In April of 1964 I finished my missile training at Sheppard A.F.B. and came home (5221 Garmouth Road, Catonsville, MD 21228) on leave again. Yes, I said April and yes that is a Christmas tree. I was originally scheduled to come home in December but plans changed. Mom didn't want me to miss Christmas so she left the tree up.
Mom had a family gathering for me.
Pictured from left, cousin Doris, Aunt Susie and Uncle Pally,
Bill and cousin Nancy Jones, Cousin Roland, Uncle Otts and me.
Mom (Baltimore Zoo???)
Natty Boh was the beer of choice at our family.
Aunts Susie, Anna & Marguerite and uncle Pally.
Same as above but behind me Aunt
Gertie and Marguerite,
seated next to me Godmother Kitty and on right cousin Betty and Uncle Lukie.
My new home. The barracks of the
567th Strategic Missile Squadron, Fairchild, A.F.B., Spokane, Washington.
Our motto was "Peace is our Profession".
The first version of my room layout. I've got the bottom bunk and fortunately no one was up top. My first roommate was nice but he got married after a couple of months and moved out. The next guy was a dingbat. I woke up very early one morning to a room full of smoke. He had fallen asleep while smoking in bed (Smoking in bed is a very, very big no no) and the mattress was smoldering. He wanted to keep it in the room and try to put it out so no one would know what happened. I dragged it across the hall and threw it in the shower. He was gone shortly there after.
Next room layout. Rise and shine.
Home from a hard day at the missile site.
Ready for a night out on the town.
The view from our balcony. The movie
was in the building near the top on the left.
They showed a new first run movie every couple of days. We used to go 2 or 3 times a week.
The view in the other direction. Hangars and the flight line.
It did get pretty cold up there. The Air Force supplied parka was great!
Third and final layout on my room. It was quite different from any other.
My new roommate, Bob Olivera, from
Oakland, CA. A really great guy.
We became very close, like the brother I never had. I was even the best man at his wedding.
Michael Jankowski, from Milwaukee, WI
Bob worked in transportation. Occasionally, he would have to drive a 10 speed tractor to one of the missile sites (25 to 50 miles) to pick up a trailer. If I wasn't doing anything I would ride out with him to keep him company. One night I talked him in to letting me drive (just the tractor, no trailer). It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, before we got a couple of miles from the base we passed one of Bob's superiors driving the other way. Oh boy, we both got in big trouble.
Michael Jankowski, Butch Wetzel, me
and Jack Betzal
Bob and I. This wasn't our idea. We were forced into it by some NCO's. Again, those Polaroids just don't hold up.
My very first car, a 1957 Ford sedan.
The base chapel. Thank God for my new car. Now we can get off base.
Downtown Spokane from South Hill.
Bob, Tex, Teramoto and a view of downtown Spokane from the west. We were watching Hullabaloo, a 60's music show, one night and one of the dancers (in a cowboy outfit was Asian). Somebody said, "who ever heard of a Japanese cowboy?" and Jack Betzal said, "haven't you ever heard of Tex Teramoto?" and the name stuck.
Jack Betzal and me with my Beetle at the Lake. Pictures(above & below) courtesy of Bob Teramoto.
Riverside State Park just outside of Spokane.
My second car, a 1962 Volkswagon.
Bob Olivera, his wife Diana, my date
& I (Can't remember her name
but it looks like she has a Laura Petrie hairdo) enjoy a picnic.
We passed a big Strategic Air Command
(ORI-Operational Readiness Inspection) with flying colors and received lot of praise.
Michael Jankowski on top of one of the missiles in the maintenance building.
The big brass came to congratulate us after the ORI. From left Lt Colonel, Robert Friedli, squadron commander, Colonel Arnold, base commander, Lt General Archie Old, 15th Air Force Commander and Major General William Kingsbury, 47th Air Division Commander.
General Old talks to the members of the squadron.
Photo of one of our missile sites
with missile at the ready. Open door to the left is the blast door,
where the flames would come out if we ever had to launch a missile. Fortunately we didn't.
Post Falls, Idaho
We took a trip to the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River about 80 miles west of Fairchild A.F.B.
The Grand Coulee Dam opened on June 1, 1942. It is the largest electric power producing facility and the largest concrete structure in the United States. It is almost a mile long and it's height of 380 feet is more than twice that of Niagara Falls. There is enough concrete in it to build a four foot wide, four inch deep sidewalk twice around the equator.
Looking down from the road that crosses the dam.
Friend, Jeanette Baker, wanted to let me know that things were going well back home so she sent me a couple of pictures.
The 567th closed in June of 1965. The
Atlas E missiles were outdated and being
replaced by Titan and Minuteman Missiles.
The squadron flag is turned over to
base commander Colonel Arnold by acting squadron commander Major Goodale.
First Sergeant Brown and Lt Johnson assist.