Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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TTSo was his dad in the business too?
BRNo, his father was a Postmaster.
TTHow did he get started so early?
BRI don't know, I guess it was just a way to make money. He got married early and he had to support his family. But anyway, I graduated from High School, I went to college at the University of Florida and there I went through engineering school but I enjoyed my ROTC classes. So, I ended up joining the Air Force right after college.
TTWas the draft going on then?
BRThe draft was going on then—
TTWas your number coming up?
BRI had no idea, it didn't concern me one way or the other. I just enjoyed my ROTC classes so if there would have been a draft or not I probably would have joined the Air Force.
TTYeah because a lot of guys knew the draft was coming up, and they joined the Air Force just so that they would have some choices for going in. A lot of the ground witnesses in this case...
BRWell another thing is, all the Air Force instructors really impressed me, and you know just the quality of people so I never regretted anything in the military because we do have such high quality people in the military. But anyway, after college I went to pilot training in Del Rio, Texas, and then B-52 school at a Castle at Merced, California.
TTWhen you say pilot training what did that involve?
BROK, well that involved three different airplanes a T-41 , which is a souped up Cessna 172.
BRYeah a trainer, and then a T-37 twin engine jet trainer ...which the instructor sat side by side in the cockpit with the student which, you know, made it real good because he can talk directly to you besides over the intercom or earphones whatever. So then after that then we have the T-38's which is a supersonic jet trainer, but the student basically sat in the front seat and the instructor sat behind so all communications were done over the radio in that airplane, which made it a little more difficult. But that was a fun airplane to fly...
TTIt was it like an interceptor?
BRWell the fighter version was the F-5 but the airplane had such a high power to weight ratio that at that time it held the world climb speed record. From brake release to 40,000 feet was under two minutes. I mean, that's really moving. So then several times when I was out by myself, I would get lost, couldn't find my way back to the base and I would always have to get a FAA Controller to head me home so I figured I ought to fly an airplane that had navigators. I requested the B-52 and had two navigators, so ended up, I got my request and went to Castle Air Force base in California at Merced, California for

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