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There are many unique things about Loring...Here are some of them!

Some people assigned to Loring

Col. Vance H. Marchbank Jr., one of the first black flight surgeons in the Army and the first in the Air Force, worked to ensure the astronaut's safe journey into space.  He was assigned to Loring as Hospital Commander after a 1955 tour in Okinawa.  (Ref:  http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=7556)

Lt. Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. is Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, and Commander, 5th Air Force, Yokota Air Base, Japan.  He was stationed at Loring February 1980 - January 1984, B-52G co-pilot and aircraft commander, 69th Bombardment Squadron.

Brigadier General Dean J. Despinoy is the commander of the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.  He was at Loring June 1979 - September 1982, Aircraft Commander, 407th Air Refueling Squadron.

Chief Master Sgt. Ronald E. McCarthy is the Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.  He was at Loring December 1981 - June 1983, Security Specialist, 42d Security Police Squadron.

Colonel Earl S. "Stan" Chase is Vice Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.  He was stationed at Loring July 1990 - December 1994, Flight Commander, Chief of Training and Commander, 42nd Operations Squadron. (ref:  http://www.rs.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=9298)

Colonel Lenny J. Richoux is Vice Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan. He was stationed at Loring May 1992 - October 1993, KC-135R Pilot, 42nd Air Refueling Squadron. 

Charles Parks serves as the USSTRATCOM Directorate of Capability and Resource Integration (J8) liason to US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM).  He has over 28 years of experience at all levels to include White House Programs and Operations, Joint Staff, Sec of the AF, Major Commands, and operational wings.  He was assigned to Loring 1988-1993, 69th Bomb Squadron, as Aircraft Commander, Safety Officer, and Flight Instructor.  

TERRY J. HART is a former NASA astronaut who flew on STS 41-C, during which the crew successfully deployed the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF).  He flew F-106 intercepters at Loring AFB between 1970 and 1973.

Colonel Marcus "Shaka" Boyd is Commander, Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS), Orlando, Florida. AFAMS is the Air Force's top-level modeling and simulation (M&S) policy implementation, integration, and support agency.  He was stationed at Loring June 1990-September 1993, as a B-52G EWO instructor and evaluator, 69th Bomb Squadron.

Herbert E. Carter, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force, retired is a veteran fighter pilot and was a member of the original cadre of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee's Airmen). He flew combat missions during the North African, Sicilian, Italian and European campaigns of World War II. During an 18 months' combat tour, he flew 77 operational missions against the German and Italian Air Forces. His unit, the 99th Fighter Squadron and other squadrons of the 332nd Fighter Group compiled an outstanding record of performance in tactical air and ground support of Allied Armies, including destroying 17 German aircraft over Anzio Beach during the Allied Forces invasion of Northern Italy.  He was Chief of Maintenance 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Loring AFB Maine 1963-65.

Brigadier General John H. Bubar is the assistant adjutant general for air, Headquarters Maine Air National Guard.  After undergraduate pilot training in 1970, he flew KC-135s at Loring Air Force Base, Maine.

Chief Master Sergeant Karen L. Thomas is the Services Chief Enlisted Manager (CEM) and the Command Food Service Branch Chief, HQ United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE).  She was assigned at Loring 1986-1991, Alert Dining Facility Manager. (ref: http://www.usafeservices.org/index.php?tag=karenthomasbio)

Brig. General Martin T. "Tom" Smoot, Jr. is the Commandant, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk Va.  He was assigned to Loring 1980-1982 as personnel officer, 42nd Bomb Wing.

Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder (Ret) was Commander, 8th Air Force, Air Combat Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Joint Functional Component Commander for Space and Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.  He was assigned to Loring April 1984 - August 1985, B-52G flight commander, later, instructor pilot, 69th Bombardment Squadron, Loring AFB, Maine.  Also assigned August 1985 - August 1986, Chief, B-52 Standardization and Evaluation Branch, later, Chief, 42nd Bombardment Wing, Standardization and Evaluation Division, Loring AFB, Maine

Chief Master Sergeant Marshall N. Adkins is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 130th Airlift Wing, Charleston, WV.  He was stationed at Loring AFB April 1973 - March 1974, Administrative specialist, 42nd Supply Squadron.

Col. Samuel H. Ramsay, III is Vice Commander, 151st Air Refueling Wing, Utah Air National Guard, Salt Lake City, Utah.  He was stationed at Loring AFB November 1985 - September 1991, as a B-52G pilot, aircraft commander, instructor pilot, standardization/evaluation pilot, 69th Bombardment Squadron
Colonel Scott F. Smith is commander of the 305th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.   He  was stationed at Loring AFB July 1988 - April 1991, as an Instructor Navigator, 42nd Air Refueling Squadron

COLONEL BRIAN T. KELLY is the Director of Staff, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.  He was assigned Jun 1986 - May 1989, instructor pilot and Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 407th Air Refueling Squadron, Loring AFB, Maine (http://www.acc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?bioID=9971)

Chief Master Sergeant Michael A. Klausutis is the Command Chief Master Sergeant, 919th Special Operations Wing, Eglin Air Force Base Field 3 (Duke Field), Fla.  He was stationed at Loring AFB in 1988 as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist.

Chief Master Sergeant James B. Lucas is the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. Pavelko, 7 Sep 1993-30 Sep 1994.  From March 1984 - December 1988, he was stationed at Loring AFB as a Liquid Fuels Maintenance Technician, 42d Civil Engineer Squadron.

Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew is Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.  He was stationed at Loring from 1984 to 1989 as Aircraft Commander (KC-135), Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander (http://www.jcs.mil/biography.aspx?ID=59)

Thomas N. Barnes - fourth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (1973), assigned to Loring as Bomber Crew Chief from 1958-1965.  (http://www.defense.gov/specials/africanAm2003/barnes.html)

Brigadier General Brian S. Gunderson was chief of the Office of Air Force History, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.  He was stationed at Loring from 1953 to 1954 as War Plans Officer. (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/bsgunderson.htm)

Major Garth A Wright - recipient of the Air Force Cross for heroic actions in defense of Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam.  Stationed at Loring from 1964-1968 (view his profile HERE)

James Harrison, MAJ, USAF (Ret) is an alumni of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen who went on to complete a career in the Air Force.  His final Air Force assignment was flying B-52s out of Loring AFB, ME. It was during a B-52 “Chrome Dome” mission skirting the Soviet periphery that he was intercepted by a MIG 17—an incident Jim fondly recalls. When the MIG came under his left wing and took position close aboard, the pilot took off his oxygen mask and grinned. “So I whipped off my mask and grinned back. When he saw that big black face smiling at him, he split!” (ref "The Order of the Daedalians")

Commanders by Year Assigned

Dates Assigned Commander  26 Feb 1953 Col Frederick R. Ramputi  4 Apr 1953  Col Bertram C. Harrison  28 Feb 1954  Col William B. Campbell  (by 16) Mar 1954  Brig Gen Bertram C. Harrison  8 Oct 1954  Col Jerome Tarter  4 May 1956  Col Don W. Bailey  14 May 1956  Col Woodrow P. Swancutt  1 Jun 1956  Col Donald E. Hillman  18 Jan 1958  Brig Gen William K. Martin  11 Jun 1958  Col Don W. Bailey  23 Jun 1958  Col Selmon W. Wells  24 Nov 1958  Col John W. Gaff Jr.  25 May 1960  Col Walter V. Gresham Jr.  31 May 1960  Col William H. Reddell  25 Jul 1963  Col Robert J. Nolan  10 Jul 1964  Col Clifton Pyle  11 Jul 1966  Col William M. Shy  13 Jul 1968  Col Eugene L. Hudson  17 Apr 1970  Col James E. Maxwell  12 Jan 1971  Col John R. Kelly Jr.  13 Feb 1972  Col Robert J. Bogan  23 Mar 1972  Col James H. McGrath  9 Jun 1972  Col Ruger W. Winchester  8 Dec 1972  Col James H. McGrath  13 Oct 1973  Col Grady L. Friday  12 Sep 1974  Col Robert E. Chapman  15 Nov 1975  Col Larry S. DeVall  11 Apr 1978 (temporary)  Col Marion F. Tidwell  19 May 1978  Col Larry S. DeVall  25 Aug 1978  Col Marion F. Tidwell  6 Jun 1979  Col Robert B. Strain  22 Jul 1980  Col Ellie G. Shuler Jr.  3 Sep 1981  Col Donald L. Marks  19 Aug 1982  Col Orthus K. Lewis Jr.  12 Oct 1983  Col Stanley O. Smith  4 Mar 1985  Col John T. Shepard  21 Apr 1986  Col Thomas C. O'Malley  9 Jun 1988  Col Larry C. Hammack  18 Sep 1989  Col Terry A. Burke  20 May 1991  Col Gary N. Schneider  7 Sep 1993-30 Sep 1994.  Col Robert J. Pavelko

The First and the last
The first Boeing B-52C Stratofortress assigned to the wing arrived at Loring on 16 June 1956.  The last B-52G left Loring AFB on 16 November 1993, heading to the AMARC at Davis-Monthan, AZ. On 18 January 1955, the 42d Air Refueling Squadron joined the wing. It flew propeller- driven KC-97G tankers.  The  last KC-135 tanker left Loring on 2 March 1994.  Loring closed on 30 September, 1994. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/agency/42bw.htm)

LeMay visits Loring

General Curtis LeMay visited Loring on 08 Feb 1953 to review progress of the base facilities.  He declared the wing ready for assignment and on 15 Feb 1953, command of the Limestone facility was transferred from USACE to SAC.  On 25 Feb 1953, Loring was operational as the 42d Bomb Wing (Heavy)

The bomber origins of the 42d Air Refueling Squadron

The 42d Air Refueling Squadron started out as a B-17 operational training unit in WWII until Oct 1943, and as a B-24 aircrew replacement training unit until 1 Apr 1944.  It was then activated in Feb 1955 as an air refueling squadron, assigned to the 42d Bomb Wing, Heavy, Loring AFB, Maine.  They deployed as a unit 4 times, twice to Thule AB, Greenland, once to North Africa, and once to Labrador. (ref:  USAF Lineage and Honors History)

The Delta Dart chases the Lancer

During the development of the B-1B Bomber, a dedicated chase plane was needed.  Several F-106 aircraft were recruited, and some of these were formerly assigned to the 27 FIS at Loring AFB.  Below are pictured the aircraft after assignment to the B-1B chase program, with their new tail colors.  Sadly, all three of the Loring aircraft were eventually converted to drones and shot down.  You can view everything you ever wanted to know about the F-106 aircraft at http://www.f-106deltadart.com/b1b_chase.htm

59-0149 of Loring AFB heritage

57-2535 of Loring AFB Heritage

58-0795 of Loring AFB Heritage

Loring's Armed Forces Radio and Television Service 

Television for the military was a result of tests done at Loring AFB.  The impetus to introduce television, in fact, came from the need to address serious morale problems in the Strategic Air Command. Armed Forces Television (AFT) got its start at Limestone Air Force Base, Maine, in 1953, and after much success in helping to reduce AWOLs, court martials, and the divorce rate at this military installation, AFT was officially joined with the AFRS in 1954 to become the AFRTS--the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. As a result of successful tests of the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) carried out at Limestone AFB (later Loring AFB) in 1953, including an experimental television broadcase on Christmas day 1953, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) would be established.  Thus, Loring AFB contributed to the decision to create the medium everyone who has been overseas has experienced.

Operation Quick Kick in Time Magazine

1956 Time Magazine story on the 26-hr flight from Loring AFB to demonstrate that the B-52 could reach the Soviet Union. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,808628,00.html)

President Eisenhower stops at Loring on the way to Paris (1957)

Dec 14, 1957 - 13 (UY>-Clear, bitter cold weather greeted President Eisenhower as he stepped off the Columbine III at Loring Air Force Base. An honor guard greeted him as he climbed down to the airfield, where his plane had stopped to refuel for the rest of the flight to.. Paris. ... (ref New York Times Article)

#1 in weapons and fuel

Loring had by far the largest weapons storage capacity in Strategic Air Command.  Weapons storage capacity was 10,247,882 NEW (Net Explosive Weight) — the highest in all of SAC. Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, which had the second highest weapons storage capacity, had less than 28% of Loring AFB's weapons storage capacity. Loring AFB ranksed first in all of SAC in fuel storage capacity (9,193,374 gallons). The nearest SAC base to Loring AFB, Plattsburgh AFB, had less than 35% of Loring AFB's fuel storage capacity.  (ref:  Various sources)

Closest to the fight

Loring  was activated in 1953, as the closest base in the continental United States to the Soviet Union east of the Urals, to Europe and to the Middle East. Because of this ideal location, throughout the Cold War it served primarily as a base for strategic bombers, and was the second largest air force base in the country during its time in service.  (ref:  various)

First successful B-52 Belly-landing

In 1958, a B-52 from Loring AFB made a successful "gear-up" emergency landing, the first in history for the bomber. (see the newsclipping at http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=58565)


Sep 15, 1958 - Strategic Air Command's 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine, conducted a B-52 airborne alert test, named Head Start I, which lasted through Dec. 15.  The test involved launching nuclear-armed B-52 aircraft every 6 hours in an exercise which would eventually lead to implementation of the Airborne Alert Program, or "Chrome Dome" as it was known.  You can view a two-part AF Documentary on Loring's Head Start exercise under Multimedia....

Operation "Shock Wave III"

In January 1963, The 482nd FIS (from Seymour Johnson AFB) tested their rapid mobility in the manner of the Cuban Missile Crisis by rapidly deploying 21 F-102 Delta Daggers to Loring AFB.  5 transport aircraft delivered 65 ground support personnel, and by working around the clock (in extreme adverse conditions for them), had all 21 fighters prepped for missions the following day.  The F-102's flew missions from Loring and landed at 3 different bases, before returning to Seymour Johnson... See ref for photo (ref:  http://www.gcwillick.com/482ndFIS/photos/LoringJan63.html)

Spin Satellites

The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Systems Group equips worldwide strategic and tactical forces with weather and space environmental data for planning and executing aerospace, ground and naval operations. 
The DMSP program began in the mid 60's as a highly classified operation. Using a 90-pound, spin-stabilized satellite equipped with a shutter-style "TV" camera, these "Pioneers in Space" set out to collect the Earth's meteorological data for the DOD. These photos were relayed to the Earth and received by two Command/Readout Stations established at retired Nike Missile sites located near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington and Loring Air Force Base, Maine. rom these sites, the photos were sent to Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC), now Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Here technicians would take the electronic data displayed on an oscilloscope and transform these electronic signals into Polaroid photographs. These snapshots would then be pieced together forming a mosaic representing the weather that was observed from the orbiting satellites. Meteorologists could then provide flight crews and other commanders with up-to-date observations for their particular missions.

First Short Range Attack Missile's

Sept. 15, 1972 Boeing AGM-69A Short-Range Attack Missiles, or SRAMs, become operational on B-52s with the 42nd Bomb Wing at Loring Air Force Base, Maine.  This was the first base to receive the weapons.   On Jun 15, 1972 A 42nd Bombardment Wing B-52G crew from Loring AFB, Maine, launched the first operational short range attack missile at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.(ref:  B-52 50th Ann History, Boeing)


On the night of Dec. 20, 1972, B-52G S/N 57-6481, assigned Call Sign "BRASS 02," was flying a Linebacker II mission to North Vietnam from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, with a crew from Loring Air Force Base, Maine. Shortly after releasing its bombs on Hanoi railroad yards, BRASS 02 was hit by two SAMs and mortally wounded. 

For the next 40 minutes, the pilot was able to control the plane as he headed it southwestward toward Thailand, but slowly the crippled aircraft lost altitude. When the plane had descended to 10,000 feet, and with no hope of a successful landing at night, the six men onboard ejected near Nakhom Phanom Royal Thai Air Base. All six escaped with their lives and following their parachute landings, helicopters were sent out to locate and retrieve them. 

Capt. Silverior A. Barroqueir, was the Electronic Warfare Officer on BRASS 02 and donated the items pictured.

President Nixon stops by (1974)

Jul 4, 1974 - Painters swarmed all over Loring Air Force Base the last few days, civilians with rollers covering every surface in sight and long-haired young men touching up the faded signs that warn of guard dogs patrolling the perimeters of this big Strategic Air Command outpost plopped down here.  All this hullabaloo was for the visit by President Nixon... (Ref:  New York Times article)

The official UFO story

In 1975, a "UFO" buzzed the WSA over a few nights.  Internet lore has stamped this as a true UFO conspiracy involving numerous other bases.  The DOD released a declassified report on the incident, which you can read about in our Reading Room

(Note: One of our profiles has his own take on what happened, read about it at Beers, Arthur (1970-1976)

Goodbye to the Hound Dog

Jun 15, 1978 - Strategic Air Command demilitarized and removed the last Hound Dog missiles from its inventory at the 42nd BMW, Loring AFB, Maine (ref:  AF Military History Milestones)
Webmaster note:  I helped in demiling the last 4 Hound Dog's that are referenced here.  We did it in the winter (hangar floor on flight line was covered in ice), and even had a controversy when we tried to keep "souveniers" of the missiles.  Look for my story on this in "Rays Ramblings" soon...

How to win the MacKay Trophy

Sep 5, 1983 - Capt. Robert J. Goodman and his KC-135 crewmembers Capt. Michael R. Clover, Lt. Karol R. Wojckoski and Staff Sgt. Douglas D. Simmons from Loring AFB, Maine, refueled a group of F-4E's crossing the North Atlantic. When an F-4 lost power in an engine and diverted to Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, 500 miles away, Capt. Goodman took up escort duty. Later, the F-4 pilot shut down that engine and reduced power in the other, which forced him to lose altitude, airspeed, and jettison his centerline tank. Through four, interrupted refuelings and extreme peril as the fighter dropped to 2,000 feet, the KC-135 towed or escorted the fighter to Gander. For his meritorious flight, Capt. Goodman and his crew received the Mackay Trophy.  (ref:  AF Military History Milestones)

The first Harpoons

Oct 6, 1983 - The 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine, reached a limited operational capability with B-52Gs and the AGM-84 Harpoon and shipping missile. The first flight tests with the Harpoon took place on March 15-28 on the Pacific Missile Test Range.  (ref:  AF Military History Milestones)

42d CES wins the Curtin Plaque Award*

In 1982, the 42nd CES was recognized by the Society of American Military Engineers as one of two outstanding CE squadrons in the country. (http://www.same.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3590)
*Curtin Plaque is a plaque named in honor of Maj. Gen. Robert H. Curtin, U.S. Air Force. Presented for the most outstanding during the calendar year. This plaque was first awarded for 1966.

Best in Snow and Ice Control 1983

Loring AFB was selected in 1983 as the best military airport for excellence in snow and ice control, and received the Balchen/Post Award, sponsored by the American Airport Executives Organization (http://www.necaaae.org/dfiles/BALCHENH.pdf)

First to Spain

Oct 27, 1983 - Three B-52Gs deployed from the 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine to Moron AB, Spain, for exercises Eternal Triangle and Crisex. This marked the first such use of a Spanish base for the Air Force. On Oct. 27-28, the B-52s participated in Eternal Triangle, a NATO exercise, and from Oct. 31 through Nov. 8 in Crisex, a joint U.S.-Spanish exercise. In both, the B-52s flew high and low altitude bombing sea search, electronic countermeasures and fighter-intercept exercises. (ref:  AF Military History Milestones)

Only fully conventional wing in first Gulf War

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. (http://books.google.com/books?id=9rVZ8SAnYEQC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=B-52+"State+of+Maine"&source=bl&ots=VmygMrYFTr&sig=VbZCpuX1f3buU82WwRRwmulqn70&hl=en&ei=K5uZS_6EN8SXtgeTlZ2wCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=B-52%20%22State%20of%20Maine%22&f=false)

Tuskegee Airman flies Chrome Dome

James Harrison, MAJ, USAF (Ret) is an alumni of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen who went on to complete a career in the Air Force.  At the end of WWII, Jim Harrison faced a choice: release from active duty or become an Army Combat Engineer. He chose the latter, only to be recalled as a pilot when the Air Force became an independent service.  His final Air Force assignment was flying B-52s out of Loring AFB, ME. It was during a B-52 “Chrome Dome” mission skirting the Soviet periphery that he was intercepted by a MIG 17—an incident Jim fondly recalls. When the MIG came under his left wing and took position close aboard, the pilot took off his oxygen mask and grinned. “So I whipped off my mask and grinned back. When he saw that big black face smiling at him, he split!” (ref "The Order of the Daedalians")

From F-106 to F-22

The first active-duty Squadron in the world to fly the F-22 aircraft, it flew F-106 intercepter's at Loring Air Force Base from 1959-1971 (Ref:  History of the 27th Fighter Squadron)

Cold Warrior Preservation

After the base closure in 1994, an inquiry was made by the Air Force to determine what, if any, buildings at Loring could be considered historical artifacts of the Cold War.   As a result, Building 8250 (the Arch Hangar), Bldg. 8280 (Double Cantilever Hanger), Weapons Storage Area, and Building 8970 (Alert Facility) were determined eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. (Ref: http://www.afcee.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070828-105.pdf)

(War Games 1983) Colonel, this is Loring Air Force Base. The senior controller isn't here right now



WarGames cover
Time          Phrase

01:32:40   Elmendorf Air Force Base Operations. Lieutenant Colonel Bowers. 
 319th Bomb Wing Operations. Colonel Chase. 
 Colonel, this is Loring Air Force Base. The senior controller isn't here right now. 
 That's all right. Who are you? 
 Sir, this is Airman Dougherty, sir.