Kadena AB, Okinawa. Japan 
OL-8 OL-RK OL-KA DET 1
       

The SR-71's began arriving at Kadena (AKA "The Rock") in March of 1968. The operation to transfer the SR-71's from Beale to Kadena was know as "Glowing Heat". The first Detachment Commander was Colonel Charles Minter with Colonel Carl Estes as the Director of Maintenance. On 15 March 1968, OL-8 was declared Operational Ready for SR-71 sorties.
 

OL-8     1968-1970

 

8 March, the first SR-71 arrives Kadena, quickly followed by the next two; the last arriving 13 March.

16 March, Jim Watkins and Dave Dempster arrive by KC-135Q.

18 March, Buddy Brown and Dave Jensen fly first, get weather aborted for their Ops sortie and fly a Cathy local area training mission.

21 March, Jerry O'Malley and Ed Payne fly next and target area weather good and so they fly the first Ops mission.

  About 22 March, 68 the School Teacher's party and birth of HABU ( a close approximation ).

The Story of the birth of the HABU patch

One of the school teachers said: ...."every time I see one of the blackbirds I think of the HABU"!   None of us understood what that meant and looked at her blankly. Realizing we didn't understand, she told us about the Okinawan snake called the HABU and why it resembled to her the Blackbird. SIERRA HOTEL! WE LIKED THAT! It was a great image. Later on Dave Jensen and I walked back to our BOQ we talked about the HABU image and we both went to our rooms and started drawing a logo image. The next morning, Dave and I sat together and his was clearly the best, so we went to the Squadron area and sitting with the crews and Charlie Minter, we retold the HABU story, showed Dave Jensen's drawing and suddenly everyone liked it, including our Vice Commander/OL-8 Boss Colonel Charlie Minter. Decision: GO FOR IT! Now, what's neat about this story is that we were a SAC organization, but flying under their radar screen. No one was asked about all this except we crew members and Charlie Minter: THUMBS UP and that's all Dave Jensen needed. He had an empty schedule that afternoon and whoooooose, he was gone to Koza and find a good patch sew shop. He did and with his drawing produced our first HABU patches in about two days. The Okinawan BOQ maids and support staff were very friendly to us ( we tipped them for their help ) and within the next day or so, we all had HABU patches sewn on our K-2B cotton flight suits ( this was long before the green bag NOMEX fire retardant flight suits appeared on the scene ) and that was all there was to it.

About 26 March, 68 the first HABU patches were brought to our BOQ and Squadron area by Dave Jensen.  As more patches were required and because of different people in the patch shop doing them variations creep in.  Short Red Nose and by the time Tony left in Aug 68 an all black SR-71.

29/05/1968  Original Version made during first Deployment 1968
Thanks David Dempster RSO Thanks David Dempster RSO

WANTED

 

 

Short RED nose version-
 

 

Thanks David Dempster RSO
  AUG 1968
Thanks to Tony Bevacqua

Pilot

Thanks to Tony Bevacqua

Pilot

     
  OL-8 (Black edge) OL-8 (White Edge) OL-8 (Black edge)
 I HAVE IT -

Thanks Leland R.I.P

 

R GIROUARD

 

R GIROUARD

 

R GIROUARD

 

dec03det1ol8.jpg (12457 bytes)  
       
       
OL-RK   1970- 1971
 
OL-RK   OL-RK 1971 HABU

 I HAVE IT

 

  Doug & Charlene Barnard
TROUTDALE AERODROME

WANTED

 

OL-KA  1971- 1974

 

   
OL-KA    

 I HAVE IT

 

   
 

DET 1 1974 -1990

 

dec03det1kc135.jpg (23442 bytes) dec03det1rc135.jpg (22932 bytes) det1ccc.jpg (97665 bytes)
DET 1 9th SRW DET 1 

OKINAWA 

1968-1990

KC-135/SR-71

DET 1  

OKINAWA 

1968-1990 

RC-135/SR-71 

DET 1

COMMAND  CO-ORDINATION

 CENTRE

The Real Recon

KADENA TEAM

WANTED

 I HAVE IT

 

 I HAVE IT

 

WANTED
DET 1  ICHI BAN DET1 ICHI BAN DET 1 ICHI BAN DET 1   9th SRW

 I HAVE IT

 

WANTED

 I HAVE IT

 

R GIROUARD
 
DET 1  ICHI BAN

2 x 2 1/2 inches

  DET 1

ICHI BAN

DET 1 

ICHI BAN

 I HAVE IT

 

 

 I HAVE IT

 

 I HAVE IT

 

The first SR-71 arrived at Kadena Air Base on 9 March 1968 and the last aircraft departed on 21 January 1990. Throughout those twenty-two years, the Habu roamed Pacific skies unchallenged in war and peace to insure the freedom of the United States and her allies.

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