Tanker Exhibit Opens

The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, recently opened “Tankers at War: Air Refueling in Southeast Asia,” an exhibit honoring the tanker airmen who completed more than 800,000 refuelings in their machines during the Vietnam War. “The Air Force could not have conducted major combat operations over North Vietnam without the extended range provided by aerial refueling,” said Doug Lantry, a museum curator. “Air Force tankers also saved countless lives by topping off damaged or low-fuel aircraft coming out of North Vietnam, thereby allowing them to make it back to their bases,” he added. KC-135 tankers based on Guam and in Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand flew nearly 200,000 sorties from 1964 to 1973, and pumped almost 1.3 billion gallons of fuel—enough to fill about 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to museum officials. Among the many items on display are unit patches from nearly all of the air refueling squadrons that supported the war. (Dayton report by Sarah Swan) (See also exhibit fact sheet.)