The three years I was in charge of all offset printing in Europe, I worked in the Europe Headquarters at Lindsey Air Station, Germany.
We had two printing departments, the headquarters printing department and the message center. My office sat between the two. I approved all printing requests that came in from all of Europe,
Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.
It was the first printing department that I got very little work done on our equipment on special jobs, and I missed that type of duty. I found out that I hated sitting at a desk most of the time.
We had a large field printing plant two miles away of about 160 printers that did all the large jobs for all of Europe, military newspaper, maps, phone books and war plans for NATO. We had a young captain in charge. He was what we call a ’ 90- day wonder.’ He had only 90 days training to become an Air Force officer.
He was very smooth, but knew very little about printing or how to relate to his men. I had to spend a lot of time at the plant to make sure he didn’t screw things up.
We had about 100 military printers and about 50 to 60 German civilians working at the plant. During the time I was there, we had an investigation going on for quite a long time. One of our German civilian printers had a cabin in the hills above the city, and he had a printing press and was printing German money (marks). We’d had a very heavy rainstorm that flooded the cabin and all the marks that he had printed a few days before washed down the creek and down to the foot of the hill.
The morning newspaper showed people on the creek bank grabbing marks as they came down the creek.
The OIS ( Office of Special Investigations) spent many weeks going through the plant with a fine-tooth comb.
The plant had equipment I had never worked on before. I had over 20 years in the service and knew that I would retire soon. I knew that I had the chance of a lifetime, and started working on the new machines my last few months in Germany.
The young captain did not like me working on this equipment and went over my head and complained to our head boss. I talked to our boss and told him that I wanted to learn all about these new machines in case I got a civilian job when I retired from the military, and needed to know all about this equipment I knew so little about. He approved my working at the plant the last three months I was in Germany.
He later became a general, and was with me at the Pentagon. The young captain was fit to be tied.
I would like to add a prayer request for a dear friend of mine, Rodney Galion. I went to school with him in Jenkins, and he is in bad health. I would like to ask all who will to pray for a quick recovery for him.