October Retiree's Corner
By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow Jr., Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published September 22, 2015
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- We had a lively crowd of about 70 people for the September Luncheon. The reason being, we had another Concealed Weapons Class. I love the higher numbers, but I don't think we can have a CWP Class every month? The law of diminishing return would soon hit. But it was good to see many of the folks who don't show that often. We even had Bud Maxwell, Johnny James and his brother, and Steve Meisner and his wife show up. It was good to see them and everyone who came. Lt. Col. Chip Blount was the McEntire representative and people really flocked to him because of the family ties. So it was good to have him come and visit with us. Afterward, we had the Utah Concealed Weapons training put on by Julie P. Jernigan, and I believe we had 24 people attend this class. Next year sometime, we may do another one if the interest is there. All in all, we had a great September Luncheon. I sure would like see the numbers come up a bit. So many people tell me they enjoy the get together and fellowship. And that is what it is all about.
McEntire History: We are honoring the second group of SCANG Retirees for 2014. They are Col. Boris Armstrong and Lt. Col. Michael Rose (both of which have since returned to duty after a brief hiatis), Chief Master Sgt. Martin Philpott and Senior Master Sgts. John Wrenn Jr. and Robert Baker. Master Sgts. Raymond Derienzo Jr., William Brown, Timothy Mauldin, James Edge, Colette Jones, and Stanley Seabrook. Tech. Sgts. Ronald Griffin, Travis Baity, Carlton Green, and Daniel Trujillo.
Historically we had some major call-ups for the month of October. The first being the Korean Conflict Call-Up in 1950, whereas practically the whole base went to Lawson Air Base, Georgia, which was, or is, part of Fort Benning. Captain Orville Fetterly and perhaps several others stayed behind as the caretaker of the Base. Anyway, several things happened during those 21 months. One, our first loss of a pilot, 1st Lt. Bayard Peach during a four ship gunnery practice, Lt. Peach was in the #2 position and Lt. Hooks was flying in the #3 position and his wing sliced through the tail of Peach's plane, it went down. One of the irony of all this, is Bob Corbett was assigned to fly in the #2 position and on the way out to the planes, Peach asked Corbett if they could switch, initially everyone thought it was Corbett who went down. Now that's fate folks. The unit had to re-gear for Tactical Reconnaissance. Nothing else happened other than just staying at Lawson Field.
The other big deployment was the Berlin Crisis in 1961 of which 747 men were called up, and the majority went to Moron, Spain. Others were sent all over, France being one place, and some were sent stateside for the Berlin Call-Up. This lasted about eight months altogether, a bit short of the predicted one year call-up. I don't think anybody minded being let go early.
We have our October Luncheon on the 6th, the first Tuesday of October. Please come if you can, bring a friend, spouse or fellow McEntire buddy who seldom comes. To me and many others who regularly come, this is something we all look forward to. As I said before, many times, I hate to break up the party to start the proceedings. People enjoy each other so much with their embellished stories and general gossip? As always, we will meet at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on October 6th, beginning at noon. A lot of people get there early so they can see and talk to their old buddies and some stay afterwards.