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March Retiree's Corner

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020.

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020, to keep in touch with each other and receive briefings on the work currently being done for Airmen at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo).

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020.

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020, to keep in touch with each other and receive briefings on the work currently being done for Airmen at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo).

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020.

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020, to keep in touch with each other and receive briefings on the work currently being done for Airmen at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo).

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020.

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020, to keep in touch with each other and receive briefings on the work currently being done for Airmen at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo).

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Our February Luncheon, we had pretty much a packed house. The NCO Club said we had 66 folks at our Luncheon. I thought we had more like 75 folks. It seemed like it. We had all eight tables filled up, which has eight chairs each, and they were filled up, plus we utilized a smaller overflow table where two people sat. So their numbers of 66 makes sense. Regardless of numbers, it was an enjoyable time.

Our featured speaker, Major Marian Burgess kept us apprised of the money flows, and grappling with the how and ways things are being funded now. No more old-fashioned annual budget. Also, we had a raffle, which brought in about $150.00, of which Bill Guyton got about half of it. We also raffled off three bowls, Billy Wannamaker and Grady Merritt won two of the bowls. I can’t remember who got the third bowl? The remainder of the money went to future speakers’ fund, and a small portion of the remainder was added to our SCANG Retirement Account.

We had two first timers; “Jake” Jacobs and John Vance. The person who came the longest distance was my old 240th buddy, Tim Egan, all the way from Rock Hill. He stopped by and picked up another 240th buddy along I-77, and brought Hugh Leitner in from Winnsboro. As always, we have Randy Collins who travels from Lancaster almost every Luncheon. Plus he is my main Raffle man, who helps out handling the money and tickets with the raffle.

McEntire History:  We are in the midst of honoring the Berlin Crisis Call-Up folks. This month we will honor the folks assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron. According to the call up list there were 48 members assigned to the 157th FS.

The people assigned to the 157FS are as follows: 

  • Maj. Bernard A. Daetwyler, retired in 1972 as an O-5. He passed away January 4, 2015. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • Maj. Robert W. Merck, retired in 1971 as an O-5. He passed away in 1998. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • Maj. Grady L. Patterson, Jr., retired in 1984 as an O-8 (major general). He passed away December 7, 2009. His name is on the SCANG Monument. Another golf buddy!
  • Capt. Vincent H. Billingsley, a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • Capt. Frank B. Boatwright, Jr., another non-retiree. From what I can tell, he put about 13 years in flying the F-80, F-86, F-104 and F-102. He was an Eastern Airline Pilot, I believe.
  • Capt. Ralph E. Bradford, Jr., retired in 1984 as an O-7 (brigadier general). He passed away January 26, 2015. His name is on the SCANG Monument. One of my old golf buddies.
  • Capt. Charles B. Culbertson, a non-retiree. He may have been at Still Hopes for a while.I have no other information about him.
  • Capt. Paul V. Hawkins, retired in 1977 retiree as an O-5. He passed away in 2018. His name is on the SCANG Monument. His son-in-law would bring Paul to our Luncheons from Summerville.
  • Capt. George R. Jernigan Jr., the first “Jet”. He retired in 1971 as an O-4. He passed away in 1985. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • Capt. Robert J. Lahm, a non-retiree. I have very little information on him. His picture is on page 52 in the 40th Anniversary Book.
  • Capt. Hugh C. McLaurin, Jr., an active member that was killed in Spain on a training mission in 1962. His name is on the SCANG Monument. My wife went to Edmonds High School with him back in the 50’s.
  • Capt. Charles L. Mielke, retired in 1984 as an O-5 and passed away April 11, 2012. His name is on the SCANG Monument. Later I got to know his widow through emails, but have lost track of her.
  • Capt. Robert R. Russell, Jr., a non-retiree. Although he spent some time as a member, he just stayed too busy as a real-estate owner, and as a stunt pilot on the side.
  • Capt. Curtis L. Williamson, a non-retiree. I know very little about him. However, I do recall some pilots that knew him went to Myrtle Beach to his funeral.
  • Capt. Samuel J. Workman, III, who retired in 1979 as an O-5 and passed away in 2008, his name is on the Monument. Sam would come to our Breakfasts, he seemed to be a quiet man.
  • 1st Lt. James H. Altman, a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Richard R. Cole, Jr., a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Dewey D. Foster, Jr., retired in 1984 as an O-6. He passed away in 1999. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • 1st Lt. John F. Gaylord, Jr., a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Robert L. Hanlin, retired in 1981 as an O-5. As far as I know, he is still living. I’m not sure where?
  • 1st Lt. Stanley L. Hoke, a non-retiree. He was only around for the call-up?
  • 1st Lt. Howard P. Jernigan, retired in 1985 as an O-6. He passed away in 1995. His name is on the SCANG Monument. From what I remember about him he was quite the character!
  • 1st Lt. Mike A. Korte, a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Clifton M. McClure, III, “Demi”, he went active duty. Normally I would have no information on him at all, however, Stan Hood gave me an article about him. He was a predecessor of being an astronaut. He jumped from a high-altitude balloon over 100,000 feet, to see what the effects of high altitude would do to a human. I believe he tore a hole in his glove and his hand froze.
  • 1st Lt. Hudnalle B. McLean, Jr., a non-retiree. Tom McLean’s brother, became an overseas airline pilot. He passed away not too long ago. The last time I saw “Hud” was at Jack Moak’s funeral.
  • 1st Lt. Richard A. McLean, a non-retiree. I have no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Michael M. Miller, a non-retiree who went active duty. He became part of the USAF Thunderbirds and Pat Miller’s brother. He had a good F-104 crash story while flying over Swansea, another character, neat guy.
  • 1st Lt. Richard T. Morrison, III, a non-retiree with no further information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Everette S. Peterson, III, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Larry H. Walker, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. Powell B. Whitmire, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • 1st Lt. James C. Woods, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • 2nd Lt. James C. Parham, Jr., “Poss”, a non-retiree. He went back to his law practice in Greenville. I believe either Tally Parham’s Dad or Uncle?
  • 2nd Lt. James F. Tripp, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • TSgt Bobby G. Gregory, retired in 1988 as an E-8. I believe, he passed away in 2006. His name is on the SCANG Monument. He was Ron Gregory’s brother. Bobby would bring his grandson, whom he was babysitting, to the Fort Jackson Golf Course, got to know him better there.
  • SSgt Donald J. Eleazer, retired in 1997 as an E-9 and is still living. Although his spouse just recently died, been at McEntire a long time. His company used to print up the SCANG News.
  • SSgt John J. Leech, Jr., retired in 1992 as an E-7. he passed away January 25, 2016. His name is on the SCANG Monument. Got to know John and his wife, Alice, because my son bought a house on Veterans Road, next door to the Leech’s. He was always deploying so I was the yard man, ended up swapping tales with John and listening to the Leech’s taking care of their family, good people!
  • A1C Henry Leon Crosby, Jr., retired in 1994 as an E-9 and the fifth SCANG Senior Enlisted Advisor. He passed away August 9, 2014. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • A1C Leroy E. Hart, Jr., a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A1C Jack D. Mobley, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A1C David G. Traxler, Jr., retired in 1978 as an E-7. He passed away in 1998. His name just recently made it on the SCANG Monument. Rumor was his daddy was the Mayor of Greenville?
  • A1C William C. Wannamaker “Billy”, retired in 1995 and 2000? He retired as an E-9, still living and a good buddy of mine.
  • A2C Walter W. Brooks, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A2C William S. Nelson, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A2C William D. Verner Jr., a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A3C Lionel C. Harvin, Jr., a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A3C David T. Henkel, a non-retiree with no information on him.
  • A3C Richard F. Roof, retired in 2003 as an E-8 and is still living. He now lives in Arden, N.C. and is still in the S.C. State Guard. I just talked with him several times lately by email.

My observation to this analysis is rank wasn’t exactly a premium back then. Many of the first lieutenants just disappeared, and went about their business. Some may have gone active duty after flying the F-104. Others may have become airline pilots, just don’t know? I gave you what information I have or know about these folks that I have gathered over time about different individuals.

At this point, we have looked at and honored exactly 400 people thus far, of which 143 of them elected to stay with the Air Guard to become Retirees. Some were also WWII individuals as well as Korean War Call-Ups. Of these 143 individuals:

  • 1 major general
  • 4 brigadier generals
  • 3 colonels
  • 15 lieutenant colonels
  • 3 majors
  • 1 chief warrant officer 03
  • 42 chief master sergeants
  • 27 senior master sergeants
  • 39 master sergeants
  • 8 technical sergeants

Of the 400 people surveyed, this is almost 36% of the members who became Retirees. At this time, we have covered right at 57% of the Berlin Crisis Call-Ups. Although I seem to be having a discrepancy in the numbers that were stated to be called up. The 40th Anniversary Book stated 747 were called to active duty. I will see if I can work through this?

Next month, our March Luncheon is March 5th, at our usual spot, the Fort Jackson NCO Club, beginning at high noon. We have been having good turnouts, keep up the good work and attendance. See you then!