The B-52 first entered service in 1955 as a long-range nuclear-capable bomber for the US Air Force. Built by the Boeing Company, the B-52 was a technological marvel, which included swept wings and eight jet engines, enabling a range of 8,800 miles and a top speed of 650 mph. With two large bomb bays and a capacity of 70,000 lbs., its intended delivery mission was the carrying of nuclear weapons, but has also proven to be outstanding in dropping conventional weapons.
A key component of Operation Rolling Thunder during the Vietnam War, the B-52 regularly engaged in carpet bombings that devastated the enemy lines. Beginning with Operation Arc Light and reaching a zenith with Operation Linebacker II, the B-52s provided a unprecedented tactical advantage, their potency approaching that of a tactical nuclear weapon.
The B-52H is assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB (ND) and the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB (LA) and function under Air Force Global Strike Command, whose mission is to provide combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations. Air Force Reserve Command also has the B-52 at its 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB.
Minted from solid bronze, using special deep-relief coining dies, and hand-finished with an antique patina for exceptional quality and detail, this B-52 coin pays homage to this unfaltering mainstay of U.S. Air Force aviation, its aircrews, maintenance, and logistical support personnel. The obverse features the aircraft in flight as a sentinel of freedom as it has been since 1955, with a schematic representation of the aircraft behind. The reverse, depicting a scene from the Vietnam countryside and the Vietnam War Service Ribbon, is engravable, suitable for names, duty dates, or special remembrances.
This item measures 1 3/4 inch (44mm) in diameter.
This is a surplus NWTMint item. Packaging may vary.