Albert E. Crabtree Jr.

1964 – Enlisted at Bridgeport, CT, home of Sikorsky, and flew down to Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX for Basic military training and then on to Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls TX. to attend Jet Engine mechanic school. My orders were redlined and after a short delay waiting on the next class to start I was reassigned as a Helicopter Mechanic and attended basic aircraft and then helicopter training on H-19’s and H-21’s.


1965 – 1966 First duty assignment was England AFB, Alexandria, Louisiana with Detachment 9, ARS MATS, CARC out of Richard Gebaur AFB, Kansas City MO. as a Mechanic/Flight Mechanic flying functional check flights (FCF’s) on HH-43B’s.


1966 – 1967 I was assigned to the 20th Helicopter Squadron, Pony Express as a mechanic on CH-3C’s at Tan Son Nhut Airport, Vietnam our home base was Nha Trang AB, Vietnam. Among many other missions, our unit supported Special Forces A-Teams working out of Kontum near Pleiku Vietnam.


1967 – 1970 at Sheppard AFB, TX. with the 3760th ABG as a helicopter mechanic and flight mechanic flying FCF’s and to support Pilot Flying Training on CH-3C’s and HH-3E’s.


1970 – 1971 at Nakhon Phanom, (NKP) RTAFB, Thailand with the 56 Combat Support Group as a Mechanic/Flight Mechanic flying FCF’s on CH-3E’s and a couple of CH-53’s with the 21st Helicopter Sq. Participated in a Rescue of a downed Navy A-7 Pilot in Laos.


1971 - 1974 at Patrick AFB, Satellite Beach, FL. with Det. 15, 39 ARRS Wg. Assigned as a mechanic and then attended Flight School at Hill AFB, UT. on the HH-53B/C’s. As a flight mechanic/Instructor FE on HH-53C’s for Astronaut Launch Site Recovery for Apollo 16, 17 and three of the Skylab shots and was also dual qualified on the HH-3E’s when the HH-53’s were being transferred to Eglin AFB, FL.


1974 – 1977 at Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage AK. with the 5040th Helicopter Sq. under Alaskan Air Command and eventually the 71st ARRS MAC. Assigned as a flight mechanic/instructor FE on HH-3E’s.


1977 – 1980 at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM. with the 1550th ATTWg as a flight mechanic instructor/simulator instructor and evaluator on HH-53C’s. While there, all A431X0s were all blessed as flight engineers from that point on…


1980 – 1984 at Sheppard AFB, TX. with Air Training Command as a Flight Engineer Master Instructor and eventually Course Supervisor. Attended night school and completed my Bachelors Degree with WBU.


1984 – 1988 at Kirtland AFB, NM. with the 1550th ATTWg as an Instructor Flight Engineer and retired after 24-Years, one-month and 18 days.