The B-52 and Viet Nam
The B-52D on display in the Tinker Heritage Airpark, serial number 56-695, saw fire and rain in its glory days. This Stratofortress served in both the Iron Bomb raids of Arc Light as well as Linebacker operations in Southeast Asia. The story of these missions, unparalleled for close to 20 years, might as well be called Air Force 101, but the B-52 fleet has always belonged to Tinker Air Force Base. Long-range heavy bombers have been a part of the nation’s “nuclear triad” defense since the 1950s, along with missiles and submarines. The first such aircraft to meet that need was the B-52. The B-52 set many records in its early years of service. On Jan. 18, 1957, three B-52Bs completed the world's first non-stop round-the-world flight by jet aircraft, lasting 45 hours and 19 minutes with only three aerial refuelings en route. It was also a B-52 that made the first airborne hydrogen bomb drop over Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956.

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