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Press Releases Related to the
Golden Bear Turnover

Here's a set of links to a number PDF files related to the turnover of the Golden Bear to the AF at Travis AFB in April 1965. Most were produced by the Travis AFB Public Affairs office, but there are a few from Lockheed, Pratt & Whitney, etc.

Download them to your local PC for viewing offline. Just "right-click" and "save-as". Use the Adobe Reader to view it, which you can download for free from their web site if you don't already have it installed on your machine.

General Information About the C-141
First C-141 Crew
History of the C-141
Pratt & Whitney Press Release
Travis AFB Press Release 4-15-65
Travis AFB Press Release 4-16-65
Travis AFB Press Release #2 4-16-65
Travis AFB Press Release 4-19-65
Travis AFB Press Release 4-20-65
Lockheed Press Release 4-23-65
C-141 Sub Contractors Information
Ticket to C-141 Turnover Ceremony
Western Air Force Press Release

This material was submitted from the files of Vernon Smith, by his son, Mark. Here's a copy of his note:

Hello Mike. I sent your web site address to my father. His name is Vernon Smith. He was assigned to the C-141 during the test program of the plane at Edwards. After the test program was done he was the loadmaster on the first C-141 delivered for operational use. Some time around 1966 he got transferred over to Air/Sea Rescue and we moved to Goose Bay for a while and then down to Florida. I think it was about 68 that we returned to Travis and he started flying on the C-141 again. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant in the mid 70's and had been assigned to the 22nd Air Force as the Stan-eval NCO. He retired when he did because they were going to transfer him back to Scott AFB and he didn't want to do that.

Believe it or not, my dad still had a file which contained the original press packet from the delivery of the Golden Bear on April 23, 1965. There were quite a few documents in the file.

Even though I went on to become a loadmaster I never really talked to him much about what he did in the Air Force. I'm sure he has a lot of historical information in his head about the plane. If you want to try and contact him he can be reached at vsmith5107@aol.com.

Also, do you know Bob Swanson? He's my brother-in-law and was a C-141 pilot. He was a ART at the 710 MAS at Travis and eventually moved to the 349th Wing. He made full bird and got transferred to Charleston as the reserve wing commander there. He retired probably six or seven years ago.

You see why I was so interested in your site. My family has a lot of history with the C-141. I just hate to see them get scrapped. But they did serve for a long time.

Mark Smith

Last Updated: Wed 12-Dec-2014