“The Black Tornado!”
Korean War and Cold War
RB-45C Spy Missions

Introduction by Web Site Manager, Chuck Stone
First-hand narrative story, statistics and illustrations
courtesy of Howard S. Myers, Jr.,


If you have read the previous story by Robert F. Dorr, you have had an accurate and concise introduction to the RB-45C recon aircraft and mission. Reviewing his presentation brought back memories of my own RB-29 tour with the 91st SRS at Yokota when I observed RB-45Cs parked on the ramp directly in front of our Squadron Operations building. In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t take time to nose around and look the aircraft over and become acquainted with the crews involved. As mentioned in my RB-29 crew recollections, I took a prize-winning color slide of the RB-45s, silhouetted against a bright orange sunrise, only to have it lifted from my collection when it was sent as part of a complete slide series to the Kodak Processing Center in Hawaii to be copied for a friend. I can only presume that this slide was removed from circulation by some security screening process, because there were other select slides that disappeared at the same time. None of the removed slides reflected the slightest breach of security. The fact that there were RB-45s operating from Yokota was obvious to any military or civilian within sight and earshot of the base. I accepted it all without protest for the same reason that I didn’t get carried away with curiosity regarding the RB-45C aircraft and crews — It just seemed wiser not to learn too much that didn’t directly effect our own crew performance.

Through the magic of the Internet, I have become acquainted with men who served in the 91st SRS in a variety of duty capacities. One of these individuals has been Howard S. Myers, Aircraft Commander of one of the RB-45Cs that operated out of Yokota Air Base during both the Korean War and the early Cold War period. He is one of the many "true professionals" that went on to become the backbone of Strategic Air Command (SAC).

Lou Carrington Crew standing beside "No Sweat," another of the 91st's RB-45Cs, its nose camera port emphasized by a bulging eye and grinning teeth, won the 1952 MacKay trophy for the first non-stop transpacific flight from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, to Yokota, Japan, a distance of 4,000 miles.

He has been kind enough to share his thoughts and recollections of his RB-45C experiences with us and has granted permission to publish selected excerpts on this web site. Howard Myers has accumulated extensive statistical information and documented a number of stories on the subject. In sorting it out, I have chosen to divide his contributions into two sections. One, is the story of the first penetration into North Korea with an RB-45C, painted all black, intended to foil the searchlight targeting methods of the adversary. The second section will be an accumulation of descriptive miscellaneous information on the “the little known” RB-45C recon aircraft.

If you have not yet reviewed the preceding Robert F. Dorr, RB-45 C story, we suggest you do so, first, as it is a good preparation for full appreciation of this information provided by Howard S. Myers.

You may choose your starting point for this adventure by clicking
on either of these titles.

The Black Tornado Story

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7

RB-45C Facts and Figures

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