Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Vanover’s classified mission

Early in 1955 at Hickam Field in Hawaii, my boss, Admiral Williamson, asked me to report to him. He was in charge of all military bases from Hawaii to Japan.

He was a hero fighter pilot, flying off of aircraft carriers during World War II.

The Pentagon had asked him to do something he had never done before. He asked for my help.

A handful of Army men were on a small atoll (a ring-shaped coral island nearly or completely surrounding a lagoon). They had refused to fight in Korea. The war would soon be over and the War Department wanted to know what to do with them.

He asked me to escort a couple of officers to the atoll, talk to these men, and write a report on each of them and return to Hawaii.

A military court would decide what to do with them.

I was recalled to Hawaii early as my headquarters were moving back to stateside. I never found out what happened to those men.

We moved back to Travis Air Force Base in California where I would be assigned for the next 13 years as noncommissioned officer in charge of printing from the Mississippi River to Japan.

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

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