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September Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert (Bob) Barkalow, Jr.
  • 169th Fighter Wing

Our August Luncheon had some different twists in it. We had a needed raffle to both fill our need for speaker luncheon money and to see if we could contribute to the Bryan Wright fund, as well as add to our SCANG Retirees coffer money. We did all three with the raffle. In addition to that, we even gave out free blueberries to those that wanted them. The Webbs, Bob and Phyllis, who come all the way from Effingham almost every month, have a huge blueberry tree or trees (bushes) and they have been supplying us with blueberries for years. They had a bumper crop and brought a load of blueberries and handed them out at the end of the Luncheon to anybody who wanted them. If you enjoy blueberries and didn’t come, see what you missed?

Chief Robert Thibault updated us with both recurring and new information about the base. He has been in many Air Guard units with the SCANG being his final destination. At the end of his presentation, he showed us what he does in civilian life. He works for Shakespeare Electronics Products, which means communication antennas. He even brought several for our perusal. After his presentation, we made him an ‘honorary’ 240th Comm guy. We had fun doing all this.

We had Patrick O’ Leary show up and make a cameo appearance, also we had Maurice Boyle and his new wife show up for their first time. Mark Jordan brought his dad, who retired from USAF as a pilot with 6,000 hours of flying under his belt.

McEntire History: We are still honoring all the folks on the McEntire Monument. This month, the 15 names are on the fifth and last column of the large granite block, inner side. Since these folks are more current and in my era, I either know them or know of them, which means I can relate something to them. Naturally the early folks on the Monument, most of us know very little about them. Years ago, Stan Hood honored all the pilots who died in accidents and gave us some details about them. The 15 folks are as follows:

1. Peter P. Palmer. Pete retired January 19, 1980, at that time he was the head supply guy for the 240th. Everyone loved this guy. He passed away April 5, 2010. Pete missed being a charter member of SCANG by two missed Monday night drills. His wife and General Morrell grew up together in the Congaree Presbyterian Church. So the families knew each other. Pete was not prior service so he had hardly any basic training. By the way, basic training was at the base up until 1953, I believe. The Supply Sergeant asked Pete to help him out distributing uniforms, hence he became a Supply guy. He was Airman of the Year for the 240th in 1978, and later was the SCANG’s Airman of the Year. Just a good honest decent man! Pete was both a Korean War and Berlin Crises Call-Up guy. His picture is on page 96, bottom picture, in the 25th Anniversary Book (1971).

2. William W. Watson Jr. He retired in 1965. Imagine that, by that time there were only a handful of retirees. As you might have guessed, he was a WWII guy. He joined the Navy right out of high school in Macon, Georgia. He came to SCANG in 1949, meaning he was a Korean War Call-Up guy. He was a staff sergeant assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron. According to his obituary, he went active Air Force for three years (1951-54) then came back to the SCANG until he retired in 1965. He was in the auto parts business for years, also worked at the U.S. Post Office in Chapin, where he lived. His dad taught him how to fly when he was very young. He passed away April 2, 2010.

3. James C. McMillian, Master Sgt., he was an active member. Interesting enough he was born in Berlin, Germany. He joined the Air Force in 1991 and supported both OIF and OEF on active duty. Later he came to the SCANG as a flight engineer on our C-130. He and his family lived on Candlewood Drive, a block off of Motley Road, my former house in Hunting Creek Farms, Hopkins. I was the second owner, bought the house from a former McEntire Air Advisor, Joe Stroud, who by then retired and moved to Florida. James was the fourth owner of that house. He loved to fly and restore muscle cars. He passed away April 9, 2010. He is buried at Fort Jackson National Cemetery. It can be a small world at times.

4. John R. McCartha. One of our Missing Link guys, thank goodness for his wife Nat (Natalie) emailing me back in 2010 to tell me that her husband passed away June 17, 1999, which coincidently is my birthday. He retired June 28, 1991. He was a master sergeant assigned to the 169th Civil Engineering Squadron. At this time, I have no other information on him. He was not in either Anniversary Book that I could spot.

5. John S. Sarson. I could not find any information on him, I don’t seem to have him retiring unless he did it with disability. His picture is on page 145 in the 40th Anniversary Book with the NCO Academy Graduate Association. All I can tell you is according to the Monument he passed away in 2009.

6. Sam Wallace Jr. retired in 1986 as a master sergeant with the 169th Weapons Security Flight. His picture is on page 130. He was from Aiken, and one of my old golfing buddies. He and Richard Penix would come down and play in the Eastern ANG Invitational Open, put on usually in June. Several times I got paired up with them. Richard Penix let me know that Sam died in June 2010. Enjoyed playing with them.

7. James L. Warren. He died July 16, 2010, and I have him retiring in 1982. He was from and lived in Lancaster. He was a charter member of the Church of Lancaster. He is buried at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery. His military career was with the Navy, Air Force and then SCANG. I could not find him in either the Berlin Crisis Call-Up list or in the 25th Anniversary Book, so not sure where he worked He did retire as a technical sergeant.

8. Gerald W. Stoudemayer. He retired in 1990 as a master sergeant and passed away August 16, 2010. He was born in Peak and later stayed in the St. Andrews area. He was big in his church and the Boy Scouts. Gerald is on page 105, bottom photo in the 40th Anniversary Book. He was a civilian technician while at McEntire working with the Electrical Shop. He is also pictured in the 25th Anniversary Book on page 74, top picture. At that time, he was still with the Electrical/Hydraulics shop. He also was a Berlin Call-Up guy and was assigned to the 169th CAMS as a staff sergeant.

9. Malcolm R. Rast Jr. We have him as a 2005 retiree, he passed away December 5, 2010. He retired as a senior master sergeant and lived in the town of Cameron, Calhoun County. He was a traditional Guardsman, and he is on page 115, bottom photo, Propulsion. He was a Desert Storm veteran and was a technical sergeant assigned to the 169th CAMS. During his funeral, most of the honorary pallbearers were members of the Propulsion Crew. His civilian job was with the Orangeburg Ready Mix Concrete-Bamberg Plant. He was a member and deacon with the Four Holes Baptist Church.

10. James “Doug” Lovette. Was another renowned Chief. He was the “go to” guy when anyone wanted to know anything about McEntire and its personnel and regulations. The chief joined the SCANG in 1956, however, prior to that he served two years in the Army. He served until his retirement in 1993. He was the outstanding Guardsman of the Year in 1982 for the State of South Carolina, and again in 1986. He also was the Air National Guard Base Level Personnel Superintendent of the year in both 1984 and 1987. He then became the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the SCANG from 1990 until his retirement in 1993. He was dedicated to his church and taught Sunday school. This man served his God and fellow man, it just doesn’t get any better than that! A great role model for the troops and anybody. You were always glad to see the Chief around because of his vast knowledge and demeanor. Doug is in the 25th Anniversary Book on page 87, top picture, Consolidated Base Personnel. In the 40th, pages 91, 118, and 150, great picture of Chief Doug.

11. Robert S. Corbett Sr. A former wing commander, he retired in 1974 as a brigadier general, Assistant Air Adjutant General. He was old Congaree/McEntire, he came to SCANG in 1949, not sure if he had WWII experience and service? He was a Korean War Call-Up as a first lieutenant, with the 157th Fighter Squadron. While at Lawson Field, Georgia, the pilots were getting ready for a four-ship mission, one of the other pilots, Bayard Peach asked Corbett to switch formation places with him, Peach wanted to fly the #2 position and Corbett went to the #4 position. As it turns out, Bayard Peach was killed during this mission, and if you will note, he is the first person named on our Monument. The folks back at Lawson Field thought it was General Corbett who went down because they didn’t let anyone know that they had switched positions. During the Berlin Crisis, General Corbett commanded the Guardsmen at Moron, Spain. His call sign was Muscle Butt, say what? He flew the P-51, the F-80, the F-86, the F-104, and the F-102. He worked as a civilian, as many people did, for Southern Bell or Bell South. He would call me every now and then and either correct something I said or wrote, or tell me stories that I treasure. His pictures are in the 40th Anniversary Book are on pages 24, 46, cutting hair, 54, 55, and 68. Also page 66, Deputy Chief of Staff, and page 67 in the 25th Anniversary Book.

12. Rozenia F. Washington. Initially one of my 240th buddies. When I first joined in 1978, and was assigned to the Radio Operations Section. There were two females already in the section, Rozenia was one of them. At that time, there were not too many females in the SCANG. She was very religious, her husband was a pastor, later she transferred out to the Chaplain’s Office about the mid-80’s. She is on page 119, top picture with the 169th Combat Support Squadron. In civilian life, she was the Postmistress of Gadsden, she retired from the U.S. Post Office with 43 years of service. Later in life Rozenia would dress in long dresses, with keys and chains hanging all over her dress. That was her trademark look. She would regularly attend the Retirees Luncheons until medically she couldn’t attend. I went on at least one Rapid Deployment Force deployment with her. She retired from the SCANG as a master sergeant in 2000, and passed away February 19, 2011, I went to her funeral. There were lots of people there. We had to stand.

13. Johnny R. Jones. He was one of our active members to pass away while still serving. He passed away June 19, 2011. At that time he was a master sergeant. According to his obituary, he joined in 1978. So he had 33 years in the SCANG. He had to go on many deployments. He was a Desert Storm veteran, assigned to the 169th Resource Management Squadron as a technical sergeant. He was in the POL section. He is on page 123, bottom picture. He was an active member of the Bethlehem UMC. He served the church on many committees and sung in the choir.

14. Dewey David Anderson. I called him DD, another one of my 240th buddies. He was assigned to the Supply section. In civilian life, he was one of the Deputy Wardens for the Dept. of Corrections in McCormick. He and his wife Bunny lived in Edgefield. He would come to Columbia a lot, and we would golf at Fort Jackson. He retired in 2000 as a technical sergeant. Unfortunately, he was in a tragic wreck while at Summer Camp in Savannah, one person was killed and the other three in the wreck were seriously injured. David was never the same person from that point on. My wife and I attended his funeral on Peachtree Rock Road in Edmonds, South Carolina. He is in the 40th Anniversary Book, on page 138, top picture.

15. Ford T. Cox, a WWII veteran. He told me he was stationed in Recife, Brazil during the war. He was in the Navy and was a flight engineer, or crew chief, on a patrol plane (PBM) looking for German submarines flying over the South Atlantic. He must have joined the SCANG right after the Korean War. He retired in 1979 from the SCANG as a senior master sergeant. He is in the 25th Anniversary Book on page 77, top picture. Terry Wingard loved him to death. He was always talking about Ford, who by the way drove a Ford. I know. He would drive by my house every day going to McEntire in his either 1955 or 56 Ford Crown Victoria. I would admire it since it was in mint condition. He lived around the corner from me in the Waterbury section of Columbia. I believe he had other cars he tinkered with. He retired from the SCANG in 1979, and he died August 22, 2011. He was a Berlin Call-Up guy, he was a senior master sergeant assigned to the 169th CAMS.

Our next Luncheon will be September 4, the day after Labor Day, so come labor some lunch with us. As always, we will be at the Fort Jackson NCO Club, beginning around noon. Bring your spouse, boyfriends, girlfriends, people who haven’t been or been in a while. Mainly bring yourself! Have a good Labor Day weekend