gently blew out the windows instead of in. This got my attention instantly and I ran outside to see what the hell was going on! I have never seen a daylight photo of a black Hustler but I know I saw 2 of them flying together. Any comments regarding this instance?

Stephen, e-mail, 03.05.2010 22:46

Worked on ground crew in 43rd on A/C 592453 H.D.Ward was my crew chief. 1963 to 1965 at Carswell & Little Rock AFB

Doug Rodrigues, e-mail, 13.03.2010 09:57

The B-58 has to be the hottest looking bomber ever designed, but can you imagine how much fuel four J-79's consumed?

Larry Falcone, e-mail, 08.03.2010 02:51

In the early 60's, fresh out of the Army (82nd Airborne) I was a Quality Control inspector at General Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. My first inspection job was 100% inspection of all parts that went into the tires for the B-58.

Clifford Ash, e-mail, 02.03.2010 21:42

My father, CMSGT James C. Ash ( Bill ), was responsible for the Maint. inspection manuel on the 58. '57-'61. Transferred to Edwards in '62. The unit at Carswell lost one on the runway with 2 fatalities. Major Lewis was only survivor. Dad passed this last November 6th. He had retired in '68, the night I left for RVN to fly Otters for the Army. Tailwinds,
cliff ash

LtCol BJ Brown, USAF, Retired, e-mail, 09.01.2010 15:39

The highlight of my USAF career was flying as a nav/bombardier for 6 years in the B-58. I have a site, and our association has a site, -- I built both sites! Cheers, BJ Brown

Walter L. Cook, e-mail, 06.12.2009 19:43

Col William R Payne (Maj. Payne in 1962) Was the commander of the 4200 OE&T test force at Edwarss AFB 1969-1975. Most outstanding man I ever met in the Air Force. Proud to have him as a friend and fishing buddy.

Reb Stimson, e-mail, 04.12.2009 19:05

Check these stats out. Pretty good & fast back in the 60's.

vincent r. mitchell, e-mail, 19.11.2009 13:41

I was at Bunkerhill AFB (Now Grissom AFB) during the mid to late 1960's as a young airman. During this time we had two B58's to go down, one, the first one, I help pick-up. Why is there no information about these events?

David M. Carlson, Ph.D., e-mail, 25.10.2009 19:44

While living in Ann Arbor I had the great priviledge of being a neighbor of and getting to know William L. Polhemus, the navigator on the record setting Washington - New York - Paris flight. Bill was incredibly proud that the in-flight refuelings were within a minute of the original flight plan that he prepared. He also told the story of coming into French airspace when the control of the navigation was turned over to the French air traffic control who then guided the flight path. Bill realized that the course being set by them would cause the plane to miss the right pylon and therefore invalidate the entire mission. He told the pilot to bring the aircraft "left" as hard as possible but the on-ground radar operator assured the pilot that there was no problems ... until a few seconds later when the air traffric controller started yelling "au gauche" into the microphone. Bill than had to yell that it was French for "to the left" at which the pilot brought the aircraft into an extremely tight left turn and just barely cleared the pylon to complete the official finish and the speed record. The other interessting implication of this flight was that the Rose Garden event that Bobby and Jack Kennedy spoke about cancelling during the Cuban Missile cirses (and which the president refused to cancell lest it be interpreted that the government was in crises) was none other than the presidential presentation to Bill and the other members of the crew. Bill proudly displayed in his home in Jeffersonville, Vermont the picture of the President with a congratulatory note and the October date, one of the most important in the history of the United States. Bill was a great friend and my family and me spent many wonderful days with his in the Vermont home until he died several years ago. I still miss him deeply and would love to hear from any of his friends or family.

Dave Carlson
Senior Vice President and Chief Technoloogy Officer
Englewood, Colorado

Rusty Manning, e-mail, 24.10.2009 00:17

The B-58 crash near Lawton, OK in 1959 was witnessed by me. Not the crash but I witnessed the bomber overhead in Lawton. it was trailing fire from the left wing. The local radio station had broadcast the plane was on fire over the city. I was 4 at the time. My parents loaded me and my sister in the car and we drove to the crash site. The B-58 came down in a field well East of Lawton. We drove as close as we could. Oklahoma State Troopers stopped all traffic about a mile away from the crash.

Barbara Evans Kinnear, e-mail, 13.09.2009 22:18

Does anyone remember my father, Col. Richard E. Evans? He was the first (I was told) B-58 Test Squadron Commander at Careswell AFB. I lived on Careswell AFB with my family. I'll never forget the experience of standing on the tarmac and watching that beautiful jet fly in or take off. It was a thrill even to us, the youngsters. Thank you, Barbara Evans Kinnear

Gerald L. Churchill, Msgt USAF, e-mail, 11.09.2009 14:09

I was a ground crew member (Mechanic) during the Test and Development of the B-58 at Carswell and later at Little Rock AFB, AR. I came from the B-47 (600MPH) to a Mach 2.7 bomber. What a qauntum leap in technology. I was and am amazed. I have worked on aircraft military and commercial since 1950. Some of my best memories are of the B-58.

The crash near Lawton mentioned above was a test of inflight shutdown and restart of the engines at supersonic speed. A failure of the Yaw Dampner cause the aircrfaft to yaw a supersonic speed and the shock wave entered Nbr 4 engine while Nbr 3 was shut down resulting in a flat spin at supersonic speed and the aircraft broke apart. I believe a Convair crew was flying the aircraft at the time. We had installed a lot of strain gages in the wings and fuselage of the aircraft to record stresses on the aircraft during flight. What was learned for the development of that aircraft is still in use today, of course with improved technology.

Chuck Van Vooren, e-mail, 23.08.2009 22:28

I just recieved a set of cufflinks that were on the May 26, 1961 flight from New York to Paris that set records (3hrs. And 19 min.)They came from a family named Roberts, Norman Roberts had something to do with NASA and this flight. I am doing research on the flight and Robert's family. Chuck U.S.A.F 1962 to 66

paul scott, e-mail, 18.08.2009 19:15

Among the finest, classic aircraft ever built by the USA. A true great for its time!

Blake Norris, e-mail, 13.08.2009 12:47

Where can I buy one?

Mark, e-mail, 27.04.2009 21:57

One never forgettable event.

Was a Com-Nav NCO with the 340th BW stationed at Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX. in the mid 60's. We were having problems with a KC135 and one of it's nav systems. When a problem reoccurred repeatedly, a maint guy would fly along to try and understand what was actually going on in flight since things up there could be a lot different than on the ground where we were trying to fix things......besides that, flight pay was a welcomed additioned to the family budget.

This particular mission was refueling somewhere over the South Eastern US. I had gone back to the boomer's booth and was lying along side him to witness the refueling....had never seen this before.

Time of day was twilight, we were a few Kft above dense, but flat topped cloud cover, whole sky was orange (absolutely gorgeous with the orange sun's rays and the flat gray puffs of cloud tops below) and visibility was decreasing rapidly....but not too rapidly to spoil the show.

Astern and below us (above the clouds) and several miles out, a pair of 58's (side by side, one slightly ahead of the other) eased up behind the "gas pump".

One parked off to the side and the first eased up into position. The boomer guided the nozzle into the receptacle and we "gassed" up #1. When finished, he backed off a hundred ft. or so and did a snappy wing walk (wings vertical for a couple of seconds then back to horizontal) over to the opposite side of us from where his wingman was.

Wingman did his snappy wing walk, lining up with us and got into position to repeat the process.

When his appetite had been satisfied, he dropped down and back, coming into alignment with his wingman who was this is where the goosebumps raise up on your arms.

As if on que, (which it probably was as they probably were talking to each other on UHF Com.), they did a snappy right angle bank (wing walk style, like before, but both of them in tandem this time) off to the East, in tandem, lit their burners (which were blowing at us by this time), and we saw 8 fireballs disappear into the dusk.

Other than my wife, of 47 1/2 years, this is/was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and I shall never forget it.

Later on I was working for Texas Instruments at Dallas and had the privilege of working with a couple of the engineers who were part of the 58 development program at Carswell AFB, FT. Worth, TX. They had some film clips of some of their efforts which they allowed us to view on several occasions.

I always thought that was one beautiful aircraft.

USAF, Sept. 22, 1959-June 6, 1968.


Mike Williams, e-mail, 05.01.2009 23:45

I can't remember the year but it was in the early 60's I think. A B58 Hustler crashed near Lawton, OK. It was based out of Sheppart AFB. Many pieces of it fell on our farm. We turned in a lot of magnetic tape and pieces of the airplane. Even 30 years later we found yet another piece of the plane in a small forrest on our property. I was just curious if anyone new the name and ranks of those killed it that crash. I would like more information on this crash if possible.

Darrell R. Schmidt, e-mail, 04.07.2008 01:34

I was a pilot and instructor in the B-58 at Little Rock, AR.
Great airplane. I have a web site with pictures and text about the B-58. click the Annex link for 3 more pages of pictures and text. It's at
Sign the Guest Book.

stephen russell, e-mail, 15.06.2008 04:20

I can see this as an Exec Jet with 2,4 mini F22 supercruise engines, extended fueslage, widen fueslage,
lower landing gear height.
Use CAD to smooth over airframe shape & add cargo in rear or retain Pod for luggage alone.
Use composites to reduce weight.
Use FBW mode.
Longer range.
This has a future as an Exec Jet type.
Air Cargo for Fed Ex, UPS limited size?
No emissions engines.
Beats the Lear Jet 24, & Gulfstream types.
Is this doable?

Alex Brewer, Jr., e-mail, 14.06.2008 08:01

I was Radar/Nav Combat Crew Member, 43rd BW 1960-69. Check out our web page for more information.
Alex Brewer, Jr. Lt/Col. USAF (Ret)

Charlie Andersen, e-mail, 22.05.2008 05:23

I was B-58 crew chief in the 43rd Bomb Wing at Little Rock from Jun 66 -Sep 69 one hell of an airplane!!

Chuck Maire, e-mail, 18.05.2008 17:56

Does anyone know what happened to the B58 that was on display at Chanute AFB in Rantoul, IL.?

Dave Sommers, e-mail, 13.05.2008 16:36

I was assigned to the 305th. Bomb Wing as an Air Operations Controller. I watched the B-58's do many a MITO, what an awesome thing to see. I was also present in operations when an alert aircraft crashed on the runway while taking off during an ORI inspection. This crash caused the death of the Navigator when he elected to eject on the ground. It also caused a Broken Arrow requiring the evacuation of the Air Base since the aircraft had a nuclear weapon onboard.

Ray E. Cartier, e-mail, 07.05.2008 03:28

Noticed the name of Maj. Henry (Dutch) Deutschendorf above. He was the father of John Denver. With navigator-bombadier Cpt. Wm. L. Polhemus and defensive systems operator, Capt. R.R. Wagener six world records were broken on the flight mentioned above:
1) At an ave. speed of 1200.194 mph the Hustler topped the previous record of 700.47 mph set by an F-101.
2) It also broke the 639.18 mph Soviet recordwith a 1000 kg payload.
3) Ditto for flying with a 2,000 kg load set by the same unnamed Russian plane
4) For both trips totaling 1242 miles the B-58 averaged 1062 mph. That broke a TU-104 no payload makr of 596.47 mph.
5) Also the 1,000 kg set by the same plane
6) Also the 2,000 kg record held by the same plane.
I believe that the tail number was 1021.
I collect stamps and envelopes for all aircraft produced at the Ft. Worth plant by Consolidated, Convair, General Dynamics and now Lockheed. I have one of the 15 envelopes carried on the B-58 first flight and signed by the 3-man crew.

mike nelson, e-mail, 31.03.2008 17:15

interested in info on my fathers involvement with the plane.he just passed but his name was lt.col william e. nelson. any info would be appreciated

William Brady, e-mail, 30.03.2008 04:27

I worked on the Navigation System for this aircraft.

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