fdelano Posted July 27, 2011 Share Posted July 27, 2011 (edited) Cold War Fifteen, six-man crews on alert in bunker for two-week stint, playing chess, reading, bored. Klaxon sounds, jolting each to his feet, moving en masse to board their assigned truck. Speeding to the parked aircraft, signaling guard to get well clear as they scoot up the ladder. Helmets on first, then strapping into ejection seat, pilot signaling ground crew to fire engine one. Radar navigator and electronic warfare officer copy message from command post. Go code! Pilot releases brakes after confirming four digit code agrees with his own plastic sealed card that screams GO. Tower voice directs the line of fifteen B-52 bombers, two H-bombs lying cradled in each closed bomb bay. Takeoffs thirty seconds apart down the exhaust filled runway, radio silence eerily maintained for hours to the IP. On intercom only for duties as the plotted route is followed without any talk unnecessary to the task. Electronic warfare officer monitoring threat scopes, watching the blips for SAMs, surface to air missiles dubbed Fan Song. Descending to low level, the pilots draw thermal shields across windshields, reverting to trust in radar and cameras. First and only target inside the Moscow defense ring receives both weapons, ten seconds apart, aircraft climbing for its life. Gunner downs a MIG-21, and crew cheers. White missiles fly by and explode, not close enough for shards to enter the plane. Exiting Russian territory, still nothing on radios, the crew left to wonder What are we going back to? Franklin -- From 1950s until I retired in 1974, what could have been. Edited July 27, 2011 by fdelano Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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