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  • TINKER HISTORY: Drones in the ’40s

    The Culver PQ-14 “Cadet” was an outgrowth of Culvers pre-WWII efforts in to inexpensive general aviation aircraft production. The PQ-14’s predecessor, the PQ-8, was produced specifically as a radio-controlled drone for the Army Air Corps beginning in 1940 when a contract for 200 aircraft was let. These proved to be so successful, a slightly larger
  • COMMENTARY: Snuffy Smith, first enlisted Airman to receive Medal of Honor

    Picture the scene: a group of 30 young men in the small town of Caro, Mich., getting their picture taken on the courthouse steps before leaving to serve their country. As they line up, the sheriff calls across the steps to say he had one more for the picture: Maynard Harrison Smith in handcuffs, fresh from his trial. Maynard Harrison Smith was born
  • TINKER HISTORY: Tinker’s tie to the “Superfortress”

    The Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” was a four-engine, heavy bomber produced for the Army Air Corps during World War II. The B-29 continued the “fortress” moniker use for Boeing’s heavy bombers which first began with the B-17 “Flying Fortress.” The aircraft was used extensively in the Pacific theater due to its long range and heavy payloads. According
  • TINKER HISTORY: The Genesis of Tinker AFB

    In celebration of Tinker's 75th anniversary, we're looking back at how the base began. In the early 1940s, Oklahoma City entrepreneurs Edward K. Gaylord, Wilbur E. Hightower, Tom Braniff, Frank Buttram, and Stanley Draper and others formed the Oklahoma Industries Foundation after learning that the War Department was looking for an appropriate site to build three aircraft depots, one in the American Midwest.
  • TINKER HISTORY: Tinker modifies armament on B-24

    The Consolidate B-24 “Liberator” was a four-engine, heavy bomber produced for the Army Air Corps prior to and during World War II. The aircraft was used in all theaters of the war with particularly heavy use in the European campaign. According to official Tinker history documents, the Oklahoma City Air Depot had a short, but meaningful association
  • Tinker History: The F-4 Phantom

    One of the most important missions at Tinker Air Force Base is providing combat power to the warfighter. The F-4 Phantom II began sustainment here in July of 1970. The Air Force Reserves’ 507th Tactical Fighter Group, now the 507th Air Refueling Wing based here, flew this “MiG Killer” until they switched to F-16 Fighting Falcons in 1988.
  • Tinker History: BT-13 Valiant is first aircraft modified at air depot

    The Vultee Aircraft Corp. BT-13 “Valiant” was a single-engine, tandem-seat trainer produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Navy and foreign allies prior to and during World War II. The aircraft was selected and produced as a primary and follow-on intermediary trainer due to its ruggedness, forgiving flight characteristics and stability. Most of
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