John Achor's Memoir Corner    
= The Iron Pumpkin =

Water color pumpkin

The Iron Pumpkin

I call my story “The Iron Pumpkin.” It is about Rivet Ball, an RC-135S Strategic Air Command one-of-a-kind, four-engine reconnaissance bird and her last flight, which ended on 13 January 1969. Airplanes and forty-foot cliffs do not go well together, but ALL EIGHTEEN WALKED AWAY.

At the base infirmary, a major burst onto the scene asking: "Did you all get my call that the last 2,000 feet of the runway were not clear?" My Nav 2 responded, "What difference did it make, by that time we had turned into a pumpkin." The term stuck.
The Ball afterwards

In "The Iron Pumpkin," I concentrate on her last flight when we encountered the "we-bitching" hour ― just after midnight. My description was, “With only thirty minutes of that day having passed into history, we all lived through the longest few seconds of our lives.”

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