North American B-45 Tornado
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North American B-45 Tornado

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15.05.2024 04:13

14.05.2024 21:25

Richard E. Swearingen, e-mail, 15.05.2024 20:29

Recently had privilege of being one of the 26th Central California Honor Flight to DC. Cold War Veterans were included in this flight much to the appreciation of each Cold War Vet.
Communicating with Hal Hetland, a Veteran of duty at RAF Sculthorpe 1957-58. Any Veteran who recalls our acquaintance while serving In 84th, 85th, 86th, Bomb Sq., 19th Tactical Reconnisance, or 420 th Refueling Squadron , 47 th Bomb wing, please contact me at above email.

Pat, e-mail, 11.01.2024 21:11

My great uncle Maj Torino V. DiSalvo was killed in that crash

Dan Goodwin, e-mail, 22.02.2023 17:56

Do you know my friend Richard Komm? He flew the B45 in England after he survived the ground war in Korea. He was sent to be the FAC for a 5th Marine regiment battalion commander. He fought the battle of the Chosin reservoir and has told me incredible details. He was wounded and sent to a hospital in Japan. He recovered and went to England.

Dan Goodwin, e-mail, 22.02.2023 17:56

Do you know my friend Richard Komm? He flew the B45 in England after he survived the ground war in Korea. He was sent to be the FAC for a 5th Marine regiment battalion commander. He fought the battle of the Chosin reservoir and has told me incredible details. He was wounded and sent to a hospital in Japan. He recovered and went to England.

Cynthia Bridge Weber, e-mail, 30.12.2022 18:43

My father flew the RB-45, while stationed at Sculthorpe. He was in the 19th Aero Squadron.
He went before us in April of 54. ( We were at Shaw AFB)We followed several months later. His name was (at that time)
Capt. Charles Bridge. Many knew him as Lou or Louie. We came back to the states in Spring of 57. To Patrick AFB. Anyone out there with any info or pics would be appreciated.

Cynthia Bridge Weber, e-mail, 30.12.2022 18:42

My father flew the RB-45, while stationed at Sculthorpe. He was in the 19th Aero Squadron.
He went before us in April of 54. ( We were at Shaw AFB)We followed several months later. His name was (at that time)
Capt. Charles Bridge. Many knew him as Lou or Louie. We came back to the states in Spring of 57. To Patrick AFB. Anyone out there with any info or pics would be appreciated.

James B Byrne, e-mail, 12.03.2022 15:37

I would love to hear stories about the 85th, and what the airman were up to. My grandfather, Edward J. Byrne served in the 85th in that timeframe and although I have several pictures of him from those days, he passed away when I was 12 and I didn't get a chance to speak with him about it.

cliff weikel, e-mail, 14.02.2022 02:15

Do you know Robert Huffman? He was a tail gunner too. I believe they called him Huffy

cliff weikel, e-mail, 14.02.2022 02:10

My father-in-law Robert Huffman was a tail gunner for the B45

cliff weikel, e-mail, 14.02.2022 02:06


I hope this message isn't too late. My father-in-law was stationed in Europe and was assigned to a B45. He was involved in an experiment where they were trying to fit a new bomb in his B45 so it could be used in some mission. His name is Robert Huffman. It would not fit! He is very proud of his service there, but only speaks to close family about it as most people never heard of the aircraft.
I am looking for some apparel that has the B45 emblem on it for him. If you know of a source, please let me know.


anthony william myers, e-mail, 01.10.2021 13:41

did you ever find any more info of the B45 that came down 20 sept 1957? near west raynham.

GeorgeGordon, e-mail, 04.03.2020 17:27

I made the last flight of the B-45 when I delivered 49-017 to the SAC Museum at Offitt AFB in June, 1972. I flew it and 48-010 as test beds for PWA when I was a test pilot there.

Bob, e-mail, 27.01.2016 20:24

Gary,I knew the guy,Vernon Morgan, just from seeing him around the squadron. I had met Yvonne Talbot in the pubs in Peterborough. I have a bloke newspaper article about the incident. Because of this and a couple of similar incidents in the other services the enlisted men were no longer allowed to taxi aircraft.

Dave Pinella, e-mail, 20.05.2015 21:21

I was looking at the B-45 at the USAF Museum in Dayton. I'm curious as to some access panel between the two left engines, right in front. In some pictures there is "something" there, no panel. On the right engines, nothing.

What is this? Thanks! Dave P

Malcolm A. Dodd, e-mail, 17.04.2015 20:34

I was walking back to camp from Kings Lynn at about 10.00pm one summer evening in (I think) 1957, when USAF personnel in a pickup towing what I think was a fire pump, stopped and asked if I knew where East Raynham was. Replying that I was stationed at RAF West Raynham, they asked if I would show them the way. They explained that a B45 from Sculthorpe had crashed and took me to a field at the edge of a wood just outside WR's perimeter. Emergency vehicles were in attendance and I stayed for some time to give what help I could. I was told that the gunner should not have been aboard but it was uncertain if he had gone along anyway. Over the years, I have occasionally searched the web for information about this accident but, until today, never found anything about it. Malcolm Dodd, RAF West Raynham 1956 - 58.

Robert J. Veach, e-mail, 17.01.2015 14:23

I was in the 85th Bomb Sqdn at Sculthorpe from 1954 thru 1957, I have a lot of stories from that period, interested?

Gary, e-mail, 06.12.2014 06:08

I was stationed at Alconbury,arriving in 1955. It was being reopened. I left there in Sept 1958. While there an airman was upset with a girl friend and took one of the B45's up and immediately crashed into the ground scattering debris everywhere and of course killing himself. I can't find any information on this incident.

George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 26.06.2014 22:13

My Godfather, Chris Lembesis [design engineer], worked on the B-45 Tornado, an aircraft that was a positive, if not significant contributor in keeping the peace during the early days of the Cold War. This is mentioned in my 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”

Gene Kincaid, e-mail, 18.06.2013 07:09

My older brother Paul Kincaid was stationed at RAF Sculthorpesomewhere around 1953-1956. He was a Jet Engine Mechanic. He told me about how he had to work on this engine that enhaled some poor airman. James(Gene)Kincaid Msgt/1st Sgt retired.

paul scott, e-mail, 16.04.2013 14:23

Wasn't this the aircraft that the Americans gave us Brits to do their dirty work in early reconnaisance over the USSR and take the blame for if we got caught - according to the excellent documentary series, 'Timewatch', episode 'Spies in the Sky'?

Dave Link, e-mail, 23.03.2013 19:12

I was a SHORAN , gen. Radar tech in the 84th bomb squadron at RAF Sculthorpe from apr 56 till sept. 58.My last 6mo. Or so was with the 47th
A&E field maint. Sq. on the N-1 compass sys.The sick B45 John
Langsdale described (05.05.2009) did crash inside of the RAF West
Raynham confines. It claimed the lives of the pilot, our squadron C.O.
The co-pilot and AOB. The gunners life was spared because the gunnery
Sys. Was kaput, and he wasn't on board.
If someone would like a good history of RAF Sculthorpe, the booklet titled
RAF Sculthorpe 50 years of watching &waiting, by Jim Baldwin is a good
Read. # ISBN 0 948899069

CURTIS BERRY, e-mail, 14.03.2013 21:58

Actually, this happened about 1958 NOT 1858. LOL

Curtis Berry, e-mail, 14.03.2013 21:54

Correct E-Mail address

CURTIS BERRY, e-mail, 14.03.2013 21:50

I served at RAF Sculthorpe from 1955-1958 in the Vehicle Maintenance shop. About 1858 while road testing a vehicle on the perimeter track I witnessed a B-45 landing with smoke & fire trailing from an engine. It went off the end of the runway, through the fence & beyond. The nose of the aircraft was badly crumpled, killig the navigator. The only one to arrive before me was the ground safety Officer. In 1994 he was a customer of mine at my Auto Repair shop in Albuquerque, NM. We did not recognize each other but upon talking about our experiences we made the connection. I retired as a MSGT in 1974. I am currently working for Civil Service at age 76 at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM. My work phone is 505-846-1898.

Carty Lawson, e-mail, 26.06.2012 03:22

I was a Q-24 Bomb/Navigation Radar technician with the 84th Bomb Squadron (47th Bomb Wing) at RAF Sculthorpe 1955-1957. In 2000 members of the various squadrons and support organizations of the 47th Bomb Wing (RAF Sculthorpe/RAF Alconbury) formed the 47th Bomb Wing Association (BWA), Ltd. One of the missions of this organization is to publicize the vital role of the B-45 Tornado in the "Cold War" from 1952 to 1958. In 2007 the 47th BWA dedicated a plaque of the B-45 at the Memorial Gardens of the Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Paterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. May 15, 2009 the 47th BWA dedicated a B-45 Tornado Model and display case at the American Air Museum, (part of the Imperial War Museum), Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England. One of our current endeavors is to get a B-45 Tornado model displayed at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia.
The 47th BWA publishes a newsletter, Contrails, several times a year and sponsors an annual reunion. Interested in becoming a member of the 47th BWA? Contact me at or

Richard E. Swearingen, e-mail, 29.08.2011 08:34

I was assigned to the 47th Bomb Wing, 85TH Bomb Squadron in 1957. I flew as Tail Gunner on the B-45 and also on the B-66 after their arrival. The B-45 armed with twin 50 calibers and the Atomic Bomb in the Bombay, we were ready to deliver. Although the B-45, RB45, B-66 and RB-66 are rarely credited for their service. Each of us who served during that era know we contributed during that COLD WAR period to keeping the peace. I enjoyed the time I was privileged to be part of the 85th Bomb Squadron flying the missions that contributed to keeping the peace.

Anyone who recalls our acquaintance during the time we served at RAF Staion Sculthorpe, please contact me at the above e-mail address.

Jayne Sutton, e-mail, 09.06.2011 21:05

I wondered if anyone out there can help me, I am looking for information/photo's/stories concerning 1st Class Airman Roy Junior Carter on the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squad, 47th Bombardment Wing, based in Sculthorpe in 1957. Even the smallest amount of info' would be wonderful, Blue Skies to you all out there, Jayne

Arney Hudson, e-mail, 06.06.2011 21:39

I served with the 84th. Bomb Sqdn. for three years (1951-1954) at Langley and Sculthorp as a Radar technican maintaing the Q24 system. Was on flying status for a while flying Radar test flights.I always felt that the B45 was a fine airplane. Would like to hear from any former members of the 84th.

Klaatu, e-mail, 31.05.2011 20:09

This was the U.S. Air force's first operational jet bomber. As such, it deserves to be better remembered than is has been. It also enjoyed a highly successful operational career, although much of what it did was classified. Unfortunately the B-45 has been overshadowed by the Boeing B-47, which quickly succeeded it.

The B-45 was designed for service during World War II, and was a product of WW-II aerodynamic and operational thinking. In contrast, the B-47 was designed with the benefit of post-war technology, and represented a whole new generation.

J Zirin, e-mail, 12.04.2011 22:27

I was part of the modification team from Gentile AFB, sent to Norton AFB to modify the B-45, which included bigger engines, and 20 mm guns in a powered turret in the aft position. I watched the gun installers zero in the 20 mm guns at the calibration stations to ensure accuracy of the guns relative to the sights. The electronics suite was upgraded also to increase survivorability. This work was done Jan - Feb 1952.

Donald Hall, e-mail, 26.01.2011 02:47

I joined the 84th Bomb Squadron at Langley AFB, February 1952, transfering from SAC crewing an RB-36. I served as a radar technician maintaining the Q-24 Bombing System and Shoran set. I was on flight status both at Langley and Sculthorpe, flying test missions. I was at Sculthorpe until I rotated back to the States August 1954. Loved the plane, crews, and the experience in the 84th.

DR G., e-mail, 23.01.2011 18:42

When I arrived in Japan 1955 (Yokota AFB) there were several RB45 on the ramp that were being deactivated. We were Photo Recon and operated B57, F100, F86, and T33's all camera equipped.

Joe Partridge, e-mail, 15.01.2011 07:03

I worked on B- 45'S in El Paso Tex. Biggs A F B from 1954-57 our aircraft had J-35'S If some had J-47's thay must be a later AC than ours.My memory of working on 45'S was how difficult it was to work on a hot eng. because of how close they were to each other you could hardly get your hand very far up inside. Also they had a fixed canopy which caused it get very hot inside that thing, out in the west texas sun. We only had 3, we were a tow target Sqd. We used them for high alt. tracking,for

I worked on B-45's at Biggs A F B, El Paso, Texas from 1954
till 57. Our aircraft had J-35 Engines. My not so fun memory of the 45 was how close the engines were to each other. It made it very difficult to work on a hot engine. You could hardly get your hand between them and not get burned. They also had a fixed canopy which got very hot in the west Texas sun. I was in the 1st Tow target Sqd. We only has 3 B-45's. We used them for high alt. tracking. Our Sqd. also towed with B-29's, B-26's (Dug.), B-57's.

Alvin Cales, e-mail, 13.12.2010 05:57

I was with the 66 TRW at Sembach in 1955. We had a squadron of RB-45's at RAF Alconbury(10th Tac Recon Squadron). I believe these RB-45's had J-35 engines, not the J-47. Can someone clarify this for me.

Dawn Pennell, e-mail, 06.12.2010 18:58

I am hoping someone may be able to help - my mother-in-law (Sheila Pennell) has recently died - shortly before she died she told my husband who his father was - he was Jack O'Brien (may be O'Ryan) - he was stationed at Sculthorpe in the 1950s - my husband was born in 1956 - we think he came from Maryland USA - would love to trace him - does anyone have any information which may help? Thanks.

J Paradis, e-mail, 25.10.2010 17:46

I served at Sculthorpe in '53 w/ 7th shoran beacon Sqdn which supplied certain Radar info for the flock of B 45's. The 7th had operational sires at Sculthorpe and two or more? at othe RAF Stations in '53-54 & 55. I would like to hear from any personnel w/knowledge or info-

Michael, e-mail, 14.10.2010 23:59

I was stationed at Sculthorpe England from 1955 to 1958 and was quite intrigued with the B-45. I had a friend, Ken who was a tail gunner on the airplane before the RB-66s came in.

hERB hOLEN, e-mail, 19.09.2010 23:56

The B-45 DID NOT have 20mm cannons in the tail gun postion. It had two 50 cal machine guns. The radar was the AN/APG 30 plus the range servo unit (from the A-4 GBR sighting system). The radar measured the range to the target and had one output..a DC voltage proporational to range. The range info plus other data went to some left over turrent system box plus the input info from the gunner using the ball turrent system to "track" the target visual..Hence some sort of lead angle was caluclated and aided the gunner in hittting the target...I worked B-45 tail gun radar from Dec 53 until June 56 at APO 22 NY NY

Johnny, e-mail, 09.05.2010 06:22

Hello Mr.Donald Read who posted above about being with the 1st TSS/TDS please contact me I am trying to find out some unit history for a friend who's Father was with this unit and what unit/s was it under command of, please contact me,thanks !

Donald Read, e-mail, 07.05.2010 06:00

I was with the 1st TSS in May of 1954 which became the 1st TDS a little later. Then to Det. #3 of the 1st TDS at RAF Sculthorpe. We took care of what the B-45's carried.Those were great days although today most don't know what a B-45 was. But we did our task will skill and diligence.

Richard Berthiaume, e-mail, 05.04.2010 18:08

In 1953 I was transferred from Tyndall AFB in Florida to Shaw AFB SC to become a member of the newly re-activated 19th Tac Recon Sqdn. After a year of crew training in the B-45 we deployed to RAF Sculthorpe in England where I spent the next three happy years. I was assigned to the engine shop and eventually became the NCOIC. I rotated back to the states shortly after the B-66s arrived. But I still have fond memories of the 19th and the B-45. The license tags on my car still bear "19Tac" on them.

Walter E. Collier, e-mail, 27.02.2010 00:17

I take exception to Paul Scott's statement that RAF air crews who trained with us (47th Bomb Wing, 85th Bomb Squadron) on operations and radar targets did our dirty work! We flew many missions along (often into) Russian and E. Germany. Later deep penetrations were made to acquire radar pictures for our wartime targets. Under an agreement with the RAF they did in fact borrow 4 B-45s that were painted in RAF colors for some of their super secret missions! The RAF did not have an aircraft capable of deep penetrations required for both USAF & RAF. Later,USAF RB45s flew deep mission into Russia. We jointly studied radar targeted cities for our Bombing mission requirements!

Walter E. Collier, e-mail, 28.01.2010 02:19

I flew as an Aircraft Observer Bombardmanet in the 85th Bomb SQdn of 47th Bomb Wing, at RAF Station Sculthorpe from 1953 to 1957. We were an Atomic Bomb delivery system of the first order. No one stood between us the those pesky Russians. The Russians knew if they attacked the US or the UK we would bloody there nose to say the least. We dropped practice bombs in the North Sea off the German coast and the Irish Sea. We had an outstanding record of flying in the most difficult circumstances in Europe. Our Escape and Evasion training at Bad Tolz, Germany told us that we had a fighting chance to return from a one way flight to beat hell out of the Russians. The B-45 and RB-45 were two fine models of the early Jet era!! Long live the B-45, RB-45!!!

Glenn Musser, e-mail, 27.01.2010 17:57

I served at RAF Sculthorpe from Dec 53 to Nov 56,as a B-45 gunner in the 85th BS. There is a comment above by Bill Menkevich as to the 47th BWA Website. This group has been together since 1990, with yearly reunions. The next is in New Orleans for a 5 day cruise. All those who served at Sculthorpe in any capacity are eligible to join the Association. I am the editor of the Association's newsletter, CONTRAILS, and would be pleased to send the newsletter to those interested. Please respond through my email address. I later served at Shaw AFB, Sumter, SC in the RB-66.

Ed Mokslaveskas, e-mail, 17.01.2010 01:41

After reading the above descriptive text of the B-45 and the comments I believe that something is out of date sequence. I say that because I worked for North American Aviation and was the lead engineer on the design modification of the B-45 to enable it to carry the Atomic Bomb. The year was 1954. It was a modification and not part of the original design. I don't know that the B-45 had any earilier atomic bomb cabibility. As I remember ---that was a modification of the forward weapons bay. Later, I was the lead engineer for the design of a pallet that held radar jamming and chaff dispersal equipment that installed in the aft weapons bay.

Yes--The B-45 was used extensively flying out of England. I use to read all the Field Service Reports during 1955-56 time period. I recall on reprt of a B-45 flying over England with those hugh wing tanks mounted on the wing tips when it entered a hugh black cloud, experienced much turbulance, Came out of the cloud upside down and one wing tank gone. It re-enterd the cloud, experienced much turbulance, and came out of the cloud right side up and the other wing tank gone. Seems that the ride was a lot more than a Disneyland C-Ticket ride. I would say that the B-45 was a well designed and built airplane.

Hugh McKay, e-mail, 12.12.2009 00:23

I have the wrong e-mail in the previous note

Hugh McKay, e-mail, 10.12.2009 23:34

I have over 1000 hours in b-45's as an AOB. I was in the 19th TAC recon Sq. and 86th bomb Sq. I was at Shaw AFB,RAF Sta Sculthorp, Raf Station Molesworth and RAF Sta Alconbury. I enjoyed my time in the aircrsaft. My crew at Sculthorpe was Pilot Oliver J Nasby, Co Pilot Loren Hiniker, and gunner Bob Grill. These were the best years in the Air Force.

paul scott, e-mail, 10.09.2009 23:11

I believe this to be the aircraft where the USA very nicely (Sarcasm) entrusted the RAF to do (The USA's dirty work) the first reconnaisance flights over a decidedly new foe, the Soviet Union. Extremely dangerous both in diplomacy and flying, one of the lesser-known aspects of a real dirty war. Someone's got to do it - oh yes, the USA's 'lackey' the United Kingdom.

John Langsdale, e-mail, 05.05.2009 01:11

I was reminded by Don Brown's letter about an incident I recall whilst serving in the RAF at West Raynham, Norfolk which was practally down the road from RAF sculthorpe. I was stationed there about the same time as DON (1954-59).
My room mates and I were awakened by the sound of a avery low flying A/c that sounded Quite sick, upon looking out of the windows of our accommodation block we saw a large bomber which appeared to be heading straight for us. in fact it missed and in silohette one could se it was a B45 Tornado which continued toward Sculthorpe. What alarmed us was the large fire that engulfed one of the engine nacelles. I have often wondered since wether that plane made it safely back. As it was the height of the cold war at the time and it was possibly carrying nuclear weapons there was a news black out on such incidents, But but all these years later I thought perhaps Don or one of his contemporary warriors may recall this incident?

the old cat, e-mail, 15.08.2008 19:26

I was stationed in morocco'
'north africa in 1960,BEN GUIRER AIR BASE(SAC)WE had one b-45 out in the desert that i used to take parts was a rather unglamorous end to a fine plane.

Bill Menkevich, e-mail, 14.08.2008 00:03


Horacio Gonzalez, e-mail, 24.07.2008 05:17

I worked on this bird in El Paso Biggs air force base,from 1955 to 1958 First A/C I flew in.

George Gordon, e-mail, 02.06.2008 23:20

I had the privilege of making the last flight of the B-45 when I (and Frank Bastidas, fellow PWA test pilot) delivered 48-017 to the SAC muesum at Offit AFB in June of 1972. 017 had been a test bed aircraft for Pratt & Whitney for many years, testing many engines in it's time.

William Utterback, e-mail, 31.05.2008 03:22

The B-45 had an MD-1 radar gun laying system and two M-24
20mm cannons in the tail. I went thru B-45/B-66 Gunnery school at Lowry AFB, Co and ended up as a gunner in an
RB-66. The B-45 gunner sat in the tail, but the 66 gunner sat behind the pilot. Both acft had the same MD-1 system
and the two 20mm cannons.

Don Brown, e-mail, 02.05.2008 21:21

In 1955 I arrived at RAF Sculthorpe,Norfolk England, and for the next three years had the oprotunity to work on the Tornado as an aircraft mechanic. Granted it had it's share of problems, but served well for it's intended role as a front line nuclear deterant to the U.S.S.R.That was a long time ago, but I still have fond memmories of Sculthorpe and the great people I worked with. I left in 1958 just when the B-66s started to arrive.Next stop, Plattsburg AFB New york,and the B-47s.

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