Bill Baker (52)

"I was a c/w direction finding operator and had the pleasure of flying up to Berlin with the d/f hut in a C-82 prior to the unit's recognized existence.  It took us two attempts because the first flight aborted.  Here is how it went:

LO: 1-12
Subject: Orders
14 January 1952

3. Folg named amn, this orgn & sta, WP o/a 15 Jan 52 to 7350th Air Base Complement SQ, APO 742A, US Air Force, Berlin, Germany on TDY for a pd of aprx ninety (90) days on clasd activities (DPOU) and upon compl pd TDY amn will rtn to proper orgn & sta. Tvl by mil acf't only authd. No tvl alws authd. No per diem authd. TDN. TCNT. Frequent and intermittent tvl is authd between Berlin & Darmstadt. Tvl dir herein has been clrd ICW EUCOM Cir 60, 1951. Auth: 12 AF Reg. 11-2

The orders list:
Clark, Dallas D.
Elkins, Arlie S Jr.
Hart, Harold A.
Baker, William M.
Strachan, William
Smith, James E.
Brown, Leslie H.
Alston, Patrick I.

Not all of us flew up with the d/f hut. As best I can remember they were Clark, Elkins, Strachan, and Baker, since we were all d/f operators.  Click here for pictures of the original orders.

The TDY period was for 90 days which was later extended 90 days.  I left Berlin in June. 

The following is an excerpt of an email from Ken Pearsall to Virgil Fordham dated 04 Mar. 2002.  Pearsall and Fordham were the founding fathers of the 2nd RSM detachment in Berlin. They were the first. Fordham was an Army to Air Force transfer when the 2nd RSM was transferred from ASA to the USAFSS. He was also one of the first Russian linguists in the 2nd RSM.   He was trained at Oberammergau

"Virgil, in 1950 the 2nd RSM was under the DCS Intelligence, USAFE (Maj Gen Millard Lewis). At the time we were supporting USAFE. Do you recall 2nd RSM had their own analysis shop to support USAFE. Remember when they brought the Mig-15 into EG (East Germany) and we couldn't hear them at Hqs because they switched to VHF which is Line of Sight. That is why you and I went to B (Berlin) to set up. Then I had to go brief Gen Lewis periodically on our status. Gen Lewis also briefed the T-hof Base Commander as to our mission and that is why we got such good service from the base. I can recall sitting in a base staff meeting when the subject came up about our needing those Special Tables and the base engineer couldn't understand how a 2nd Lt. had so much power to request them. The Base Commander Col Barr said, "Don't ask questions. Make the Tables". To this day I remain friends and still communicate every Christmas with the former Base Engineer who is 84 and 1/2 years old and still going strong."

In those days, we were very isolated from the 7350th people even though when asked our unit we had to say the 7350th. We also received our mail through the 7350th. The Base Commander was very cooperative with Lt. Pearsall. When we got there with the d/f, we needed transportation to and from the hut (which was out at the end of the runway). He had the Base Safety Officer give us his jeep! It was white and had GROUND SAFETY in large letters under the windshield. It also had a big tent shaped sign over the back seat that said something like "Accidents just don't happen, they are caused!" This helped we d/f operators a great deal since the control tower guys could always see us scooting around the perimiter road, and usually gave us a green light to cross the runway before we even reached it!

BTW, Pearsall and Fordham went to Berlin in Jul. 1950."  Bill Baker (52)

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