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
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.