601st Logroll Newsletter Reflections
Dick Roan Logroller
Nick Mascis has asked that I write a little something and use the cartoon above to stir the imagination.
Well, it does indeed stir some things, memories mostly, about those wonderful years at the 601st AC&W Sqdn. In fact,
it stirs so many memories that I blushingly won't mention a few.
I guess one of the first things I did as a new airman at a new base far from home was to prepare a calendar.
Pretty much like the one above. It had 36 squares representing the months I had to go before rotating back to land of
the "big PX" or "the ZI" (zone of interior - I never did know what that meant). It started with the month of March 1954
and ended with March 1957. I wanted to make sure the Air Force didn't forget when I was supposed to go home. That
home made calendar stayed over my bunk for the entire 36 months as I religiously marked each month from one to 36. I
always wondered what happened to that calendar. It's amazing how slow and yet how fast those months went by. The
only thing slower than those months were the promotions that meant more money.
That brings up another memory. As a "scope dope", we would take turns driving the "six-by" back
down the hill to the squadron mess hall to pick up a fresh container of coffee to take back up the hill for the break room.
Sometimes we used the old coffee to mop the floor in the breakroom. It sort of killed the bugs and tinted it a nice
greenish brown. Anyway, one dark and foggy night. I was told to make the coffee run in the site "six-by". You
know what that is (2-by, 4-by, 6-by and those big MF that go shhhhh, shhhhh, shhhhhhhh. when you hit the brakes).
That night I went down to the squadron pretty late and fog kept getting thicker by the mile. Finally, I saw the gate
shack lights and slowed down. I was surprised when I saw the shack how close I had come to it. It must have been
only 5 feet away when it came into view. Anyway, I stopped and gave the guard my ticket. He OK'd it and gave me
the "right arm wave". You know that's when it looks like a salute going south for the winter. As I put the truck
in gear and pulled away a terrible sound came from the gate shack through the truck window. I stopped. Looked
out the window and saw that I had caught the corner of the roof with the truck sides and turned it 45 degrees.
The guard opened the door to the truck, asked me to dismount and report to the AP headquarters across
the street. I walked. He drove. After writing up the "incident", I was released to complete my mission.
It doesn't end there.
Thirty days later I was told to report to Col. Wolfe, the commanding officer of the 601st. He
was amazed how careless, clumsy and otherwise guilty as sin in wrecking his base. After agreeing with him for about
30 minutes, Col Wolfe decided that I should pay for the roof repair. Now I only had one stripe at the time so I was
looking at probably 6 years of payments on a three year tour. Col. Wolfe called the base engineers and asked what the
total cost of the repairs would be. After hearing the answer, he slammed down the phone, then glared across his desk
at me for a full minute. He then yelled, "Roan, you must have a horseshoe up your A--!! "The repair is done and
the ticket has been processed. I can't deduct it from your pay.!!!" "But you better shape up because I've got
my eye on you."
Well, I did, I shaped up and saluted and starched my fatigues and made my bunk and all that good stuff.
Ninety days later I got another stripe. I knew then what I needed to do to get a promotion. Just screw up and
say you're sorry.
OK, that's enough reflections for now.....There is one more that includes "Sgt Goodwin" and me with
a bomb giving the sarge a gift that was a cartoon pinned up on our bulletin board. But that can wait....
If you have some "good times, bad times, funny times, what ever. We would like to hear from you...
Send them on to me at email@example.com I really would like to read them and perhaps use them in a future newsletter.............dick