July 16. 17. 18
ARE YOU READY!?? There’s a lot scheduled for the weekend, so get ready to have a great time with old and new friends and alumni from Charleston Air Force Station. Remember that friends or relatives of any age are always welcome to attend any function.
Friday, July 16, nothing scheduled but some of you may want to visit Hollywood Slots which is something relatively new on Main Street, opposite Bangor Daily News office. Gamble at your own risk. Typical of most gambling establishments, they serve a fine buffet for $14.98.
Saturday, July 17, Reunion get together and luncheon will begin at 12 noon at Dick and Jan Cynewski’s in Corinth. Tables, chairs, 20x30 tent set up in case of hot sun or drizzly. Given the choices, pray for sun! All food items will be provided, including sodas, water, and all utensils. It’s still BYOB if you have a favorite drink. No beer or alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in Corinth.
Sunday, July 18, 1 pm brunch buffet at Hollywood Slots for $10 plus your drinks. The $4.98 will come from the kitty. Then we wish each other a fond farewell until Reunion 2012.
DON’T FORGET TO MAIL BACK THE AQUA SHEET TO MERLAND CLARK
TO LET US KNOW YOU ARE ATTENDING
DIRECTIONS AND CAMPING INFO: There’s ample space at either Dick’s or Pauline’s for RV’s or campers.
Dick’s place is on the West Corinth Road, Corinth. From Bangor, drive north on Broadway (Rte 15) into Corinth. West Corinth Road is opposite Crescent Lumber Company. His house is the first house on the left and is an English Tudor style. Phone 207-285-3239.
Pauline’s farm is located at 449 Tate Road, Corinth. From Bangor, drive north on Route 15. After you cross the Kenduskeag-Corinth line, you will take the first road on your right which is Tate Road. The farm is 1.4 miles and has a Cape Cod house with attached shed and barn. Parking of RV’s can be either side of the road. Unless it’s a particularly wet July, the ground is solid gravel which is grassed over. Phone 207-852-5195.
Anthony J. Vannella
First Commander of 765th AC&W Charleston, Maine
This is quite belated, but interesting news for the original Charleston troops.
I see in the "Social Security Death Index" that our first Commanding Officer, Major Anthony J. Vannella had passed away on Sept 24, 2005 at the age of 93 while living in New Jersey. The Fall 2004 Newsletter contains a note from him describing his tenure at Dow and Charleston. With Major Vannella in Command, the 765th AC&W Sq was formed from Detachment 1 of the 657th AC&W at Dow on 13 Jan 1951. The newly formed 765th was subsequently transferred to Charleston on 17 Sept 1951 to activate that Station.
I never really knew Ted Robinson although I see his name on the 13 Jan 1951 Special Order Number 4 transferring us to the newly formed 765th for later assignment to Charleston.
Perhaps of worthy note, the original Detachment 1 of the 657th AC&W was formed
at Dow in 1950 in response to the Korean conflict. The parent 657th AC&W was actually based at Ft. Williams, Maine.
Concerning the asbestos claim being attempted by Ted Robinson's widow (your latest Newsletter) this may be of interest. A few years ago a class action suit was filed against the "W R Grace Corporation" in behalf of thousands of home owners (me included). W R Grace operated a mine in Libby, MT, to produce and widely distribute "Vermiculite" insulation for thousands of homes being built in the 50s. Much of that "Vermiculite" insulation was found to be contaminated with "asbestos". Although the closing date for filing claims against W R Grace has passed it may be worth pursuing even at this late date. A simple "Google" on "W R Grace" will give information on that legal issue.
(I "lucked out" by having my insulation tested by a Laboratory and found it to be asbestos free")
My best regards to all.
Harry P. Hillegas
Ms. Sodermark . I’m the oldest son of Bill and Kathleen Yarber. Just received your newsletter in the mail. Thought it would be appropriate to let you know that both of my parents have passed away. Dad was a few years back. Mom just this past Oct. Thank you and God bless Rod Yarber
Daniel “Grumpy” Fieger
HERMON - D Daniel "Grumpy" Fieger, 71, died Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, with his family by his side after a long illness. He was born April 9, 1938, in Lansdale, Pa., the son of John and Dorothy (Ziegler) Fieger. Daniel was a graduate of
Lansdale High School and Husson College. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years and the postal service after 15 years. Daniel lived a long and meaningful life. He was willing to hold out a helping hand to everyone. Daniel Fieger was a great man, loved his family, was loved by many, and will be greatly missed. He spent a number of hours playing with not only sons, daughters and grandkids, but also his great-grandchildren. He loved to see the world and traveled all over. He loved his old cars, like his '67 Dodge Cornet and the old red '89 Mustang. Daniel enjoyed history and old war movies. He collected a number of items such as spoons, Coca-Cola items, and a number of tee shirts from all his travels. Daniel will be remembered as "Grumpy" by all that knew him. He was a strong man. Life would throw rocks and he would throw them back. Daniel never would let anything take him down. Although he was a man of few words, he always knew the right words to say. Interment was at Greenbush Cemetery, Greenbush.
I was stationed at CAFS from 62 to 65. I went to the website and poked around. Then just for grins I went and got a domain name which you can have if you want it. The domain name is 765THRADARSITE.INFO. Just let me know who you want to transfer it to and it is yours. I attached the receipt below. I'd be glad to work with Dick to clean up the site if he wants. There were a number of broken links.
Douglas St Clair
Our oldest son just returned from 18 months active duty with the North Carolina National Guard with a ten month deployment to Iraq. So we have had one son who went to Iraq and our other son spent 23 months on active duty with the Air Force Reserve with 7 months in Afghanistan. They sent him over for 90 days and then forgot they were there. If the active establish did not have the guard and reserves to call on to help them out I don't how they would be able to operate. It most definitely is taking its toll on the regulars.
I am ready for some warm weather and have had enough cold weather and snow. I noticed that for a few days, almost a week, it was warmer there in Corinth than it was here. For ten days our temp stayed below freezing. Reminded of those days when I was at Charleston Hill.
I got a tee shirt with the 765th logo on it from Jack Teraha and it really looks good. He put the logo, 765th AC&W Sq, Charleston AFS ME and my years 53-57 for $13. which included shipping and handling. Also got a cap with the Air Defense Command logo embroidered on it for the same price.
Take care and tell all that Diana and I send our regards. M H Pridgen
Roger Hilbig requested the website for Charleston Air Force Station and after he reviewed the site, these were his remarks:
Thank you, very much – lots of good pictures – some of it looks a lot like Caswell – I have an aerial photo of Caswell I took from my own plane when I had it at Caribou – wanted to slap a squadron decal on the tail after I used it to ferry some test equipment to Bucks Harbor – I had a Piper Pacer the last few months I was there – Pacer is the tail wheel version of the Tri-Pacer. Need to find that and other mem-
ories, have photos of the radome painters and of the FPS-107 installation as well.
I was at Charleston AFS 1956-1959. I ran into Bobby
G. Hall about 1964/69 at Mica Peak AFS in Spokane, Washington while on a
tech assist trip. The Bobby G. Hall I knew from the 765th had A Legal name
Change, But I Don't remember his new name. Had something to do with family.
Unable to make your Reunion but the least I can do is make a contribution. Being one of the originals who helped activate Charleston I have deep rooted sentiment for that memorable and great organization.
Is Merland Clark still the "Keeper of the Funds" and to whom I could mail a contribution?
Thanks and have a great reunion.
EMAIL INQUIRY ABOUT
LT. COL. GEORGE C. MARVIN
I noticed that you list Lt. Col. George C. Marvin on your site as being one of the Commanders at Charleston Air Force Station in the early 1960's. I believe that he was stationed in Fontainebleau, France after 1964 and his daughter, Michelle, went to our high school (Dreux American HS).
Would you happen to know anything about him and/or his family? I didn't see him listed on your roster and I'm not sure if he would still be living or not.
We are trying to find everyone that went to our overseas high school. If you have any info or can point me in a direction, it would be greatly appreciated!
FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER EMAIL:
Actually, I ended up finding his obituary in one of your online newsletters and was able to get Michele's married name and location!! Thanks for your help!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is proof that information you provide for our Newsletter often has far reaching good results.)
BOYS WANTING TO BE MEN
(My Memories of
Charleston Air Force Station)
By Dick Cynewski
The year was 1955. I was a 20 year old A/2C, on my 2nd year in the USAF, in Suwon Korea (K-13), when I got my orders to Charleston AFS. Being from Mass., I liked being close to home but had never been in Maine. 20 yrs old and had never owned a car! So I took the train from Mass to Bangor where the little blue USAF bus drove me from the train terminal out that lonely road to Charleston's "Bull Hill".
OMG, I thought - this is way out in the willy-wags! Signed in with the O-D, checked out sheets, etc from supply, and had room #207 in barracks #2. Not bad. A2C Don Daggett - a close friend from Mass had also just been assigned and we roomed together. Bill Amos from supply was just across the hall as was Bob Tibbetts and Jim Lenz from Radio Ops. Major Schwartz was commander and I began my radio maintenance work at the GATR site. Sgts Anthony and Lundgreen were my bosses at the GATR site. Charlie Croan was Provost Sgt I think, Don Hatt ran lower hill supply,
Al Spicci was in Radio Maintenance with Dick Loveall. Capt Whelan ran the maintenance section - etc., etc.
In hindsight, the people there seemed quite friendly and non-threatening to a young underling. Everyone from the orderly room, supply, the air police, the mess hall and my superiors at work seemed organized and ready to help. Once per month we lined-up at the orderly room and reported for pay. "A2C Cynewski, Richard reporting for pay SIR" - and we were handed an envelope with cash. PAY JUST ONCE A MONTH! So it was not surprising that at the end of every month we saw a lot of airmen sorely lacking in $$. In fact, I recall a few well-disciplined airmen who made loans of $20 for 2 weeks if $25 - 30 were paid back. I also remember those with cars coasting down the hill to Mrs Martin's store for gas.
One month they paid us in two dollar bills so that the surrounding towns would realize what the CAFS and Dow AFB contributed to the economy.
One year the Air Force initiated "P-E" (physical education) requirements so we played golf every Thursday afternoon in Kenduskeag.
There was a murder in barracks # 3 one night. Bob Tibbetts was O-D that night and had to guard over the shooter all night till day crew arrived. We sadly had one or two airmen drown off the coast near Bar Harbor one year.
In the summer I played on the CAFS baseball team - TSGT Hubert (medics) was coach.
Life consisted of work, socializing in the barracks, the airman's club and extra duties. I did learn at work, saved a few dollars and finally at age 21 bought my first car. A 1953 Buick. I loved it! This allowed me to access activities away from CAFS - Goodwin's Dance Hall, the Dew Drop Inn in Dover-Foxcroft, Sally's Lunch in Corinth, the Silver Dollar bar in Bangor, and the P-X at DOW AFB which was nicer than the small one-room shop at Charleston.
On one of these outings, A2C Jim Mason introduced me to a Bradford gal 4 years my junior. Two yrs later Janice Bickmore and I were married. Now, 53 years later, we are both looking forward to the 2010 CAFS reunion right here in Corinth, Maine.
I am afraid I am rambling on.
Suffice to say that the phrase "Boys, Wanting To Be Men" to me seems quite a valid description of 300 airmen - most under 25 years old - living on a remote hill in Maine. Many arrived at CAFS as single airmen and left married to local girls and starting their families. All grew proficient in their jobs, matured as people and moved on to another USAF assignment or returned back to their hometowns.
On reflection, Charleston Air Force Station provided great support to me as I
transitioned from boyhood to adulthood. Without sounding too corny - CAFS was my home away from home.
(NOTE: I left Charleston in 1959, continued my 20 year USAF career in England, Ohio and Michigan and was lucky enough to serve my final 3 USAF years again at Charleston. I then spent 6 years as a civil service "Tech Rep" - again at Charleston until the station closed.)
MEMORIES OF THE HILL
By Merland Clark Jr
I reported to Charleston on Dec 19, 1956, a day before my 20th birthday. It was a cold, windy winter day. I picked up Richard P. Matthews of W. Warwick RI in Bangor at the bus station. He and I were in the same ground radar course at Keesler and had been together since basic at Sampson AFB NY.
SSgt Ralph DeNafio tried to talk the C&E officer Capt Richard Whelan into letting me off for my birthday the next day but that only got me in deeper trouble than just reporting to CAFS on a cold winter day. That winter we had a cold spell of four days with 35, 38 and 45 below zero... I took [attempted to
take] the battery out of my car [a 54 Ford] and bring it into the barracks for the duration of the cold spell. During this attempt, the negative post pulled up out of the battery which was not good news but, believe it or not, I gently tapped it back down into position, re-installed when the cold weather went away and it was in the car a year later when I traded.
One other high point for me, was when I was tasked to be heavily involved in setting up a mock ACW unit in a hanger at Dow AFB to display for the public on Armed Forces day, May of 1959. My reward was a ride in an H19 helicopter stationed at Dow thanks to a young 1LT who was in charge of the project who was from the orderly room as I recall.. They set down across from the main gate, picked us up and took us to Dover, asked me where I lived , in which case we did a fly over and returned to CAFS. For those of you not familiar, the H19 was powered by a radial aircraft engine and was made by Sikorsky. It was assigned to Dow for search, rescue needs.
By Ray Raflik
I was stationed at CAFS Maine from May 1957 till August 1958 as a radar operator. My assigned room was on the 1st floor of barracks #2. At one time a new tile floor was installed in the hallway on the 2nd floor. Whoever installed the floor left a gallon can of turpentine near the steps. Someone, and I never found out who, came in from town under the weather and kicked that can like a football and sprayed turpentine all the way down the hall of that new floor which then bubbled-up and had to be replaced. Because no one admitted to doing this deed, the whole barracks was restricted to the base for 3 weeks. I didn’t think that was fair for those of us that slept on the 1st floor so when I was off duty I would get in the trunk of my car and have a friend from barracks #1 drive me off base.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Robert Murcek- Greely CO
Frank Oldis – Atkinson ME
Bob & Nancy Phillips
Larry & Noreen McClenaghan –
Tarpon Spgs FL
CHANGES OF ADDRESS/EMAIL
Merland Clark Jr
WILLIAM G. LARRABEE
2010 Reunion Committee
66 Fourth St, Bangor, Me 04401
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
(Keeper of the Mailing List)
105 Exeter Rd, Corinth, Me 04427
Email – email@example.com
(Keeper of the Funds)
44 North Rd, Sebec, Me 04481
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
P. O. Box 103, West Corinth Rd,
Corinth, Me 04427
Email – email@example.com
(Keeper of the CAFS Website)
449 Tate Rd, Corinth, Me 04427
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
(Keeper of the Newsletter)
CAFS on Internet:
DON’T FORGET TO MAIL BACK THE AQUA SHEET
TO MERLAND CLARK
TO LET US KNOW YOU ARE ATTENDING.
ALSO: USE THE AQUA SHEET TO UPDATE ANY INFORMATION THAT HAS CHANGED EVEN IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND.
NUMBERS, WE NEED NUMBERS
We need the number of attendees for each event so we can estimate the amount of food
to buy and how many people will be eating at
Hollywood Slots Sunday Brunch.
After you mail this RSVP and then find that you are able to attend,
there’s no problem to add a few here and there without notification.
So don’t let anything keep you from attending.
INDICATE NUMBER WHO WILL ATTEND
SATURDAY NOON - REUNION LUNCHEON _________
SUNDAY 1 PM – HOLLYWOOD SLOTS BRUNCH _________
ADDRESS OR EMAIL UPDATE:
THIS RSVP NEEDS TO BE MAILED BY JULY 3, 2010,
SEND NO MONEY
SEND RSVP TO:
MERLAND CLARK JR
105 EXETER RD, CORINTH, ME 04427
Charleston AF Station Newsletters online:
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