Without the skill and devotion of the bomb handlers, loaders,
 and ground crews, the B-57 flight crews could not
fulfill their mission.

The photos and descriptions of bomb loading are the reminiscences of bomb loader, 
Click to enlarge the small photos.
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"As far as the letter designations, I'm not sure  who introduced the concept. The A-man was the crew  chief, and his job was to oversee the whole bomb and  gun loading procedure. He racked the bombs and helped  with any final arming wire installation and bomb  loading post checks. The B-man's first job was in the  pre-check of the aircraft weapon system. He would  climb up into the cockpit and pickle off all the bomb  racks while the rest of the crew checked to make sure  the racks would release. On a rare occasion, we would  have to swap out a rack prior to loading. The B-man  would also help in loading the first bomb, but after  that he was usually involved in installing the arming  wires after the bombs were loaded. The C-man was the  MJ-1 driver, and his job was to get the bomb into  position so the crew chief could rack it in from the  loading table. The C-man would also help in the  loading of the guns. The D-man's job usually  positioned him at the tail fin, and his job was to  help guide the bomb into position. All bomb crew  members would help in the loading of the guns, final  arming wire installation and revetment clean-up after  the load, making sure that all pieces of arming wire  and scraps from the loading process were picked up.  Bomb loading crews who had been together for a while  as ours was, became extremely efficient at loading an  aircraft in a short period of time."



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B-57 bomb loading crew, crew 

chief John Vasquez (CA),

MJ-1 driver Phil Gabel(CA)

and D- Man Walt Schoenick (WI)



Electronic Countermeasures (ECM)

pod on B-57

(If anyone can furnish any information

on when ECM pods were used, and how,

please contact me.) (MW)


Napalm was frequently

against trucks which were first

 stopped by hard bombs on

the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

In the early days of the war,

 WWII napalm was used. These

weapons had a much greater

 spread than those used in 1968-69.


Fragmentation bombs
in the bomb bay.



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Fragmentation bombs on a trailer

in revetment ready to be loaded

LAU-3A rocket with 19 rockets

per pod.

 Since the primary

mission was interdiction on

the "trail", this configuration

was rarely used.

Crew Chief John Vasquez 

installing arming wire on

750# bombs
A string of 500# bombs

was used to cut a road,

then the B-57 crew

would attack the stalled

trucks with napalm.

1000 pound bombs were less

effective because the crater

was shallow enough for trucks

to negotiate.



The B-57 carried either 8-50

 M-3 caliber guns or or 4-20 mm cannons. 

On the left of the 10 inch

model above is a 50 caliber re-brassed 

shell casing - on the right a dummy

20mm finished as a souvenir in chrome.   

(Photo and model - Mark Witt)


Copyright Marquis G. Witt, 1998,1999, 2000, 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,206,2007,2008,2011: Materials may be freely copied and distributed subject to the inclusion of the copyright notice and the web site address. The site is intended for historical and informational purposes. This site contains links to other Internet sites. These links are not endorsements of any products or services in such sites, and no information in such sites has been endorsed or approved by this site.