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May 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).

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

This will be my sixth Desert Storm article honoring the Desert Storm Call-Up folks, and the third of ten articles honoring the 169th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.  I have expanded more key personnel and my goal is to honor and name as many people as I can in this article and subsequent articles.

The top and key personnel are as follows:

Deputy Commander for Maintenance: Lt. Col. Edwin W. Fisher

Commander: Maj. Charles E. Savage

First Sergeant: Chief Master Sgt. Jerry C. Couch

Organizational Maintenance: Maj. Russell A. Rushe, OIC and Chief Master Sgt. John T. Bowie, NCOIC

Administration Branch: Maj. John V. Harsey, OIC and Senior Master Sgt. Samuel H. Ezzell, NCOIC

Munitions Branch: Capt. David S. Cregger, OIC and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas A. Marshall, NCOIC

Field Maintenance: 1st Lt. Leroy Williams, OIC and Chief Master Sgt. Leo A. Chapmon, NCOIC

Avionics Maintenance: Chief Master Sgt. Joseph F. Kopak, NCOIC

Plans & Scheduling: Senior Master Sgt. Robert E. Berry, NCOIC

Quality Control: Chief Master Sgt. William D. Cliett, NCOIC [Note: although I don’t have him deploying]

Management Analysis: Master Sgt. Charles E. Couch, NCOIC

Programs & Mobility: Master Sgt. Jackie P. Lemacks, NCOIC

Training Management: Master Sgt. Corel C. Sweat, NCOIC

Flight & Lead Crew Chiefs:

A Flight: Senior Master Sgt. Vitalis G. Viavoda

Aircraft 288: Staff Sgt. James R. Long

      “        290: Tech. Sgt. Pat Miller

      “        291: Tech. Sgt. Danny Ward

      “        292: Tech. Sgt. William B. Mustard

      “        293: Master Sgt. Charles E. Dickson

      “        294: Tech. Sgt. Wallace Barry Ward

      “        295: Tech. Sgt. William H. Dimsdale, Jr.

      “        532: Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Fowler

B Flight: Senior Master Sgt. Eugene Tucker

Aircraft 296: Tech. Sgt. Michael D. Brazell

       “      297:  Master Sgt. James P. Christopher, Jr.

       “      299:  Master Sgt. Albert L. Maw

       “      302:  Tech. Sgt. Albert L. Atkins

       “      304:  Master Sgt. Frederick S. Deshong

       “      305: Tech. Sgt. Dennis D. Burton

       “      306: Tech. Sgt. Hattie R. Monson

       “      308: Staff Sgt. Claude A. Shealy, Jr.

       “      312: Tech. Sgt. James A. Taylor

       “      314: Tech. Sgt. William D. Delavan, Jr.

C Flight: Master Sgt. Julian C. Tanner

Aircraft 317: Tech. Sgt. Steven L. Tanner

       “      319: Tech. Sgt. William L. Allen

       “      320: Tech. Sgt. James D. Turner

       “      321: Master Sgt. Archie S. Thorpe, Jr.

       “      322: Tech. Sgt. Gerard C. McKervey

       “      325: Tech. Sgt. Phillip H. Chandler

This is an extensive list of people who all had lead roles during this deployment, there are many who aren’t named, many shop chiefs and others that are not mentioned. In the summation of the Operation Desert Storm report, Chief Master Sgt. Bowie made a statement, if it hadn’t been for the ‘weekenders’ the whole deployment would not have been such a success. Many personnel had to do a quick study learning how to hot pit, as well as the night crew building a wing tank inventory during the official war timeframe.

There is an old saying, serving at McEntire makes you part of the “McEntire Family”, and family we had! There were 12 sets of father/sons, and five sets of brothers, including twin brothers. Master Sgt. Robert L. Hux had the honor of being the oldest member of CAMS. He was almost 60 when deployed. He worked as a production controller, one who schedules maintenance on aircraft. His son Robert Lee Hux, Jr., also a technician, and was in charge of the egress shop. Archie S. Thorpe, Jr., lead crew chief on Aircraft #321, was the only person to have the distinction of being called up what we call the three major deployments, Korea, Berlin Crisis, and Desert Storm. He served off and on for 42 years. His son Staff Sgt. Kevin Thorpe worked with the munitions section. Then we had the Gladdens: Martin C. Gladden and Martin C. Gladden, Jr. who served as a 19 year old assistant crew chief and would see his dad a lot working with him. The Hudson’s were father Archie, who worked as an assistant crew chief, and son Robert (Rock) who was in munitions. The Murphy’s, James Sr., and James Jr., both worked in maintenance scheduling. The Tanner’s were father Julian, C Flight leader and son Mark, assistant crew chief. The Williams’s were father Mac who worked in maintenance control and son Timothy who was assigned to munitions. The Deshong’s were father Fred who was the lead crew chief on Aircraft #304 and son Mike who was with the 240th CCS during Desert Storm. The Pardue’s, father Jud who worked in avionics and son Bryan who was attached to the 157th TFS.

Another set of Williams’s, this time brothers, Leroy who was OIC of field maintenance whose brother Joseph was with the 240th Combat Communications Squadron. The Hass’s, Lee who worked the flight line, and Keith who was with the 240th CCS. The Bryant’s were Ronald and Thomas who both worked in avionics. The Campbell’s, Johnny and William both worked in munitions. The Couch’s, Gene, who was the NCOIC of management analysis, and Jerry who was the 169th First Sergeant. The Nicholson twin brothers James and John worked in munitions and were inseparable.  The Shepherd’s, Lee who worked the flight line and Stephen who worked munitions. The Watterson’s, both James and William worked as assistant crew chiefs. And lastly the Tanner’s both worked as crew chiefs. Julian was the C flight leader and Steven was lead crew chief on Aircraft #317. Let’s throw in their brother in law Robert E. Age who worked in munitions.

There were three sets of married couples at that time. The Claytor’s were Tommy who worked in fuels and Sarah who worked in admin. The Vance’s John who was assigned to the Resource Management Squadron, and Angela who worked in Admin.  The Medina’s, Alfredo, who worked in the engine shop and wife Debbie who was assigned to the resource management squadron.

A lot of family members, many brothers, fathers and sons, some were deployed and some remained at McEntire serving the deployed folks as much as they could; a united effort to make this a successful deployment. 

This month’s article we are honoring another 47 men and women who were deployed during the Desert Storm Call-Up. Their rank is what they were at the time of deployment, and any other pertinent information I have about them such as known rank when they retired or passed away. They are as follows:

-Staff Sgt. John H. Crane, Jr. was discharged in 1994.

-Staff Sgt. Mark W. Craps, I believe he is still an active member.

-Airman 1st Class David M. Creech was discharged in 1994.

-Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Creed retired in 1997 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Capt. David S. Cregger was the OIC of munitions. He left SCANG and I have no information on him.

-Staff Sgt. Fred T. Critchlow retired in 1995 as a Staff Sgt. He passed away April 18, 2019, and his name is not yet on our Monument.

-Staff Sgt. Gene W. Croft, Jr. I have no information on this person.

-Senior Master Sgt. Larry W. Crowson retired in 2014 as a Chief Master Sgt. He also was the 11th State Command Chief and is still living. He heads up the SC National Guard Association.

-Airman Jacob S. Culler was discharged in 1995.

-Tech. Sgt. Lillian L. Cunningham retired in 1995 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if she is still living.

-Staff Sgt. Robert W. Darr was discharged in August 1991.

-Sgt. Darby J. Davis transferred to the Air Reserve Personnel Center.

-Staff Sgt. John C. Davis, he retired in 2002 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. William D. Delevan, Jr. retired in 2009 as Chief Master Sgt. At the time of deployment he was lead crew chief on Aircraft #314. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Airman 1st Class Bradford S. Deloach was discharged November 1994.

-Tech. Sgt. Alva H. Derrick, Jr. retired in 2003 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Master Sgt. Frederick S. Deshong retired in 1995 as a Senior Master Sgt. He is still living.  I talk with him occasionally. He was also the lead crew chief on Aircraft #304.

-Master Sgt. Charles E. Dickson retired in 2007 as a Chief Master Sgt. He is still living. During Desert Storm he was lead crew chief on Aircraft #293.

-Tech. Sgt. William H. Dimsdale, Jr. He was lead crew chief on Aircraft #295. Other than that I have no information on him.

-Staff Sgt. Carl G. Dorman retired in 1998 as a Master Sgt. He is still living and would help out Buddy Young and Capital Tours as a bus driver some. He drove the SCANG folks to Savannah and 8th AF Museum a good while ago.

-Sgt. Robbie R. Dorn is still an active member.

-Staff Sgt. Mark B. Drafts retired in 2018 as a Chief Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Master Sgt. Walter A. Drafts retired in 1995 as a Master Sgt. He passed away June 24, 2017 and his name is on our Monument.

-Staff Sgt. Paul R. Duke retired in 2008 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Sgt. Michael A. Dykes was discharged in 1992.

-Tech. Sgt. John Eagerton retired in 2005 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Master Sgt. James E. Easterling retired in 1991 as a Master Sgt. He passed away January 21, 2016 and his name is on our Monument.

-Staff Sgt. Willie L. Edney, Jr. retired in 2007 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. James N. Edwards he retired in 2009 as a Chief Master Sgt. and was the 9th State Command Chief. He passed away January 3, 2014. He lived in Lancaster County and loved working on tractors.

-Tech. Sgt. Ramon Egipciaco, Jr. retired in 2013 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Airman 1st Class Antonio F. Evans he transferred to the DC ANG in 1991.

-Senior Master Sgt. Samuel H. Ezzell he retired in 1998 as a Chief Master Sgt. During Desert Storm he was NCOIC of the admin section. He was also a retired state trooper.  Sam passed away December 14, 2019 and many went to his funeral. I still talk with Eva some.

-Tech. Sgt. Howard C. Faver retired in 2008 as a Chief Master Sgt. He is still living and see Howard around way down in Lower Richland at times.

-Tech. Sgt. Charles E. Felder retired in 1996 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Senior Master Sgt. Richard A. Felder retired in 1999 as a Chief Master Sgt. He is still living.

-Sgt. Samuel E. Felder transferred to the Air Reserve Personnel Center in 1992.

-Tech. Sgt. Frank M. Fields, Sr. retired in 2008 as a Chief Master Sgt. He now lives in the Aiken area.

-Lt. Col. Edwin W. Fisher retired in 1996 as a Lt. Col. He has a been a big help to me by giving me a copy of the 169th CAMS Desert Storm Report loaded with valuable information. I used to sit next to him at some Carolina basketball games.

-Staff Sgt. Theodore Flemming, Jr. was discharged in 1993.

-Airman Marvin L. Flowers was discharged in 1995.

-Staff Sgt. Brett A. Fonteyne retired 2020 as a Master Sgt. He is still around. I believe he is with the S.C. National Guard Association presently.

-Chief Master Sgt. Jerry L. Foster retired in 2002 as a Chief Master Sgt.  He later became the first State Command Chief. He passed away July 12, 2018. Although he lived in Union all his life, he is buried at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery. Many went there to honor him. His name is on our Monument.

-Sgt. Mark H. Foster retired in 2013 as a Maj. He was Dugan Foster’s son and is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Solomon I. Foster, Jr. I’m not sure if he retired or not in 1997. He had 14 years of service at that time.

-Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Fowler retired in 2014 as a Master Sgt. He was lead crew chief on Aircraft #532. I used to see Kenny at Fort Jackson Golf Club with his wife playing golf after Desert Storm.

-Tech. Sgt. Donald L. Freeman retired in 2010 as Senior Master Sgt. He is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Charles S. Frost, he retired in 1998 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

Statistics for this article, we have 30 people who retired from SCANG out of 47 people, two are believed to be still active members. The breakdown of the 30 retired folks by rank, one Lt. Col., one Maj., ten Chief Master Sgts., four Senior Master Sgts., 12 Master Sgts., one Tech Sgt., and one Staff Sgt.  So almost 64 percent of these folks became Retirees. So the running total of 286 folks honored thus far for deploying to Desert Storm, 199 of them have retired, a few are still active and haven’t retired yet.  Almost 70 percent of the 286 folks have become Retirees, the breakdown by Rank is two Maj. Gens., four Brig. Gens., 13 Cols., 13 Lt. Cols., seven Majs., 37 Chief Master Sgts., 24 Senior Master Sgts., 70 Master Sgts., 23 Tech. Sgts., five Staff Sgts., and one Senior Airman which accounts for the 199 Retirees.

Next month we plan to honor the next 47 deployed people, and give you any pertinent information about them.

Other deployments that took place in the month of April, or significant things that happened that month:

Operation Southern Watch, 2001, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, deployed approximately 225 people.

Operation Enduring Freedom, 2012, Afghanistan, deploying approximately 500 people.

April 18, 1952 the 240th Airways and Air Communications Service was formed.

In April 1963, McEntire received the F-102 Delta Dagger stayed until 1975.

April 11, 1983, McEntire received the F-16 Fighting Falcon, still have them, newer model, now not so new.

April 25, 1977, first ANG unit in nation to deploy from home station to Hawaii, Barbers Point NAS I believe.