Thomas Howard


I started out at Gary AFB going through the Air Force rotary wing mechanics school. We were a mixed class of Air Force and Army, Our instructors were Andy Benton and Bob Hunter they later became the traveling helicopter FTD team for years, I think every one that worked on any model of chopper crossed their paths.


This was in 1954, I can remember during our many hours of instruction that we were taught how to time the mags on an H-5, kind of weird laying on your back timing 1320 mags, but all part of the job I guess.


To make a long story short I stayed on at Gary working the H-13 line, we were called X-shack and our maintenance officer was Capt Sulliven, he later moved with us to Randolph AFB.


At Randolph I was in charge of flight test for all of the H-13s, I stayed their for an additional two years then got orders for Ladd AFB Alaska and the H-21B. What a great tour that was, did a lot of site support, great fishing with the upper brass, I rotated three years later.


Next stop was Pope AFB NC and the H-43B LBR concept. Nice aircraft to work on but a pain with all the mods Kaman kept coming out with. I think the maintence ratio was 21 to the flight hr.


On to Spangdahlem Germany with the H-19B and the H-43B. When we first got there it was Det 1 67 ARS with the H-19 then it changed to DET 1 AARC with the H-43B LBR set up.


From there I rotated to Grand Forks AFB ND and the UH-1F missal site support, this was a short tour I believe I was their just short of two years. "COLD"


Received orders to UDORN RTAFB and the Pony Express we had four UH-1P aircraft and our headquarters was out of Na Trang RVN.


Rotated back to Sheppard AFB and was in Stan Eval checking out hoist and fire fighters for flight standards.


My final SEA tour was with the 21st SOS Dust Devils, I was the line chief and we had 3 H-3s and 12  H-53Cs, a great crew to work with.


I rotated back to Hill AFB and retired in Aug of 73.