Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Lockheed Warning Star

I continue to wonder why I was stateside
by Raoul L.

As an electrical flight line supervisor at Lockheed Aircraft Services in New York, I was assigned to lead a group of Lockheed aircraft technicians to perform maintenance on the WV-2 aircraft at the United States Navy Airbase in Atsugi, Japan. My group included a fine bunch of guys who were sharp technicians. They were also a lot of fun, as attested to by the Northwest Airlines flight attendants who were on our Tokyo-bound flight. They refused to serve us, so we had to take the beverages ourselves—all of the beverages.

We had a group of Navy aircraft that we did maintenance on, performed modifications and then flew on the “check-out" flights. It was part of our duty to fly over the Sea of Japan on the routine test flights after work was completed. I flew on many of these.

After several months, I had to return to our corporate headquarters for a brief period. This was in the fall of 1965. During the month of November, while I was in the United States, my crew as usual, performed their duties. I was shocked to hear that a "foreign" fighter shot down our WV-2! I was stateside. I often think of my friends and wonder why I was in the States during that incident.