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.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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