Monday, December 22, 2008
Another example was the guy that helped me learn what I needed to pass the SKT test for the next skill level in my job. He was what they called a squared away troop. He would spend half the night working on a plane that needed to be fixed immediately and go home for a few hours sleep and put on fresh fatigues and shine his boots and be back first thing in the morning. He really knew his stuff when it came to doing sheelmetal work on aircraft. That's why the Coonass sent us over to the SAC (SAC Sucks) sheetmetal shop for him to teach us more about aircraft sheetmetal than the basics we had learned in Tech School. It's about the only smart thing my supervisor did. One day out of the blue, he got orders saying he would be cross-trained into missiles. He was smart enough that he would have done a very good job at whatever he did, but the guy loved the job he was doing and no way did he want to change jobs. He decided to get out even tho he only needed a hitch or two to get his 20 in. These are a couple of examples of the infinite wisdom of the military.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I learned that a 'Coonass' was a Cajun from Louisiana. My supervisor was a Coonass and so I didn't have a very good opinion of Coonasses because of that. Let's just say I didn't think he was the brightest bulb in the chandelier. They sent us another Coonass straight out of basic to become a welder and he was an even dimmer bulb.
Learned about Down East, which is a direction. According to Wikipedia it refers to the Maine coast from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian Border. Another is when sailing from Boston to Maine, you would go downwind to go East and on the return you would go up to Boston.
When I was there the people were Mainiacs, now they prefer to be called Mainers. I still like Mainiacs and the Air National Guard unit at Bangah (Bangor) still called themselves Mainiacs when I was back there in the mid-80's. While I was stationed there the Guard had F-89's that were pretty much useless. I heard that when our F-101's were flying target for their F-89's, they would sometimes get on the radio and say slow down so we can catch you. When I was back in the 80's they were a tanker unit. I got one of their decals and put it on my toolbox.
I learned how to talk like a Mainiac, and could do a passable Down East accent. A friend (a Mainiac) turned me on to the records Bert and I. If you click on the link you can listen to several of the bits on the Bert and I records. These records helped me get my Mainiac accent right. When I was about to go back there in the 80's, I used the accent to talk to the guys I was working with who were going up to Bangah. They said I was bullshitting them, that nobody talks like that. After we had been there awhile and the leadman had meet the family of waitress he hooked up with, he said, not only did they talk like I had, their accent was so thick he couldn't understand it!!
Aiyah, ain't no sonuva whorah in Bangah can beat my caw!! Aiyah!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
I heard skycops would get so bored walking around guarding the airplanes that they would count the rivets on a panel on the plane. I can think of better ways to spend the day or night than walking around an airplane with a rifle in all kinds of weather.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
What was ironic was that at the Lockheed Employee Store you could buy jackets, t-shirts, caps and other stuff with the Skunk Works Logo or ADP (Advanced Development Projects) on them, but those of us that actually worked there were told not to buy or wear anything with those on them. That way no one would ask questions that we could not answer.
This was another cool aircraft that I worked on. While working on it I could not tell my family about it. The Old Lady swears that while we were in La-La Land that our phone was tapped. Sometimes while talking to a friend, the connection would not be clear and her friend would ask what is wrong with the phone. The Old Lady would say, "Lockheed has a tap on the line, so we can't talk about state secrets, but we can talk about the drug deal that's going down". There would be a click and the phone would clear up!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This is a picture of a T-33A. Again this is not one that I worked on. We had F-101B&F and T-33A aircraft in the unit. It was on these types of aircraft that I learned the ins and outs of aircraft repair. We did less work on the T-33's than on the F-101's but the F-101's were flown a lot more than the T-33's. What was interesting about the T-33 was that when the jet engine needed to be removed for maintenance, the whole tail was removed, and then the engine was removed.
Behind the engines under the tail of the F-101 were titanium shingles because of the heat from the exhaust. This was my first encounter with titanium, but not the last by any means. About the only thing I had to do with these titanium panels was to punch holes in new ones when one needed to be replaced.
At the time I thought these planes were old as the F-101's were around 10 years old and the T-birds were older yet. Today some of the planes the services are using are 20 years old or more.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
H/T to Chris Hanisko for putting the picture on the intratubes where I could find it. I googled "Lear Fan" and this was one of the hits that came up.
As long as I had that license, sometimes when I would get carded, I would get told that it wasn't any good. I'd ask why not and they would say it says valid without photo. I would ask them what the hell did they think valid meant??
So for a few years I had licenses from two states at the same time.
Monday, December 8, 2008
This photo shows what winter was normally like while I was there. Everywhere I was stationed I heard stories about cars being buried in snowdrifts. I believed the stories at K.I.Sawyer because my car was buried a time or two while stationed there. What helped me find it was the orange Styrofoam ball atop the antenna. I also heard stories like that on Cape Cod at Otis, but the most snow I saw there at one time was about six inches.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
One of my memories is that when we had a squadron party they would fill the back of a pickup with ice and cans of beer. Too bad the beer wasn't of a quality to make it drinkable. Black Label beer was one that I could not choke down when sober. Once I was drunk I could drink Black Label. Narraganset beer would slide down my throat just barely. It seemed like those were the only choices, maybe the officers got better stuff, but I don't know. Anywho, we got the cheapest beers.
I learned many things while there. I learned how to work on aircraft (F-101B & F-101F and T-33's). I learned that prejudice is a two-way street. The most prejudiced guy I ever met was a black guy that I worked with. He hated whites with a passion. Also working in the shop was another black guy who would do whatever he could to help you out and it didn't matter whether you were white or black. One day the two of them were razzing me and saying that where I was from they still thought blacks were nightfighters. I slowly looked over both of them and then said, "Say, you guys would be good in the dark."