My unit, Military Air Transport Service (WESTAF), assumed command of Travis Air Force Base in California with my boss, General Russell L. Waldron, on July 1, 1958.
We had moved from our headquarters at Hickam Field, Hawaii and were activated on July 1, 1958 and re-designated the 22nd Air Force on January 8, 1966. We had taken over from Strategic Air Command (SAC), who were not happy.
I served 13 years with this unit overseas and stateside, and worked for many generals during that time.
The conflict in Southeast Asia, which centered on Viet Nam, dominated the history of Travis Air Force Base, between 1965 and 1975. The war’s ebb and flow affected almost every aspect of life and operations at this “Gateway to the Pacific.”
The Travis Aerial Port, always active, mushroomed into the nation’s busiest as thousands of tons of military equipment and supplies were channeled through it each week on the way to Viet Nam.
My printing department went from seven printers to over 20 overnight, and working 24/7. Between 1965 and when I retired at the end of 1972, my people did a great job. I was so proud of them.
I made sure all of them were promoted when their time came to be promoted.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)