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Maj Bob Yelton

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My Uncle Bob Yelton. Bob flew the T-33, F-102 and F-106. He retired from the Guard just before I returned from F-106 school. I was seriously bummed about that as I really wanted to fly with him before his retirement. Bob was lucky enough to retire from Pan Am and still get his retirment despite their bankruptcy. When I was in 7th or 8th grade Bob came to live with us in Sunnyvale for a couple of months while he went to new-hire school for Pan Am up at the San Francisco airport. One Saturday he took me and a bunch of my cousins up to SFO and let us explore a brand new B-747 in the hangar. We had a blast - that's when I decided that I wanted to be a pilot someday. Bob probably didn't know how much influence he had on me then. Later, when I applied for a pilot training slot, it sure didn't hurt that he was very well liked in the squadron. Our family went out one weekend to see the planes at the guard. I think I'm somewhere around 11 or 12 here. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that my uncle got to fly these big, bad machines! Bob's son, Tim and I would go out and spend the night with Bob occasionally when he pulled night alert. We were there one night during a night excercise sleeping on the floor of the Alert Room when there was a Flush. We just about got run over during the stampede.
Notice the WSEMs on the rails with the missle bay doors open. Those things would snap closed in less than a second. You could always feel the "clunk."
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My sister Lynne. When Tim and I spent the night out there we would go upstairs to the locker room where we could watch the movies at the 'ol Sunnyside Drive-in. I remember that down in the Alert Room there was also a killer Doofer Book. Hard to believe Bob's only a 2Lt here. Here's the whole family: Lynne, me, mom and Uncle Bob. Who knew that about 15 yrs later I'd be flying out there? Who knows, that particular T-Bird might have been the same one I got my first jet ride in with Danny Clack. My grandfather worked for Danny at his plumbing business. During their lunch breaks they would go out to the dirt lot at the corner of Clovis and McKinley and watch the airplanes take off and land. Granddad introduced him to Bob and Bob helped Danny get to pilot training. Fresno had four T-33s that they used as target/utility birds. Bob Yelton taxiing back from a training sortie. This was taken from the high bank on Peach Avenue. Mazzei's Flying Service is in the background. This was a great place to watch all the airplanes flying around. This section of Peach is now closed off.
The F-106 had a retractable seeker head, data link that you could couple with the autopilot as well ISL that would also couple up. That airplane was very advanced for its time. The eagle drivers got all excited about data link back in the early 90s. 'Bout time they caught up :)
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