Isabella County, Michigan was where I was born in 1926. I grew up in Portland, Indiana and dropped out of high school in 1944 to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War II. I was discharged from the Navy in 1946. I completed my GED while in the Navy. I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in Chico, California on 1 September 1949 because I was in need of a “meal ticket”.
I served with the 71st Special Operations Squadron at Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam from December 1968 to June 1969. The most memorable events while serving with the 71st SOS at Nha Trang occurred on three different nights in 1969. We had incoming mortars on ‘Victor’ row (revetment compound for planes). It would have been quite a fireworks display if one of the mortars had hit one of the gunships fully loaded with fuel, ammo, and flares. I remember the dispatcher’s voice over the radio checking on us during the mortar attacks, “ALPHA 8. Where are you?”
I later transferred from the Air Force to the Indiana Army National Guard from which I retired in 1986. Having served in and survived four wars, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War, I now reside in Ozark, Missouri.