Airman 1st Class, U.S. Air Force
Served as air operations specialist in active duty 1953-1957, Air Force Reserves 1957-1961.
Memory: “I reported in 1953 to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, N.M., where I was assigned to the 6580th Air Support Squadron, Air Research and Development Command. In November 1954, I received orders to report to the Far East Command and flew to K-2 Air Base near Taegu, South Korea, for a year’s tour of duty as part of occupation troops. I was assigned to the 7th Aerial Port Squadron of the 315th Air Division.
“Our assignment was to coordinate all loading and unloading of troops, machines, material and mail as specified by the armistice agreement and supervised by neutral nations’ officers approved by the United Nations. The South Korean workers we hired were very resentful toward the Communist officers who were monitoring the loads on the aircraft, and we had to closely observe and control the workers to keep them away from the officers from Poland and Russia. It was tense.
“Our living conditions were typical in overseas areas where war had be waged, with hot barracks and tents in the summer, ultra-cold in the winter with pot-bellied stoves for minimum heat. The fuel lines froze in the extreme cold temperatures. It is an experience no one could forget and a great experience to help appreciate what we have in the good old USA. We sponsored an orphanage, took items to the children and brought them to our Thanksgiving dinners. It made them happy and us Americans proud to be able to help people less fortunate.
“I’m very proud I served my country at a critical time in our history, as communism was a growing threat to world peace. I worked with some of the bravest, most patriotic human beings on this earth, and it was a tremendous honor for such an experience. Peace is worth serving for.”