I finished Titan 2 school in Oct 1962 and was sent to LRAFB. Two days
after my family and I arrived , the Cuban Missile crisis occurred . We were all
restricted to the base I was a prior B-52 crew chief so I thought I would be
called to augment some other wing but was never called so I just waited until
it was over . In the mean time I processed in to the Wing. I was first assigned
to Maintenance Training and worked for (then) Capt Ben Scallorn and Msgt
Leo Lester setting up the training program. We both scheduled and
participated in the Martin training program I received a lot of PTS training.
In 1965 I made SMS and without a UDL slot, I started looking for one
elsewhere and found an unfilled one in PTS and volunteered to fill it. The
SAC IG had just left and gave an.unsat to the whole PTS branch. I knew I had
a good chance to do well, so Tsgt Larry Ross and I set about rebuilding the
shop. We both agreed that the best way to organize the shop would be with
crew integrity. So we set up 4 seven man crews . We rotated them and kept
one on the swing shift for a month then another so they all had that duty .
They would do shop work such as on the trailers or fill K bottles, they would
also handle low lights, which we had lots of in those days. Two other crews
we would use for recycles or up or down loading Missile. The other crew
would be in leave or training or anything else we needed men for. Of course
we didn't always have the luxury of having that many men assigned, but we
maintained crew integrity at all cost with what men we had. The results of the
next IG was an outstanding which the whole shop was very proud of.
In 1966 the Vietnam war was heating up and a lot of us would soon be
getting involved. Larry Ross went to Vietna in the fall and I went to Yokota
and finally Kadena in early 1967. Ross made Msgt and I made Cmsgt soon
after we left Little Rock.
The PTS Shop faced a huge challenge after the disastrous fire at 3-4.
Before the accident the mod was done with the Missile installed and
propellants aboard. That was changed immediately and from then on we had
to download all the propellants, transfer them into transfer trailers and move
them all to next site down the road. Oxidizer to one site and fuel to one the
other direction. We put the last site back on alert as I was clearing to leave
for Yokota in Feb 0f 1967.It was a gigantic task.
While in Kadena I was involved with the RC-135M flying orbital recon off
the coast of North Vietnam. I rotated back to the "land of the big BX" in Nov
of 1969 to Offutt in the 55th Recon Wing, but eventually going back to
Minuteman at Malmstrom and Ellsworth.
The Wing staff was Col Collier Davidson, Wg CC Vice CC was Col Charles
Sullivan and the DCM was Col Charles Cosgrove. The MIMS Squadron CC
was LtCol Harold A Kohnert. Col Sullivan had only assumed Command a
few days before the 3-4 fire. When I left for Yokota, the Wing CC was Col Ed
Vivian. I had a lot of fond memories in the 308th but I wouldn't want to do it
again I guess I am too old now!
CMSGT Ret Dick Ott
Great Falls Mt.