There is nothing more
dangerous than to get behind one of these things
with their radar controlled 20MMs active. If they lock on you, you will most
likely die. A story from an old USAF enlisted buddy testifies to their
capability. He was stationed in Sadi Salam when they had the old B-47s.
They too had the radar controlled tail guns. He related that they have a
definite sequence of checks that must be followed. The electrical engineers
come in and check the system and then the armor loads the weapons and puts a
red flag on the guns to indicate that they are loaded. For safety the
sequence must be followed. Regardless, before checking the electrical
system, the engineer must always check to see if the flags are on the guns.
On this day, the electrical type was late and the armorer had come and gone.
He loaded the weapons and put the flags on the guns. The electrical type,
now in a hurry, got into the aircraft, turned on the systems and after in
craft checks, got out and got out his wand. this is nothing more than a 12
foot pole with a round metal disk on the end. When elevated in front of the
radar unit, by moving it around, he can check the correct track of the guns.
He was in a hurry and ran back and without looking for the flags, just raised
the wand. As they say, shit happens, the guns lowered and started firing at
the wand. Instead of just dropping the wand below the radars ability to see
it, he took off running and the guns kept on shooting. I can imagine the
picture of this guy running hell for leather and those guns tracking that
wand and shooting up the airfield. Guess he shot up the tower and at least
three airplanes until he had the presence of mind to finally drop the wand.
Often wondered what would have happened it it changed it lock on to a moving
vehicle. Not one of his better days.