Blackbird
Topic Author
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B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:46 am

How many crew are on the B-52, and how many are officers, and how many if applicable are enlisted?
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:54 am

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.
 
Gunships
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:21 pm

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]
 
Blackbird
Topic Author
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:57 pm

When was the tail-gunner removed? What model?
 
zanl188
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:45 pm

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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citation501sp
Posts: 178
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:42 pm

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
Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
 
SlamClick
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:34 am

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.
 
zanl188
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:41 am

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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DeltaGuy
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:20 am

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

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
Blackbird
Topic Author
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 9:52 am

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

Blackbird
 
garnetpalmetto
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:38 am

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:41 pm

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

1991, to be exact.
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f4wso
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:06 pm

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
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Gunships
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:32 am

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:03 pm

"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
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Sun Dec 24, 2006 9:07 pm

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.
 
Gunships
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:32 am

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Mon Dec 25, 2006 3:29 am

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.
 
ex52tech
Posts: 553
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:41 pm

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"
 
L-188
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:47 pm

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.
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:31 am

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.
 
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Moose135
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RE: B-52 Crew Compliment

Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:13 am

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
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