USAF ROTORHEAD Members
1961 – 1962, at Lackland AFB, TX., & Sheppard AFB, TX. with the 6737th School Squadron.
1962 – 1965, Edwards AFB, CA., Flight Engineer CH-21, CH-47A.
When I first got to Edwards AFB, CA in May of 1962 I was assigned to the 6515th Flight Line Maintained Squadron, soon to be the 6515th Organizational Maintenance Squadron. The unit consisted of a fixed wing and a rotary wing section. The helicopter section was composed of the normal base support operation and a helicopter testing section that tested U.S. Air Force and Army helicopters.
Sgt. Otto Kroger was in charge of the helicopters. He was my first boss. After about a week there I was assigned to CH-21B #53-4389. SSgt. Frank Presbury was the crew chief. After a short stay with SSgt. Presbury I was assigned to CH-21B #53-4361 with A1C James K. Hall as crew chief.
The CH-21’s flew X-15 support and various photo missions including testing at the Mercury Nevada Nuclear Test Site (TDY there for six months) North of Las Vegas. JK and I were together on the CH-21’s till June 1963 when we joined the JCH-47A 60-03448 Chinook testing team. TSgt. Everett Mowatt was the crew chief. SSgt. Arthur Hooper, SSgt. James K. Hall and I were the crew. We were together for over a year and a half on the project. When I was discharged in October 1964 I was still frozen to the Chinook project and the Crew Chief was SSgt. Richard Ainsworth. Most of our guys were being ordered to Viet Nam in late November 1965.
There is a web site that has all our Chinook testing and rescue information on it, however the site belongs to an Army Chinook test pilot and it is locked down at present. You have to have a user name and password to get on the site. I will contact him and see if I can share this info or wait until he opens it again. He’s in Korea at present and that may have something to do with it. The site is huge as he has been trying to locate all the Chinooks ever built. Pretty impressive site.