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56M Reunion Website

Roland Brock Jackson

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Fred D. Bartleson, Jr.
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Elmer Funderburk
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Varnum B. Irvine
Roland Brock Jackson
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Howard F. Wray
Don A. Zaike


Roland Brock Jackson

After graduating from single engine jet training
at Webb AFB, TX in May 1956, I was assigned to the
Troop Carrier Squadron (H) at Donaldson. During our
tenure with the 53rd from 1956 to 1959, we had some
fantastic experiences participating in Operation DEW
Line, Deep Freeze III, and TDYs to Rhein-Main AB,
Germany, and of course, Thule. In addition, I was
fortunate in being able to attend the Squadron
Officer's School at the Air University located at
Maxwell AFB, Alabama in 1958. After my discharge from
active duty in October 1959, I went to work for the
Cryovac Division of the W. R. Grace Corporation in
Simpsonville, SC and continued in a reserve status as
an M-Day assignee with the 53rd.

In May 1961, the 53rd was directed to go TDY to
Rhein-Main for a second tour. I had to look no
further than across the flight line to the 77th Troop
Carrier Squadron to find a new flying assignment. The
77th was transitioning from C-119s to C-124s at that
time, and was looking for anyone with C-124 experience
to complement its ranks. I fell into it. I wasn't
sure what "IT" was, but I soon found out. It seems
that Moscow was about to get into the masonry business
in Germany, and before we knew it, we were frozen in
status and were recalled to active duty for the Berlin
Wall Crisis of 1961.

The 77th TCS (H) was released from active duty in
August 1962, and I continued my civilian career in the
plastics industry for the succeeding 34 years, in a
variety of sales and marketing management positions,
and retired from the Hoechst-Celanese Corporation in
1991. I did some consulting work for several years
after that with an old friend of mine who had his own
business. Finally hung it up in 1995, and have
enjoyed that status ever since.

Gloria and I have lived in Greenville since 1956,
with the exception of three-year stints in southern
California and New Jersey as a result of corporate
transfers. We were transferred back to Greenville in
1973, and haven't budged since, except for the winter
months we spend each year at our condominium in
Florida.

Our older daughter graduated from Furman
University with degrees in piano performance and
computer science. Our younger daughter graduated from
Clemson with a degree in computer science, and will
receive her MS in nursing from the University of
Pennsylvania in May 2006. They have blessed us with
three grandchildren, three grand dogs, a bird, and a
rabbit.

When we could find the time, especially since my
retirement in 1995, Gloria and I have traveled around
the world fairly extensively, and have had an
opportunity to visit some of the places I served at
during my active duty tenure. We spent a delightful
month in New Zealand/Australia, visiting Christchurch
and all the rest of the North and South Islands’
beautiful sanctuaries, and an equal amount of time in
Germany, renewing old memories of Frankfurt,
Kelsterbach, and Wiesbaden. We've cruised down the
Yangtze River, and walked the Great Wall; sailed down
the Nile and climbed up inside the Pyramids of Giza,
and marveled at a thousand other beautiful sights this
world has to offer.

In August 2000, Gloria and I attended our 50th
high school graduation reunion, and were left with the
humbling realization, that while we "ain't getting any
younger", we are remarkably healthy, and very thankful
for that blessing. We will celebrate our 52nd wedding
anniversary this year, and hope to cross your path,
again, sometime during our future travels.


gloriabrock2003cruise.jpg

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