USAF ROTORHEAD Members
William E. Hewes
Helicopter Pilot on HH-34’s, HH-1H’s, UH-1N’s, HH-3E’s and HH-60G’s.
Joined the AF to avoid the draft. Went to OTS AR Lackland AFB TX. At Tinker AFB I was the vice branch chief and did computer programming. Want to go to Pilot training but got sent to France where they didn’t need me. Got transfer to England where I did have a job as the Statistical Service Officer. Found the love of my life, a lady from Australia. We got married. Finally got a Pilot training slot and got my overseas assignment curtailed to make the age limit. Got a F-4 slot in Germany. Had kids. Got off active duty in 1970 when there were no flying jobs available. Spent some of my GI Bill on getting a helicopter ticket. I called the 304th Rescue unit weekly to see if they had any slots. One day the Ops officer said they were going to transition from HU-16s to helicopters and I was hired. Became an HH-34 IP as soon as I had a 100 hrs. Helped get the unit involved in local rescue work. Then we got HH-1H’s and I was chief of Stan Eval. Shortly after I became an ART, and then I was the Ops Officer. Lots of training as we went from 8 to 12 Huey’s. I decided that I want to use my law degree and went back to being a straight reservist and moved 200 miles away to the southern OR. coast. When I was the Ops Officer, we did a lot of local rescues as I saw it as a way to stay in business. We were very involved when Mt. St. Helen’s blew up. I ran the mission the 1st day and flew on the second day. We went from a squadron to a group and the wing over the time I was there. Lots of flying, training and management. Got to be the group and wing commander a few times, but mostly the vice commander. Lots of great flying over the 23 years in the AF Reserve.