LTC Sherman Edward Flanagan, Jr hailed from Westminster Md and served with the 355TFS/37TFW. On this day he ejected from his F-100 aircraft over Laos and was recovered. He had minor injuries. However, on July 21, 1968, the news read ” A Super Sabre and its pilot was lost during a mission to destroy an anti-aircraft
Robert Smith Seal
TAC asked North American Aviation, the manufacturer of the F-100 to extend the variable range of the afterburners. Pilots also wanted a pinch of A/B during heavy load refueling. This modification was implemented to open the throttle range when in A/B. With this improvement, pilots could have a modified thrust range while in A/B.
This improvement was especially useful in later years when refueling off the KC-135 Tanker. One night over Telescope Peak in the Mohave Desert I was making multiple hookups on a KC-135 tanker, using a pinch of A/B for initiating closure each time I backed off. Suddenly the whole sky lit up. We were flying under a high cirrus cloud cover. The light was bouncing off the clouds and then down into the tanker Commander’s cockpit. He [the Commander] came booming over the mike “what the hell’s going on back there?”
The drogue nozzle shut-off valve was stuck open and a 2000 lb./minute flow of a JP-4 flaming torch was passing just outside my slab tail and trailing like a comet. I had a big Zippo lighter in my hands. Anytime I popped the burner it was like the aurora borealis “all over again”. The drogue operator shut the flow off and the fun was over.
The air force was my “family”.
At Castroville Auxilliary dirt field one pilot trainee cartwheeled a T-6, tearing off both wings as well as the engine and the tail. He came to rest sitting upright in the cockpit in this little yellow box with stubby wing roots; his earphones and boom mike were slightly askew. At Bryan, one T-28 landed on top of another both on the final approach for landing. The under aircraft noticed a nose wheel tire rolling down their canopy, down the windscreen, and across the cowling. As the nose wheel and strut reached the propeller there was a lot of banging around. The top aircraft took it around for a missed approach, and the bottom aircraft landed with the engine still turning and the props bent at right angles.
I flew across the Atlantic five times, and the Pacific four times in F-100 aircraft. Flew F-100 high flight mission in Dec 1958, (without refueling) across the Atlantic, via Warner Robbings Air Base, GA- to Dover DE- to Harmon Field, Newfoundland- to Lajes Azores-to France- with final delivery at Woodbridge England, using four tanks under the wings.
I flew “top cover” for President Eisenhower’s visit to the Philippines in 1960, aboard the seventh fleet flagship. One hundred and fifty F-100’s were involved along with additional navy fighters. The pilots were asked to wear civilian suits and to line the parade route in Manila to give the appearance of SS. President Eisenhower looked ruddy and chipper as he came down the boulevard in a convertible limousine waving to the crowds.
I flew demonstration flights of the F-100 air refueling off another F-100 at GAFB with 600-gallon blooper under the right wing, and a 300-gallon blooper with hose winch and drogue combined on the left mid-line station. RAF flight commander Jim Mansell flew the “tanker” and I did the hookups. Bob Hoover had come up from Los Angeles with the plane, and later asked how it went. I told him “ok” and he said, “I thought it was like trying to goose a bobcat with a willow switch.”
We pilots went into the Mojave desert one day to observe a “ZEL” [zero length launch] demo by NAA test pilots. This was where you fired an F-100 off the back of an eighteen-wheeler flatbed truck. Known as the world’s shortest runway, the little shoes that held the main tires look about two feet long and were made out of steel that resembles that metal used on Peterbilts for the running board step. A hydraulic lift raised the F-100 into firing position, [about 35 degrees], a 130,000 lb thrust JATO bottle affixed to the underbelly thrust plate provided a take-off boost.
A slice was taken out of the flatbed rear to make room for the JATO bottle to dangle down. We were all bug-eyed when they went ahead and launched this crazy deal. That scheme was planned for the forests of Germany.