2013 Meeting
2013 B-57 Canberra Association Reunion Business meeting

Meeting was called to order by President Gayle Johnson at 0900 hours on October
5, 2013 at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
Gayle gave welcoming remarks and thank you to attendees. He then introduced four
new members; three in attendance were:
Russell Tucker - WWII veteran flew B-57 tow target model out of Yuma AFB, AZ in 1957-8.
Ray Briscoe - Flew EB-57 out of Malmstrom AFB, MT
Al Hurst - Flew EB-57 out of Westover AFB, MA
Not in attendance: Chuck Jones - Flew WB-57F out of Kirtland AFB, NM
Officers are:
President Dave Baird
Vice President Don Shields
Secretary Barbara LeBlanc
Treasurer Bob Wicklepleck
Immediate Past President Gayle Johnson
Gayle expressed his thanks to Mel Eisaman, Immediate Past President
and Herbie Friesen, Vice President for their service and contribution to the
Treasurer's report - $10,550.71 in the bank.
Website- Gayle gave an update and stated the the site should be up by the end of the month.  He
thanked David LeBlanc for his efforts in getting it organized and his initial
work.  Member Phil Dunn will be our webmaster and he is working with member Mark
Witt, originated the site.  We will be keeping www.b-57canberra.org domain.
2015 and 2017 Association Reunion sites:
There was discussion about Las Vegas and Seattle sites; Seattle was voted on for 2015.
Washington DC was selected over Nashville for 2017.
Gayle talked about the decommissioning of the B-57
delivered to the Smithsonian Institute National Air and Space Museum in 1981 and
his letter(attachment 1) to it’s Director, General John R. Dailey, USMC
(Retired). Attachment 2 is General Dailey’ reply letter. He also mentioned
assistance from Vermont Air Guard retired Colonel Dick Strifert and his letter
to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). See attachment 2 for Senator Leahy’s response.
An update on the Pickle Barrel. The Pickle Barrel was the 3rd Bomb Wing’s
bombing competition award given to the winning squadron(between the 8th, 13th
and 90th Bomb Squadrons) for their best performance during the past three
months. It has been missing for many years. A lot of discussion on it’s
history and the efforts to locate it.  Our two experts, Bob Mikesh and Chuck
Jones were not is attendance, so further talk was deferred until after the
Several of our members are having health medical issues. Attendees
gave an update based on their various communications with the members.

The meeting concluded at 1015 hours.
Respectfully submitted,
Gayle P. Johnson

Attachment 1: Gayle’s letter to Smithsonian Institute 

2: General Dailey’s to Gayle

Attachment 3: Senator Leahy’s letter to Colonel Strifert

April 22, 2013

General John R. Dailey. USMC (Retired)
National Air and Space Museum
Post Office Box 37012, MRC 312
Washington DC

Subject: Deaccessing the B-57 aircraft

Dear General Dailey,
A public announcement has been made by the National Air and Space Museum that
our B-57 in the National Aeronautical Collection of the Smithsonian Institution
is to be deaccessed.

This Canberra was requested of the Air Force by the
National Air and Space Museum in 1976 and delivered in 1981, placed in storage
ever since. Its purpose for being in the collection is to represent our bomber
force during the Cold War period. Selecting the smallest size in the inventory
was a major consideration, and the B-57 was the obvious choice. All the
components necessary to revert the airplane from an "EB" to a "B" configuration
are with the airplane. The collection does not have, nor is slatted to have a
bomber that is later than the 1945 B-29 Enola Gay.

This coming September will
be a bi-annual B-57 Canberra Association gathering at Wright-Patterson AFB. I
am certain that this subject will be talked about at great length and with
indignation. We are "bomber people" and there seems to be nothing to represent
our force over the past five-plus decades of aviation in our National Air and
Space Museum. For its relative diminutive size, and with eight consecutive
years flying combat in the Vietnam War, what a better example to include to
recognize this service?

As president of our association, I would like to have
something positive to convey to those attending that will alleviate our
disappointment that we all feel by having the Canberra bomber stricken from the
collection. I hope that I can report that a change of planning has taken place
and that the B-57 will be reinstated appropriately in the overall exhibit
planning and repositioning.

On behalf of members of the B-57 Canberra
Association, we ask that you rescind the plan to delete the record copy B-57 in
the collection. Our aircrew numbers have served one or more Vietnam combat tours
in the Canberra, many have stood 15 minute alert in Korea ready to deliver
special weapons during the Cold War period, along with many other assorted
missions; reconnaissance, weather sampling, defense evaluation, air sampling and
others. Our crew members are at the stage of life of rapidly diminishing. It is
my hope, and it is our hope that I can take a message to our reunion that our
national air museum has reevaluated the significance of having a Canberra in the
collection to represent, though slightly, our bomber-force air mission. During
the planing stage of the Hazy Center, the B-57 was to be on display. Can that
plan be reinstated?

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Gayle P. Johnson, President
B-57 Canberra Association
1218 Juneau Street
Watertown WI 53098-3330
Tel: (920) 261-3879
email: gaylepj35@att.net


American Canberra
Association - '99