The Tail End of B-52 Tail Enders

CMSgt. Francis Dailey, one of the last former B-52 tail gunners serving on Active Duty, retired from the Air Force after more than 27 years in uniform in a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., announced base officials. Dailey enlisted in 1985 and completed aerial gunnery school at then-Castle AFB, Calif., before serving under Strategic Air Command, according to Hurlburt’s Feb. 17 release. “For the next four years, I flew just shy of 1,000 hours as a gunner,” Dailey recounted at his Feb. 14 retirement ceremony. When the service eliminated Air Force specialty code 111X0 in 1991, ending B-52 gunner as a career field, Dailey cross-trained into intelligence and would later spend time on assignments in Africa, Afghanistan, and South Korea, states the release. He retired as superintendent of the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, training intel commandos at Hurlburt. There are still some ex-B-52 gunners serving in other career fields or in the reserve components, according to the release. (Hurlburt report by SrA. Joe McFadden)