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B-52 Crew Compliment  
User currently offlineBlackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 23553 times:

How many crew are on the B-52, and how many are officers, and how many if applicable are enlisted?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 23559 times:

There are 5 crew members, Pilot, Copilot, Radar Navigator (Bombardier), Navigator and Electronic Warfare Officer

They used to have six when they had a tailgunner, but that was removed when they made it remotely controlled, then they took the gun out all together.

I believe all bomber crew members are officers/warrant officers.


User currently offlineGunships From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 574 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 23547 times:

All of the B-52 crew members are commissioned officers. (The USAF does not have warrant officers among it's ranks.)
The tail gunner position used to be an enlisted position until, as BladeLWS correctly states, the manned gunner position was phased out.

[Edited 2006-12-23 04:24:14]

User currently offlineBlackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 23468 times:

When was the tail-gunner removed? What model?

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 23461 times:
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Quoting Blackbird (Reply 3):
When was the tail-gunner removed? What model?

All B-52 models had a tail gunner. In all models thru the G he sat in the tail, ala B-29, B-17, etc. In the H the tail guns were remotely fired and the tail gunner moved up front. I don't recall when the tail guns were removed altogether, my guess would be early '90s.



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User currently offlineCitation501SP From United States of America, joined May 2000, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 23446 times:

THe G model was also a remote controled turret. The G retained the Quad 50 setup while the H used a 20mm gatling gun. Both G and H the Gunner station was in the main crew area. The position was Phased out in the early 90's. The guns remained in place, for a few years, then completely removed.

501sp



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User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days ago) and read 23343 times:

Quoting Gunships (Reply 2):
The USAF does not have warrant officers among it's ranks.

When did they do away with that?

The father of my room mate in flight training was a CWO3 in the Air Force. I think he would have retired some time in the 1970s.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 days ago) and read 23341 times:
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Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
When did they do away with that?

The Air Force had stopped recruiting warrants by the time I went on active duty in 1982. I'm retired now and I don't recall ever even seeing one though I understand the last one did not retire until the late 90s early 2000s.



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User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 23320 times:

I heard they were supposed to bring it back sometime, just scuttlebutt though.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineBlackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 23275 times:

So what rating/ranking were the tail-gunners on the B-52D's?

Blackbird


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5328 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 23233 times:

Quoting Citation501SP (Reply 5):
The position was Phased out in the early 90's.

1991, to be exact.



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User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 23196 times:

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 9):
So what rating/ranking were the tail-gunners on the B-52D's?

They wore enlisted aircrew wings and could be E-1 to E-9

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineGunships From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 574 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 23185 times:

"The Air Force discontinued its warrant officer program in 1959 following a comprehensive review of warrant officer utilization as technicians and mid-level managers. They determined that structure, training and retention needs were best served by eliminating their warrant officer program. There were approximately 4,500 Air Force warrant officer authorizations when this decision was made. "

"The last Air Force Warrant Officer was a reservist who was promoted to CW5 and retired in August 1992. This was the only Air Force Warrant Officer promoted to this grade."

Source - usawoa.org/woheritage/WO_Prog_Other_Svc.htm#usaf


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12065 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 23164 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
The father of my room mate in flight training was a CWO3 in the Air Force. I think he would have retired some time in the 1970s.

I remember seeing a few USAF active duty WOs in the early 1970s, but by the mid to late '70s they were retired from the active USAF. The USAFR still had some in the 1980s.

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 3):
When was the tail-gunner removed?

The B-52 gunners were removed in 1991, some became KC-135 Boom Operators.

Quoting Gunships (Reply 12):
The Air Force discontinued its warrant officer program in 1959

Correct.


User currently offlineGunships From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 574 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 23131 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
some became KC-135 Boom Operators.

Some also became flight engineers, I remember at least two or three over the years that I flew with on the C-141.


User currently offlineEx52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 22798 times:

The biggest problem I can see with the elimination of the gunners position is, unless they have the Crew Chief flying along with them, the bomber crews now have nobody to get them coffee and a sandwich.


"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29705 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 22795 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
All B-52 models had a tail gunner. In all models thru the G he sat in the tail, ala B-29, B-17, etc. In the H the tail guns were remotely fired and the tail gunner moved up front. I don't recall when the tail guns were removed altogether, my guess would be early '90s.

Moving the gunner up front was much easier on the gunners. There are stories of B-52 tailgunners actually cracking their helmets in half getting thrown around in the tail compartment.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 22707 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
I don't recall when the tail guns were removed altogether, my guess would be early '90s.

Ah yes, the rear defense was outsourced.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2248 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 22638 times:

Quoting Ex52tech (Reply 15):
The biggest problem I can see with the elimination of the gunners position is, unless they have the Crew Chief flying along with them, the bomber crews now have nobody to get them coffee and a sandwich.

That's what Navigators are for  Wink



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
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