Nice color shots of SAC crews, lots of Nylon

Discussion in 'Nylon' started by oose, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. oose

    oose Member

    Messages:
    795
    Location:
    London
    Hi all,

    Few more from Life. No date on these, early 60's I'd say. Are those yellow caps leather?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    plus one more

    [​IMG]
    yours stu
     
  2. usafwso

    usafwso Member

    Messages:
    155
    Love those yellow hats!
     
  3. Weasel_Loader

    Weasel_Loader Active Member

    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Edwards AFB, Ca
    Love the photos. Photos were taken between 1958 and 1963 when the 436th Bomb Squadron was assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing at Barksdale AFB, La. I believe they flew B-52Fs at the time. I also believe that is Maj. Gen "Sundown" Wells in one of the photos. As an I.G. inspector, his crew declared an in-flight emergency and showed up unannounced at a SAC base for an O.R.I. When the General walked in the brief the base commander, Rock Hudson happened to be visiting the base at the same time to learn about SAC for the upcoming movie "Gathering Of Eagles". From watching the movie, they must have learned a lot since that movie is the most accurate of all Air Force movies of that time and since.

    The general earned the nickname "Sundown" because he once failed a commander and his wing and gave him till sundown to leave the base! :shock:

    BTW, the yellow hats were made of leather and remained quite popular in SAC units till around the mid 60s. Not sure what squadron the blue hats in the photos were from. I'll have to do a little research on that. ;)
     
  4. greyhound52

    greyhound52 New Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Great photos what a collection of nylon, L-2Bs, MA-1s, B-15D (with fur collar) and maybe a B-15D mod as well as a blue colored nylon on the AP (with M2 auto carbine real cool). I really like looking at photos as this. Great info Danny I thought the hats were leather too. Yeah what is the blue ones? Do the numbers on the hat mean anything??
     
  5. usafwso

    usafwso Member

    Messages:
    155
    I did a a little color correction on the images. The LIFE magazine website apparently did minimum color correction.

    What really strikes me is how old these guys look. In my day when I was a young Captain, I looked like we were in our early to mid 20's. Most of those guys look late 30's - 40's. Lots of high mialage one would guess.

    Looks as if one of the guys in the front row is wearing a pair of F-1A flight trousers as well.

    Oh, how I remember and hated those early morning commander's calls. :x Usually taking place in the base theater with the previous evenings stale popcorn odor lingering in the air.

    Some of those guys look to be smoking pipes. :x

    Oh well, those must have been the grand old Curtis LeMay don't walk across the grass days in SAC. :?
     
  6. Weasel_Loader

    Weasel_Loader Active Member

    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Edwards AFB, Ca
    The blue hatters are 913th Air Refueling Squadron which flew KC-135As. Didn't think about tanker aircrew till I noticed the 135 in the background of the AP photo. ;)

    One other observation was how dirty the General's jacket looks. These were the dog days of SAC though. They lived and breathed exercising for nuclear warfare. With the cold war over and emphasis shifting to the war on terrorism, our lax policy towards controlling of nukes went to the wayside and we've paid dearly for it. This is all changing as we speak and SAC is sort of coming back!

    Here are my favorite SAC slogans (taken from Wiki)

    "To err is human. To forgive is not SAC policy" -- from a poster using SAC's gauntlet emblem. Instead of lightning, the gauntlet was redrawn to hold a pair of bloody testicles.
    "Peace Through Strength -- Victory Through Devastation"
    "The Cold War didn't just end, it was WON!" Motto of the Society of the Strategic Air Command
    "In God We Trust. Everybody else has to have the right (SAC security) badge and know the right (response) numbers."
    SAC's Motto was also: "PRIDE" or "Professional Results In Daily Effort." In 1969, the inside joke was that it was changed from "PRIDE" to "SHAME" or "Sustained Half-Assed Minimum Effort."

    Number one has to be: "Peace Is Our Profession", which was at the front gate of virtually every SAC base.
     
  7. usafwso

    usafwso Member

    Messages:
    155
    Once, many, many, many, many, many and more years ago - - - 1982, when I was but a young and stupid USAFA Cadet on a "summer" trip to see the real USAF, a couple of fellow cadets and I spent a few summer weeks at Norton AFB flying with C-141 aircrew and my first and only flight to Antarctica. More accurately, flew over it and dropped stuff out the side doors in the dark! That being "their" winter. It was a pretty exciting experience for a young and stupid college kid like me playing C-141B loadmaster wannabe.

    Back to Southern California in the early 1980's. Another pair of our Cadets was at March AFB, about 25 minutes away from Norton by car. March AFB in those days was totally over the top B-52 flying SAC and "DO NOT WALK OVER THE GRASS sort of SAC base". My first and only experience there until recently. So that was always my opinion of SAC bases, don't walk on the grass.

    Now parts of March are a warehouse for Fresh & Easy supermarkets...

    Back to our Barksdale friends from the 1960's and before. Some of my ancestors sold a bit of family land to the government upon which the base was built. Long history, some timberland and cotton fields and such.

    Is one of the individuals in that series wearing a pair of F-1A trousers?

    One might wonder if anyone can make a few of those yellow leather hats??? I wear a size 7 1/8th just in case anyone might have one stashed.
     
  8. Tim P

    Tim P Active Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    Great pics, SAC is an interesting outfit. I recall the shudders if USAF colleagues I worked with when I was seconded would mention the B.S. and just so ethic of SAC bases.
    In choosing a recreation of an ensemble I might look further than a unit that wore yellow leather caps. I am sure it was regulation but its not to my taste. each to their own of course and I cant help thinking it is very evocative of the era.
     
  9. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

    Messages:
    2,098
    Location:
    Orlando, FL USA
    Nat:

    Are you referring to the guy in the third photo from the top, with his arms folded across his chest? I think he's wearing a CWU-1/P. If you look above him you'll see another guy wearing one. The zippered pockets are totally different from the configuration of the F-1A.
     
  10. EMBLEMHUNTER

    EMBLEMHUNTER Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,283
    as to the hats being leather yes they are, and I know there were other units in that time period that had them, I did some leather unit patches for a woman who knew an AF pilot and thiers was red, so it must have been a fairly popular thing at that time !
     
  11. better duck

    better duck Active Member

    Messages:
    1,197
    Location:
    Groningen, Holland
    Quite a gathering / herd / crowd / flock of captains we see in those first pics. How come, didn't they have any other rank there? :) Just kidding, but curious all the same ...
     
  12. rich

    rich New Member

    Messages:
    1,406
    Location:
    England
    More nice shots Stu. The officer in the last pic - Wells - reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton.
     
  13. capt71

    capt71 Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Florida
    Back in the late 1940's, when I was a (very) young kid, my father was stationed at Barksdale AFB, flying, I think, B-29s. I still remember the place!
     
  14. Phantomfixer

    Phantomfixer New Member

    Messages:
    600
    an old post...does anyone know if they used red leather hats??? I think I passed on one, but would go back for it if...
     
  15. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    I wouldn't doubt that someone wore red. Dean sent me pics of the yellow, some white, and maybe a darker color all in leather. Some samples are on my short list but what isn't! I wish I wanted to narrow my hobbies!
    Great stuff!
    Dave
     
  16. bebel

    bebel Member

    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    France
  17. herk115

    herk115 Member

    Messages:
    228
    I fell in love with those leather hats the minute I first saw that photo. To my knowledge, no repros being made. But today, on totally unrelated business, I walked into the local biker shop and, son of a gun, they had a rack full of leather baseball-style caps, some of them yellow, and for only $15 apiece. I quickly grabbed a yellow one and a green one. Though they are not exactly the same style as seen in this picture, they will do until a decent repro comes out. I'm also fairly confident that some unit somewhere probably wore a more baseball-style cap than pictured here. Anyway, my point is, until a good repro comes out, head down to your local biker leather shop and see what they have. Failing that, drop me a note and I'll head back to the local shop here and see what I can do for you.
     
    dmar836 likes this.
  18. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Post some pics?
    Dave
     
  19. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage New Member

    Messages:
    8
    It's an interesting question and I have no idea what the answer is, but if I had to guess I'd say it was because SAC wanted the most experienced and knowledgeable people it could get, and they probably got first pick.
     
  20. Monsoon

    Monsoon Member

    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    "It's not the years.....it's the miles."
     

Share This Page