They cut the Narwhal up into razor blades last year- funny how fast 40 years fly by. (I started to write 30 but then did the math- crap I'm old). Good boat and we did our part to keep the cold war cold.
Memory lane regards
Soooooo, it's a 'can you top this?' session eh.... heh heh heh heh
Back when Truman called up the National Guard in '52 to go to Korea, they caught several "high schoolers" in my home town. Lots of Mommas crying as their 'babies' marched off to the train station for deployment.
Needless to say, getting that Guard unit built back up in '53 was quite a problem. They weren't having any luck with 'adults', so they "recruited" a gaggle of us high schoolers again. With the promise that our engineering unit wouldn't be 'on-call' any time soon, 16 of us 16 year-olds signed phoney age cards that October, and started attending meetings each Wednesday evening at the armory.
The following June we loaded up in "6-bys" and traveled to Ft. Totten for our 'summer camp'. I was in the process of being the company clerk, but the CO, (a local attorney in real life) got pissed at the 'kid' that was supposed to be the mess sargeant, (two years older than me, and had a years experience) for missing breakfast three days in a row, so I was "promoted" to that title, without the rank. ( I had gotten a PFC stipe by the time I went to camp, and the CO 'gave' me Corporal stripes to become the mess 'Sgt'.) Basically, what it amounted to, was ramrodding the cooks, and being on permanent K.P. for the daily inspections.
True to his word, the CO promoted me to S Sgt upon returning to home. By the next summer, I was again promoted because they changed the ranks of specialists to Specialists, rather than field-grade rankings...so instead of being a SFC, I was given the rank of Spec-6...a cute little embroidered eagle over a couple of rockers, and under a couple of chevrons. This occured as I graduated from high school in May of '55, as we prepared to head for another summer camp in June. I would turn 18 in August.
What's really incredulous is the CO appreciated my ability to rise and shine and roust the cooks and baker for their duties, and keep us at the top of the heap in inspection qualifications, he was intending to make me the first Master Specialist in the Nodak NG. But alas, when I went to college that fall, I couldn't maintain my jobs, sports, and studies, as well as going to the weekly meetings. So I was given an occupational discharge.
The military didn't forget me though...I owed them 8 years of my life, in either active duty or reserve...either active or standby. Part of that 8 year program included 2 years active duty in the US Army. I was drafted in '58, served 2 years active duty, then put on inactive reserve in '60, and finally honorably discharged in October of '61.
FWIW, I didn't get to take my rank into active duty, but I was always paid as a GI with "time-in-grade". I went through basic in Ft. Carson, electronic schools in Ft. Monmouth, and Huntsville AL, and was the computer maintenance tech assigned with the Corporal surface-to-surface missle in Mainz Germany. As to my active duty rank...I was proud of the fact I made PFC...twice.:rolleyes:
USAF - Twice
Oct 47-April 48, general discharge for being underage. Was at Chanute Field for Jet Mechanics school, they showed us the VD film on Elephantitis, scared the **** out of me, so I told them how old I was & got discharged.
January 51-August 53, A 1/C - MOS 72750 Athletic Instructor, I ran the athletic supply at Offutt AFB - did so well could'nt get sent anywhere. Also played a little Basketball for the base team. Did meet personally at the time General LeMay, General Powers who were both SAC commanders & more. & played BB with a Colonel Kline, aide to General Powers, who at 32 was one of the younger colonels in the AF who was not an academy grad. & I do remember the 1st Sgt of our squadron, Forrest Goddard, a really neat guy. The squadron commanders thought we were great, though a little undisciplined as we helped in getting them promo's winning base championships in several sports.
Did qualify for Radar Observer-Bombardier-Navigator school but they wanted a re up for a couple more years, which I turned down. Military life was not my bag, though I did enjoy marching in the parades. I was ready to go make a mark in life.
My service was not distinguished but we did a lot for the troops morale, putting on a show with Debbie Reynolds (HOT) & Howard Keel, a major boxing show on ABC's Wide World of Sports with all the Olympic hopefuls that finished 2-3-4, a sports car race (Lemay was a sports car fan), the World Wide AF Basketball tournament & the All Services tournament the following year.
Bob Hope in his heyday attended the sports car race & was taken off the air when he was talking about Briggs Cunningham's ownership of both Kleenex & Kotex. Hope's statement "Cunningham's got them covered at both ends" didn't make it past the censor's, but did spice up interest in the race. The Sport's car people were like us, they did it for the sheer joy of competing.