Whitesburg KY
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Hurricane brings back memories


This hurricane on our East Coast brought back memories of my 27 years of Air Force service.

Flying over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, I saw a lot of things that were hard to tell what they were.

In 1948 when flying with my Air Sea Rescue team over the Pacific Ocean, if the weather was bad we were called back to base.

In Hawaii on March 22, 1955, one of our transport aircraft on descent to a landing in darkness and bad weather with heavy rain, strayed off course and crashed, killing all 66 people on board. It remains the worst air disaster in Hawaii’s history.

I was called in late at night after the crash for many days. I would be printing for the accident summary and investigative team.

In 1963, I was training the President’s Air Force crew at the NCO Academy at McCoy Air Base in Orlando, Fla. for five weeks. While returning from the parade fields while marching these man, the sky turned very dark and a heavy rain and wind hit us.

We made a run for our mess hall about a mile away. We were soaking wet when we got there. It was over just as fast as it came upon us.

We were told it was a small hurricane that came from the ocean nearby. I’ve seen a couple from the sky, but this was my first time of being in one.

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

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