42bmwv3.png (263×278)Loring Remembers – Desert Storm

At the start of the first Gulf War, the 42nd Bomb Wing was the only remaining unit dedicated to conventional operations (although others were transitioning to the conventional role).  42nd BW B-52G's and aircrew deployed to Diego Garcia with the 4300th BW(P), flew 960 missions (485 of them were combat missions), and dropped 12,588,766 lbs of bombs.  We thought it would be good to gather a small group of our fellow veterans who were stationed at Loring in the early 1990’s to share some of their memories of Loring's lead in Desert Storm from Diego Garcia.  The following members participated in this interview (interviews were conducted during 2010-2011):  

Note: You can click on each participant's name to view their profile in a new window

Montalvo, Al (1988-1992) – As part of Operation Desert Storm, Al was a RN on one of the very few B-52 low level combat missions ever done.

Tavares, Ernie (1988-1991) - Ernie was a navigator on S-01 and led the wave that returned to Diego on the first bombing mission during Desert Storm.


We performed this interview in a rather unique way.  Each person participating was emailed a question at a time, and they replied with their response as they were able to.  Though this is not an “official” history of Loring's role in Desert Storm, there is plenty of history revealed.  The participants have recounted the time as they remember it.  I have to thank everyone for their willing participation in creating a work of posterity for the Loring Remembers website.  We hope you enjoy the result of our project…

Raymond Ingham

Loring Remembers Webmaster                


Please tell us a little about yourself - where are you from and what circumstances led you into joining the Air Force.

 <Al Montalvo> - I grew up in Poughkeepsie NY, graduating from Arlington HS ('73) and Dutchess Community College ('75) before enlisting in the AF.  I left for Basic Training right after my honeymoon in Feb 76 and then went to Chanute AFB, IL for Weather Observer Training.  I was stationed at Eglin AFB doing Radiosonde (sending up weather balloons) until 1978.  In 1978 I went Palace Chase to Otis AFB ANG and attended UMASS Dartmouth.

In 1979, nearing graduation I applied for OTS, but was not selected.  My wife and I moved back NY where I became an accountant.  I remember riding the train to Grand Central reading a NY Times article about AF pilot training and how deeply I regretted not getting selected for OTS.  Just a few months after that day my old recruiter from MA called me and said I could go to OTS followed by Nav training.  I jumped at the chance heading back to Medina Annex in early 1981. My wife was much less excited, but supported me anyway. I may be a Reagan build up baby.

Why did I join the AF?  Well a couple of reasons.  First my older brother joined the AF during Viet Nam and served two tours in Nam as a C-141 jet mechanic.  I did go to the other service recruiters.  The Marine recruiter "Gunny" simply scared the hell out of me.  The Army recruiter had a window air conditioning unit right behind him so I didn't hear much of what he had to say.  The AF recruiter was a really cool guy and had the nicest office. More seriously, I grew up in a family that expected me to serve my country. My dad was in the Army in WWII and I've already mentioned my brother.  M uncles were in the Army and Marines.  When my family discussed my future around the dinner table the only question about serving in the military was whether it came before or after college.  It was our patriotic duty.

<Ernie Tavares>I joined the AF via ROTC and needed a way to pay for college. I’d always wanted to be in the AF, and that seemed like a natural way to go.  Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aero U in 1986 with a BS in Aero Engineering.  After being selected for Navigator school, I did the normal training at Castle AFB, attending Nav School ’86-’87 and B-52 CCTS in ’87-’88.  Afterwards I received my first choice to go to Loring since it was a conventional only wing.  Seemed like a really neat challenge.  I in-processed the same time as Col Burke, the Wing Commander.