John B. Mahoney

John B. Mahoney I joined the US Air Force in October 1960 to get out or West Virginia and after waiting for over 6 months for an opening, I elected to take an administrative field position just to get into the service.  I spent my first 4 years as a “Clerk” at 763rd Radar Squadron, Lockport AFS, NY and 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Naha AB, Okinawa.  I elected to cross-train into Helicopters after watching the H-19s flying at Naha AB.  


After completing Helicopter School at Sheppard AFB, I was assigned to the H-19 “B” Flight Line and was promoted to SSgt in June 1966 on my prior AFSC (70250) - Not bad since I had 2 articles 15s while at Naha AB.  I was placed on flying status on the H-19s and later selected to attend H-53 School at Sikorsky with flight training at Eglin AFB, FL leading to my assignment to the 40th ARRS, Udorn AB, Thailand from Jan 68 Jan 69.  I replaced Jack Hartman as the Flight Examiner when he completed his tour. 


I was next assigned to Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Training Center, Eglin AFB, FL as Instructor for HH-53 Flight Engineers from Jan 69 May 71. At Eglin, I worked for MSgt Frank Presbury Jr. When the Helicopter Schools were consolidated at Hill AFB, UT, I remained there as Instructor and worked for MSgt Maurice Tasker until April 72. While at Hill AFB, I was promoted to TSgt.


Next assignment was to 51st OMS, Osan AB, Korea.  I was the NCOIC Helicopter Maintenance for the 4 CH-3s from April 72 May 73.   My maintenance Superintendent was MSgt Andrew Benton. 


My next dream assignment was to the 5040th Helicopter Squadron (HH-3s) and back on flying status at Elmendorf AFB, AK where I worked for MSgt Jim Burns.  I was assigned as Flight Mechanic Examiner after Jack Hartman retired.  I was promoted to MSgt while assigned to the 5040th. When 5040th was taken over and re-designated the 71st AARS, I remained as the Flight Mechanic Examiner.  I reported to Lt Colonel Ray B. Long (One of the best officers to ever wear the Uniform IMHO. 


Here I am back in the training of Flight Mechanics with the 1551st Flying Training Squadron at Kirtland AFB, NM and remained on the H-3.  I remained at Kirtland from July 76 July 80.  However, due to a problem that was discovered in Alaska, I was grounded after approximately 6 months and re-trained into the 39 career field - Plans and Scheduling. I received notice of promotion to SMSgt while attending Scheduling School at Chanute AFB, IL.  I scheduled R&D Projects from the AF Weapons Lab to the fabrication shops and then moved to NCOIC Plans and Scheduling for all aircraft assigned to the 1550th ATTW. 


After 4 years, I received a BOP assignment to Randolph AFB, TX as NCOIC of P&S.  I was getting ready to leave when I was notified that I had been selected from promotion to CMSgt.  My assignment was cancelled and after a few phone calls, I was allowed to change my BOP assignment to Carswell AFB, TX.  I was assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing (SAC) Carswell AFB, TX from July 80 Oct 81.  After 6 months with SAC, I realized that this wasn’t the Air Force that I had known from the past 19 years along with the fact that they were going to move me when I had 1 year on station, I went to personnel and turned down my promotion.  I finished up my BS degree in Industry and Technology from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce) in December 81. 


I landed a job with General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) on 2 Nov 81 as a “Logistics Engineer”.  I worked in an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) position on the F-16 and the F-22.  I retired at the end of 1998 at the age of 57 and did volunteer work for the past 10 years.