After graduation I went to Moody AFB, Ga. to check our in the F-94. We finished there in September 1956 and I
was assigned to the 465th FIS at Griffiss AFB, NY in the F-89. I must have really impressed someone there because in
May 1957 I was assigned to the 59th FIS at Goose Bay, Labrador. I married Dolores Haden of Utica, NY shortly before
The F-102 program at George AFB slipped a year so a number of F-89 crews were stuck in Thule AB,
Greenland past their year awaiting replacements. They sent almost half the 59th squadron to the 74th FIS at Thule as
relief. In the first year, I learned a lot about all-weather flying. The F-89s were replaced with the George
AFB F-102s in May 1958.
In June 1958 I reported,
with new bride, to Webb AFB, Texas where I was a flight examiner in the T-33. First daughter, Traci, arrived in May
1959. About that time the Air Force strongly suggested that I get a degree in Aeronautical Engineering or find other
employment. They sent me to the University of Arizona (1961-1963) in Tucson, AZ. Besides a degree we also received
our second daughter, Terri, a 1963 New Year’s Day gift. Most of my flying in that period was the venerable old
C-47 of World War II vintage. That was OK since I was feeling pretty old about that time.
a new degree, I reported to Kelly AFB, TX, in San Antonio (1963) to become the Flight Manual Manager (Pilot’s Instructions)
for the all-weather F-102. At the time, I was the only pilot in the Air Force writing pilot’s instructions and
maintaining combat ready status in that specific aircraft. That caused a little trouble so I got another transfer.
In 1965, with full family, we went to Châteauroux Air Base in France to be an Aircraft Accident Evaluation Engineer
for the Air Procurement Region, Europe (AFLC). Something I knew little about but really came to love. I was on call
to evaluate aircraft accidents for the US and any foreign nation that requested assistance. I had my own T-33 and special
orders permitting me to travel anywhere at my own will between Bermuda and India, northern tip of Norway to southern tip of
Africa. I was invited to all the wars and skirmishes like, Ethiopia uprising, Greek/Turkey and the Israeli Six Day War.
I probably was the first US engineer to walk around a Soviet MiG 21.
In 1967, General DeGaull kicked us all out of France
so the whole unit and mission moved to Wiesbaden, Germany ~ a lovely spot, along the Rhine River with all the wine fields.
In 1968 we returned to the US and I checked out in the F-100 at Luke AFB, AZ. on the way to Viet Nam. I served
partial tours at Bien Hoa AB, SVN (510th TFS) and Phan Rang AB, SVN (612th TFS).
In 1969 I
came home to check out as a B-52 Aircraft Commander stationed at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan (410th BW). Very shortly
I was transferred to U-Tapao AB, Thailand for a B-52 (BUFF) tour. This base was the fattest way man ever went to war.
Good restaurants, good golf courses, and short flying missions. I am probably the only pilot to ever land a B-52 with
hung, hot bombs in the bomb bay and no flaps on the wings. No one told me I couldn’t do it, so I did. After
all we were scheduled to go on Bangkok R& R that day.
That tour was interrupted by a call to return stateside
and go to Offutt, AFB, Nebraska for a highly classified function with the Joint Strategic Planning Staff as a Foreign Fighter
Analysis Officer. Needless to say I was one of three fighter pilots on that staff.
We stayed at Offutt till
1974 when I returned to Tactical Air Command at Eglin AFB, Fl with the Tactical Air Warfare Center. We developed a highly
classified training program for Generals and senior DOD officials called “Blue Flag”. I was the first Director
of Operations for the 4441st Tactical Training Group. I retired in there in 1979 after a little over 25 years.
I can safely say that in that period I never went to work. I was combat ready in every major USAF combat command.
I could hardly wait to see what we were going to do each day. It was so much fun I should have paid them.
After retirement I worked for General Research Corporation in Santa Barbara, Ca, They let me live in Florida and work
in California. I was their “token” fighter pilot. I was called upon to advise, give briefings and
wave my hands around talking about flying combat. Some fun. Santa Barbara was nice. During this time Dee
and I separated and were divorced in 1984.
In 1986 I was persuaded by some old flying friends to go to Saudi Arabia
for BDM Corporation to advise the Royal Saudi Air Force on combat weapons and tactics in Riyadh, KSA. That turned out
to be fun. They insisted that I attend most of the major air shows like Paris, London and Singapore. Donna Berry Spiers
and I were married in 1988 and she left Mississippi to live in Saudi.
Late in 1989 we took a trip around the world from
Bahrain headed east. We took sixteen weeks to get to New Orleans where Operation Desert Storm interrupted our round
the world plans. We settled down at Surf City, Topsail Beach, NC and remodeled an old beach house from inside out. We
made it our home and enjoyed every minute we were there. In 1993 we returned to Saudi Arabia with Alsalam Aerospace
Company (an oxymoron) in Riyadh where I managed the Peace Shield Program for the Saudis and the US. Hurricane Fran took
the beach house in 1996 while we were still in Saudi Arabia.
In 1995 we returned home for one month before returning to Saudi with
Lockheed Martin Middle East as a company Director responsible for all Saudi C-130 heavy maintenance in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
This was a very pretty town. We learned to scuba dive in the Red Sea. It was a very interesting place and assignment.
We came home to stay in 1998.
In all this I wrote a book, “Friendly Enemies”, which has not been published.
The story is about my position on the United Nations’ one world government, politically correct combat forces and women
in combat. I plan to self-publish the book this year. Each of you, all your relatives and friends, should buy
a copy to keep it from failing. I am depending on you!!!
We currently reside in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Donna has three boys and I have two girls from previous marriages.
From all this we have two grandchildren. We are pretty much retired. I play golf and dream of a way to buy another
little airplane. But if I don’t ever have that one more bird, it is all right. I was privileged to fly a
lot of wonderful airplanes and serve with some fantastic people.
Our last great privilege is to be associated
with all of you. We are very proud and grateful for each of you. Thanks for helping us make such a wonderful life.