October Retiree Corner
By Bob Barkalow Jr., Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published September 25, 2012
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- We had a 'smallish' group of around 40 folks for our September Breakfast, I believe historically this happens to be the day after Labor Day? We had a great indoctrination about Eagle Vision from Lt. Col. Mark Hall, so we all got some Comm. expertise, and an updating about what is happening comm-wise at the Base. It appears there will be some upgrades in both installation and equipment, and also adding on to the Comm Building, or the old 240th Building, I believe Bldg. #258. Spent a lot of time walking those hallowed halls.
We had one first timer, John Harvin who lives in Virginia, and works for the Marine Corps now. He used to work with Terry Wingard. Also we had a guest of Dugan Foster, I believe Bob Colby is his name and he may be attending our Breakfasts regularly, he is a retired Air Force F-16 crew chief. So glad to see them both.
McEntire History: We are still honoring the 2002 retirees, and they are; Lt. Col's Frank Boatwright, III, and Fred Monk. Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Foster. Master Sgts. Robert Lee, Jr., Phil Barber, John Hite, Thomas Hearn, John McGee, and Betty Simpson. Tech. Sgts. Rex Duncan, Sylvester Smith, Deborah Euerle, and Bryant Capers.
October was a month for big call-ups. The Korean Conflict (1950) which comprised of four units, the 157th Fighter Squadron and three support units. They were the 157th Utility Flight, the 157th Weather Flight and the 216th Air Service Group all of which comprised of 56 officers and 255 enlisted. All members were assigned to 14th Air Force, and later all SCANG units were consolidated to the 157th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, flying P-51 reconnaissance planes with no weapons or bombs at all. All armament personnel were assigned to other duties? The entire unit was assigned to Lawson Field, GA, and later SCANG combined with units from Alabama and Ohio to form up as the 117th Tactical Recon Wing. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 110th AC&W (Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron), which was formed in December 1950, as a backfill for the Korean Call up. General Dozier was concerned that nobody was 'home'. The unit was activated and sent to Donaldson AB out of Greenville. They also were teamed up with units from Ohio and Florida as the 155th Tactical Control Unit, and most of this unit ended up in Bitburg, Germany. The unit was disbanded in 1953, and the majority of personnel were re-assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron.
A total of 747 men were called up to support the Berlin Crisis come October 1961, and many went with the main body to Moron, Spain. While others went to France, Germany, or backfilled positions in CONUS. Most of the 747 were officially released from active duty August 15, 1962.
Our next Breakfast is October 2nd, as usual now at the Fort Jackson Officers Club. We begin at 0830, and the Breakfast cost is $8.00, at least it was last month. Now you may be able to use Gate 2 by then? You know how that goes. I rode by there not too long ago and nobody was working on the Gate. This way I am 'covering' myself. If you would bring a couple spare dollars, we should have our raffle this time. I need the money to replace our annual membership fee to the S.C. Aviation Historical Foundation. I hope to see you then. We have a total of 211 folks on our email address book at the time of this writing. Either call me at 803-936-0680, or email me at email@example.com if you would like to join up, or give me some history, or just chitchat, no complaints please?