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.
Sergi L. Demchuk
I finished basic flight training at Webb AFB and got my wings in 1958. I was one of a small group of pilots to go directly to the F-100. Previously you had to have fighter experience in the F-84 or F-86 before flying the Hun. After training in the F-100 at Luke and Nellis AFBs, I flew it for eleven years.
I flew the F-4 at Udorn RTAFB in Thailand, 1973-1974. We were primarily bombing Cambodia (with questionable objectives) while the peace talks in Paris went on. Finally, a ceasefire order arrived, effective at noon Thailand time. We flew the regular schedule that morning, while guys not flying prepared for a big hamburger and beer barbeque that afternoon. At noon, the duty officer put a big strike through the remaining flights on the scheduling board and added “The war is over.” When all the troops had landed, we had a squadron meeting to recognize the historic importance of that day.
When I left for the BBQ, I saw that under the words “The war is over” on the scheduling board, someone had added in small print–“Who won?”