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.
Edward R. Bracken
Eddie Bracken retired from the Air Force in 1992 after 33 years and 4,129 flying hours, primarily in fighters. In his first 25 years of military service, he held a number of positions in fighter aircraft operations which culminated with his role as Commander of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing in the United Kingdom, operating the F-111F.
His career in Fighter aviation started off in the F-100 and included tours with the 615th TFS at England AFB and the 35th TFS at Itazuke AFB, Japan. While at Itazuke he transitioned to the F-105 and moved to Yokota AB Japan. His time in Japan was marked by numerous TDY’s (Temporary Duty) to Korea and Thailand in both the Hun (F-100) and the Thud (Republic F-105 Thunderchief).
In 1966 Eddie returned to the United States and was assigned to Nellis AFB, NV as an instructor in the F-105 and on the initial cadre of the F-111A. The tour at Nellis was short-lived and he was reassigned to the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, CA. Upon graduation, he went on to Test OPS at Eglin AFB, FL where he was involved in testing the F-100, F-105, and F-111. Then, in December 1969 he was assigned to Takhli AB Thailand in the F-105.
Upon returning to the states in August of 1970 he attended Air Command and Staff College (Maxwell AFB, AL) and later on to the Pentagon where he served a four-year tour in Fighter Requirements and a fifth year at the National War College. Moving to Mountain Home AFB, ID in 1976 he served as Chief of Weapon and Tactics and Commander of the 391st TFS. In the summer of 1977, the entire wing of F-111Fs moved to RAF Lakenheath where he was stationed for seven years first as Commander of the 493rd TFS and finally as the Commander of the 48th TFW. He was promoted to Brigadier General when he left Lakenheath.
The last eight years of his service was focused on Logistics operations. Eddie Bracken was the Vice Commander of an Air Logistics center that had over 25,000 civilian and military personnel assigned. He served a three-year tour in the Pentagon where he was the Director of Air Force Logistics Plans and Programs. In this capacity, he was responsible for the formulation, advocacy, and execution of a $50 billion yearly budget for Air Force Logistics Operations. His last assignment was at Wright Patterson AFB, OH as the Chief of Staff for Air Force Logistics Command. In that time frame, Air Force Logistics Command had close to 90,000 military and civilian personnel assigned.
The general is a command pilot with 4,000 flying hours and 130 combat missions
Since his retirement from the Air Force Eddie has worked as a consultant to numerous aviation and space companies primarily advising them on long-range plans, financial strategies and business process re-engineering practices. He has also worked on various studies for the Air Force and the Department of Defense.
Volunteering is important to Eddie Bracken. In the last 16 years, he has given his time and talent to numerous activities in the Colorado Pikes Peak region such as the El Paso County Planning Commission, the Colorado Springs Airport Advisory Commission, the Pikes Peak Combined Federal Campaign Board of Directors (as Vice Chairman and Chairman), the Chamber of Commerce’s Eliminating Barriers to Business Working Group, the El Paso County Highway Advisory Committee, Falcon Foundation Board of Trustee, and the Black Forest Fire and Rescue Department where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
He and his wife Nancy founded Black Forest Together, Inc. a nonprofit 501 ( C ) 3 charitable organization in response to the most devastating wildfire in Colorado’s history. (488 homes were destroyed). Black Forest Together, Inc. is in its 4th year of operation and its work is expected to continue for a very long time as they undertake the formidable task of restoring the Forest to its prior splendor. Read about this extraordinary endeavor at Https://www.blackforesttogether.org/
Major General Edward R. Bracken is currently the Vice President of the Super Sabre Society.