Independence Day is a time when we take a moment to remember the many freedoms we enjoy in this great country and the sacrificial efforts of our military men & woman that gave us the opportunity.
George E. Hayes served in the Air Force with the Blackbirds 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron from 1952 to 1953 and was stationed in Korea. Night after night the Blackbirds kept enemy airfields, supply areas, railroads, and roads under strict surveillance. RB -26’s sent a steady stream of valuable intelligence to headquarters so the enemy capabilities to be monitored and bombing strikes planned. At the same time, the Blackbird Squadron compiled one of the finest safety records ever made in a combat unit: 10,000 operational hours without a single major accident.
Their motto: “Alone! Unarmed! Unafraid!” George worked as a camera repair man and remembers removing the film cannisters from the B-26 planes to develop the pictures for identifying secret military bombing patterns.
The pilots used flash bombs to light up the target area and then cameras would take pictures of the land area. George tells the unusual story of his first guard assignment patrolling the outside perimeter where he heard enemy voices and boldly asked out loud, “Who’s there?” Another interesting memory George recalls is when a bomb landed near his squadron’s tent, rattled the ground, and the whole squadron ran frantically for cover! George is grateful for the opportunity to live at The Springs, a place he calls home. He enjoys shooting a competitive round of billiards or playing a challenging game of poker with his friends. Thank You for your devoted service to our country and local community. Happy Holiday!
Interviewed by T.S.M.