Thursday, March 12, 2015

Maxine Dunagan Eddleman Obituary

From Karen Smith

The Cullman Times,  Cullman County, AL
Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 3:37 pm
Graveside services for Maxine Dunagan Eddleman will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2015, at Cullman City Cemetery, the Rev. Richard Saylor officiating.
Ms. Eddleman was born May 31, 1943, and passed away Sunday, March 1, 2015. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and loved working with a variety of community service organizations.
Maxine was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Eddleman; father, Ewel Jackson Dunagan; mother, Audie Odell Dunagan; brother, Leroy Dunagan; niece, Kimberly Dunagan; and stepbrother, Kenneth Ewel Dunagan.
She was survived by her son, Marty (Denise) Eddleman; a brother, Gordon (Martha) Dunagan; grandchildren, Stacy Eddleman, Shea (J.P.) Westfall, Stephanie (Josh) Akers; great-grandchildren, Avery Brook Akers, Audie Ruth Westfall; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Maxine is descendant of::

Ewel Dunagan
Andrew Jackson Dunagan
Abner Dunagan
Ira Dunagan
Abner Dunagan

The step brother was a half brother.

Gordon Dunagan was the Mayor of Good Hope, AL
for several years,

Abner Dunagan is Maxine's great grandfather, who died during the Civil  War and Ewel told the story about Abner coming home on leave and murdered the Home Guards who had beaten his dad and abused his mother and son, the Guards were trying to steal their money.  Andrew was the little boy.
The money was hidden under a pile of rocks the family had cleared from a field,

This story was told by Ewel Dunagan of Cullman, Alabama to Karen Dunagan-Smith of Kankakee, Illinois, and what follows is the story as told by my father, George Jeter Dunagan. He referred to this story as a civil war tragedy of Pickens County, Georgia.Ira Dunagan was the son of Abner Dunagan, Sr. of Habersham County, Georgia. Abner, Sr. was the brother of Ezekiel Dunagan of Hall County, Georgia, a veteran of the War of 1812. Both these brothers came into Georgia with their father, Rev. Joseph Dunagan, in 1796 from Pendleton, South Carolina.Ira was born in 1805 in Franklin County. He was married and living with his wife Elizabeth and three children in 1830 in Lumpkin County, Georgia. The other two children were born in Gilmer County. In 1850 Ira and his family lived on the Fairmount Road leading out of Jasper in Pickens County.May 15, 1854, Ira served on the Superior Court Grand Jury, which was held under a huge oak tree before Jasper was a town. Ira was a farmer and a miller and people came from many miles around to his mill to get their corn ground into meal.Ira and Elizabeth had two sons and three daughters. Their son's Abner, Jr., and Benjamin joined the Army of the CSA soon after the Civil War began.Abner, Jr. was a farmer and was married to Lucinda Swofford of Union County. They had one son whose name was Andrew Jackson Dunagan who was about six years old when his father went to war. Benjamin was single and ran a grocery store when he had to enlist.During the Civil War in the south there were men in every community assigned as "Home Guards." One night seven of these Home Guards went to Ira's house. They thought Ira had some money and wanted it. He had over three hundred dollars in gold and silver which he had placed in a gourd and hid in a hollow stump. He covered the stump with rocks like many people did in those days when there were a lot of rocks in their fields. They would pile these rocks in a pile and plow around it.Ira would not admit to the men that he had any money. They were sure he had some money and they planned to make him tell them where it was hidden. He was close to sixty years old. They tied his feet with a rope and threw the end of the rope over the ceiling joist and had him swinging back and forth with his head down near the floor. Each man would knock Ira from one side of the room to the other, while two other men were pulling Elizabeth by her hair trying to get her to tell them where the money was hidden.Andrew Jackson Dunagan, Abner, Jr.'s son, was staying with his grandparents. He had gone to bed and was asleep when he was suddenly awaken by the noise. He ran into the room and was knocked over into a corner and told if he moved or said a word they would kill him. He was about eight years old.The war had been going on for over two years when Abner decided he needed to go home to check on his family. He had been stationed in Memphis, TN, and was able to get a leave of absence for fifteen days. When Abner arrived home his parents told him about the incident and who the men were, because they knew each one of them by name. Abner stayed around for a few days, but abruptly left one day never to return taking his fathers only horse. Both Abner and his brother Benjamin were killed in the war.After the war was over one of Ira's neighbors who had served in the same Confederate unit with Abner, told Abner's parents what had happened that eventful day when Abner had left so suddenly. He had killed all seven of the "Home Guard" who had violated his parents and son that fateful night.When Abner had left that day he had gone to the home of the last man he was to kill and asked the wife where he was and called for him by name. She said he was in the corn crib shucking corn. This is where Abner killed the man.After Abner returned to his unit it was later told that he had become very bitter and extremely hardened. He killed many men before he met with his own death.Soon after the war came to an end, Ira and his family including Lucinda, Abner's widow and son Andrew Jackson Dunagan, moved to Winston County, Alabama. This is where Ira lived when he and Elizabeth died. They are buried in the Liberty Church Cemetery, in Winston County.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Governor John Gardiner Richards, Jr.

I had posted previously that there were two governors of Georgia in the Dunagan Family Tree, Zell Miller and Nathan Deal. I have recently learned from Catherine Bankhead Dunagan, who is married to my nephew, David Dunagan, that she is the great granddaughter of a former governor of South Carolina. This is his story.

John Gardiner Richards, Jr. (1864 – 1941) was the 96th Governor of South Carolina from 1927 to 1931.Born in Liberty Hill, Kershaw County, on September 11, 1864, Richards was the son of the Rev. John G. Richards and Sophia Edwards Smith. Richard's father served in the Civil War as a CSA Chaplain having graduated from Oglethorpe University, Georgia in 1850, and Theological Seminary, Columbia, S.C. in 1853, becoming a Presbyterian minister, later moving his family to Liberty Hill, Kershaw County, SC, to pastor a church.

John G. Richards, Jr., the future governor, grew up in Liberty Hill and attended the common schools of Liberty Hill, later spending two years at Bingham Military Institute in Mebane, North Carolina, before returning home at age nineteen to manage the family farm. In June 1888, Richards married Betty Coates Workman. The couple had eleven children.

In 1890 Richards supported “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman in his agrarian crusade against the conservative leaders of the Democratic Party, the so-called “Bourbons.” Tillman triumphed and Richards became a Kershaw County magistrate. After serving for eight years, he won a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1898. Over the next twelve years, Richards championed agriculture, conservative budgets, public education for whites, and liquor control. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Richards was a staunch advocate of prohibition.

After an unsuccessful bid for the governorship in 1910, Richards was appointed to the state Railroad Commission, where he sat for twelve years between 1910 and 1926. During that time, he shifted his political allegiance from Tillman to Cole Blease, the victor in the 1910 gubernatorial election. Richards failed to succeed Blease as governor in 1914, and lost a third run for the office 1918. Finally, in his fourth attempt, Richards won the governorship in 1926.

In office, Richards declared war on the board of public welfare, evolution, and the highway and tax commissions, proclaiming the latter “a veiled effort to establish an oligarchy.” He urged strict adherence to the Ten Commandments and ordered the state constabulary to close businesses that violated the Sabbath and even arrested golfers for ignoring state Blue Laws. Appalled, the New York Times editorialized in March 1927 that “There is another sport in South Carolina which is not seriously interfered with. This is lynching.” A month later, a Columbia Record poll revealed 249 respondents favored the governor’s position on Sunday activities while 3,943 opposed his interpretation of the Ten Commandments. The legislature and the state supreme court responded by curtailing Richards’ authority, while popular opinion rejected his actions.

By 1928, the governor had abandoned his persecution of golfers and concentrated on rallying support for a $65,000,000 road construction project and the upgrading of public schools. Both of these endeavors were tremendously successful under Richards’ stewardship, but were overshadowed by his zealous moral crusade. By the time he left office in 1931, South Carolinians enduring the Great Depression were far more concerned with obtaining the basic necessities of this life than with the narrow moral code of their governor. Retiring to his farm in Liberty Hill, Richards remained a loyal Democrat and supported Franklin Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential campaign, although he simultaneously led opposition in the state to the repeal of national prohibition. Richards died on October 9, 1941, and was buried in Liberty Hill Cemetery.


Cann, Katherine D. “John G. Richards and the Moral Majority.” Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association, 1983.

McClure, Charles F., Jr. “The Public Career of John G. Richards.” M.A. thesis, University of South Carolina, 1972.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Governor Zell Miller and Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia

Two Georgia governors from the same family tree is not that common. Former Governor Zell Miller(also former U. S. Senator) with his wife Shirley and the current Governor Nathan Deal(former U. S. Congressman) with his wife Sandra Dunagan Deal, my oldest sister. Zell is the great grandson of Lydia Dunagan Miller and James Miller. Lydia Dunagan was the daughter of Joseph Ellis Dunagan, my third great grandfather and the oldest son of Ezekiel Dunagan and Lydia Ann Brown of Hall county, Georgia. Joseph Ellis Dunagan was elected to the Georgia State Senate and served 24 consecutive years in the Georgia Legislature in the early 1800s. Sandra likes to point out that Nathan has never lost an election except when he ran for President of the Jaycees of Gainesville/Hall County.

Photo taken January 12, 2015, Governor Deal's swearing in ceremony, Georgia State Capital, for 2nd term. Governor Zell Miller also served two terms as Governor and later served in the U. S. Senate for 6 years before retiring from politics.

January 12, 2015, Nathan is sworn in as Governor of Georgia, by his eldest son, 
Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, surrounded by his family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ezekiel Dunagan Family Reunion 2014

Ezekiel Dunagan Family Reunion 2014
Gainesville Marina on Lake Lanier
September 21, 2014

Additional photos by Lindsey McDowell at:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eddie D. Dunagan, U-2 Pilot

 Eddie D Dunagan (son of Dell Owen & Christine (Hurt) Dunagan around 1949 in Talco, Texas after a high school football game. After graduating he went to University of Texas, graduated, joined the Air Force and flew a multitude of planes including the U2 during the Cold War and during the Cuban missile crisis. A true hero and a gentleman.

Dell Owen Dunagan was the son of Marion Dunagan and Florence Owen/Thomas Sanford Dunagan 1833-1896 and Lucy E. Richardson/Martin Dunagan born 1800 Surrey County NC, died around 1850 in Dickson TN married to Margaret Donaldson/John Dunagan, Jr. b. 1755-1813 Orange County NC married Susan Woodfin/John Dunagan born Limerick, Ireland in 1736, died in Surry County NC around 1780 married to Elizabeth ? 

In photo below, standing to the left, in 1962 when he was in Australia. Shortly thereafter he was flying over Cuba in the U2 taking photos during the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

In The article below Ed is quoted several times about some of his experiences as a U2 pilot.

World War II ended with the explosion of two atom bombs. Each wiped out a Japanese city, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peace reigned supreme in the subsequent years, until 1948. That is when the Communist government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) exploded their first atomic bomb. The arms race was on!
Throughout the 1950s, the U.S. government worried that the U.S.S.R. would develop long range delivery platforms, first by manufacturing huge bombers and then Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could threaten the security of the U.S. with their nuclear bombs. However, the U.S. had no way of confirming exactly what kinds of bombs, airplanes or missiles they had, or how many.
During the height of the Cold War, a small group of elite pilots, navigators and support personnel flew sorties all over the world collecting indispensable information about adversaries of the United States at great personal risk to themselves. One of those groups was a unit known as the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing based at Laughlin AFB, near Del Rio, Texas. They flew the highly classified U-2 “Dragon Lady” spy plane.
“Toward the Unknown” was their motto. The U-2A was capable of reaching altitudes in excess of 67,000 feet. The U-2C, with an updated engine could fly higher, up to 74,000 feet. Airlines today rarely fly over 40,000 feet, and for anyone to fly over 50,000, federal regulations require a pressure suit.
According to Chris Pocock, a British historian who has spent a lifetime studying the U-2, the plane was originally built for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to fly covertly over the Soviet Union in the 1950s. It was indispensable in gathering intelligence about the Soviet long-range aviation capabilities. It photographed the Soviet bombers and nuclear bomb manufacturing facilities. The pictures and data that the original CIA U-2 pilots over flying the USSR collected gave the free word its only glimpse into what the Soviet Union was accomplishing militarily.
In 1957, the U.S. Air Force founded its own U-2 program that operated in parallel with the CIA’s. Air Force leaders needed a capability for overt collection of intelligence for the Strategic Air Command, the major command of the Air Force that was responsible for nuclear deterrence. Primarily, SAC wanted data on Soviet above ground nuclear bomb tests. But the command also wanted the flexibility to spy on potential targets.
If the Soviets launched their nuclear-armed bombers and missiles at the U.S., SAC’s mission was to deliver a fierce counter-strike via bombers and missiles, to prevent the aggressor’s ability to wage war (that is, to launch a second strike). SAC’s motto at that time was “Peace is our Profession.” If nuclear war ever broke out between the two superpowers, SAC’s mission would have failed. To perform this mission, aggressive collection of threat data and target intelligence was paramount.
The SAC-assigned U-2s collected atmospheric data to determine the magnitude, or size, of the nuclear bombs the Soviet Union developed. Specially equipped U-2s could fly at high altitudes downwind of Soviet above ground nuclear testing, scoop in the high altitude particles, and return the samples to U.S. scientists who would determine the size and type of nuclear explosions. The program was called the “High Altitude Sampling Program,” or HASP. Other than launching from exotic places, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, Australia, Buenos Aires, and Panama, the HASP mission was fairly routine and boring.
In October 1962, SAC’s U-2s stationed at Laughlin were tasked with photographing the Communist nation of Cuba from high altitude. It was Laughlin U-2s that discovered that Castro had allowed the Soviet Union to deploy medium range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads on them, aimed at the U.S. Because of their proximity to the U.S., these missiles shifted the advantage to the Soviet’s favor to launch a surprise nuclear attack and destroy cities and military targets along the U.S. Eastern seaboard. Without warning, Soviet missiles could have disabled our country to the point that we couldn’t deliver a backbreaking counter-strike. Hence deterrence against nuclear war could no longer be assured. This was called the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The 4080th SRW left Laughlin AFB in July 1963 and moved the U-2s to Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Ariz. But before they left, the pilots of this distinguished unit had time to make many lasting memories of their time in Del Rio and Texas and of the dangerous missions they flew.

The Selection

“We were volunteering for something we didn’t know what we were volunteering for. All we knew we were going to Del Rio, Texas, but that was all we knew. If I had any apprehension, it was something to look forward to, because it was something we had to achieve,” says Eddie Dunagan, a former U-2 pilot with the 4080th.
SAC selected their initial cadre of U-2 pilots to report to Laughlin AFB out of the soon-to-be-retired SAC fighter wings. According to U-2 pilot Pat Halloran, when SAC’s bombers all transitioned to the nuclear role, they no longer needed fighter escort. And while they kept the fighters around for a while in a fighter-bomber role with the F-84, by the mid-1950s, those pilots were looking for something else to fly.
Tony Bevacqua was also one of those dinosaur SAC fighter pilots, though at the time of his becoming a dinosaur, he was only a First Lieutenant, and perhaps the youngest of the bunch. “One of my roommates in Albany, Georgia (Turner AFB) was Francis Gary Powers, as was Vic Milam. He lives in Del Rio now, but back then he was in the RB-57,” Bevacqua recalls.
Halloran was at Tinker AFB near Oklahoma City when he heard of the program. “We had a lot of rumors going around. We had some people who were disappearing from the scene. We learned there was a big high-powered program going on, but we didn’t know what it was. Except that it was something really exotic,” he says. Bevacqua adds, “Francis Gary Powers disappeared in 1956 [not from a shoot down, but to join the CIA U-2 program]. We didn’t know where he went, and later found out he was in the CIA program flying the U-2.”
Bevacqua was flying the F-84 when he was asked if he wanted to volunteer for something exotic. “And contrary to my mother’s suggestions, I volunteered. We didn’t know what we were getting into. They sent us on a series of interesting TDYs [temporary duty assignments],” says Bevacqua. “We went somewhere up north to get sized for our pressure suits, then to Wright-Patterson AFB for the [altitude] chamber, and then later on to Fort Worth, to Carswell AFB for the chamber there.”
Not knowing what they may be flying is a recurring theme with the initial cadre selected by SAC to spearhead the U-2 program. But Halloran remembers the excitement of being selected. “What got our attention about it was that we knew enough about it to say it was single engine, one pilot, extreme altitude, there was going to be space suits. So we thought we were going to be astronauts!” Halloran recalls.
Buddy Brown recalls the five to seven day physical. “They didn’t know what they were looking for, so they pricked and poked at everything,” he says.
Even after they were selected there weren’t any airplanes at Laughlin. In 1957, Tony Bevacqua and several others were dispatched to California to be among the first SAC pilots to fly the U-2.
“We went to Groom Lake. It’s also called Area 51 today. But back then, we called it ‘The Ranch.’ We’d live at March AFB near Los Angeles. Every Friday afternoon a plane would land and pick us up, it was a Gooney Bird at the time [C-47 or the military version of the DC-3], and later a C-54. And on Friday afternoon we’d fly to The Ranch. I didn’t see a bunch of planes, because there weren’t a bunch of planes. A C-124 would ship the U-2s in to get assembled. It was flown [first] by an employee of Lockheed, and then it was accepted by an Air Force person as ready to go. And then we flew them,” Bevacqua says.
Flying an airplane that hasn’t gone through the rigorous Edwards AFB flight test program is unheard of today. But SAC wanted to get the program off to a fast start. According to Bevacqua, they didn’t even have technical orders.
“We had a checklist that was on an 11”x17” piece of cardboard. It had the route of flight on the backside and a normal curve for oxygen and for fuel, and every half hour you’d put a dot on each curve to tell yourself where you were, up or down, or on it. And then below that was our emergency checklist,” Bevacqua says. On the way back to Laughlin, Bevacqua says he stopped by Oakdale, Calif. to obtain Dash-1s, or the technical manuals, for the 4080th.
Before leaving The Ranch for Laughlin, Bevacqua was involved in a crash in the U-2.
“My first landing on the runway at The Ranch was in [tail number] 696. As soon as I stalled out, the left wing went right down to the ground, and I started sort of a ground loop, only while slightly airborne. So I pushed up the power, got the wings back up, and the mobile said, ‘shut her down!’ And so as soon as I shut it down, the left wing went right back down,” Bevacqua says. The wing caught the side of a creek bed and whipped him around. Fortunately, he walked away from the accident and the airplane was repaired.
U-2 pilots and mechanics are fond of mentioning each aircraft by tail number because they were all different in one aspect or the other. “Don’t forget each U-2 was handmade. Every one of them was different. Everyone of them had its own personality,” says Bevacqua.

Arriving at Laughlin

Bevacqua was one of the first six pilots to bring the initial six U-2s to Laughlin. Pat Halloran had just arrived at Laughlin and was awaiting their arrival so he could start training to fly.
They encountered the same challenges instructor pilots and students do to this day with the airfield on the border: Mexico.
“We had six U-2s built, so six of us came to Laughlin in two three-ship formations and we managed to fly over Mexico arriving here,” Bevacqua says. “We were just following the leader, and he was lost. And of course we got chastised by the US. Mexico probably didn’t know we were there.”
After training at The Ranch, all six initial pilots were qualified to be instructors and functional check pilots. They set forth the task of training their colleagues.
“We noticed that the sides of the runway at Laughlin had been graded. It was all fresh dirt. When we asked ‘why did you do that,’ they said, well you’ll find out when you land. Most of you will end up there,” recalls Halloran. Checking out in the U-2 in those days required experienced pilots. There were no simulators and no two-seat versions of the plane. Your first flight was solo.
And that first flight was an occasion to be celebrated, usually. Buddy Brown remembers his initial solo flight all too well. “About a week before I got checked out [went solo], we were out watching a guy named Paul Haughland, he was about a mile out on final and he rolled over and went straight in, in his U-2. So they held the aircraft from flying for a while, making sure there wasn’t any sabotage,” Brown says. “So when I finally went up on my first solo flight, I was thinking that I had to be very careful, make sure my wings aren’t heavy or anything, and be safe.” He was the first pilot to check out after that crash.
The U-2 would take off in just 1500 feet. For comparison’s sake, the T-38 requires a mile of runway to launch. Dunagan recalls fondly, “My first thoughts about the U-2 was watching it take off. I have never had seen an airplane takeoff using as little runway and climb at such an angle into the sky. You took off at a reduced power setting, and had to get used to the very steep climb,” he says.

Tall Tales of Aviation Prowess

Dunagan says he was fortunate not to have any crashes. But the airplane did scare him more than he’d been scared in his flying career when he encountered severe turbulence over the Rocky Mountains at 70,000 feet.
“Your heart gets in your throat and you wonder why you are there, when you are up to your waistline in alligators,” he says. “And literally the wings on that thing were flapping like a bird. It was up and down, and of course [the wing tips] weren’t hitting [each other] on the bottom and the top, but I thought they were. It was one of those aspects of flying where it’s something you get into, but certainly wish you were somewhere else,” he says.
Halloran experienced hypoxia when his oxygen hose was accidentally disconnected at 70,000 feet. The pressurization system kept the cockpit pressure altitude at 29,000 feet, giving you only a few minutes of consciousness without a supply of oxygen.
“And I know that I am in deep, deep serious trouble. And a whole bunch of things flashed through my mind really quick about what I could do to get down, I even thought about bailing out,” Halloran says.
“And I thought maybe I could get the autopilot to start a descent, but if I passed out, I couldn’t control the airspeed, so that was not an option. And while I am looking around the cockpit trying to figure out what to do, I happened to look up in the rearview mirrors and saw that my oxygen hose had become disconnected,” he says.
After connecting the hose, he performed the “gang load” procedure with 100% oxygen and regained composure. “I was on a west bound heading out over Pecos and had I not made it, that airplane would have flown my unconscious self out over the Pacific Ocean, I suppose, before I ran out of gas,” he says.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

The 4080th SRW was selected to photograph the island of Cuba in October 1962. Some pilots had traveled to North Edwards AFB in California to check out in the CIA’s more advanced model, the U-2C. Maj. Steve Heyser was one of those who launched his Cuba mission from California. But the others stayed behind and launched the first sorties from Laughlin.
U-2 pilot Charlie Kern remembers launching five aircraft on a dark, stormy early morning on October 14, 1962 for Cuba. Kern was working the mobile that morning launching his buddies.
“It was the worst storm I’ve ever seen. Torrential rains. There was lightening all around,” he says.
One of the pilots that launched from Laughlin was Buddy Brown. “In the headlights of the mobile [car, that lead them to the runway,] you could see the rain blowing sideways from the left. It was one heck of a crosswind. I didn’t think there was any way they [higher headquarters] would execute this mission. But they said ‘takeoff!’ and off we went,” he says. “Somebody was looking over us that night.” The aircraft took off in five-minute intervals.
Once out of the thunderstorms, the pilots all flew successful missions. “We went to a common point west of Cuba and split up. Some of us went over Havana, others went to the central part, and more on the eastern side of the island. We covered 90 percent of that island,” Brown recalls.
Brown recovered his aircraft at McCoy AFB in Florida (now Orlando International Airport). The others returned to Laughlin. Heyser’s sortie from California was the first to land and had the first film downloaded and developed identifying the SOviet SS-4 MRBM offensive nuclear missile site. Kern and other pilots followed them to McCoy the next day in a C-124. Eventually the entire Cuba mission was being operated out of McCoy.

First Blood

None of the pilots admit they were afraid of Castro’s new SA-2 surface-to-air missiles. Nor did they believe the threat would interfere with their daily over flights of Cuba. “You don’t think about that, you are immortal. You don’t think it will happen to me. It may happen to Pat Halloran but not to me,” Brown says. Although he is joking, there is a certain truth to the way Brown expresses what they felt at the time. Fighter pilots all think they are ten feet tall and bulletproof.
While Laughlin’s pilots were busy photographing Cuba, the international crisis deepened. President John F. Kennedy demanded that Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev remove the offensive nuclear missiles. SAC’s bombers and missiles had their alert status elevated to “DEFCON 2,” the highest state of readiness before a nuclear war broke out (“DEFCON 1” is nuclear war).
Two weeks into the crisis, tragedy struck the 4080th. Major Rudy Anderson, flying a U-2C was shot down by a SA-2. Some of the fragments of the missile’s exploding warhead penetrated his pressure suit and killed him.
Pilots at McCoy awaited his return, but they never saw him again. “I remember we were out on the golf course and Rudy never returned when we expected him. You could always see him in the traffic pattern from the golf course,” Brown recalls.
“When Rudy Anderson was shot down we all went ‘gulp,’” Brown says.
After the incident, SAC’s U-2s were ordered to stand down while politicians in Washington decided what to do. Should they risk more lives with overflights?
Five days later, orders came down to step up the overflights. Charlie Kern recalls, “We were going to launch five sorties, five minutes apart, and saturate that island again. We were trying to say, ‘there’s yours Castro! There’s five more for you!”
But the missions never got over their target. “An RC-121 monitoring the area called out over the radio, ‘green arrow, green arrow, green arrow!’ That was our signal to turn around. I guess they saw some sort of signal that required us to abort,” Kern says.

Flame Out Over Havana

Two days later, the pilots were ordered to fly just two missions, covering the same ground tracks as the aborted missions. And this time, they weren’t recalled. But Kern experienced a horrifying experience over Havana.
“Just as I got over Jose Marti Airfield at 72,000 feet, which is also known as Havana International, I looked down through the drift sight and I saw two MiGs taking off. I called GCI [Ground Control Intercept] and reported the two MiGs. They said, ‘no problem. We’ve got you covered,’” Kern says.
Then his autopilot unintentionally disengaged and his yoke stowed. The surge disrupted the airflow over his engine and it flamed out. The U-2 required a descent to 35,000 feet to facilitate a relight of the engine. So there Kern was, losing altitude, gliding, with MiGs in hot pursuit, right on top of Havana.
“I cut to the south [of Cuba] rather than to the north through that heavily defended area around Havana,” Kern says. “Meanwhile, I am trying to keep track of these MiGs. I had them in my drift sight. And I wasn’t conning [producing contrails] because my engine wasn’t on.”
When the engine flamed out, Kern lost his canopy defogging system. The canopy iced over. All he could see to navigate by was what was visible in his downward-looking drift sight. He flew a box pattern around the western shore of Cuba while descending to 35,000 feet for a relight. “I got a relight on the north shore of Cuba,” Kern recalls.
Meanwhile, Kern had called GCI again and requested fighter coverage from the Florida bases. He learned later that there was almost a mid-air collision between fighters scrambling to get their first kill of a Cuban MiG.
Kern aborted his mission and returned to McCoy. “When I got back, I quickly went to my intel briefing and I got out of there. I figured [wing commander Col. John] Des Portes was going to chew my ass. The funny thing about it is that I never heard a word about it ever,” Kern says.
Overflights of Cuba continued for many years after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. “I’m not sure when you could say the missile crisis was really over. We moved the operation to Barksdale [AFB, near Shreveport, Louisiana] and still flew monitoring missions over Cuba for many years after that,” says Brown.

Having Fun All Wrong

Modern aircraft of today have every navigation tool available to them, including sophisticated instrument landing systems and Global Positioning Satellite receivers to make sure pilots never get lost. This was not the case with the early U-2s. It didn’t even have the most basic of navigational aids, a VOR receiver!
“For the most part, you navigated by pilotage. We’d just use the drift sight. You had a map in front of you, and you’d just follow the railroad track or wherever you were going to go [through the drift sight]. And if it were at night or in an area across the ocean, you’d use the celestial navigation. That was a very, very difficult and time-consuming way to navigate. And it wasn’t all that accurate. It would get you in the ballpark,” says Halloran.
One of Halloran’s first operational missions was a deployment. “I lead a flight of three airplanes, the first deployment of the U-2 overseas,” he says.
“We took off in 15-minute intervals just to ferry the airplanes down to Puerto Pico. And I had been there before flying fighters so I knew the lay of the land. There was an island called Goat Island off the west coast, 10 or 15 miles off the end of the runway. So I told the guys we will descend to 3,000 feet and I will orbit Goat Island, and you guys come and join me. We’ll have a three-ship formation, and well arrive at Ramey AFB on a Sunday afternoon and give them a real air show.
“Now this [airplane] was all top secret stuff back then. No one was supposed to even see the airplane. But anyway…
“We crossed the golf course and it was packed with people, flew down the runway in formation, and did the whole Thunderbirds arrival, with the two wingmen breaking away from each of my wings like a bomb burst. It was a spectacular arrival,” Halloran recalls.
But the detachment commander didn’t appreciate the entertaining arrival. They were supposed to sneak into Puerto Rico.

Leaving Del Rio

In July 1963, the 4080th SRW relocated its operations to Davis-Monthan. Pat Halloran flew the last U-2 from Laughlin to Arizona.
“I was going to make a little pass down Main Street on departure. And what I didn’t realize was that the mayor of Del Rio had recently passed away and that was the day of his funeral. So when I approached downtown to do my flyby, I went right over the cemetery and they said, ‘isn’t that nice, they made a quick flyby for the mayor.’” Halloran says with a chuckle.
Dunagan missed the brand new Capehart Housing at Laughlin. “We moved from air conditioned quarters on Laughlin to the swamp cooler in Arizona. My kids were as irritable as a cat and dog. Tucson gets hot!” he says.
But the men of the 4080th were ready for the next chapter in their lives. Overflights of Cuba continued, but from a deployed detachment from Arizona at Barksdale AFB. The unit was soon deployed on a heavy basis to Vietnam. But the fond memories of Del Rio hardly faded.
“We learned to love it here. We lived with great people, had great neighbors. We had a great time the full term from 1957 until we left in 1963,” says Bevacqua.
Author’s Note: If you enjoyed these stories, a new book titled appropriately, “Remembering the Dragon Lady” was published in May 2008. Compiled by Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Gerald E. McIlmoyle, a U-2 pilot in the 4080th and Linda Rios Bromley, it features over 80 authors and 500 pages of first person accounts of the U-2’s history. Click here to get it on Amazon.
For an interactive history of the timespan discussed in this article, The Martin Agency created this digital experience of the Cuban Missile Crisis for the JFK Library titled "Clouds Over Cuba."

(Photos and information for this blog was provided by Sheila Dunagan of Austin, TX.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tartans of Clan Bell (Beall)

Tartans of Clan Bell

Bell of the Borders

Clan Bell, since only 1984, has had a tartan named "Bell of the Borders" and informally called the "Dress Blue" that is listed by the Scottish Tartans Society and in Tartan For Me!
Dr. Philip D. Smith.




William H. Bell

Bell South

Clan Bell also has a tartan named "Bell South," thanks to the merger of Clan Bell International and Clan Bell Descendants. The tartan, Bell South #WR370, was designed by James Scarlett.

Lucinda "Lucy" Beall Dunagan

Lucinda Beall Dunagan is my 3rd great grandmother, married to Joseph Ellis Dunagan
Lucinda was the 7th child born to Frederick and Martha Peyton Beall, my 4th great maternal grandparents.
Frederick's father was Thaddeus Beall, my 5th great grandfather.
Thaddeus's father was Josiah Beall, my 6th great grandfather.
Josiah's father was John Beall, my 7th great grandfather.
John's father was Thomas Beall, my 8th great grandfather.
Thomas Beall,s father was Col. Ninian Beall, my 9th great grandfather.
Ninian Beall's father was Dr. James Bell (Beall), my 10th great grandfather.

Frederick Beall's Family