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Commentary Search

June Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Robert Barkalow (retired)
  • 169th Fighter Wing

We had one of the smaller groups for our monthly Luncheons in a while, around 40-45 folks showed up. We enjoyed listening to Lt. Col. Andrew “Tank” Thorne, neat and informed guy. Mark Garman was one of our first-timers. It is always good to have folks come from any distance to break bread with us. Graham Heller came up from the Charleston area. Mike Lightfoot comes all the way from suburban Rowesville, (Orangeburg County) I kid him about that. The Connelly’s come from Newberry County. Randy Collins comes from Lancaster County. The Webb’s come from Florence County and the Corley’s from Aiken County. I love geography as you can tell. For a while several jobs I had I pretty much covered the state, I loved to take the back roads at times. The point I am making is, just come when you can no matter where you live and reside. I know of some of our members who live within five miles of Fort Jackson and I never see them. Anyway, just come if you can. We love having the larger crowds but we have fun no matter who or how many show up for our luncheons.

McEntire History:  I am temporarily through the Monument. I did a special historical edition last month, so now I am going to delve into the Berlin Crisis group called-up in October 1961. My plan is to submit names of all the folks called up. Guess what my source of information is, The State Newspaper dated October 18, 1961. I was marching around at Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois at that time. Can you imagine a deployment now being put in the paper, not now, no way. Too much information for bad people to have! On one hand, it is a shame that our deployed folks are not honored or recognized any longer, only in much more subtle terms. To me, this is not good progress, all in the name of security. We used to have stickers on our windshield to get in the gate, no more. I did see a sticker the other day, Chief Howard Clay still had one on his windshield, it surprised me. We used to have our Air Guard license tags, now it's just a Guard tag. I’m sorry I digressed, that’s what happens when you get older and more sentimental? I am submitting the names of these individuals at their call-up rank. If I know anything about them, I will make some remarks about them such as a Retiree and if I know when they passed away.

All the individuals this month were assigned to Headquarters 169th Fighter Group

Lt. Col. Robert S. Corbett Jr. Retired in 1974 as a Brigadier General and died 2011.
Orville D. Fetterly Retired in 1978 as a Lt. Col and died in 1992.
Maj. Robert A. Johnson, Sr. Retired in 1982 as a Brigadier General and died January 1, 2019.
Homer L. Keisler Retired in 1979 as a Lt. Col. And is still living and attending some of our luncheons. 
  Jimmy C. Wright Retired in 1978 as a Lt. Col., he died in 2008.
Capt. Eugene L. Brantley Retired in 1976 as a Lt. Col., he died January 18, 2018.
Jess J. Bullard Jr. Retired in 1975 as a Lt. Col., he died in 2003.
Arthur S. Bahnmuller  
Pledger M. Bishop Jr.  
William A. Humphries Retired in 1975 as a Lt. Col., he died in 2002.
Henry L. Milne Jr. I don’t have him retiring, he may have been medically discharged after the plane crash while in Spain during the Call-Up. He died in 1988.
John E. Pressley  
James W. Riser Jr. Retired in 1969 as a Major, he died October 20, 2007.
James A. Weston Jr. This is another one I have no records of him retiring? He died in 1979 and is on the Monument.
1st Lt. Chalmers W. Poston    
William A. Schilletter Jr.  
2nd Lt. Roger L. Krick Retired in 1982 as a Lt. Col., he died January 22, 2012.  
CMSgt. Frederick D. Gray Retired in 1968 as a CMSgt., he died February 1, 2013, a WWII POW.
George W. Reeves Retired in 1976 as a CMSgt., he died in 1996, one of the original 50 members
Clemence D. Turbeville Retired in 1982 as a CMSgt., not sure when or if he died, not on the Monument. He was the first Enlisted Advisor.  
SMSgt. John W. Aiken Retired in 1979 as a CMSgt., he died March 8, 2012.
Clarence E. Aldret Retired in 1972 as a CMSgt., he died in 1990.    
MSgt. William J. Buchanan Jr. Retired in 1974 from the Air Guard as a CMSgt., transferred to the SCARNG as a Warrant Officer, he died December 27, 2013.    
Wyatt A. Corbett Retired in 1981 as a CMSgt. and also died in 1981.
Donald H. Derrick Retired in 1970 as a MSgt., he died in 2002.
Wylie E. Galloway Retired in 1965 as a MSgt., he died in 1976.      
David A. Graddick Retired in 1990, as a CMSgt., and  he died September 8, 2013.
Brosig A. Harmon Jr. Retired in 1976, as a MSgt., and died March 7, 2007.
William C. Huckaby Retired in 1971 as a MSgt., and died in 1972, he was one of the original "50".
William H. Huffstetler Retired in 1984 as a CMSgt., and died September 2, 2009.
Dothan E. Jeffers Jr.  Retired in 1987 as a MSgt., he died in 2009.
John H. Mills Retired in 1976 as a MSgt., he died in 2006.
John D. Ruff Retired in 1984 as a CMSgt., he died August 9, 2018.
William E. Russ Retired in 1977 as a SMSgt., he died in 1999.
William H. Threatt Retired in 1987 as a SMSgt., he died also in 1987.
TSgt. Raymond L. Brown  
Robert E. Billheimer  
Dewey R. Bullington  Retired in 1976 as a TSgt., he died in 2007.
Donald L. DeGarmo  
" Franklin A. Drafts Retired in 1984 as a SMSgt., he died 2000.
Richard A. Epting Retired in 1989 either as a SMSgt. or MSgt., he died in 2006. 
Johnnie Gardner Retired in 1969 as a MSgt., he died in 1999.
Harry Lockman Retired in 1988 as a CMSgt., he died September 3, 2014.
Victor H. Trumble Retired in 1993 (Estimate), he died in 2002, not sure about his rank, one of our ‘missing links’.
Archie S. Thorpe Jr. Not sure about his retirement date, he died in 1998 and is on the Monument, another missing link.
James C. Williamson Retired in 1976 as a MSgt., still living.
Ellis C. Wynne  

Bear in mind, what information you see is the best information I have to present to anyone. It is accurate as the records state and hopefully my human error rate is low based on overlooking facts and details.

Next month, I will present the other members who were assigned to Headquarters 169th Fighter Squadron, they will be SSgts, A1Cs A2Cs and A3Cs. If anyone asks me, I like the old rankings better, to me it was simpler.

Also next month, our June Luncheon will be on the 4th at our usual meeting place, the Fort Jackson NCO Club beginning at noon.