very good commentary with the pic, i find it funny how a lot of people are talking in the comments about war, eventually we will have to (as horrible as it sounds) have to actually utilize kill camps in order to keep the population in manageable conditions unless we find an abundance of resources off world to sustain us.
I take it you've never read the History of the Peloponnesian War. Or any of the German histories of the Eastern Front. Or the endless American and French volumes on Vietnam. Or the various Southern accounts of the Civil War.
UXO (unexploded ordnance) was a constant threat during all of my 4 combat tours in Iraq and Shitcanistan. Mines, unexploded mortar and artillery rounds, were all over the place. You had to be looking down and in front of you at all times.
The problem was, I was very, very sleepy when I read your message, so... when I saw your message... It scared the crap out of me! I saw that text in all bold and it was so shocking and then I read the message and was like OMG! ...And then I realized it was just a regular dA Comment!
Met a kid in the hospital on Kadena [Okinawa] airbase, in 1968, with both legs missing below the knees, both arms missing at and around the elbow and most of his torso riddled with puncture wounds, from a WWII torpedo bomb he was cleaning, that went off. Almost thirty years after the end of the war. His old man was a Lifer in the Air Farce and they spent their free time collecting spent shells and assorted duds they found lying around the island. Then they'd take them home, polish the brass and display their finds somewhere in the house. I'm guessing they don't do that anymore.
We have a sick fascination with war, as a species. Quite often that fascination comes back and bites us on the ass. Blowback. Discarded ordinance that, lo and behold, is not quite as dead as we might have thought. Forgotten land mines. The list goes on. But, as Country Joe McDonald pointed out much many years ago - "..there's plenty of money to be made, by supplying the Army with the tools of the trade."
I was also i in Okinawa (Kadena AFB Aug '68 -Feb '69) and the statistics were that approx. 250 people died a year in Okinawa from unexploded military ordnance from WW II. I was there when the B 52 caught fire on take-off and the piilot aborted take-off and the plane went off the runway and burned (Nov '69 protest in Kadena circle - see www.google.com/search?q=Kadena… and it also made the cover of Life magazine ) Some of the bombs went off high order and were felt in Naha 15 miles away. I worked in the munitions storage arear across from the end of the runway and we told "do not enter any caves you may find that there were still all kinds of stuff left behind by the Japanese" Frequently farmer plowing their field would still turn up all kinds of stuff from WW II.
Dude.. we were there pretty much at the same time. I got to the island in the fall of '67 and left spring of '69. I was only at Kadena for about three months, before I got shipped down to Naha Wheel. I was originally in a holding company, but got a gig as a cook [my M.O.S.] with a transportation company. Missed the protest, I'm afraid, but I will definitely look it up.
Tell you the truth, I spent a lot of time wandering around in those goddamn caves. Saw some wild shit in them, too. Most of my free time, though, I spent out diving the reefs. I ran into a dude at the base swimming pool, whose old man was a Lifer in the Air Farce and collected, of all things, sea shells. I was only 17 when I got to the island and this kid was my age, so his dad wasn't all that concerned that we were hanging out together. Invited me to go diving with them once, to hunt sea shells and I just got in the habit.
I wasn't up on the statistics and, in fact, did not even know there was still "dud" ordinance on the island. I went into the hospital to get a knee operation [tore some ligaments, playing basketball] and met the kid while I was in there. He was like 13 or 14, I think and to this day I have no idea how he survived the blast. Apparently he was thrown some fifty feet by the force of the explosion and, according to what he said they told him, it was the fact that he was light enough to be thrown that he wasn't killed. I guess if his old man had chosen to clean that torpedo, the outcome would have been dramatically different.
Anyway.. I was in the Army. I do remember going out to the flight-line and watching the B-52s taking off and landing. Don't recall anything about one crashing, though. I did get to see a Blackbird take off one day. Never got any closer than probably 2-300 yards to the runway it was on, but you couldn't mistake that bird for anything else. Son-of-a-bitch could haul ass.
nance I saw a SR 71 when I was at Eglin AFB Florida from the flight-line, it went a couple hundred of feet until the wheels were about 10 feet off the runway then went straight up. We had on go from Wglin (70 miles east of Pensacola FL to Edwards AFB Ca in under 45 minutes ground to ground. While I was at Kadena, the Philippines tracked one on radar at Mach 5 plus before it went into the ocean. My nephew spent 3 tours with the Marines in Okinawa and several years ago he met a girl from the Philippines, moved there and married her. I also spent 18 months at Wheelus AFB Tripoli Lybia (10/66 to 4/68) and we got most of the pilots from Europa who came down for training and qualifying om weapons (we had 330 plus days flying weather) and A F4 pilot made a bet he could take off in 500 feet. When he got close to the marker he pulled back on the stick, foldeg the wheels up, bounced once off the runway and was airborne. I heard from guys in Nam who said lots of the F4's came in with tail damage that could not be explained (until they found out that the pilots had a game to see who could slam the water with the tails of their planes on returning after a bombing sortie. Besides the SR 71 the F$ and B 52 were my favorite. The overloaded the 52 so much with ordnance that they had a wheel at the tip of each wing to prevent it from dragging and when you would watch them take off the tips of the wings would lift first and go up about 10 feet above the fuselage and then they would start to lift off. Reminded me of the way a sea gull looks in flight. The only had enough fuel for 10 to 15 minutes of flight and had to re fuel right after take off ( they carried 42 750 lb and 48 500 lb bombs). I spent almost all of my time putting 750's together. We normally worked 12 hrs a day 7 days a week and when we got plane from Guam or Thailand it was 18 hrs a day. I think in the whole 6 months (TDY) that I was there we only had 3 or 4 days off.
Yep. The day I got to see the SR-71 take off, it was cloudless. I watched it hit the end of the runway, get airborne and, just like you say, nosed up and was gone. I mean, seriously. It was out of sight so fast I wasn't really sure I hadn't hallucinated the damn thing. I remember the same thing about the B-52s. I tell people all the time that it looked like an albatross trying to take flight, the way the wings bowed. Also, watching one land into a head wind was a trip, too. Whole plane would pivot at an oblique angle, soon as the wheels touched the runway and it would come down the runway damn near sideways. First time I saw that, I thought I was seeing a crash.
I did my tour on Okinawa [18 months], then spent a year in northern Thailand, right up on the Laotian border. All the cooks there were civilians, because of some deal they made with the Thai government, so they assigned me to a 5 ton dump truck. Which was kinda fun, considering I'd never driven anything in my life up to that point. Conversation I had with the C.O. went something like, "I can't drive a truck." "Sure you can," he replied. "Says so right here." At which point he handed me a driver license upon which it did indeed imply that I could drive a 5 ton dump truck. Was an interesting learning curve, to say the least. Driving on the left side of the road only added to the fun. Anyway.. I got out in May of '70 and never looked back. I was not really cut out for the military. Didn't mind the work, but I had a real problem with all the rest of it.
Few years ago I met a dude who was a fighter jock over in Nam - Navy Pilot, in fact. Pretty much fits the standard issue pilot image to a t. Owns and operates a winery now and is always happy to see me and my wife. Kinda fun talking to him about those days, even though we had vastly different experiences. The old saw is actually kinda true.. If you weren't there, you really can't understand what it was like. Never actually set foot in Nam, but Thailand was pretty damn close and just the overall feel of that time was just light years different from the way things are now. For one thing, we didn't have any heroes over there. Now every third dude in a uniform is one.
I went in May '66 and got out March '70 2 months early for "the convince of the government" because once I got under 6 months they could not send ne TDY overseas any more and there was not much need of munitions people on the US. I had a license for everything the US had in it's motor pool 40 foot flat beds (to haul 750 lb ers, 59 passenger bus which I drove in Okinawa through Kadena circle to get to our storage with out going through the nuclear storage (which wasn't supposed to be there - that's when the USS Pueblo" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pueb… was captured by North Korea and is still held by them) - All the fighter at Kadena had nuclear armament which had to be taken off and conventional weapons replaced, this gave the North Koreans enough time to get the boat into their territorial waters. Like you've said it's a different time - I was a freshman in school, got a draft notice for a physical mat 11th, went to the Navy and Air Force recruiters the 12 th and ws told if I'm not in a service the Army or Marines could still take me even if I signed up with some other branch, took the A F Physical on the 13th and got on a plane to go to Amarillo Texas for basic on the 18th and on the 19th the MP's showed up at my hopuse because I did not take the draft physical. My father told them I was in the service and they wanted to know when I went in - and he told them yesterday. At that time between when you got the notice and were "inducted was 2 -3 weeks.