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June 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. --

Luncheon update: We had our first ‘Pandemic’ Luncheon on May 4th at the Flight Deck Restaurant in Lexington, S.C.  We had 66 attendees. Col. (Ret.) John Marshall was our key speaker discussing his thoughts on Desert Storm 30 years ago.  A good crowd, good food and good socialization.  We are planning to have another Luncheon at The Flight Deck June 15th.

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

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

-Staff Sgt. Brett R. Fuller retired in 2015 as a Master Sgt. He currently he works at the S.C. National Guard Association.

-Staff Sgt. Delphin A. Gantt, Sr., retired in 2006 as a Master Sgt. He is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Gardner retired in 1996 as a Tech Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Airman Jody M. Garrick was discharged in 1994.

-Tech. Sgt. Titus M. Gary, he retired in 1998 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Tech. Sgt. William B. Gibson retired in 2012 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not aware if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. Daniel M. Gilbert retired in 2005 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not aware if he is still living or not.

-Master Sgt. Joseph A. Gilbert retired in 2003 as a Senior Master Sgt. Joe has had some serious cancer problems. He is living with a sister in the Summerville area.

-Airman Richard M. Gilbert transferred in 1993 to the Air Reserves Personnel Center (ARPC).

-Tech. Sgt. Martin C. Gladden, Sr. retired in 2003 as a Senior Master Sgt. He is still living and I saw him at our last Luncheon meeting.

-Airman Martin C. Gladden, Jr. is still an active member.

-Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Goldie retired in 2018 as a Senior Master Sgt. He is still living and I saw him at our last Luncheon meeting.

-Airman 1st Class Chris A. Gordon retired in 2006 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Tech. Sgt. Phillip J. Grady retired in 2012 as a Master Sgt. He is still living. I heard he was working as maintenance in a facility around the airport.

-Staff Sgt. Alan D. Graves transferred in 1999 to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR).

-Tech. Sgt. Leonard E. Gregerson retired in 1997, although I’m not sure about that date. He is still living and we have seen him at some Luncheons.

-Staff Sgt. Sidney E. Griffin retired in 2009 as a Tech Sgt. He passed away June 29, 2020 and his name is on our Monument.

-Tech. Sgt. James R. Griggs retired in 2006 as a Chief Master Sgt. He is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Alphonza Gurley retired in 1994 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. Ralph W. Guyton retired in 2015 as a Senior Master Sgt. As far as I know he is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. William F. Guyton retired in 1999 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. Edwin K. Gwaltney retired in 2013 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Tech. Sgt. John W. Hafley retired in 2017 as a Master Sgt.  I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Senior Master Sgt. Thomas L. Halcum retired in 1998 as a Senior Master Sgt. Later he went into the Ready Reserves and made Chief Master Sgt. He is still living, one of our faithful Luncheon attendees.

-Tech. Sgt. Michael L. Hale retired in 2009 as a Chief Master Sgt. He is still living and was at our last Luncheon.

-Tech. Sgt. William D. Harper retired in 2003 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. Fred L. Harris retired in 2009 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Airman Norman E. Harris was discharged in 1993.

-Airman Philip H. Harrison. At this time, I have no information about him. His name sounds familiar though.

-Maj. John V. Harsey retired in 1999 as a Lt. Col. He is still living.

-Airman Edward E. Hart, III. I have no information on him.

-Master Sgt. Robert E. Hartsell retired in 1999 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Sgt. Robert L. Hartzog. He is currently the superintendent of the 169FW Command Post and is a Chief Master Sgt.

-Tech. Sgt.  John R. Harvin, Jr. retired in 1992 as a Tech. Sgt. He is still living.

-Staff Sgt. Lee L. Hass was discharged in 1994. I served with his brother Keith who was assigned to the 240th CCS.

-Master Sgt. Donald D. Hawkins retired in 2004 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. John Graham Heller, Jr. retired in 2004 as a Master Sgt. He is still living and lives in the Charleston area.

-Capt. Clifford E. Hendrix (Hobo) retired in 2000 as a Maj. He flew 31 combat missions.

-Staff Sgt. Willie E. Henry, Jr. retired in 1997 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. James C. Hermann was discharged in 1995.

-Staff Sgt. Ellie H. Heustess, III retired in 2018 as a Senior Master Sgt. As far as I know he is still living.

-Staff Sgt. Bruce E. Hildreth retired in 1996 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Tech. Sgt. Michael L. Hilley retired in 2002 as a Senior Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Airman 1st Class James E. Hinson, Jr. He was discharged in 1994.

-Tech. Sgt. John R. Hite retired in 2002 as a Master Sgt. He is still living. You saw a nice picture of him recently and some other weapons guys.

-Tech. Sgt. William A. Hoefer retired in 2001 as a Tech. Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living or not.

-Staff Sgt. William M. Holliman, Jr. retired in 2009 and I’m not sure at what rank. Further, I’m not sure if he is still living or not. 

Statistics for this article, we have 36 out of 47 people who later became retirees, one is still an active member, that is almost 77 percent of these people featured in this article becoming retirees. The breakdown of the 36 retired folks by rank, one Lt. Col., one Maj., two Chief Master Sgts., 11 Senior Master Sgts., 12 Master Sgts., and nine Tech. Sgts.,  totaling 36 members. Now the running total to date of the 333 folks honored thus far for deploying to Desert Storm, 235 of them have retired, a few are still active members and have not retired yet. That is 70.5 percent of these deployed folks becoming retirees to date. The breakdown by rank is as follows:  two Maj. Gens., four Brig. Gens., 13 Cols., 14 Lt. Cols., eight Majs., 39 Chief Master Sgts., 35 Senior Master Sgts., 82 Master Sgts., 32 Tech. Sgts., five Staff Sgts., and one Senior Airman. for a total of 235 members retiring.

CORRECTION: In my March article I stated that Thomas L. Bryant retired as a Chief Master Sgt. in 2005.  I found out there were two Thomas L. Bryant’s in our system retiring, the one in the March article should have been Thomas Lynn Bryant, he goes by Lynn,  retired in 2010 according to his records, never had him retiring from the Base records, anyway, I already corrected their ranks. T. Lynn Bryant was part of the Avionics Section, good guy, said he even hitched up Susie Naylor to her husband Mike out at the Pond, another marriage at the Base.

Other deployments or significant things happening in the month of June:

June 2010, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Balad, Iraq, approximately 300 people deployed for 120 days.

June 1948, first deployed annual field training, Chatham Field, Georgia

June 1954, Received the F-86A Sabre Jets, replacing the F-51Hs

June 1977, first Outstanding Unit Award to the 169th TFG

June 1977, first ANG unit to fly close air support missions in Panama

June 1983, second Outstanding Unit Award to the 169th TFG. 

During the 42 days of combat operations, and perusing the daily reports there were very few names mentioned other than the lead pilots of each mission, which I already presented the top leaders of those who were lead pilots. There were 24 different lead pilots during all the combat missions. The more I read the daily reports I am amazed at the intense concentration and coordination provided by all areas of the 169th CAMS Squadron, the Flight Line personnel, the Weapons/Munitions folks, the Avionics folks, the Schedulers, all pitching in to do their jobs plus dealing with filling sand bags, guard duty, and dealing with the different Code Reds/Blacks. Not bad for “Goatherders”!  Most days of combat operations required usually 36 planes to be ready for each day’s missions. Early during the war phase, the missions required more planes and less missions. About half way through combat operations, there were more missions, and less planes each mission. We were initially tasked with deploying 24 planes and 43 pilots. If my math is right, the Flight Line personnel had to turn around the same planes each day to satisfy mission requirements. It was like a chess match, they had to figure out what planes and spares were available each day, mission by mission. For many reasons, each plane may have had a problem, and had to be worked on to make it whole and fly again. Some of the various reasons as stated in the daily logs for example, Day 3, plane #s 295, 299, and 317 experienced ground aborts, and were replaced by plane #s 297, 312 and 325. Day seven was plagued by six ground aborts. Four spares were used for the mission. It was too late to put any other spares into action, Plane # 308 experienced an inoperable ECM Pod (which drove the Avionics folks nuts), Plane #297 for a Mode IV IFF problem, Plane #320 with a UHF radio outage, Plane # 312 for a defective Central Air Data Computer (CADC), Plane #291 for a radar threat warning equipment failure, and Plane # 532 problems with hydraulic pressure. These are just some examples that maintenance had to deal with daily and perhaps each mission. In addition to all this, 18 of our 24 planes had to put through Phase I Inspection while deployed which means they were out of service for several days, this is supposed to occur every 200 hours of flight time. In this case Plane #293 entered into Phase I Inspection on Day 7 of Combat Operations.

What I did is go through the combat operations daily logs, to see what planes were mentioned for whatever reasons, a repair, an abort, or as a replacement. This is by no means a reflection of anything, and it does not mean that one or several planes that had a large number of notations could be labeled as “hangar queens”. It is merely which planes had notations for the many reasons stated above.  I will start with the A Flight Planes this article:

Plane # 288 - 16 notations

Plane # 290 - 30 notations (the highest number of notations during combat  operations)

Plane # 291 – 21 notations  

Plane # 292 - 13 notations

Plane # 293 – 5 notations

Plane # 294 – 5 notations

Plane # 295 – 13 notations (I read in the report at one time maintenance was getting really worried about Plane # 295, but I saw nothing afterwards, it got fixed!)

Plane #532 – 7 notations

As stated in my previous articles, this is an extensive list of 169th CAMS people who all had lead roles during this Deployment, however, there were many that aren’t named such as shop chiefs and some others, so I comb the reports I have and try to come up with as many names as I can find, recognize and report them to you.  I found out from a reliable source that the pilots had either or both a favorite plane or a favorite crew chief that they were more comfortable with, after thinking about this, that is just human nature, but no matter, it all worked out, all the planes and all the pilots came home.

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

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

      "        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

       "      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

       "      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