Jenny Wonders
Mon Feb 14 18:28:50 2000

...... I am the daughter of Donald F. Wonders, who was on Rivet Amber. I am honored to be the first to sign your guestbook. You have done so much for me and my family. Nothing could ever be done or said to thank you enough. You have brought much closure for me. I have come along way in the last year since I first logged on with you. Like I said before, there are surely angels in this world, because Dad sent me you!!!

Daniel Joesph Wonders
Tue Feb 15 20:27:10 2000

Thank you for all of the precious time you have exhausted into helping me and the rest of my family put some closure to our father and crews unfortunate mishap. My heart goes out to the families who have had to overcome the same challenging obstacles that we have endured throughout our lives. Hopefully, they as well, have had an Angel such as yourself guiding them. Thank you for all you have done! God bless you!

Christine Whiton
Fri Feb 18 09:53:08 2000

I think this web page is a wonderful thing. More pages like this should be in exsistence. We need to show the world the wonderful people who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom & our country. This is a cool way to honor them & not to forget them. I work with TSgt. Wonders son Daniel who showed me this web page & it gave me goose bumps. To know someone who lost so much so we could be free.... I'm honored that you shared this part of you with me & I'm honored to know you Dan! Thank you TSgt. Wonders for giving me my freedom & for your son Daniel. You'd be proud of him.
Christine Whiton
Dahlonega, Ga.

Ginny Hawes
Mon Feb 21 11:19:50 2000

This site is only one of the wonderful things you've brought to us all.You've shared these stories with your children for many years and it is so wonderful to witness them being shared with the people in your extended "family". I am sure that it brings you great peace and closure as well. This gift is perhaps the greatest gift that you, who flew so close with these men, could ever have given them. I know that if they could they would thank you with tearful embraces of gratitude for giving their children their story in their absence.
Thank you Dad,
Your loving daughter.

Jim Morrow
Mon Feb 28 21:32:54 2000

Inspired! I appreciate what you've done here. Terry Murphy alerted me to your site. We share many emotions. I flew with the 343rd (Rivet Joint) and knew many of you in the early 70's. I commanded the 2ACCS. That hallowed Alert facility was named in memory of a Crew-member. I commanded the 6th SW., with offices in Amber Hall. I, too, lost a crew/aircraft while there. I also remember, we won the Cold War...Most likely through the efforts of Crew Dogs.
Jimmy Jet

Sherrill B Clark, TSgt, Ret, USAF
Sat Mar 25 21:08:14 2000

Many thanks for letting me know about this webpage. Even though I was only on the "Rock" for 45 days TDY back in 1965/66, it was an experience I will never forget. I was in supply and met the crew for Rivet Amber. They were quite a crew. I wonder when the security classification will be lifted and as it is a wonderful tale to tell to grandchildren and fellow AF members. One thing though, I did qualify to leave as I got my whistle from Crackerjack and got TWO glass balls on the beach.
Sherrill B Clark

Tracey Chittum
Sun Jun 04 13:29:24 2000

Thank you so much for this website! This is the first information that I have been able to find about my father, S/Sgt.Richard J. Steen Jr. My family and I appreciate your help and thoughtfulness.

Don Walker
Fri Sep 08 15:33:17 2000

Back in the early 1970's my dad commanded the 24srs, and I would go into Amber Hall at Eielson many times. I knew then a very small part of the story of Rivet Amber, I had a picture of it hanging in my room. Your website shows a much more human side of the story and I am glad that children of those brave men were able to gain closure. An interesting note, while we lived at Eielson, my dad in the course of his job, would have to go to "The Rock" many times. After 1 such trip he came back with a boxload of wire, that I believe he said came from the derilict RC-135s (Rivet Ball). We used that wire to wire my model railroad on Eielson, and I still have some of it today, in a box in my basement in Georgia.
Donald E. Walker Jr.
Woodstock, Georgia

Fred D (Dan) Yeast
Wed Sep 20 14:38:07 2000

Thanks for the great pages and photos. I flew from Eielson, AFB, with the 6985th SS from November 1971 until November 1973. I also flew on the Cobra Ball from Shemya during that time, and saw the wreckage everytime we landed and took off. Somewhat intimidating to say the least. Hopefully, some of my old flight crew will stumble across these links and we can reunite at least on the internet.
Dan Yeast

James (Jay) Browne
Tue Nov 07 00:24:03 2000

Today is November 4, 2000. Today is also THE DAY that Jenny Eckes and I met online. Jen and I enjoyed sharing several hours of messaging online; we shared many sentences, paragraphs, and entire pages from our respective lifes' books. Over the course of a few hours our conversation in cyber space evolved from minor chit-chat about our careers and personal interests to sharing intimate and tender parts of our lives and the role that the realm of the spirit and God plays in our lives. Today is also the day that Jen and I started to build a solid foundation for a friendship ... and hopefully the foundation will serve as the basis for a long-term relationship that builds on our new friendship. As I type these last few words, I know that my dad and Jen's dad are smiling as they watch their two children ... Jay and Jen ... playing, teasing one another, laughing, crying, and making their best effort to be open, honest, and loving to one another. Thank you for inviting me into your past and present life Jen, may we be true friends and love each other through thick and thin.
Jen's new friend,

Gene Willard
Mon Dec 04 15:24:57 2000

I was on Rivet Ball's last flight. I was the Airborne Mission Supervisor (AMS), in charge of the Security Service backenders. The AMS was also called Lucy, after the Peanuts character. I flew quite a few missions both on Ball and on Rivet Amber. One of the men with me when Ball crashed, SSgt Richard J. Steen, Jr, was also later on Rivet Amber when she went down during a flight to Eielson from Shemya. King gave me a copy of the video made from the 8mm films taken by the Ravens. It was a great project. I was proud to be part of it and proud to work with such outstanding airmen, both in SAC and USAFSS.

Harvey Babb
Mon Dec 04 21:33:03 2000

My father, Dean Babb, told me about "Lisa Ann" (as much as he COULD tell me :) when I was a kid. He worked as a machinist at the Greenvill Texas plant that "birthed" her and she was his proudest work. He told of spending weeks shoring up the fuselage, disconnecting all the controls and lines near the front and carefully cutting out the stringers. Then came the day when a foreman handed him a Skil Saw with a carbide blade, pointed to the brand new '135 they'd been working on and said "Cut it in half on the line!" He also told of watching jack-rabbits cavorting on the runway that was roped off as a test range for tuning up the radar. He said that a rabbit would run around 'till he got into the beam then stop and look puzzled; then jump straight up and fall dead to the ground. After watching this happen, they didn't have to tell anyone not to go past the ropes! I'm sure that he worked on Wanda Belle too, but I only remember him talking of Lisa Ann. She was his love and the loss of her and her crew was a blow to him. Dad is in a nursing home now with Alzheimers and I miss his stories. Thank you for bringing me some more of his finest hour!
Harvey Babb
Victoria, Texas

Jack W. Harris, Msgt, USAF-RET
Sun Dec 17 02:01:28 2000

What a wonderful web site! It was forwarded to me from Jenny Eckes after I told her about some of the activity that occured at Eielson just after Amber was lost. This is a wonderful tribute to some great crew members. At the time I was a crew chief on 60-357 (RC-135D) and then the first crew chief on 62-664, a later Cobra Ball. I left Eielson early 1973, after 5 years of duty at Shemya and Eielson. I wouln't trade those memories for anything.

Mike Derry
Mon Dec 18 20:09:40 2000

This website is a fitting tribute to the crewmembers and support teams that kept the 'Ball and other missions as successful as they were. I was an A207 (Airborne Morse Systems Operator) on the RC-135 V/W models out of RAF Mildenhall and Offutt AFB, 1985-1988 (Rivet Joint), but I knew quite a few privileged individuals who got to fly out of Eielson and Shemya. I think the missions and aircraft that flew the Rivet Amber/Ball, Lisa Ann, Wanda Belle, Cobra Ball, et al, would've been the most exciting and rewarding of all the RC-135 missions around the world. Keep up the great work!
Best regards,
Mike Derry

Tue Dec 19 09:39:20 2000

Let the search continue!!!

Melissa Morgan
Tue Dec 19 10:31:25 2000

I have had the pleasure to develop a friendship with Tsgt. Daniel Wonders. He showed me this website this morning, and it impacted me a great deal. This is a wonderful example of the people who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country. It also shows howDaniel is a truly wonderful man, whom I feel fortunate to know. Daniel, your father would be so proud of the man you've become, and to see how many lives you have touched. I can only pray that the search will continue on and provide closure to the many family members and friends of those that are lost.

Hank Whitney TSgt/Capt USAF (Retired)
Sat Jan 27 19:28:21 2001

I was a USAFSS (Security Service) crewmember at Eielson from 1967-1970 and had the greatest respect for the dedicated crews flying the demanding missions on the RIVET BALL and RIVET AMBER aircraft. I was in charge of "special communications" and still remember listening over and over to the tape of the last transmission from the RIVET AMBER aircraft to try and deduce what happened - we never did, expect for some informed speculation. I returned to Eielson in 1972 and was fortunate to crew the Security Service contingent in the "back end" on several deployments to Shemya. You have done a great job depicting what happened back then (and likely still does from time to time). Thank You for the excellent tribute and memories.

Robert L. Brown Jr.
Sat Feb 03 16:38:16 2001

King, I am Bob Brown's son. Great site! My dad is in Florida this weekend visiting and told me about the site. I've learned more and have seen more this weekend about what ya'll were doing there flying the Rivet Ball than ever before. I was there at Eielson at 5 yrs old, I don't remember much about that place except for backyard iceskating and moose in the yard. You might be interested in knowing, Dad retired to a 17 acre old horse farm in Dalzell, South Carolina, and he is still feisty as ever, just moving slower. By the way, Dad named the farm "Ravens Nest". {Dad says he is thinking about holding a Team-2 Reunion at the Ravens Nest} Dad tells me he has located everybody except Brad Perry, Arther Reid, and Dobbs {first name?} can you help the old man out finding where they are? That would be quite a reunion and I would like to be there. Dad still is living in the dark ages without a computer, so E-mail me if you need contact.

Marty Lee
Tue Mar 20 16:16:40 2001

I too lived on the rock and in the hanger. thank you

Maj. Steve Taylor
Thu Mar 22 13:47:25 2001

Great site. I am a TC in the Cobra Ball program and we still go anywhere, anytime. Thanks for the memories.

Harry Dice
Mon May 14 20:28:36 2001

I was assigned to DET 1 6th Strat Wg from late 1968 to July 69. My job was to get the INS up and running on the Ball. Carl Denton and I were roomates we still are in contact with each other.

Ryann Wonders
Tue May 22 16:22:03 2001

Hi, I am Jenny Wonders' niece. Thank you for your wonderful website. I have never heard any of this stuff before.

Joel S. Davis
Fri May 25 19:19:05 2001

I was referred to your page by a colleague who flew in Alaska much later; otherwise I have no connection. However, I was touched by the memories and, if a stranger can offer this sentiment, please let me observe that your site is beautifully done.

Kylee Wonders
Mon May 28 01:19:01 2001

What can I say? There are no words that would explain all the emotions that I had while veiwing your site. It is BEAUTIFUL. I'm sure my father is aware of the work you are doing with it and is proud. I can't say this has brought closure like my siblings; but, it has brought me comfort. Thank you again. As Jen said, you are an angel sent to us.

Judy Fairchild
Mon May 28 11:14:13 2001

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and caring. The Wonders are dear, dear friends and I hope that this website brings them peace. I know they are extremely proud. Where would we all be without the sacrifices of all our servicemen and women.
God Bless!

Bill Brown
Thu Jun 07 14:18:00 2001

Good job, great site. I served as a TC on Cobra Ball 1969-71 arriving just after Amber disappeared. The best assignment I had in my career.

Stewart I. Neal
Fri Jun 22 20:06:51 GMT-04:00 2001

Thanks for a trip down memory lane. Your words and pictures brought back memories I thought long forgotten.

John T. O'Neill, LtCol. USAF (Ret)
Sun Jul 08 22:41:53 2001

Your web page was brought to my attention by George Zacek, an engineer who worked on the design of some of the black boxes in the Rivet airplanes. From 1957 to 1959 I flew resupply missions to the detachment at Shemya. On numerous occasions we couldn't land had to go back to Cold Bay or Kodiak. The winds and especially cross winds were awesome. On one landing we did a complete 360 skid in the middle of the ice-covered runway. I have been in 45 countries and countless islands and I've never been at such a lonely, grim, frightening place as Shemya. So I toast all of you who routinely flew "spook" missions out of there in airplanes that were never meant for such hostile weather and runway conditions. Whenever I hear the term "cold" war Shemya is the first thing that comes to my mind. Thanks for preserving this sad but significant bit of air force history.

Axel Anaruk
Sat Jul 28 15:21:10 2001

King - Thank you for your hard work honoring those who gave their lives that we might be free. Though I never flew on the Rivet programs I have many friends and colleagues who did.

Sue Glasgow
Wed Aug 08 00:49:35 2001

I truely apperciate the effort that you have put into this site. As a member of a family on the Rivet Amber it shows us that everything that was humanly possible was done to find the crew. I have read the e-mail that you sent my sister Sarah Howas, I am so glad that she has finaly been able to find the closure she needed. As for myself, sister-in-law and husband we know that Ned is with God. Again thank you for your thoughts. You did fill in one gap which was that the plane did not just disappear with out any communications as we were told.

Brett Wilmore
Thu Aug 09 18:56:04 2001

Wonderful site. I have begun a graduate research paper investigating the cause of Lisa Ann / RIVET AMBER's demise -- Please e-mail any and all speculation. My father Duncan was a raven on LA -- thankfully spared from that flight -- alive, well, and living in CA. Active in VFW, recently took a "silver" in a Golden Games swim meet to some Navy SEAL. I am 2nd generation raven -- Cobra Ball 91-96, Rivet Joint 96-01. Sad news -- our community lost a tremendous raven, leader, and friend Dick Reeves this summer. He once wrote me, "don't let The Man get you down!"
Thanks Dick!

Frank Campfield, Ret., USAF
Sat Aug 25 19:38:01 2001

Your site brought tears to my eyes. I was a crew member on Rivet Amber, on the first trip Amber took to Shemya. I had many flights on her including the acceptance team to Hawaii before she was assigned to Shemya. I knew many of the downed crew... My good friend Bob Steen was on that fateful flight as well as being on the prior crash of Rivet Ball. God bless those airmen...

A. G. 'Tony' Rais
Wed Aug 29 19:58:48 2001

I was 343SRS commander until July 1966, at Forbes AFB, and familiar with the operation at Shemya. I knew Capt. Michaud a fine Aircraft Commander and officer. This site is one of the best I have visited..Congratulations !!

Mon Sep 03 00:12:57 2001

Great coverage of our tour at Shemya. You have done a fantastic job with the materials at hand. Edwa ...

Howard E. (Buck) Newmans
Fri Sep 07 09:21:39 2001

I was on a remote ADA site during the 60's in the Pacific for the Army. I wish we had a site like this.

H.B. "Tex" Owens
Fri Sep 07 21:22:12 2001

My first landing on Shemya was as co-pilot in a C-82. Flying out of Elmendorf. Came through at other times in other types of aircraft. Flew into Greenville,Texas with other types of aircraft for other missions. Finished up at RADC and FTD. Familiar with your activities. You did well.

Joe Hall
Mon Sep 17 22:11:12 GMT-04:00 2001

Hey King-just found this webb page. Great! Thanks

Heather Schallock
Wed Sep 19 12:17:27 2001

Jenny's sister Kylee made ribbons for our news anchors to wear on the air. We're getting so many compliments on them and are very grateful to her. Since then Jenny sent us an email directing us to this website. We're all very touched by it and can see just how personal this is to both Jenny and Kylee. I tried to email Jenny but it bounced back; this is my attempt to try to reach her. I'm trying to find Jenny and/or Kylee. Please email us or call the newsroom at 715-365-4701.
Thank you,
Heather Schallock
News Director

G.A. "GAR" Rose
Wed Sep 26 18:04:22 2001

Sierra Hotel!
I'll be forwarding to several of my former USAF friends.
Al Rose,
Phantom Driver

Mon Oct 01 21:47:55 2001

Once again I find myself in your wonderful site again. I was the first to sign your guestbook over a year ago, and still go in there on a daily basis. You have done so very much with this site since then and wanted to give you total thumbs up. It only keeps getting better and better. I also wanted to share with everyone that enters your site, that since you have created it, I have had the wonderful experience of meeting a daughter and a son of two airmen on Amber that fatefull day. Please know this King, for every minute spent in this site, whether it be you, or those who view it........the Amber Crew are watching over and are smiling. They know they have completed their mission. They brought hearts together. God Bless you. You are always in my prayers each and every day.

Ralph McGrew
Mon Oct 08 01:06:44 2001

Great Web site King.
I was assigned to the 24th to be on Rivet Amber, but because modification took so long, and I was on a short tour, I flew the other recon birds at Eielson. Capt Ray was my replacement. I was also the EW ops officer at the Rock in 1974 to 1975.

Tim Loose
Sat Oct 13 21:12:07 2001

On 13 Jan, 1969 I was about be assigned to the weather station at King Salmon. Then Ball ran off the end off the runway. Shemya only had Weather Bureau observers and the Air Force gave blame to their observing priorities. So my assignment was changed to Shemya. For the next year I was the sole AWS observer at Shemya. I was part of the team that supoorted the Det 1 mission. As part of them, I lived in the SAC hanger and was required to be on duty whenever the mission was in the air. The night before Amber was lost we had phone calls back to the states. One of the T/SGTs from the backend crew gave me his phone time because "I'm going to be with my wife in Omaha tomorrow". It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. I will try to find and send some pics I have from Sheyma. I also have a copy of the "Snoopy in the 6th Strat Wing" comic.
Sgt Tim Loose
OL12, 11th Wea SQ (MAC)

Bob Armentrout
email address deleted
Sat Oct 20 03:41:36 2001

King, it was not until I recently received an email from a visitor to your site did I realize I had not made an entry in the guestbook. This is a great site! But, having worked with you, that comes as no real surprise. I do not think I can possibly express how I feel when I revisit this site to see what sort of update you have made. Each time I log in I seem to tap into a different memory. Often it will be one that I haven't thought of in years. For the vistors, I was the Team Commander of Team 2 on the night of 13 Jan 1969. I cried when the full impact of what we had lost that snowy night hit home, but that was after the pure elation I think we all felt from survivng certain death. Each man on Team 2 could write a book about the aircraft, the mission, or the crew. Although I consider the Ball's mission the best I had in the Air Force, if I were to write a book, it would focus on the members of Team 2. It was truly an unique group. It was comprised of men who had many, many strengths and few if any weaknesses. My title was Team Commander, but that was hogwash, because it was a TEAM in the truest sense of the word. Each of us was trained for specific duties on the airplane, and we did them extremely well, and anyone on the team could have done my job.

Then there was Amber. There has never been two more unusual aircraft in one place at the same time. Each aircraft had the same basic mission, but each aircraft used a completely different technology to do the same job. Amber had a lot fine men on her when she disappeared. Losing them was a great loss, to familes, friends, the Air Force and the Nation. I remember all too well the many hours of staring out the side windows of a KC-135 tanker aircraft flying search and rescue, low level over the Bering Sea, hoping against all hope of seeing a raft with the crew in it - but finding nothing, and each mission was sadder than the last. I am certain it was the same feeling the rescue workers feel looking for survivors in New York City.

Although Amber has never been found, there is still interest in her because it remains such a great mystery. One reason for the mystery is that the search effort put forth to find Amber was the largest and longest search and rescue effort ever mounted up to that time, and something of the aircraft should have been found.
I retired from the Air Force a number of years ago, then retired from Raytheon several years after that, consulted a few years, and am now teaching middle school science full time - and raising cashmere goats - and restoring an old house - which keeps me out of trouble.

Keep up the good work King. Note, I may tap into your experience to help me build a similar site on the USAFE Tactics School - in my spare time?

PS: For anyone who ever got a haircut in the hanger barber shop. If you have a copy of the barbershop rules, would you send them to King.

Virginia Mitzner
Fri Nov 09 23:34:25 2001

What great pictures! This was especially interesting to me. Tom Dodds is my Uncle.

Dorothy Gray
Sat Nov 10 00:23:34 2001

How wonderful, Tom Dodds is my brother. The,two other brothers and me, were all in ww2. This website thrilled me. I am eighty one and really enjoy the web sites.

Russell Dodds, Alamosa, Colorado
Mon Nov 19 23:49:45 2001

I am another brother,of tommy dodds. I am the youngest,will be 61, the 25th of november, I got two kids in the service right now.monday nov 19th 2001.

Ellen Dodds, Alamosa, Colo.
Tue Nov 20 22:11:59 2001

Tom Dodds is my brother-in-law, we don't get to see him as often as we would like.

SSgt Clayton M. "Matt" Dodds, USAF
Jan 26, 2002, 6:10am (CST+6)

This is a great website. Thanks for the great pictures and lots of info.

Tony Villari
Tue Jan 29 08:39:05 2002

I'm a former EWO member of the 55th. I spent a couple months on Shemya with a crew of RB-47E people and managed to wangle a ride on Lisa Ann with Regis Urschler when he was an A/C. The only crew member I knew on the missing flight was Michaud. Mitch was a great guy and always fun to be around. This is a nice memorial to those crew members. Thanks for bringing back some memories.

Jeff Sanders
Sun Feb 3 18:42:46 2002

Nicely done. Enjoyed reading thru the history. Have long been associated with Cobra Ball and heard the stories of Rivet Ball and the loss of Rivet Amber but your site puts it all together. Hope to meet you at the Big Safari Reunion in Reno 12-15 June.
Best Regards,
Jeff Sanders

Kingdon R. Hawes (Webmaster)
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