William L. Hanson, Maintenance
18th SOS, Lockbourne, 1969-70
I was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts in 1949 and graduated from high school June 1968. I joined the Air Force in July. I later learned, around October, that the draft board was looking for me. I guess you could say that I beat the draft board.
My first duty station after basic training was Kessler AFB M.S. where I was assigned to the 338th Maintenance and Supply Group. I was soon issued orders for Nha Trang Air Base. Within a few weeks, those orders were cancelled and I was issued a new set of orders assigning me to the 18th Special Operations Squadron at Lockbourne AFB OH. I served in the 18th SOS from January 1969 until the unit departed for Vietnam in January 1970. I was told that I was no longer needed for Vietnam duty so I was transferred to the 317th Transportation Squadron at Lockbourne AFB.
While serving with the 18th SOS, my job was to transport maintenance specialists to and from the shops and aircraft. I really felt guilty when the AC-119K gunships departed Lockbourne AFB and I couldn’t go with them. I remember packing up all the guns removed from the gunships so that fuel bladder tanks could be installed in the cargo compartment for the long flight to Vietnam. I was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation w/OLC for my service with the 18th SOS.
Starting in April 1970, I was in succession, assigned to the 708th ACW Squadron, a remote radar site on Indian Mountain AK; the 509th Bomb Wing at Pease AFB NH and the 90th Strategic Missile Wing at F. E. Warren AFB WY. After serving five and a half years at F. E. Warren AFB, I requested a return to Alaska and was given an assignment to the 21st Transportation Squadron at Elmendorf AFB AK. My next assignment was to the 380th Bomb Wing at Plattsburg AFB NY where I spent nearly six years before being assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB NC. I retired from this last assignment as a Master Sergeant in August 1988.
Since retirement from the Air Force, I have made my home in Goldsboro, NC. I have driven fuel trucks for a gas distribution company in Goldsboro and worked as a mechanics helper and a part-time driver on tractor trailer tankers. I applied for a civil service job at Seymour Johnson AFB when it opened and, after 18-years, look forward to retiring again in 2009.