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viking73

B-52 Tail Gunner (non-ejection) Seat

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Hi,

 

I just wanted to share a few photos of a somewhat new acquisition for me. This is a tall-tailed B-52 tail gunner's seat. It's not an ejection seat, it's the seat that was used before the G and H models moved their gunner up front with the rest of the crew on an ejection seat. I would think it's from a "D" but I'm not sure.

 

It's pretty rough as you can see and I'm not sure what is missing on it as I've never seen another one. I might just leave it "rustic" and make up some cushions for it and put it in my new man cave. I'm not 100% sure about that yet. I would think parts or schematics for it would be impossible to find... I've never even seen a photo of one in USAF use.

 

Here are some pics, sorry for the poor quality. I can post more if anyone is interested.

 

-Derek

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And finally, a close-up on the date plate which is pretty cool.

 

-Derek

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Yeah that thing reeks of "cool"! B) GREAT addition to ones' mancave.Slap some cushions on it and you're good to go.


High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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The seat back should lay flat. The gunner crawled over it and then lifted it up behind him once he was in position.

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Kind'a gives new meaning to the question, "Did you leave the seat down?"

 

Dale

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In a plane as long as the B-52, the tail gunner must have been a very lonely position indeed. Fantastic find with that seat!

Terry


to all who have served!


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I have heard former gunners refer to this tail position as being much like a small closet. I've also heard them talk about how the tail of the old BUFFS would flex in turbulance and it wasn't uncommon for gunners to get motion sickness in that turrent


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In a plane as long as the B-52, the tail gunner must have been a very lonely position indeed. Fantastic find with that seat!

Terry

 

Plus, he was the only enlisted on the aircraft. When I was in C-1-10 SFG(A), I had a Team Sergeant who had been a B-52D tail gunner. Gregg, spent a tour in the Air Force, got out, joined the Army, went SF and then served in another Special Operations Force. Gregg was with C Squadron at the Battle of the Black Sea in Mogadishu.


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Our only local MIA is MSgt Olen B. McLaughlin who was a tail gunner on a B-52 that went down on 7JUL67. When his aircraft collided with the other B-52, the tail was severed and he was never located. The 2nd B-52 had a passenger, MG William Crumm, who became the highest ranked MIA of the war.

http://pownetwork.org/bios/c/c446.htm

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The owner of this bowling shirt must have thought it was not that bad.

 

Thanks, Al

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"Ajustable hinged back"?? Er, my inner English teacher is thinking that the guy (and it had to be a guy) who put that mis-spelling of Adjustable on the data plate should have caught hell from the inspectors.

 

Regards,

Charlie


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Other side:

 

Viking where would you find something like this?

Thanks.

Ronnie


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Other side:

 

Viking where would you find something like this?

Thanks.

Ronnie


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"Ajustable hinged back"?? Er, my inner English teacher is thinking that the guy (and it had to be a guy) who put that mis-spelling of Adjustable on the data plate should have caught hell from the inspectors.

 

Regards,

Charlie

Good catch Charlie!! I looked at the plate and did not notice the error!

 

Still is a really cool seat!!

 

Chris


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Great seat Derek...from a BUFF too... I have some shoulder straps if needed, maybe lap belts too...not 50s dated maybe 70s or 80s

 

and know where there is a cool USAF parachute that would look great with the seat ; )

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Thanks for all the comments guys. Too funny about the spelling error Charlie. I didn't notice that either, LOL!

 

Cool bowling shirt Al! I really like it. Do you have any information about it? Was it from Carswell by any chance?

 

Ronnie - all of my other seats have been eBay purchases. This one I got from another collector friend of mine out in west Texas. He somehow wound up with 2 of these seats! And I'd never even seen one before... He kept the better one for himself (still pretty rough) and offered me this one. I was really happy to buy it from him as you can imagine. He even stored it for me until I had a place to put it.

 

Thanks for the offer John but I think at this point, I am going to leave the seat rustic. Too many parts are missing and I'm sure I'd never be able to find them. I still of course have the BA-22 I bought from you for my T-33 whenever I start back on it. I need to get cracking on it I know... :(

 

Anyway, here are some more seat photos. The lever on the right side reclines the seat. It goes back a good amount but it's very squeaky of course haha!

 

-Derek

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I removed the head rest plate piece so I could start on deciding how I want to replace the headrest cushion. I ordered some red vinyl fabric from Amazon that I'm going to use for my cushions. I need to decide on some foam and get that ordered ASAP.

 

While I'm waiting for the vinyl to arrive, I started cutting out a headrest from some very dense foam. Here's a picture. I'm not sure if I like it yet or not. I'll have to see how it looks when I stretch that vinyl over it.

 

I'm working on the bottom cushion as well. I made a box from some 2x4s (to take the place where the survival kit would have gone) and then the bottom of the actual cushion I cut from a piece of plywood. This is the part I'll glue the foam on and then cover it with the red vinyl. No pictures of it yet, I'll post some in a few days...

 

-Derek

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Interesting seat. Is there an aircraft tail number anywhere on the seat? Does the inertia reel have a data plate with date of mfr.? The last seat kits possibly used with the seat could be the CNU-68/P and/or the CNU-129/P? The latest parachute system possibly used with the seat could be the BA-21A and BA-27A, based on the BA-18 series. Earlier seat kit could be the MD-1 with a BA-15 parachute. The liquid rubberized tool handle coating in red may work for the head rest also. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for all the comments guys. Too funny about the spelling error Charlie. I didn't notice that either, LOL!

 

Cool bowling shirt Al! I really like it. Do you have any information about it? Was it from Carswell by any chance?

 

Ronnie - all of my other seats have been eBay purchases. This one I got from another collector friend of mine out in west Texas. He somehow wound up with 2 of these seats! And I'd never even seen one before... He kept the better one for himself (still pretty rough) and offered me this one. I was really happy to buy it from him as you can imagine. He even stored it for me until I had a place to put it.

 

Thanks for the offer John but I think at this point, I am going to leave the seat rustic. Too many parts are missing and I'm sure I'd never be able to find them. I still of course have the BA-22 I bought from you for my T-33 whenever I start back on it. I need to get cracking on it I know... :(

 

Anyway, here are some more seat photos. The lever on the right side reclines the seat. It goes back a good amount but it's very squeaky of course haha!

 

-Derek

 

Hi Derek. The shirt was an estate sale find here in Dallas. Came out of a bedroom closet along with a B-15 jacket. No provenance for either, although they might have been from the same Vet. Carswell is/was close, so could be. Great score on the seat. Thanks, Al


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Interesting seat. Is there an aircraft tail number anywhere on the seat? Does the inertia reel have a data plate with date of mfr.? The last seat kits possibly used with the seat could be the CNU-68/P and/or the CNU-129/P? The latest parachute system possibly used with the seat could be the BA-21A and BA-27A, based on the BA-18 series. Earlier seat kit could be the MD-1 with a BA-15 parachute. The liquid rubberized tool handle coating in red may work for the head rest also. Hope this helps.

 

 

Man, that's the first thing I looked for, not one tail number anywhere. I was really bummed about that, oh well. There isn't a data plate on the inertia reel either. So I guess that's all lost to time unfortunately...

 

I did get my cushions made up this week in my spare time. The red vinyl arrived from Amazon, and my local Wal-Mart had just the right size piece of foam to use. I really wanted the headrest to be more of the correct pattern, but I couldn't get it to look right no matter what I tried. So I just made it the best I could. She's ready for the war room now. I can see my wife's eyes rolling already ha ha!

 

Here are a few photos:

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I made a wooden box to go in the seat pan, taking up the space the survival kit would have gone. I sprayed painted it black and it fits just right.

 

I think the only other thing I will do to it is add a big SAC shield decal to the headrest, or maybe a B-52 silhouette decal. I know there are a ton of both on eBay all the time...

 

Thanks for looking.

 

-Derek

 

 

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I wish I could have gotten the back cushion a bit tighter and wasn't so wrinkled. The curve of the back of the seat was too much for my non-existence cushion making skills :)

 

Hope you all like it.

 

-Derek

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That turned out pretty cool! Nice job and a worthy addition to the war room.

Terry


to all who have served!


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