Aircraft by type

Lockheed A-12 & SR-71 Ejections

List being compiled - photos / contacts sought


Air Force

A'cft Unit / Serial


crashed crew photo seat
24th May 1963


A-12 60-6926     Ken Collins ejected safely from vertical flat spin Lockheed
9th July 1964


A-12 60-6939   Complete hydraulic failure during approach to Groom Dry Lake Pilot Bill Park ejected safely Lockheed
25th January 1966


SR-71A 61-7952   Crashed near Tucumcari, New Mexico   Lockheed
Lockheed test pilot Bill Weaver survived- his ejection seat never left the plane RSO Jim Zwayer died in a high-G bailout Lockheed
30th July 1966


60-6941       Lockheed
Pilot Bill Park ejected safely LCE Ray Torick ejected but drowned Lockheed
5th January 1967


A-12 60-6928
  Walter L Ray ejected, but was killed after he failed to separate from his ejector seat Lockheed
13 April 1967


SR-71A 61-7966   subsonic, high-speed stall near Las Vegas, Nevada Lockheed
Pilot Captain Earle M. Boone RSO Captain Richard E. Sheffield Lockheed
25 October 1967


SR-71A 61-7965

Beale AFB

near Lovelock, Nevada Lockheed
pilot Captain Roy L. St.Martin RSO Captain John F Carnochan Lockheed
28th December 1967


A-12 60-6929   Crashed during takeoff from Groom Dry Lake Pilot Mel Vojvodich ejected safely Lockheed
11 January 1968


SR-71B 61-7957   crashed on approach to Beale about 7 miles from Beale Lockheed
instructor pilot Lt Col Robert G. Sowers Captain David E. Fruehauf Lockheed
10 October 1968


SR-71A 61-7977   takeoff was aborted when a wheel assembly failed  at Beale Lockheed
pilot Major Gabriel Kardong - remained with aircraft - survived Major James A. Kogler was ordered to eject Lockheed
18 December 1969


SR-71A 61-7953   Inflight explosion near Shoshone, California Lockheed
RSO Lt Col Garry Heidelbaugh Lt Col Joe Rogers Lockheed
10 May 1970


SR-71A 61-7969   operational mission from Kadena, Okinawa against North Vietnam crashed near Korat RTAFB, Thailand. Lockheed
pilot, Major William E. Lawson RSO, Major Gilbert Martinez Lockheed
17 June 1970


SR-71A 61-7970
  post-tanking collision with the KC-135 tanker crashed 20 miles east of El Paso, Texas Lockheed
Lt Col "Buddy" L. Brown both legs were broken RSO Maj Mortimer Jarvis Lockheed
24th June 1971


YFA-12A 60-6936     Lockheed
Jack Layton William Curtis Lockheed
21 April 1989


SR-71A 61-7974   left engine blew up over the South China Sea Lockheed
Pilot Lt Col Dan House RSO Blair Bozek Lockheed



I would like to express sincere thanks to



THORNTON D. "TD" Barnes for permission to link to his two excellent websites and for his invaluable help concerning ejections related to the A-12 & SR-51 and other Cold War ejections including the U-2


Preserving the history of the aviation pioneers and programs
that developed the U-2, A-12 and YF-12 during the Cold War

Cold War Black Projects

Secret Projects and Area 51

 Christopher Freeze for permission to link to his excellent website and providing an image of Joe Rogers (Dec 18th SR-71)




I recently came across your excellent ejection web site. As I read the A-12/SR-71 page I couldn’t help noticing that you are using an inaccurate serial number format for the SR-71. For example, 64-17953 should be 61-7953.

Numerous Blackbird books and articles have been published containing incorrect SR-71 serial numbers with a ‘64’ prefix. Regrettably, the ‘64’ numbers have been published so often that authors and researchers continue to use them.

Official documentation on the Blackbird released by various government agencies includes technical manuals, accident reports, maintenance records, and test reports. Many of them contain references to the serial numbers, all with a ‘61’ prefix. Not a single official document has yet surfaced in which a ‘64’ prefix was used. When a few SR-71s were reactivated for operational duty in the mid-1990s their markings included standard USAF tail numbers with the FY61 base number followed by the last three digits of the sequence number.

For reference, see this article: “The Truth is Out There: SR-71 Serials and Designations,” Air Enthusiast, No. 118, July/August 2005.

Peter W. Merlin

Below are some examples of Blackbird serial numbers, and their sources:
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 25 January 1966
"Vehicle Involved: SR-71, SN 61-7952 (#2003)"
"On 25 January 1966, SR-71, 61-7952, was airborne from Edwards..."
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 25 October 1967
"Vehicle Involved: SR-71A, SN 61-7965"
"SR-71 serial number 61-7965, call sign ASPEN 28, departed Beale AFB at..."
Aircraft Flight Status and Maintenance Record (AF Form 781H), October 1967:
"ACFT SERIAL NO. 61-7965"
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 18 December 1969
"Aircraft/Serial Number SR-71  61-7953"
"SR-71 Serial Number 61-7953, production number 4, was assigned..."
Maintenance Discrepancy/Work Record, December 1969:
"Serial No. 61-7953"
Special Order AB-147, 18 December 1969:
" investigate the SR-71, SN 61-7953, aircraft accident..."
Weight And Balance Clearance Form (DD Form 365F), 18 December 1969:
"Serial No. 61-7953"
SR-71A Category II Performance Tests, March 1970:
"These tests were conducted on SR-71A USAF S/N 61-7953 at the..."
"evaluation was conducted on SR-71B USAF S/N 61-7956 during the..."
USAF Accident/Incident  Report (AF Form 711), 17 June 1970:
Vehicles Involved:
"SR-71A SN 61-7970, KC-135Q, SN 59-1474"
"SR-71A, Serial Number 61-7970, call sign ASPEN 33, was..."
Aircraft Flight Status and Maintenance Record (AF Form 781H), 25 May 1970:
"ACFT SERIAL NO. 61-7970"
Technical Manual: Powerplant (SR-71-2-4), 15 November 1984:
"Applicable to AF S/N 61-7956 and subsequent."
Technical Manual: Mission Recorder System (SR-71-2-12), 1 May 1985:
"Airplane Serial Number Wiring Diagram"
"AF SER NO 61-79( )( )"
Technical Manual: Airframe Group (SR-71-2-2), 15 September 1987:
"AF Serial No. 61-7950 thru 61-7955"
"AF S/N 61-7956 and subsequent"
Operations Fact Sheet, 15 April 1997:
"SR-71B NASA Tail Number 831 (S/N 61-7956)"
Aerospace Vehicle Flight Report and Maintenance Document (AF Form 781F), 1997:
"Serial Number 61-7956"

in email 8th December 2009


site note: Serial Numbers amended 9th December 2009