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 Post subject: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 107
In order to free up the LS&I #21 thread I am opening this one for feature discussion of the LS&I #32 and any other steamer used as target practice at Eglin AFB.

If the mods could move all the LS&I #32 stuff from the LS&I 21 thread to this one I would be greatful.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:21 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
you could do a series of cross cutting quotes into your post, than mess up the thread movement in that thread, the irony in that time a steam engine used as target practice, but we have seen one fellow trying to start a Luisiana and Eastern rairoad using former NKP engines and others only to find they all went to scrap...big sigh...


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1791
From the LS&I 21 thread.
Quote:
Dear Big Boy 4023:
In January 1980, Dennis Daugherty, Nick Kallas and myself took a trip to Florida (in my brand new Datsun B-210 Station Wagon) to sponge off the late Andy Bianchi (all of us are/were members of IRM). Andy had retired, bought a house near Tampa (?) and had invited IRM folks he had worked with to visit.
I was still doing research for "The Steam Locomotive Directory of North America", so our trip wandered around to sites where I hoped to find existant steam locomotives.
After picking up Nick at Mobile (?) we headed to Florida, stopping at Eglin Air Force Base, last know home of former LS&I No.32.
At Eglin I spoke to the Information Officer at their little museum. He said that the locomotive had been destroyed as part of a "Fire Power Demonstration" and referred us to a photo collage of that event, one portion of which showed No.32 being blown up.
I took a color slide (remember those?) of the collage and have spent the last hour looking for it in anticipation of receiving US$1M from you so I can retire (with all due respect, you can keep the kid).
Alas, after an hour of looking through cases of slides, I have not found it, but I would suppose, that Eglin still has the collage (perhaps even the photo).
Now if they don't, and your offer stands, I'll do another search.
However, even if they blew it up, we still don't know that whether or not in some kudzu covered corner of Eglin there are the remains of the No.32.
J.David


Quote:
Well, I keep digging around for clues as to what happened to the LS&I #32 and found this interesting blip in an old news paper.http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DS19670323.2.43

I also received an Email from a person who I will leave anonymous that claims the 32 still exist. But, He had no further information or photos.

I'm thinking maybe the rusting hulk is either A. In tiny pieces on the Eglin AFB or B. Was scrapped at some point in the 1970's. C. Would have the locomotive transferred to another AFB. But this seems unlikely to me.

Robert


Quote:
The question of a steam locomotive potentially sitting at Eglin AFB caught my interest here, in part because I have had some projects at Eglin over the years. It is a test range, but for some of the more unusual items one might test and rarely ever make public.

Via google and some resulting AF articles there was indeed a steam locomotive at Eglin. Key though is that the photo that was posted previously was taken in 1967. The related article indicates that the locomotive was used as late as March 1967 and that what you see sticking out of it are a series of antennas for the remote control of the locomotive as it was operated as a moving target. The antennas are not there to help a missile zero in on a target.

So, why would anyone want to use a steam locomotive for target practice in 1967? Again, via further google hunting you find that the USAF targeting of North Vietnamese railroads was dismal. At the time the North was still using steam locomotives.

I would tend to surmise then that the Eglin steam locomotive was operated in 1967 to help train Vietnam era USAF air crews on how to disable a moving steam locomotive. This is based on the photos, captions, and other historical elements.

With that all said, does this locomotive still exist? Probably need to see what the USAF was using as weapons at the time versus such targets to determine how much of the locomotive was destroyed as a target. Was it used once? Or a series of times? Were training rounds used? My hunch is that its sitting someplace on the base, long forgotten. Really need a local retired USAF guy to go on the hunt. Know anyone?

J.R. May
Wall, NJ


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 217
"My hunch is that it's sitting someplace on the base, long forgotten. Really need a local retired USAF guy to go on the hunt. Know anyone?"

It's not likely that would be enough. It's doubtful any remains (if any exist) would have been removed from a bombing range and simply stored somewhere on base for decades. Air base commanders don't like to accumulate what they see as unsightly junk. Also, some bases have turned over unused tracks to their MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation) branches to dispose of as scrap to help fund such things as MWR's officer clubs. Old locomotive hulks would not fare any better.

Bombing ranges, even those no longer used, are almost invariably off limits to all but those in Range Control, because they're likely to be littered with unexploded ordnance, so wandering around the nether regions of a base's bombing range, looking for what might be left of an old locomotive, is out of the question for both retired and active duty personnel.

One's best bet is to simply ask the base's Range Control office if they're aware of a steam locomotive being downrange now or in the past. If it's gone, ask what might have been done with it. Active duty personnel tend to rotate out after a few years but, if there's a long-time civilian employee working in Range Control, you might be able to tap his knowledge of what once existed, and what previous employees told him. It has, after all, been a long time since the late 1960s.


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 704
I seem to recall something in an old TRAINS Magazine about one of the exK&T 2-8-2s being used as a target, though I don't remember if that was at Eglin,

At any rate, K&T had 3 Mikes when they dieselized. 2 ended up at TVRM.

IIRC, one was dressed up as 6910 and ran a trip or two. It's been sitting at the museum ever since AFAIK. The other is Southern 4501, of course.

So, what became of the third one?


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:22 pm 

Lincoln Penn wrote:
I seem to recall something in an old TRAINS Magazine about one of the exK&T 2-8-2s being used as a target, though I don't remember if that was at Eglin,

At any rate, K&T had 3 Mikes when they dieselized. 2 ended up at TVRM.

IIRC, one was dressed up as 6910 and ran a trip or two. It's been sitting at the museum ever since AFAIK. The other is Southern 4501, of course.

So, what became of the third one?


K&T #10 and #12 ended up at TVRM. The #10 was in pretty rough shape when it was dressed up as the 6910 and got sidelined very quickly. My understanding is that the boiler shell is super thin in some places.

The other Mikado #11 (the ALCO) was sold to the Army and moved to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and used to shove around large targets. It was "accidently" shelled and destroyed in 1966.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 704
boilerwash wrote:
Lincoln Penn wrote:
I seem to recall something in an old TRAINS Magazine about one of the exK&T 2-8-2s being used as a target, though I don't remember if that was at Eglin,

At any rate, K&T had 3 Mikes when they dieselized. 2 ended up at TVRM.

IIRC, one was dressed up as 6910 and ran a trip or two. It's been sitting at the museum ever since AFAIK. The other is Southern 4501, of course.

So, what became of the third one?


K&T #10 and #12 ended up at TVRM. The #10 was in pretty rough shape when it was dressed up as the 6910 and got sidelined very quickly. My understanding is that the boiler shell is super thin in some places.

The other Mikado #11 (the ALCO) was sold to the Army and moved to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and used to shove around large targets. It was "accidently" shelled and destroyed in 1966.


Thanks. Had my firing ranges (and branches of the service) confused. Result is the same, however.


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:51 pm 

Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 4:36 pm
Posts: 1
Regarding the Eglin AFB target locomotive, I have been doing research on the Eglin base railroad for many years, and compiled most of the Wikipedia article about it.

I have traced virtually all of the right of way and am convinced that no rolling stock or engines are anywhere on the line. The only locomotive I have confirmed on the line was the (presumably) former Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 No. 32 which was dubbed the "Eglin Queen" but was apparently not numbered. It was initially retired in 1959 and sat for a time on the wye where the base railroad connected to the L&N at Mossy Head, Florida.

I have found UPI and AP wire service articles that confirm that the engine was reactivated by March 1967 and operated under remote control as a target for aircraft working out tactics to attack the North Vietnamese rail system. I have also seen a color photo of the engine being inundated with air to ground rockets that I assume ended its use as a target.

In the late 1970s, I walked part of the right of way of the spur that led to Eglin Auxiliary Field 2 (Pierce Field), now completely removed, and I found and photographed a piece of junk that looked remarkably like a steam or sand dome alongside the track. This leads me to believe that it was the sole artifact of the engine which I assume was scrapped after the rocket attack.

The only active portion of the base line is the interchange at the CSX connection, where DODX flatcars occasionally are still dropped off. The remaining portions of the line that are still in place are completely overgrown and have been out of service since the late 1970s.

I hope this is helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 107
Mr Sublette, The problem with this information would be the years. LS&I #32 was not sold to the USAF until the 1960's. The loco known as the Elgin Queen would have had to be from another source to be retired by 1959 and parked on the siding. This would leave me to believe they bought two steam locos to destroy.

The mystery of the LS&I 32 & the Elgin Queen still goes on.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:49 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Elgin is the largest military air base in the world. They do training for Special Operations there and have a lot of stuff they don't want people knowing about. Heck, down one road several years ago I was shocked to see a line of modern airplanes including a Russian HIND attack chopper and a MIG-29 just sitting in the sand! They have a lot of Russian and Chinese military vehicles as well, some of which I've been told are still runable.
They also still have launching stands for old V-1 'flying bomb' missiles from right after WW2 and they're not keen on people nosing around those, even though they've been declassified ages ago. Years ago, a friend of mine tried to get down to one of the auxiliary fields to try to see if he could photo what he was told were the remains of markings of a aircraft carrier outline on a field, used by the Doolittle Raiders at the start of WW2. Hardly a secret today, but he was denied to even go down there.
My point? There could even be a NYC Hudson somewhere among those pines, but if the USAF doesn't want you there are wants to hide it, trust me, you will never get to see it.

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Lee Bishop


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 341
Location: Northern California
I do not know anything about Elgin AFB, but I do know that the Doolittle raid was trained at a Army Air Corp base ar Wendover, Utah. The air field and some of the base buildings are still there. There is a small museum in one of the hangers with lots of information and photos of the training. The runway that was used to train for the raid is still there and poles have been erected to show the limits of where the pilots were to take off.

Wendover is the first place on the Western Pacific there was water for the locomotives westbound after coming around the south end of the Great Salt Lake. The railroad built a wooden pipeline about 20 miles from the top of a near by mountain to get the water. A WP water tank remains with a monument on it telling the story of water to Wendover.


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:50 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Are you people typing these posts on crApple phones, or have you just forgotten the need to spell?

Elgin is a town, Elgin is a watch company, Elgin was a famous brand of street sweeper. But the name of the air-force base is EGLIN. Fred died to get his name there; the least you can do is respect that supreme sacrifice.

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R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:58 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 387
Location: Winters, TX
David, I'm wondering if you're getting your raids confused. I can't find anything about Wendover being used for the Doolittle raid, but it was used for training for the Enola Gay bombing of Hiroshima. The pits to load the atomic bombs are still there as is the hanger that housed the Enola Gay.


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
The Doolittle group was initially assembled at the US Army Air Corps' Columbia Army Air Field, 8 miles south of South Carolina's capital city. Columbia Air Base was chosen because it already was a training base for B-25's, along with the nearby Congaree Army Air Field and North Army Air field. After initial in-processing and some flights, the group quietly flew south to Eglin Army Air Field for the bulk of their training & practice.

When they were ready for the mission they flew west to San Francisco. Given the relatively short range of the B-25 I'm sure there were at least two fuel and rest stops. I would guess that because of the secrecy of the Japan raid, Wendover Army Air Field would be a perfect spot to refuel. Even today Wendover is relatively remote. It was even more so back in 1942 what with no gambling casinos to brighten the nighttime sky.

Wendover was a B-17 training base initially and later transitioned to B-29 training. There were multiple bombing ranges in Utah and Nevada that are still used today for that purpose. Then there's area 51.

Happy Independence Day! And a big THANK YOU to those was served in the past and are presently defending our great Nation.

Thanks!

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Jim Vaitkunas
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: LS&I #32 and other USAF target practice locos
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:01 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 423
Jim you missed your local connection, the Doolittle B-25s were modified for long range by the Mid-Continent Airlines modification center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Just down the road from you.

-Hudson


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