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B-66 veterans reunite at Shaw

Two U.S. Air Force veterans take a closer look at a F-16 Fighting Falcon during a B-66 Destroyer reunion at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. Approximately 100 veterans from around the U.S. attended the reunion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

Two U.S. Air Force veterans take a closer look at a F-16 Fighting Falcon during a B-66 Destroyer reunion at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. Approximately 100 veterans from around the U.S. attended the reunion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

U.S. Air Force retired B-66 Destroyer aircraft crew members and pilots pose for a picture in front of a B-66 static display at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. The B-66 was a combat-ready light bomber that retained a three-man crew used by the USAF between the years of 1952 to 1966. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

U.S. Air Force retired B-66 Destroyer aircraft crew members and pilots pose for a picture in front of a B-66 static display at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. The B-66 was a combat-ready light bomber that retained a three-man crew used by the USAF between the years of 1952 to 1966. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

Leonard Pybus, a B-66 Destroyer Association member looks at a historical photo with a fellow veteran at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. Some of the B-66 veterans at this reunion have not seen Shaw AFB for almost 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

Leonard Pybus, a B-66 Destroyer Association member looks at a historical photo with a fellow veteran at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 30, 2016. Some of the B-66 veterans at this reunion have not seen Shaw AFB for almost 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman BrieAnna Stillman)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Former B-66 Destroyer aircrew members and pilots came together for a reunion here, Aug. 30.

Retired Lt. Col. James Weir, former B-66 navigator, arranged a tour for approximately 100 veterans to see the changes that have taken place since they left Shaw.

“These folks and I have spent most of our career in this plane and at Shaw, but haven’t been back for almost 50 years,” said Weir.

After getting a close-up of the B-66 on display, the veterans toured the facilities of the base.

“I haven’t been to Shaw for almost 50 years and it is very exciting for me to come back and see how much the base has improved,” said Retired Col. Kenneth Thompson, former B-66 pilot.

Most of these veterans flew B-66 missions from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.

As Weir reminisced about his time in the U.S. Air Force, he stated that the B-66 was the best aircraft he had ever worked on because of the strong bond he developed with the aircrew.

After reconnecting with each other and the B-66, the veterans ended their tour in one of Shaw’s original hangars.