Biographical Notes re

Robert H. (Bob) Weisburn


In the summer of 1954, when my RB-29 crew was scheduled to rotate back to the U.S., along with our Navigator and one of the waist gunners, I chose to remain with the 91st and continue flying reconnaissance missions. We joined Captain Hammerschmidt’s crew and three of his crewmembers, who wished to return to the U.S., joined Lt. Stone’s crew.

Although we missed our original departed crew, Fred Brackbill (Navigator), Don Kleinkauf (Waist Gunner) and I (Photo/Navigator), were soon deeply involved in flying missions with Captain Hammerschmidt’s crew. During the time I was with that crew, we didn’t fly any photo-related missions. All of our missions involved electronic information-gathering work. The nature of our missions was such that many of our missions were flown in the time of the dark of the moon when the weather was at the very worst (thunderstorms, typhoons, etc.).

These were really rough missions and in many cases there were only selected members of our crew that really knew where we were going, what we were “specifically” doing, or where we had been. If we were shot down and/or captured, it would be hard to “spill the beans” in an interrogation if you really “didn’t know”.

Captain Hammerschmidt was a very good pilot, although I do believe he should have been a fighter pilot. He liked to fly the RB-29 as though it were a fighter. On our first few flights together, he tried to scare me with little success. He did demonstrate that he was a serious “hot dog” pilot and a chance-taker. Maybe this was ideal for him, considering the nature of the missions we were flying. We had an excellent group of gunners, as was the entire crew, but I still missed my old crew that had returned stateside without me.

When my recon tour ended at Yokota, I was assigned to Mather AFB for B-47 Bomb/Nav upgrade training. I soon realized that I was not comfortable in nor suited for this new Bomb/Nav environment and I was reassigned to Photo School at Lowery AFB, Colorado, and then moved on to Lockbourne AFB as a Photo Officer in a B-47 outfit. Because there was a minimal need for my photo officer services at Lockbourne, I was placed in the position of Supply Officer. While in that duty, I was promoted to the rank of Captain.

From November 1961 to November 1962 I was given a remote assignment to the 813th AC&W Squadron, Bethel, Alaska. My assigned duty was as a Supply Officer. In November of 1962 I was reassigned to Mather AFB as Chief of Supply. In the summers of 1960, 1962 and 1963, I was sent TDY to the National Shooting Matches at Camp Perry to serve as Chief Range Officer.

Robert Weisburn hunts Ptarmagin
while serving at a remote radar site
at “Bethel? Alaska, Oct. 1962.

Robert Weisburn, posing at his Range Tower, while serving as Chief Range Officer, Camp Perry Rifle & Pistol Matches, July 1962.

End Chapter # 5

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