James C. Oskins, my co-author and fellow nuclear weapons specialist, has passed away.
Jim started his career in 1955, and was a 33250 Nuclear Specialist, responsible for inspecting and maintaining nuclear capsules and the nuclear pit of the early nuclear weapons. This was a highly selective career field, with only a few dozen Air Force technicians working with Atomic Energy Commission custodians inspecting, cleaning, and assembling nuclear components at specific bases.
He later became a 33150 Weapons Fusing and Arming Specialist, responsible for the maintenance of nuclear weapon fuses and associated electronic equipment (most notably radars and the electronics cartridge of each weapon).
Jim’s final AFSC was as a 46370 Nuclear Weapons Specialist, working on sealed pit nuclear weapons such as the W53 warhead, B53 bomb, and B57 and B61 thermonuclear bombs.
His career pretty much came full circle, spanning the era of the prop driven B36 bomber to the modern F-111, from the early open pit nuclear weapons to the modern sealed pit designs, in assignments throughout the US and European theater.
Rest in peace, Jim. You were a great historian, researcher, motivator, editor, and mentor, and will be sorely missed.