Minot getting B-52 model

Plans are to have two models of B-52s installed this year one at Minot Air Force Base and another at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.

Last year the Military Affairs Committee of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce launched a community drive to raise $75,000 for one or two B-52 models, with one model to be presented to the Minot base and installed there.

Another B-52 model will be placed at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.

The models of B-52s are to show the community’s appreciation to the U.S. Air Force.

John MacMartin, Chamber president, said the B-52 model that will go on the base will be the commander’s plane.

He said the plane for the air museum will be the youngest B-52, which is the last one off the assembly line.

Last year was the 60th anniversary of the B-52 bomber, marking the anniversary of the last B-52 that came off the assembly line in 1962. That plane is assigned to Minot AFB and the model for the air museum will have tail No. 61-040, the youngest B-52’s tail number.

Minot AFB has had B-52 bombers since the first one arrived at the base on July 16, 1961. That day, the “Peace Persuader” touched down on the base runway with then Gov. William Guy and the commander of the then 4136th Strategic Wing, Col. Harold Radetsky, onboard with the crew. Guy died April 26.

Minot AFB and Barksdale AFB are the only two bases with B-52s. Barksdale has a one-eighth scale model that was a gift from the people in the greater Schreveport, La., area.

The B-52 models have been ordered, MacMartin said. They have 23-foot wingspans.

He said they hope to have the models installed at the air museum and at the base by mid-August.

The model for the base will be installed near the 5th Bomb Wing Headquarters. The one at the air museum will be installed in a grassy area just west of the front entrance to the facility.

Bruce Carlson, chairman of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, said they are continuing the fundraising for the two models and are well on the way to the goal.

Contributions are being accepted from businesses, groups and organizations, and individuals and families anyone who is interested. Carlson said any amount of contribution small or large will be appreciated.

The contributions can be made to “USAF Recognition Project” and sent in care of Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 940, Minot, ND 58702 or delivered to the Chamber office at 1020-20th Ave. SW, Minot.