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.
Clyde A. Benjamin
I flew the F-100A at Nellis. I reported into Willy (Williams AFB, AZ) after completing basic flying school at Webb AFB in Big Springs, Texas. After 3 days at Willy, I was transferred to Nellis as an experimental student to determine if pilots could go directly from T-33 to F-100, bypassing the F-86.
They did the same thing for Luke pilots that were flying the F-84. All told, I think there were about 6 people that went through this program. The F-100F had just entered the inventory, so that was the airplane that we used for transition. After checkout in the F-100F, we flew the F-100A and completed the gunnery program at Nellis.
My next assignment was back to Willy to fly the F-86 and continue the gunnery and transition into that airplane. At the conclusion of that training, we went to operational units and flew the F-100D & F at George. I guess that the experiment worked as future classes went directly from pilot training, T-33, to F-100 at Luke. I think that was the death knell for Willy, as all fighter pilots were vectored to Luke, and Willy closed.