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B-29 "Doc" restoration 8 April 2016 update AKA: B-29-70-BW-44-69972

Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by 25Kingman49, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  4. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  5. terveurn

    terveurn Active Member

    Why does Doc have the bombardiers gun sight installed when this B-29 does not have any gun turrets....
  6. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Good question.

    http://www.b-29doc.com/contact/ or email b29docrestoration@gmail.com

    Have asked, we'll see if they respond.

    Might have been used for some purpose in its none combat postwar, early cold war mission, but that's a "WAG"...on my part

    It seems difficult now online to find the back story on this original squadron and their mission of (radar survey, reconnaissance, spying?) As I recall there were at least 8 planes in the squadron, all seven dwarfs (including Doc) and Snow White.

    Edit: Air & Space Mag http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/restoration-best-of-seven-27599951/

    "The airplane took its name from the painting on its nose depicting one of the seven dwarfs from the animated Disney movie Snow White; each of the airplanes in its squadron at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York, had had a different dwarf on its nose. Out of the entire squadron, which flew radar survey missions in the early 1950s along the east coast of the United States, Doc is apparently the only survivor."

    John weeks account of the eight squadron members including "Snow White" https://www.johnweeks.com/b29/b29doc.html if a photo of this squadron sitting at Griffiss AFB exists, it has yet to be found by me.
    "The story of Doc can best be told by telling the story of Tony Mazzolini. He was a B-29 crewman in the 1950's, and had a chance moment to see a group of 8 Superforts sitting on the ramp all at the same time painted up with the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Griffiss AFB."

    Edit 2: More of Doc's mission history in this Snow White Squadron involved in Radar Calibration (Air Defense Command), Griffiss AFB, NY http://b-29.org/b-29-doc/restoration-doc.html

    According to Joe Baugher http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1944_4.html
    B-29-70-BW-44-69972; (MSN 10814)
    To Bechtel-McCone Modification Center, Birmingham, AL Mar 1945.
    To Combat Crew Training Squadron, 331st AAFBU, Barksdale Field, LA Apr 1945. To 4141st AAFBU, Pyote Field, TX Nov 1945.
    To 41st Base Unit, Pyote Field, TX Feb 1946.
    To 2753rd Aircraft Storage Squadron (Air Material Command) at Pyote AFB, TX Oct 1950.
    To San Antonio Air Material Area, Kelly AAF, TX Nov 1950. Redesignated TB-29
    for radar evaluation by the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area (OCAMA), Tinker AFB, OK May51
    To 7th Radar Calibration Squadron at Griffiss AFB, NY Jul 1951.
    Accident 28Nov51 due to mechanical failure landing at Robins AFB, GA
    To 109th Radar Calibration Squadron at Griffiss AFB, NY Sep 1952.
    To 1st Radar Calibration Squadron at Griffiss AFB, NY Dec 1952
    Named ‘Doc’ [the squadron named its aircraft for Snow White and the seven dwarfs’
    To 4713rd Radar Evaluation Flight at Griffiss AFB, NY Mar 1954.
    To Arco Manufacturing Corp at Berry Field TN for work Mar 1955
    To 17th Tow Target Squadron, Yuma County Airport, AZ May 1955.
    To 4750th Air Defense Wing, Yuma County Airport, Az May 1955.
    Transferred to US Navy Mar 1956.
    To China Lake Oct 15, 1956 for use as ballistic target for air combat training.
    Retired to China Lake Mar 14, 1965. *Doc* stored on range for many years
    at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, CA. Acquired by
    National Museum of Naval Aviation Feb 1994 and registered
    N6735C but did not leave China Lake until recovered Apr 15, 1998 and
    moved to United States Air Museum, Inoykern, CA in exchange for a B-25
    for restoration. Registered N44697 Mar 19, 1998 and sent to Boeing plant in Wichita
    KS for restoration back to flying condition as N69972 Jul 1998. Aircraft
    moved out of Boeing plant Mar 2007 (they needed the room) and
    a hangar appeal has been launched. Restoration virtually complete Sep 2015. Awarded FAA Air
    Worthiness Certificate May 19, 2016. On loan to Kansas Aviation Museum, Wichita, KS
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  7. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Searching out the involved squadrons here are a couple of the commanders which may aid in the true role of the squadron.

    General Burris http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/107540/major-general-rupert-h-burris/ He served from June 1952 to December 1954, with the 1st Radar Calibration Squadron at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., where he helped the Air Force modify radar calibration procedures into what is now known as radar evaluation. And General Douglas http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biograph...7195/brigadier-general-clarence-j-douglas-jr/ here the squadron role might be a little more clear. Not probing Soviet airspace but rather testing the DEW line, e.g. “General Douglas…was executive officer/aircraft commander in the 109th Radar Calibration Squadron and 4713th Radar Evaluation Squadron stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., establishing radar defense sites and flying simulated attack sorties in B-25 and B-29 aircraft.”

    The “109th Radar Calibration Squadron” were playing the bad guys (Soviets) it seems probing our own defenses to insure they worked properly.

    Edit 27 July 2017: Additional comment and thought this topic. This squadron and its variants may also have been penetration testing (radar calibration) the Atlantic Texas Tower radar defense system, as well as come sectors of the DEW line within range.

    First a map showing the location of Griffiss AFB in central NY.
    Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY (Closed BRAC 1995).jpg

    DEW line radar station site location map (Wiki data source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_DEW_Line_Sites )
    DEW line radar site locations.jpg

    Texas Towers Atlantic Early Warning Radar System (not considered earlier) http://www.radomes.org/museum/documents/TexasTower.html
    TexasTowers Atlantic Radar Stations.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  8. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  9. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Back to this topic for a moment, still no official response from "Docs Friends or Restoration". However a friend who is the 9th BG historian has a friend Max Parkhurst an electrician in the Doc restoration effort who had this to say (not directly to me but I'll use quotes anyway, as it seems from Max but could have been altered)
    " at the time Doc came off the line all the planes had turrets and were built for combat. Doc was modified several times and just before retirement was a tow target plane. We intend to put the external parts of turrets on for looks but we could not haul paying passengers with turrets in the way. Restoration was always to be as correct as we could be and still afford to fly the air show circuit. Thus the gun sights and bomb sight. When on the ground at air shows we will set the gun sights in place in the blisters but remove them for flight so scanners have unobstructed view of wings. Doc is still a work in progress."
    Max Parkhurst can be found here related to Doc http://www.aviationpros.com/article/12118796/a-trip-to-the-docs-office

    "We" still await an official response from "Docs Friends" but I guess this unofficial response thru a third party is sufficient for now, at least for me. It seems to make sense looking at the history of this Superfort likely stripped of her guns at Bechtel-McCone Modification Center, Birmingham, AL early in 1945 but I do not have the IARC for this ship.
  10. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  11. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  12. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    A permanent Wichita home becomes reality for B-29 ‘Doc’ at the Eisenhower National Airport,

    news release

    The hanger early plan

    Earlier "Doc" hanger plan and news release with video

    Approximate location of new "Doc" hanger at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport
    'Doc' approx. area of new hanger,1800 S Airport Rd..jpg
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017

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