I reenlisted in the Air Force in December 1947 and was sent to Langley Field and was assigned to the Air Sea Rescue Service. While not flying, I would be working in tech supply handing out tools to our mechanics to work on our planes.
I was assigned an L-5 rescue plane as its crew chief. I was taught how to sew and dope fabric and rig flying and landing wires on my plane after the many bird strikes we would encounter during flights.
We used tugs to tow the planes around, and in one of the classes I was required to back the plane onto three spots that were painted on the concrete outside of our hanger. Two of the spots were for the gear and one was for the tail wheel. It was a lot harder than it looked, but I did it in one try.
We had perforated pipes under the wings and we would fly low over the base and spray DDT on the swarms of mosquitoes.
The time I spent in the service I enjoyed. The experience and lessons I learned have helped me survive all these years. I have stayed fully employed since I left the Air Force until I retired at 82 years old. During this time my hobbies were restoring old cars and playing senior softball.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)