5 December 1956 – A Northrop XSM-62 Snark, 53-8172, N-69D test model, fitted with a new 24-hour stellar inertial guidance system, launches from Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, Florida. It wanders off-course, ignores destruct command, disappears over Brazil. It is found by a farmer in January 1983. The Day They Lost the Snark By J.
Allan E. Bartels, Jr.
My life really didn’t begin when I checked out in the Super Sabre, it just seemed so.
I finished flying school, went to Willie (Williams AFB, AZ) for gunnery in the F-86 and was then assigned to Myrtle (Myrtle Beach AFB, NC) to the 333rd squadron.
Being a brown bar, I had to wait my turn to check out in the Hun (F-100). Actually, I got to Myrtle before any of the wing’s Huns had arrived. My classmates and I took turns flying the two F-80s and the four T-birds the wing had.
Six or seven months later it was my turn fly the Sabre. There were no F (2-seater) models so I was chased by my IP and Flight Commander. He actually burned me on my Officer Effectiveness Report (OER) for poor judgment because I did an aileron roll on my let down to the traffic pattern.
We were a Fighter Day outfit so shooting at the rag was the prime combat readiness hurdle. I lucked out and got the highest score in the wing (definitely not mentioned on that OER).
It was a week later that one of my peers beat my score on the rag anyway so I volunteered to take an assignment to Okinawa. It was there that my new squadron helped me mature into a real Hun driver.
From Okie I went to Cannon, then Hahn Germany, then Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam; and Luke AFB in Arizona, and I was dual-qualified in the F-100 and A-7.
I did a tour at Korat AFB, Thailand in the A-7 and then went back to the F-100 as the advisor to the Air Guard unit in Tucson, AZ. I expanded that job into a five-year stint before I retired.
I finished my career with 3300 hours in the F-100 and 1600 hours of A-7 with other time (F-86, F-80, T-33) adding up to a mile of jet time. I “deadsticked” one F100 and bailed out of one, but all else was normal. (see Al’s Caterpillar story)
My wife’s name is Nancy, we live in Litchfield Park, AZ.