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April 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).

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

We had another wonderful March Luncheon! Many of you who do not attend our luncheons probably wonder why I always say it was great, wonderful, fabulous, terrific, etc., reason being, it is! And then I say we had a great speaker, reason being they all have been great, sincere and informative to us. Ask any attendee, and see if they differ from my opinion.

So, for the March Luncheon we had 60+ people to attend. We had, not to be repetitious, a great speaker in the likes of Lt. Col. David Bell. He was a very informative and sincere speaker. He just turned 50 years of age, and 30 years of service in the SCANG and started off like several other folks in the Munitions Section. He joined in 1989, and a Desert Storm veteran.

This month our oldest person here was none other than one of our few Korean War Call-Up folks still around, HarOLD Kline and again our youngest Retiree was Nelson McLeod. He hosed out Dan Goldie by a couple of months. Where are our young ones? We had several contributions to our Retirees’ Account, plus we did a Golf Hole Sponsorship for the South Carolina National Guard Foundation during the National Guard Association Meeting at Hilton Head in March (which has been cancelled since writing this article). As always the food was good, and the d├ęcor of the room was superb. Makes one want to come back for the next Luncheon.

We had no first timers, but we had some folks come visit with us that haven’t been in a while, Phil Leventis, Don Eleazer, Marlene McDonald, Jim Hatchell, Jr., Bill McCarty. It was good to see them.

McEntire History:  We are still honoring the Berlin Call-Up guys. Heretofore, we have honored Headquarters 169th Fighter Group, the 169th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 157th Fighter Squadron. The next two months, we will honor the 169th Air Base Squadron, I believe the forerunner of the 169th Combat Support Squadron, or it appears to be. There were 96 individuals assigned to this squadron, which I will split into two sections of 48 each. They are as follows:

  • Maj. Robert L. McCook, a non-retiree, although he was a pilot flying the F-51, F-80, and F-86. He is deceased, and I do not have any further information on him other than he was the commander of the 169th Air Base Squadron during the Berlin Crisis.
  • Capt. Daniel M. Fraley, also one of our Service pilots. I have him retiring in 1968 as a major. He died December 24, 2007. His name was recently put on the SCANG Monument. I knew Dan personally from the Fort Jackson Golf Course. He was having to deal with his wife who was in poor health, later she died. I would see Dan at the Commissary at times, and we would talk. He is a very gracious and humble man.
  • Capt. Robert V. Frierson, a non-retiree. I have no further information on him.
  • Capt. Johnny A. Stokes Jr., another non-retiree. I have no further information on him.
  • 1Lt. Van W. Turner, I have no information on him.
  • 2Lt.  David H. Rembert, Jr., I have no information on him.
  • MSgt. Leonard D. Beckham, he retired in 1976 as an E-7. He was nicknamed “Jitterbug or Beck.” He came to most of our Breakfasts, later he had medical problems. I remember he lived on Veterans Road, right below the VA Hospital, a member of Greenlawn Baptist Church, a former Navy guy, WWII, a peach of a guy. He died August 31, 2011. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • MSgt. Alton G. Cox, one of our original fifty members as a Corporal. He was our first Retiree in 1963, and retired as an E-7. He died in 2006 and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • MSgt. Wade H. Epps, for a good while he was our oldest-living retiree, retiring in 1968. He died in December 2019. He worked for years with “Beck” and retired as an E-7. I personally went over to his house and asked him to come to our Luncheons, which he did one time. He said he didn’t know anybody, and never came back?
  • MSgt. Otto Harper, retired in 1976 as an E-8 and died January 26, 1989. His name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • TSgt. Lowell K. Hopkins, I have no information on him.
  • TSgt. David D. Kennedy, I have no information on him.
  • TSgt. Robert A. Smith, he retired in 1975 as an E-8. He died in 2001 and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • TSgt. John Wesley Taylor, he retired in 1975 as an E-7. He is still living. His wife died a while back. He also worked with Beck and Wade Epps, food services, plus he was a barber during the Berlin Crisis Call Up.
  • SSgt. William D. Broome, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Richard L. Cochran, he retired in 1976 as an O-4. He was not a pilot, not sure what his role was. I have him still living.
  • SSgt. James D. Dunlap, there was a James S. Dunlap retiring in 1965 as an E-5. I’m not sure if this is the same person. I need more research on this person.
  • SSgt. Samuel J. Fiorini, he retired in 1970 as an E-7. According to a resource, he worked in the photo lab, and may have been a radio operator? He died November 3, 2009 and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • SSgt. Guerry O. Frick, I have no information on him.  
  • SSgt. Don W. Funderburk, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt.  John V. Johnson, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Robert G. Langley, Jr., I have no information on him. 
  • SSgt. Theodore A. Lorick, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Edward K. Meeks, Jr., I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Jimmie L. Mitchell, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Harry S. Schwartz, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt.  Jack T. Smith, I have no information on him.
  • SSgt. Ollie W. Smith, he retired in 1987 as an E-7. He passed away February 5, 2017, and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • SSgt. Roy H. Wellborn, he retired in 1984 as an E-7. He passed away in 2001, and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • SSgt  Robert E. Windhorn, a non-Retiree, however he was the father of Robert E. Windhorn Jr., who retired in 2002, and passed away in 2018.
  • A1C Edmond L. Ackerman, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Norman R. Adams, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Bobby E. Aughtry, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Norman L. Corbett, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Junius W. Craps, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Clarence E. Derrick, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Charles R. Fagg, I have no information on him.
  • A1C  Cecil J. Finley, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Francis W. Glen, Jr., I have no information on him.
  • A1C  Lafayette A. Hall, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Robert H. Harley, I have no information on him.
  • A1C  Doyle L. Jaco, Jr., I have no information on him.
  • A1C John R. McCartha, he retired in 1991 as an E-6. He passed away June 17, 1999 and his name is on the SCANG Monument.
  • A1C  Douglas Q. Moore, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Charles L. Prewitt, a non-retiree, however, he was Julie Jernigan’s daddy.
  • A1C  Donald L. Stone, I have no information on him.
  • A1C Henry Summerall, Jr., I have no information on him.
  • A2C  James T. Adams, I have no information on him.

At this point, we have honored 488 individuals that were called up for active duty during the Berlin Crisis Call-Up. This is approximately 69% of the call ups.  I miscounted last month the number of members assigned to Headquarters 169th Fighter Group by 40 members, shame on me. I still have a discrepancy of 41 members from what is stated in the 40th Anniversary Book and my Berlin Crisis list, which is based on The State Newspaper article written on October 18, 1961. It lists the members by rank and units. The two are my source of information. I’ll keep working on this.

Of the 488 individuals mentioned thus far, 156 elected to stay with the S.C. Air National Guard and retire. Of the 156 members that retired, we have:

  • 1 major general
  • 4 brigadier generals
  • 3 colonels
  • 15 lieutenant colonels
  • 5 majors
  • 1 chief warrant officer 03
  • 42 chief master sergeants
  • 29 senior master sergeants
  • 46 master sergeants
  • 9 technical sergeants
  • 1 staff sergeant

These folks became the backbone of SCANG during the formative years up to and including the Desert Storm era.

At this time, the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to be very active. Because of obvious concerns for the health of everyone involved, our April Luncheon has been cancelled and our May Luncheon has been postponed to May 12th. In the meantime, please heed all precautionary ways to ward off the virus. Stay healthy and I hope to see you on May 12th at our usual location at the Fort Jackson NCO Club, beginning at 12:01 p.m.