Coyote Heritage ~ March 2010

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. (Ret) Bill Gilliland
  • 190th ARW Historian
Lt. Col. Dave Render stands next to a RB-57 during a cold spring day in May 1972. In a few moments, he would take the controls of the old jet for the last time, as ten of the jets were transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground for a destruction-testing program, while the rest of them were transferred to Davis-Monthan AFB.

It was a sad day for the 190th, because the pilots and navigators knew the jets' every move, while the crew chiefs and maintenance men knew them down to the last bolt. It had been fourteen years since the RBs were assigned to the 117th. While many of the people had changed, the unit moved from Hutchinson to Topeka five years earlier, and even the name of the unit had changed, the RBs had remained the same.

Shown here is an A-Model. Note the lower hatch opening just behind Lt Col Render, and the clear nose piece where one of the cameras was housed while in flight. On the right wing, was the small nose cone of the cartridge starter. This was the only way which the B-57 could be started, by inserting a black power (in the early models) cartridge, which emitted a large amount of black smoke while revving the engine with enough RPMs to start.