August 10, 1964: Arrival of first B-58 Hustler to LRAFB
For the first fifteen years of its existence, LRAFB served as a bomber base under the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command – or SAC, as it is still commonly referred to. The earliest units here operated the B-47 Stratojet; and when the B-47 era ended in 1964, the USAF relocated the 43d BW from Carswell AFB, Texas to “The Rock,” bringing with it a new jet bomber: the supersonic B-58 Hustler. The first B-58 touched down here 53 years ago August 10, 1964. B-58 crews stationed here provided strategic bombardment readiness for nearly five and a half years before the Air Force began retiring the aging fleet. The 43d BW retired its last B-58 in January 1970 before officially inactivating. These moves signaled the conversion of Little Rock AFB’s primary mission from strategic deterrence to a new one: tactical airlift – and the Hustler was replaced by the Hercules. And for the past 47 years – since the departure of the last B-58 in 1970 – LRAFB has operated as a C-130 installation; but it’s worth recalling those early bombardment years that established the base’s prominent reputation within the Air Force as well as solidifying its ties with the local community that stretch back to the base’s roots beginning in the early-1950s.

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Photo by: Jeremy Prichard |  VIRIN: 170810-F-DL035-0004.JPG