Sign in to follow this  
Guest glnflwrs

Offtopic: USAF Lighter from Kadena Airbase in Okinawa

Recommended Posts

I appologize for this slightly offtopic thread. I have a Champ lighter that I have bought as a gift for a friend, but I am having a hard time identifying what time period it is from.I have tried searching very hard, but no luck, so my last hope is that someone here will be able to tell me something...Cheers,Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Judging by the aircraft image on the lighter I would have to say 1991 or later.Kadena was a heavy bombardment base, B-29's until 1953 when it became home to a fighter wing. It was F-86's, F-100's, F-4's, and then F-15's until 1991. In 1991 the TAC squadron, a SAC squadron of b-52's, and a tanker group of KC-135's were merged into the 18th Air Support Wing which is the active group there today.The plane most resembling the one on the lighter is a KC-135, thus, 1991 or later. IMHO.This is pure speculation based on that image on the lighter, the history, though, is true.Glenn'Maintain thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee.'

Share this post


Link to post

>Judging by the aircraft image on the lighter I would have to>say 1991 or later.>>Kadena was a heavy bombardment base, B-29's until 1953 when it>became home to a fighter wing. It was F-86's, F-100's, F-4's,>and then F-15's until 1991. >>In 1991 the TAC squadron, a SAC squadron of b-52's, and a>tanker group of KC-135's were merged into the 18th Air Support>Wing which is the active group there today.>>The plane most resembling the one on the lighter is a KC-135,>thus, 1991 or later. IMHO.>>This is pure speculation based on that image on the lighter,>the history, though, is true.>>Glenn>>'Maintain thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite>thee.'There are no B-52's in Kadena, nor have there been(stationed) since I've be going flying through and/or flying out of Kadana since 1988. And you missed the E-3A's, HH-60's, which are apart of the 18th then there is the MC-130's of the 353rd SOG, the RC-135's of the 82nd RS.:-outtahttp://publish.hometown.aol.com/p3superb/i...s/sign_name.jpgThere is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".- unknown"My daddy gives me up, to fight for you"- a US Military Members Child

Share this post


Link to post

Hm, why do you guys place it so late in time? Other people I have discussed this with has placed it in the mid 60ies or 70-ies. From what I understand the first KC-135s arrived at Kadena in -65 or -66.Also, there has been plenty of B-52's at Kadena in the 60s and 70s, hasn't there? The Arc Light missions starting -68 involved several B-52s from Kadena. I've even seen notes of B-52's from Kadena as early as January -62. still at least 35 KC-135s where stationed there during that time.Judging from the scratches on the lighter, it has been through a lot of rough handling. Some people I've talked to, think it was likely to have been aboard a Stratotanker during the Vietnam War, which seems reasonably likely to me.I've seen another very similar lighter, but it says Kadena AB instead of Kadena, Okinawa. Somehow that makes me think mine is older, but that might just be wishful thinking...http://swisherwebworks.com/firepit/images/...awa(pe-tro).jpgThanks for helping out!Roger

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Roger,I spent 86-87 on the Rock, I was 3rd FSSG USMC at Camp Kinser, and this looks pretty much like the stuff they were selling at that time as well, although I think it is older, maybe mid 70's or so. Remember, bics were pretty big in the 80's. Zipppos before that.Once you were out in town, the amount of crap they tried to sell you was amazing.I always thought it was funny how the locals claimed they didn't know english until you started throwing greenbacks then the language skills improved 100%. :-lolI do have fond memories of a place that had the best Mongolian BBQ I ever had. Man I ate there what seemed like once a week. :-lolAnd BBQ Pork on a stick was awesome and cheap. can't remember what it was called though. satay maybe?Regards,Joeaopa.gif" border="0" alt="Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

Share this post


Link to post

It is really interesting to see a tiny little piece of history and all the great stories and memories it evokes! :)The lighter is an Austrian made Champ lighter and I think the manufacturer has seized to exist somewhere along the line. Most of the Champ lighters I can find on the Internet seem to have been produced between the 50s and 70s. The majority also have fake alligator skin on them.Of course there is a slim chance that it could be an Asian made copy of a Champ lighter, but there really are very few fake products produced in Asia, aren't there... ;)I think the lighters have been produced about as long as the airbase has existed and I guess it will be very hard to place in time, unless we stumble across someone who has the exact same lighter with the same text on it. Even then it will be very hard to define.Thanks,Roger

Share this post


Link to post

Roger, Yes, your links to the group site are much more detailed. Now, still based on the image on the lighter, the period is '67 to present. Although judging by the wear I'd say earlier than later. LOL! Thank you, sir, for your links. Very informative.Glenn Flowers fmr USAF E-363rd MAW, 63rd Avionics Maint Squadron1970-1973'Maintain thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee.'

Share this post


Link to post

That's why antiques are so much fun to buy. They all have great history behind them! I just found another indication of it being from the early part of the period we're discussing. I have found two images of similar lighters, but the text differs as I mentioned earlier. Also the apparently are "No brand" lighters, as there is no manufacturer logo on the bottom as in the attached image. This makes me think it is from the later 60s or the early 70s. like I said earlier, I have found very few Champ lighters beyond the 60's.Thank you so much for helping!Roger

Share this post


Link to post

My Pleasure.Glenn'Maintain thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee.'

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this