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Serial

61-7957

Service History

61-7957 was outfitted as a trainer.

Missions

Lt. Col. Al Hichew and his “student” Col. Bill Hayes 100th sortie 17 March 1967 Clyde Shoemaker and Larry Devall “solo” 9 May 1967 Gen. Bruce Holloway VIP flight 4 Oct 1967 LtGen William Martin VIP flight 20 Oct 1967

Last Flight

Thursday, 11 January 1968

957 was lost on Thursday, January 11, 1968. One of only 2 SR-71B trainer models built (the other being #956), she crashed just a few miles from Beale AFB after limping home almost 1000 miles from where she suffered double generator failure over Washington State. Both student pilot (SP) Capt. David Fruehauf and his instructor (IP) Lt. Col. Robert “Gray” Sowers ejected safely.

Don Person, crew chief of #969, witnessed the accident; he recalls:

"....  There were two SR-71's flying that afternoon, 957 and my
aircraft 969.  An emergency was declared, but we did not know which
aircraft had trouble.  We were waiting on the taxiway looking north
and saw an SR-71 approaching.  About 2 miles out it took a pitch up
and we then saw two chutes.  Aircraft crashed in the dreager ponds
where gold was mined.  My heart was thumping as you can imagine, when
another SR-71 came into view and it was an "A" model, 969.  Boy was I
glad to see it land...."

A year later, a replacement trainer was built from the aft end of YF-12 #934 and the SR-71 static model, assigned number 981 and designated as an SR-71C.

Present Location

Crashed near Beale AFB, CA, 11 January 1968

Sources

http://www.habu.org/sr-71/17957.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sr-71