Guy Townsend – First test pilot of B-52

Guy Townsend – First Test Pilot of B-52

It was a beautiful day in Mercer Island. I was there to shoot an interview with Brig General Guy Townsend, the first test pilot of the B52. Guy is a very nice fellow. I was there to interview him for the Veterans History Project for the Library of Congress. We have volunteered to do 100 free interviews with Veterans from WWII. Guy Townsend is originally from Mississippi. He flew in the South Pacific during World War II. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Guy Townsend knows Bob Hoover, Chuck Yaeger, and all the test pilots at Edward Air Base during the late 40s and throughout the 50s. Guy flew B17s and B27s during the war in the Pacific and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he became one of the top test pilots of bombers, including many top secret experimental aircraft. He was co-pilot on the very first flight of the B52 bomber. In the 1960s he rose all the way up to Brigadier General in the Air Force. After 30 years in the service, Guy worked for Boeing, continuing his leadership of jet testing. It is remarkable that a hero like Guy Townsend is living just down the street. I guess its true all across America. Heroes are living next door to us and we didn’t even know. They rarely talk about those times. The times of sacrifice, of service, of honor, and duty. I wish they would talk about it more.
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