Online Air Defense Radar Museum Guestbook

Radomes Guestbook V3.0


Welcome to the Online Air Defense Radar Museum. We hope you enjoy your visit, and that we have contributed a little something in the name of those who served.  Gene.

Please consider joining our new radar museum organization, The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc. AFRMA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit Ohio Corporation. Our sole purpose is the creation and support of the National Air Defense Radar Museum at Bellefontaine, Ohio. Please visit our home page to join or donate to this cause. AFRMA, Inc. - The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc.. Follow the "Memberships" link on the AFRMA home page.



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2004

07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT psualum.com

John Tianen`s comments about GE and Syracuse prompt me once again (I try every 6 months!) to ask if there is anyone out there who worked with the GE 412L system, specifically at Kindsbach,Germany in the cave during the years 1962 to 1966. I`ve heard from others who worked in 412L at others sites in Germany as well as those who worked in the cave in other capacities, but never 412L at the cave during 1962 to 1966.


07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jac obs
Email: GAJ7702 AT AOL.COM

The Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was set up in 1940 with the primary purpose of developing radar for the war effort. In the lab`s six year lifetime, more than $2.1 billion were spent on radar, about as much as on the atomic bomb. That story is not as well known as it should be. As someone said (and I forget who), WWII could have been won without the atomic bomb. It could not have been won without radar. We can speculate about radar and the Cold War.


07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Don Higgins
Email: dhiggins70 AT hotmail.com

Hi Gang.... Time for my two cents....Jan 51, As an enlistee going to San Antonio for my A.F. indoctrination. (Living in tents, due to large influx of enlistees)I got a shot and a shirt and shipped out to Biloxi after thirty days for further basic and then electronics fundementals and airborne radar school. Having applied for cadet pilot school earlier during my enlistment, I completed cadet testing, and was awaiting class assingnment. Nov. 51 I was assigned to the 754th AC/W Port Austin, MI. As an OJT ground radar tech (30332) we were operating the AN/TPS 1C with (I believe)what Bud Egan called the Mark III IFF into two scopes. The FPS-3 was in the process of being constructed. I spent a lot of time maintaining the tech manuals with all the mods and updates. JUL 52 After 18 months waiting for a cadet class I resigned my appointment and was assigned to the 719th AC/W Sparrevohn, AK. JAN 53-JAN 54 We built the FPS-3 while maintaining the CPS-5D (See the 719th AC/W comments `Sparrevohn 53`) After four years as a member, I really enjoy the guestbook comments and hope the airmen put their money where there words are and support the Radome`s website. Join now and take the membership to over 400.`Keep on Keeping on` Don


07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jim Holdsworth
Email: jaholdsworth AT sbcglobal.net

In response to Jeff States - I worked with the 412L (AFSC 30551) at Borfink Bunker from 1965 to 1968.


07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Walt Martley
Email: bettyandwalt AT earthlink.net

For Jim Holdsworth, I worked the Syst Tech Director slot at Borfink during 67-68, then to Ramstein with the 7420th Radar Evaluation Sqdn. Those were the days.


07/31/2004 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: buckybre AT earthlink.net

I have some sad news to pass on for those who knew CMSGT Robert S. Powell. He passed away on 07/30/04 at general hospital in Corvallis Oregon. he was one of the first to be promoted to CMS and was a 27600 All of his career. His last duty assigment before retirment was at Adair AFS Corvallis Oregon in 1970. he was the operations SUP and was respected by all.


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gene - Radomes Hq.
Email: gmcmanus AT radomes.org

Thanks for the tip Gary (Jacobs). The FPS-6 manual has just been purchased by Radomes. - Gene


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: Don Kerby
Email: kerbyd AT fhu.disa.mil

Thanks MSgt Hartman. You confirm my suspicions. I thought that instructor was feeding me a line back in `83, but could simply never find any confirmation or denial of the fact in any technical literature.


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Don, I don`t know if that instructor was feeding you a line of BS or if he, himself, didn`t really know the beginnings of IFF/SIF. Either way, I enjoyed doing the research yesterday to answer your question. Bud, I`m not familiar with the CPX-1 system. My 2E051 (a.k.a. 30352 before the 1990s) CDCs state that the early SIF Mode 1 reply consisted of four pulses so it`s possible that the CPX-1 is the early Mode 1 equipment. In comparison, the modern Mode 3/A is able to achieve 4096 individual codes by using a reply chain consisting of 12 pulses. Gene, you DOG! I was going to jump on that book! Actually, I`m glad that Radomes got it since you will probably make it available to all of us on-line. (Whereas, if I had purchased it, I would`ve hoarded it all to myself!) If anyone hears of another copy coming avalable, I want to hear about it!


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

Great dialogue going on about the IFF/SIF Systems. I wotked on most of the systems from the Ky-118/119, KY-274/275, GPA-122, TPX-42, GPX-43, UPX-6, UPX-14(IKA The Black SOB),GPA-124 & 125,ATCBI-4, and ATCBI-5, the ladder two which are still in use in the FAA soon to be replaced by the ATCBI-6. Mode 4 was part of the Mark XII SIF/AIMS system which uses an encrypted code changed daily. Also tested the CI-5 which is an auotmatic code rekeyer via computer for the remote sytems that require daily code changes (none of this info is classified). Even though I retired after 43 years with the AF(AC&W)and FAA I still do some teaching as a contractor at Oklahoma City. How about a discussion about the old video mappers starting with the AN/GPA-5 and 30?


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

Gary Jacob`s reference th GE`s Heavy Military Electronics Department brings back memories of a career that might have been. When I left the AF in 1965, I was hired by GE to work in Syracuse, NY in the Heavy Military group based on my AF experience. Being a government military contractor, they required US citizenship to work there. I told them I was a US citizen, even though I was not born in the US. My dad was a US soldier stationed in England in WWII and I automatically derived citizenship from him. That would not have been a problem except some clerk had failed to check the citzenship box (yes or no) on my DD-214. To make a long story short, they would not take my word that I was a US citizen. My argument that I had a security clearence in the AF fell on deaf ears. No proof of citizenship...no job in Heavy Military. Instead of the job I really wanted, they assigned me to work in a television factory. It took me over 6 months to document my citizenship but by then it was too late. The TV factory was a horrible place to work and I left GE within a year and eventually ended up in the HVAC field. Things probably worked out for the best, as the military business went south and most of the HMED people were laid off. GE eventually sold their military business to Martin-Marrietta which in turn merged with Lockheed. The Lockheed-Martin military business in Syracuse is just a shadow of what it once was in the 60`s and 70`s. The old Heavy Military factory now sits empty, used to store plastic lawn furniture.


07/30/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bud Egan
Email: wa2qav AT arrl.net

I did some looking into the CPX-1 IFF set, Harvey, and found it was a Mark III IFF. It was used with the CPS-1 search radar ( the old snowplow ) and dates back to 1944. It was a standalone unit mounted on a 25 foot tower. The antenna was a rectangle screen with 3 dipole antennas mounted vertically in front of the screen. The dipoles were similar to the VHF AT-197 antenna. The set operated between 157 and 187 MHZ at a power of 1 KW PP. The indicator was a BC-1293 `A`scope (5CPI CRT). They did teach the set at Keesler when I went thru the 77501 course along with the CPS-1. I remember the CPS-1 OK, but couldn`t remember the CPX-1 as I never worked on it after I got out of school. We had a CPS-1 at the 124th AC&W TAC site at Alexandria AFB, LA, before we got the MPS-7, but no CPX-1 with it. All I remembered was that it used the combination of the four narrow and wide pulses displayed on the `A` scope. Also, it used a system called `letcher lines` for tuning. I don`t know if that`s the correct spelling, but that`s how it sounds. It`s been a long time, Harvey, about 55 years.


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verzion.net

Another head-scratcher: We are all familiar with the famous Lock- heed WV-2/RC[EC]-121(C,D,H): It was based upon the airline`s Model 1049 Constellation: What wud a predecessor `Baby Connie` or `Baby Willie` have been like? What search and HFndr sets could have been used [smaller, lighter, yet with good coverage]? How many crew/mis- sion folks carried? Assuming the type `RC-69( )`/[Navy type?] and assuming these cud have filled-in the Argentia, Otis, McClelland, Haw-Midway Wings [first and last are USN] when wud they have been placed in this type of service [47? 49? 50?]? Cud they have done `Batcat` type duty in Korea/Japan? Cud they have been used against drug/booze smugglers and pirates?.. Cud a `reunion-excursion/museum` Connie [WV-2/RC[EC]-121( ) be converted to fly around the country; be based in a nice place? How about: 1. Disable the outter tanks to reduce weight for shorter flights. 2. De-pressureize the acft to remove `operation-stress` on fuse- lage [no more `huff-puff & wheeze`]. 3. Add a few more windows; enlarge ones in place. 4. Revamp heat/cool air system; make a good, filtered `freshair` scheme with a few small Scott oxygen sets for vets. Plane wud fly at economy cruise between 5-8,000`. 5. Rebuild the flightdeck panels to fit today`s needs [GPS,WX- radar, synth. radios. 6. Nice, full-tiltback seating for 40+ `guests`; grazing table in center with snacks, non-alcoholic beverages. 7. Replace the orig. R-3350s with smaller R-2800s with 4-bladers, converted to burn 100LL or 89-91 MOGAS? 8. Headsets with XM background music, crew-monitor, etc. or 8/600 ohm jacks for `bring ur own! 9. Paintjob which honors ALL users, USN & USAF. 10. Upper, HF dome is made like modern submarine `sail` [windows and bench-seating reached by circular stairway!] Search dome is carbon-fibre `dish` which holds passenger baggage, spare tire(s), toolkits, TOs, etc. The civ. M-749 had a bagage pod here in the late 40s which was winched-up and locked with 4-6 twist-locks. An annual `mission` would fly around to `pickup` cities, then fly to destination for a few days [Wright-Pat? Tinker? Otis? McClelland or other appropriate sites. Existing 55X Wg/Sq and USN folks wud be informed and welcome! Wherever plane drops-in, allow public to walk-thru [crewfolks guide tours, answer questions. Visitors can sit in seats and see a neat [DVD], widescreen video of this aircraft and how- n-where it fit in the defense scheme of things? Drive/fly/boat safely--Aaron...


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Aaron, Great idea. You buy it and I`ll crew it.


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Don Kerby (retired)
Email: kerbyd AT fhu.disa.mil

Howdy folks. I have a question that maybe some of you guys who have been around for a while can answer. How did Mode 3/A SIF and Mode C SIF get their names? When I first enlisted back in 1983 and went to tech school at Keesler, I asked one of the instructors and he told me a story that went kind of like this: Modes 3/A and C got their names from the original planned architecture of the system. Mode 3/A was for the 4 digit ident code, Mode 3/B was supposed to be heading, and Mode 3/C was altitude. The technical hurdles for producing Mode 3/B did not meet a cost/benefit ratio analysis and was discarded, and Mode 3/C was renamed simply Mode C. Is this true or was I fed a line? I looked for an answer on and off through the course of my twenty one years as a Radar maintainer, but could never find a definitive answer. Anybody know this one?


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Rita Allen
Email: raallen1 AT hotmail.com

I was surprised and pleased to find this site. I was stationed at Port Austen, MI from Jul 1987 to Jun 1988 (just shortly before the site was closed). I was surpised not to find Pt Austen mentioned in your list of Great Lakes Radar Sites. I also have enjoyed the information on SAGE. I was stationed at Hancock field from Jan 1976 to Sept 1977 and then Luke AFB from Jun 1981 to May 1983. I look forward to reading more on this site in the future. Rita Allen


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

MSgt Kerby, in response to your question, there was never such a thing as Modes 3/A, 3/B or 3/C as you described. There is such a thing as Mode 3/A but not the way you were led to believe. I`ll explain that in a second but first, a little history: IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) was used in the early days of WWII when a system was quickly developed to distinguish friendly aircraft from unknown (and probably unfriendly) ones on the crude radar scopes of that time. Allied aircraft were equipped with a simple transmitter that squawked a return pulse every time it received a radar pulse. When this second pulse was added to the original reflected pulse (`skin paint`), the Allied target appeared brighter on the scope. Of course, a system this simple was quickly compromised by the enemy and was rendered unreliable. IFF was then replaced by SIF (Selective Identification Feature.) SIF differed from IFF in that a complex multi-pulse reply was returned to the ground station instead of the simple single pulse of IFF. Since this reply pulse chain could be easily changed to meet mission requirements, discrete codes could be assigned to individual aircraft, thus giving the controller the ability to `selectively` identify a particular friendly target. This feature was further expanded to allow three categories of replies: Security (Mode 1), Pilot (Mode 2) and Traffic (Mode 3) information. Mode 1 was limited to only 32 separate codes and was quickly overwhelmed. (Security is now handled by Mode 4, whose details remain classified.) Mode 2 was originally limited to 400 available codes but was eventually expanded to 4096 codes. The military Mode 3 (also 4096 codes) was eventually adopted by the civilian sector (airlines at first but it eventually spread to most all civil aircraft) and was called Mode A. (This is why you always see it called Mode 3/A since the military Mode 3 and the civilian Mode A are identical.) Mode C was developed later as electronics technology advanced to the point that barometric pressure could be reliably digitized in the aircraft and transmitted to the ground stations as an altitude readout. Hope this finally clears it up for you after 20 years. (Note: None of the information contained herein is classified in any way.)


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

On e-Bay now (not from me): `History of the AN/FPS-6 Height Radar,` here is an original General Electric document from the “Heavy Military Electronics Department” (someone finally picked out a reasonable name for the group!), going over the history of the Nodding Horror, the AN/FPS-6 radar. The ‘6 (later ‘89 and ‘90) is possibly the most successful radar of all time - in service from 40 plus years! Very good shape! A few blemishes and scribbles, but not bad. Great pictures of the equipment and radar layouts.


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bud Egan
Email: wa2qav AT arrl.net

In reference to the IFF discussion, I wonder if your talking about the CPX-1, Harvey. The CPX-1 IFF system was used in the mid to late 40`s. It sent out an interrogation pulse, and received a coded reply from the aircraft on an `A` scope. The reply was a combination of 4 pulses consisting of wide or narrow pulses. The only one I remember was the emergency reply, WIDE-WIDE-WIDE-WIDE. Maybe someone else out in `Radar Land` can elaborate more on that system. How about it, Chuck?


07/29/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bud Egan
Email: wa2qav AT arrl.net

For Will Jensby. Did you ever fly out of Moody AFB, GA in 1953? I was with the 124th/629th TAC AC&W Sqdn out of Alexandria AFB, LA., and we set up a mobile radar site at Moody to support the F-94C program. The site consisted of an MPS-7 (Mobile version of FPS-3) and a TPS-10D height finder. I can`t remember at what point along the runway that the afterburner kicked in on those F-94C`s, but I know it was right next to my barracks. The whole place shook and rattled. 73, Bud


07/28/2004 00:00:00

Name: Walt
Email: bettyandwalt AT earthlink.net

I agree with John that the skills necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently are paramount in an age of complex devices and tight budgets. However, I also believe that we are short-changing society in the long run if we deprive our technicians of the resources they still need to progress in their fields, should they choose to remain in the military and become the leaders of tomorrow, either in or out of the military. We have relied on the technical training (in the military) of the earlier generations to stimulate the thinking necessary to innovation and efficient production. Without a good grounding in fundamentals, can we expect people to focus intelligently on the future, and to aspire to deeper knowledge? I don`t know the answer, I just pose the question.


07/28/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Like most of you, I lament the good `ol days of Radar Maintenance and feel that the new recruits are taught to be more `board replacement artists` instead of component-level technicians. I went through 303X2 AC&W tech school in 1972 and a lot has changed in the last 32 years! All of the USAF 303XX radar maintenance career fields were combined and relabeled 2E0X1 during a massive AETC reorganization in the 1990s. The 303XX/2E0X1 Radar Course is still taught at good `ol Keesler AFB in Biloxi and is still 10 months long. However, as some of you have predicted, less emphasis is placed on component-level troubleshooting. The radar equipment in the USAF`s inventory these days is infinitely more complex than the `Frankenstein`s Laboratory` equipment that you and I were trained on. As you can guess, digital electronics is king now and most pieces of equipment are microprocessor equipped. And fiber optics has replaced a lot of the interconnecting cabling that used to clog the cable ducts under our floors. Due to advancements in digital electronics over the years, one small circuit board can process more radar data than a WHOLE FLOOR of 1960-era computers! Remember how the FPS-20 radar transmitter used to occupy an entire floor of a radar tower? Well, the modern transmitter now occupies less floor space than a phone booth! Unfortunately, the price we pay for this modern technology is the inability to repair the system without complex and expensive test equipment. Therefore, it is logical to train the repairman how to diagnose and isolate the problem to a specific circuit board, R&R it, and send the old one back to the factory for repair. After all, have you looked in your TV or computer and seen how complex and small most of the components are these days? All that said, the modern Radar recruit still receives a thorough training in basic electronics so that he (or she) has a good grasp of the principles involved but, as you can guess, not near as much emphasis is given on how to replace these components. Also, tube theory is no longer two weeks long. (Not many tubes in the equippment these days!) However, the modern USAF radar technician now has to learn about micropressor chips, fiber optics, surface-mount construction and all kinds of high tech gizmos and doo-dags that you and I only read about in our Tom Swift books 30 and 40 years ago. Keesler is still producing some of the highest trained radar technicians these days but their component-level troubleshooting skills have been replaced with new electronics skills that reflect the technology (and field-repairability) of the radar systems today. While I am proud of my ability to solder a resistor, I don`t have much of a need for that skill these days unless I`m restoring and old radio at home. (I wouldn`t DARE try to fix my TV unless it`s to change the battery in the remote control.)


07/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Kerr
Email: jackr_ker AT msn.com

I guess we are getting old. Three years ago I stopped at Pioneer Village, Minden, NE. (I am sure you have seen the signs) One area of museum has a technolgy display. They had a lot of electronics and computer stuff that I had worked on during my USAF and civilian careers. Boy did I feel old. Especially explaining to 3 of my grandchildren that I had worked on the display items in a museum. Hell my first FST-2 in 1958-61 was S/N 004.


07/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

I just thot of something as I was reviewing trblshtg/maint msgs this AM: If some of our radars are still in svc at outlying and remote locations, how about applying a helicopter trick: Equip. antennas with two rotate, nod, etc. motors, coupled by either a differential gearbox or `remote motor-select` [motors have skegs like turboprop drives, free-wheeling in cars, etc.]...If a motor fails, the other one either automatically [or on command] picks up the duty and keeps the antenna going--has this been done before? It cud save somebody a long drive or climb to reach the site... Aaron. remote


07/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ted Pope
Email: clyde9phil AT webtv.net

I was a 303X2 radar repairman with the 743rd Sqdn at Campion AFS, Alaska 1963-4. I was also cross-trained to be a radar operator at the same facility.


07/27/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlinl.net

Some thoughts on technical training years ago versus today. I speculate that if the 30332 course was being taught today, it would be much shorter and more equipment oriented. Trends in modern training tend to emphasize learning just what is needed to accomplish the job and no more. That means doing away with a lot of `nice-to-know` theory and focusing on specific tasks. For example, If you were training someone to change the oil in a car, you would emphasize how to drain the oil, select the proper replacement oil and checking to see that the level was correct and there were no leaks when the job was done. It would not be necessary to go into such nice to know subjects as how oil viscosity is determined or the effects that various additives have on the lubricating qualities of the oil. So a 30332 course of today would probably not include how to read resistor color codes and the theory of operation of various amplifier and oscillator circuits. I suspect there would be an overview of radar theory and then the students would start working on equipment with very specific skill sets being taught such as how to change various components and how to perform routine maintenance. It would be nice to hear from someone out there who has some recent Air Force (or other military) radar training to see just what is being taught today. Later in my civilian career, I obtained a Masters Degree in Vocational-Technical Education and developed technical training courses. One of the constant battles I used to fight was to try to remove a lot of the `nice to know` materials from courses I was developing. I have to agree though, that a lot of the nice to know information is nice to know but today with tight budgets and limited resources, something has to give.


07/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: GAJ7702 AT AOL.COM

Remember when hardware stores had tube testers? The idea was you took your television tubes there to test them. This was the era when, in the worst case, the television repairman came to your house, usually lugging a big case of tubes. When the set was duly fixed (and if you grew up in Iowa like I did) your father hooked up the “aerial” that would pull in the three networks’ programming in glorious black and white, including his favorite, “Leo Greco’s Saturday Night Polka Party.” Fast forward: Now if your television quits, trash it (responsibly). Get a new one. They are hardly worth repairing, assuming you can find someone who can. Even the venerable cathode-ray tube is yielding to plasma and LCD screens. But back to our blog thread, the technician who trouble-shot to the component level fades into history. Thanks for your good work, GI, all of you. I hope they save some of the big old radar schematic diagrams for the Smithsonian.


07/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: Walt
Email: bettyandwalt AT earthlink.net

For me the big change came gradually, as the TV sets became too sophisticated, with too many special tubes for GI stock to supply!!


07/26/2004 00:00:00

Name: will jensby
Email: w0eom AT aol.com

flew for 3 years, `52-55, in F-94 out of Dover AFB, Del as Radar Observer. did cross-training at Atlantic City GCI site. have plenty of photos of F-94`s


07/25/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.net

Yes troubleshooting has become a lost art.When I went through tech school we were taught the half/split method to get to component level replacement. I see the lack of trouble shooting today in the younger troops. Working at the WPAFB PMEL all the younger guys get to card level and order the card. There for we have a lot more NURTS actions do to the fact that the card is no longer available, as compared to a resistor or transistor. Just thought I`d drop my dimes worth.


07/25/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gene McManus
Email: gmcmanus AT radomes.org

It`s really interesting how this has turned into a full-fledged `blog` over the last month or so. Lots of really good discussions, great memories. Keep it up, guys.


07/25/2004 00:00:00

Name: Billy Brooks
Email: bdbrooks AT verizon.net

It`s totally understandable about the new troops not troubleshooting as some of us old guys did (61-65, 30352) However, as the retired Chief, Telecommunications, Memphis District, Corps of Engineers, I can attest that technology passed most of us some time ago. Now, just about every piece of electronic equipment is `throw-away`. With both sides used, compressed and minarature, the circuit boards that are now in use are not made to be repaired by anyone other than the factory; and even then maybe or maybe not. Even trying to get some schematics (from government, no less, with a letter of confidentialty provided), you hear proprietary information: NO WAY! Coming from a career in government electronics, I can truthfully say that it`s very difficult to get the money from congress/DoD to try and maintain this stuff: whatever it might be. Sorry I rambled, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart.


07/25/2004 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rmk98 AT tscnet.com

TROUBLESHOOTING & REPAIRING I agree that much of the troubleshooting and repair philosophy as we knew it (1960s) is altogether different now, with the thought(in the Navy, at any rate) now being that troubleshooting is done via automatic test equipment, with the resultant diagnosed discrepant circuit card or other assembly or component sent to the depot or commercial repair facility for repair. The main objective is to keep the ships and aircraft fully operational, with as little downtime as possible. The main problem with this, as many in the repair field will attest, is that sailors and airmen don`t really get the chance to learn their systems and do real troubleshooting or repair; they rarely ever get a chance to `get into bed` with the equipment as we did, and don`t actually get to really `fix` anything. One of the results of this philosophy is that there can be so many `remove and replace` functions going on, that many circuit card (and other) assemblies are sent into the depot for repair that really aren`t broken. This can drive provisioning requirements within the stock system to unrealistic or levels.


07/25/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bob Noyer
Email: ronoy AT shentel.net

As a FE with old Hazeltine, I worked on the prototype Mk X IFF installations in 1950-1951 in ZI, Labrador, Iceland and Greenland before going to Korea and to Europe.Could cough up quite a few tales!


07/24/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: GAJ7702 AT AOL.COM

Let`s not forget trouble-shooting the old way. Instead of a computer telling you where the fault is and swapping out a circuit card (shades of the `2001` movie), back in the day a your indication was a blown fuse. It was like a puzzle: What is the single best answer to this problem? And, like a doctor, `First, do no harm.` A recent veteran told me on his radar trouble-shooting was swapping out cards to sent to the contractor. Progress, I suppose. But maybe things were actually faster when a technician could fix it on scene instead of waiting for FedEx? Last item, every dedicated reader of this blog should be a Radomes member.


07/24/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

Interesting comments from Gary Jacobs. True, we were trained to troubleshoot to the component level (resistor, tube, capacitor, etc) and I think that is why the 30332 course was as long as it was. I had twin brothers who went into the Army about 10 years after I went into the AF. They were also trained as radar technicians for the HAWK air defense missle system. Their schooling was not nearly as long as mine. I spoke with them and they were only taught to troubleshoot to a module or cabinet level. If the module or cabinet was bad, remove it, replace it with a good one, and ship the bad one to a depot where others more skilled people would troubleshoot it. When you think of it, it is probably more cost effective to train people that way. Gets them on the job faster. How many former AF members spent their first year in school, advanced to a 5 level in their first enlistment and then took all that great knowledge with them into civilian life after 4 years.


07/24/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

John, I`m having that very problem right now. Our recruiter will sign a new member up and we`ll spend a ton of taxpayer money sending him/her to tech school for 10+/- months. They`ll then use their new electronics education to land a high paying civilian job and they immediately start petitioning the commander for an early out. It`s aggravating! The only ones who stay beyond 4 years are the patriotic ones and they`re not that numerous, despite the slight increase in patriotiam following 9/11. (I say `slight increase in patriotism` because the sudden appearance of flags on everyones cars following 9/11 was not proportionally reflected in civilians knocking on our recruiters door. I guess waving the flag is a lot easier than raising their right hand!)


07/23/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bobbie R. Bass
Email: brbass AT nc.rr.com

when I was in tech school at Keesler in 1956 i was taught the resistor code value as ` Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violent Give Willingly. God what a long time ago.


07/23/2004 00:00:00

Name: A M Hansen
Email: quail AT cwnet.com

Anyone out there that was at Det 21 between Kysuhu and Kowea in 1953? I was also at Blaine Wa. following return statside .


07/23/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Rosso
Email: godfather1501 AT hotmail.com

Hi Hansen, Have knowledge of 3 guys..... Bill Davis in 53 LaVern Haffnet 52-54 Larry McDaniel 56 (site was Deactivated) Checkout my website: Have all the Detachments of the 610th/618thACWSq 1947-1960. Hope you will become a member-http://groups.msn.com/610thACWSqRadarSitesSouthernJapan Get back to me....would like to talk to you.


07/22/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bill Meskill
Email: w.meskill AT comcast.net

For what its worth my uncle was a radar repair tech in World War Two, and when I was a kid taught me Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls. The way he learned it in Tech School in 1942. Little did I know that I`d need it when I got introduced to Radar.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rmk98 AT tscnet.com

Re: The alternate to John Tianen`s resistor color code ditty: Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well........ I still use these little learning crutches when reading resistor values.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jim Eyles
Email: jime AT gci.net

For Harvey Hartman: Biloxi Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well, there were other color code reminders but they are nor apprpriate for this forum.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jack Armstrong
Email: jackarm AT hotmail.com

The FPS-20 Series is stll alive and well and doing duty in the FAA as part of the Enroute Radar System. A new receiver system has been added but the transmitter is still basically the same as when it came out of the factory. The current version is use are the FPS-64 - 66. I know because I taught the system at the FAA until I retired in Dec last year.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

After the electronics are repaired and you turn to the electromech. part of your equipment [rotate, nod, yolk-drive etc.], you can abide our old teletype and whatever acronymn `FITCAL`: Feel, Inspect, Tighten, Clean, Adjust Lubri- cate...After leaving ADC, I learned two neat things from radio and [GCA] radar mens: 1. Equip all gear which used common `receiving` tubes [like 6AK5, 12AX7, 6L6, etc.] with their 4-digit, super, industrial, high-quality, long- life substitutes. 2. Take a dozen of these `better` tubes and, using a TV-7, or better [variable bias-voltages, abil ity to judge curve and cutoff] tube- checker and pick the BEST overall 2-4 out of a dozen for most critical sets [longest time to re-align, re-tune, etc!]. 3.Change ALL chromed tube sields with black, heat-dissipating ones--goodbye frequent overheat burn- outs! Time between failures went up and this work cud be included in PM time. Did anyone have any experience with FET-substitutes for tubes or Nu- vistors? Bell Telephone replaced many vacuum tube carrier repeater amplifiers with the former and Nuvistors wound up in mobile equipment, FM & TV tuners,etc and applications where 12V B+ [!] was available... Aaron


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Donald J. Karaiskos
Email: dnb719 AT aol.com

Looking for info on 757th AC&W Sq, Blaine, WA


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Billy Brooks
Email: bdbrooks AT verizon.net

Aaron: Yes, indeedy, the NuVista tube was installed in the receiver front-end of the FPS-20 on Kume Jima, Okinawa.(1964) Mr. Paul Fogle (Philco tech-rep deceased) did the work and yours truly watched. I was so green back then that was about all I could do. However, I do remember that the MDS went to almost nothing. I don`t think an airborne seagull could take a d-mp without the 20 seeing it.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Brian Coy, SMSgt, Ret.
Email: bcoytac AT msn.com

Just curious - what were the values corresponding to the color codes? I vaguely remember hearing someone told he had a ??? Ohm nose, but I can`t remember what value corresponded to `brown, brown, brown`.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Biloxi Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Violet Goes Well. Black=0, Brown=1, Red=2, Orange=3, Yellow=4, Green=5, Blue=6, Violet=7, Grey=8 & White=9. The first two bands indicates the first two digits in the ohms value and the third band indicates the number of zeroes following those two digits. If there was a forth band, it would indicate the resistor`s tolerance (variation of the indicated resistance.) Silver=10%, Gold=5% and no forth band =20%. Uncle Sam always demanded the best components so gold bands were the norm.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I didn`t answer your question did I? Brown/brown/brown = 110 ohms.


07/21/2004 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT hotmail.com

Check this out for color codes: http://www.electrician.com/resist_calc/resist_calc.htm


07/20/2004 00:00:00

Name: Mark Staley
Email: mstaley AT conmarsystems.com

683rd TX and 6th Air Div, P.I. from `65 to `69. I look back on those years with great memories. I will take working on a radar site instead of a regular AFB anytime. Finding this site has been the catalyst to make contact and renew old friendships. Just wish more of the troops would find the site and sign in. Appreciate the hard work that it takes to make something like this work.


07/20/2004 00:00:00

Name: Robert "Ike" Eichorst
Email: bobcatnascar AT yahoo.com

I was stationed at Langerkopf with the 603rd AC&W from June 1954 until July of 1957. I was a Radar Operator on Charlie Crew.


07/20/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Okay, now that we`ve discussed uniforms and the changes we saw, I want to hear what memories y`all have of the early days of radar eletronics? When I attended Keesler in 1972, tubes still reigned supreme. Oh sure, transistors had been in use in radar equipment for some time and digital ICs were just starting to show us a glimpse of the future; nevertheless, a vast majority of the radars in use back then (predominately FPS-6 and FPS-20 systems) still had primarily tube circuits. So that`s what the grizzled old Keesler radar instructors taught us. And they taught us relay interlock systems too! I remember many of my End of Block tests involved troubleshooting a dead transmitter by tracing it to one of 5,892,389,765,275 faulty relay contacts! And do you remember hard-wired circuits? Tubes were notorious for generating lots of heat so printed circuit boards were not as common back then as they are now. Most of the components were connected by robust wires with cloth insulation, and soldered to big man-sized lugs! And you had to be good at soldering because there was no such thing as heat shrink tubing back then to hide a bad solder job. What pc boards we did have were usually phonelic-based (a pressed paper material) and they often delaminated from the heat. However, it was usually easy to find an overheated resistor on these boards because the board would be charred black for an inch around the bad component. I can still remember what one of those burned boards smelled like! Those boards were quite crude by today`s standard of multi-layered, glass-epoxy boards. Also, back then you could SEE the components. Resistors were BIG because tubes took lots of watts. Quite a change from the microscopic components we have now. Anyone remember your resistor color codes? Something about Biloxi Beer...


07/20/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Okay, now that we`ve discussed uniforms and the changes we saw, I want to hear what memories y`all have of the early days of radar eletronics? When I attended Keesler in 1972, tubes still reigned supreme. Oh sure, transistors had been in use in radar equipment for some time and digital ICs were just starting to show us a glimpse of the future; nevertheless, a vast majority of the radars in use back then (predominately FPS-6 and FPS-20 systems) still had primarily tube circuits. So that`s what the grizzled old Keesler radar instructors taught us. And they taught us relay interlock systems too! I remember many of my End of Block tests involved troubleshooting a dead transmitter by tracing it to one of 5,892,389,765,275 faulty relay contacts! And do you remember hard-wired circuits? Tubes were notorious for generating lots of heat so printed circuit boards were not as common back then as they are now. Most of the components were connected by robust wires with cloth insulation, and soldered to big man-sized lugs! And you had to be good at soldering because there was no such thing as heat shrink tubing back then to hide a bad solder job. What pc boards we did have were usually phonelic-based (a pressed paper material) and they often delaminated from the heat. However, it was usually easy to find an overheated resistor on these boards because the board would be charred black for an inch around the bad component. I can still remember what one of those burned boards smelled like! Those boards were quite crude by today`s standard of multi-layered, glass-epoxy boards. Also, back then you could SEE the components. Resistors were BIG because tubes took lots of watts. Quite a change from the microscopic components we have now. Anyone remember your resistor color codes? Something about Biloxi Beer...


07/20/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

OK...this is not politically correct but back in 1961 there was no such thing. This is the resistor color code as I remember it. By the way, it was one of the first things taught to us in basic electronics. Here goes.... Bad Boys R**e Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly. As I remember, the corresponding colors were black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, grey and white. I may have some of the B`s and G`s reversed but hey... it`s been over 40 years.


07/19/2004 00:00:00

Name: Alan Mowbray
Email: palamo AT coqui.net

Very commendable website. I was a Keesler trained 30332/30352 from 1953-1956. Served in the 607th AC&W in Korea (1953-54) and later in the 636th (9th Air Division, Condon, OR). After getting out and obtaining a BSEE, I worked for the System Development Corporation and visited over fifty Conus, Mid-Canada and DEWLINE radar sites in support of a USAF-ADC contract. Your website brings back many fond (and some not-so-fond) memories. Please keep-up the great work.


07/18/2004 00:00:00

Name: Frederick R. Miller, PH1, USN Retired
Email: joker528 AT nycap.rr.com

The following obituary was published in the Albany (NY)Times Union on 7/18/2004 Buswell, Dale R. BALLSTON SPA Dale (Buzz) R. Buswell, of Rowley Road, died Friday, July 16, 2004 at Saratoga Hospital. He was 74. Born on May 17, 1930 in Lake City, Iowa, he was a son of the late Ray and Geraldine (Lasher) Buswell. He was a graduate of Churdan High School in Iowa and attended mechanic diesel school. He was a US Air Force veteran, serving during the Korean War and in Japan and stationed with the 656th Radar Squadron at the Stillwater Air Base at Ketchum Corners for 12 years. Employed as a sales representative for Davey Tree Service Co. of Kent, Ohio, working for them in Latham, N.Y. He also was co-owner of All Seasons Tree Service, retiring in 1993. He loved animals and owned several horses though the years, including his team of Belgian draft horses, Candy and Blondie, who were often seen at the Saratoga County Fair, and at sleigh rides at the 4-H Training Center and at several area parades, including the Travers parades. A member of the Latham Rotary, Eastern Regional Draft Horse Assoc., American Society of Consulting Arborists and a former member of American Legion Adirondack Post 70. A hard worker and a person who loved helping children, he enjoyed spending time with his family and the great outdoors, including gardening, fishing, hunting, boating and snowmobiling. He also enjoyed traveling, including trips to Iowa and Ohio, the Amish country and horse sales. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one son, Darrel Buswell and two brothers, Elmer and Vernon Buswell. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Mary (Ranhofer) Buswell; one son and daughter-in-law, Dale R. Buswell Jr. and Cynthia Buswell, both of Mechanicville; two daughters and sons-in-law, Valerie and Thomas Bradbury and Jacqueline and John Traver, all of Ballston Spa; seven grandchildren, Sarah and Rebekah Buswell, Amy Bradbury, Justin and Rachel Traver, Morgan and Michael Buswell; one great-grandson, Alex Buswell; one brother, Harrie (and Kay) Buswell of Berea, Ky., Mary Mallison of Atlanta, Ga. and several nieces and nephews. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway (584-5373). Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family at the funeral home, followed by burial in the family plot in Greenridge Cemetery, Lincoln Ave. Memorials may be made to the 4-H Training Center, 50 West High St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020. burkefuneralhome.com .


07/18/2004 00:00:00

Name: Alfred J. Williams
Email: boyd29 AT midcoast.com

Any knowledge of the 5th Radar Calibration Unit 1949-1951. Names or addresses. I was stationed at Pope AFB at the breakout of Korea. We were attached to the 502nd Tactical Control. :They were shipped to Korea, but we stayed back to be a part of :Eastern ;Air Defense. Any infor would be appreciated. We had B-26 and B-25 aircrage.


07/17/2004 00:00:00

Name: Rocky
Email: kings1978 AT yahoo.com

Whatever happened to the SAGE related site slated for http://www.sagesite.info/_main_page.shtml Has that been folded into this site or is it still in progress


07/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jim Martin
Email: brit439 AT yahoo.com

Was stationed at Finley AFS, from 68-69. After I got out of the Air Force, I married a local girl (like alot of other guys did). Moved away for a few years. But moved back, and hove lived here for the last 30 yrs. Still a great little town. Not much left of the base. Some bldgs and homes gone. Tower still up. GATER site still there, with FAA radar on it. Look forward to hearing from you guys that were stationed here. Jim


07/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Petrick
Email: jpdoctorcool AT cs.com

Talking about fatigues, after leaving the 648th at Benton, Pa I was sent to the 1st Mob in the Phillianes,I had my fatigues hand made with the pockets in the sleeve, and they were made to fit tight, with black hats, with are names emboried on the back ,and if we went TDY anywere, that was on are hats also,we looked sharp, we were known as the black hats of southeast asia, and of course we had houseboys to do are laundry. and make are beds .What a differance between the Radar Site, and Clark Air Base.


07/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: JohnPetrick
Email: jpdoctorcool AT cs.com

OOPS, thats Phillipines.


07/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: Wm. Shaw
Email: wjshaw2 AT juno.com

I agree that the fatigues I had issued were somewhat closer to gray than green. (`60 to `64) I have one of my old fatigue shirts hanging out in the garage and wear it from time to time when I`m puttering around out there. Still fits, albeit a little tighter than 40 years ago. Also, it looks more olive drab now than I remember it back then. Maybe my peepers aren`t so good any more. One other note. My son was issued `BDUs` when he went through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Facility in Brunswick GA. (ATF). The more things change, the more they stay the same.


07/16/2004 00:00:00

Name: Edward Franklin
Email: erfranklin AT hotmail.com

I love this reminiscencing of our USAF times. Enlisted 5/1957 - received gray fatigues with a slight tint of green hue. The cap was something like from the katznjammer kids, lil abner or crankshaft. No form to them like the GI baseball caps today. I remember that I washed my cap, starched it, stretched it over a coffee can to dry. When dry it looked so spiffy being blocked until I put it on and all of the starch cracked & crumbled. I looked like some idiot boot. The rest of the uniform was the 505 tan with shorts, short sleve shirts, and dark brown leg stockings with of course black Brogans or dress shoes; and a tan bush jacket that made us look like dorks. The blues were great with the long pants, light blue shirts, blouse, and Ike jacket, with the Garrison cap and that cloth headgear that had a name I will not put in print (not politically correct, argh, argh). A funny thing occurred just before I separated at the end of my 4 year enlistment. I separated 5/61 but that Christmas (12/60) I got a navy hop out of Sand Point Naval Airstation, Washington to North Island - San diego to spend Christmas & New year 1961 with my brother and family. I had to wear my Class A Blue uniform on the hop and while I was in San Diego my sister-in-law washed my clothes and unbeknownst to me discovered my original blue shirt had a frayed collar. She threw the shirt away and replaced it with another blue one from Sears. After Jan 1st there were no hops from San Diego to Washington so I took a commerical airline back to Seattle and I was able to wear civies. May 15, 1961 was my separation day and as all of you guys know May 15 was also promotion review board day so the Squadron had a Class A inspection the week before to assist the airmen in preparing for the review board. When I got dressed for the inspection I discovered my blue shirt was not only broadcloth but also had a button-down collar and it was too late to get another shirt. As I stood inspection, the CO acknowledged me and passed on to the end of the line and as he started to look at the airmen in the next line he glanced at me & realized my shirt. He and the 1st Shirt stepped back to me and queried me whereupon the 1st Shirt indicated that I was `figmo` because my enlistment was up next week. The CO asked why I showed such disrespect to the USAF and the men around me. So I explained what my sister-in-law had done and that I was remiss in not looking ahead to the inspection. He looked at me and indicated the story was too quirky to not be true and said `carry-on`. A week later whenI was discharged I stopped to see him, shook his hand, wished him the best and said good-bye. I loved every minute of my 4-year stint in the USAF and I met some great people with whom I still stay in touch. Have a great day guys!!!


07/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bob Vincent
Email: bayoubark AT bellsouth.net

Sgt.Hartman....whats dry cleaning? We hung ours in the latrine from whatever we could to dry.LOL. Our dress code left a lot to be desired to todays standard or to SAC`s code back then. When at a support base,such as DowAFB the officers would look at us and remark,must be from the 765th.........Hey Carl Wenberg,Remember an Airman who had returned from Okinawa with tailored Army type two piece fatigues w/side pockets and a Geisha Girk stenciled on back of shirt which was worn without being tucked in.Good ole Bob Hodges from Terre Haute,Indiana


07/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Vincent 57-61
Email: bayoubark AT bellsouth.net

typo last transmission, Should read Geisha girl


07/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I remember one of my roommates at my first assignment (Cannon AFB, NM `72-75) was somewhat of a malcontent. He used to place his fatigues between his mattress and springs each night. This made his uniform look like it was pressed in a waffle iron. His pink glasses didn`t encourage his supervisors to love him much either. Boy, I miss those days!


07/15/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Burnett, MSgt USAF, RET
Email: baht100 AT aol.com

Worked Material Control (AFSC 64570) at Port Austin AFS, MI July 76 - Jun 79.. Also served as Asst. NCOIC Security. Made numerous supply runs in the duve and a half, to Wurtsmith AFB and Saginaw Municipal Airport. Loved that assignment !


07/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Swanson
Email: jls4-1 AT juno.com

JUst a thought on uniforms, I dug out my old ones (57-61) and my teenage granddaughter fell in love with the old blue winter blouse and wanted it to wear. (strange fashions) but she enjoys it and it creates a special tie withme so I guess it is fine with me>


07/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Plumley, SMS ret.
Email: usplumleys AT charter.net

great site, I was at Finley,ND 74,75 and at Truro, mas 76. In radio maint I supervised the GATR sites there. Best of luck


07/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

Vincent (10 July) - I believe you`re right. I`ve seen some old pictures where the fatigues did indeed have a grey tint. I remember that my fatigues in the 1970s were dark green when brand new but eventually took on a lighter shade (almost pastel!) with many washings. Today, we are instructed to dry clean our BDUs in order to preserve the sharp new look as long as possible. Can you imagine your reaction back in `57 if you were told to DRY CLEAN your `work` uniform? You guys would`ve fallen out of formation from laughing so hard!


07/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ron Ring
Email: Ringring011941 AT yahoo.com

Assigned to 783 AC&W Radar, Guthrie AFS from 60-65. Worked in the Orderly Room. Commander was LtC C.M. Ratliff, 1st Sgt was CMSgt Les Beresford & MSgt Marcus Fields before that. Many fond memories of old Guthrie particularly the long walk up the hill. Also served at 26th AD, Luke AZ from 68-71 and Sheyma, AK from 78-79. Retired MSgt, Sep80 from Lowry AFB, Co.


07/14/2004 00:00:00

Name: Carl Wenberg
Email: zoombag AT comcast.net

Have to laugh about dry cleaning work cloths we used GI soap and scrub brush (remember the ones that hung to the floor between your legs) I had a pair that fit pretty good, returned from overseas with them and got written up for having stripes stencilled on and a picture of a turtle inked on back with a headset,I`d never make it in todays AF we also drank(booze) cussed and looked at those nasty magazines.


07/13/2004 00:00:00

Name: Elizabeth Brooks
Email: lizabetoo AT aol.com

Your old radar site near Las Cruces NM is now the 6 county, Southern NM State Fairgrounds. I`ve been on the board for over 20 years and we have always wondered what the history was of our grounds. Recently the big question was where is the bomb shelter and where is the large underground septic tank that was out by the married housing. We have always marveled at the buildings and facilities etc. They have been put to good use thru the years.


07/11/2004 00:00:00

Name: Mike Dougherry
Email: doughertym AT aol.com

I was at 656th , in Saratoga, NY, 64 -67, worked in the FPS-26 and MCC. Where is Smitty? Where is Tom?


07/11/2004 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT hotmail.com

In 1954 (gads! that was 50 yrs ago!) we were issued olive drab coveralls. Then a year or two later they changed over to grey two piece fatigues. with grey baseball type caps. However, lots of people wore two piece olive drab also. Not too much uniformity in the uniform in those days. Let`s see, must be a mistake....2004 - 1954 = 50.....yup, no mistake, 50 years ago.


07/10/2004 00:00:00

Name: VINCENT
Email: bayoubark AT bellsouth.net

I recall the sage green fatigues being closer to a grayish color, nothing close to dark green. of course that was back in `57..........


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.net

In response to Ken Cornish I have seen the new camos at WPAFB. Don`t know why they are called camos they stick out like a BIGT RED FLAG.


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I, too, got a chuckle from Ken Cornish`s ramblings from a couple of days ago. THIS is the kind of memoir that Tom and Gene are begging for. If we wait too long, these old memories will be lost forever! As far as the 1505 debate goes, I entered USAF active duty in 1971 and was issued the tan 1505 uniform along with the usual green fatigues and winter and summer blues. (Yes, the 1505s were so named because they were Shade 1505.) My 1505s consisted of long pants (the short tan pants were gone by 1971) and a short-sleeved tan shirt. I think that they were made from a cotton blend. All three shoes (low quarters, chucka boots and combat boots) were authorized with the 1505s. I remember that 1505s were the preferred uniform by basic training and tech school instructors at that time. The popularity of 1505s slowly faded during the 1970s as most office workers preferred the new short-sleeved blue shirt and dark blue pants combo. I believe that 1505s were officially discontinued sometime during the 1976-78 time frame. In 1971, fatigues were Sage Green colored. Sage Green was a dark green while the Army`s fatigues were olive drab, which is green with a grey hue. (The USAF insisted on being noticably distinguishable from the Army.) Camouflaged fatigues (we call them `BDUs` now for Battle Dress Uniform) started replacing the solid colored fatigues during the 1978-79 time frame and fatigues were phased out sometime around 1991. While both uniforms were/are considered `work` uniforms, we are allowed to wear our BDUs to lunch at off-base restaurants but that was strictly forbidden with fatigues. Since then, the USAF, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard (along with every duck and deer hunter) have worn the `standardized BDU` and we all look the same except for our ranks, patches and web belt colors. This has long been a sore spot among the services (although the hunters didn`t seem to care) who preferred to keep some sort of individuality. This started with each service adopting their own headgear style. The USAF went with the baseball cap look, the Army prefers barets, and the Marines have their own badassed style of hat. NOW, the five services are taking individuality to new heights with completely new camouflage designs presently undergoing testing. As Mr. Cornish pointed out, the new USAF BDUs are made of a blue, black and grey print instead of the familar brown, green and black. Select Airmen at several USAF AFBs are currently wearing these uniforms during the testing phase. I saw my first one while TDY to Luke AFB two months ago and I have to admit that it is a very shocking change! It is VERY distinctive and it takes awhile to grow on you. Unfortunately, while it may have a camouflaged pattern, these are hardly natural camouflage colors. (The USAF argues that modern warfare is not conducted with the enemy close enough to detect us with his eyes.) I`m just afraid that this new uniform will make the USAF the laughing stock by the other militaries.


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Harvey Hartman
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I, too, got a chuckle from Ken Cornish`s ramblings from a couple of days ago. THIS is the kind of memoir that Tom and Gene are begging for. If we wait too long, these old memories will be lost forever! As far as the 1505 debate goes, I entered USAF active duty in 1971 and was issued the tan 1505 uniform along with the usual green fatigues and winter and summer blues. (Yes, the 1505s were so named because they were Shade 1505.) My 1505s consisted of long pants (the short tan pants were gone by 1971) and a short-sleeved tan shirt. I think that they were made from a cotton blend. All three shoes (low quarters, chucka boots and combat boots) were authorized with the 1505s. I remember that 1505s were the preferred uniform by basic training and tech school instructors at that time. The popularity of 1505s slowly faded during the 1970s as most office workers preferred the new short-sleeved blue shirt and dark blue pants combo. I believe that 1505s were officially discontinued sometime during the 1976-78 time frame. In 1971, fatigues were Sage Green colored. Sage Green was a dark green while the Army`s fatigues were olive drab, which is green with a grey hue. (The USAF insisted on being noticably distinguishable from the Army.) Camouflaged fatigues (we call them `BDUs` now for Battle Dress Uniform) started replacing the solid colored fatigues during the 1978-79 time frame and fatigues were phased out sometime around 1991. While both uniforms were/are considered `work` uniforms, we are allowed to wear our BDUs to lunch at off-base restaurants but that was strictly forbidden with fatigues. Since then, the USAF, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard (along with every duck and deer hunter) have worn the `standardized BDU` and we all look the same except for our ranks, patches and web belt colors. This has long been a sore spot among the services (although the hunters didn`t seem to care) who preferred to keep some sort of individuality. This started with each service adopting their own headgear style. The USAF went with the baseball cap look, the Army prefers barets, and the Marines have their own badassed style of hat. NOW, the five services are taking individuality to new heights with completely new camouflage designs presently undergoing testing. As Mr. Cornish pointed out, the new USAF BDUs are made of a blue, black and grey print instead of the familar brown, green and black. Select Airmen at several USAF AFBs are currently wearing these uniforms during the testing phase. I saw my first one while TDY to Luke AFB two months ago and I have to admit that it is a very shocking change! It is VERY distinctive and it takes awhile to grow on you. Unfortunately, while it may have a camouflaged pattern, these are hardly natural camouflage colors. (The USAF argues that modern warfare is not conducted with the enemy close enough to detect us with his eyes.) I`m just afraid that this new uniform will make the USAF the laughing stock by the other militaries.


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I have NO idea why my message was entered twice because I distinctly remember hitting the Send button only once once once once once once once once once once once once once once once once


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: Harvey
Email: harvey.hartman AT txelli.ang.af.mil

I have NO idea why my message was entered twice because I distinctly remember hitting the Send button only once once once once once once once once once once once once once once once once


07/09/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bud Egan
Email: wa2qav AT arrl.net

Just a quick note to correct my e-mail address in my previous post. It should read wa2qav@arrl.net not .com. Nice to see ur additional comments, Harvey. Hope all is well with you and the family.


07/08/2004 00:00:00

Name: Johnny D. (Crash) Miller
Email: jachin AT bacavalley.com

I stumbled across this web site, and was blown away. I was stationed at the 644th AC&W at Richmond NAS from 1974-1976 and at the 667th AC&W at Hofn, Iceland from 1976 through 1977. I was a scope dope. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.


07/08/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bud Egan
Email: wa2qav AT arrl.com

I had to laugh when I read the note from Ken Cornish, 07/07/2004. How well I remember the uniform regulations issued by Mrs. `General` Powell during my stay at Keesler AFB in 1949-50-51. She drove around the base in her new Chrysler Town and Country convertible stopping anyone who wasn`t in compliance. It was an interesting time in my life, and I really enjoy a nostalgia trip once in awhile. One thing I remember was the night I had guard duty around the base swimming pool. I`m still wondering if they thought someone was going to drain the water out or if they were just looking for something for me to do. Bottom line, the guys and gals had a pool full of water in the morning. We did have plenty of gals at the time, WAF`s in the Radar Ops School, among others. When I think back to the almost three years I spent at Keesler, I sometimes think I should write a book about it. Only problem I have is, who would read it? I guess I could whenever I needed a nostalgia trip. As far as the OD uniforms, I think I gave my `Horse Blanket` OD overcoat and Ike jackets to one of my Turkish friends while stationed in Ankara during the 54-55-56 time frame. The shorts, bush jacket and pith helmit went the way of the wind after I retired. Thanks for the trip, Ken, I really enjoyed it.


07/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: patrick g. smith
Email: patrickgsmith AT charter.net

Was sent to me by a friend. Thought this was a very interesting site.


07/07/2004 00:00:00

Name: Ken Cornish
Email: deeken AT cox.net

All the talk of uniforms got me to reminiscing a bit. Lots of memories drudged up and I`ll try to stick to the uniforms but probably won`t be able to. I was part of the `Brown Shoe Corps` having entered shortly after President Truman established the USAF as a separate service. Announcing it and issuing orders was significant but it was to be quite a while before we lost all of the residuals of the Army Air Corps, part of the Army Signal Corps. Bsic Training was at Lackland but on arrival, there were still signs designating it as Sac Field and for the next thirteen weeks it would have been difficult differentiating the new Air Force and the old Corps. Another `Corps` was represented too: at that time the Marine Corps was being drastically downsized and many of the DI`s from Paris Island found a home with the new AF who had lots of spots to fill. They made our basic quite interesting. There were many empty barracks but we were quartered instead in 10 man tents erected between the barracks and furnished with canvas cots and something humorously defined as mattresses . We were allowed to use the latrines but sometimes I think that was only to introduce us to the duties of latrine orderly. The squadron was designated BM-4, another carryover not yet converted. The clothing issue was made up of all the Olive Drab (OD) items of the prior decade with the exception that the Air Force opted out of the blouse and instead issued two Ike Jackets for the winter uniform. Except for the cotton khaki uniforms, ties and shoes, everything was that sparkling OD color - handerchiefs, the flashy 3 button boxer shorts, undershirts (tee shirts were still not very much in use). Shoes were the high top roughout which had to be smoothed and capable of being shined by the 4th week. We used the Signal Corps lapel and hat brass and belt buckle all of which needed constant attention with a Blitz Cloth. Least favorite of all were the one piece fatigue uniforms with the attached cloth belt. As for the discussion of trouser length, the one piecers presented the same problem and in addition, for anyone 5`8` or shorter, the crotch was usually somewhere around the knees. We frequently washed the fatigues by showering in them and then laid them out in the hot Texas (and later) Mississippi sun in hopes of shrinking them but with no success. But, on to Keesler for one of the first radar mechanic courses since moving the school from BOca Raton following the big hurricane that badly damaged the base there. It was the 95305 Course (still using Army MOS designators) and I was awarded that MOS upon completion of the 44 week course. Went on detached duty with the Army for awhile where I had to keep up the OD issue which was all hand receipted of course. At the end of this tour I immediately reenlisted in USAF for another hitch at the Recruiting Main Station for 1st Army Area, 39 Whitehall St, New York. The Commander requested I stay on there for at least six months - there were only two other AF people at the time. By now the Blues were starting to come out but were in short supply. Since I had a full uniform issue, even though it was OD`s, AF was reluctant to give me the new uniforms. Because of my exposure in the Recruiting HQ, they finally relented and sent me to McGuire AFB to receive 2 blue uniforms (1 blouse and 1 Ike jacket) but was told to maintain my other uniforms and use the blues only when I was going to be in public as part of the duty. I had to buy my own black shoes and socks because they were totally out of stock. Only change being that now I was required to wear AF stripes on the OD`s and a modified set of brass; the silhouette brass was only OK for the blues. Finally reassigned to a radar installation team of the 1st Comm Maint Sq out of Griffiss AFB but in between installations pulled duty at Keesler working at the MOAMA Depot Maintenance Shop (the wire cage in Hangar 2) where we worked on overhauling all the ground equipment including the GCA trailers. No new changes to my wardrobe. I was still legally wearing both types of uniforms but still the same old one piece fatigues. Damn things wouldn`t wear out. Next was to participate in the `police action` in Korea. Assignment was to a `Tadpole` a detachment of the 502nd Tac Support Group. This tactical air directional post was about 6 miles south of the MLR and under control of Army 10th Corps. We used an old WWII Scr-584 gun laying set modified to control aircraft (later designated AN/MPQ-2) on bombing missions from the MLR north. We had no direct resupply from the AF for clothing, footwear or any personal items. C Rations, combinations of 100 & 1 and 10 & 1 came from the Army and provided food to be heated at a small field kitchen, toothpaste, soaps, toothbrushes, chewing gum and cigarettes most of them predating the big war. Lucky Strikes were still packaged in the green pack with red and white bulls eye. Everything including the cigarettes tasted like the soap. Clothing also came from the Army. Although some laundry could be done by indigents from a nearby village. We had no bathing facilities of any sort other than helmets, but we could go to the Army shower points about every ten days where everything you wore was exchanged for clean (not new) fatigues underwear and boots. Needless to say, by the time we rotated to the states. our clothing issue, except for the blues which had stayed in the duffel bag for the year had little resemblance to AF. I wound up with about five sets of two piece fatigues, and jump boots replacing all the worn out shoes. We occasionally got new boots in trade for whiskey at the Army supply points. None of the pants and shirts really matching and certainly no match for the sage green sets being worn by the troops at our new stateside duty stations. Little by little, I was able to exchange items of clothing and by the end of 1954, my clothing was all AF and I also finally was awarded a 30372 AFSC equivalent to the MOS I had qualified for. Subsequent ADC assignments included 759th AC&W at Naselle, WA, 656th at Saratoga Springs, NY, 2604th AD Group at Otis AFB, BOADS, Stewart AFB, 914th AC&W at Ontario, CA, 772nd AC&W Claysburg, PA, 770th AC&W, Ft Meade, MD and WADS, Ft Lee, VA. While on the installation team, took part inthe installations at Lake City, TN and Ft Knox, KY. In the way of other trivia. in the early USAF days it was illegal to go off base in anything but class A`s or at some stations, appropriate civilian dress. Even if you lived off post, if you worked in fatigues, you changed to Class A`s. Walking, riding in a car or on the bus, you were checked by the MP`s at the gate for proper uniform. The class A pass was not carried but kept in a box on the 1st Sgt`s desk and you signed `out and in` redepositing the pass upon return to the base. Local commanders sometimes relented and let married off post personnel travel back and forth in the work uniform but no stops in between were allowed. Not all uniform regs came from the manual either. I recall that at Keesler in 1948 and 1949 the base commander`s wife made lots of rules. Class A`s were required for the base theater. Complaints from the men about the tie during the real hot weather convinced the CO to relax about the tie business. However, the unofficial commander decided that the open collared shirts revealed chest hair which was unsightly and a change was made that if one wore a tee shirt, not yet issued but available at the PX, the tie did not have to be worn. After a few days, the word came down that underwear showing in the open collar was also undesirable. So, back to class A`s. This soon carried over to visiting the PX cafeteria. If you were in fatigues and wanted lunch or a milk shake, the presence of men in sometimes soiled work uniforms was non grata. We were told to be satisfied with the flight line cafeteria down at the end of the runway which if you were on lunch break was out of the question. I live near an AF Base now, have a grandson and son-in-law in the Air Force, two sons each of whom spent over ten years in the Air Force and I can say that the changes which have occurred since that long ago day when I jumped off the back of a six-by in front of the Fun House, have been many and drastic. Some good, some bad. As far as uniforms go, have you seen the new blue camos designed for Airmen???


07/06/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: GAJ7702 AT AOL.COM

What was your favorite C-ration? I was partial to the ham and eggs, not bad when warmed up. Then there was some kind of hash, I think. As I recall there were three variations on bean dinners that led to the obvious effects, a bane to tent dwellers. Also, the end of an era when there was a small pack of cigarettes, three as I recall. I used to trade mine for other stuff. We had one guy who was kind of a C-ration gourmet. He could take the rations and his sterno stove and do remarkable things. He once made icing for his cake with the coffee creamer and some sugar and water.


07/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rmk98 AT yscnet.com

Highway 212 near Custer Battlefield National Monument, Montana. We`re towing a 25` travel trailer from Seattle to Omaha on Interstate 90. Do any of you know if Highway 212, south of Hardin, MT heading SE to Belle Fourche, ND and Sturgis, SD is a good side route, regarding the condition and width of the road, construction projects, etc? Anybody travelled it recently? Thanks! Dick Konizeski


07/05/2004 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rmk98 AT tscnet.com

Whoops! I typoed my email address in my last entry. It`s rmk98@tscnet.com


07/03/2004 00:00:00

Name: vic parnell
Email: v.parnell AT mchsi.com

Hello guys from deep down south Mobile alabama. I WAS THE ncoic of training from JUNE 1984 until April 1986, under Lt Col Larry Dobbs, and LT COL Scott Myers. I workrd with Irv Otradevic Hope to hear from someone.


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT aol.com

Attention radar techs, scope dopes and other assorted floor buffer aficionados: In talking with some other Vietnam era veterans, I said I used to wear the tan Air Force uniform, which for some reason was known as a `1505.` The question arose: When was that uniform phased out? Bonus: Was there or was there not ever an Air Force `short pants` uniform? I never saw this item worn, but I think there was one (which I think was worn with high socks). Another guy said no way the USAF ever wore shorts, that I`d seen `Bridge on the River Kwai` too many times. I said there used to be issued a “summer blues,” and a woolen “winter blues” because I was issued them. My skeptical friend snorted. Now I think they have that awful polyester stuff, but back in the day … Anyone know the answers to these important questions?


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: buckybre AT earthlink.net

You are right, there was a uniform 1505 it came with a bush jacket shorts and yes there was knee scoks,it even had a piss helment to match. They phased it out mid 60`s. The only thing good about it was no colar brass but the bush jacket look like hell because it always looked wrinkled.I wore the shorts while stationed at Joelton AFS,1960 ,just as we were closing the site down.


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Rocky
Email: kings1978 AT yahoo.com

Yes, there was a `short pants` outfit with Knee-socks and a Pith Helmet too. Way before my time though. Maybe late 1950`s/early 60`s. AF Times & AIRMAN magazine sometimes ran stories on this sort of thing.....The Tan short sleeved outfit was last worn in 1977 POSSIBLY 1978. I went active in Jan 1976 and they were already fairly rare even at that time even tho I was issued one set of blues and 2 sets of tans! The number 1505 was the technical specification of the color of the fabric. It`s how the procuremen people referred to it and it just caught on with the troops. Anyone remember the `SUB-4` 2 digit dial lines in the SAGE weapons room? They had no specified nomenclature so they were referred to as the phone lines in `SUB-PARAGRAPH 4` of the contract that authorized their installation.Funny how things get named...... As far as the Summer Blues and heavier Winter Blues, I still have both of mine.


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: MKStaton
Email: michael_staton AT msn.com

I remember seeing the short pants and pith helmet uniform on Okinawa in 1971-2. the 1505 uniform was great. Easy to maintain (it kept a crease after a few dry and presses) and not an airlines look.


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Jerry Zettler
Email: zettlerj AT speakeasy.net

The tan uniform in 1962 was called a 505. It was a short sleeved long pantsed cotton uniform which had to be heavely starched therefore very uncomfortable. The short pants with knee socks ant pith helmet were were optional items of the uniform, that had to be purchased at clothing sales. The 1505 uniform was gaberdien(sic)it was long sleeved and was a very comfortable to wear. The bush jacket was part of the 505 and it was also optional. My inital clothing issue was two 505`s three fatiges, a summer and winter blues, and of corse the big blue horse blanket over coat, araincoat and field jacket. the 1505 was not a part of my issue so it was probably a later part of the Airforce`s uniform issue. There is My two cents worth Jerry Zettler


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT earthlink.net

Talking about various uniforms brings back a lot of memories. In `61 when I went through basic training, the fatigue uniforms were undergoing a transition. I and about half of my basic training flight were issued the `sage green` pleated-pant fatigues. I swear there was only one pant length issued. We were required to hem up our own pants using our sewing kit. Us taller guys had reasonably short cuffs but the shorter guys had cuffs that almost extended to their knees....they looked awfull. After basic, many got the pants tapered and the cuffs done right by a tailor. Others in the flight were issued the newer olive green fatigues and some other less fortunate ones were issued an olive green shirt and sage green pants or vice versa. It made for a strange looking bunch of guys when we gathered in formation. The bush jacket was universaly hated. I can only remember wearing it once and that was on the bus trip from Lackland to Keesler. They wrinkled very easily, same with the 505s. No such thing as wrinkle-free cotton back then. Have a safe and happy 4th of July....


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Aaron Allen [551, 931] US-26
Email: aaron.nancy AT verizon.net

When I entered in Sept 57, we were giv- en 1-serge blouse, 1-serge Ike jkt, 2 wool pants, 1 raincoat, 1`horseblanket` overcoat, sage green fatigues, caps, field jacket and [first year of `em]-- 505s: Bush jackets, ss shirts, 2 pants and, yes, the SHORTS and knee sox...I liked them and wore `em in an office environment for one summer. All my pals did so too and nobody laughed at us-- just asked if they were comfortable... At Otis [my first base] I pulled base- cleanup detail one Saturday: 25 guys reported--all dressed PROPERLY in fati- gues--yet NO TWO men were alike! There were 4-5 different field jackets, 4 ba sic types of fatigues, 4 of which cud be `mix-n-match` [to use up low-durabi- lity sage greens], 5 types of shoes or boots, and 5-6 types of caps which the guys wore. Because we WEREN`T required to wear name and branch tapes, only a few people had them--mostly those who had been in Japan and Korea where they were required on some bases IAW regs of the Korean War Era...When I tell present day troops this story they are amazed--until I remind them that WE thought of fatigues as `work` clothes, not uniforms to stand formations in... USAF is apparently headed for their own version of `Urban-Camo`, a pixel- printed blue/grey mottled ensemble like the Marines and Army are into... Until this is done, I`m for allowing ALL members who don`t need to `hide-in- the-woods` to wear `Desert` BDU with brown roughout boots [outdoors; low- quarters or running shoes indoors, on hard, marrable floors!] When NOT in a formation, I still believe what `35-10` said, `Utility clothing shud be clean and servicable`..and, `footware shud be clean and in good repair` I was in for 8 years and finally gave in and sewed a command patch above my left pocket [I was then in AFCS]. When asked why I didn`t have name and branch tapes, etc. my answer was that I didn`t need them to do my job: My stripes said `Air Forc e` and my ID card and security badge had my name--for those who NEEDED to know...A very Happy Independence Day to you ALL! [Aaron]


07/02/2004 00:00:00

Name: Edward Franklin
Email: erfranklin AT hotmail.com

Hey Guys - isn`t it great to be able to reminisce about the late 50s & early 60s when things were not so difficult. If I remember things were pretty cut and dry and there were not so many options to be faced with like today. I read some of your comments and great memories come back. I wonder why the USAF used the tan 505 & 1505 vice a light/dark blue combination to totally represent the USAF?? I think the light/dark blue would have been a real morale booster. Have a happy 4th!!!


07/01/2004 00:00:00

Name: Kevin M. Moore USAF
Email: kmoor15ll AT yahoo.com

I was proud to serves as a 276X0 Radar Tech 1976 - 1980 Keesler School of Aerospace Science 1976 Kalispell AFS 1976 -1979 Cold Bay AFS 1979 -1980 Still a member of the NJ Air National Guard. Looking at the pictures of Keesler brought back memories. Thank you, Kevin Moore


07/01/2004 00:00:00

Name: Bob Vincent
Email: bayoubark AT bellsouth.net

Sure... We all have a right to express our opions, but don`t say they served side by side with us vets. we don`t know that. They may be some of those who chose to run to Canda,etc. God Bless the United States 27350A and B 1957-61