not, somehow Jack
survived. And the 500th Ptarmigan mission led to the 1000th, and
the 1500th, and so on ....
On August 30th, 1956, the final Ptarmigan flown by a WB-29 occurred.
It was the 1956th Ptarmigan flown since the mission began in 1947. Ever since April 1956, the WB-29 crews had been joined by the new WB-50D. Then, on October 13th, 1956, a new milestone was reached...
Courtesy of the Air Force Weather History Office
can thank Roger Cole for help in identifying the participants in this
photo. In the front row, holding the Ptarmigan banner, are (left)
William T. Gill, Jr, Flight Engineer, and (right)
Capt James D. Beebe,
Aircraft Commander. In the back row, from left, Mr
Don Bullock, of Fairbanks radio and television station KFAR,
H. Cole, Crew Chief, Lewis Bond, Jr, Radio Operator, Gerald Ferguson,
Radio Operator, Jack P. Brenkle, Dropsonde Operator, Capt
Ralph F Paige, Navigator, Capt
Gyving, Navigator, 1Lt
Johnson, Weather Observer, and Maj
William H. Iooss, Co-Pilot. Also on the flight, but missing from
this photo, was Mr
John Thompson, news editor for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
This mission received extensive
coverage locally in Alaska, and throughout the Zone of the Interior