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I flew on the ‘Golden Bear’


The “Golden Bear,” was the most talked about aircraft in the Air Force.

The “ Golden Bear” touched down at Travis Air Force Base with General Howell M. Estes, Commander in Chief of the Military Air Transport Service, at the controls. This was the outfit to which I was assigned for 13 years, stateside and overseas.

The entire base and many local dignitaries celebrated the event. A new era in aircraft at Travis was underway.

After some maintenance problems were solved, it was certified that the “Golden Bear” met all mission requirements.

I was asked to fly on the flight of the California “Golden Bear” by my commander, Maj. General George B. Dany.

I was with the Western Transport Air Force (WESTAF) when we took over command from Strategic Air Command (SAC) on July 1, 1958 at Travis Air Force Base in California.

I hope to visit the “Golden Bear” soon with 10 of my friends.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)

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