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Commentary Search

March Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow, Jr.
  • Master Sgt. (retired)

We seem to be getting more Chiefs as our featured speakers. This is good. For our February Luncheon we had Chief Gary Jackson of the 169th Force Support Squadron. His OIC, Major Ralph Cole, Jr. was doing some time at the Guard Bureau, which is where Chief Jackson spent a lot of his time and background in around the D.C. Beltline area. The Chief gave us a full explanation of everything imaginable about the Air Guard, including both national and local issues, problems and all goings on. He was quite entertaining and informative.


We had around 50 folks who showed up for the luncheon, and we had one known first timer, Buck Shuler. Many of our Retirees may be aware of the fact that Nelson McLeod, whom I call our ‘resident photographer’ makes a number of pictures at our Luncheon. I and my assistant then select what I consider the best set of pictures depicting the group as a whole, and send it out to the entire SCANG Retirees address book. The others I try and send out to the folks in each of the individual pictures for keepsake purposes. They can print them up, or do whatever they want with them.


McEntire History:  We have been honoring the folks who have passed away, and are on our Monument. This month we are honoring the folks who are on the first single block granite facing the headquarters building side, or looking South, 15 names all on the inside of the block. The names are as follows:


  • Joseph W. Leech, who retired in 1979 and died in 2001. I believe he was a cousin to John Leech.
  • R. G. Cadwell? (I am positive this is a misspelling.) It should be Roy G. Caldwell who retired in 1984 and passed away in 2001. The dates match.
  • K. H. Heath, I am not a fan of initials, unfortunately I cannot determine if and when this person retired. Died in 2002.
  • Leland R. M. Austin, most retirees should remember Leland. We don’t know when he retired. I suspect he is one of our “Missing Link” individuals (1987-93). His grave marker is located at Crescent Hill right next to my in-laws.
  • Donald H. Derrick, who retired in 1970 and passed away in 2002.
  • C. Wilson, no information about this person other than passing away in 2002.
  • A. Stone Sr., believed to be Rufus A. Stone, who retired in 1984 and passed away in 2002.
  • R. E. Bennett, another no information about this person. Could be one of our “Missing Link” folks. Died in 2002.
  • H. S. Scott, again no information about this person. Could be one of our “Missing Link” folks. Died in 2002.
  • William A. Humphries, retired in 1975 and passed away in 2002.
  • Vic S. Trumble, he used to come to our Breakfasts and maybe some Luncheons also. I am fairly positive he is a “Missing Link” retiree. He passed away in 2002.
  • J. S. Ulmer, believed to be Jacob S. Ulmer Jr., assigned to the Dispensary. Fairly positive he is also one of our “Missing Link” retirees. He passed away in 2002. He was also a Berlin Call-Up person assigned to the 169th Dispensary as an A3/C.
  • H. J. Corbin, Jr., believed to be Henry J. Corbin Jr. He was a Berlin Call-Up guy, assigned to Headquarters 169th Fighter Group as an A2/C. There is no information on his retiring. Could be another “Missing Link” person, he passed away in 2003.
  • Jess J. Bullard, retired in 1975 and passed away in 2003.
  • Leroy O. Rabon, a CE guy. Remember him well. Fairly positive he retired during the “Missing Link” years. He passed away in 2003.

If anyone has more information on any of the above folks, please contact me at, or call me at (803) 936-0680.


Deployments beginning in March; (OIF) Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, back to Qatar for the 169th Fighter Wing. Around 400 members were assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. Actually there were more units or parts of other units that were sent overseas, such as some Civil Engineers, Security Forces, Services Flight, Air Traffic Controllers from the 245th, etc. The 169th flew over 2,000 hours of support, fired at least 65 HARMS and dropped more than 370,000 pounds of bombs. A real concerted effort by active duty, Guard and Reserve members.


The Swamp Fox pilots were the only ones allowed to fly over Baghdad, because Saddam Hussein had his best missiles hidden and I believe they stayed hidden. We had the equipment, the Lightening II pod, to take care of the surface-to-air missiles.


Please mark your calendar for March 6th, our next Luncheon. It will be held at our usual location, the Fort Jackson NCO Club. We begin around noon. Please come if you can and bring one of your old McEntire buddies.