Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

The Combat Shadow's last ride

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

The Combat Shadow's last ride

Old 22nd Jan 2014, 13:03
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GREAT BRITAIN
Posts: 86
The Combat Shadow's last ride

The MC-130 Combat Shadow is due to retire after 49 years of distinguished service. To mark the retirement of this faithful old war horse, the last aircraft will be flown around her former UK bases in order: Sculthorpe, Prestwick, Woodbridge, Alconbury and Mildenhall.

The final flight will also take in two locations which have played a significant part in the history of the Squadron:

Hunstanton – to honour the Squadron’s heroic rescue during the East Coast Floods of 1953 and to salute a founder member of the Squadron; Airman Second Class Reis L Leming who was awarded the George Medal after single-handedly rescuing 27 people from the flood waters despite being unable to swim.

Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum – to salute the very close working relationship which the Museum has maintained with the Squadron since 1980. The Aviation Museum houses a special display dedicated to the extensive history of the Squadron.

No trip around the UK would be complete without a visit to the “Mach Loop”! This will allow photographers a final opportunity to catch a Combat Shadow at low level.

Friday 24 January 2014

Takeoff
Sculthorpe
Hunstanton - 1015
Prestwick - 1230
Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum - 1245
Mach Loop - 1315-1345
Woodbridge
Alconbury
Mildenhall

Please note – the flight could be cancelled or the timings amended at very short notice due to aircraft serviceability, weather or SAR callout. Get your cameras ready and let’s see this old girl off in style!
SUPER JOLLY GREEN is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 13:56
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London
Posts: 377
Hi SJG,

Is this the USAF-wide retirement, or just from the USAF in the UK? Also, is it both the MC-130H and MC-130P-variant aircraft that are going?

Ta in advance
Mil-26Man is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 14:19
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GREAT BRITAIN
Posts: 86
Hi Mil-26Man,

Just the P Model in the UK for now (being replaced by the MC-130J Commando II). The H Model will soldier on far a bit longer.

SJG
SUPER JOLLY GREEN is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 14:27
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Peterborough
Age: 66
Posts: 215
SJG.

Thanks for the info. I've never heard of the USAF's part in the '53 floods, let alone Airman Leming's heroics. We'll done that man! As us Brits would say.7
Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Uffers.
uffington sb is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 14:42
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GREAT BRITAIN
Posts: 86
Uffers,

Further reading below. Balls of steel!

Reis Leming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reis Leming - Telegraph

Photo gallery: Reis Leming remembered at Hunstanton - News - East Anglian Daily Times

Rgds

SJG
SUPER JOLLY GREEN is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 17:39
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 656
Not everyone clicks the links, I know - and as well as Airman Leming's heroism, this snippet deserves a wider audience:

Originally Posted by Telegraph
After his heroism in the floods the following year, Leming returned home to the United States. But the people of Hunstanton never forgot him and when he announced his engagement to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Joan Ramsey, the town insisted on hosting the wedding. The ceremony, held in June 1953 in Hunstanton’s small Roman Catholic church, was attended by the mayor, government officials and many of those Leming had saved, while a large good-natured crowd milled around outside. The town gave the newly-weds a set of Doulton china, while local ladies pooled their rations to bake a huge three-tiered wedding cake.
hoodie is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 17:59
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 18,230
Yup I read them, they go on about the floods we get now, but the loss of life then was significant in itself.
NutLoose is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 18:04
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia - South of where I'd like to be !
Age: 56
Posts: 4,241
Impressive, very impressive.

Hunstanton and the sea is cold (I would say freezing) at the best of times, let along in middle of winter and in 53 with the weather as it was.

Being fully immersed in it for an extended period of time as well as saving
people was a heroic effort.
500N is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 18:20
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 18,230
It's refreshing to see he hasn't been forgotten
NutLoose is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 18:24
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia - South of where I'd like to be !
Age: 56
Posts: 4,241
Agree.

And an impressive turn out from the USAF.

IMHO, they look very smart.
500N is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 18:37
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,550
On a related note - anyone remember this scheme on an SO C-130?

air force | wing carry-through | israeli air | 1970 | 1434 | Flight Archive

It has always intrigued me, because not long afterwards I saw a similarly painted aircraft overflying the family chateau in the South of England.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 18:39
  #12 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GREAT BRITAIN
Posts: 86
The good people of Hunstanton will never forget Reis and the Squadron.

Later this year the Squadron will be granted the "Freedom of Hunstanton", the first time ever that this ancient honour has been bestowed on a single USAF Squadron.

"Real lives reunited" on BBC1, Wed 15 Jan 14 featured Reis' story and concluded with a meeting betweeen Kathy (Reis' second Wife), Michael (Reis' Son), Debra (Reis' Daughter) and Hunstanton resident Neil Quincey. Neil, his Wife, two Daughters and infant Son were all rescued by Reis and were the only complete Family to survive the Hunstanton floods. Also amongst the first group to be rescued by Reis was a USAF crew from a Weasel Amphibious vehicle which was swamped and sank from under them whilst attempting to get to Neil's house and his stranded family. They ended up holding on to what was left of Neil's balcony until Reis appeared out of the darkness some hours later.

It is also worth noting that of the 31 people who died in the flooding 16 were USAF Airmen and their Families who were based at Sculthorpe and housed in Hunstanton (4 entire Families).

SJG
SUPER JOLLY GREEN is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2014, 19:41
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hove
Age: 68
Posts: 1,025
Thought I might try the Mach Loop for this final flight, however the weather forecast coupled with a 500 mile round trip suggests it's not a good idea unless the weather improves. Drat.
clicker is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2014, 12:11
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: (LFA 7a)
Age: 61
Posts: 731
I live local to the Mach Loop- and the forecast couldn't be worse!
jimgriff is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2014, 14:48
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: (LFA 7a)
Age: 61
Posts: 731
I'm guessing that with vis < 100m and horizontal rain in Mach loop the flythrough was scrubbed?
jimgriff is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2014, 16:04
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,337
The pathway that runs through the Esplanade Gardens in Hunstanton, past both the 1953 floods memorial and the towns war memorial, was named "Reis Leming Way" about 18 months ago. His story is retold in an information board close to the floods memorial for those visitors unfamiliar with his heroism.
Wrathmonk is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2014, 17:44
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,103
Watched her fly though on the way to Alconbury today.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2014, 17:51
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 18,230
So what happens to it now, back to the Boneyard?
Be nice to see it at Duxford hint hint
NutLoose is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2014, 10:38
  #19 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: GREAT BRITAIN
Posts: 86
jimgriff - unfortunately the Mach Loop was a washout yesterday!

NutLoose - Lord knows I tried! I suggested that Mildenhall should have a Memorial Air Park, like the extensive one at Lakenheath, with 65-0991 "The Son Tay Raider" as the first resident. The costs to build the Air Park, not to mention the costs to de-mil the MC-130 were astronomical! The second option was to fly her to Duxford for a well earned retirement, that was too costly too.

The good news is that 0991 did not go to the boneyard, she was flown to Hurlburt and will be preserved there. A fitting end for a distinguished old war horse!

0215 was seen off in some style at Mildenhall last night

SJG
SUPER JOLLY GREEN is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2014, 13:36
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 18,230
How about Bruntingthorpe, they'll keep it as a runner

You would think the cost of the likes of sending to Duxford would be less than that of shipping home and storing, as you will eventually have to demil it or break it somewhere.
NutLoose is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.