This edition of the Castle News Parade covers events in 1949 and 1950. The 1949 edition includes the S.S. Noronic ship fire, the flight of the B-50 Lucky Lady around the planet earth, the end of the Berlin blockade, and the fall of China to the Red Army under Mao. The cruiser HMS London is severely damaged in combat with the Red Chinese. The American Legion stages a convention in Philadelphia, Pope Pius is seen greeting visitors in Rome, an earthquake rocks Ecuador, President Truman signs an Atlantic defense treaty, the Mexican volcano Paricutin erupts, and Bill Holland wins the Indianapolis 500.
The 1950 edition begins with footage of the Communist threat including riots in Tokyo and elsewhere. Western occupation forces in Berlin go on high alert, and tensions remain high near the Brandenburg Gate in occupied Germany. A huge disaster in South Amboy, New Jersey after four barges explode. The volcano Mauna Loa erupts in Hawaii, Winnipeg is flooded by the Red River, and a V-2 rocket is tested at White Sands, New Mexico. The Korean War begins and the U.S. sends Marines to land at Inchon. General MacArthur and President Truman meet at Wake Island.
Lucky Lady II is a United States Air Force Boeing B-50 Superfortress that became the first airplane to circle the world nonstop when it made the journey in 1949, assisted by in-flight refueling. Total time airborne was 94 hours and 1 minute. The Lucky Lady II was a functioning B-50 of the 43rd Bombardment Group, equipped with 12x 0.50 calibre (12.7mm) machine guns, with an additional fuel tank added in the bomb bay to provide additional range. The aircraft had a double crew with three pilots, with each crew taking a shift of four to six hours on duty and four to six hours off.
The aircraft started its round-the-world trip with a crew of 14 under the command of Capt. James Gallagher at 12:21 PM on February 26, 1949, from Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, Texas, heading east over the Atlantic Ocean.
After flying 23,452 mi (37,742 km), the aircraft passed the control tower back at Carswell AFB on March 2 at 10:22 AM, marking the end of the circumnavigation, and landed there at 10:31 AM after having been in the air for 94 hours and one minute, landing two minutes before the estimated time of arrival calculated at take-off.
En route, the aircraft was refueled four times by KB-29M Superfortresses, near Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores, Dhahran Airfield in Saudi Arabia, Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, and Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, using the soon-to-be obsolete grappled-line looped-hose technique.
The aircraft flew at altitudes between 10,000 to 20,000 ft (3,000 to 6,100 m) and completed the trip around the world at an average ground speed of 249 mph (401 km/h; 216 kn).
Lieutenant General Curtis LeMay, Strategic Air Command's commanding general, was on hand to greet Lucky Lady II upon its arrival, together with dignitaries including Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington, Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, and Major General Roger M. Ramey, commanding general of the Eighth Air Force. LeMay cited the significance of the mission as indicating that the Air Force now had the capability to take off on bombing missions from anywhere in the United States to "any place in the world that required the atomic bomb"] He further stated that mid-air refueling could also be used for fighter aircraft. Symington noted that aerial refueling would "turn medium bombers into inter-continental bombers".
The aircraft's crew were each awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and were honoured by the National Aeronautic Association with its annual Mackay Trophy, recognizing the outstanding flight of the year and by the Air Force Association with its Air Age Trophy.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com