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Commentary Search

May Retiree Corner

  • Published
  • By Bob Barkalow
  • Master Sgt. (Retired)
We had about the same number of folks at the March and February Breakfasts. About 50-55 folks showed. Our first timer was John Dilila, from Sumter. Our speaker was Maj. Brian Doyle, from the 169th Maintenance Operations Flight, making this the second time he spoke to us. This time, he briefed us on the Readiness Inspection, and also about what it takes to deal with the new incoming folks, very interesting.

Also, Buck Buchanan gave us a history lesson from back in the 'old' days. If you were hired at Congaree/McEntire you had to be versatile or wear several hats and do several different types of jobs well. I was aware of this to some degree. Everyone had to take turns doing both Security and Fire Protection due to the train tracks always sparking fires toward the back gate. As time evolved, everyone got more 'specialized'.

Be advised I think we are going to have one more breakfast at the Fort Jackson Officers Club. So if all goes well for our June Breakfast, we will head back to the newly refurbished NCO Club.

McEntire History: We are celebrating our second batch of 2004 retirees, they are: Col. John "Bullet" Bellinger Jr. and Senior Master Sgt. Jimmie Luke; Master Sgts. William Outen Jr., Arne Miller, Steven Tanner, Wallace Ward, Daniel Ward, John Montague, Kenneth Nutter, Steven Clark, Anthony Whigham, Alexander Richardson, and Hugh Stinson; Tech. Sgts. Malcolm Russell, Ronald Evans, Kenneth Barfield, Charles Merriweather, and Staff Sgt. Robert Runyon Jr. As I have mentioned before, if ever you do not see your name in print from the year you retired, please let me know.

I spoke last month about the Swamp Fox logo/emblem and how the 169th acquired it. The first known patch was designed by Dothan Jeffers of Jeffers-McGill Appliance Store fame. Dothan retired in 1987. He came up with a design of a red fox sitting on a shooting rocket with several stars around it, probably representing the F-104 intercepting some Russian bombers at a high altitude. This is just a guess on my part. At this time, I have no idea if someone asked or instructed Dothan to do this, but the patch was worn until a new one was designed in 1977. A committee came up with the design and approved at a unit training session in 1977. The new design was a fox head that was both blue and red. Voters selected the color blue that is now being used on our current patches and planes.

The voting committee consisted of Ralph Bradford Jr., Scott Cain, Chuck deVlaming, Del Dorn, George Inabinet Jr., George "Jet" Jernigan III, and Ed Menees. Also, credit was given to Dothan Jeffers Jr. for the inspiration of the design and George Inabinet III, for his artistic work. I received most of this information from George "Jaws" Inabinet, with verification from Stan Hood. If anyone else has any more information or knowledge about this, please let me know.

Next month on May 7th, will be our next Breakfast. As always beginning at 0830, as mentioned above this may be our last Breakfast at the Fort Jackson Officers Club. It is always really good to see as many people as possible and it is always good to see both new and old faces. So come if you can.
By Robert (Bob W. Barkalow, Jr, MSgt. retired. Phone 803 936-0680, email address is