After an evening of Dinner, Desert and just ” BEING” with family, I had a chance to sit down with my dad in November 2015 and asked him about his military career. Almost in tears trying to remember the UNITS and such I started documenting.
Im hoping to contact others who worked with him .. and get others ” take” on him as a mentor, friend and collegue .. Id love to hear the stories … and hope those who are reading also have some media etc that they could share
In November of 1961 He sailed on the SS AMERICA UNITED STATES LINE . He came over NOT AS AS AN IMMIGRANT but ON A TOURIST VISA.
In 1961 he was living or working with one of his best friends from Berlin, Germany Hartmut Westphal. He met Jim Tice one of his great friends who he met while living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA.
April 1962 is when his tourist visa was going to expire and that is when he decided to join the USAF. He went to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA and then into what those in the military call ” BASIC” wich is basic training. That was in Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. After Basic Training he went into ACTIVE DUTY.
He was sent to Shepard AIR FORCE BASE in Wichita Falls, Texas ( 1962 ). There he went into Aircraft Mechanic Training/School his exact words ” 43 something AFC# ) this was in Shepard he said …” rubbing his head trying to figure out the names and dates as I sit waiting patiently eager to hear…
After that he was in the #335 Training Squadron where he met Dick Palazzo. He then mentions the 40th Air Lift Squadron in USAF MCGUIRE…He then mentions Oh yeah .. in October of 1962 he went from Whichitta to OTIS AFB ( Otis Air Force Base ) in Massachusetts.
He was there until 1964 when they sent him to Vietnam.
He was in Vietnam from April of 1964 until April 1965 where he served under the 34th Tactical Wing in Ben Hua, Vietnam. In April of 1965 he went back to Otis Air Force Base ( Mass, USA ). In October of 1966 he went to Flight Engineer School.
I found pictures of my mom who also immigrated from BERLIN, GERMANY that year. Of course going from Berlin to Bremerhaven on the SS UNITED STATES and from there to the UK and arriving in NYC.
The story goes that my mom was left there for HOURS ON END BY HERSELF … MY DAD PICKING HER UP FROM MASS… HE TOLD HER HE HAD A ” FLAT TIRE” BUT NO ONE UNTIL THIS DAY .. BELIEVES THIS STORY … I CAN NOT IMAGINE … BEING ALONE ( AS A WOMAN .. WITH A TRUNK WAITING THERE ON THE DOCKS FOR YOUR HUSBAND TO PICK YOU UP … NOT SPEAKING ENGLISH BUT THE ONLY ENGLISH YOU LEARNED IN SCHOOL ..ALONE … )
SHE SAYS SHE ALMOST TURNED AROUND AND WENT HOME… AS HER DAUGHTER .. I DONT BLAME HER!! BUT IF SHE DID THEN I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN! SO … PRETTY GRATEFUL SHE DIDN’T!! 🙂
In 1966 they ( I was told by dad ) they rented a small little one bedroom in Falmouth Heights, Falmouth Massachussetes. This is where my brother was born.
I remember hearing that they paid $50 a month A MONTH… in 1966 … I looked the house up today ( Jan 2016 ) … this One bedroom, one bath …
He then went to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. He graduated 6 months later in March of 1967 from Flight Engineer Training. He transferred to MCGUIRE AFB ( then called Mcguire Air Force Base ) He says in February of 1967 .. but seeing what I just wrote here I am not sure wich is true .. this or that…
In April of 1970 he became NON Active Duty and joined the Air Force Reserves. That is when he joined the 906 Reserve Squadron. He told me .. once they added other squadrons on base, he joined the 335th MAS or MILITARY AIR LIFT SQUADRON, as a flight Engineer. This he did for about 2 years.
He then became an instructor. Then he joined the ART, the Air Reserve Technician. Where he started as a GS-9
Tech Seargeant ( Pay Grade E-6 )
In 1975 he became a Flight Engineer and Master Seargeant ( E-7 ). This was all while at Mcguire AFB.
While first living in New Egypt, NJ, by 1977 he was living with my brother and my mother in Willingboro, NJ, 15 Peartree Lane in Penny Pack Park… Whenever I hear this I think of MARY POPPINS for some reason …where in July 6th 1977, two months premature and at 2lbs 11 ounces, I was born
In 1982 we all moved to Medford, NJ, while he continued his career as a Flight Engineer and Master Seargeant. This he did until 1985. In 1986 he joined the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA while in the Air Force Reserves.
In 1989 we moved to Frankfurt Am Main, where he worked at Rhein Main, living in the Carl Schultz Siedlung in Frankfurt, AM. whre he worked at IFO, the International Field Office, going from a GS-11 to GS-15. In 1995 he retired from the Air Force Reserves, and from the FAA in 2006.
While in the FAA he was an Aviation Safety Inspector and had responsibility for not only US matters happening in Germany but for Aviation Matters for THE WHOLE OF GERMANY AS WELL.