B-52H Operations Today Must Look Similar to How They Looked When These BUFFs Were Born
The modern Boeing B-52H Stratofortress is destined to serve for the foreseeable future as America’s delivery system for tactical munitions anywhere on this planet. The aircraft will eventually be modernized (again!) with uprated engines. The exact strategy for this next round of improvements to the fleet of 76 BUFFs isn’t entirely clear yet, but we know it’s necessary. Today’s B-52Hs are being flown by the grandchildren of the pilots who flew them when they were spanking new. The guys flying the BUFFs in this video might just be some of those grandchildren. Enjoy this look at current B-52H ops as uploaded to YouTube by USA Military Channel.
Starring One Vagabond BUFF
The BUFF appearing first in the video is Air Force serial number 60-0024 (CN 464389), a 1960-vintage B-52H-145-BW Stratofortress built by Boeing at their Wichita, Kansas assembly plant. The jet entered service with the 4042nd Strategic Bomb Wing at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base (AFB) in Michigan on 4 August 1961. On 1 February 1963, 024 was transferred to the 410th Bombardment Wing (Heavy), still at K.I. Sawyer. From there the BUFF was sent to serve with the 7th Bombardment Wing at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1983 024 was assigned to a special atmospheric radiation sampling project codenamed Giant Fish. 60-0024 was equipped with sampling pods along with B-52H serial numbers 60-0033, 60-0051, and 60-0052. After the project concluded in the early 1990s the bomber was transferred to the 416th Bombardment Wing at Griffiss AFB in New York. From there, while wearing the name I’ll Be Seeing You, 024 was transferred to the 72nd Bomb Squadron of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB in North Dakota in December of 1994. In 2010 the bomber was sent to serve with the 20th Bomb Squadron Buccaneers of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana where she serves today.
Coming From a Stable Home
The other bomber in the film is Air Force serial number 60-0001 (CN 464366), a 1960-model B-52H-135-BW Stratofortress also built by Boeing in Wichita. Balls 1 rolled out the doors in 1960 and entered service with the Air Force in 1961, but did not galavant around the country serving with several bombardment squadrons the way 024 did. 60-0001, named Memphis Belle IV, is still with her original outfit- the 96th Bombardment Squadron Devil’s Own of the 2nd Bombardment Wing at Barksdale AFB. Film Credits: U.S. Air Force video by Technical Sergeant Christopher Ruano, Senior Airman Luke Hill, Staff Sergeant Philip Bryant, and Staff Sergeant Levi Rowse. Bravo Zulu!