• The Cold War

    Posted on February 15th, 2009 John Dorcey 2 comments

    While the war waged on in Viet Nam, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) continued fighting the cold war. Depending on base assignments, the troops may have been fighting a cold war on two fronts.

    I served in the USAF from January 1969 until April 1975. For all but seven months of that time, I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB, ND. Grand Forks is a cold and windy place all year round. It gets real cold during the winter.

    Coming from Wisconsin everyone thought I had thick blood and would be acclimated to North Dakota winters. I worked on the flight line (outside!) for five of the six winters I was there. You learn to cope with the cold but you never get used to it.

    The 319th Bombardment Wing (H) had the latest B-52 Stratofortresses, the H model. These aircraft were built during 1960 and 1961. The airplane went through numerous modifications while I worked on it and many more since. The BUFF continues to serve as a deterrent and will for the foreseeable future.

    Tech School class, Chanute AFB, 1969

    I worked on the Hound Dog missile (AGM-28B) as a missile mechanic and later as a missile systems analyst. Two of the missiles were slung on the underside of a B-52’s wing. The 319th Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron (AMMS) was a small unit, with just under 100 men.

    Like most GIs, I have fond memories of my time in the service and stay in contact with some of the guys. One way we keep in touch is through an alumni organization. You can learn more about the Hound Dog, the AMMS, and some of my friends at http://www.ammsalumni.org/index.html
    John Dorcey, SSgt
    SAC, Peace is our Profession

    2 responses to “The Cold War” RSS icon

    • I lived in the Grand Forks area for the first 21 years of my life. I grew up around Devils Lake. When I was growing up I thought the whole world lived in a ice box. The summers got hot some days and the winters were mostly windy and stormy.

      When I was going to UND and traveling on Hwy 2 back home on the weekends I saw the progress of the airbase coming to life. Everyone was is awe as to the size of the base as it was being built. When I was in the air force ROTC program we had to fly 20 hours a year and many of our trips took us over the base.

      In the fall when I was combining small grains I would watch B52’s creating contrails and see the tiny silver object in the sky. A few years later after the base was built I would travel around my small world and see missile holes being dug. It took them only 1 day to dig down 100 feet and 25 feet across. Again I was impressed when I could walk up to the holes and see how big they were. When missiles were installed fences went up and we could no longer walk up to them and look in.

      I have a lot of memories of Grand Forks and Devils Lake area. I still have a lot of family living there. Most of the grand kids got smart and moved to warmer climates.

      Al Draeger

    • Lets see…second down from the top. I recognize that guy!
      A sincere thank you Dad for your service and commitment to our Country.
      Great Blog, I’ll be visiting often.

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