CW2 U.S. Army RET.
Awards include: The Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Paratrooper’s Badge (wings)
Enlisted US Army: Feb. 5, 1947
Retired: Jan. 31, 1969
After enlisting on my birthday in 1947, I was sent to Lackland Air Base in San Antonio, Texas, for Army Air Corps basic training; then to Denver, Colo., at Lowry AFB for auto mechanic schools for 20 weeks.
My first work assignment was to the Aleutian Island (Adak) for one year.
Upon my return to Tucson, my family’s house burned and my father was injured in the fire. I got a compassionate discharge to take care of the farm.
After 11 months I re-enlisted in the Army and was later sent to Korea to join the 187th REG combat team. After discharge I re-enlisted in 1953 in the U.S. Air Force in Chandler.
In 1956, I was again sent to Japan for four years, then back to New Mexico at Cannon AFB, then back to Japan for four more years.
In 1965, I returned to California to George AFB and was promoted to T Sgt. E-6.
I applied for warrant officer in the U.S. Army and transferred to Ft. Sill in January of 1967 as Artillery B14 maintenance tech WO-1 (Warrant Officer).
In September 1967, I was transferred to Vietnam 5th Battalion, 27 Artillery, and in 1968 I was awarded the Bronze Star and returned to Ft. Sill as a maintenance officer for a combat construction engineer company.
Not all of the assignments were for hard work because when I returned from Vietnam I was sent on detached duty to Green River, Utah, as a maintenance officer for a group teaching German troops how to fire a missile. After cleaning up some leftover vehicles from the year before, and getting caught up on current vehicles repairs, I took a day off to go fishing with the motor sergeant.
The next morning, I was called to the commander’s tent. The lieutenant colonel asked me if I had been fishing. I said that it was true. He asked if we would take the colonel with the German troop as liaison officer with us.
He said take your Jeep or take a three-quarter-ton truck, hell, take my staff car, just so we got him away, all day.
We turned it into several days with the chaplin. We also caught a lot of rainbow trout to put in the cook’s freezer until the day of firing the missile. We scheduled a fish breakfast for everyone, including the commanding German from Ft. Sill. The cook called me to ask about the trout. He said they still had the head on the fish. I told him not to remove the head as that’s the way they were served.
I retired on Jan. 31, 1969 when I was 39 years old with 22 years of service. I had five oversea tours.
I went to the University of Tulsa and graduated with a business management degree.