USAF ROTORHEAD Members
John B. Mahoney
John B. Mahoney I joined the US Air Force in October 1960 to get out of West Virginia and after waiting for over 6 months for an opening, I elected to take an administrative field position just to get into the service. I spent my first 4 years as a “Clerk” at 763rd Radar Squadron, Lockport AFS, NY. and 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Naha AB, Okinawa. I elected to cross-train into Helicopters after watching the H-19’s flying at Naha AB.
After completing Helicopter School at Sheppard AFB, I was assigned to the H-19 “B” Flight Line and was promoted to SSgt in June 1966 on my prior AFSC (70250) – Not bad since I had 2 articles 15’s while at Naha AB. I was placed on flying status on the H-19’s and later selected to attend H-53 School at Sikorsky with flight training at Eglin AFB, FL. leading to my assignment to the 40th ARRS, Udorn AB, Thailand from Jan 1968 – Jan 1969. I replaced Jack Hartman as the Flight Examiner when he completed his tour.
I was next assigned to Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Training Center, Eglin AFB, FL. as Instructor for HH-53 Flight Engineers from Jan. 1969 – May 1971. At Eglin, I worked for MSgt. Frank Presbury Jr. When the Helicopter Schools were consolidated at Hill AFB, UT, I remained there as Instructor and worked for MSgt. Maurice Tasker until April 1972. While at Hill AFB, I was promoted to TSgt.
Next assignment was to 51st OMS, Osan AB, Korea. I was the NCOIC Helicopter Maintenance for the 4 CH-3’s from April 1972 – May 1973. My maintenance Superintendent was MSgt. Andrew Benton.
My next dream assignment was to the 5040th Helicopter Squadron (HH-3s) and back on flying status at Elmendorf AFB, AK. where I worked for MSgt. Jim Burns. I was assigned as Flight Mechanic Examiner after Jack Hartman retired. I was promoted to MSgt while assigned to the 5040th. When 5040th was taken over and re-designated the 71st AARS, I remained as the Flight Mechanic Examiner. I reported to Lt Colonel Ray B. Long (One of the best officers to ever wear the Uniform – IMHO.
Here I am back in the training of Flight Mechanics with the 1551st Flying Training Squadron at Kirtland AFB, NM. and remained on the H-3. I remained at Kirtland from July 1976 – July 1980. However, due to a problem that was discovered in Alaska, I was grounded after approximately 6 months and re-trained into the 39 career field – Plans and Scheduling. I received notice of promotion to SMSgt while attending Scheduling School at Chanute AFB, IL. I scheduled R&D Projects from the AF Weapons Lab to the fabrication shops and then moved to NCOIC Plans and Scheduling for all aircraft assigned to the 1550th ATTW.
After 4 years, I received a BOP assignment to Randolph AFB, TX. as NCOIC of P&S. I was getting ready to leave when I was notified that I had been selected from promotion to CMSgt. My assignment was cancelled and after a few phone calls, I was allowed to change my BOP assignment to Carswell AFB, TX. I was assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing (SAC) Carswell AFB, TX. from Jul. 1980 – Oct. 1981. After 6 months with SAC, I realized that this wasn’t the Air Force that I had known from the past 19 years along with the fact that they were going to move me when I had 1 year on station, I went to personnel and turned down my promotion. I finished up my BS degree in Industry and Technology from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M – Commerce) in December 1981.
I landed a job with General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) on 2 Nov. 1981 as a “Logistics Engineer”. I worked in an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) position on the F-16 and the F-22. I retired at the end of 1998 at the age of 57 and did volunteer work for the past 10 years.