Steven Laird Pennington, Maintenance
18th SOS, Da Nang, 1971-72
After graduating from Edmonds High School in 1967, I was drafted but rejected for service. I went to a contract physician for AFEES in Seattle who marked me as fit for duty. The Air Force recruiter happened to have a cancellation when I was put back in the draft pool and asked if I was interested in enlisting. I had worked for Boeing as a structural mechanic and liked the job so I said, “Sure, I’ll enlist.” I took a bypass test at Lackland and went from there to the 11th ARS as a 3 level Airframe Repairman.
I served with the 366th Field Maintenance Squadron Structural Repair Shop supporting the 18th Special Operations Squadron at Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam from December 1971 to June 1972.
I always enjoyed working on the A-1s and AC-119Ks. The guys always treated us “Gunfighters” well. Lt. Col. Ruzic gave me two letters of commendation for repairing battle damage to Stingers in April and May of 1972. They appreciated our help.
On 1 July 1997, I retired from the U. S. Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant at McChord AFB, Washington. I earned my AA degree from Edmonds Community College in 1976 and attended Central Washington University for three years, finishing in 1983. My wife, Jean and I live in Edmonds, Washington.