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February Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert (Bob) W. Barklaow Jr.,
  • Master Sgt. (Retired)
We had a wonderful January Luncheon, there were right at 60 folks, including two first timers, John Frierson, who was a supply officer back in the late 50's. His brother Bob served as Commander of the AP's, at that time, and was an accomplished parachutist also back in that era. Our second first timer was Mike Daetwyler, who was in town from Colorado for his father; Bernie Daetwyler's pending death and funeral. As fate has it, our McEntire Liaison got sick, and I asked Mike to step up and tell some stories about his Dad, Bernie. He did a great extemporaneous job telling some 'tales' about both his Dad and Ack Ack (Jimmie Wright). Some of you might remember but Mike was sworn in at McEntire in 1970 by his Dad before Bernie retired in 1972. Later he went to flight training, didn't quite make it and came back as a Comm. Officer in the 240th. He liked to drive our Comm. Jeep...another story. Mike moved to Texas for school, then went to Colorado and joined the Guard units there. Later he switched to the Air Force Reserves, retiring not too long ago. The Daetwylers' have four generations of military starting with Mike's grandfather who served in the Great War (WWI), and the fourth generation is his son who is currently serving active duty at Hill Air Force Base.

We then finished with a Memorial Service for those known Retirees that passed away in 2014, plus others that have been found that died, but were never honored with their names put on the Monument. This is still a work in progress, and progress is being made, slow but sure, because it takes research and collaborative efforts at times to find the disposition of these folks.

McEntire History: Our Second round of 2011 Retirees is as follows: Colonels Joanna Shumaker, Gregory Walters, Deane (DDawg) Pennington, Lt. Col. Matthew Weber. Chief Master Sgt. Mike Hale. Master Sgts. John Lever, Paul Williams, Mark McDaniel, Timothy Rumph, Beth Tanner, Daniel Gamelin, William Brockman and Catherine Hill. Tech. Sgts. Timothy Scott, James Burgess, Rudolph Randolph, and James English. A lot of 'brass' retiring this time?

Deployments: there were two during the month of February, and both to Qatar. The first in 1997 for Operation Southern Watch where we monitored Saddam Hussein to keep his planes north of the 33rd Parallel. We sent 12 planes and around 200 people on this deployment. Naturally we wowed the folks in charge which was the again the 4th Fighter Wing out of Seymour Johnson AFB, same as Desert Storm. We turned the planes around to combat mode as soon as we got there, and that astounded the others. Plus we had our usual high maintenance rate while the other units floundered. The second deployment to Qatar was OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom), which we are still enduring to some degree. This was during the year of 2002 supporting the new operations in Afghanistan that started in October 2001. This was a hard deployment for the pilots. They had to fly around their elbow to get to their thumb, so it was a long ride in the cockpit to perform their perfunctory duties of eye-in-the-sky. The missions getting to and staying over Afghanistan would usually last 8-10 hours.

We will have our next luncheon Feb. 3rd at our usual place at the NCO Club located on Fort Jackson. We usually begin at noon, so come if you can. I bet many of you didn't know that U.S. Forces entered Manila February 3, 1945. I hope to see many of you on the 3rd, and would like to see an attendance busting the 60 person mark. What else have you got to do, warm food, and warm friendship, plus we may have our famed Quarterly Raffle, we need to bring our money coffers up.