Anatrella, Lou – NY
Lou P. Anatrella.
31 December 1958, I arrived at Stead AFB, NV., as a newly married 2nd Lt with brand new wings and assigned to the 3638th FTS for helicopter pilot training. Unfortunately, all pilots passing through Stead AFB had to endure USAF combat survival training. It was no fun tramping around the snow with 15° F temperatures. After training in the H-19B & H-21B I was fortunate to be one of two from my class (59D) to be chosen to remain as instructor pilots.
1959 – October 1961, I instructed in H-19’s at Stead AFB, NV., when I was requested to be an H-19 ground school instructor. I declined the invitation and requested to be an H-43B flight instructor. To my surprise I got it. I just loved that machine.
October 1961 – December 1962, I instructed in the H-43B at Stead AFB, NV. until I got orders for FTD 917H in November 1962. We reported in January 1963.
January 1963 – November 1963, I instructed the VNAF on the H-19’s at Tan Son Nuht AB, RVN with the 917-H FTD.
December 1963 – April 1965, I returned to Stead AFB, NV. to resume H-43B instructing.
April 1965, I separated from the Air Force.
I went to work for the Asplundh Tree Expert Company flying a Sikorsky S-51 stripped down for flying above power lines and spraying the right-of-way to kill brush. I did that for one season and decided that the prospect wasn’t good for longevity in that kind of operation and quit. I then flew V-107’s with New York Airways for six months, was furloughed and eventually wound up with TWA for 25 years.
In my career I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and got to fly the following military and civilian helicopters, H-19B, H-21B, Cessna Skyhook, S-62, H-43B, H-34J, HU-1B, S-51, V-107, Bell 47-G2, Hughes 300, Brantly 305.
I retired from TWA in 1992.