Contributed by Joseph V. Wachs
I really enjoyed finding your site. I was stationed at the 647th Radar Sq, Manassas Va. from Oct 63 to Jun 65. This was my first assignment out of tech school as a radio maint. man. I have many fond memories of the area, the base and the people I knew there. I have a war story from my time there.
I was one of 5 maint techs that were reassigned when the base was closing. The rest of the 304's that were staying there were eventually moved into quarters off base. Of the 5 of us being reassigned, I was the only single guy and I was the only one that got an assignment where I could have taken my wife. My assignment was for Shu Lin Ku AB, Taiwan.
As it got down to close to closing the base everyone leaving got their orders but me. All was mixed up and I kind of got lost. We were on the 647 RS, but were assigned to Ft. Lee for accountability and to Ft. Meade for other support. As time got closer people left and the barracks were closed, power and water turned off. One Wednesday I called Ft. Lee and was given a hard time about where my orders were till I told the NCO that on Sat. they were going to lock the gate and I would end up sitting on my duffel bag in front of the gate. He promised my orders would be there by the noon mail Sat. On that day there was an admin clerk, a security police and a new Lt. there with me. I was given a card authorizing me to pick up official mail and waited at the post office but nothing came in. When I returned to the base I wrote my home address on a scrap piece of paper gave it to the Lt. and we locked the gate and everybody left. The LT. was staying in town for awhile to clear up things. I told him to send my stuff if he ever heard from the AF. I was home almost a month before I was contacted by the military and given orders. I had to travel back to Bolling field to clear and I reported to Travis about 30 days later to go OS.
By the way I got a large wooden plaque that hung in the orderly room with the unit patch on it and 647th Radar Squadron (SAGE) on it. Also should have a lot of pictures as me and another airman friend found a photo hobby shop that was locked and unknown to anyone and we had exclusive run on it. Neither of us knew photography or developing but we learned little. Hope this was a little interesting.