JACK KOVACS COLLECTION
No. 10801. Boeing 450-157-35 EB-47E(TT) Stratojet (53-2315 c/n 4501128) US Air Force
Photographed at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, ca. 1960-64, by an unidentified crewmember

Boeing 450-157-35 EB-47E(TT) Stratojet

07/31/2014. Remarks by Wade Douglas: "My late father, Lt. Col. Wade O. Douglas, was Aircraft Commander of 53-2315 for a time. This photo shows my father (far left) and his crew with their plane, and also clearly shows the details of the external antennae. Unfortunately I can't recall the names of the other crew members. The picture was taken at Forbes AFB, Topeka, Kansas in the early sixties, and I believe it is an official USAF crew photo.

Dad was pretty tight lipped about what I later pieced together, were Soviet overflights. The only anecdote he ever told me was that there was a lot of curiosity on the flight line about the plane’s radar array and that he would answer questions by saying jokingly that they were the mortuary crew and the protuberances on the nose were for carrying bodies.Dad was promoted to Major when he took over 53-2315. He was made a Lt. Colonel when he retired.

I don’t recall the period when he flew that plane. I think that an earlier crew had painted the Playboy Bunny heads on the pods. Nose art wasn't really Dad's style. He previously had flown an RB-47H model also out of Forbes AFB. Before that he flew a C-124, and when the U-2 began taking over what had been the EB-47E (TT)'s role, Dad became an Atlas Missile site commander. He began his 26-year Air Force career as a navigator on a B-17F in WW II. I still enjoy reading his wartime diary."

09/30/2011. Remarks by Jack Kovacs: "Pictured is one of three EB-47E(TT) aircraft (other two s/n 53-2316 c/n 4501129, 53-2320 c/n 4501133) converted from the B-47E for TELINT (telemetry intelligence). The EB-47E(TT), or Tell-Two, aircraft mission was to collect and record telemetry from Russian missile and space launches. Intelligence analysts used the collected data to determine the properties/parameters of the launched vehicles.

The Tell-Two aircraft carried a Strategic Air Command crew of five: two pilots, one navigator, two EWOs (Electronic Warfare Officer). The EWOs operated electronic gathering equipment located in a capsule inserted in the bomb-bay area of the aircraft. Two large external antennae were located on each side of the fuselage near the cockpit.

The three EB-47E(TT) aircraft served from 1958 until 1967. For collecting against launches, the aircraft operated mostly from a base in Turkey, from an alert status, flying radio silent, top secret missions into Iran, next to the Turkmenistan - Iranian border or sometimes over the Black Sea. Other locations were in the South Pacific to collect data on missiles landing in the mid-Pacific missile range.

53-2320 crashed on landing and was destroyed at Incirlik, April 3, 1965, after holding, waiting to land because of excessive crosswinds. Finally, getting too low on fuel to divert to another base, the aircraft had to land in a high marginal crosswind situation, started porpoising on touchdown, and crashed at the end of the runway, killing two crewmembers. The other two aircraft ended up in the bone yard at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona, USA in November 1967 and were scrapped in January 1969."

Created September 30, 2011