Henley, Skip – AK
First assignment was Vandenberg AFB from early 1959 until shipping out to Wheelus AB, Libya, in 1962. Was attached to 58th ARS and as an Aeromedical Tech, became a crew member in H-19 helicopters and quickly advanced to Flight Examiner and Flight Instructor in that aircraft. Transitioned to the HH-43B and held the same positions. During this time, I was awarded the Kaman Scroll of Honor for participating in a Rescue of some Libyan Nationals in July 1963. Also flew several fixed wing missions to Kenya, the Congo, and up to Europe for the Altitude Chamber, a very long ride from Africa to Germany an HC-16 boat with wings. (Have to point out that in those days, one person could hold the Instructor/Flight Examiner positions.)
Left Libya and was assigned to 6570th Aeromedical Research Lab at Wright Patt from 1965 to 1966. Volunteered for Vietnam and initially was attached to the Rescue Det. and took two orientation flights in the HH-43B, then was tapped to be attached to 57th Aviation Company, a Caribou outfit that was being taken over by the Air Force. Flew lots of hours in the Caribou and got to see every part of Vietnam. Got a Purple Heart and three Air Medals and a Commendation Medal for that year.
Went then to Alaska and was NCOIC of the Flight Surgeons Office and filled in as the senion NCO for Rescue Ops with several missions in the H-21 and some fixed wing stuff as well. (That was prior to Rescue coming in with the P.J.’s.)
Then went off to P.A. school as a Senior Master and made Chief in ’76.
Given a direct commission in ’78 and then retired in ’82.
For the record, I have never been to an NCO Prep School, NCO Academy nor the Senior or Chief Academy. When they started passing rules that one had to attend in order to get promoted, I would get promoted just before it became the standard. Now if my luck would go that way for a big lottery, things would be just perfect!