I remember back at 539 FIS we had 6 Alert buildings all connected and secure area. When I first got there we didn't have MA-1 as part of alert crew. So as everyone knows most flights needed a little fixing prior to flight. So we either had to get signed into Alert area or pilot would taxi out of shelter and we would fix it as part of launch duties. So after a while of this poor excuse at launching Alert Birds they assigned several of us to Alert Duty. Best time of my career. We did 48 hours on, and 48 off. Pilots did full week on duty and had an area where their families could visit.
First thing we usually did after changing badges and checking is was to do switch over Alert Bird and do MA-1 Preflight. We would determine that at that moment in time it worked as designed.
Then we would let Armament guys load up the weapons load. Five minute birds got 4 missiles and 15 minute Birds got full load including Genie.
Then we would retire to Rec area of Alert area where we had pool tables, ping pong and color TV (1965 and later) We would usually get a exercise launch horn go off and we would practice a launch. Dry run without engine start or taxi. If we were lucky we wouldn't have actual launch but we did get several a week since we were the NY Sector and had lots of International Airliners come in without proper notification.
But the best part of the time in Alert Area was the food. We had two full time cooks on same schedule as us. We had this black SSgt, had almost 20 years service. He could do wonders with steak and eggs. And the alert dining area got all kinds of steak. And it wasn't a set schedule for meals. We did have dinner as a community meal and head pilot would usually give us latest squadron news etc. Those meals were always great as well. But I can remember waking up during the night and couldn't sleep and one of the cooks were always up and would cook to order.
After we disbanded the 539 FIS, most of squadron moved to 95 FIS down at Dover but MSgt Jim Neece, myself and a few others got transferred to Tyndall. We didn't do Alert Duties there so I never got back on Alert Duties.
The alert kitchens were normally real good. With four planes on alert, it wasn't a big crowd to feed. One night, however, they had liver and onions. One of the other crew chiefs and I decided we would take a pass and miss super. But, just as we were turning to leave, one of our pilots asked us why we were not eating. We told him everything was fine, we just didn't like liver and onions. For those who remember, we actually had a few Lt. Colonels with the 49th. And this night, one of them was taking alert duty. He called the mess guys over and had a discussion with them. In no uncertain terms he told them if they served something like liver and onions, there better be some other choice available. I hated that the mess crew took some heat. The message I got from it though, was crew chiefs were important to the pilots, and they were for us just as we were for them
There was not a lot of information on 106's available when I got to Griffiss, so I read what I could find. There was a book that said the Six could do Mach 2.5 so that is what I believed. There were two civilian techs at Griffiss, but they told me the speed was classified and they weren't going to tell me. I just did my job to the best of my ability and developed a good relationship with the pilots, that I was going to give them the best plane I could. One night while I was on alert, one of our pilots came inside and asked if I would help him get his plane out. I told him of course I would, and I went and gave the plane a good preflight. I noticed during my checks that there were no drop tanks on the plane. After checking everything out, I climbed up to help strap him in. That is when he told me that he was going to go real fast tonight. Not thinking anything about it I told him yes sir, and did what crew chiefs do to launch an aircraft. He returned a short time later, and I asked him how fast he went. When he told me he could not get it past Mach 2.31, I thought at the time that we missed the mark by not going Mach 2.5. With the availability of the internet, I read about the 1959 dash that set the speed record at 2.31. It then dawned on me that on a dark night at Griffiss AFB when I thought I was waiting on a claxon to launch a five minute bird, I was also a part of something else. I don't know why the speed dash, could have been seeing what speed we could do if a MIG 23 or 25 showed up, but we had tied the record. There were no reporters, no newspaper articles, no parade, or any other recognition for the feat. But, I was there.
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lindel: While I don't have a cheap phone, I DO have insurance on it...should it fall into a outhouse or similar, it can stay there...insurance WILL take care of it.
May 15, 2022 3:53:15 GMT 9
johncarr: I wonder if any one can help me find a friend from Det 2 48fis Robert Puls He was the chute man Got maried while he was at homestead I left the in Feb 73 my Email is [email protected]
Feb 5, 2022 12:14:03 GMT 9
Bullhunter: Yery well said !
Dec 13, 2021 6:14:51 GMT 9
flypapajohn: SMSGT James Gier, USAF Retired, passed away last evening! "The Old Sarge" was one of many great crew chiefs that I had the honor of knowing! Allan John Kelly, Lt Col USAF Retired
Oct 7, 2021 2:40:54 GMT 9
Diamondback: Wave returned, Mike, though different vintage--my grandfather was a Green Dragon around '65-'70ish including Osan; one of the last out of NATO Chateauroux and a lot of that planeload ended up posted at McChord.
May 6, 2021 3:40:17 GMT 9
oswald: what happened to the forum?
Apr 14, 2020 7:41:01 GMT 9
ma1marv: Thank you for this info! I need to get back here more often!
Jan 26, 2020 5:18:54 GMT 9
bobski9933: :-/Hey Sixers, I'm looking for any T.O. that listed weights of MA-1 heavy parts, like Stable Table, Radar Antenna, TR Unit, Magnatron, etc. How much did the "05 hell/door: weigh? How about Ground Service Equipment? for a VA back Disability Claim.
Dec 31, 2019 8:01:39 GMT 9
Bullhunter: Pat Mcgee, I told 3 people how to order your key chains today.
Oct 6, 2019 15:15:34 GMT 9
sand4u: I was a F106 mechanic at George AFB 329th FIS from June 1963 to Jan 1967,swing shift mostly,worked on all the aircraft we had there.
Jul 31, 2019 4:21:21 GMT 9
pat perry: bobdavis Tell Armstrong's son to join Convair F-106 Delta Dart group on FaceBook and post his Dad's info. They have over 5000 members and his chances of finding those who served with his dad are better.
Jun 19, 2019 2:33:35 GMT 9
pat perry: On 12-31-2013 this was posted for LtCol Armstrong, Henry W by his son: I am signing on behalf of my father Lt Col HW Armstrong deceased 1-2-01 Skilled 102, 106, 101, 100 pilot and Cheif or Operations for the QF102, QF106 and QF 100 programs at Holloman AFB
Jun 19, 2019 2:00:59 GMT 9
bobdavis: I met a gentleman on another forum who say my signature F106 photo and messaged me. He said his Dad flew F106's back in the day. He said his name was Hank Armstrong. Did anyone know of him? Thanks in advance. Bob Davis 48th FIS and 4756th ABG
May 9, 2019 5:27:19 GMT 9