By Bob Barkalow, Master Sgt. (retired)
/ Published June 26, 2016
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Our June Luncheon held some surprises, mainly to my wife, I had an 'inkling' something was going on. Colonel Mike Metzler showed up and stated he needed a few minutes to present some things. The 'things' were the Meritorious Service Medal to my wife and one of the biggest supporter of SCANG Retirees, and I was
awarded the Palmetto Patriots Award. I jokingly told the Luncheon crowd that I may have received more awards then when I was an active member?
We also had Lt. Col. Craig Hummel give us a run down about Air Traffic Control Services, and all the updates that is going on out at McEntire. So for the 55 or so folks that showed up for the Luncheon, it was a fun and interesting Luncheon.
I want everyone to understand when Jim Hatchell, Sr. told my wife and I to take over, I did with some trepidation. But with some guidance at first from Stan Hood, and others I adapted and evolved into what we have now. Later on folks like Terry Wingard and Nelson McLeod have helped me a great deal. For me, it has become fun, even though with the increase of duties and more outgoing information, I guess the term now is a 'labor of love.' I will do this until something internal will tell and guide me to pass the torch on to someone else. It does take some time to do what I do, but it keeps me active, and my mind busy, so I will continue what I was told to do, 'take over', as long as I can manage it. So you will have to bear with me for a while. I wonder if I can get additional retirement benefits for doing this, since I am coming up with about as much time as I did active time (18 years) at the Base? I know the answer!
At our Luncheon we had some other people, Tom McLean, Randy Collins and Gene Clark, tell us some stories that fascinated the Luncheon crowd.
McEntire History: There were no major deployments beginning in July throughout our history. However, there were probably an array of summer camps, etc. We had some July firsts. Our first aircraft fatality was July 20, 1950, Bayard Peach killed in a P-51 crash. We were the first ANG unit in 1976 to receive an ORI while deployed.
In 1965, SCANG was selected to represent all of the Air National Guard, for the William Tell phase of the competition, which was weapons loading, we beat everyone there representing the Air Defense missions from all over the Nation and world. The team leader was Ed Boozer, and the loaders were Darryl Bundy Maples, Maurice
Bertrand and Dewey Daniels. Also another July first, the 169th Communications Flight won 'best in the Nation' by AFCC in 1981.
We are still honoring the Korean War call ups, and they are PFC Gerald B. Turner, Pvt's James B. Holland, Joe E. Joye, James L. Kempson, Jr. and Hanes A. McEntire, all assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron. A new squadron, the Utility Flight, 157th Fighter Squadron (SE): 1st Lt's Eddie R. Elkin, Robert N. Jackson, Jr., Jordan
Lederer, Samuel E. McFadden, and Charles W. Norton. TSgt Clement D. Price. SSgt's Henry H. Fox, William C. Huckaby, Charles V. Huffstetler and Edwin T. Jones. The Utility Flight was mainly responsible for towing targets with the B-26 assigned to them.
Reminder: Because of the 4th of July, we are scheduling our July Luncheon for the second Tuesday, the 12th.
Everything else the same, the Fort Jackson NCO Club beginning at noon. The last two luncheons we have been placed in ballrooms, a little different, but no matter where we are we have a "ball'. It should be raffle time again, I am out of petty cash speaker money, so bring a little extra cash with you, thanks.