552nd Life Support

PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING THE MA-1 SURVIVAL KIT USED BY BOTH THE 551ST AND 552ND AEW&C WINGS. THIS KIT WAS REMOVED FROM THE AIRCRAFT AT OTIS AFB, MA PRIOR TO THE THREE ACCIDENTS THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF 50 OF THE CREW MEMBERS. TO DATE THE AIR FORCE HAS NOT FURNISHED AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY AND BY WHOSE AUTHORITY THESE MA-1 KITS WERE REMOVED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. OF THE TWELVE MEN WHO REPORTEDLY SURVIVED THE DITCHING OF 55-0136 ON JULY 11, 1965 ONLY THREE SURVIVED THE FRIGID 51 DEGREE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN. THE THREE SURVIVORS WERE IN THE WATER FOR APPROXIMATELY TEN AND ONE-HALF HOURS BEFORE BEING RESCUED. THOSE NINE FLYERS WHOSE BODIES WERE RECOVERED REPORTEDLY DID NOT DIE DUE TO INJURIES RECEIVED FROM THE DITCHING BUT FROM HYPOTHERMIA.


20 man life raft


Right over wing exit


Radio operator bulkhead

 


Radio operator bulkhead