B-52B, 53-394, “Lucky Lady III”, was the lead ship for the first jet-powered flight around the world. Sections of this aircraft are still in storage.
“Hurry up and wait” is a time-honored saying in the Air Force.
Lead navigator, Major Albert F. Wooten.
One of several navigators aboard for the historic flight was Captain Rene M. Woog.
Taking a break is crew chief Tsgt. Donovan W. Higginbotham
Navigator Major Anthony P Dzierski cleans up for the arrival at March AFB.
Tail gunner Msgt. Carl H. Ballew gets his work done the old fashioned way.
Major Wooten tidies up.
Tail gunner Ballew prepares his dinner. Coming forward from the tail gunner’s compartment was no easy feat: it took about 15 minutes, and involved toting an oxygen bottle while crawling over the horizontal stabilizer in the unpressurized portion of the B-52.
Major General Archie Olds (the mission commander) is greeted by SAC boss, Curtiss LeMay.
Then came fame. Air Force Chief of Staff General Thomas White presents the Mackay Trophy.
The lead crew met with celebrities such as Arthur Godfrey.
TV personality Gary Moore greets the crew of Lucky Lady III.
Actor and aviation enthusiast Robert Cummings hands out autographs. These personalities that met with the around the world fliers are not well-known by many today, but back then they were huge stars.
2 thoughts on “This week in aviation history: “Operation Power Flite” in 1957 – 45 hours and 19 minutes around the world”
Gotta ask, where in storage? Also, any idea on the last photos who the crew is with? Looks like Arthur Godfrey in one shot.
According to my sources, the remains of 394 are now in Mojave, CA, having been previously stored in Ohio for many years. And yep, that’s Godfrey. The photos are captioned, but the other celebrities are Gary Moore and Robert Cummings.
Thanks for the questions, and thanks for visiting.