Reedley, California was my birthplace in 1940. I attended Pacific Grove High School where I received my diploma through GED. I also attended Bangor Community College, Bangor, Maine. I enlisted in USAF while living in Pacific Grove, CA because I wanted to travel the world (and I did). I was later assigned to the 14th Field Maintenance Squadron at Phan Rang from February through November 1970 as a Doppler and Forward Looking Radar Technician.
Although I was not a flight-crew member, there were still some rather “exciting” experiences on the ground. My squadron was housed in a group of Quonset huts situated between “Charlie Mountain” and the flight line at Phan Rang. The VC were always firing missiles toward the flight line but they usually ended up falling around our Quonset huts. My closest call was the day I was all alone, taking a shower in the outdoor latrine when a rocket just cleared the top of the latrine and landed about 50 feet behind me (my back was to the wall). Hearing the explosion and the debris hitting the wall behind me caused me to be momentarily “numbed” by the concussion; I thought I had been hit. However, as my feelings returned I realized I had escaped injury. That was close enough for me.
The things I will always remember about my time with AC- 119 gunships? Nothing really “exciting”, however, I did take my oath of “re-enlistment” on the flight line at Phan Rang with the gunships in the background, while a friend of mine captured the event on my movie camera.
Upon returning to the U.S. I was assigned to Shaw AFB where I worked on RF-4Cs. I later changed career fields and ended up working as a Site Developer with Civil Engineering and finally retired at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota and moved to Ellsworth, Maine.
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