Welcome

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Lord, guard and guide the men who fly Through the great spaces of the sky; Be with them traversing the air In darkening storms or sunshine fair

Thou who dost keep with tender might The balanced birds in all their flight Thou of the tempered winds be near That, having thee, they know no fear

Control their minds with instinct fit What time, adventuring, they quit The firm security of land; Grant steadfast eye and skillful hand

Aloft in solitudes of space, Uphold them with Thy saving grace. O God, protect the men who fly Thru lonely ways beneath the sky.

The U.S. Air Force Hymn
 

 
 

WELCOME

 

 

Welcome to the 52 Charlie website. This site exists primarily for the use of members of the United States Air Force Pilot Training Class known as 52-C. For the uninformed it means a group of fine young men entered pilot training in 1951 and were slated for graduation on May 10, 1952. Hence the "52". The old phonetic term "Charlie", or "C", indicates this class  would be the third such class to graduate in 1952. 52-A (Able) was the first, 52-B (Baker) was the second, etc.

 

 

There was an urgent need for pilots during the early 1950's since the Korean War was raging and the U.S. Air Force was undermanned and poorly equipped following the post WWII drawdown. The exact number of Aviation Cadets and Student Officers who entered training as class 52 Charlie in April 1951 is unknown. But, we do know approximately 455 of America's finest graduated 13 months later. The class was made up of approximately 20% Student Officers and 80% Aviation Cadets. In addition, there were approximately 100 foreign students from France, Belgium and Norway.

 

Basic training took place at six bases which are shown on the "52-C Public Home" page. All students flew the AT-6 "Texan" trainer during this 5 to 6 month period. As is true of most challenging endeavors, a sizeable number failed to measure up to the high standards and were eliminated, or "washed out", along the way. Those who met the challenges moved on to the five advanced training bases which are also shown on the "52-C Public Home" page.

 

Those who went to Bryan AFB, TX flew T-28, T-33 and F-80 aircraft. Those assigned to Craig AFB, TX flew the AT-6 and P-51 of WWII fame. Those fortunate enough to go to Williams AFB, AZ  flew the AT-6, T-33 and F-80.

 

Reese AFB and Vance AFB had split classes of single engine and multi-engine. The multiengine students flew the world famous B-25 while the single engine students were divided into varied groups. Some were sent to Wichita, KS following graduation. They were transitioned into jets, then sent to Nellis AFB where they flew the F-86 and then ....................Korea. The majority of the single engine students became part of an "All Weather Interceptor" test program. They were part of an experimental group which  not only had to fly the AT-6 for another 6 months but  were to fly the majority of their advanced hours under the "hood". In other words, blind flying. Those lucky guys who mastered the art of instrument flying were sent to Moody AFB, GA following graduation where they were checked out in the T-33 and F-80 before reporting to Tyndall AFB, FL for "All Weather Interceptor" training in the F-94B. Then ............ straight to Korea. It was later discovered some 52-C members who went to Williams AFB and received more jet time, but less instrument time, would be measured against those from Vance and Reese who had more instruments and less jet time. The results of that test were never revealed.

 

After graduation on May 10, 1952, the members of 52-C were shipped out in all directions for Combat  Crew Training. Most ended up in (or over) Korea flying F-86, F-84, P-51, F-94, F-80, AT-6, B-29, B-26 and probably a few other types of aircraft. Those who did not get orders to the Far East went through the same upgrade training but were assigned to bases throughout the continental U. S..

 

There is insufficient space on this website to relate details regarding the blood, sweat and tears members of 52-C left in the skies over Korea. Let it suffice to say they performed bravely and magnificently as would be expected of true professionals. Following the cessation of hostilities, many members of 52-C returned to civilian life but a sizeable number remained on active duty and soon found themselves flying combat once again in the skies over Vietnam.

 

Members of 52-C and the visiting public may browse through the links on this "Public Home" page. Those links are briefly described as follows:

 

          Member's Login - Members of 52-C have been provided with a "User

          Name". If you do not have one, refer to the "Contact Us' link and request

          one. If you have one, you must select a "Password" and then log on. Once

          you have logged in you will be able to review "Reunion News", use

          the "Bulletin Board" and browse through (or post your own) "Member's

          Photos".

 

          Master Roster: -  Contains the names of active members of 52-C who

          have provided us with their addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, etc..

          Those numbers are not posted for obvious privacy reasons. If you

          would like to contact a person on the roster, go to the "Contact Us"

          link and make your request.  

 

          Honor Flight - Contains the names of 52-C members who are deceased.

 

          Missing Members – This is a list of 52-C graduates we have not yet located.

          If you know how we might locate any of these individual, please go to the

          "Contact Us" link and let us know.

 

          Past Reunions – List of the year and location of all past reunions.

 

          Aircraft Photos -  A few photos of  the more than 50 military aircraft

          members of 52-C have flown as Pilot in Command during their illustrious careers.
          We are adding to this list frequently as new photos are found and their flight is verified.