John T. Lavana, Sr.

Helicopter Mechanic/Crew Chief/Flight Mechanic; worked on H-5’s, H-13’s, H-19’s, H-21’s, H-43B’s and some H-53’s;

Sep. 1953, entered the Air Force in Albany, NY. and had my basic training at Geneva, NY. (Sampson AFB, NY.).

1953 – Mar. 1954, at San Marcos AFB, TX. for helicopter school.

Mar. 1954 – Jan. 1955, at Sewart AFB, TN with the 644th Troop Carrier Sq. on H-19’s and CH-21C’s.

Jan. 1955 – 1956, at Thule AB, Greenland with the 55th ARS.

1956 – 1956, at Sewart AFB, TN with the 644th Troops Carrier Sq. on H-19’s and CH-21’s.

1956 – 1962, at Warner-Robins AFB, GA. in the Base Flight unit on H-19’s, also got some experience on C-29’s, C-47’s and C-54’s.

1962 – 1962, at Andrews AFB, MD. with Det. 59, EARC on the HH-43B’s.

1962 – 1964, at Kindley AFB, Bermuda on H-19’s.

1964 – 1965, at McConnell AFB, KS. with Det. 15, CARRS on HH-43B’s.

1965 – 1965, at Eglin AFB, with the 20th HS (Provisional) then we departed, on Dec. 03, 1965, as a complete unit for Viet Nam.

Dec. 1965 – Feb. 1966, with the 20th HS in Viet Nam. We had 10 CH-3C’s and were TDY all over Viet Nam, Tan Son Nhut, Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay and did a four month stay at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand where we did maintenance on the birds. While with the 20th I was one of the men who gave CH-3C #63-9676 “Black Maria” her black paint job.

Feb. 1966 – 1969, at Torrejon AB, Spain with Det. 7, ARRC on HH-43B’s.

1969 – 1970, at Tyndall AFB, FL. with Det. 5, 39th ARRWg. on H-3E’s doing drone recovery.

1970 – 1974, Hickam AFB, HI. with the 6594th Test Group on CH-3B’s where I put in my retirement papers to retire at MacDill AFB, FL.

1974, at MacDill AFB, FL. where I retired.

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

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