I wrote about the B-52 being a shape that didn’t do much for me, and soon thereafter my lovely wife posted a note on Facebook about a B-52 being brought out of storage from AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB. One facet of the reporting that amused me was that there was some confusion about the airplane’s Air Force serial number, although all the news sites agree its name is Ghost Rider.
There was another B-52 at Barksdale AFB that had a serious cockpit fire, and apparently it was cheaper to pull a B-52 out of storage than repair the damaged airframe. The surviving systems from the damaged machine will be transferred to Ghost Rider.
I checked with Joe Baugher’s site http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1961.html, and verified that the correct serial for the aircraft is 61-0007, not 61-10007 or 61-1007 as listed in some reports. Let’s just say I’ll back Joe Baugher’s judgement on serial numbers any day. The Boeing construction number is 464434.
A different confusion arises when the Jalopnik article foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-ghost-rider-b-52-rises-from-the-grave-to-ride-aga-1686588702 quotes the serial number of the B-52 that had the serious cockpit fire, necessitating Ghost Rider’s resurrection, as 61-0049. Joe Baugher says that’s the serial of an F-105D-15-RE Thunderchief of the 49th TFW which crashed near Wheelus AB in Libya on Mar 6, 1962 due to engine failure. It isn’t 61-1049 either, since Baugher says that’s in the range of serials (61-0973 61-2050) allocated to a bunch of Martin ASM-N-7 Bullpup missiles re-designated AGM-12 in 1962. It’s just a typo somewhere, I’m sure.
I’d better do some more reading. FYI the serial range for the three B-52 construction blocks built in Wichita, KS in FY 1961 are 61-001 to 61-0013 (B-52H-165-BW) , 61-0014 to 61-0026 (B-52H-170-BW) and 61-0027 to 61-0040 (B-52H-175-BW)
There is a nice segment in a story on the Davis Monthan AFB website – http://www.dm.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123439488 concerning Mr. Jerry Fugere, aged 80 from Tuscon, AZ who was Ghost Rider’s first Crew Chief in 1962. Mr. Fugere was given the honor of marshaling Ghost Rider for its first taxi run since 2008. That’s him in the orange Hi-Viz jacket in the USAF picture below.