'LIFE ON BASE' PHOTO ALBUM
Don Ensley Did The Building ...I Did The Supervising!
My Bunk Area With ...The Table!
Edo's table ...a canine tradition?
When I joined Hahn's K-9 Section, Edo was the dog that was assigned to me. Edo had the reputation of being the meanest dog at the 50th's kennels, he was so mean, that the Kennel Master wasn't sure if anyone could even break in on him, and if I couldn't, they were going to "put him down."
Well, "breaking in," was every new handlers' first duty.
That meant, you would spend everyday at the kennels, and would be the only person allowed to, feed your dog, give him water and keep his pit area clean, or even to speak to him.
Mostly you spent an awful lot of time just sitting in front of his kennel ...reading and talking to him.
I must have told that dog my entire life's history a thousand times, not that there was a lot to tell - after all, at the time, I was only eighteen!
Anyways, the idea was to allow the dog to get used to the sound of your voice, so he would realize that you were his friend and not his next meal.
Everyday you would follow the same routine.
You did it until you felt confident enough, that the dog wagging his tail when you approached him was really glad to see you and didn't just want to tear your arm off.
Well, it took me all of two months before I could even pet Edo and at first we had a rather shaky relationship.
Even when we first started working posts, I kept his muzzle on the first few nights and my holster unbuttoned. Eventually we both reached an simple understanding .....if Edo didn't bite me .....I wouldn't shoot him!
And that seemed to work.
The third night together, we were assigned to work Victor Alert (an aircraft storage area, just off the runway). When we arrived there, a open backed truck was pulling away carrying the guys from the security flight, who had just gotten off duty.
Before I knew it, someone called out Edo's name and he started pulling me, actually running, towards the moving truck.
It was Edo's former handler! I tried stopping but Edo wouldn't have it, we kept running after the truck and all I could hear was someone laughing! I didn't think it was funny at all!
That morning, when I got back to the barracks and my room, there was "the table" with a note attached to it.
It was from Edo's former handler, saying he was sorry for the "run," and that the table belong to Edo, that he had received it from Edo's first handler, and now it was mine!
It wasn't much of a table, just a painted plywood box with a cartoon dog painted on the front of it and the name "Killer."
But it became my most prized possession while at Hahn Air Base, and the envy of all the other handlers.
Edo died a few months after we had become good buddies, of cancer, at age six.
Right up until the night, that he passed on, Edo never gave any signs of being sick, but the Base Vet said, that it was probably the disease, that had made him so mean!
After a week or two, I was reassigned to another dog, Arras I. Arras was a real good sentry dog, but your first dog is always special.
When it was my turn to come home, I passed the table on to Arras' new handler and somewhat changed the story to, "it was Arras' table" and now it belonged to him.
Who knows, perhaps I managed to start a new tradition!
Getting Ready For Another General Inspection!
(Left to right) T. J. Halloran, Dick (Caz) Caswell ...And Doan!
We Earned Them All...
TJ Halloran was another guy from New England, he was from Lowell, Mass, and was probably the first person I met when I got to Hahn, January 24, 1961; with Hook Wheelers' help, TJ showed me the "ropes."
Before we go any further, let me tell you alittle about "Hook," he's the guy in the photo below, sitting on the bunk, with the shades on!
Wheeler got his nickname from being the kind of character he was ..."by hook or by crook, Wheeler is your man" is what he used to tell us, and by god, it was true!
What ever you needed, and I mean, what ever; Hook Wheeler was the man to see, even the guys in the supply squadron did, not that Hook was dishonest, he just had a lot of resources!
Oh, just so you know why everyone was looking at me, I was "showing off" my first real piece of civilian clothing ...a bright new red T-shirt that Hook and the guys had chipped in for, to cheer me up, or to stop me from whining!
You see, my family didn't have alot of money, and I had been waiting for what seemed like forever for them to mail my stuff from home...without them, I was grounded to the base, as you weren't allowed to wear your uniform in town, only civies!
And me...I was excited because I had some great new friends, who cared enough to give a red shirt to a "green" kid from the sticks ...it was just like Xmas all over again, only better! I still couldn't go into town, but at least I had something other than G.I. issued to wear!
Caz...went everywhere with the guy ...the Hahn's NCO club, the Frankfurt Zoo, camping on Mosel and the Bernkastel pool, etc. After 40 years, we just reconnected, actually some of the photos for this site, were send in by Dick. Can't say enough nice things about the guy, if I don't, he'll get me, he's bigger! lol
You can't see him, but he's there, 'Funky' Doan on his bunk, just relaxing! Nothing got to him, not even a inspection. Doan was from the deep south and took everything as it came. He kept all of us calm, cool, and relaxed, under some of the most difficult times at Hahn, like during an inspection!
Now Don't I Look Relaxed?
50th AIR POLICE SQUADRON
Barrack's C-1 and C-2
All Formations Weren't Fun...
It's Sunday morning and here we are getting "chewed out" by our CO, who was called back to the Squadron Area by the Wing and Deputy Commanders. And he wasn't very happy about it either!
It seemed like some K-9 handlers, borrowed a keg of beer from the flightline, that was suspose to be for a visiting ANG Squadron. And after we got off duty that morning, it seem like a good idea to us to have a little party in the woods, out by the kennels.
Well, there we were having a 'good time' partying and singing, perhaps to loudly because the 'White Hats' came out several times at the request by the Wing and Deputy CO's, who were playing golf this fine morning, asking us to please keep it down alittle.
And we did for a while, at least till they turned the corner of the golf course. After the third warning, the 'White Hats' came back with their own truck, to haul us back to our Squadron Area...and to our waiting CO. Like I said, at the time, he wasn't to happy or so he said and because of that we had a 'General Inspection' to look forward to.
AP Barrack C-2, Room 105
It was a monster of a room, really huge, used by both Flight 1 and 3; the space was divided in two by a wall of lockers. And the Air Force (or some one) though of everything, because while one flight was sleeping, the other was working, so they didn't disturb each other very much.
And barrack living was a lot easier than you might imagine, actually it was pretty harmonious, considering that there was anywhere from nine to eleven guys living and sleeping in the same room together.
There were no written rules to follow, you just treated others the same as you would like to be treated, that was it ...and if there were any conflicts or disagreements, which were rare, the good of the Flight came first, or the biggest guy won!
The Call Came ...."Lights Out!"
All of the K-9 Flights were tight groups, but they did have their limits, when it came to getting some rest.
Generally after working posts everyone went to breakfast and then showered before turning in; most mornings there would be alittle joking around, afew tall tales were told, maybe some horseplay, then someone would hit the lights and the call went out, "lights out!" And that was it, you settled down, you might read awhile, or listen to a radio, but you did it quietly, and pity to the poor bastard that didn't...he would soon have a bed full of old boots. lol
It was just that simple. Really!
Going Out To Lautzenhausen!
Sorry to say, I don't remember to much about Butch, (left pic) that was a nickname, his real name was Ambose, other than he had what you might call "movie star looks"...looked sort of like a young Robert Wagner.
One look at Ensley, Archer and Zion (middle photo) and you can tell we had our 'serious' side! Remember, we were all in our late teens or early twenties. If you didn't goof off once in awhile...you went nuts, some did! But that's another story.
Hill & Me, Hill Was Reg Security
Paul Girard (right photo) I lived next to this guy for about two years ...what a nice guy ...they all were! After the Air Force, Paul went into the Army, and made a career of it; when he finally retired, there wasn't anymore room left for all the hash marks on his sleeeve. Paul was from Rhode Island too, and that was nice, as we both spoke the same language.
I wouldn't want to tell you how many times we were asked to say a certain phrase, just because someone though the way we said it was funny.
Heck how many time can you say ..."park the car" or "balls!"
Ok, One More Time! Oh Balls...
New Year's Eve, 1961
Hahn AB NCO Club
Before Twelve O'Clock, You Can Tell.
New Year's Eve, 1961
Hahn AB NCO Club
After Midnight, Are We Having Fun Or What!
Hahn's NCO Club
Great place...nickel slot machines (5), a nice restaurant and lots of entertainment on the weekends, especially Saturday nights. In the sixties, they used to book a lot of big bands from the UK, like Ted Heaths, who could forget the sound, this was a full size band and the drum solos, while the rest of the band took a break, would drive you simply 'mad' with excitment!
We even had big stars from the states, Sam Cook, was there once. And one time, a group called the Jackson Five performed and towards the end of their show a little kid, about knee high, came out to sing and dance...you can guess who it was, can't you? Yuh, it was Michael and he was just as talented then, as he is now! Looking back now, you can see where his 'moon walk' came from ...it was there back in the 1960's!