30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Lawrence David Cobb II
“I was commissioned through AF ROTC at Fresno State on February 8, 1962. I had been living at the family ranch north of Fresno, while I was a student and where I grew up. I joined up for service to the flag and the precepts of our country that allowed me and my family and… service to others…
…we were probably the only guys that never went through a formal F-105 school. And all of us ended up in Vietnam later on, but 2 of us went to Spangdahlem, and the other 2 guys went to Bitburg Air Force Base, which is just a few miles away. And we checked out locally on the continent and then went down to Wheelis at Tripoli, Libya, for our gunnery training, and then we were there until April of ’64, we were at Spangdahlem until September of ’66. Europe was transitioning to F-4s, and we didn’t have retainability, and I had actually volunteered several times already to go to Southeast Asia. And so I think it was the 26th — or 22nd of September, 1966, there were I think 14 or 16 of us, families, got on the airplane in Frankfurt, came to the States, and we were in the States on leave until the first Tuesday in November. The day that Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California, we got on the airplane and stopped in Hickam, then on to Clark for snake school, and then after snake school, went to Tahkli Air Force Base in Thailand.”
You can learn a lot more about Lawrence Cobb by reading his interview for the Veterans History Project at: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.27111/transcript?ID=sr0001