Saturday, February 13, 2010

Strategic Air Command

A clip from the movie 'Strategic Air Command'. Jimmy Stewart starred in this 1955 movie about the USAF's strategic bomber force. The movie was an unabashed advertisement for the Air Force. The real stars were B-36s and B-47s, and it is a great look back at state of the art Air Force technology of that era.

In this clip, a B-36 is seen taking off from Carswell AFB in Ft. Worth. I've spent many hours on the ramp there photographing aircraft, though from an age not so long ago. As the aircraft runs up on the north hammerhead, I am reminded of the many times I've stood in the same spot as the cameraman, shooting F-4s, F-16s, F-14s, and F-18s. As the aircraft takes off, you can see the Convair (then General Dynamics, now Lockheed-Martin) factory in the background, where dozens fo B-36s are seen in various phases of construction. White Settlement sure has changed over the years, but I bet some of those same houses are still standing there.

The movie appears now and then on nostalgia TV channels - it really shines on the big screen in HD. The DVD is available on

1 comment:

Frank Stark said...

There was an aircraft graveyard NW of Socorro NM that had a B-36 and a lot of B-29s (Maybe B-50, I couldn't have told the difference then)when I was growing up in the sixties. I disregarded the "No Trespassing" signs and had a lot of fun in those planes. I remember the overhead throttles and got of lot of hours in with "6 turning and 4 burning!" while dodging flak and looking for enemy fighters through the sun crazed canopy. Had fun with the B-29, too, but the B-36 was something. I like the movie. Brings back memories of when I flew my own.