Excalibur and Crew

From: Charlie Smoote
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011
To: TAC Missileers
Subject: Excalibur

I was rummaging through my stash and found some pictures of Excalibur and crew.

Excalibur (King Arthur’s Sword) was a TM 76B that was launched (circa 1962) by an Instructor Crew from the Tactical missile School at Orlando. Captain Arthur was our launch Officer, noted for his insistence of wearing hard hats, and the phrase ” Press On’.

It was noted that Captain ‘Press On’ Arthur’s hard hat was launched as cargo on this missile.

I don’t remember the exact dates, but we came from Orlando and stayed at Camp Happiness during missile countdown.

I have pictures of (1) The Launch Crew, (2) Instructor Personnel from Orlando and (3) Excalibur as it cleared the door for a very successful flight; I may add.

Interested?

Respectfully,

Charlie Smoote
Mech 2 Excalibur Launch Crew


On Thu, Sep 29, 2011, Russ Reston – TAC Missileers wrote:

Charlie, yes. If you send me copies of the photos. I will post them on the website. You can either email them to me electronically, or send hardcopy.

Was “Press On” Arthur’s hard hat recovered or did he have to get a new one?

Thanks,

Russ


From: Charlie Smoote
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011
To: Russ Reston – TAC Missileers
Subject: Re: Excalibur

Captain Arthur’s hard hat went into the Grand Bahamas securely ensconced in the Warhead Section of Excalibur.

Capt. ‘Press On Arthur’ purchased a replacement hard hat. Lt. Col Bowers W. Espy*, (Honcho of the Instructor Bunch) made sure of that. I don’t think that the Good Captain really minded.

* LT Col Bowers W. Espy’s claim to fame was breaking the Sound Barrier in a P-38 Aircraft. He still showed the effects of it.

Regards,

Charlie


From: Charlie Smoote
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011
To: Russ Reston – TAC Missileers
Subject: Re: Excalibur

Russ;

Here you go; Excalibur and Crew in all of it’s glory.

The ones(kneeling) Capt Gerald ‘Press On’ Arthur (LO), TSGT Dudley Womack,(CC) A1C’ Whitey’ Williams,(Mech 3) SSGT McConomy(cs) (Mech 4)

Top Row: SSGT Frank Gilbert(who painted the logo), (Mech 1) SSGT Charlie Smoote (Mech 2), SSGT Turner (Mech 6) and A1c Hansen (Mech 5.

The only two that I can identify from the group picture is TSGT Huber, SSGT Mcconomy(cs and SSGT Turner on the front row.I think one of th epeople on the back row are myself and a A1C Counts. Maybe someone will remember and post. The rest will eventually come back some day.

These pictures were taken by a professional Air Force Photographer. After all, Orlando was the Headquarters for the Air Photo and Charting Service and always had students available for OJT. Enjoy’

I also have a picture of Launch Crew 38(SMELE) Crew from Okinawa (circa 1963) somewhere.

Respectfully,

Charlie Smoote


(Click on images to enlarge.)

Excalibur Mace-B Launch (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Mace-B Launch - Camp Happiness; Cape Canaveral, FL. (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Launch Crew (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Launch Crew -The ones (kneeling R to L) Capt. Gerald 'Press On' Arthur (LO), TSGT Dudley Womack,(CC) A1C' Whitey' Williams,(Mech 3) SSGT McConomy(cs) (Mech 4). Top Row: SSGT Frank Gilbert(who painted the logo), (Mech 1) SSGT Charlie Smoote (Mech 2), SSGT Turner (Mech 6) and A1c Hansen (Mech 5).(photo Courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Launch Crew Members (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Launch Crew Members - From right to left; A1C Schiff, SSGT Smoote, SSGT Turner and I want to say A1C Beal, but can't be sure, on the left. (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Launch Team (photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

Excalibur Launch Team - The only people that I can identify from the group picture is (L to R) TSGT Huber, SSGT McComoney (cs), SSGT Frey and SSGT Turner on the front row. I think one of the people on the back row are myself and a A1C Counts. Maybe someone will remember and post. The rest will eventually come back some day.(photo courtesy of Charlie Smoote)

 

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