David Hallman oral history interview



David Hallman oral history interview


Born-digital video recording of an oral history with David Hallman and interviewer Ted Young, recorded as part of The Museum of Flight Oral History Program, April 28, 2017.


Vietnam War veteran David Hallman is interviewed about his U.S. Air Force service as a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress crew member. He discusses his wartime experiences as B-52 navigator in Southeast Asia and his bombing missions to North and South Vietnam in 1972 and 1973. He also provides an overview of his later assignments as a radar navigator, including his time stationed on nuclear alert at Ellsworth Air Force Base (South Dakota). Topics discussed include his training and service history, his combat tours stationed at Andersen Air Force (Guam) and U-Tapao Air Base (Thailand), his involvement in Operation Arc Light and Operation Linebacker II, and his thoughts on bombing mission logistics and tactics.

Table Of Contents

Introduction and personal background -- Experiences at the U.S. Air Force Academy -- Navigation and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress training -- Service in Guam and Vietnam -- Operation Linebacker II -- Discussion of tactics -- Service while based at U-Tapao, Thailand -- Experiences as a radar navigator -- Nuclear alert assignment and other service details -- Post-military career -- Closing thoughts




1 recording (59 min., 12 sec.) : digital



Bibliographic Citation

The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection/The Museum of Flight





Biographical Text

David Hallman is a Vietnam War veteran who served as a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress navigator and radar navigator with the United States Air Force. He was born in May 1948 in Wilmington, Delaware. His father worked for IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) and was an Army Air Corps veteran. While growing up, Hallman’s family relocated several times for his father’s work. He completed high school in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and afterwards attended the Air Force Academy. He graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Though he initially intended to enter flight school for pilot training, Hallman could not pass the flight physical due to a childhood eye injury. Instead, he entered navigator training and received training in the Convair T-29 and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. In 1972, he was assigned to the 77th Bomb Squadron, 28th Bomb Wing, at Ellsworth Air Force Base (South Dakota). Shortly afterwards, he was deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. He participated in Operation Arc Light, serving as navigator aboard B-52Gs during long-range bombing missions to South Vietnam. In December 1972, he participated in Operation Linebacker II against North Vietnam. After a stateside rotation in early 1973, he served his final combat tour at U-Tapao Air Base in Thailand, this time flying aboard B-52Ds. At the completion of his combat tours, he had served on approximately 68 missions and had logged over 600 hours of combat flight time.

After returning to the United States, Hallman served with Standardization Crew S-01, then earned his qualification as a radar navigator. He continued to serve with the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, where he participated in nuclear alert assignments. He was honorably discharged in 1975.

In his civilian life, Hallman worked briefly for IBM, then joined Sun Chemical in the graphic arts business.

Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.