|Each scheduled flight involved a series of steps designed to assure a successful mission. The mission might be merely a test hop to check out the flight-worthiness of a repaired aircraft. It might be a mapping line run in South Korea. It might be a special mission to test experimental equipment designed to evaluate a new procedure, camera, etc. Most typically, it would be a routine classified reconnaissance mission over international waters that came close enough to Soviet territory that it made everyone involved “edgy”. Then, there were occasional missions that were more threatening and complex.
We were given an operational and intelligence briefing before moving out for the preflight check. We then hopped into a truck with our personal equipment and headed for the parking area where we immersed ourselves in flight preparations.
On arrival, our first task was to lay out our personal equipment on the PSP (pierced steel planking) in a well defined order, based upon crew position. The copilot proceeded to check the aircraft status record forms to confirm the airworthiness of the aircraft.
While we flew a variety of aircraft in the squadron, many of our missions were accomplished in this aircraft, 4022, that we came to know affectionately as “double deuce”. If any of us ever developed a feeling that we owned a B-29, it would have to be this aircraft. She was worn and weary, but she brought us home, time after time.