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58 Years Ago

On August 11th, 2017, it will have been 59 years since my father enlisted in the United States Air Force. Although he is no longer with us, it is still with great pride that I wish to remember him for many things — one of them is his service to his country while serving in the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS). After he completed Basic Training in Lackland AFB, Texas, and then his tech school for Morse Intercept Operator at Keesler AFB, MS, he was sent to his first duty station at Onna Point, Okinawa with the 6927th Radio Squadron Mobile. It was here in Okinawa that Dad and Mom brought me into this world along with my brother Johnny. We then followed Dad to Darmstadt, Germany where he was stationed with the 6910th Security Wing. My sister Kathryn was born here in Wiesbaden. Then Dad was sent back to the states to Goodfellow AFB, TX with the 6948th Security Squadron (Mobile) for a year. Here at San Angelo, TX, my brother Andy was born. Next, Dad was shipped to the Mediterranean — Iraklion AS, Crete to work with the 6931st Security Group. Here I have incredible, larger than life, and very fond memories. We placed baseball as kids with the antenna field on one side of us and the Mediterranean Ocean on the other side. From here, Dad was sent to Elmendorf AFB, AK and there he was with the 6981st Security Group. Alaska was where Dad got out of the USAFSS and went into MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation). I was 10 years old then. Most of my memories, unfortunately, are of Dad running ski lodges, youth centers, and recreation centers. Eventually, he became NCOIC, MWR at Eglin AFB, FL where he retired. That is the reason for this website — Dad couldn’t talk about his work in the USAFSS. As I learn more and continue to research, I am extremely proud of what my Dad did and also all the other USAFSS veterans who served with him.

So to all you USAFSS veterans, and most especially to you, DAD, I say thank you for your sacrificial service.


150 comments for “58 Years Ago”

  1. I would be considered a “newbie” serving with USAFSS for 5 years 1968-73, after tech school @ Keesler for 5 months. Assigned to the 6915, 6917, 6927 and European Security Region in Frankfurt. God Bless your dad.

    Posted by John Woods | April 18, 2015, 6:32 pm
  2. Yo David Bolton! 9 May 2015

    I am almost sure that you shall NOT remember me at all (hell, Bill Kauffman, whom you tried to contact, did not have a clue as to who I might be, and I used to work across a table from him at Tempelhof!). I too served at the 6912th (from Dec 1966 through March 1968) while still essentially “a-fumblin’ an’ a-mumblin'”. Unless I am totally mistaken, weren’t you also with a bunch of us at the home of John Cook Sr. (in Glen Ridge, NJ) in December 1966, invited to bunk down there in preparation for our staging out of JFK for Berlin? Seems to me you were once sitting in the Cook living room strumming a few riffs on the guitbox. I either was acquainted with or knew of the guys you mentioned. Do you remember Edwin Floyd Bobbitt (“Eddybob”), Mickey Sears, Fred Sapp, Bill Gradwell, Dave Longmire, Tom Sigel, Ted Franckowiak, Steve Allen, John Wagnitz, etc.? Remember “Miller”, our pal John R. Cook’s lady? Remember Doyle F. Byford trying to put the moves on John’s cute sister, Kathy, while we were guests in the Cook home? How about the candid photo of a few of us taken just in front of the Cook domicile? But the most eerie and ?coincidental? occurrence of late was your having posted your comment here on my 70th birthday at a time (1:11) that has recently been recurring endlessly in my day to day life! ‘Good to hear from you yet again!

    Posted by INCONSEQUENTIAL | May 9, 2015, 6:56 pm
  3. DON BIRON –
    reviewing the posts, I noticed yours of 10/30/13 – I was at 6981st 12/57 thru 02/59, so although I don’t remember you per se, we were there at same time, same bldg., but different depts. I was a 29151 in comm center. Also remember Col. Lachance. Do you recall the near record blizzard in early Jan 59 that nearly covered up the base? 50 below 0 and nearly 30′ of snow – most of it still there when I left in Feb. Proud to have served with you! Would like to hear back from your or anyone – email ironhorse@bellsouth.net – also, see my post of Oct 2014 – Jack Williams

    Posted by Jack Williams | May 11, 2015, 2:22 pm
  4. I arrived in Crete with Bill Harkins and another fellow Christmas Eve 1969. We spent the first two weeks looking for let cigarettes and but pans from eight at night until six in the morning before wewere assigned to Baker flight. I played softball, football. and bowling. We used to go to movies after swings when we weren’t bowling. I took leave in late December 1970 and was married in January 1971 and my wife Sharon and I return to Crete. We moved into a two-story apartment on the last road east in her Chersonises (sp) we had a lot of fun on Baker flight both in the compound and out, especially on the beach.next to Mike who own Mike’s lighthouse.we had a lot of fun on Baker flight both in the compound and outside especially on the beach. We got an early out and returned to Illinois. Two weeks after getting home I took a job with the planning agency and 32 years later I retired into thousand 10. I’m living in Rancho Cucamonga,california. My heart felt good wishes for all my buddies and made those who have passed rest in peace. Tom Palzer

    Posted by Tom Palzer | May 29, 2015, 6:29 am
  5. Served at AFSCC 60-61, 6950th 61-65, and TUSLOG Det 3-1 67-68. Worked with, for and for me some truly dedicated and wonderful young people. Most exciting of times was S & W at TUSLOG 3-1; Best of times 6950th RGM; worst of times headquarters in San Antonio.

    Posted by Ron Betts | May 30, 2015, 1:41 pm
  6. Posted by Ron Betts | May 30, 2015, 1:42 pm
  7. Hi,

    I was stationed at CFK at the same time as your dad. I arrived in Aug 64 and left in Nov 67. Mind you, it was 51 years ago, and I was an analyst first on Baker Flt, then a day weenie in my last year. I may have run into your dad, but, sorry, I do not recognize the name. It was a great assignment, with lots of travel opportunites, and super people to work with. It is extremely nice that you posted this in his memory. I retired from the USAF after 38 years on active duty as a Lt Col. Seriously, lots of fond memories of my time in USAFSS.

    Posted by David Liebergot | June 10, 2015, 6:25 pm
  8. Hi to Col Bill Morales. Don’t know if you remember me, but, I was in Baker flight also from 1964-1966.

    Posted by David Liebergot | June 10, 2015, 6:31 pm
  9. My father, SSgt Allen Harris was in the 6912th SS at Tempelhof from 1967 to 1970. Lived in the Hangar Area and worked at Marionfelt (sp?) as a 294.

    His email address is allen.harris9@att.net if anyone from that time would care to keep in touch. He was in Abel Flight.

    Before Berlin, he was in the 6948th SS at Shemya, Alaska.

    Posted by Christopher Harris | June 15, 2015, 6:44 pm
  10. Enlisted 4/63 after basic went around the loop to Kelly fab awaiting clearance.on to Goodfellow for 202 training(was there the day Kennedy w as shot) then 18 months at 6901scg in Zweibrucken Germany. Went to NSA when they transferred the SWC there. 15 months at NSA then out. Truly the most exciting job I ever had.

    Posted by john usher | June 18, 2015, 7:15 pm
  11. To Col Bill Morales: Don’t know if you recall me, but, I remember you. I was a 202 on Baker Flt from Aug64-Nov67. Had a great time at Darmstadt: got married to my English wife of 49 years in 1966. Saw a lot Europe on this and two subsequent tours (as an officer). Many fond memories of those I served with. Hope your retirement is as much fun as mine: I now sing professionally in Central Florida-live near Patrick AFB. A shout out to all those who served in the 6910th. Lt Col (ret) Dave Liebergot

    Posted by Dave Liebergot | June 24, 2015, 2:28 pm
  12. Yo,…

    Anyone out there know how to contact August Schallock, an E-4 formerly with the 6912th Security Squadron? August, if you yourself see this message, betcha don’t remember “falling in love” (your own words, dear fellow!) with the beautiful Ulrike at the Balagan Bar in the Waitzstrasse in Berlin. We were there one night throwing back a few with a third troop,our buddy Marty Goodwin. I recall inviting you guys out there one night,ostensibly to introduce you both to an alternative to the Broadway. I was posted to Berlin from December 1966 through March 1968. If you are out there, let me hear from you!

    Posted by INCONSEQUENTIAL | August 4, 2015, 6:53 pm
  13. Thanks for the memories! 6912th 63/66.

    Posted by Bernard Wosniak | August 15, 2015, 4:37 am
  14. I arrived at the 6981st in May 1959. I side-saddled with Gary Wild and worked with Charlie “Chuck” Volanti. Just wished Retired Chief Jim White a happy 75th birthday. Nice to see some of we Guys are still around.

    Posted by John Christian | August 15, 2015, 3:27 pm
  15. USAFSS 1959-1974: 6933RGM Karamursel, Turkey, 6922nd SctySq Kadena Oki, AAfsso Sunnyvale, Calif, ^984th Shemya Alaska, 6901st ScrySq Germany, CCCAF, Frankfurt Ger. 6990th SW Kadena, Det 1 6990th, CamRahn Bay Vnam, ESR Frankfurt Ger, Tuslog det 3 KCDI, Last Assignment before retirement 1st AirComGp Offutt AFB NE.

    Posted by Bill Shustack | August 17, 2015, 2:26 pm
  16. I would like to hear from anyone who was at the 6981st
    From 1/55 to 11/57
    If you remember st jack Morris,set k d krumby.joe cox,
    Frank lowney

    Posted by Irving casler | September 13, 2015, 8:26 pm
  17. I learned to be a Morse Intercept Operator @ Keesler AFB in early 1961. I was then stationed at Darmstadt, Germany for 2 years as part of the 6910th Radio Group Mobile. My last year in the AF was at Shemya Island, Aluetian Islands. I was discharged from the USAF in November, 1964.

    Posted by Michael Small | September 18, 2015, 9:59 am
  18. Stationed at Elmendorf from February ’55 to August of ’55, then to Ladd for 18 months, leaving in January of ’57 for Keesler as radio operator instructor. Discharged in September of 1957. Often wonder whatever happened to all the guys I knew in Alaska…

    Posted by Leo Martin | October 6, 2015, 10:38 am
  19. I did not serve in any USAFSS unit, however I did serve in the Air Force at Francis E Warren AR base in Cheyenne, Wyo. during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when President Kennedy put all Military Installations on “Red Alert”. I was an Air Police security guard at the Atlas-D nuclear missile sites around Warren AF Base (one of the major intercontinental missile bases at that time). In all of the 52 years since leaving the Air Force, I have not met one single veteran who served at a missile base during that October Cuban Crisis and would like to hear from anyone who was a missile man or security guard during that time.

    Posted by Ken Brinkman | November 10, 2015, 9:19 pm
  20. I was at 6917th San Vito Italy 1967-1970, I got together with a bunch of guys and we called ourselves the Pulsano Gang….we would go to Pulsano and camp out by the beach when we had time off through out the days and weeks in summer, tents were up all week as well as bar-b-ques and the beach was always great. Tom Gardner, Dan H.(cookie),(Boston) Larry L., Sam, and all the rest of you guys, I am older now memory is going down hill so I can’t recall everyone but if you have had any communications with anyone from our group please let me hear from you guys, I would like to go over some of the good times we had…..TKS Pat

    Posted by Pat Allgood (Malcum) | November 16, 2015, 2:10 am
  21. I served on Shemya for a year, beginning in 1957, with the USAFSS 6981st Radio Group Mobile detachment as a Russian Language Specialist and am hoping that anyone who served there at that time would respond to this posting and contact me.

    Jim Michie

    Posted by James F. "Jim" Michie | December 3, 2015, 9:26 pm
  22. Served with USAFSS 1961-1965,trained at Goodfellow AFB, then was assigned to HQ Kelly AFB San Antonio Texas. After a year, was assigned to North East Cape St Lawrence Island. Would love to hear from anyone I served with. Currently retired Paramedic with over 30 years of service.

    Posted by Ed Grant | March 4, 2016, 6:26 pm
  23. I was stationed at the 6917th Security Group, San Vito dei Normanni Air Station, southern Italy from 1969-1972 on Dog Flight. I know the base is closed now and the antenna has been dismantled and taken away. Does anyone know if the old base is accessible or locked up? I’d like to get some old Air Force guys to tour the facility if indeed we can gain entry. Thanks. Brad C.

    Posted by Brad Cooper | March 22, 2016, 2:28 pm
  24. Brad – I was in USAFSS with the 6981st RGM (in AK) 1957-59 and recently came across a site called USAFSS ROLL CALL that has lots of info and history on the USAFSS including San Vito, that may be of help to you. It might be worth searching. Jack

    Posted by Jack Williams | March 23, 2016, 3:38 pm
  25. I enjoy reading all comments having to do with Cambrai-Fristch Kaserne in Darmstadt, having been stationed there from 1954-1956, then transferred to Rhine-Mein AFB 1956-Jan,’57. Married a local gal, lost my security, couldn’t be an intercept morse code operator. Went to Rhine-Mein, worked in the OSI office until discharged in 1/57. Still married, 61+ yrs. Can never connect with anyone on this site that was from CFK during that time. Have lost 2 friends that served with me there.

    Posted by F, Allen Distler | March 23, 2016, 7:20 pm
  26. Hi Allen,

    Well, I was not there during the period you posted, but, I did serve as an analyst from 1964 to 1967 at CFK. Thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and all the things that happened to me, including getting married to a gal from England I met while I was TDY to Bletchley Part in 1966. Lots of great memeories about the people and the places I saw.

    Posted by Dave Liebergot | March 25, 2016, 5:15 pm
  27. I SERVED W/6914 RSM (later 6910 RGM) 1955-1957 SEMBACH AB GRUNSTADT SITE.

    Posted by MELVIN (FRANK) FLOWERS | March 28, 2016, 6:49 pm
  28. I’m very proud to read what you wrote about your Dad. I was at Elmendorf with the 6981st in 68-70 and then with the 6948th at Goodfellow where I separated from the Air Force. I still work for the Air Force but as a civilian contractor. Thank you for honoring your Dad this way and for the kind words you gave to the rest of us who served silently with honor.

    Posted by Jack Durant | March 30, 2016, 12:44 pm
  29. I was at 6052 RSM in Kirknewton Royal Air Force Station, Scotland from Marc 1960 to November 1962 as a 29252. I have not been able to get in touch with anyone from there. I have severe tinnitus and I believe that I got it then. I had ringing in my ears back then, but the VA said that I can’t prove it. My medical records lied about my hearing when I was released. They say that I had a hearing test that was good. I never had a hearing test!!!

    Posted by James North | April 13, 2016, 8:10 pm
  30. That was 6952 RSM Scotland…I put 6052…Duh!!

    Posted by James North | April 13, 2016, 8:11 pm
  31. Was in U.S. Navy Reserve from 1952 until Dec,1954 where I enlisted in USAF,took Basntnic at Lackland AFB,sent to Keesler AFB for radio school, was there for 26 weeks & was sent to 6983rd at March AFB for just a few months, and then was sent to 6981RGM at Elmendorf AFB until Dec.1958. Stayed in till I made Staff.
    Got out of service and went on the Kansas City, Missouri Police Dept.,retired 1988 after 30 years as a Master Detective.

    Posted by George W. Jeter | May 8, 2016, 3:32 pm
  32. Allen, I served on CFK from Nov 55 (Consec from 29th/6927th Oki) thru e June 57 (Married local, went to Ramstein). I’m an old 2ndRSMer from ELK 49-52 and then Keesler instructor, 29th Clark, & Det on Oki then 6927th Flight Oki and then 6911th over on CFK.

    Posted by Paul Laffitte | May 13, 2016, 7:02 pm
  33. I was a kid in Darmstadt in the early ’60s. Did your dad coach little league baseball and did he have a nickname connected to a certain dog breed. If so I may have something else to share with you.

    Posted by fred thompson | July 17, 2016, 7:44 pm
  34. Thanks so much for setting up this website! Not many folks understand what these men did. My dad, Jerald Rowe, was a ditty bop in the USAFSS for 20 years. He started out at Keesler for radio school in 1955 and then to the, as he teased, sixty-nine eighty worst at Elmendorf the same year. He did three tours there: 55-58, 60-64 (yes we were there for the big quake) and 67-71. He also did two short tours on Shemya, but I don’t recall the years. I’d love to hear from anyone who served with my Dad. One of his nicknames was the Red Baron because of his red moustache. Sadly, he passed away in 2001.

    Posted by Candace (Rowe) Ronan | July 24, 2016, 7:10 pm
  35. Thx!

    Posted by Candace (Rowe) Ronan | July 24, 2016, 7:11 pm
  36. I served with the 2nd RSM for a couple of months in early 1954 and with Detachment D at Berlin Tempelhof from 1954 to May 1956 as a 20330 and enjoyed almost every minute of it. Would like to hear from anyone who served there during that time.

    Posted by John W. Lawton | September 30, 2016, 11:26 am
  37. Sadly, my father Reuben Cherry, passed away in 2009. I only recently have been looking more closely at his Air Force service items and I am fascinated by what I have read regarding his years particularly in Berlin in the 6912 SS from 1963-1966 and maybe some serious clandestine stuff before and afterwards in the states.
    I would LOVE to hear from anyone who knew him and maybe see some of your memorabilia too! Dad kept a lot of things and now I know why! I am so proud of him and miss him terribly. I wish I had been more interested in these things earlier, but he used to just say “That’s classified” to some of my questions.

    Posted by Shawn (Cherry) Henegar | November 1, 2016, 2:02 pm
  38. Served 1964 through 1966 in the 6912 as a 294 at Tempelhof I don’t recall Ruben Cherry. I was on Baker Flight he must have been on another flight. I have many pictures of Berlin at the time

    Posted by SALVATORE DESIMONE | November 13, 2016, 10:17 am
  39. I was stationed with the 6912th SS between 1973 and 1976, worked at Tempelhof! LTC Richard Webb was the Commander and SMS Archy Gandy was the 1SG, MSgt David McClay was the Chief of Admin. SSgt John Sanford and a SSgt Larry (can’t recall his last name) also worked with the admin section. Hope this message can find some of those folks, I have found several that was there during this period!

    Posted by King (Dan) Hopkins | January 10, 2017, 4:52 pm
  40. I was stationed at 6930th RGM and than the 6931st SG, Iraklion AFS, Crete, Greece from April 62 thru Oct 63. I was a morse intercept operator and worked during the cuban missile crisis. received an accomodation for it in a top secret letter. helped me get promoted to A1C. I was on dog trick.

    Posted by steve j. solar | January 30, 2017, 9:27 am
  41. I was also with the 6900 Spt Sq and ESR between 1968-1972, 6948 OLGB HQ NSA 72-73, 6912th Security Squadron 73-76, HQ SAC 76-77, 6960th ABG Travis AFB 1980-1981, NATO School SHAPE Oberammergau, Germany 1981-1985, HQ TAC Langley AFB VA 1985-1987, HQ USAFE 1987-1990. After retiring I worked as an IT specialist with the Army.

    Posted by King (Dan) Hopkins | January 30, 2017, 1:12 pm
  42. Danny Hopkins, I happened across this website today and saw your name. Yes, I remember our days at the 6900 Spt Sq 1968-1972. You and D Rob are the only ones from our sq that I have heard from. I am well and I hope you are too.

    Posted by Dennis Gustafson | March 2, 2017, 2:16 pm
  43. Dennis,

    Glad to hear that you are doing okay, me to, finally retired! Would love to talk to you so email me and let’s trade phone numbers! Hadn’t heard from you or dRob since I left Darmstadt in 2008!

    Posted by Danny Hopkins | March 2, 2017, 6:03 pm
  44. Glad to hear from you Danny. I would also love to talk to you and get caught up on what you are up to now that you are retired. My home number is 440 285-8914. My cell no. is 440 635-7451.


    Posted by Dennis Gustafson | March 3, 2017, 6:09 am
  45. Looking for anyone who was on St. Lawrence Island between 1960 and 1961 or in the 6917th from 1961-1963

    Posted by John Shea | August 1, 2017, 3:10 pm
  46. After Keesler AFB Morse Training in 1974, I was part of Baker Flight (Baker Boozers) at the 6917th AS in San Vito, Italy. I had a great tour and made some long life friends while stationed there. If any of you reading this remember me, I played on the Base Fast Pitch and Basketball teams. I would love to get an old Baker Flight patch if you know how I can come across one.

    Posted by Albert Lopez | September 17, 2017, 11:17 am
  47. My father served on Crete (and met and married my mother in Gournes just west of the Gouves installation) in 1966…he was there between 64-66 (as I was born at Lackland AFB in October of 66). Was just wondering if anyone remembers Johnny Ball (skinny kid with glasses, rode a black horse, married a Greek girl). I still wear his USAFSS pin with pride after he passed in 2008 and the villagers in my mom’s village still talk about him and John Lasher in a Santa suit and the Christmas with the fire-truck and how the kids (now retirement aged adults) still appreciate the kindness of Americans. Thanks to all who served, but if anyone has any stories or information I would just appreciate it immensely…he was an analyst and SSgt. Thanks again.

    Posted by David Ball | October 12, 2017, 12:14 am
  48. To “Inconsequential”: Well, I certainly remember being at John Cook’s place before going to Berlin; in fact, I have been in touch with him in the past few years. Some of the others that you mentioned were at IU, but not Berlin. I’d really like to know who Inconsequential is……others you didn’t mention were Rawleigh (sic) Galindo, Steve Allen, Jim Arts, Frank Hucks, Fred Sapp….some at IU and others in Berlin. Which “Flight” were you on? Eddie Bob was my first intro to Bob Dylan (he was playing a tune on his harmonica)……

    Posted by David Bolton | December 7, 2017, 10:12 pm
  49. Hello,
    I am impressed with all of the wonderful people who have served our country, thank you!
    I am trying to put together a memory box for my father who is now 83 and lost everything in a fire a few years ago. I have managed to get his information from his DD214’s but feel there must be more after 20 years of service. I would love to create a timeline for him and list all of his duty stations. Any help would be appreciated. I really don’t know where to start.
    Thank you

    Posted by Tina Cook | January 8, 2018, 8:55 pm
  50. I served in the 6910 RGM from 1959 to 1962….originally at Sembach Air Base and subsequently transferred to Darmstadt in 1961. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who served in the 6910th during that period and/or has any info they can share from that period, at Sembach especially. I am particularly interested in hearing from/about Capt Lou Lovenduski, SSGT Tom Harris, Gary Beaumont, John Gillin, Pat Lowery or Ray Bouvert. Any information anyone has and can share will be immensely appreciated. Thanks and Best,
    Bob Welsh … _._

    Posted by Robert (Bob) Welsh | February 19, 2018, 11:21 am

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