John T. Lavana, Sr.


Helicopter Mechanic/Crew Chief/Flight Mechanic; worked on H-5's, H-13's, H-19's, H-21's, H-43B's and some H-53's.


September 1953 - Entered the Air Force in Albany, NY. and had my basic training at Geneva, NY (Sampson AFB, NY).


1953 - March 1954 At San Marcos AFB, TX. for helicopter school.


March 1954 - January 1955 At Sewart AFB, TN with the 644th Troop Carrier Sq. on H-19's and CH-21C's.


January 1955 - 1956 At Thule AB, Greenland with the 55th ARS.


1956 - 1956 At Sewart AFB, TN with the 644th Troops Carrier Sq. on H-19's and CH-21's.


1956 - 1962 - At Warner-Robins AFB, GA. in the Base Flight unit on H-19's, also got some experience on C-29's, C-47's and C-54's.


1962 - 1962 At Andrews AFB, MD. with Det. 59, EARC on the HH-43B's.


1962 - 1964 At Kindley AFB, Bermuda on H-19's.


1964 - 1965 At McConnell AFB, KS with Det. 15, CARRS on HH-43B's.


1965 - 1965 At Eglin AFB, with the 20th HS (Provisional) then we departed, on December 03, 1965, as a complete unit for Viet Nam.


December 1965 - February 1966  With the 20th HS in Viet Nam. We had 10 CH-3C's and were TDY all over Viet Nam, Tan Son Nhut, Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay and did a four month stay at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand where we did maintenance on the birds. While with the 20th I was one of the men who gave CH-3C #63-9676 "Black Maria" her black paint job.


February 1966 - 1969 At Torrejon AB, Spain with Det. 7, ARRC on HH-43B's.


1969 - 1970 At Tyndall AFB, FL. with Det. 5, 39th ARRWg. on H-3E's doing drone recovery.


1970 - 1974 Hickam AFB, HI. with the 6594th Test Group on CH-3B's where I put in my retirement papers to retire at MacDill AFB, FL.


1974 At MacDill AFB, FL. where I retired.