Retired Maj. Gen. William Eubank, who played a pivotal role in the introduction of the B-52 bomber into the Air Force’s fleet, died Friday. The Shreveport Times reported that Eubank, known as “Mr. B-52” in some circles, succumbed to a lengthy illness. He was 98. As head of Strategic Air Command’s 93rd Bomb Wing at Castle AFB, Calif., Eubank accepted the first operational B-52 in June 1955. Under his command, the B-52 unit went on to win the MacKay Trophy in 1957 for the world’s first non-stop around-the-world jet flight. Eubank also set speed and distance records in a KC-135 tanker in April 1958. Born in Welch, W. Va., in 1912, Eubank entered the Army Air Corps in 1936 and was also a survivor of the Bataan and Corregidor battles of World War II. He retired from the Air Force in September 1965. (See SAC’s Newest Recruit—the Stratofort, an April 1956 article that then-Brig. Gen. Eubank authored on the B-52 for Air Force Magazine.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.