Big BUF: Tales of the B-52 Bombers, The SAC Pilots Who Flew Them & the Wives They Left Behind in the Era of the Vietnam War
Publish Date: 2012-05-17
Author: Charles W. Holmes PhD;Merelyn Holmes
Big BUF is a story of a B-52 crew and their adventures (and misadventures) during the Vietnam war. It is based on the fact that war is in itself not humorous, but humorous things happen in war. This is not only true on war, but is also true at home where the wives and children anxiously await the return of their husbands and fathers. It follows a B-52 aircrew from their entry into the Strategic Air Command, through three combat tours and to the end of the Vietnam War. No character in the book is any one living individual. I would say that all characters in the book are based on combinations of individuals. The book is based on actual events that occurred during the war, embellished with a little artistic license. For example, there was a Russian spy at Pataya Beach, Thailand, who sought information from B-52 crew members in exchange for favors. It became a game to go to Pataya to see if one could be picked up by the lovely spy. There was also a rumor, which had a good basis, that a general's wife opened a house of pleasure on Guam. She had found a need and filled it. Ernie's Hide-Away actually existed under the name of Charlie's Hide-Away and was a favorite restaurant and watering hole for B-52 guys. Merelyn accurately describes life back home. Wives were close. They helped each other cope and took care of the ones who turned to alcohol or other men. She lived through the panic when an airplane was lost and the blue station wagons cruised through the housing areas, carrying the Chaplain and a senior officer to the home of the new widow. I have described the actual combat and bombing runs as accurately as possible. Big BUF is history seen through the eyes of those who lived it.