William C. (Bill) Smith
Enlisted United States Air Force Sept 1966, attended basic training at Lackland AFB Texas, then off to 316X1N Tech School at Lowry AFB Colorado.
After 316 Tech school, assigned to 498th TMG Kadena AB Okinawa as guidance technician for the Mace missile system. Mace was a medium range inertial guidance nuclear missile. Probably one of the best places to start a career, the group commander knew you by first name and your wife’s if you were married. Spent two years on Okinawa from August 1967 until September 1969.
Received PCS orders to 100th AMMS in Tucson Arizona. Could not figure why a missile guidance person was going to an airplane wing. Almost ended up in the 390th SMW since my AFSC was more to their mission requirements. Arrived in Tucson in Sept 1969 and was assigned to the Guidance shop of the 100th AMMS. Since I was a “first termer” and due to be discharged within a year, I received a rushed job on training and was off to Bien Hoa, Vietnam in January 1970. Somewhere along this time I was convinced to re-enlist, so I continued to go “TDY” as much as possible, moving the “OL” from Bien Hoa to U-Tapao, Thailand and finally ending up with over six hundred days of time at U-Tapao. U-Tapao was a very exciting place especially during the “Line Backer” operations. As all good things come to a end, so did my time with the 100th, mother SAC decided that minuteman needed me and so in August of 1976 knowing of the imminent squadron closing I was off to Chanute AFB as a cross trainee.
After Chanute AFB from August 1976 until December 1976 I was sent to the 341st SMW located at Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls Montana, assigned to the 341st FMMS squadron in the Electronics Laboratory, E-LAB. SAC was very good to me and so were promotions, within seven years I had promoted myself out of a job in the E-LAB and did not care for the options/positions that were being offered. Called a chief, I worked for when he was a TSgt and I was a two striper, at TAC HQ asked him what he could offer. Was given the opportunity to become the Senior Enlisted Advisor/Chief Enlisted Manager for Ground Launched Cruise Missile training in Tucson Arizona.
Arrived back at Davis Monthan AFB in December of 1983 and became the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 868th Tactical Missile Training Squadron. My duties included approving special duty applications, since all personnel were “hand picked”. The squadron grew and was upgraded to a group with three squadrons. Again time changes and with the Strategic Arms Limitation negotiations GLCM was to be destroyed. Did finally get to meet the “cold War” enemy during the destruction and verification procedures. We had Russian inspectors at Davis Monthan AFB and I was an escort. I did not want to move again and since my family was settled I decided to retire. After ensuring all enlisted personnel were appropriately reassigned this chief retired Sept 1990.
After the Air Force in 1991, needed a job since I had already had a career. I went to work for a small company called “Burr-Brown” in the laser probe department, laser trimming integrated micro circuits. Texas Instruments bought Burr-Brown in 2000. Stayed with TI for over fifteen years and ended up as a Product Sustaining Engineer retiring in 2006.
My wife works at the University of Arizona and our son is a US Navy Deep Sea Diver and has been in almost ten years now. We moved from Tucson to the retirement community of Green Valley in 2002.