Alumni Memories of Peshawar Air Station
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Rutledge, Able Flight, 292x1, 7/66 - 10/67
. . . . . . Arriving in Pakistan in mid
July from Alaska (where my blood had significantly thickened) was a real
shock on the system in more ways than one. The C-141 departed
Charleston AFB and, after layovers at Torrejon and Dhahran, deposited us
for 3-4 days in Karachi where we had a chance to 'enjoy' the local economy
before boarding our PIA flight to Peshawar. Within days, while
confined to temporary quarters with other new arrivals similarly stricken
with dysentery, I laid in this hot, dusty open barracks, too weak to eat
or even go to the dispensary to get my ration of 'break fluid' -
which, fortunately, finally did the trick. Upon recovery, I was
assigned to Able Flight and quickly got back to 'pounding dits'. The
daily work assignment and hanging out at the pool, the club, playing
softball for the Able Animals, and an occasional venture to Peshawar,
Kabul, The Pass and Swat soon became part of the routine.
Numerous improvements took place during my tour beginning with the opening of a new 10 lane (maybe 12) air conditioned bowling alley. Able was working the day shift when we transitioned into the new Ops building in early 1967 - man, that place was cold - we kept our field jackets at work. We also moved into new dorms in '67. The quarters were actually quite nice and were appropriately christened when the first floor sewers (my floor) backed up after the first week. Seems the Pak workers didn't know the effects of discarding construction debris in to the sewer system. Curiously, from that day on, our dorms took on an aroma similar to that which was found on a trip to downtown Peshawar. Overall, a memorable place that was made tolerable thanks to the importance of the mission and the friendship of a great bunch of guys. (Send e-mail)
|Dave Dillon, 2008th Comm. Squadron, 291x0, 02/67 - 03/68 . . . . . . . I remember happy hour at the enlisted men's club. I can't remember the hour but, I do remember it was free! There was one helluva lot of drinking at good old PAS. I remember receiving my ration card and, because I was only 18, they used to snip the alcohol portion off! But, I was able to be served at the club. I remember the cheap cigarettes. That was when I really started to smoke. (Now a total abstainer of tobacco) I remember walking across the street to go to work and seeing beggars and snake charmers with the cobras coming up out of the baskets. I remember the house boys that we had in the barracks. They were pretty decent, only expecting extra money for extra things that they did, like shining shoes. I remember the Consolidated Mail Room and the days that mail would come in. It used to get pretty crowded. I sure remember the scenery. It seemed as though we were completely surrounded by mountains. It sure got hot in the summer and pretty cold, too, in the winter time. I remember leaving Peshawar and seeing the mountains for the last time. I was ready to go!|
|Milt Fulghum, Able Flight, 294x0, 12/67 - 02/69 . . . . . . . The odor that hit as soon as we landed in Karachi; The kids begging along the streets; The embassy forgetting that we had arrived and were waiting for transport; The itty bitty site in the middle of nowhere; The very interesting work; The very boring off duty time; Writing long letters home; Trips to the Khyber Pass; Great fun during shift breaks; Viewing a solar eclipse; Mill worms in the grits one night; Powdered eggs when the weather kept the C-141 from landing; Nightmares about Pak riots; Having to lay over in Lahore when shipping out because the nightmare came true. (Send e-mail)|
Don Barbee, Dog Flight, 292x1, 12/61 - 03/63 . . . . . . . . Just watched the movie “Thirteen Days” about the Cuban Missile Crisis and it sure brought back a lot of memories of October 1962 at Peshawar. One of the funniest memories that I have of when I was there (Dec 61 – Mar 63) was one very hot July afternoon and eight or ten of us on Dog Trick were going to work an evening shift and one of the dependent wives passed us riding her bicycle on the way to the bowling alley & wearing a pair of really short short shorts. She parked her bike at the bowling alley & on the way in, turned & smiled really big – well JOHN BARLOW (the crazy one) walked over to the bicycle, leaned over and was sniffing the seat & guess what, the lady came out of the bowling alley as if she had left something at her bike & she saw what John was doing – smiled at him & the rest of us & went back inside the bowling alley. After the shift was over, there was a helluva party held in the Day room honoring John.
I remember the yellow flag flying when mail was received, sometimes we would go weeks without receiving mail, but it sure was a lot of fun reading a bunch of letters all at once. The IHTFP (I have truly found paradise) incident happened in July 1962, cause my roommate Jimmy Cooper & I had taken a picture of each other holding a sign that had IHTFP written on it & the date on the picture was July 1962 & the incident happened a couple of weeks after that. (We didn’t do it).
As I remember there was a period of time (not sure how long) that the American Flag wasn’t flown, but I remember the Pak Flag flying, and once a marching band with bagpipes came to the station & we gathered at the football field and they had the American Flag covered with brown paper & when the band started marching & playing the brown paper was removed & everyone went completely wild – not many dry eyes in the crowd.
Remember one shift when a lot of things were happening & we had a new Lt. Flight Commander that had just arrived & he was getting in everyone’s way & got his feet tangled in cords & fell to floor & “Luke” Lucarelli (best 202 ever) got a chair, brought it over & asked (told) him to sit down & stay out of the way. – he did.
Remember burn detail on mid shift & Lt. wanted us to move the wire container that coke cans were in, because he thought a piece of paper might be in it. No one wanted to do it & finally he moved it himself & we were holding flashlight so he could see & the biggest Cobra snake ever was underneath. We got the sawed off shotgun from the AP at guard gate & I got to shoot it.
Remember when the Paks were rioting against us with axes, shovels, picks, sticks & anything else they could get their hands on. I think it was over a movie being made about the Moslem Religion & they thought were had something to do with it.Remember that the Pak that took care of our room, shined our shoes, etc. told Cooper & myself on day that he had now become a Christian & the next day the AP’s coming to the swimming pool & getting Cooper & myself because they had stopped him at the guard gate & he had a sack filled with our stuff from the room (record player, clock, cigarettes, etc).
Scobel, 2008 Comm.
Squadron, 30434, 12/66 - 03/68 .
. . . . . . I left the States on December 23rd 1966, and had to spend
Christmas in Karachi. That was probably the worst Christmas in my life! Within
the next couple days I was at Peshawar. Talk about culture
shock! Karachi was bad enough, but when I saw the town of Peshawar, I was
really aghast at how people lived there. The first thing that hit you was the smell, and then the sights around town such as the
open meat markets, complete with flies. I had never seen such conditions, it
made me glad I was born in America.
I was assigned to the 2008 Communication Squadron, my PAFSC was 30434 Ground Radio Repair. I worked at the Receiver Site located some distance from the Base, I don't remember how far. We had to take a bus, typically driven by one of the locals, out to the site every day. Most days were uneventful, but some scared the crap out of everybody. One time we passed an oncoming vehicle so close that the side view mirrors hit, destroying them. We also had to cross a dry river bed to get to the site. In the Spring when the rainy season hit, that river bed could become a raging torrent, sometimes stranding us at the site for a couple days. We tried to cross one time, and the bus stalled in the middle of the river. Everybody stripped to there underwear and managed to get safely to dry land. I don't remember how we got back to the base, we must have had a radio. During my "off" time, I would help out at the Motor Pool, sometimes delivering water to the transmitter and receiver sites, I loved that big yellow truck. I also remember driving people to Dean's Hotel and/or the airport in town. It was interesting driving on the wrong side of the road. It was even more interesting driving a right hand drive vehicle with a floor shift. I could never get used to shifting with my left hand, but I managed somehow.
I remember the many power outages, during which some guys would sit in the showers to cool off in the summer. I remember card games till dawn, scorpions, cobras, the Khyber Pass, "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", and "My Baby, Sent Me A Letter", the most favorite songs. Does anyone remember "Nature Boy"?? He was a Pak in town who used to run around town naked, dragging his cloak behind him.
About 5 years ago, I ran across a Retired Air Force Colonel, I forget his name, but he was one of the people responsible for setting up the Base in the early 60's. He is the only person I have met since my duty there who was actually knowledgeable of it. We had some interesting conversation during the three days we were working together.
All in all, it was good duty, except for the long time away from home.
Mike Jones (Jonsey), Able Flight, 292x1, 2/67 - 5/67 . . . . . . . As I arrived in Pakistan all I could think of was, why me! I had heard some pretty bad things from other guys who had come from Pakistan, and I was expecting to see the worst. I got what I was expecting, and then some. Although my stay in Pak. was a short lived one, due to an illness, I was very much glad to leave. I was there from Feb. 67 to May 67. I remember playing softball with Gary Rutledge on the Able Flight team. We also went to Swat for a fishing trip, we thought. Not long after we arrived, a bunch of the local militia confiscated all our gear, food, and most everything that was of any value, took a couple guys away to see someone, can't remember who, we thought they were going to kill us, then made us leave. The best I can remember, we did get to stay a little while, but it was not the vacation trip we had planned on having. I believe our guide did some tall talking to get us away.
When I left, I thought I would be returning after a short stay in Madrid, Spain at the hospital. That wasn't the case as I was shipped to Wiesbaden Germany from Madrid, then on to Andrews AFB in the states. I only regret that I didn't get to say goodbye to the guys who made my short stay more pleasant. I made some good friends, but now can't remember any names, other than Gary Rutledge. If anyone remembers me, I would like to hear from you. I had two really good roommates, but to this day, can't remember their names. Both were 2T Staffs and were great guys. I also roomed with Terry Pollitt, whom I don't remember, but was reminded by him, that I did. ha ha I look back on the experience as one of humility and only have to say one thing about the guys who stayed their full tour and that is I take my hat off to you guys, as that had to be one of God's biggest mistakes!! (Send e-mail)
Warren (Pat) Souders, 2008 Comm. Squadron, 30470, 12/66 - 02/68 . . . . . . . . My first night in Pakistan (Karachi) I really believed was going to be my LAST night. A buddy (whose name I cannot recall) and I flew from Charleston AFB together spent the day seeing sights in Karachi w/a crazy Pak Taxi driver eating/drinking only at “clean” places. In our motel that night I had diarrhea, hurling, fever and chills like I never had before. The only good thing, I thought, was that I wasn’t going to die at the END of my tour, but BEFORE! A medic on the plane to Peshawar the next day gave me some stuff that really helped and I managed to survive the next 15 months with only an occasional bout of the trots.
first assignment there was at the Receiver Site. For all the people at the Main Site that never got to ride
the bus there/back daily, you never saw dust boiling up through every door and
window crack and into your nostrils like that trip. Luckily for me, I was fresh out of Tech School as a
re-trained 30430 (SSgt) and they couldn’t really give me 5 level training, so
after a week or so I returned to the Main Site (Allah Akbar!). It was a little interesting at the receiver site though,
there were camel caravans going by occasionally, w/ lots of guys in their 7 day
shitters w/full bandoliers, and long rifles.
HERDS! of those heavy and long-tailed sheep.
buddy (from first paragraph) and I kept in touch,
though he was in 6937th.
He knew the guy that ran the BX TV/radio
repair shop concession and started
working there. His friend left
shortly after we got there, so he took me in as a partner to provide some needed electronics
knowledge. Not long after
that SSgt Tom Kelly came to the 2008th and became the 3rd
partner. He had had TV/radio shops
in the past and became the real electronics brains of the shop.
The 6937th guy
had family troubles back in US and was reassigned back there (or discharged ?)
after about 4-5 months.. Wish I
could remember even part of his
name! There might be a few of
you would remember me from that shop. I
visited Tom and family (they were also in Peshawar, in town)
I visited them at Zweibruecken AB Germany in 1970 while my daughter was
visiting me at Feldberg Radio Relay Site (approx. 25 mi NW of Frankfurt) my last
assgmt. before retiring in Aug 1972..
I remember going to visit the Kellys in Peshawar on the base bus and seeing a horse down on the road, still between the shafts and harness and 2 Paks beating on it. About 2 hrs later bus went by again, and there was the slaughtered horse being sold for meat (there were a couple or so flies around too!). My first impression of the Paks was that I had never seen “dusty” people before. Seems like almost ALL were. I Also remember leaving an inside public latrine in beautiful downtown Peshawar and watching a father show his kid how to pee on the wall (outside!). Along w/Scobel, I also remember seeing “Nature Boy” (several times in fact). I learned how to say “get out of here!” in Urdu and was using it to a bunch of beggar kids outside Dean’s (?) Hotel when a couple men speaking English said I was the one that should “get out”, not the kids and acted threateningly, but the big gate guard came out and broke it up and took me inside (where he told me he didn’t disagree w/the men ….. in fact, I had to agree w/them as to my “getting out”. As the song went, “We got to get out of this place”!
I remember the 110+ Summer and having to wear winter parkas inside the site which was kept at (I thing) 68F. Don't know if it was like that where the 6937th personnel were. Didn't ever get into that part. I loved to watch the Paks fixing flats (my own a couple time) outside the base on the public road w/o removing the wheel or tire from the bike, just what was necessary.
remember a meeting at the base theater w/the base commander telling all us
uncouth unaccompanied swine to stop moaning and groaning and making remarks
about a sexy (for the 1960’s!) scene during a movie, when the dependents were
in attendance. I also remember the
noisy generators running over in the housing area to keep those same dependents
cool, while we did w/o electricity in the barracks.
a couple of the other’s comments that I got the chance to read, over the
years, I too would have liked to see what happened to the Station.
Not any lengthy visit, just see it and get the hell out of there.
My description to one and all I have talked to about there is, “Going out the Base Gate was like going a 1000 years into
the past.” That reminds me,
with all the current fuss about the Burkas, when I think of how the only part
you could see of MOST of the women was their feet, you might not want to see the
rest. I have to admit though that I
saw many good looking women in Karachi w/o burkas (naturally).
Mike Yoder, Accounting and Finance Office, 67151, 12/67 - 03/69. . . . . . . . What can one say about Peshawar and our little oasis in the Northwest Frontier Province? Probably not much which can be repeated in polite company. I’d done a stint overseas before - spent two years in Bangkok as a teen-age dependent in the late 50’s, so I thought I was prepared for coping with conditions something less than sanitary. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
I’d previously traveled across India, but never got into the really remote areas, so the poverty and filth that presented itself at Peshawar was really an eye-opener. Paid special attention to the Army transportation officer who met us in Karachi, and when he told us to eat only at the Embassy snack bar or the Intercontinental Hotel, I knew well enough to follow his advice to the letter. Still didn’t do any good, because after partying out that first night, I not only had a monstrous hang-over but a good case of the scoots as well.
Have to admit that the military aspect of the assignment was a breeze and quite welcome after leaving a spit and polish (read: Chickensh!t) assignment in the States. From this standpoint, PAS was a good way to finish up my hitch as a Blue-suiter. I worked in the Accounting and Finance Office and did some of my time over in the Ops compound where the mainframe computer - The "Mighty Mouse" Burroughs 263 - was located. I took Fred Cox’s place in Accounts Control, which was a pretty hard act to follow. For those who remember the band Six Below Zero, Fred was the lead singer and a pretty popular guy around the station.
Along with a few of my cohorts, I tried to help speed up the time by working long hours in an attempt to bring the efficiency rating of the office back up to speed. Drew some satisfaction from reading the circular from the Comptroller of USAFE to the effect- "We are pleased to notice an improvement in the performance of the 6937th". Faint praise perhaps, but better than nothing. We had been rated dead last when I arrived there.
Had a great bunch of guys to work with. Capt. Ed Biron was the A&F officer and had been a navigator on a B-52 before he got grounded for some reason. Msgt Leo Carlisle came in shortly after as NCOIC and along with a few other guys like Ron Neisler, Mike DeMarco, and Dwayne Wilkerson, we swung into getting fewer gigs on our work. We didn’t like being in Peshawar, but we didn’t like being in last place either. Have to thank my computer operators, Mike Mulloy and Jim Matter, for helping improve our data accuracy and showing me how to do a few things besides run a key-punch. Came in handy down the line.
Apart from work, I also put in long hours at the NCO Annex, where I did my best to run up the price of Jack Daniels stock. Man, there was a lot of drinking went on at that place, and if I’d continued that life-style much longer I would have had a serious problem. I did do most of the outside trips to Landi Kotal, Old City Peshawar, Kabul, etc. But once I’d been there it was pretty much of a bore and hardly worth the trip back. Looking back, I do get a laugh about some of the features of daily life - seeing Nature Boy on the trips into town, watching the various Snake charmers, bear trainers and other animal acts outside the main gate.
I particularly remember one guy who had just bought a new camera and was using it to film Sahib handle his cobra. Sahib had the snake wrapped around his neck, and when the guy started loading up film, Sahib stepped up for a closer look. The GI looked up and found himself eye-ball to eye-ball with a cobra less than a foot away. The film and the brand new Asahi Pentax went flying. I don’t think Sahib got much of a fee for his performance that day.
All in all, a very interesting experience. As one guy put it, "it was worth a million bucks, but I wouldn’t want another nickel of it". I still have a little GI distress from time to time to remind me of my tour of duty. My Dad caught dysentery in Burma in WW II and it haunted him for the rest of his life, so I might have to put up with it as well. I did have one recurring dream for the next 25 years, especially around the anniversary of my discharge date. In this dream, I’m still in Peshawar, still a GI, and still waiting for my walking papers. I keep explaining that my hitch was up years ago, but I’m told that I’ll have to wait here until it gets straightened out. Haven’t had that one in a few years. Not sure if that means anything or not.
Dennis (Mike) Stamp, Charlie Flight, 292x1, 12/61 - 03/63 . . . . . . . . I was a youngster of 18 fresh out of Kessler Tech School, ready to GO. I remember seeing the assignment roster posted after class at Kessler, our whole dang class was going to where?? Pakistan, where in the Hell is Pakistan ! As we were waiting to get on the plane in Charleston S.C. guys were getting off the plane and they said, "hey, were you guys going?" We replied, "Pakistan". They replied, "OH MAN are you going to be sorry", as they hit the ground and kissed the runway. Man what have we got ourselves into I thought. Madrid Spain, oh yea . . . .Rest Over Night . . . . last night for seeing the real world . . . . need to say no more on this subject.
I remember the Charlie Flight Coffee club in our barracks day room. We had a party just about every night after swings, we even had a roster on who would leave ops early and get Ice from the Chow Hall for the Beer. I remember Operations and hangovers--one burn bag for classified and one for emergency upchucking . . . I swore so many times as the dits and dahs were blasting my aching brain a result from to much Purple Jesus, or cold beer, that I would never have another drink again, that thought diminished as soon as I hit the barracks. I remember the Earthquake . . . . I was on burn detail and the whole darn burn oven jumped up and down . . . . that was the big one in 1962 ( or one of the big ones) all the guys that had been stationed in Misawa knew what was going on, they came out of ops in a real big hurry. Oh yea remember the bottle of Jim Beam in the toilet in the ops building ? I do, there for clearing the mind I guess. The one eyed houseboy PUNDAT --what a scary looking guy he was---but he could really put a shine on my shoes, one of the houseboys were stealing our cig's so we packed a cig with toenails and fingernails, and put it on the table in our room, it went missing later in the day------funny no cigs were ever taken from our room again.
I remember my roommate Norman Jamieson falling asleep at the pool during a last mid beer bust--he was burned to a crisp, and we all know what would have happened if he reported to the dispensary---we soaked that guy in the shower room for hours--getting his body temp down--that poor guy went to work and suffered for weeks, but he made it and kept his stripe . . . . . . Norm where in the heck are you anyway?? I remember my roommates Norman Jamieson, Larry Mayes both great guys and I have been trying to locate these guys for many years.
Trips to Rawalpindi, Khyber Pass, Thieves Den, Lahore, but most of all I just remember the people I served with, we were a mixture of young and older Air Force enlisted and Officers, assigned to a God forsaken part of the world, there to do a job, a job that was important to the security of our homeland. Every person there was a 100 percent dedicated to the MISSION. Hours of getting our brains busted by those never ending dits and dah's. . . . . I can still hear them. The 202's, the 203', the 292x2's, we all did our best and we were the best.
Whoever reads this, I just want to say to all those guys that were sent to the 6937th regardless of what years, BROTHER YOU DID YOUR DUTY AND YOU DID IT WELL. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.
Johnston, Baker Trick, Radio Op., 03/63 - 06/64 . . . . . . . . I
was there from '63 to '64 as a member of "Baker" trick. I
was a radio operator in the compound.
|Ned Bohach, 292x2, Oct 59 - Sep 60 . . . . . . . Wow after 45 years one's mind is clouded to say the least. I was there from Fall of 59 to Fall of 60. A very primitive place when we arrived but it was fun watching it grow. Pool and gym were being built but not completed while I was there. I recall the softball leagues we had, the outdoor basketball pick-up games we had and the bowling alley. Many trips to Peshawar and the damn site for swimming. Also a trek to Khyber Pass which I have many photos of. I recall the haircuts outside, taking our chairs on top the barracks to sun tan. Walking across the road at night to the compound with Packie guards on duty. Watching the Pak army camped outside our site, as they did cal every day and slept in tents, while we drank beer in our barracks, kept it cold by wiring up the grate in front of the air conditioner and setting our beer in front of it. The Packies who worked in our barracks loved our booze and we used to get them drunk and see which one would fall of his bike first. I recall the first time I exchanged money on the black market, jez it was about 10/1 instead of 4/1, was a scary ordeal but became commonplace after that. We rode a tonga all the way from town back to the base one day, whatta trip that was. Great experiences, life long in nature, not one I'd want to do again, but is priceless.|
I was in engineering for the time I was
there. Finished as the Station Engineer. My wife Emily and 2
yr old daughter Karen lived in the Peshawar University Area at the time.
I remembered living at the Jala BOQ (sp?) for awhile and then when my wife and daughter got there we had a house next to tribal land that you could see K-2 from the area. I remember the 10+ PAS neighbors that lived around the neighborhood that would ride the noisy blue bus back and forth to the Station. We had Choky, the guard-gardner, that did a good job keeping us safe at the house even when I first got there and he told me, thru his son, that on the annual anti-American Day they would try to come and get me.
We had no communications with the Station and certainly no police but were safer than those on the Station due to the Pakistan Generals and rich business types owned our houses and would call in the Kyber Rifles to protect their property and our homes. The night before Anti-American Day, two tribes met in my front yard and shot it out killing about 4 + of them. I thought my ticket was up. Choky had hired his whole tribe to protect me and had set up HQs in the garage where they had their rifles and ammo. They brought me a double barrel shotgun and two bandoliers of ammo so I could shoot the American anti war hippies, that they told me would be there the next day. The Pakistan Tribal folks got a kick out of the whole forthcoming day. The battle was something to witness in the dark with all the muzzle flashes that could be seen over the 2 acre compound. It went on for most of an hour during which Choky and his son knock on the door to tell me that they weren't after me and that it was a simple tribal dispute. One tribe came the next day with one of those ox carts and took their wounded and dead away. The other tribe didn't show up and I remember telling Chocky we needed to find a place for the dead, where I sure didn't know since there was no way to communicate with anyone. Unbeknown to me he threw them in the neighbors empty house with the temperature being over 100 degrees. What a welcome for my first nights off by myself.
The next day I walked to the Jala which was a little over a mile away along with six armed guards from my newly acquired army. Col. Eubanks had given us the day off so we wouldn't run the risk of being hurt or captured on the way to the Station. Pakistan wouldn't let any of us PAS folks have weapons as part of the agreement so that is why I had my own army to protect me and my place. It was some experience.
I always wanted to reconnect with the PAS gang that would go on picnics out in the country side where we would rent the tribe's arms to protect us. It seemed like George the AC Engineer or Norm the Austrailian Engineer might have been a part of that group. There was most of the medical group living out there that would go along with the Methodist Minister.
Singleton, First Lieutenant,
6937th Group, Det. 2, Karachi
. . . . . .
here is some overlooked info that many
of your good site's readers might enjoy remembering:
1. I was shipped from HQ USAFSS at Kelly AFB, San Antonio, where I had been the Hq. Squadron Commander via Charleston to Karachi, then West Pakistan, to be the Commander, Det. 2, 6937th Comm Gp at the US Embassy in Karachi. My job was as Transportation Officer (Airlift). Initially before SECDEF McNamara imposed his military cost accounting system I as a merely Lieutenant could and did manifest men and material anywhere/everywhere in the world, to and from and through then West Pakistan.
I shipped over to Pakistan in Nov., 1963 and PCSed back to the States in June, 1965. After the Gulf of Tonkin in early 1965 my newest "additional duty" was as Walking Wounded Evacuation Officer for all services military personnel (walking wounded) coming from South Vietnam to Charleston AFB. ***Half our wounded went to Charleston, the other half went to Travis AFB in California, to reduce the visibility of the number of wounded (and KIA) we immediately start to experience once Vietnam went "hot" in early 1965.
I was Liaison Officer with all our Allied Military Attaches in various embassies in Karachi, as well as with Pakistani civilians and military personnel in their Ministry of Defense and Foreign Office. A key quiet part of my job was getting "black box parts" moved out of and into (replacements or repaired parts) to keep our U-2s flying. I was also in charge of while in the Karachi area of Ft. Worth contract engineering teams who worked on and maintained our U-2s.
2. I was carried on the US Air Attache roster for cover purposes but reported directly to Colonel Thomas C. Hyde as his/the 6937th Comm Gp "USAF Liaison Officer."
3. As an additional duty I lived in and ran via Master Sgt. Jack Hever, USAF, Ret., Dec, the Salateen Club.
4. I was promoted in July, 1964 to First Lieutenant while serving as Commander, Det. 2, 6937th Comm Gp in Karachi. ***This website correctly notes my rank on arrival as Second Lieutenant, but overlooks my promotion to First Lieutenant while in Pakistan.
5. My job and work included covering movements of all military and US Government civilian personnel via Maripur Pak Air Base and the Karachi Civil Airport. I was also Liaison with the Army Port Transportation Unit which moved material by train to and from the 6937th in Peshawar. I was also part of the protocol meet and greet team of the Office of the US Air Attache (Colonel Williams, USAF). Additionally, as USAFSS [the 6937th] was part of and under the National Security Agency, I also had a desk in the Office of the CIA Pakistan County Team Chief.
6. As events from January, 1965 (when I was wounded in the Rann of Kutch, where earliest skirmishing of the 1965 India-Pakistan War first began) proved that a hot war was at hand, my work was "pulled into" literally, physically, the US Embassy CIA Team Chief area inside the embassy building. *I was tasked jointly by Colonel Hyde, the US Ambassador, Walter P. McChonaughy, and Jack Schaffer, CIA in country team chief, with writing and starting to implement the 6937th Comm Gp Evacuation Plan.
7. Our biggest move out of Peshawar took place in summer, 1965, just after I PCSed back to the States, and most of our civilian family members and most of our military personnel were relocated by airlift into Turkey, not into Iran as someone else wrote elsewhere on this site.
8. During the last 6 months of my 18 month tour of duty in Karachi (I had a longer tour of duty than you boys who were based in Peshawar for whatever reason) the 6937th ceded the management and control of the Salateen Club to the USMAAG and for housing I was relocated into MAAG staff house next door to the USMAAG Chief, Major General George Ruhlen, USA, Ret., Dec. Gen. Ruhlen's aide de camp was Captain Gerald P. Stadler, USA, who today, 2009 is a 71 year old retired Major General, living in Oklahoma near Ft. Sill. Gerry and I are still very good friends today.
***USMAAG Chief Major General George Ruhlen, USA, as a Lieutenant Colonel of tanks under General Patton secured the Bridge at Remaggen in 1945 as Allied forces defeated the Nazis. Gen. Ruhlen was quite a piece of great American military history.
9. After I PCSed back to the States in June, 1965, the Army and Navy MAAG staff officers who remained in the staff house where I had been living were arrested briefly during the summer 1965 as "enemy spies" by the Pak military and jailed for a week or two somewhere in Karachi. Most of these now all retired officers say little about this arrest history for whatever reason.
This information summarized tells the reader of the formal existence of Det. 2, 6937th Comm Gp in Karachi, where I was the Commanding Officer. Me, Master Sergeant Jack Hever, and over 40 Pakistanis who worked directly for me, most of whom were retired Pakistani military officers of retired ranks of Major and Captain "who knew the ropes" to get things done through Karachi to and from Peshawar to support you guys at the HQ 6937th Comm Gp. in Peshawar.
Also, let's remember our buddies who were tenants on our base in Peshawar, the US Army Security Teams and the Naval Intelligence teams there.
George L. Singleton, Colonel, USAF, Ret.
Bill Hudson - Dog Flight - 292x1 - 11/61 - 02/63 . . . . . . . I may have received the fastest "Dear John" letter in history. I missed my original flight out of Charleston & had to lay over there for a week so it took me a total of two weeks to get to Peshawar. I was thrilled to find I had mail waiting for me when I got there. Unfortunately, it was a "goodbye" letter from my newest love; a fiery, redhead named "Dolly". I decided to stay away from redheads if I ever got the chance to see one again, but by this time I pretty well figured I wouldn't live through 15 months in this place anyway.
Remember a couple of friends & myself decided we were going to get a really dark suntan so we were advised to go see the pharmacist & he put several crystals of iodine into our Johnson & Johnson baby oil. This was supposed to speed up the tan while the iodine actually dyed your skin. It worked so well, in a couple of weeks we were looking like the local Pakistanis.
Does anyone remember those "cow patties" drying in the sun everywhere you looked. Since there were no trees for firewood for cooking, they used these dried patties made from water buffalo or ox dung mixed with a little bit of straw they managed to gather. Probably added some interesting flavors to grilled meats. All in all, it's amazing that these people could survive & even raise children under the really primitive conditions. I suppose they have been surviving this way for centuries.
After a long time there, a friend & I decided we were going to die if we couldn't have some kind of contact with a woman. We had heard about the "Be Be Bazaar" (woman market) in Rawalpindi which is a place where the government allows "legal" prostitution for women to make money to pay their way out of a prison sentence. We flew to Rawalpindi, got a room at the British hotel & rented a horse cart & were off to the Bazaar. It was SO BAD! The women were old, ugly, only a few teeth & smelled so bad.
We gave up quickly, went back to the hotel, bought a bottle of booze (neither one of us were drinkers) and as soon as we were numb we hired a cart & charged off again more determined than before. Unfortunately, even the booze couldn't hide the reality, so we gave up. It was a very, very long 15 months but I never went back to Rawalpindi.
I remember on two occasions being threatened by a mob of people rioting over the "Cuban Crisis" & I think the other time was over a movie made in the States. I always wondered if the Pakistani Army camped around us would have really fired on their own people to protect us or not. Fortunately, the people backed off after a while in both cases.
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