Schurr, SSgt. James R.

James Schurr - Thai Apr '75 250 x 250James R. Schurr

Born June 23, 1951 and grew up in Lafayette, In. Attended Jefferson High School, graduating in 1969. Attended Purdue University for two years on an education draft deferment prior to the draft lottery beginning, as luck would have it, I ended up with a low number and soon had my notice to report for my draft physical.

Not wanting to go into the Army, I chose the Air Force and enlisted.

Enlisted United States Air Force Aug. 1971, attended basic training at Lackland AFB Texas, then off to 316x0F Tech School at Sheppard AFB, Texas for several months and then a few more weeks training at Vandenberg AFB.

First Assignment was at Little Rock AFB in July of 1972 on a Titan II missile crew as a BMAT (Ballistic Missile Analyst Technician), after a few months there was a need at Davis-Monthan AFB and an overage in that skill at Little Rock, several of us single guys were sent to Davis-Monthan AFB. It was hard to give up crew duty; it was one of the better assignments.

I Received my PCS orders to 100th AMMS in Tucson Arizona, arriving Jan 1973. After a period of training, I had my first TDY to Osan, Korea in the fall of 1973 and then a return trip in 1974 for another 6 months. I got married during this trip (still married 34 years later) returned back to the states fall of 1974 and bought our first house in Tucson for $21,000. In the spring of 1975, I was sent to U-Tapao, Thailand while the wife was pregnant with our first child. This tour was cut short when Vietnam fell. I’ll never forget the plane loads of Vietnamese landing at U-Tapao ahead of the communist takeover.

After arriving back in the states in 1974, I was reassigned to 390 Missile wing at D-M. As I recall, there was a drug bust or something in the barracks and several crew members were busted so now there was a shortage of BMATs, so I took this opportunity to go back to crew duty. After a brief training period to get back up to speed, I was assigned to a line crew, later on an instructor crew. I‘ll have to confess line crew duty was the best, once your alert was over, you were pretty much off duty. While on alert and after the daily routine was over, it left plenty of time for study. While with the 390th, I finished my BS degree on the GI bill. I re-enlisted in 1975 for the big signing bonus and spent the entire time with the 390th at D-M separating Oct 1980. We sold the first house for $45, 000 and moved out to the Catalina Foot Hills where we lived for the next few years. I spent a few years with Gates Learjet in Tucson as an Industrial Engineer. A slow down at Learjet in the later part of 1982 caused me to look around and take a job with Rockwell International in Palmdale, Ca. working on the B1B program. So I’ve been here in Palmdale since Feb 1983 now with Boeing, since our Rockwell division was bought by Boeing. I was able to turn an interest in computers to a career in Information Systems and have been doing that for the last 20 years. I am still in good health and enjoy water sports (skiing, wakeboard, and jet ski), camping (RV), 4 wheeling (Jeep), and motorcycling (Harley).

James Schurr