Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

They Served in Silence

"This photo above, taken from the gunsight of a Soviet MIG fighter, is of C-130 60528. On board this aircraft were 17 members of the United States Air Force on a normal workday that ended with these men paying the ultimate price for a philosophy of 'Freedom Through Vigilance.' This is a real photograph and on board this aircraft were 17 real men, 17 Silent Warriors."

So reads the caption at the website. Aircraft 60538 was shot down near the Turkish border in 1958, just one of several reconnaisance platforms lost during the Cold War. is dedicated to the men (and women!) of the US armed forces' aerial reconnaissance crew members who put their lives on the line every day to ensure America is never surprised as was on December 7, 1941. The site is managed by the Propwash Gang, former and current members of the Air Force Security Service, Electronic Security Command, Air Force Intelligence Command, Air Intelligence Agency, (and now 8th Air Force IIRC) .

I was not a Silent Warrior is the same respect as these fine crewdogs; for most of my career, I was a "Chairborne Ranger" doing their job from a safer distance. When I was aircrew, our mission was to ensure that the enemy became silent when we wanted them to. We flew a C-130 much like the one pictured, so the story strikes close to my heart. Our Electric Herk (EC-130H COMPASS CALL) operates as part of carefully planned strike mission, complete with dedicated air cover, while the Silent Warriors operate Alone, Unarmed, and Unafraid. If you're ever in the Fort Meade MD area, visit the National Vigilance Park memorial to the souls who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives conducting "peacetime" reconnaissance.

This is the first of several posts I have planned to honor those warriors of all services who Served in Silence.



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