Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Amazing what one can find with http://www.google.com, that wonderfull search engine!!
there was a very interesting time in my life when i was actually in the US Air Force! enlisted man.
and i loved it! two years in Japan, outside of Tokyo: vietnam time.
so i did a search for "67rts" the squadron i was in...and there were hits that led me to write someone and he wrote back...there is even a kind of "association" for ex-members of 67rts!! reunions too!
[this must be part of that great wave of reuinions of late: must be zillions of them for many many military squads and ships and clubs...since the 1940s.....]

here is part of a letter to this person who was in this squadren!
--------------------------


[ i am going to be slightly "impersonal" here, as i have a feeling that there will be other people that will get in touch with me over 67th rts, and i type SO slow that i want to do much of it all at once!]

yes 67th lives!

I always considered that assignment very special and unique, even when i was assigned to 67th, from the beginning!!
see, i was already there on the base for a year. I was with the combat support group as a computer operator. On the way to work evey evening, i would pass by that strange building, a "base within a base" where there were all kinds of rumors about it! many airmen from the support group feared 67th!

One day, i came to work and overhead some officers whispering and i just knew it was all about ME! 67th wanted more men and there was some kind of agreement that i was the one to go!
I walked up to that front door of 67th with orders in hand with the feeling that, like that Hotel california song...."that i, if i entered, i could walk out anytime but i never ever could leave"!!

ah yes. into that vault, that bank vault with computer.
there was "the green door" into the computer room, the door came from that 1960 song..."green door green door, what's behind the green door?"!
---a top secret clearance was not enough, sometimes, to get in!!
as if i were NOT on Yakota AFB anymore...i was in Hawaii!! [tenant org from Hawaii!] as if this 67th was "not really supposed to be there: not there at all!

----anyway...I quickly loved it and maybe because i was an older soul and maybe because i was older in age, i took advantage of the opportunity to experience japan.
one train went to tokyo and the other train went to the mountain park...i spent many an afternoon, before work, just out of the base walking around japan.

lets see..."sargent Walsh" maybe he was my nco-in charge, the supervisor.
[hard to type when i type only 5 wpm and clumsey to boot, this is why there is poor caps and no real good spellings!]

about early december of 1966 to dec 5 of 1967. night shift, from 5 to midnight: midnight chow was the best breakfast.
lots of "route searches" .....and hist file updates.
i figured once that the old creaky 1401 computer with its extra memory maybe had about 10 megs of memory.
each target, with lat and long to about 5 places, also had about room for ten to fifteen words. there were over 250,000 targets. maybe a 300 pentium with a 4 gig hard drive would be MORE than equal to this task...as about 250-300 megs of hd would be used, in a modern computer!

lest see.... berk, the jewish guy who enlisted for a second term, went to london. he drank so much heinikein beer that when he left 67th, the PX made an announcement that " as now that the buying of this beer had decreased so, we are not going to carry it anymore!"




no phone as my vet disability pension is so small that i, while i enjoy the half full cup, of it, a phone is too too expensive for me, and besides i am not home much and i go to bed at 8 pm!

yes, i am 60 now...
i have a vivid picture memory.
incredible dreams too. somewhat autistic.
my site is...
http://freestone.blogspot.com
"my life after near death experiences"
---many dreamvisions of the afterlife realms, over the years....
I keep this journal as a kind of diray-journal, of my life.

anyway...
Interesting squadron for interesting people! interesting people were in it!!
there was a guy, a thin guy who was very into japan. he was at the combat support sq, for awhile and he WAS in 67th, but left, sometime before i came in...he had lots of character, i recall.
anyway, i considered many of the men there very interesting to know, even as i was "only" as an airman 1st: of course the officers were out of my league! too, my being on that swing shift, distanced me from the days shift world, a lot.

ONE of the greatest 'after67th reflections" is this: that often in the route searches, after the actual search had been done, the Hist File had to be updated and often there were a 1000 IBM cards to sort and process and often these cards were worn and dirty. thus they often jammed in the machines. i had to take out, say, one ruined card and i sometimes had to laboriously piece one card together to recreate it, i recall that one such card took me over an hour to recreate its data, while the computer and the job sat idle there. yes me all alone in a 9pm bank vault, no one there but me. top secret maps lined the walls and
one had to have a top secret clearance just to be there: here i sat at a table, putting together an IBM card of....a TARGET! one target.
Finally, it sunk in...after all these years: why such a card could BE of one machine gun, in a machine gun nest, on a hill overlooking a valley where a troop/food/supply convoy was supposed to pass by in a day or three. ten machine guns lining a hillside and one card for each.
suppose i tossed that card out instead of repairing it?!
why when, the next day, the Bomber planes would through-the-clouds radar bomb, the boming manifest
would show that there were 9 machine guns so that they would bomb 9. one would be missed; the card i threw away!!
the next day that convoy would pass by and ten to 100 men would be killed, by that machine gun, before someone could get at it! four trucks of medicine and food and weapons also destroyed, by that gunner!!

---good thing is was *very* consciounsious!!!
i always took whatever time that it took, to fix a card and i called several ncos/supervisors/officers, out of a bedsleep, whenever that card was unrepairible!!

Moral: i was more important to the Vietnam mission/war efforts, then most of the men on the front lines!! as if i WERE there in Nam fighting....i killed a machine gunner that would have killed 95 men and destroyed four trucks which would have supplied 1000 troops, thus maybe saving 50 to 300 more american lives!
Humility followed...after that realization!
Here i was, in a silent computer room, as the 1401 sat idle-humming.... awaiting my lining up 23 fragments of a jammed IBM card, on the table, writing down the Values...walking over to the keypuncher, to make a good card, to enter into the system, to update the Hist file: 16 copies to go to strange places, officers with enough shinybrass on their shoulders, to blind ya, if the sun glinted off of them...a-pouring through "copy 5 of 16" to Assess Which target to Change!


well enough for now....
I will see about the reunion: costs the earth for someone with a disability pension to travel...i gave up my car years ago, i do not even have a license anymore...

freestone