Whitesburg KY

My two war hero friends

When I reenlisted in 1947, I was assigned to Langley Field, Va,. working on aircraft in the Air Sea Rescue Service, 9th Air Force.

Our payroll clerk was Master Sergeant Clark, who was in the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during World War II.

In 1950 when we opened Sampson Air Base in New York to train men from the eastern part of the states for the Korean War, I received a phone call from my first sergeant that our new commander wanted to see me.

When I walked into his office, it was Sgt. Clark, who had been recalled as a major. What a surprise that was for me. He had seen my name as the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of base printing department, and wanted to see his old buddy again.

During my assignment at Lackland Air Field, Tex., my roommate was Tech Sergeant Titus, the most decorated tail gunner flying out of England, bombing Germany.

I found out the sergeant in charge of repairing the bombers was my Uncle George Short. When my uncle returned home after the war, he got his old job back as dispatcher for the coal company in Jenkins.

Sgt. Titus and I were picked to be the first airmen to open Sampson Air Base, I as a printer, and he would be working in the personnel department.

Sgt Titus’s boss was a warrant officer and gave him a hard time. Sgt. Titus had been called to the White House to visit the President, and they promoted him for first lieutenant. He was not the warrant officer’s boss.

He told me during our coffee breaks that he loved pulling the warrant officer’s chain.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

Leave a Reply