Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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BRUh huh, course you wouldn't want to crank the gear in the wrong way that—
TTOh that would be a little bit concerning wouldn't it? I mean when you were landing, were you always making those adjustments with the landing gear or only when there was bad weather?
BROnly when the wind exceeded a certain amount. Actually it depended on the weight of the airplane too. We landed, we took off and landed at Okinawa one time with a 45 knot direct cross wind in pouring rain and several of the planes aborted but we reached a speed where we couldn't abort before we got into trouble. As we got the weight off our landing gear our gear or tires were squalling sideways—we were being pushed sideways off the runway, but we got airborne before we hit the dirt I guess.
TTOh yeah. How often did you do the seven-day alert, ground alert?
BRWell, we were sort of short on crews about all the time so usually it was about every other week. Yeah, up to two weeks a month.
TTWait, you'd be sitting inside that building stuck all day?
BRWell no, you have, still have the run of the whole base. But still you have to be able to be back and have your engines running within a certain amount of time. But, the alert facility had study rooms, games and you could do a lot of things, we could go to the officers club, go swimming, go to the movies.
TTOh so it wasn't as bad as being locked up for seven days.
BRNo, and they had the best food, I gained weight every time I went on alert...
TTOh yeah (laughs) know, they not only had high quality food, but had a whole lot of it too. You could do all your studying, your mission planning there.
TTSo, but you had to listen for the klaxon constantly?
BRNo, not necessarily
TTWhat if they pulled an ORI or something?
BRWe had alerts usually about once a week. The horn, the klaxon would go off, maybe in the daytime, maybe at night and you'd have to run out and start your engines and be ready to taxi. Or if you didn't get a message telling you not to taxi soon enough, you'd go ahead and taxi out and you get a encoded message—have to check to see if this says "go ahead," or "stop," or whatever. But yeah, we had the ORI's at least once a year and then maybe you'd have what they called a "BAR NONE" or "BUY NONE" which wasn't as full blown as an ORI. You would have one of those during the year also, but you would have to have evaluators fly with you and fly out on a mission just like you were going to war. Seemed like it always happened at night and you were always having to fly at night.
TTAnd your training missions were really just for proficiency?
BRYes, to prepare you to go to war. It usually included high altitude navigation for the navigators, air refueling for the pilots, and low level bomb runs, high level bomb runs.
TTExplain low-level bomb runs. What would be the training there, or the process?

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