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