21 September 1956 – Grumman company test pilot Tom Attridge shoots himself down in a Grumman F-11F Tiger, BuNo 138260, during a Mach 1.0 20 degree dive from 22,000 feet. Tom fires two bursts from the fighter’s 20mm cannon during the descent, and as he reaches 7,000 feet (2,100 m) the jet is struck multiple
Kirk Blystone Clark
Preferred Name: Kirk
Nickname/Call Sign: KB
Date of Birth: October 16, 1940
Highest Military Grade: 0-6 – Colonel
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
Here are some great KB Clark stories provided by Mike Paradise.
13 Nov 63: While training in the F-100C at Luke AFB, it was a midair collision with Captain Gene Hedin in “Pistol One.” 2 Lt K.B. Clark attempted to eject from his tailless F-100C which was in a negative G roll. He raised one handgrip to blow the canopy but was hit by high wind forces before he could squeeze the now exposed trigger to fire the seat. When he realized he was still in the aircraft, he opened his lapbelt and was immediately thrown clear by the negative G forces. He pulled the aneroid timer which then opened the chute as he passed 14,000 feet. This was a rare manual bailout from a high-speed jet.
8 May 73: While flying with the 120 TFS at Buckley, Colorado ANG, K.B. and Jerry Glade eject from F-100F 56-3873 after the J57 engine failed near Kiowa, Colorado. Glade made a very hard landing in a damaged chute. K. B. was close by and found him to be in a lot of pain. Glade said, “I didn’t get a chute, it never opened.”K. B. replied, “I know you’re a tough cowboy, Jerry, but not that tough.”
11 Nov 75: While checking out in the Vought A-7D at Buckley ANG, he again was involved in a midair collision. The A-7D had a three position switch on the throttle to control the exterior lights. It was BRIGHT, OFF, DIM. During a joinup at night, the IP, Charlie Betts, called K.B. to dim his lights. Unfortunately, he did not get the switch all the way over to DIM. With the lights of 70-1018 OFF, Betts in 71-0340 ran into him. Both ejected safely into the cold night. This was about enough for K. B. to call it a career. Years later when asked if he had seen K. B. lately at Western Airlines, Betts quipped, “No, but I ran into him a while back.”
The story told of the stolen F-105 model from the Officer’s Club is famous among the fighter pilot community. K. B. was among the
perpetrators and was awarded a trip to Vietnam.