Misawa Air Base Japan 45th Tac Rec Squadron

Misawa Main Gate

Misawa Air Base Japan was my home from October of 1960 to August of 1962. I was assigned to the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, “Polka Dots” and became the Crew Chief on RF-101C (56-080). Someone from our photo lab took this picture of me shortly after arriving at the base in 1960.

My Aircraft RF-101C 56-080
A/2c Leland Olson

Misawa City
Memory Lane


This picture taken from the window of a Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation. Taking off from Travis Air Force Base California in August 1960, it took 24 hours flying time to reach Tachikawa AB Japan. With stops in Hawaii and Midway Island
Mechanic’s Patch

RF 101c 56-066

This was a 60-day temporary duty assignment to Thailand named the ‘Able Mable Project’. I was in that first group.

The first 45th pilots to fly the Able Mable Missions out of Don Muang Royal Thai Airport.

The 45th. after 1000 Sorties


Open House at Misawa

If I had reenlisted and stayed, I might have learned the language a lot better by now. There are many fond memories of Misawa, the base and the town. Nickle beer and footlong hamburger night at the Airmen’s Club. The entrepreneurs of AP Alley. There was a Great golf course too, I won a trophy in the Commanders Cup Tournament in 1961. Shortly before departing Japan we made a once in a lifetime trip up to Lake Towada, a truly memorable experience, part of me will always remain there and at Misawa.

It was like leaving home when orders came to ship out. I would love to come and visit everyone but that is now impossible so I will let this blog post do the visit for me. I hope someone enjoys reading it.

Best Wishes,

Leland Olson


6 thoughts on “Misawa Air Base Japan 45th Tac Rec Squadron

      • About 250kms from the nearest and we’re in the city. Melbourne. We came home early from our Christmas break because we feared that there would be a fire. But gosh this has been the worst on record. It was bad enough that we had fires burning down most of the northern New South Wales Coast (from Sydney up) and the one that we saw start back in Nov on the Victorian Coast. Then we had seriously hot weather prompting two more huge fires on the south east coast and inland from there. These things are unstoppable these days, larger and more intense. The navy was brought in to rescue folks from a popular coastal community and the army is now working to help with fire fighting and repair. Another blaze wiped out a third of our third largest island in South Australia, what was a tourist destination. Yet another fire has closed the only highway between Perth and Adelaide. The Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor. One of the frightening things about these fires is that they create their own weather patterns producing dry thunderstorms with lightning that ignites more fires. So there you have it a long answer to a simple question. It has been a very flat new year and most people that we talk to are feeling depressed at the horror, loss of life, property, livelihoods, pristine forests and wildlife. Then of course there’s the smoke, Canberra and Sydney have been breaking air quality records. Take care and thanks for the concern.😉 we’ll keep our chins up.


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