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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dedication to B58 Hustler, "Pink Panther"

  Today, June 23, 2012, I attended the  dedication ceremony for the Historical Marker commemorating the December 12, 1966 crash of the B-58A Hustler 60-1119  76 assigned to 305th BW, known as the “Pink Panther”. Three United States Air Force personnel lost their lives that fateful day, Major Richard F. Blakeslee, pilot; Captain Floyd E. Acker, Nav/Bomardier; and Captain. Clarence D. Lunt.

B-58 Huslter, "Pink Panther"

With an application from Becky Riddle, the Kentucky Historical Marker Program Coordinator, Chris Bennett and Alan Reed were able to push the project forward. It was the dream of Major Richard Blakelee’s son, Rob to have a historical marker placed at the site of the crash.
Rob Blakeslee

Becky Riddle, Kentucky Historical Society

Darrell Hovius, an English Professor at the University of Cincinnati was a 14 year boy home watching “Big Valley” on the family TV, when simultaneously he heard the crash and the electric power went out. The family thought the Russians had attacked. Remember this was during the Cold War.  

Darrell Hovius

Rev Don Scilly

  Reverend Don Scilly shared a moving remembrance of the crash day. Much more personal information about officers who died, the airplane, and the historical marker project can be found at Honor guard for the dedication was provided by the VFW post 6097.

VFW Post 6097

Historical Marker B58 "Pink Panther"

Crash site 1966
B-58 Hustler, 60-1119 76 crashed about 1.3 miles west of McKinney, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

Alvin Hamm, Valerie Thompson, Don Scheffler

 I am proud to say that two of my own cousins, Alvin Hamm and Don Scheffler are members of the Kentucky Patriot Guard Riders who road today for this dedication.  More about the mission of the riders can be found at

I was pleased to observe the dedication ceremony and applaud all those responsible.
All photographs are my own.


  1. My best friend's dad was a B-58 Hustler pilot in the early 1960's out of Texas. He has this great photo of it taking off at predawn with flames shooting out of the massive engines. He also has a picture of himself and the other onboard people in front of it. Iv'e been seeing these photo's since the mid 1970's.

    1. Yes, the memorial and dedication to Major Richard Blakeslee, Captain Floyd E. Acker, and Captain Clarence Lunt was a long time coming, about 46 years.
      The photo on my blog is of a print of the B58 Hustler, 01119, the Pink Panther, that was displayed at the dedication. Actually, it crashed and broke that day at the ceremony when wind blew it from the easel. I don't know if you can tell from my photo, but the glass was broken from the frame.

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  3. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.