Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 16, 2013

The flight seen around the world

Miami County man still holds record for longest supersonic flight in history 50 years later

PERU — A Miami County Air Force pilot became an overnight celebrity 50 years ago today after he flew a supersonic bomber jet on a record-shattering flight from Tokyo to London that captured the attention of the world.

Sidney J. Kubesch, a Texas native who ended up moving to Miami County after marrying a Peru woman, completed the 8,028-mile trip in a B-58 Hustler nicknamed “Greased Lightning” in 8 hours, 35 minutes at an average speed of 938 miles an hour.

It was the longest supersonic flight in history. It still holds that record.

Although the bomber had to slow down five times for in-flight refueling during its dash halfway around the world, it still managed to halve the previous west-to-east record of 17 hours, 42 minutes set by a British Canberra jet in 1955.

Kubesch, who’s now 83 years old and farmed in the county for decades after retiring from the Air Force, made the flight with two other crew members on Oct. 16, 1963.

The crew and the B-58 bomber were stationed at then-Bunker Hill Air Force Base, and the achievement brought international media attention to the area.

It also turned Kubesch, who was a major in the Air Force at the time, into a worldwide celebrity.

President John F. Kennedy announced the record flight from Washington after the Hustler touched down on the airfield at Greenham Common, England, at 10:34 p.m. Japan time.

“I congratulate the Air Force crew which flew this operation and the men who supported it on the ground,” Kennedy said in an issued statement. “I know that the success of this flight is due to the high competence and dedication of all involved.”

A year later at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, President Lyndon B. Johnson vigorously shook hands with Kubesch during a tour of the base.

Newspapers and other media outlets covered the story for months. One article even discussed what Kubesch and the crew ate during the flight.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters will require license

    With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    Two people were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores.

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA front rendering NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA’s Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo.“The Y is a great resource for the community, so we’re glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal Truck+Car Accident03 Woman killed after vehicle collides with semi head-on A woman was killed Monday night after her vehicle collided with a semi truck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.Elizabeth Ann Jeffries, 41, Monticello, died after her car apparently left the road and entered oncoming,

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries