I was born in Susanville, California on August, 2 1930. We moved to Oregon long before I could remember much. Most of the time was spent in Garibaldi, Oregon. All my schooling from the fourth grade through high school was at Garibaldi grade and High Schools.
During my senior year I met Naomi. That was a beginning of a long relationship which is ongoing. We graduated in 1949 and were directly thereafter married. I worked in the local plywood mill for a short time, and various other jobs.
One day in early 1951 the Postmaster informed us that there was a letter I did not want. It was a draft notice! So off to the recruiter I went and joined the USAF.
I was sent to Lackland AFB for Basic training. We won drill competition, which earned us our first stripe. Then on to tech training at Oklahoma A&M in Okmulgee, OK. That was where I met Joe Menno and a number of other troops who wound up in Okinawa. The top grade within the class at graduation there was awarded a promotion, so by then I was a Corporal.
Off to repo-depot and Camp Stoneman. Naomi had come down to Okmulgee and also to Stoneman with me. After a short stay we were herded onto a boat - "Liberty Ship" to you swabbies. After 17 days we arrived in Yokahama, Japan. They read off some 13 names and stated we may go to town (Yokahama) but (!) be on this ship by a definite time. The rumor had been this troop ship was going to Korea. After about ten days we wound up at a place called Naha, Okinawa. Several of us were loaded onto 6x6’s and off we went, onward in the rain and the mud. We off-loaded and were placed in what we later called the Day Room where they had set up beds for us. Tired and wet we hit the rack and died! This was the 9th AVRS? We spent probably a month in the Day Room until the barracks were fixed up.
I was assigned to Special Equipment Shop. Within a month the Sergeant (I don’t recall the name) came and said “We are going to meet the board. Shower, shave and put on your best uniform. This turned out to be a promotion board. I passed and was promoted to Sergeant. I later found out they had to have a NCO to be in charge of the shop and I was It. The crew as best as I can remember were, Russell Hensley, Darrell Rambo, Raymond Tresch and several Okinawans, NO FLIPS! There were a few others but memory fails me.
I served my tour within that shop and had no real problems. Robert (Bob) Davis and I wound up fixing up some cars and re-selling them. This got under the CO’s (Capt. Galloway) skin and he sort of had a vendetta against Bob and I. He also did not like that 1942 Olds convertible of mine, the one in the picture.
I left the Island early in 1953 on the Sultan? Took leave, and off to Ft. Benning, Georgia. That lasted a few months and I had the chance to get out of the AF. Stayed out from 1953 to 1958. In 1958 we on the West Coast went into a deep recession. I re-upped in 1958 and was sent to Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington. Shortly thereafter was a call for volunteers to go to Radio School. That sent me to Keesler AFB for almost a year for training in radio communications. From this I received a fabulous electronic education. This with my Truck training gave me an excellent background for jobs. Then down to Tyndall (Air Force Base in Florida) for a full tour (ground to air communications).
In 1961 I was shipped to Wakkanai, Japan. I had been cleared to Top Secret for that tour. That was for the repair of special communications equipment that was used to pick up Russian communications. That was a great education also. At the end of that tour I was sent to McConnell AFB. I was involved with the installation of the Titan II missiles. Very educational and I was almost a General Electric tech that wore a uniform.
With 18 months in Wakkanai and the threat of being returned there, I was about done with the U.S.A.F. I had some 13 1/2 years in longevity, and 13 years in grade. This and the virtual demotion from Sgt. to A1/C added to the reasoning along with NO Promotion opportunities.
So in 1963 I was out and we returned to Oregon and found employment as a journeyman truck mechanic almost immediately. That kind of work paid well and suited me quite well. I was working on the Peterbuilts, Kenworth’s, Mack’s etc.
One day I got the itch to get my FCC Radio License. Just a bit of brush up and I passed with flying colors. So from about 1965 through 1985 I worked as a truck mechanic and then went to work in a Radio Shop (two-way). In fact, from about 1980 to 1985 we had our own shop. Sales and service and we have fond memories of this time period.
1992 we retired and traveled all of the West Side of the US.. After a few years of that we came to the point of, been there, done that! We liked the Arizona Desert so here we have stayed.
We like the dry, read no rain all the time, its warm and the joints feel better here. Now we don’t do much and almost don’t have time to do it all.
Salome, Az. 85348
[Back to the 9th AVRS Gallery]
©2007 Kichigai-noWebDesign P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, MT 59406