Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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TTSo when you penetrated Minot do you remember where you were coming from when you came back to Minot?
BRNo I don't.
TTWhat would be a reasonable guess? I mean you had Partin on there you're checking a pilot out so you're probably doing a lot of low approach and penetration stuff?
BRWell probably, I think we did some high altitude work probably some vertical S's, maybe some steep turns you know, maybe some 60 degree bank turns...
TTSo that's way out, at 20,000?
BRRight, at higher altitude, like for the vertical S's we might have gotten a block from 20 to 30; or 30 to 40,000 feet for that.
TTAnd that's what?
BRJust, you know, go up and down, certain air speeds, certain rates of descent... you would drop the thing and then bring it back up...
BRUh huh, and then do 60-degree banking turns, that's high altitude...
TTBut you're up above 20 doing that.
BROh yeah we are probably at 40,000.
TTSo nobody could even see you up there.
TTYou don't have your landing lights on?
BRNo, huh-uh. there's no way anybody would even know you're up there.
BRNo, no way, and we were probably not over our base anyway—were out to the middle of nowhere. So yeah, the higher the altitude the harder it is to hold the airplane up in a steep bank. Like in Vietnam, we were bombing at 45,000 feet and it's all that you could do once you released your bombs to make yourself bank 45 degrees and hold your altitude.
TTOh in that big plane.
BRYeah, and with the little engines, didn't have enough power to hold you up either.
TTOh, once you got the H model and all that—
TTWhat was the other closest airbase to you at the time?
BRProbably Grand Forks.
TTDid you ever go over there and train?
BRSome of the crews did—I don't remember ever doing it myself.
TTThe only reason I bring it up is I think Pat or Don, someone mentioned that they thought maybe you were coming from Grand Forks.

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