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.
Philip V. Edsall
After “starting school in a 1-room schoolhouse, where he would ride his horse to school, he graduated from Garfield County High School, the last public boarding school in the U.S. He left the ranching life in 1955 to enlist in the Air Force as an Aviation Cadet to pursue his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, graduating in 1957. His Air Force career spanned 29 1/2 years.
He flew many different aircraft to include PA-18, T-I6, T-33, F-86, F-100 (3600 hours), T-39, A-7, A-10 and C-12. While assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson AZ, he was Dep Chief of Ops for the only active AF A-7D combat crew training squadron, and later Director for the first A-10 Operational Test Squadron.
During his 2 yr assignment as 12AF Director of Standardization/Evaluation at Bergstrom AFB, TX he also flew 10 other AC to include the F-111, F-4, and F-16. He was a command pilot with over 5,000 flying hours, with most of those hours spent in a single-seater fighter jet.
While serving two assignments in Vietnam, he flew 190+ missions, which resulted in receiving two Distinguished Flying Crosses and Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters. He also received the Legion of Merit and three Meritorious Medals. While serving in the Air Force, he had many assignments to include California, Japan, Vietnam, Florida (participating in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis as an F-100 pilot), Spain (his unit was stranded in Libya when Gaddafi took power), Louisiana, Virginia, Arizona, Texas, with his final AF assignment with the US Embassy in Athens, Greece. These assignments included many deployments which required 18+ ocean crossings in an F-100 single-seater fighter jet. During his AF career, he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees, retiring from the Air Force in 1984.
After retirement from the Air Force, he accepted a position with McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company in St Louis MO, working in International Marketing. He traveled extensively to the Far East (Japan and Korea) with this position. After living in Williamsburg VA, he then moved to Singapore and then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as VP for Southeast Asia. While living in SEA, he and Sandy were able to travel on many adventures to include Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, and many of the far-flung Indonesian islands. After his retirement from MDC in 1998, he returned to the US to live in Garden Ridge, TX where he has resided for 13 years.”