Bob Runninger’s Bio


Left home in December of 53 at the young age of 18 and went to Sampson AFB for Basic Training


Left there in February of 54 on a train, dressed in blues, headed to Gary AFB, San Marcos, Texas for Helicopter School.  Another A3C, who also got the chopper school, and I couldn’t figure out what the heck a Rotary Wing was. When we got close to the Base we saw a chopper flying. We then knew what we were going to school for. When we got off the air-conditioned train in those blues, we almost passed out from the heat


Left there In Aug. 54 for the 74th ARSq., Ladd AFB at Fairbanks AK.  First Helicopter I worked on was an H-5. Had fabric covered blades and Jack screws for servos. We then got H-19’s in to replace the H-5’s and later transitioned to H-21’s. Was assigned as Crew Chief and on flying status on the H-19 and the H-21


Left there on 12 Jan. 57 for Vincent AFB at Yuma Arizona. Assigned to 4750th FLD MAINTRON. (ADC). On 15 Jan 59 was reassigned to 4750th OMS. Worked out of Base Flight on H-19A models and later H-21’s on Drone recovery. The H-19A with the R-1340 engine just barely had the power to pick itself up in that hot climate


Left there on 7 May 59 for the 4756th Drone Sqd. (ADC)  Tyndall AFB Fl. along with most of the other guys. We had H-21’s there and used them for drone recovery. Was assigned as crew chief and on status. We also used them for local rescue. We later transferred over to the 4756th OMS on 18 June 59 doing the same job. We worked out of Apalachicola most of the time. On 1 Oct 59 several of us went TDY to Apalachicola Fl. to support the World Wide Weapons Meet


Left there on 5 December 60 and assigned to 389th Combat Support GP. (SAC) Francis E. Warren AFB, Cheyenne WY. Our Mission there was Site Activation Task Force for the Atlas Missile. Assigned Crew Chief on status among other jobs. Had C-47 time and H-19.


Left there on 22 Jan. 62 and assigned to 3902nd Air Base Wing (SAC). Worked in the 3902nd OMS. Was assigned as Crew Chief on H-19’s on status and then H-19/L-20 Flight Chief. Was run-up and taxi qualified on the L-20. The L-20’s had crosswind landing gear which made for weird landings. Mission was Missile Site Support.


Left there on 22 June 63 and assigned to 3635th Flying Training Wing, (ATC) Stead AFB. Was on my way to 917th FTD, Saigon, RVN. Reporting date of 7 July 63.  Flew there on a Super Connie. Was assigned Crew Chief on H-19 on status. Was awarded the South Vietnamese AF Crew Member Wings. Mission was training South Vietnamese pilots and mechanics.


Left there in July 64 and assigned to the 48th ARSq (MATS) Eglin AFB Fl. On 8 June 67 was assigned to Det. 25 EAARC same base. Moved over to the Pit. Assigned Crew Chief on status on the H-43B. Was Maint. Supervisor for a while but replaced by SMSgt Pappy Everton. Assumed job of Flight Chief.


Left there on 27 Sept. 68 and assigned to Det. 4 PACAF ARRC (MAC), Taegu, Korea. Assigned Crew Chief on H-43B on status. Was Maintenance Super until replaced by SMSgt Dubois. Went TDY to the Det. at Osan AB, Korea for 90 days and back to Taegu. Flew on HH-43B tail #’s 59-1558, 59-1557, 59-1563, 60-0251 and 60-0252


Left there in Oct. 70 and assigned to Det. 11, 47th ARRSq (MAC) at Kunsan AB, Korea. Assigned as Maint Super on status. Flew on HH-43B tail #’s 58-1848 and 60-0260.


Left there 15 June 71 and assigned to 41st ARRWg. (MAC) at Hickam AFB Hawaii. Assigned duty as Maintenance Coordinator for all the Detachments in SEA. Worked for Capt. Dunn who was the Maintenance Officer. Col. Dale Gordon, Director of Logistics. Worked with Pete Earle who did the same job for the Heavys.


Went TDY on a Logistics Staff Assistance Visit on 24 Aug. 72 to Det. 14, Tan Son Nhut, AB, RVN, 37th ARRS Danang, AB, RVN, 40th ARRS NKP RTAFB, Thailand, Det. 3, 40th ARRS Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, Det. 5, 40th ARRS Udorn, Thailand, Det. 12, 40th ARRS U-Tapao RTAFB, Thailand, 56th ARRS Korat RTAFB, Thailand and Det. 8, 43rd ARRS Takhli RTAFB, Thailand. On 5 Jan. 73 made another Staff Assistance Visit to Det.1, 33rd ARRS Osan AB, Korea, Det. 2, 33rd ARRS Kunsan AB, Korea, 33rd ARRS Kadena AB, Okinawa.


While stationed at Hickam I got my FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics License at the University of Hawaii.


Left there Jan 74 for Retirement after 20 Years. Moved to Oregon and went to work in a GM dealership as a mechanic for a while and then got a job working for Douglas County, Oregon as a mechanic on light and heavy vehicles


Left there in 82 and moved to Florida. Got a job there working for Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Vehicle Maintenance. Worked as a mechanic on Light and Heavy vehicles and then took over as Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor.


Retired from that job in 1998 at age 62.


Got my FAA Private Pilots License in 1991 and bought my C-172 in 92. Flew as Mission Pilot for Civil Air Patrol for a few years in addition to Maintenance Officer and other jobs in CAP.