My Military Biography
I graduated from Brazil High School, Brazil, Indianain May 1965 and on the 1st of Sept I raised my hand and joined the Air Force. After a physical in Indianapolis I was sent to beautiful Lackland AFB, TX. The good news was I was only there for 30 days of basic and then to Ground Radio Repair school at Keesler AFB, Miss. Another garden spot. I was there from 15 Oct 1965 to 14 Jul 1966.
I received my orders to report on 22 Aug 1966 to the 12 Strat. Aerospace Div. (SAC) Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.CBPO-803 COS Gp. When I reported the base had no idea what the CBPO-803 COS Gp. was so they put me in the 803 Comm. Sq.. Two days later they discovered I was supposed to be in the 100 AMMS. I was told when I got there that it was a classified secret squadron so I could not tell anyone what I was doing and that after I got qualified, I would be able to go TDY to Da Nang AFB,RSVN. Oh by the way, when you get over there and if you were captured the Viet Cong had a $2000 price on your head. Oh Joy! For the next 18 months or so it was training, trips to Ft.Huachuca for training missions, repair of the radio equipment and then more training. I did have fun tho, a Midwestern boy in the desert. There were 4 of us that ran around, Brophy (Super Hero),Lytle, Diehl and I. We managed to terrorize a lot of rabbits.
As I think back now there are a lot of memories returning. There are two that come to mind. One was a planned visit from the Inspector General, for days we were cleaning floors and equipment. They parked one of the C-130’s on the apron but the inside was not pretty enough so some of us were volunteered to paint the rigging. To this day I do not like the color SURF GREEN. Now for the good news. The day of the inspection we were sent home early and the officers had to stand by to explain the equipment to the general. We learned the next day that the general had flown in around noon went directly to the Officers Club had his meeting then left. Never went to the squadron and the officers were still waiting for him until around 1900. We had a good laugh, but not around the officers. The other story is about our commander, Col. U.S. Taylor. Everyone had to wear a Line Badge with the areas we were allowed access to marked on the badge. No badge, No access. Col. Taylor had been gone for a week or so and in the mean time we had gotten new personnel. Now at night all the perimeter doors are locked and the hanger doors are closed except for a small opening. Since there is an opening the door must be guarded and the ID’s checked of the men who are working late. Boring night shift guard duty, just the job for one of the new guys! Col. Taylor was now at home when late that night he received a call that required him to come to the squadron. He arrives at the hanger in civilian clothes without his Line Badge. He tries to gain entrance but the new airman will not let him in because he does not recognize him and he does not have his badge. A heated discussion occurs and as the Col. starts to leave he turns to the airman and is reported to have said, “Airman I am the only ‘N****R’ Colonel in the God Damn Air Force and you better not forget it.” The next day the Col had all personnel fallout in the hanger. He calls the airman in question to come forward and in front of the squadron he apologized to the airman and commends him on following the orders given to him. From that day on I think everyone had more respect for the Colonel.
When I got to the 100th the Firebees were using radio frequency signals for control. Just a big jet powered RC aircraft. However in Namthey found out that the Viet Cong could disrupt the commands by using an oscillator with an antenna and running through the frequencies. So 30 days before I was scheduled to go TDY to Da Nang the radio equipment was phased out for Radar control and all the Ground Radio techs were transferred to the 803rd Comm. Sq., can you say, “Titan II missile silos.”
On 29 Aug 1969 I was released from active duty and went home. After moving to Ft. Worth, TXI joined the Air Force Reserves and worked as an Avionic Inertial & Radar Navigational Systems Specialist on the F-105D T-Stick II at Carswell AFB. I was there a couple of years and had an opportunity to go back to active duty only this time in the Navy. For the next 4 years I was on a brand new Spruance Class destroyer, the USS Elliot DD-967, cruising around the Pacific and Indian Ocean. After that active duty I stayed in the Navy Reserves and retired in Jan. 1997.
I had moved from Texas to San Diego about 10 years before I retired. I was a Petty Officer 1st Class and on one weekend I was preparing to give a class at the ReserveCenter. The classrooms had dividers to split them into smaller classes and on the other side was another PO1 also preparing to give a class. We looked at each other and we both said “I know you, but from where?” His name was PO1Victor Mungary. I had first met him about 15 years prior. But at that time he was SSgt. Mungary and he was my immediate supervisor in the Ground Radar/Radio shop, 100 AMMS, Davis-Monthan AFB. He also had gotten out of the AF and then enlisted in the Navy Reserve. It really is a small world.
Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Units assigned to:
100 AMMS, Davis-Monthan AFB,Tucson, AZ
803rd Comm. Sq., Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ
506th CAMS, Carswell AFB, Ft.Worth, TX
USS Elliot DD-967, NS San Diego, San Diego, CA(Plankowner)
USS Cook FF-1080, NS Dallas, Dallas, TX
USS Schofield FFG-3, NS Dallas, Dallas, TX
SIMA 519, NS San Diego, San Diego, CA
USS Mahlon F. Tisdale FFG-27, NS San Diego, San Diego, CA(Plankowner)