Jim joined the United State Air Force on January 30, 1963.

The only picture I have from my time in basic training, the Alamo. Those Polaroid's aren't very good over the long haul.

These pictures were taken while I was in training at Sheppard A.F.B. in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Bill Miller from Camden, N.J.

Note the crazy hat. They were regular floppy hats and each squadron had their own look.
We washed ours in heavy starch and put them on a balloon until dry.
One squadron did the same on the top of a can.
Others clothes pinned them in different configurations. 

Lots of lines in the military.

The hall of our barracks. Note the clean, shiny floors and the bed that you could bounce a quarter off of. The barracks were inspected almost daily while we were in school and the penalty was stiff if things weren't in order.

Randy Grubb from Everett, PA uses our makeshift ironing board (bookshelf and a blanket) to touch up his pants.

Studying in my bunk. Note flat Texas out the window.

In my dress blues.

Shoes (these are called brogans) were never worn in the barracks. Look at the size of those things.

Drying our clothes in the make shift dryer.

Each squadron had a different insignia hanging from our nametags.

Extra heavy starch in our fatigue pants.

Ron Stricker from Enid OK

Pictures below are from a Memorial Day Air Show.

F102 Delta Dagger fighter. Top speed on 825 MPH. Note the "Follow Me" truck.
These were used to show the planes where to go on the tarmac.

F102 flyover

Cargo end of a C124 cargo plane.

C124 cargo plane. Note people standing by the wheels. Powered by four Pratt & Whiney 3800HP engines.

Two stages of a Titan II missile.

B52, eight engine bomber (Stratofortress) was first built in 1952 and is still in use today. It has a wingspan of 185 feet and is 160 feet in length. When I was in the Air Force they were part of Operation Chrome Dome. Several B52s were in the air at all times on 24 hour missions in case they needed to launch an attack on Russia. 

The propulsion end of the Titan II missile

KC135 Stratotanker and a B52. The KC135 is similar to a Boeing 707 and is used for refueling bombers and fighters.
It is capable of carrying 31,275 gallons of fuel.


I was on the 6:00AM to noon shift in school. They also had noon to 6:00PM and 6:00PM to midnight. We marched to and from school. The march home was called noon review, complete with band. A system called "taller tap" always put me in the front left corner. Everyone just fell in eight rows, when the command "Taller Tap" was given you tapped the shoulder of the guy in front if you were taller and moved in front of him. Then you would do a left face and repeat the procedure.

I experienced my first tornado while at Sheppard. Fortunately no one on base was killed but 7 off base were.


In August I got my first leave. It was great to be going home after seven months away.

Boy, Texas is flat.

I flew into Dulles, which was really out in the boonies in those days. I think it took us around two hours to get home. Mom, aunts Gertie & Marguerite, cousin Betty and Kathy Bower (I think) came to welcome me home. I don't know if it's the same now but then a bus like vehicle came out to the plane and took you back to the terminal. Aunt Marguerite and Kathy enjoy the ride back to the terminal.

It was so great to see them all, especially mom.

Of course, when I got home mom wanted me to wear my uniform everywhere and have lots of pictures taken.

Leave was short and it was back to Sheppard to finish my training. Pictured is our training building Kirby Hall.
I was in this building when I heard President Kennedy had been shot. Note, no windows. Secret stuff taught here.

One of our classmates Charlie Strauss was married and lived in town with his wife Kaye. They made Christmas seem a little like home by inviting us over for the day and having a home cooked turkey dinner for us.

The guys in my class, Bill Miller, Michael Firoz, Chuck Morris, James Marquardt, Charlie Strauss and Larry Young.

Christmas decorations in the barracks.

The Airman's Club. They had a bar, a restaurant and a nightclub inside.
There was also a NCO (Non Commissioned Officers) Club and an Officer's Club in other locations.

Charlie's wife Kaye worked in the JAMTO on base. We could get airline tickets there.
I was planning my final departure from Sheppard here.


Dec 17, 2011
Roommate Randy Grubb sent me some of his pictures of Sheppard AFB.

Bill Miller, Randy and I

Jim checks out the clothes in our make shift dryer.

Randy & Larry Young in front, not sure of the guy in back.

Randy, Chuck Morris and I.

Randy and I outside the barracks.