Tag Archives: Korean War

Warbirds – B-45 Tornado

Welcome to the latest edition of Warbirds here at The Clockwork Conservative.  Today we’ll be showcasing (and celebrating the first flight of) America’s first strategic jet bomber – the B-45 Tornado.

Development on this sleek aircraft began when the War Department grew increasingly concerned over long-range, high-speed German bombers like the Arado Ar 234.  The ability to outrun conventional fighter aircraft could give an enemy to strike with impunity within the jet’s range.

The design proposal put forward by North American Aviation won in mid-1944.  In September of that year, construction began on the first 3 prototypes.  To fulfill the imagined bombing, reconnaissance, and nuclear weapon delivery roles, the Tornado featured a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/navigator, and tail gunner crew configuration.  Four jet engines (sometimes augmented with rocket assisted launch equipment) allowed for a payload of 22,000 lbs.  Her initial 1000 mile range was augmented by the inclusion of in-flight refueling capacity.  The B-45 was the world’s first operational jet bomber to perform an inflight refueling.

The B-45’s development proceeded rapidly and the U.S. Army Air Force issued a preliminary contract with an eye towards fielding 5 light bomb groups and another 3 reconnaissance groups.  With the heating up of the Cold War, pressure to aviation technology was tremendous.  By the time that the initial Tornados were delivered, plans for its use were already being scaled back in favor of even more advanced jets.  Only 143 B-45 variants were ever produced.

With the opening of the Korean War, the B-45 finally got the opportunity to prove her value.  In both bombing and reconnaissance roles, the Tornado performed yeoman’s work.  Daylight bombing runs at altitude were the rule until an RB-45 was nearly lost to MiG-15 fighter jet in 1952.  After that, the remaining deployed aircraft were converted for nighttime operations.

In 1952, with Cold War tensions rising, many of the other B-45’s were forward positioned at bases in the United Kingdom.  However, before the transatlantic flight to Sculthorpe, the Tornados were upgraded to be capable of deploying the new compact generation of nuclear weapon.  The threat of their payloads and proximity to the Soviet bloc countries added a significant deterrent.  Several of the RB-45C reconnaissance variant were seconded to the Royal Air Force so that they could perform clandestine intelligence gathering flights over communist territory when such missions by American forces were prohibited by the President.  This value of this type of successful intelligence gathering mission would lead to the development of the U-2 and later the SR-71 Blackbird.

Unfortunately, with advent of bigger, faster, and more capable jet bombers, the days of the B-45 were numbered.  By 1958, the last U.S.A.F. B-45’s were withdrawn from service and R.A.F. aircraft were soon to follow.  The last few Tornados served as trainers and later test platforms through the early 1970’s.

Lost and Found – January 4th Edition

What to remember about January 4th…

  • 1847  Texas Rangers order 1000 .44 revolvers from Samuel Colt for use in Mexican-American War; Colt Firearms born
  • 1865  New York Stock Exchange moves into its 1st permanent home at 10–12 Broad Street in New York City
  • 1884  Fabian Society founded in London; socialist society promoting internationalism, eugenics, and infiltration of governments
  • 1896  Utah is admitted to the Union as the 46th state
  • 1951  Communist forces of China and North Korea capture Seoul
  • 1965 President Lyndon Johnson unveils his plan for a Great Society at State of the Union address
  • 1974  President Nixon refuses to turn over materials subpoenaed by Senate committee investigating Watergate
  • 1995  104th Congress begins when Newt Gingrich becomes Speaker; 1st Republican Congress since Eisenhower
  • 1999  Resulting from 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European union, the Euro debuts as universal currency in 11 nations
  • 2004  NASA’s MER-A Spirit rover explorer lands on Mars
  • 2007  110th Congress elects Nancy Pelosi (D – Ca) as the 1st female Speaker of the House

colt model 1847 walker revolver

Lost and Found – December 20th Edition

What to remember about December 20th…

  • 1783  Virginia cedes western territory reaching as far as Mississippi River
  • 1803  French peacefully surrender New Orleans to America as part of Louisiana Purchase
  • 1946  Classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life is released in New York; Frank Capra movie stars James Stewart and Donna Reed
  • 1957  Elvis Presley receives his draft notice during the Korean War; he served in West Germany in a tank battalion
  • 1963 For the 1st time in 2 years East Germany allows westerners to enter on one-day passes through the Berlin Wall
  • 1989  After the murder of a U.S. Marine by Panamanian police December 16th, American forces invade in Operation Just Cause
  • 2005  US District Court rules against mandating teaching of “intelligent design” in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

Lost and Found – December 16th Edition

What to remember about December 16th…

  • 1773  Outraged at British tax policy, Samuel Adams and 60 members of the Sons of Liberty dump tea cargoes of 3 ships into harbor; 1st Boston Tea Party
  • 1811  Estimated 8.6 magnitude earthquake rocks New Madrid fault in Missouri; landscape dramatically altered and Mississippi River flows backwards in places
  • 1944  Massive German counter-attack surprises Allied troops in Belgium; Battle of the Bulge begins
  • 1950  President Truman declares state of emergency following Chinese entry into Korean War with hundreds of thousands of troops
  • 1989  1st of 4 pipe bombs sent by Walter LeRoy Moody arrives; Federal Judge Robert Vance killed instantly
  • 1998  President Clinton orders airstrikes against Iraq for failing to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors; political observers see attacks as an attempt to distract public from ongoing impeachment proceedings; see movie Wag the Dog

Lost and Found – November 26th Edition

What to remember about November 26th…

    • 1776  Peyton Randolph, 1st president of the Continental Congress, is laid to rest at College of William and Mary
    • 1863  1st annual Thanksgiving Day is celebrated; established by President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving
    • 1922 British archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon are first to enter Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in over 3000 years
    • 1942  Oscar-winning World War II film Casablanca opens in New York City; stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
    • 1950  Hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops counter-attack in support of North Korean allies; Korean War enters new phase
    • 1968  Instead of returning after his last mission, Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming diverts and rescues Army Green Berets pinned down by heavy fire; his actions are later recognized with the presentation of the Medal of Honor
    • 1998  Wrestling star Hulk Hogan announces he is retiring and will run for President in 2000; later revealed as publicity stunt
    • 2008  Pakistani Islamist terrorists launch 10 coordinated bombings and shootings in Mumbai, India; 164 killed and 300 wounded

king-tut-death-mask

Lost and Found – November 8th Edition

What to remember about November 8th…

    • 1889  Montana is admitted as 41st state in the Union
    • 1900  American journalist and author Margaret Mitchell is born in Atlanta, Georgia; most famous for “Gone With The Wind
    • 1923  Adolf Hitler attempts to seize power for the 1st time with Beer Hall Putsch in Munich; he will spend 5 years in prison
    • 1939  Hitler survives assassination attempt; blames British spies
    • 1942  Allied forces land in North Africa for Operation Torch
    • 1950  American pilot Lt. Russell J. Brown shoots down 2 North Korean MiG-15 fighters; first jet-to-jet dogfight in history
    • 1965  Army medic Lawrence Joel earns Medal of Honor for aiding his comrades though he had been wounded twice himself
    • 1966  Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California
    • 1974  Serial killer Ted Bundy botches kidnapping of Carol DaRonch in Utah; later he is arrested for attack but escapes from jail
    • 2000  Statewide recount begins in Florida to decide 2000 U.S. presidential election
    • UPDATE:  2016  Donald John Trump (R) defeats Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) becoming the 45th President of the United States

hillary-clinton-trump

Lost and Found – July 27th Edition

What to remember about July 27th…

  • 1775  Benjamin Rush begins his term as the 1st Surgeon General of the Continental Army
  • 1929  Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War is signed by 53 countries; known as Geneva Convention
  • 1938  American author and game designer Ernest Gary Gygax is born in Chicago (d. 2008); co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons
  • 1940  The first Bugs Bunny cartoon “A Wild Hare” is released
  • 1953 Armistice is signed ending the Korean War, memorial in Washington D.C. dedicated on same day in 1995
  • 1974  U.S. House of Representatives begins impeachment proceedings against President Nixon
  • 1981  6-year-old Adam Walsh is abducted and killed; his father John Walsh becomes victims rights advocate and later hosts America’s Most Wanted television show
  • 1996  Eric Robert Rudolph sets off a bomb at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2003  American actor and comedian Bob Hope dies at 100 (b. 1903)
  • 2004  Barack Hussein Obama give keynote address at Democratic National Convention; launches national political career

Lost and Found – June 27th Edition

What to remember about June 27th…

  • 1829  James Smithson dies leaving his estate to the United States of America; leads to establishment of the Smithsonian Institution
  • 1844  Founder and leader of the Mormon religion Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother Hyrum are murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois
  • 1864  Battle of Kennesaw Mountain; Union forces defeated but Confederate forces must withdraw towards Atlanta once more
  • 1880  Author/activist/lecturer Hellen Keller born in Alabama
  • 1923  American aviators Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter successfully complete 1st aerial refueling of a plane
  • 1927  Bob “Captain Kangaroo” Keeshan born in Lynbrook, New York
  • 1942  FBI arrests the last of 8 Nazi saboteurs sent to the U.S.
  • 1950  President Truman announces U.S. forces will move in support of a U.N. resolution to aid South Korea repel invasion by North Korea
  • 1973  John Dean tells Senate Watergate Committee about the “enemies” lists kept by the Nixon White House
  • 2005  Serial killer Dennis Rader pleads guilty and confesses to 10 murders in the “BTK” case; sentence is 175 years without parole

Lost and Found – June 25th Edition

What to remember about June 25th…

  • 1788  Virginia becomes 10th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution
  • 1868  Florida conditionally re-admitted to the United States
  • 1876  Battle of Little Bighorn;   Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat Custer led forces in Montana
  • 1900  English Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten is born
  • 1910  Congress passes the Mann Act; makes it illegal to transport any girl or woman across state lines for “any immoral purpose”
  • 1942  Lt. Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower takes command of U.S. forces in Europe; later becomes commander of all allied forces for D-Day
  • 1950  North Korean Peoples (KPA) army crosses the 38th parallel and invades South Korea; Korean War begins
  • 1991  Slovenia and Croatia both declare their independence and secede from the formerly Soviet controlled Yugoslavia
  • 1993  Kim Campbell sworn in as 1st female Canadian prime minister
  • 1996  Islamic terrorists from Hezbollah detonate truck bomb outside barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; 19 killed and 372 injured
  • 2006  Hamas terrorists kidnap Israeli Defense Force Corporal Gilad Shalit near Gaza border; held hostage until October 18, 2011
  • 2009  Singer Michael Jackson dies at age 50 in Los Angeles

Remembering Custer’s Last Stand – Encyclopedia Britannica

Lost and Found – June 18th Edition

What to remember about June 18th…

  • 1778  British troops abandon their almost nine month occupation of Philadelphia after French entry into war made city indefensible
  • 1798  President John Adams signs Naturalization act – part of the Alien and Sedition Acts; so controversial that Adams never enforces
  • 1812  President James Madison signs Declaration of War passed by Congress, War of 1812 with Britain begins
  • 1815  Wellington defeats Napoleon at Waterloo; forces his final abdication
  • 1873  Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for voting in 1872 Presidential election; she vows to and never does pay the fine
  • 1940  Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich to discuss plans and the late entry of Italy into the war; Mussolini leaves berated and dissatisfied
  • 1953  8 day struggle to hold Outpost Harry ends; 4 American and 1 Greek infantry companies hold off over 13,000 Chinese troops
  • 1965  Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 bombers are used in Vietnam for 1st time; Operation Arc Light is under way
  • 1981  1st flight of Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter
  • 1983  1st female American Astronaut – Dr. Sally K. Ride – is launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-7)
  • 2009  NASA launches Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create 3D map of the lunar surface, identify potential resources and landing sites