by Gary Anderson (62-63)

From the 11/15/2 BIA Newsletter

I reported for processing at Head Building East at Tempelhof on Monday morning 30 July, 1962.  By days end, I had completed my DD form 1351-2, Travel Voucher. Major Merle W. Woodside and CWO Timothy J May signed me off.  I was paid an additional $7.44 over and above the $112.74 I had received prior to leaving Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX.

To a young first termer, that  $7.44 translated into a carton of Pall Malls, and at least 29 Marks.  That meant at least 28 half liters of good beer with enough left over to go to the bathroom several times! 

A photo was taken for my permanent ID card and a temporary yellow and black was issued.

I also got assigned my room along with my roommates, “Moe” Marvel, Terry Simms and Jim Blunt, all 203’s who went to language school at Syracuse, New York.  It was on the 2nd floor right over the top of the BX and barbershop.  We overlooked the civilian parking lot of the Centralflughofen……..great location to observe the coming and going of lots of things!

A total of 17 Russian linguists from Syracuse University and Yale were assigned to the 6912th at the same time.  They were David McMasters, Phillip Blaisdell, David Bruns, Donald Cretien, James Cortwright, Jack Davis, Paul Dorsey, Michael Doran, Douglas Fleming, Paul Harmon, Lawrence Howard, Dale Kenel, Edward Martin, Carlton Marvel, Larry Rupert, Richard Uravitch and I.

Tuesday, 31 July, I was assigned to Baker Trick and started my OJT. Some of my mentors were Sgt. Ray Yarborough who never seemed to get flustered or out of sorts by anything which he encountered, Bill LaChance who had a “golden ear” and a personality to match and Phil Adams, the king of the “Can”.

This was my first experience at working with a myriad of personalities from different walks of life and occupations functioning as a team with a common goal; producing a high quality, meaningful product for utilization by other authorities. It was a learning experience which was to benefit me all my working career, both in the military and civilian life.

 © 2005, The Berlin Island Association

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