Whitesburg KY

A visit from Elvis Presley

In the mid-1950s, my headquarters was asked to move to Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base, Calif. Everything was moved from Hawaii to this stateside base. I was in charge of all printing and all our large presses were moved there on large aircraft. We were to get ready for our deployment to Korea. It was said to be the largest move in years.

One of my printers started getting calls from Elvis Presley, who went to school with him. Elvis had planned a visit to our base to visit his new girlfriend Priscilla, whom he met in Germany when he was in the army there.

Elvis wanted someone to have coffee with at our coffee shop on base. I was asked to go with the printer. We met Elvis when he landed and took him to coffee. As I was in front, I got my billfold out to pay for the coffee.

After I paid, Elvis wanted to see the photo my wife had just put in my billfold. Elvis asked me where I got the photo of him. I told him the photo was of me, taken in Germany a few years ago. He said again, it sure looked like him.

When I got back to my office, I asked one of the girls working there who was the guy in the photo. She said it was a good shot of Elvis. I told her to look at his right arm. Those were my flying wings I’ve had for years. The photo was taken of me at a party in Germany.

The base was renamed Travis Air Force Base when my boss, General Travis, was killed in a plane crash of his B-29 Super Fortress when he was an observer on a mission to carry an atomic bomb casing to the Pacific. Nineteen bodies were found after the crash on June 17, 1949.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)

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