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Gerry, I am enjoying this site. I was also a Bomb/Naver graduating Mar 60 and assigned to Little Rock, then TDY back to Lowry for 7 level school and back again for F105 Fire Control. I remember when you guys were reassigned to weather equip. Art Pacchetti
Very interesting. Brings back a lot of good memories. I was there at the same time. I graduated from bomb nav school Feb 28 1960.Do not have any pictures to share. I was sent to Westover AFB Ma to work on B-52s. Spent my entire tour there. Lowry was a great place to be. Denver was great back then. Kenneth Watson A1C
15 September 2010
Hi Jerry, I was at Pease '65 to '67 assigned to the 1916th Comm Sqdn, AFCS. Our shop was located in the RAPCON at the base of the FPN-47 radar tower just across the street from the control tower. You are right, it was a great duty station, liked it very much. I live less than 65 miles from Pease and go back from time to time to reminisce. Since base closure, it has really changed, you wouldn't recognize it. I remember the weather obs in Base Ops, especially all the teletype machines clattering away and those remote writing machines whose name escapes me. I am not sure, but I think AFCS maintained some of that gear. I had the bad timing to be in the coffee shop one morning when a practice Broken Arrow was initiated. Some Capt gathered all us Airmen together and said to go lay down on the runway and act like victims. That was cool. After a while a bunch of ambulances screamed in loaded us up and took us to the base hospital. Great fun. We had all our VHF and UHF ground-to-air receivers off base on MacIntyre Rd in Greenland, about midway along the runway. We shared the site with the SAC ground-to-ground radio link to Offut. Our transmitters were also off base just off the end of RW 34 on Fox Point Rd which I think was in Newington. The TX site had a nice view of Great Bay. And of course the tower was full of AFCS back-up VHF and UHF radios and associated equipment. We made numerous excuses to go up there and "check stuff" just to watch the flight ops. When I got there, as you said, there were B-47s and KC-97s but soon changed to B-52s and KC-135s. I managed to be in the tower on the day that B-47 belly landed. Just had to tweak one of the line amps, you know. Absolultely my best time in the AF was spent there. I had purchased a British sports car (64 Triumph TR4) and spent all my off-duty time driving up and down Rte 1A. Like you said, great beaches and great sight-seeing. Like you, I had relatives in MA, I was born in Ayer and had a grand mother, aunts, uncles and cousins there, so drove down from Pease often. Us AFCS guys had permanent off-base passes (as I expect you WX guys did as well) so there was never any hassle. OK, bored you enough. Really nice to find another ex-Pease guy. Regards, Barry Fox, Sterling, MA
8 September 2010
I was in the Air Force from June 1967 to July 1990. I was a weather equipment repairman for most of my career. I lived through the transition from AWS to AFCC and the demise of the weather maintenance career field when they gave our weather radars to the AFCC radar fixers and our other equipment to AFCC NAVAIDS fixers and merged the career field with NAVAIDS. After basic a Lackland and tech school at Chanute my first assignment was Tinker AFB in the local weather detachment. Had many friends in the Mob and the Central repair shop. Around 1971 I went to Nakhon Phanom (NKP) Thailand for a year. Then back to Chanute for 7 level school. After school back to Thailand. This time to U-Tapao on the Gulf of Siam where I had my first shot as NCOIC Weather Maintenance Great assignment. Returned stateside in Oct 1975 to Maxwell AFB as the NCOIC of the maintenance shop where I remained until late 1979. Sometime during this period AFCC took over all the 302X0's and made for a strange transition. Totally different work environment. I convinced the Chief of Maintenance to turn the shop over to SSgt McLaughlin (a super technician that worked for me) and give me a job in Quality Control. Another nice job. I left Maxwell and went to Yongsan Korea (a remote assignment in the middle of Seoul). I saw my Commander 3 times during my entire assignment. The weather maintenance guys lived on the top of a hill with the AWS people. Walked out my quarters and there is the FPS-103 tower. Another nice assignment. After my year at Yongsan I returned stateside to Shaw AFB in 1981 again as NCOIC. Again I wanted a job on staff and turned my shop over to a civilian employee (Jim Morris, another super sharp technician) and worked in QC. I left Shaw in 1982 for an assignment with CCD at Griffith AFB New York.. I was a 302X0 functional manager and spent a lot of the time on the road doing Staff Assistance Visits. I left NY in 1985 for an assignment to RCD at Andrews AFB where I again was a 302X0 functional manager. During my time there the 302X0 career field ceased to exist and I became a 304X0 and worked in Maintenance Management. I retired from in July 1990. A few short paragraphs to sum up 23 years of service. Great site and good job on the layout. Hope you can find other Weather Maintenance guys out there. Also sorry for the rambling. Tony
Joseph W. Lindley
22 July 2009
Dear Gerry, Enjoyed reading about your time at Chanute AFB and at Wright-Patterson AFB. I recognized the picture of the CPS-9 tower at WPAFB which was next to the Security Police station, the jet engine test cell and the commissary parking lot. We put an FPS-77 radar antenna on the tower when they removed the CPS-9 radar in the mid-1970's. The tower was 110 feet tall with two upper platforms and only the rungs of a steel ladder to climb all the way to the top. You and I missed meeting at Wright-Patt by about a dozen years. I was at Chanute for 3-level school from 71-72, at Davis-Monthan AFB (AZ) from 72-75, then back to Chanute for 7-level technician school from 75-76, and finally Wright-Patterson from 75 to 91. I worked at the same weather maintenance shop in Wood City at WPAFB. It was an old medical clinic building across from the NCO Club and next to the railroad tracks. We were working on the CPS-9and the FPS-77 replacement weather radars, plus the GMQ-11 and 20 windspeed and direction systems plus the various wind indicators and recorders, the TMQ-11 Temp-Humidity, GMQ-10 Transmissometer, GMQ-13 Ceilometer, mercurial and aneroid barometers, and more. When I arrived in 1975, Det 15, 15 WS was for local weather support, Det 2, 6WS was for the intermediate weather equipment repair, and a 2 WS detachment with a few maintenance technicians for research weather system support in area B (Wright Field). But, all good things changed, and we were transferred from AWS in the late 70's to AFCS and the weather maintenance was all combined into the Det 5, 6WS integrated weather maintenance shop. But, we still traveled across the midwest and east coast to provide support to the local weather maintenance guys. Eventually the intermediate maintenance shops at McGuire AFB (NJ), Tinker AFB (OK), Ellsworth AFB (SD), and Robbins AFB (GE) were closed and their responsibilities consolidated at WPAFB during the 1980's. We picked up depot level repair support for the FPS-103 tactical weather radar (a 400 HZ aircradt based weather radar much like the AQP-13), all GMD's (1-4), the RVR-400, and the tactical weather equipment (TMQ-15, 20, and 22). But with growth we lost our facility in Wood City at WPAFB and we moved to a larger place over by the AFLC headquarters area. Now, these many years later, the memories are there but the situation has evolved even further down the road. So, coming across your web site was a nice nostalgic trip for me!
8 April 2009
Hi Gerry, my name is Jane Hutchins, nee Janet Macarthur. I lived in Wewak, NG at the time these photos were taken, I was 12 yrs old. You can not imagine my excitement when I came across the photos of Wewak. As I remembered it, but time fades. And I have no photos. Only family..
I lived there from 1960 to 1964-65. I was born in Lae, NG 1951 and my parents were transferred to Wewak 1960, I remember you worked under a big green tent on the oval am I right. Once again. Gerry thanks for those precious memories. from Jane Hutchins.
22 February 2009
Great site which brought back many memories. I was also a Bomb Nav student at Lowry from Jul 59 to Mar 60. Mather AFB in Sacramento, Ca for the remainder of my four years. Some members of our class also went to Juarez for the same holiday. We went in an old Plymouth convertible which had its top blown off by an oncoming tractor trailer truck in the middle of a snow storm just outside of Las Vegas, NM. Thanks for recalling some good memories
28 January 2009
What a great website you have! I served in the Air Force from 1969 to 1973, with duty at Hill AFB Range, in Utah, and Udorn AFB, at Udon-Thani, in Thailand. Working in weather equipment repair was a lot of fun. I shouldn't have been paid for this "work," but who was I to turn the pay down? Loved the Rawinsonde and Rotating Beam Ceilometer the best. My kind of toys! I used to spend up to 12 hours a day, voluntarily working on restoring portions of the rawinsonde. The one I was assigned to in Utah, had inoperative distance tracking on it. It was a joy to work on it, and solving the tracking problem was thrilling. I spent two weeks on that repair. Many things were wrong with it. We had the luxury of having helium balloons. We used the heater that conditioned the balloon to cook lunch. There is another rawinsonde launching facility at Salt Lake City. Back in my time, the fellow that inflated the balloons there, with hydrogen, was an inveterate smoker. You guessed it, his cigarette burnt into the balloon and caused a burst of fire. Once was bad enough, but he did it once more, too. Apparently, he did rather fire up, than quit. Our Hill AFB range site, adjacent to the Bonneville Salt Flats, was also a nice zoo. We had jack rabbits, pelicans, and others which I cannot recall at this time. One funny story at this range site was this: It was a nice, quiet day, with mostly no wind at all. A bird flew over towards the weather site, and landed on one of the arms of the spin cups of the wind sensor. He was quite happy there, chirping away. Later on, a wind came up, and those spin cups started whirling around. The bird hung on for a while as he experienced a very fast merry-go-round. At last, he let go and landed softly on terra firma, and walked around in a daze. Later on still, he took off, and thankfully was in much better shape. I also picked up a jackrabbit that was injured, and took him back to our regular base, near Ogden. I kept him in my dormitory closet, and fed him salads from the dining hall. He loved those tomatoes, much more than carrots. Fortunately, my commander never detected him in his walkthrough inspections. After the rabbit got better, I put him out into the desert once more. I wondered how he felt about getting those great red tomatoes. Maybe he thought he was dreaming. Serving in the Air Weather Service was more than just repairing complex electronics equipment; it was a wonderful lifestyle.
2 December 2008
I was stationed at Greenville AFB in 1961 as I was going to Personnel Specialist School at Greenville AFB. It was only a 3 month school and there was of course Firefighters School there too and I believe some kind of a medical school there too. There were very few planes of any kind that came there when I was there in May 1961 to Sept 1961. The base had a recreation center, gym, and snack bar on the flight line, which we all visited everyday. One incident I remember was being on area guard duty with 4 other airman. We were told to stop anyone coming in our area to make sure they belonged there. One night while on duty an intruder tried to pull a fast one and slip into the area. We the are guards didn't have any weapons and carried a flashlight with a big hard piece of plastic on the end and so when one of the other area guards yelled that there was an intruder and we didn't know what he was up to. We were instructed to stop anyone not authorized by our squadron commander. He started running and was hemmed in by the 4 guards on duty. He wouldn't stop so one of the area guards threw his flashlight at him and hit him square in the back and down he went. When we surrounded him and had someone in authority come, we found out that it was our squadron commander and he was just testing us to see how we might respond. He was pleased at our response but I bet he never tried his area guards ever again. He had a horrible looking swelling on his back and I'm sure it was painful. I suppose that probably taught the older commander not to try that again when he was young himself but he couldn't outrun his younger airman and boy did he pay for that training with us. He was wearing civilian clothes and trying to see what his young airman might do in a certain situation. I wish I could remember his name or any of the other 4 area guards guarding the barracks and the airman sleeping in them.
Stuart D. Nelson
James R. Ishmael