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The Cold War Years 1948-1972

In 1948 the Army Air Corps was detached from the US Army to create the newly established United States Air Force. Ramey Air Force Base was assigned to the strategic wing of the newly established Air Force, the Strategic Air Command (SAC)

BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

SAC was initially referred to as a “paper air force”. SACs aircrafts, the B-29 (above) and its upgraded version the B-50 (below), could not  implemented let alone executed the “Worldwide Strategic Concept” of the Strategic Air Command. These uncertain and humble beginnings would develop into a force equal to none

The 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium Hq. and Hq. Sq. were established at Ramey AFB 1 November 1950. The 55TH mission was to support active programs of the Strategic Air Command. Charting photography, electronic geodetic mapping/surveying and related reconnaissance functions. The RB-50′s were supported by the 55th Air Refueling Squadron KB-29’s

55th SRW MEDIUM HQ. HQ. SQ. RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1950

The first RB-50 arrived at Ramey 22 December 1950

338th STRATEGIC RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1950

The 55th SRW was composed of the 338th and the 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadrons

RB-50 47-0128 LABORIN LADY AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1951

From 1950 to 1952 the 55th SRS was part of the 2nd Air Force. The 55th was identified by a “V” inside a square

RB-50 47-0133 RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1951

Crew of the “Ramey Ramblers”

RB-50 47-0162 RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1952

Crew of the “Cock N Bull”

RB-50 47-0134 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1952

338th SRS RB-50 Crew 

B-50, RB-50 AND C-82 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1952

Charlie Area and FHA Housing seen top left of image

B-50, RB-50, WB-50 AND C-82 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1952

An assortment of B-50 variants by Charlie Aerea apron

RB-50 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

In 1953 the 55th was “reorganized” to the 15th Air Force which was identified by a “V” inside a circle. These tail markings would be phased out by the end of 1953. Camera pods clearly seen on this image

RB-50 47-0140 FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

RB-50 “Half Virgin” seen at RAF Mildenhall

RB-50 47-0141 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

Top image is graphic of RB-50 pictured below it

Aerial view of the Charlie Area Apron. Variety of B-50, C-82’s and fuel trucks. Maintenance Hangars seen top center

RB-50 AND WB-50 BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

Specialized mission of the 55th

ELINT (electronic intelligence) – Electronic and photographic targeting reconnaissance.

SHORAN (short range navigation) – Aerial mapping and geographic survey missions

WEATHER – These “weather” aircrafts would become famous gathering tropical depression data. Their main, little known, mission was to detect radioactive levels in the atmosphere. In other words detect Soviet atomic weapons detonations.

(The above images are not Ramey AFB)

RB-50 47-0151 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

The one and only RB-50 “Caribbean Queen”

RB-50 47-0151 UPON LANDING AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

Caribbean Queen returning home after 16 ELINT missions in Korea

KB-29 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1949

Assigned to the 55th SRS and also stationed at Ramey AFB was the 55th Air Refueling Squadron operating probe and drogue KB-29M

KB-29 REFUELING RB-50 BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

KB-29 (above) refueling a B-50 (bellow) (ca. 1950) (not Ramey)

Borinquen Field – Ramey Air Force Base History

B-50, C-118, C-47, PBY CATALINA, HU-16 ALBATROSS AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1953

The 72nd Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy, was established at Ramey AFB during 1953. The 72nd did not become operational until the last elements of the 55TH SRW were absorbed by the newly established wing. The primary mission of the 72nd SRW was global strategic reconnaissance

WELCOME TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE BOOKLET 1954

The 72nd SRW was composed of the 60th, 73rd and 301st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadrons

RB-36 44-92006 COMING OVER THE GOLF COURSE AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

The B-36 was the first “Intercontinental Deliver System” for the Strategic Air Command. It could reach into the Soviet Union from the Continental United States and fly back, stateside, without refueling

RB-36 44-92012 APPROACHING CHARLIE AREA AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

The first RB-36 arrived at Ramey AFB 31January 1953. Five other RB-36 arrived at Ramey on 5 March 1953 and were assigned to the 301st SRS

RB-50 44-92014 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

The 72nd SRS was identified by an “F” inside a Square. These markings would later be phased out

RB-36 44-92022 AND CREW AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

RB-36 coming over the Golf Course (above) 23 man crew (below). Notice “scheme” variation

RB-36 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE FLIGHT LINE (ca. 1954-1955)

Ten RB-36 and three maintenance “T-Hangars” can be seen at the beginning of Runway 8

CLOSE UP OF T-HANGARS AND RB-36 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

The T-Hangars offered some respite from the elements to the maintenance crews

RB-36 49-2691 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE. 72nd PERIODIC MAINTENANCE CREW ALONGSIDE (ca. 1953-1955)

The RB-36 was a very high maintenance aircraft which required vast amount of maintenance manpower

B-36 PERFORM A FLYOVER AT RAMEY AS THEY RETURN FROM A DEPLOYMENT TO TURKEY 1955

During early 1955 the 72nd SRW were performing Bombardment Operations in addition to Reconnaissance Missions

THIRTEEN B-36 SEEN AT THE ALERT AREA OF RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1956

On 1 October 1955 the 72nd SRW was re-designated a Bombardment Unit

B-36 AIRMEN AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE (ca 1955-1956)

“Every man a Tiger” patch seen on these B-36 airmen flight suits

B-36 49-2693 DEFENSIVE WEAPONERY AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1955

Loading 20mm shells onto a B-36

IMAGES OF B-36 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1955

B-36 off on a mission (above). Two B-36 seen at Charlie Area. Crash and Rescue building seen lower center image

B-36 49-2686 AND 44-92013 SEEN AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1955

B-36 seen at Alert Area with 72nd Air Police Security detail

RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 72nd AIR POLICE (ca 1955-1956)

72nd Air Police alongside M20 Armed Utility Vehicle

RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 72nd AIR POLICE SECURITY 1956

Also seen in the background, of the above image, are the maintenance T-Hangars located by Hangar Road towards Runway 8

B-36 49-2704 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1957

Nice view of the 72nd SRW shield

B-36 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE ALERT AREA 1957

21 B-36 at the ready at Ramey Air Force Base

B-36 51-5754 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1957

Notice tail and engine red markings

B-36 SQUADRON RETUNS TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1957

The squadron aircrafts would return individually to Ramey and rendezvous approaching the Base

23 B-36 SEEN AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1958

Bottom image of Charlie Area is close up of above base image

RB-36 TAKING OFF AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE (CA. 1957 – 1958)

Two HU-16 Albatross and “crash” fire trucks seen by Hangar 5

B-36 SEEN BY HANGAR 5 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1954

Referred to as “The Peacemaker” or “Aluminum Overcast” the B-36 was a massive aircraft.  There will never be such an aircraft built, ever again

The B-52 gave SAC the capability of accomplishing its worldwide strategic mission; long range bombing capabilities, anytime, anywhere in the world. The B-52 “platform” will continue to be used way into the future

B-36 AND B-52 SIDE BY SIDE. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

In 1958 Ramey AFB prepares for the arrival of the B-52 “Stratofortress”. The B-52 and will replace all the B-36 of the Strategic Air Command. This bird will be flown by generations yet to be born

60TH BS PATCH. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

Of the three squadrons that made up the 72nd Bombardment Wing only the 60th Bombardment Squadron will continue to be stationed at Ramey. The 73rd BS is transferred to Seymour-Johnson AFB and the 301st BS is transferred to Eglin AFB

72nd BW HQ. 1960 BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

In 1959 the 72nd BW became part of the 8th Air Force

B-52 of the 60TH BS 72ND BW 1961. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

The first B-52 (58-0168) arrived at Ramey AFB 14 August 1959. This first B-52 has been christened “La Fortaleza”. Seen here at Tinker AFB

RAMEY AFB ALERT AREA. EARLY 1960. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

KC-135 seen in the upper right hand and center side of image

B-52 coming over the golf course

B-52 58-0232 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1964

Immediately upon touchdown each aircraft was parked and readied for maintenance recovery teams

AGM-28 AND GAM-72 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1966

The B-52 was also equipped with the nuclear ready AGM-28 Hound Dog cruise missile (above) and the GAM-72 Quail decoy missile (below)

72nd AMMS RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE (ca mid 1960’s)

Christmas at Ramey Air Force Base

B-52 TAIL GUN. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE (ca. mid 1960’s)

Hangar 5 seen at the bottom right side of the bottom picture

RAMEY AFB CHARLIE AREA 1966. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE MUSEUM

Assortment of aircrafts seen in the ever present Charlie Area of Ramey AFB

Open House Armed Forces Day

Open House at Ramey AFB

This B-52 will bestow special honors for Ramey AFB

B-52 58-0184 “CARIBBEAN STAR”. 1966 BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

72nd BW Commander, aircrew and maintenance team at Fairchild AFB before the start of “Fleet” competition

B-52 58-0184 “ESTRELLA DEL CARIBE”. 1966 RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE

Victorious 8TH AF “Pride of the Fleet” trophy for Ramey AFB

72ND BW 60th BS B-52 AND 915TH ARS KC-135 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1968

Flight Line Alert Birds at the ready

B-52 ALERT BIRD AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1969

Once a B-52 was loaded with nuclear ordinance it was assigned an AP for security

RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE RUNWAY 1969

Taxi Runway. Control Tower can be seen thru left side of cockpit window

B-52 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1969

Camouflaged B-52 seen in the foreground

B-52 INFLIGHT COCKPIT VIEW 1969. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

Island point to the left is Rincon. City seen at the bottom of wiper blade is Mayaguez

B-52 KC-135 AT ALERT AREA OF RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1969

This image is displayed at the offices of the USAF ROTC detachment 756, Mayaguez Campus, University of Puerto Rico

B-52 BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY 1969

B-52 coming in over the golf course

B-52 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1969

Home again. Alert Area and Alert Birds seen in the background

B-52 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE RUNWAY 1969

Coco Alert at Ramey AFB. Camouflaged B-52 on the left. Fash Silver/White B-52 seen to the right

B-52 CREW AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1969

B-52 Alert Crew seen by Alert Building Facility’s

ALERT BUILDING FACILITY’S AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1970

Alert Building “ramps” clearly seen in this image

B-52 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1970

B-52 59-2578 seen at Ramey AFB

B-52 AND KC-135 AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1971

B-52 and KC-135’s at Alert Area Apron by Gate 1

B-52 COMING IN OVER WILDERNESS BEACH AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE 1971

Other bombers are built to carry out the missions of the Strategic Air Command. The B-52 will carry the bulk of the weight until the end of the Cold War and then some

CHARLIE AREA 1969. BORINQUEN FIELD – RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY

13 Fighters seen center of image. The C-130’s might be WC-130’s that were stationed at Ramey along with the WB-47 of the 53rd WRS

The B-52 stood on Nuclear Alert at Ramey AFB from 1959 until 1972. SAC kept its adversaries at bay and assured the Cold War would never turn HOT. “Peace Thru Strength” stood true then as it does today and will do so in the future

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