The 2004--2011 Rocketeer Air Force
NOTE: Visit or click-on websites and home pages listed by guestbook visitors at your own risk. When requested by those submitting comments, I am presenting emails in graphic format. To email a person listed in this manner, you have to manually type their email address.
Wow! Had no idea anyone else ever thought about the album "The Wild Blue Yonder". My father retired LC Robert E. Gille Jr. was a USAF pilot both active duty then reservist and then recalled in 1965 . He served in Vietnam from 1967-1968 and flew many missions to southeast Asia after that. When he was in Vietnam my mother used to play Oscars Brands Wild Blue when she thought us girls were asleep. Same as you we really didn't understand the lyrics but at the same time knew she played that album because she missed my dad. Later when dad came home and we were stationed in Panama my folks would play it at parties occasionally and we could hear the singing floating up the stairs. My father retired in 1985 and then quite sadly passed away in 1989 at 56 yrs old. Today I was going through some things and came across that album. I hooked up dad's old turntable and played it! It sure brought back alot of memories. I decided to Google Oscars Brand and found your site. Couldn't believe it! I'm going to play it for my adult children. To all Air Force brats out there... We are our own tribe!
To all who served... Thank you, and God bless you!!
Submitted September 27, 2016 - note, Oscar Brand passed away just three days after I received this submission.
Thank you for the trip down memory lane on the F-100's and Mobil Zebra. I found your site from looking up Col. Arlie J Blood. He was also my C.O. in the 387th FBS/523rd TFS. He must have transfered after Zebra. Col Blood has flown my F-100 ( 56-3187) many times and was a challenge upon his arrival at the aircraft. Walking up at about 8 ft he would ask ''Glenn is she ready?'' and as you would open your mouth to answer here would come his helment from a two handed basketball pitch and you would'nt want to ever drop it!! I have found and attached, a picture of the Col.'s plane as it was painted in our Sq.'s tail color of blue.I had forgotten that we replaced the 522nd on rotation to Turkey in Feb. of 1960.
Thanks again for the memories. Kindest Regards
Submitted March 9, 2016
My name is Jack rutter If you served in 1st air postal squad,set 28, in 1952 pls email firstname.lastname@example.org
My grandfather was an aircraft mechanic during the Korean War. After Hurricane Katrina, I found an old artillery case in a closet at his house. He had about 5 feet of water in the house. I opened the case, thinking it would be full of water, but it was completely dry! And full of old negatives. I found many negatives from his youth and also photos from when my dad and his brothers were kids. I'm just getting around to getting all of these things digitized and organized. I found this photo and googled the pilots name on the plane and thats how I ended up on this website. Very cool. I have other photos that appear to have been taken around the base at the time as well. I'll try to get through them and post some of them as well. His name was Kermit C. Teppen Sr. Originally from Colfax, WI. Everyone knew him as Sarge but I'm not sure what his rank was at this time. He settled in New Orleans after 25 years in the Air Force.
Al Teppen New Orleans, LA
My dad's name is Emile Ovella Jr. He was stationed at Kimpo airbase in Korea from Feb. 1953 thru March 1954. He was in the fourth fighter interceptor wing, and was editor of the Jet Gazette. I'm looking for copies of any editions of the Jet Gazette during the time my dad was editor. He is unable to search himself due to failing eyesight from macular degeneration. If you know of anywhere I can locate information please e-mail me email@example.com.
I was there in Hqrs Squad as personnel counselor. It was the 67th Tac Recon Squadron. I worked in their hqs squad the entire year 1954. In Hqs handling ALL inoming Airmen by assigning to their new duty at K-14. I also handled Stateside asngts when their tour was over. Then I was A/1c Leon G Miller. Most folk called me Lee.
LEON GENE MILLER
just to say hi and thanks for good job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 18, 2013
I am the daughter of Charles H Dooley, Sandra Gessler (nee Dooley). He was in the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Rocketeers, was posted to the Dover Air Force base for a brief period in August 1950. Then assigned to the 4th Fighter Group, where trained at Dover until November when many were deployed to air combat in Korea flying F-86A Sabrejets. My father was still in the states until the end of 1952 and was back home around 1955. All photos of my father have been lost and really would like a picture. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for your time.
I too was at Kimpo Korea, in 1954. I ran the ice plant.
Was with the 4th install Squadron. I worked on some revetments for the
F-86, it was a great honor. There was a singer from the 67th side who
came to our side to sing -- Randy's. I think he got mad one time and quit
on us, so I got on stage and started singing bimbo, he got going again.
I also was sent to chi toes after the base shut down. Great site.
Hi John, I have enjoyed reading the guestbook of the 336th FBS. I was with the 336th from August 1955 thru December 1957 at Misawa AB, Japan, as an Organizational Supply Specialist Our commander was Maj. Bruce W. Carr, a veteran of WW II and Korea. I have many great memories of being with the 336th, one of which was a ride in a T-Bird (T-33) with Lt. Gene E. Taft, one of our pilots and acting Supply Officer at the time. I actually got some "stick time" in the T-Bird. Quite an experience. I would like to hear from anyone who was with the 336th during that time period.
Robert C. Post A/1C, USAF
Enjoying your vintage T-33pictures. Your pictures are wonderful. They bring back memories. I've lived outside Andrews AFB for 66 years. Thank you for the memories. Love the Starlifter too.
Subject: 336th Ftr. Int. Sq. Suwan and Kimpo
I Flew 35 missions from April, 1951 to Oct. 1951. On my 13th mission, I was White 2 , flying wing for a Capt. The squadron leader called a 180 degree turn and the Capt. Rolled out after 90 degrees. I saw 24 MiGs at 12 o'clock level, about 5 miles. The Capt. Called, "Drop tanks!". He and White 3 had a hung tank and following SPO's, ordered White 4 to "join on White 2's wing as element, 1 and 3 will abort."
I have tried to remember who flew White 2. We attacked
the MiGs and were attacked by an additional 16 MiGs. For about 12 minutes
we had our hands full. White 3 was on his first combat mission, as a result,
he slid into a show position with his canopy about 20 feet below and behind
my tailpipe. He explained later that,"To hit me, the bullets would have
to come through you." He was later severely damaged in another fight and
bellied it in at K-14. I would like to hear from anyone who knew him.
My late father, John R. Kidd, was a pilot with the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Korea, but it seems not at the same time as your dad. My dad was there from December 1952 until July 1953 and notes I have from him say he flew 70 combat missions in the Sabre jet fighters.
I was born in June 1953 while he was overseas and he didn't see me until I was a month old. I have a photo of the signboard for the 336th FIS Operations, showing Lt. Col. Louis A. Green as commanding officer, and also a photo of the signboard for the 4th Ftr Intcp Wg Officers Mess Dining Hall, and misc photos of dad and others in Korea. My father left the Air Force in June of 1955 as a first lieutenant. He became a commercial pilot for TWA and flew for them from 1956 until 1985. He died in August 2007.
Karen Kidd Zarcone
My name is Larry G. Jones at the time from San Diego California.
I was stationed at Misawa AFB apo919 Japan from feb 1956 to mar 1958.
I was in the 336th fighter bomber squadron which became the 336th fighter
interceptor squadron and then the fighter day squadron. I was a maintenance
dock mechanic and temp (substitute) crew chief. I attained the elevated
rank of a/2c which I held for about three years until discharge at the
end of 1958. The f86 e/f was the fighter of the squadron at the time.
The commander was a Korean War ace named Bruce W. Carr.
I graduated from Bryan class 54 P. 3530 Pilot training. Prior to Bryan stationed Lacklandin 1954, Nellis 1954, Tyndal Panama City 1955 and finally Moody In Ga. Flew F86D. Returned to New York in Sept. of 1958 flying with the ANG until Oct 1988. I transferred to the Marine Squadron in 1962 to continue flying jets A4 SkyhHawk. Also flew with American Airlines for 26 years out of Kennedy. Are any of my buddies from my Air Force days around such as Herb Lindner, Jerry Meany, Bruce Goss, Chuck Anderson, Jack King. Just learned that Frank Gut passed away several years ago. He flew for SAC.
I was a crew chief on F-86's with the 336th at K-14, an
18 year old kid seeing the world... got their in feb 1954 till we moved
to Misawa Japan in November, to Truax field Madison wisc were I now live.
Nice site. I worked on F-100's as a Crew Chief in 1966 with the 417th TFS at Ramstein, Germany. Awesome Jet.
Visit my 417th site at http://www.tlj417.com
Mach Buster in his F-86, My Dad 1st Lt. Richard E. Wendell. Dad went on to fly the F-105 until his retirement as a Major.
R. Key Wendell
I just found some old slides in my fathers items, the box
of slides has the following information in the address box: Postmarked
September 9, 1953 From: Kodak Hawaii, LTD P.O.Box 1260 Honolulu 7, Hawaii
To: A.F. 15478574 (NOT 100% SURE ABOUT THE # ”8”) A/3C DENMAN CHARLES
M (NOT 100% SURE ABOUT THE “M” IN THE LAST NAME) 4TH F.I.W. CALIF MDC
970 (NOT SURE ABOUT ANY OF THIS, WRITTEN IN PENCIL BELOW THE ABOVE ADDRESS)
Thank You, David Grasmick
Do you have any info on five F-86's that crashed in N Africa on about 3-30-1954? A local man, Lt Don Cole, was flying one, and the info we received was that all five flew into the ground due to an incorrect altimeter setting. Could you direct me to a site where i could learn more about it?
Hello everyone. My name is Ceylin Cizreliogullari. I´m from Istanbul, Turkey and 23 years old. My grandfather Hasim Erciyas (1925-2010) was a pilot of the Turkish Air Force and later on the Turkish Airlines. He passed away on Feb 4, 2010. In 1954 he exceeded the speed of sound in a Canadair Built F-86 Sabre Jet. He was one of the first pilots who exceeded the speed of sound in Turkey. He also received a certificate in 1955 which I want to share with you.
Received and Posted 7/5/2011
John, Google is your friend….Mother died recently and I’ve
been going though the house. Pop flew P-40s & P-47s (in the Big One),
got to Itazuke in Mustangs (love Itazuke Tower) and I found my Dad’s version
of Wild Blue Yonder and Bawdy ballads recently. Like you I remember several
of these from my childhood and going to a few AF reunions with him in
San Antonio. Today I just had Wild Blue put on CD and I have laughed until
sides hurt listening to these again.
Thanks for the background, wonder where I can skunk up
Out of the Blue? Thanks again for the background! It has been a great
day reliving these old songs.
I had the privilege of processing the gun-camera film of
the air-to-air combat from the 4th and 51st FIWs during the Korean War.
There are several names listed in various locations of pilots which I
recognized because they appeared so often on the film cartridges that
I processed. At the end of each month I had to make a composite movie
of the action, and make 25 copies of it send to various bases and organizations
in the U.S. It was always an honor to show how well those fighter pilots
did their jobs.
John, you have a terrific site and is a great resource for
fellow serviceman and their families. I noticed in one of your photos
that your father was a Control Tower Operator at Bryan AFB in 1951-1952.
My uncle, James P Barry, Jr. was a Airforce cadet Class 52-G based at
Bryan. He was killed on August 14, 1952 while piloting a T-33 jet on a
training mission. I was curious to know if you or any of your visitors
knew my uncle or recall the incident. Thank you. Jeff Carney, firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the korean war ended we had teams of fighters that would compete in war games. They would tow a target over the gulf by a B-29 and the pilots would practice hitting target. The teams would come from air defense, training and SAC commands, all kinds of different planes these were the early jets. Well, the F-86D weren't scoring hits. General Spicer called everyone together and said we have to start the meet over because they had just purcased 2000 F-86D's from North American and it wouldn't look to good to public if they couldn't hit target.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We started meet over and they still weren't scoring. One of them was so desparate he came back with part of target on his wing tip. What happened this was the first fighter without a radar observer and the pilot had to much to handle. It was afun time, I did this for my last two years. Our squadron commander was Col.Dean Davenport. He was ACO pilot on the the thirty seconds over Tokyo. If you saw the movie he was the Co-pilot for Van Johnson's character. Great guy, when we went TDY he would fly the plane there and we would drive his car!
I am the back standing middle we took five planes to the meets. One spare if we needed parts. Now the winner would go to Yuma for the Air Force finals, we never made it.
Hi - I know my father flew F-84s in the Korean War, and that he had a Rocketeer patch. (I was born in 1956, the first of four sons.) He later went on the fly F-100s and F-105s, finally ending up with a Reserve airlift unit that flew C-119s and C-123s. (He had volunteered for Vietnam but only half the squadron went, and he left the AF afterwards.)
Charles D. Hollingsworth passed away in November, 2007. I don't think he ever saw your site, although we did find him others. I'm copying my brother Scott (who was a 20-year Army vet) on this.
Steven D. Hollingsworth
Just found your web site, I enjoy the photos and other info.
I was stationed at Kimpo in the 5th Army Air Force in 1945 - 1946 as support
My father 1st Lt. Henry (Hank) A. Sibley Jr., was an F-86 pilot stationed at Kimpo during 1951-1952. He was shot down on May 10, 1952 and retired with 100% disability. He passed away in 1994. The website you created honoring your father serves as a tribute to both him and the other men that served our nation during the Korean War. If anyone happens to remember serving with my father, I would love to hear from them.
Hi - I was at Kimpo K14 june 1954 - November 1954 when we were shipped to Chitose AFB on Hokkaido. I was in the 4th supply squadron and worked in POL. My job was to gauge the storage tanks for all the fuel we used on a daily basis. It was something to climb up the sides of those 10000 barrel tanks on a rung ladder. All the fuel was shipped to us from Inchon over land and was often disrupted by the Koreans breaking the pipeline. I really enjoyed the photos of the base. Great web site. Thanks for sharing -- it brings back memories.
Hello., I was Stationed at (Kimpo) K-14 with the 335 FIS
from 12/53-11/54 when we shipped out to Chitose on Thanksgiving Day 1954.
I'm the son of Capt. Kenneth Swift, 336th FIS, 4th FIG ... he was with the 336th from 12 Nov. 1951 to 12 Sep. 1951, then to the 25th FIS of the 51st FIG from 12 Sep. 1951 to 8 April 1952.
I have several old black and white photos of him in Korea. Love your site.
I was with the 524 TFW CANNON AFB, NM January 1964 to August 1967. You brought back some of the best years of my life. I was stationed at Cannon AFB 524TFW and under Lt Col Heffernan, he was one of the best Squadron Commanders I have known in the 26 years I spent in the military. I was a crew chief on the F-100D&F during this period. As old as that baby was and as much problems as it was to get in through that belly panel, or to change a main tire, pop in and out an engine or work the 16 hour days I still had a ball. During that time I actually spent about 18months on base the rest was TDY to some hard places in those days.
REX G LAWRENCE, MSgt, (Ret)
I am looking for information regarding my father: Ronald Bender. He was stationed in Korea at Kimpo 52-? He recently passed away and never told us of his tour there, his records were burned in St. Louis and we were told by someone other than our Dad about him getting a Silver Star for Valor regarding something that happened at Kimpo. There was someone from Florida involved too. Rumer was the person from Florida was saved by my Dad. The only thing we found re: his Tour in Korea was his Government Operators License with his Unit ID. It is: "Co C 839 E.A. Bn" (possibly "Co C 839 E.A.Qn" it was handwritten) APO 970 Anyone knowing of my father and/or of this incident feel free to contact me as my siblings and I want to frame these Medals, and reflect on his DD214 to give to our Mother. (We could not find his copy either.)
I was with the 4th Fighter Wing, Transportation Squadron from May 1953 to June 1954. Some highlights of my tour come to mind. " Bed Check Charlie " harrassed us nightly until the Navy Corsairs shot a couple of them down in June or July 1953, the F-86 was too fast and couldn't handle the low, slow flying, Charlie. A North Korean pilot surrendered a MIG by landing at Kimpo I believe in response to a reward offered by the US. Two officers, 1 Army & 1 Air Force, showed up at Kimpo around Christmas Eve 1953. They were chosen to investigate why the troops at Mun San Ni ( Peace Village) near Pan Mun Jon had not received thier "special" Christmas ration allotment of food and liquor. It was located in the ware house at Kimpo. I was chosen to transport the "high priority" cargo though I pleaded incapacitation due to excessive partaking of Christmas "cheer". I was the chosen one I guess because I was the least "incapacitated" of the bunch. As a consequence I spent Christmas Eve 1953 with the troops at Mun San Ni.
Anyway, reading the guest book brought back a flood of memories for this 75 year old retired MSGT. Keep em coming. Please feel free to publish my e mail address etc, I would be delighted to hear from anybody interested in the 4th Fighter Wing & Korean War.
James ( Jim ) D Kunkle MSGT/USAF/RET
(The base) doesn`t look much like when I was there in `56 in sentry dog section
I suppose you are the son of Lt Starr. I was in the 386th which became the 522nd TFS in 1959 I believe it was. I can actually remember your dad some. I don't think he was in the squadron too long after I got there. I was a crew chief on the F-100's. It seems to me he was tall and lanky and always smiling, when he came out to fly.
I have a picture of 63141 posted on F-100.org and you can tell it was the same time period. http://www.f-100.info/images/f-100d_63141.jpg
(webmaster note: here's my photo of that jet: http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com/Photo_F100_3.htm, and here is that F-100 today: http://jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?regsearch=56-3141)
I think my picture was a little later than yours. The refueling boom went through a couple of modifications and my picture is the same time as your Dad's of 141. The first modification extended the boom and the second installed a crooked boom up about the canopy rail.
You have a picture of 63150 and the F model 63902. I had forgotten about 902, and we had another 63910. I got two rides in the two seater and I still remember them well. I think the other F we had was 915. 63141 is in the Chino, California air museum and I got to see it one time. It had been a drone and was shot up, but they had flown it back to base. I don't think there are any F-100's from the squadron remaining in one piece but it.
It's been over 50 years since I knew your Dad. Most of the pilots were really good guys and a few were gruff. As I've aged and thought about these pilots, I have to admire them more than I did then. Few people now have any idea what they trained for and what they were committed to. This is "nuff" said about that.
One of the aircraft in the squadron had a mishap with a KB-50 tanker during refueling training. I don't recall the pilot, but the aircraft was 63140. He couldn't disengage from the refueling hose and pulled the hose in two. Spraying fuel ignited and the tanker got on fire. Thirteen crewmen bailed out. The pilot limped back to Cannon dragging the hose. I'm sure that was an ordeal. It never happened again.
You have to remember this was all new technology and enabled the Air Force to put a squadron of fighters anyplace in the world in 24 hours. We did it, so for sure it could be done. The longest flight on my aircraft was 11: 45 I saw recorded. The planes left Cannon AFB and landed in Torrejon, Spain.
I found your site while looking for Operation Mobile Zebra. That was the first deployment of the F-100's and they sure learned a lot. Some of the mechanics thought it was just an excercize, and reported to the flight line with blankets in their duffel bags. Half way around the world without any clothing was a bitter pill for these guys. This happened before I got to Cannon, but there were plenty of stories.
I am Marvin Atchison and live in Southern Indiana. I felt compelled to mail you after I found your page. You should consider putting the F-100's on the web site.
Best regards, Marvin Atchison
My name is Michael Fox and I am an aviation historian writing a book on USAF & International aerobatic teams that flew any variant of the F-86 Sabre. I noted that you had a pic of the 18th FBW Aerobatic Team in Korea 1953/1954. I would like to correspond with anyone familiar with the team based at Osan. Pilots, crew and any personnel who saw them perform.
My email address is: email@example.com
The Naktong gunnery range was established in September 1951. I spend some time there in May 1953 after serving my time at K-2 near Taegu. I visited the gunnery range after a 5 hour transit in a sixby truck having follwed the Naktong River for 83 miles. The site was manned by 27 Air Force personnel from number 3 detachment of the 49th Fighter Bomber Wing. I was in the 49th and later the 58th fighter bomber wing. I have this obsession to return to the site but am not sure where it was located. I have photos of the place and the bombing site which was on the Naktong River bed. On my 4th trip to Korea I visited the historic village of Hahoe which is on the Naktong River and from photos believe it might have been nearby. If anyone has coordinates of its location it would be really appreciated. I would like to return there soon since like all Korean Veterans I am aging.
Harry A. Fanning
Hello, I am the great niece of Kenneth Polenske. I am interested in hearing from anyone who may have known him. Please e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Melanie.
My name is Bob Kirk. I am hoping someone can help me with some information. I have long known that my uncle, Chuck Kirk, was killed in Korea when a plane crashed on take-off on June 3 1953. He was operating a bulldozer to extend the runway. I have recently learned that it happened at Kimpo Air base and the plane was an RF-86F piloted by 1st Lt. Elliott B. Sartrain Jr. from Osceda, Arkansas. My uncle was very badly burned and died the next day. Any recollection would be very much appreciated. Any photos regarding the accident would be truly amazing.
Thank you very much for your time.
Hello John, and many thanks for your work in providing this web page to the Fabulous Rocketeers. You may post my comments on the Web as you please.
I arrived at Misawa Air Base, Japan, November 1954, fresh from Gunnery school at Nellis AFB, NV, as a newly minted 2nd/LT "brown bar" new head, as the old veterans called us. The 336TH FTR SQN had just arrived from K-14 Kimpo, Korea. We received our new CO Major Bruce W.Carr, in just a few days. Maj. Carr came from the F-86D SQN next door commanded by L/Col. Rigney. Bruce had been the OPS officer under Rigney. He was delighted to get over to take charge of the 336th. Col. Rigney went on to drive his squadron to be the first combat ready squadron of F-86D's in the Far East Command.
Col. Rigney was a dapper dresser, always uniform crisp, with a beautiful swagger stick in his hands when he went to the line to inspect. It reminded me of the hand held batons carried by Tribunes or Magistrates of the Roman Republic. Life under Major Carr was a dream. Bruce was a no nonsense guy who abhorred red tape. He cut right to the chase. A good leader of men, he had our Squadron up and flying our fannies off. The Ground Support Crewmen and Maintenance staff were superb.
My assigned A/C was #464. We had some -E models, but this one was an F model. My crew chief was Jim "Stretch" Richards from Texas. He found WWII wing wax somewhere, and polished my plane to a high gloss. He was great. Our ground crew support personnel were outstanding. When they said the birds were ready to fly you could take it to the bank.
Esprit de corps was maxed out. Our OPS Officer was Capt. Harry Krig who had come over from Korea. When he rotated home to the ZI his replacement was Capt. Ed Thomas. The next two years were the most fun flying one could have in the sweet North American F-86 Sabre Jet.
The rest of the 4th Wing was posted to Hokkaido Island, Japan up north of us. So we were all alone at Misawa without any "Wing Wienies" looking over our shoulders. What a life! And we got paid too! Photos of my Squadron mates are attached.
My mother, Rita Jalbert Kelly, was Domina Jalbert's cousin. I knew Domina personally when he lived in Boca Raton, FL. He was a great person. I have in my possession some of Domina's retail ram air kites. He let me fly one his larger kites once! Domina seemed to know how to look at air, wind to fly his parachutes and kites. Did you know that at one time, Domina built the largest kite in the world. He has a display at the Smithsonian museum.
Thanks for the good work on this site. I flew the F-86H with the Schenectady, NY ANG from 1958 to 1960 when they phased it out. I later commanded the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB in the F-4E from 1978 to 1980. The F-86 was the most fun aircraft that I ever flew, particularly in dogfights and low level navigation flights over the Adirondak mountains in northern New York. I'll always be a proud Rocketeer, a unit with a fine tradition and a proud record.
Michael DeWan Madden, Col, USAF (Ret)
Hi, I am the Great Niece of 336th F-86 pilot Kenneth Polenske,
If you knew him will you please e-mail me?
My father trained in the T-33 during the Korean War. He also flew towards the end of the war. He passed away about eight years ago. I am enclosing this picture of him and three other pilot trainees. It is from a "yearbook" type book with pictures of groups of 4 pilots each posing on the plane. He is the one in the cockpit.
Yeh, very cool site and accurate information. Lost some friends due to small judgment errors under a perfectly good parachute. Also get very agitated with the oldest line in the book: “whaffo you jump from a perfectly good aircraft? “ OK to list my e-mail address
Blue skies Johan Mulder – D771
Hello, My name is Sandy Robison. My father, Frank P. Robison,
Jr. was a Sabre pilot in Korea circa 1951/52 and later a test pilot at
Eglin AFB. I ran across your website while searching for information.
I'm trying to locate people who have photos of Sabres in Korea, specifically
K-14 and K-15. I'm trying to find photos of my father's planes. He cannot
recall the tail numbers of any of them but I am hoping someone may remember
him and have photos. He knows it was an 86E 50 - 51 model with (77) in
the tail number. Once he got his first kill, it had a top hat with a skeleton
hand pulling out the ace of spades painted on the side.
He will be 80 years old in October and this is the one thing he regrets not having. He took photos of his planes but something happened to the shipping of the pictures and these photos were lost. If you know anyone who may have flown with Dad or has photos of that era, please let me know. I'm reaching out to every possible area here and grasping at straws but who knows, I may find a needle in the haystack.
Wonderful web-site!! My dad flew with 44th FBS (Vampires)
and it was a delight to view these images. Thank you.
Hi -- I served in France as crew chief on F-86 jets in 48th statue of Libert Wing , I wish there was more info on this AFB Wing . If there is Iwould like to hear about it. Thank You
From Roger Rocha
Sure did like your posting of 03-29-08. I'm a huge fan of John's site. It's a great historical archive, including in a personalized way.
As can be seen in the hundreds of postings over the years it's been a great outlet for sharing personal experiences of interest to many. Years ago I learned of Oscar Brand through this site. I was delighted with Brand's work. My most recent experience with his artistry was in December of last year. My grandson is an aviation enthusiast with his pilot license. However, just driving a plane through the sky wasn't enough for him. Last December he applied and was accepted for OCS in the Navy and for flight school after graduation.
Having experienced seven years in the Air Force ( starting at age 17, and continuing,as a low-level grunt) including a 10 month tour with the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing in 1952-53, in hindsight I wasn't too happy to see him going into that profession although I did support him in his decision. In December, it occurred to me I could "needle" him a little. Although it was just a week before Christmas I decided to get him a copy of Brand's "Wild Blue Yonder".
So many ironic and humorous songs with such insights as "I wanted wings til I got the GD things, now I don,t want them anymore", "Itazuke Tower" ad infinitum. I didn't think there was any way it could get to him in time for Christmas but sent an order with personal check enclosed explaining it was for a Christmas present. I expected them to wait for the check to clear. God bless 'em. They obviously shipped the day they got the order because it got there in time for Christmas.
Just a note to thank you for the posting and express my long lasting appreciation of John Starr and Oscar Brand, among others.
Tom Nielson, USAF 1950-1957
I, too, remember my Father, now long departed, a retired U.S.A.F. Lt Col, listening to the Air Force song album by Oscar Brand. I also remember my Mother saying the identical words your Mother did: "Honey, not now, wait until the kids are in bed". I used to sneak out of bed to hear the songs. Though I didn't understand some of the terms I did later on, when I began flying as a crewman on Navy recon aircraft. Great music. Just wish my Dad was still around to listen to the songs with me.
Bill Carter, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S.N (Ret)
Pictures of the T-33 brings back alot of memories,I was
a flight line mech. on T-33's at Moody AFB,Valdosta,Ga.1952-1954, finished
out my hitch on B-25's as a flight mechanic same base.
I am looking for information on JAMES PRESTON MARTIN for my family research. I would love to find out anything about my American cousin and have been searching for over a year. JAMES was in the American Air Force and stationed in LIVERPOOL ENGLAND in early 1950's untill 1960 when he returned home to U.S.A. JAMES was born abt. 1934 in U.S.A. but I do not know in which state. This is a needle in a hay stack search but I am determined to find out any info on my black American roots. Are there any Air Force Buddies out there who were stationed in LIVERPOOL ENGLAND in 1950 - 1960 or anyone who knew JAMES ? I think I have found his Death record : 1990 Long Island National Cemetery. Service A1C US AIR FORCE KOREA.
Many thanks from Sheila Hancock in Southport Merseyside
to raymond kelhler, re: halftracks with 50 cal. guns
tham half tracks that didnot run .,went from puson to poyngyang north korea in 1950 and to yalo river and back to K14 I was 17 a cpl in D btry sgued ledar later sgt sec.chife d 122 and d 121 were my half tracks . we went threw hell D btry was the only btry of the 865thAAA TO BE IN KOREA AT thatTIME .
TED S BACA
I am a long time patch collector who is now retired with a lot of time on my hands. Recently I have been going thru my collection verifying info that I have for each patch and I came accross a 336th FIS patch that I have had in my collection for years. The patch is a 1950's era patch with the nickname "RAGS" on the bottom. I am curious to know who "RAGS" is/was. Do you or any of your members know?
My name is Dave Trotter
Webmaster note: It is possible the patch belonged to one Lt. Frank W. "Rags" Ragland, an F-86 pilot who flew with the 336th during the time of my father -- 1953--1954 at Kimpo Air Base. A photo of Lt. Ragland, one of the few (only?) African American pilots in the unit at the time, is at the lower portion of this page of this website: http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com/Photo_Pad_Read.htm If anybody can shed additional light on this for Mr. Trotter, email him at the above address. - John Starr, webmaster
Hi, I was at Kimpo with the 12thTRS "Blackbirds", I worked on the flight line on RB-26C's. Moved with the squadron to Itami AFB in Japan. And was with the sqdn whenit moved toYokotaAFB, and traded the B-26 for the RB-66. Was with the 12th from Oct 1953-Nov.1958.
Loved your site. Thanks
Today I had lunch with an old friend and pilot in our unit the 165th Tactical Airlift Wing here in Savannah. His name is Kenneth R. (KR) Davis and lo and behold after all these years we found out that we were at Kimpo (K-14), Korea together for a brief period in '53 during the Korean War. I had departed Kimpo in early June '53, but had heard all about the $100,000 offer for any MIG pilot to land at Kimpo. He was assigned as a pilot with the 334th FIS and I was across the runway assigned to the 67th Tac Recon Wg. What makes this story most interesting is that he was sitting in his F-86 on alert at Kimpo when Lt Kum Sok No flew his MIG-15 into Kimpo.
KR told me a flight of 4 F-86's had just taken off to the North when he saw flares from the Control Tower and Lt No landed from that direction and pulled up and parked in a space right beside his aircraft. He said that Lt No started waving to him and of course he waved back.
The story outlined in website above should have included KR in it. Once again we find ourselves in a small world.
Hey, great photo with the cigar, funny U just HAD to mention it was the WIDE ANGLE LENS that made u look chubby!
Anyway I am a 53 yo ER MD who is scheduled for his first jump ( a tandem) with my 18 yo senior in HS son. TODAY FRIDAY 3/16 at 1300 cdt! ( I figure it will give him an interesting answer to the inevitable question on monday " hey Thomas, what did u do over spring break?...Oh, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at ten thousand feet, what did u do?! (isn't it great to have testosterone in your veins?)
The whole story behind this is that at 18 yo I talked my 20 yo brother into skydiving wit hme and we went and did the 'ground school" which consisted of a 30 min. talk and jumping off the instructor's picnic table in his back yard!! He finished with saying " OK, come out saturday with these waivers signed and we jump." Our parents said " you will have to wait until u are 21 to kill yourself." WELL, I'll call my 87 yo mom tomorrow when we are done (same for the ex!) Soooo. 30 + yrs later I am going with my 18 yo. His older brother was not interested and his middle sister (who is in Europe on junior year abroad anyway), well, let's just say it would be wasting a dime to ask her, she is a "feet on the ground" kind of gal, like her mother. My youngest son (and hunting buddy) said " heck yes dad, when do we Go?? So we are on for this am.
BTW, have u ever asked your readers why they jump? Why don't u start a forum or discussion group on why people jump? Are one time tandems different from repeaters? Mid life crises? prove something to self or GF? Just the rush?
Wow, how this has all changed in 30 yrs. My thanks to all the guys and gals who matured this sport to the safe, fun. sport it is today, I mean think of it, what a change from training on picnic tables and round canopies!?
Thanks for good Q&As, I have downloaded those so my son can read them enroute in am so he has a few basic facts/lingo for this event
To answer your questions:
1. I'm 6" 165 lbs. That ain't chubby! :)
2. Why do people skydive? During the time I was in the sport I saw people doing it for a lot of good reasons, and a lot of bad reasons. Most fighter pilots on this site say there is only one good reason -- when the plane you're flying in is no longer controllable! From a sporting perspective I disagree. But then again, I've never strapped myself to a perfectly good jet fighter so I'm not sure my opinion counts for much!
3. What sets one-time tandem jumpers apart from repeat solo jumpers? Hopefully a lot of skill! Seriously, what sets them apart is every successive jump a repeat jumper makes! A friend of mine had just made her first two jumps and asked me "It's so scary. How do I know I really want to pursue this sport?"I told her, "it's easy to figure out: you'll either keep coming back for more, or not!" I got over the fear in about five jumps, but I've known very experienced jumpers who never got over the fear. I think that's weird because I don't like being afraid and would not have continued skydiving if I had remained afraid. There is a saying in the sport about how the fear cycle works "you get used to the fear long before you get over it." That didn't seem to apply to me, but it's a good saying ain't it?
- John, webmaster.
During period earlt 1958 to early 1961 I was the entertainment coordinator for all of Taiwan. At one point during this period, Col. Jbarra and his squadron of F-100 Super Sabres, I believe they were called, were posted to the northern part of Taiwan. During this period, there were many instances where I was able to furnish the people involved with this squadron many nice goodies my office controlled, for, as the old saying goes, "welfare and recreation." As I understood it, their reason for being there, along with a bunch of Nike missiles, was because the Chinese had begun shelling Quemoy and Matsu, permission granted to send dependents home, etc. For my efforts on behalf of his group, Col. Jbarra sent to me a letter of commendation before departing Taiwan, a letter long since lost, sorry to say. I was a USN chief yeoman (E-7). For some reason I am unable to access your site which obviously tells a lot about the good Colonel.
Edwin Putnam Chief Yeoman, USN(Ret.)
I just happened across the T-33 picture being maintained at Bryan AFB. I graduated class 53F having flown T-28 and T-33 there. Went on for 13 years USAF and the 32 years with United airlines. I feel my 2 tours in Viet Nam flying F-100s repaid my debt to USAF. I enjoyed the 6 months at Bryan. Since I had graduated from Baylor just a few miles up to Waco I didn't have to compete with the Aggies for the few girls in town. Just flying and a few beers occasionally. What a life we had. I still get to fly one of the five remaining F-100s that are (although marginally) airworthy.
There was a picture in the paper recently of the Astronauts that died in the (Apollo 1) capsule fire. You might remember that Gus Grissom was an instructor at Bryan. He was working with our class although in the other section as we had a large group. The Korean war was just winding down but USAF was still in a huge buildup at that period. Particularly Air Defense Command and SAC. Do you recall that we had to discontinue flight training during some periods in the summer due to caterpillers on the runway. They were there by the millions and after we squashed them there was little or no braking action so were had to stop flying. I still remember the Fire Dept crews trying to wash down the stopping area of the runways with fire hoses. Even after 50 years that still is a funny one.
Thanks for keeping up the site. Enjoyed it.
Lee Holcomb Class 53F
Looking for information about Lt. Earl N. Farris
My father, then Lt. John W. Ross, flew F-86F with 12th FBS at Kadena Sept. 1955 to August 1956 when he was transferred to 336th Fighter Day Squadron (picture of patches, scarf and hat attached) until September 1957.
While with 336th at Kadena, he survived a mid-air collision with an F-84H (mock dogfight) ejected on October 26, 1956. Anyone with 336th at that time and recall incident?
According to my Dad's Individual Flight Records the 336th Fighter Day Squadron was under the 18th FBW, 18th FBG from August 1956 to February 1957 at which time the 336th Ftr Day Sqdrn. was under the 313th Air Division (AD)
Also, I have a patch and wedding ring (recovered from the crash) of Lt. Earl Norman Farris, my dad's best friend, who was with the 336th at Kadena and was killed in F-86F crash into mountain in 1956. I found Farris' ring and patch while going through my Dad's attic after his death in 1992.
My mother recently told me Lt. Farris had a newborn (less than 12 months) at the time of his death. I'd like to get the ring to them. Any ideas? I googled w/o success.
Yes, I'm an F-86 lover too. It was my job to take care of the ROKAF and their F-86's. I was stationed at Kimpo, K-14 from May 1961 thru June 1962 as an Aircraft Crash and Rescueman. I'm on here to honor the F-86 and to find anyone who served with me. Please respond if you remember me. Thanx...
My father was crew chief on F-86D FU520 out of Tyndal AFB in Florida in the mid 1950s. I also think it is the best looking plane made. He is 75 and still doing ok. His name is William A Ewers. He would probably like to hear from someone from that era.
I was in Kimpo Korea from March '59 to May '60. I was in
the AIRWAYS AND AIR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE ,Radio Maintenance. I have
wonderful memories of the Korean people and would like some day go back
and see the new K-14. I signed up in the service when I was 15, lied about
my age, just to see the world.
My husband, Col. Jack Smith, was the operations officer of the 386th when they went on Mobile Zebra. We have a small historic avaiation museum here in Tyler Texas and they are having a program on in-flight refueling this weekend. That got me digging in lots of old slides and decided to see just what was on the web about that particular operation. Jack died about 9 years ago--he would have loved all the info you can come up with these days.
Enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Thanks.
Sue Smith McCullers
My name is Richie Austin.
I was at K-14 Kimpo Air Base when your father was there. I was there from July 53 to June 54 I was in 4th Motor Vehicle Squadron where I drove the drinking water truck most of the time. It is nice reading and looking at the pictures your father had. It brought back many memories. I also have my yearbook. Jim Kunkle was in my Squadron would like to here from others. When I got back to the states. I went to Webb A.F.B. Big Spring, TX. Were your father was earlier.
I was with the 45th Tac Recon Sqd., on the other side of the field, and worked on RF-80's. Our tent had a sign on it that read "Kimpo Aslymn " and had the names of inmates listed: Monson, Hal, Weltly, Tex, Woody & Jarvas. I arrived On Oct. 1st 1953 and left in Aug. 1954. It was a great experience for me, have pictures of guys in the unit + others. would like to hear from anyone that remembers me. Great site. Thanks
I got on this site to view a photo of the F-86. My youngest son, A1C James C. Blalock, is presently stationed at Spangdahlem AFB, Germany in the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron. I recently learned that he was chosen, out of all members of his squadron, by the shop chief and a second NCO to be a part of the restoration of an F-86. Needless to say, he is very excited and proud to be part of such a project. James takes a lot of pride in his work and takes everything down to the finest detail. In fact, his work has been set by the shop chief as the expected standard for the squadron. His high morals and dedication reserve him the right to wear the uniform of the USAF. Of course, as a parent, I was very proud to learn of his selection. Perhaps this restoration project would make a nice entry on your site.
My name is Mark Tryling.
My father retired Major David G. Tryling served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. In Korea he flew the F-86.
I was interested if anyone on this list knew my Dad and would let me know more about his tour in Korea. He passed away on Nov 30, 2005 just four weeks after his 76th birthday and 6 months shy of his 50th wedding anniversary with my mother. He never talked much about either tour. However, he did take a lot of pictures and we have posted some of them on a website in his commemoration:
Thanks for any information you can share with his surviving children.
Hello Mr. Starr,
My name is Capt Gary Beckett and I am the historian for the 336 FS Rocketeers. I was recently on your website and noticed that you have a great deal of information that is an outstanding credit to your father and the Rocketeers. I also noted that you have a fine collection of Rocketeer memorabilia. One of my jobs as the squadron historian is to populate our history cabinet with such items.
Do you know of, or have any connections that would allow me to aquire items of Rocketeer history? I would appreciate any assistance that you could give me. Thanks for keeping Rocketeer history alive!
Second time visitor, I liked it first time and wanted some more, I did not see Korea but saw action in RAN in Malay in early '60's and Vietnam in the later '60's. I appreciate your dedication and welcome any mail so feel free to post my "address". I was a Tactical Communicator in the RAN as well as a "Diver" but in Malaya, we had no Clearance Divers aboard so we "Ships Divers" had to carry the weight, pretty hairy stuff on the Coastal Interdiction along the Moluccas "Highway", I must have done something right as I am still here but I lost a lot of body waste on the way. (If you get my drift?).