Whitesburg KY

Base publications, before I arrived


Much of the activity at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., was reflected in the base newspaper.

During the war years, a few pages of notices, sports and USO events stenciled and run off on a battered old mimeo machine, “Front and Center”, grew into a weekly offset edition of more than 10 pages that was highlighted with locally-drawn cartoons and portraits of base personalities.

A special anniversary edition published on May 29, 1944, included several pages of now rare photographs depicting the phenomenal growth of the new airfield. In the same year, the weekly was named one of the best services papers of its type in the nation. Nevertheless, the war’s end and a reduction in force resulted in the demise of “Front and Center” with its unique viewpoint and comments on wartime experience of “G.I. Joe” at the base. The last issue appeared on November

10, 1945.

For several years thereafter, no paper was published. The first edition of “The Statesider” appeared on March 14, 1949. In October 1949, after Strategic Air Command (SAC) took control of Travis, the paper’s named changed to “The Global Ranger”.

In the mid 1950s, I was assigned to Travis Air Force Base. My unit at that time took over control of the base. All printing equipment on base was put in one large building on base, and I was in charge. A lot of old photos and papers of World War II were turned over to me. I knew not to trash them. I had them in a safe place until the new museum opened, and I turned everything over to it.

On June 1, 1974, “The Global Ranger” was replaced by “The Tailwind”.

I was assigned to Germany October 1, 1968, for four years.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)

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