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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online
His other files on Bermuda relating to military matters and civil aviation include Airlines serving Bermuda - American Bases in Bermuda from 1941 to 1995 - US Military Personnel based in Bermuda from 1941 to 1995 - US Military Personnel based in Bermuda from 1965-1995 - Bermuda Aviation History Pioneers Civilian and Military - Bermuda International Airport and Canadian Forces Station in Bermuda.
|Note: This particular web-file is a unique Bermuda Online tribute to the following, made possible only when current or retired US military personnel - officers, NCOs and others - who served in Bermuda or their spouses or children contact this author directly by email with (a) name of military member stationed in Bermuda; (b) his/her rank and unit at the time; (c) dates - in months if possible and years - of their Bermuda posting; and (d) current full mailing address and, if there is one, also the email address of the individuals and if applicable their families who were once in Bermuda. This is so that others who served at the same time or later may make direct contact by mail or email. Send up to 8 lines of plain text - no more, please - to email@example.com. Do not use block capitals or hand writing. Please confine your remarks to your on-base and off-base recollections of Bermuda, not postings before or after. Do not send photographs without asking first. All entries received and qualified for free insertion are published based on when the military personnel concerned first arrived in Bermuda. For any enquiries such as tracing or researching relatives who may have once served with US Forces in Bermuda, please note all official US military records - including service, discharge and death - were taken back to the USA in 1995 or earlier. None at all exist in Bermuda, because at no time did any of these units fall under civilian Bermuda Government jurisdiction, they reported directly to their US-based military services headquarters as Bermuda was not a domestic US base but a foreign one.|
1940. Otis R. Henry arrived in Bermuda as one of the original US Army Engineers and Architect-Engineers before construction of Fort Bell began. Their work was to make field surveys, site layouts and design construction sites. Mr. Henry was born on January 14, 1919 in Hugo, Oklahoma. He moved to Bermuda with the US Corps of Engineers and eventually - at Kindley, later - became the Civilian Personnel Director for the US Department of Defense in Bermuda. He then continued to reside in Bermuda and died on December 19, 2001 after an extended illness. His widow is Barbara Henry and sons are Thornton (Tim) and Gordon).
April 1941-July 4, 1944. Brigadier General Alden G. Strong was in command.
1941. Mid December. Dennis E. Lord (age 83 in 2003 and residing with son Dennis C. Lord) was then a Technical Sergeant in the US Army's Projection Service, earlier based in California. He was placed on a train to Charleston, SC where he boarded a ship bound for Bermuda. His specialty was running the movie theater. His "movie house" consisted of a hut with a corrugated roof. When it rained, he had to stop the show because of the noise on the roof. On the job, he loaded armament on the planes destined for training missions. He was also one of those who dragged P-40's down to the beach for gun tests. A colleague was "George" who was frequently "on the sauce" and Lord would be called at the barracks to "come down and finish the show, first at the temporary movie theater, then the purpose-build one shown in one of the photographs above, as George couldn't."
1941. From Mid December. Albert R. Cepull was stationed in Bermuda with the US Navy's VJ-15 squadron for the balance of WW2. "He was my father and took a lot of photos while there. He had a separate book in which he kept the captions for the photos. He passed away in 1968 when I was 4 years old so I never got the chance to hear about them from him. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1942. Russell Dell Spickler of 524 Ingleside, Flint, MI 48507, was stationed in Bermuda at Fort Bell.
1942. Chief Johnson and his crewmates were stationed with VJ15 at the newly-contructed US NOB Bermuda.
1942 to 1945. the late Donald H. Larson, Sr. served with the US Army in Bermuda at Fort Bell. His son and daughter-in-law, Don and Sue Larson, live at 13840 North 23rd Street, Stillwater, MN 55082 at phone (651) 439-3864. They cruised to Bermuda in July 04.
1941 to 1945, Captain F. W. Clipper, US Army, commanded the US Army artillery and US Signal Corps unit at Fort Langton, Devonshire. He married a Bermudian girl, Rosemary (nee Champness), never went back home to the USA to live but remained in Bermuda. He had two daughters, lived in Bailey's Bay, later worked for BOAC, became a Cub master in the 1950s at the Lyceum, Bailey's Bay and later a prominent volunteer with the Bermuda Red Cross. His wife died in the late 1980s. A daughter and granddaughter live in Bermuda.
1943. Charles Field served as Captain's Talker on the USS Thomas, A Hunter-Killer in World War 2. It visited and trained in Bermuda during this period. He wrote a book about it by that title.
1943 to 1944 my father, Casper C. Prestia was a Sergeant of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) military police during World War 2 stationed at Fort Bell, St. George's. He was a member of The United States Army Air Force. He flew into Kindley Field and lived in Bermuda until 1944. My mother and he lived right across the street from the police station. He worked hand in hand with the police force from Bermuda and he also patrolled Hamilton. His many stories have always captivated us including the story of his part in capturing the German submarine that had pretended to be an American submarine and which we were fueling. They had all the correct papers. He also told us the story of the German submarine that continually bombed the U.S. ships that had supplies before the ships could reach Bermuda, so the soldiers were running out of supplies, until they took down the German submarine. My father's stories are wonderful memories of the Bermudian people, their hospitality, and my parents' tough decision to stay in Bermuda or return to the United States after the war. He told us they lived in an apartment on the second floor and the first floor was a pharmacy. He was so close to the police station that they would shout his name when they needed him or if a call came in for him, and he would run across to their building. My dad is still alive at the age of 92 and is very sharp mentally. My mother died two years ago. It has always been our desire to have him go back to Bermuda to visit. I wonder if you could do something for us? Could you find or direct us to find any papers, documents, etc. that have information regarding my father? Again, he was a military police officer during World War 2 and lived in St. George. I know he was actively involved in securing peace in Bermuda during 1943-44. Anything you can do for us would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Marie Prestia Pletcher, email email@example.com.
1943-5. David Anderson was a member of the USN Seabees, stationed at the Naval Operating Base (NOB), later the US Naval Annex, in Southampton, and worked in the Public Works Department located in the old Crane House, then a historic local residence. For a short time he lived at Bloomfield Cottage, Paget West, not far from the Inverurie Hotel. He had a brief friendship with Barney Marriott, M.D., then a staff physician at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, and other friends.
1943-46. Don Auster spent three years in Bermuda as a member of the U.S. Army. After less than eight weeks of military training, he was on a troopship bound for the North Africa war zone. He wrote: "The ship mainly carried a thousand or so combat troops trained in desert warfare. Three days later, on a dark, cold, rainy night, the ship made its first port, Bermuda, and only our small group were told to disembark. We climbed into trucks and eventually arrived at our destination, a large rain soaked tent, where we spent the night That morning, we found ourselves in the courtyard of a large elegant hotel! It was the (now-closed) Castle Harbour! I lived and worked there for a year after which I was transferred to the newly completed U.S. Army hospital on St. David's Island. I spent the next two years there as a laboratory technician."
July 5, 1944 to January 13, 1946, Brigadier General Thomas H. Jones was in command.
1944. Will Mitchell Haire was at the US Naval Operating Base. His plane, a USN Martin PNB Mariner 6717, one of the nine aircraft of Squadron VP 207 (VP meant for a long range regular Patrol squadron, compared to VS for a Scouting squadron), crashed 25 miles north of Bermuda on 20 August 1944. All eight crew members were missing, presumed killed. The squadron had been in Bermuda for only three months, since June. It had replaced VP 201 which had served in Bermuda from September 1943 to June 1944. The rest of Haire's squadron remained in Bermuda until June 1945.
1944. Bronson Hartley of the 791st Quartermaster Boat Company, Aviation (redesignated as a detachment of the 1st Air Force Emergency Rescue Squadron, with its own crash boat) was decorated for heroism. He rescued crewmen from a downed US Army Air Force aircraft that crashed into the water off the end of the Castle Harbor runway. Later, he became an esteemed marine biologist and inventor of the Hartley Diving Helmet.
1944. Geoff Hanson was stationed in Bermuda, at the-then US Submarine Base in the Town of St. George.
September 1944, Colonel Cecil E. Henry arrived, as commander of Kindley Field (not Fort Bell, which General Jones commanded).
July 1944. Lt. James Humphreys, USNR, then stationed at the Naval Operating Base in Southampton and living at Inwood, Paget, had a unique if indirect claim to fame. His wife Shirley, originally Bermudian, of the Jones family of 'Inwood" was then a young nurse at the newly-built US military hospital in Bermuda. As such, one of her patients included a German Navy U-boat U-505 commander, Lange, captured and brought to Bermuda where he'd had his leg amputated. Because of the latter, he was unable to leave Bermuda in the fall of 1944 for their POW camp in North Carolina with the party of captured German prisoners-of-war who had been brought to Bermuda from the captured U-505.
1945, Samuel Ristich was a navigator with the US Army Air Corps based in Bermuda. One of his claims to fame is that he was the second person in Bermuda (after Louis Mowbray in 1906, but not identified until much later) to discover a freshly killed bird, the cahow, that was supposed to have been extinct since 1650. He and a friend stuffed and ate it. Later, he sent bones of another to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC where it was identified as a cahow.
1945 to 1946, David Anderson (email fdavidander at sbcglobal.net), now living at 903 Brandenburg Street, Cedar Hill, TX 75104 - was stationed at the Naval Operating Base, Bermuda. "I was attached to the USN Public Works Department then located in the original Crane House - a historic residence believed to be named after the Crane family, well known makers of plumbing fixtures. Because of its pre WW2 historic background, I wonder if it is still intact? Is a digital image available? "
January 1946 to October 1946, Colonel Cecil E. Henry was in command.
March 7-July 25, 1946, Major General Howard M. Turner was in command.
March 1946 to March 1948, Al Henderson (email firstname.lastname@example.org) was stationed at NOB Bermuda. He was assigned to the APC 92 which was used to carry civil service workers from Hamilton to the base each morning and back to Hamilton each evening. "I was there when President Harry Truman visited the base in July 1946. I have a picture of him on the "Williamsburg" which was taken without anyone knowing. With some other sailors, I went to Kindley Air Force bas in a Navy 2 ton truck and tried to find the Army mule. It was just before the Army-Navy football game. The Army got wise to what we were doing and escorted us off the base. I was published in the newspapers there about our failure to get the Army mule. I believe Admiral Henderson was commander at that time. No kin to me though. Bob Hope also visited the base while I was there. I now reside at 109 Poplar Loop, Petal, Ms 39465 if anyone would like to contact me."
April 16, 1946. Lt. Stong was then based in Bermuda. He and Mrs. Stong had a baby there, the first baby to be delivered in the new obstetrical department of the base hospital, a 7 lb 2 oz son. It is believed this was the first baby born to a mother authorized to join her husband at an overseas Air Force station.
July 26-28th 1946 and October 3, 1946 to March 13, 1947, Brigadier General Dale V. Gaffney was in command.
1947 to 1949, Emil J. Torres was stationed at what soon became Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda with the Army Air Corps crash boats. "I live at 5724 N. 78 Street. Omaha, Nebraska 68134--2214. I would like to hear from anyone."
Colonel Lawrence E. Brooks, US Army Air Corps, was stationed at Kindley from September, 1947 until February, 1950. His wife, sister and son (Tom Brooks, who supplied the photograph below) accompanied him to Bermuda and lived at Kindley Field. Tom attended St. George's Grammar School and his sister was at Bermuda High School for Girls just outside Hamilton. Tom currently lives at Avondale Estates, Georgia, near Atlanta. He and his wife and children - 25, 29 and 31- enjoyed a visit to Bermuda May 3-9, 2001. They were taken around by this author to many of the places they remembered.
March 14, 1947- July 13, 1949, Colonel Thomas D. Ferguson was in command.
In 1948 Rear Admiral Austin K. Doyle commanded the US Naval Operating Base (NOB) Bermuda. On October 18, the manager of Bermuda's Belmont Manor Hotel stiffly requested the U.S. Navy to make the hotel "off bounds" for enlisted men. Admiral Doyle even more stiffly replied that he would put it off bounds for officers too. Said he: "The customs of my country do not permit discrimination between officers and men in public places."
1948 to 1950, Bob Garton, Sr. was attached to Patrol Squadron 45 based at the Naval Operating Base (NOB), Bermuda for 2 years,1949 and 1950. It was one of the greatest experiences of his Navy career. He and his crew flew search and rescue missions as well as anti-submarine patrols with PBM Martin Mariner aircraft. He does not have any contact with former shipmates from this duty station. He lives at 7080 Versailles, Pinellas Park, FLA 33781. He expects to be visiting Bermuda in April or May, 2004. November 1948 to 1950 Joseph Olen Cooper, DOB 6/24/30, was based at MCB Detachment US NAS, Bermuda, later at Bermuda NOB MCB4 3-1950/6-1950 . "I was looking for my old Seabee detachment number and found your site. I am 85 next month and turned 21 in the Bermuda islands. I had two tours there, one as permanent body and the second arrival was when Mobile Construction Battalion 4 was being formed up. Bermuda was chosen because the base was on caretaker status and had minimum manning of permanent personnel with lots of vacant barracks to handle the influx of Seabees. Ten of us arrived in latter part of 1948 fresh out of Seabee schools and our first assignment. our job was rehabilitation of officers and married personnel quarters and supplement existing Seabee personnel and maintenance on catchment basin. The base went on caretaker status, as best as I can recall, in mid 1949 and changed from NAS when all of the PBY aircraft departed and became NOB. The fleet consisted of one small yard tanker that brought fuel from the British base to NOB or from Kindley field and a couple of crash boats used primarily for personnel fishing trips after PBY's left. Our transportation was taxi, liberty boat, or an excelsior or whizzer motorbike as horsepower was limited to 2.5 HP for those of us who had bikes. College week was looked forward to as the influx of young ladies was a sailor's dream and they all had money to get rid of as quickly as possible. The Princess even turned their heads when the influx of sailors showed up to provide entertainment to the multitude of young ladies. Of course, the welcome sign disappeared again after college weeks were over and it was back to the old familiar haunts in Hamilton who were always happy to see us, rich or poor. A couple of bars even either loaned us money or let us run a tab. It was a good tour and Bermuda will always hold a soft spot for me. I can still remember the names of the ten of us and some of those same ten who have passed on. Dittmer, Emmons, Blackburn, Eudaley, Fuggit, Hennessy, George, Cook, Adams, and me. Already there: Pritchett, Trahan, Garcia, "The Deacon", "Hollywood", "Pappy", and more whom I can't remember. The base had an admiral as commanding officer because the Brits had one. I can't remember if Smoot was a captain or the admiral but everyone knew him as "Deck Court" because that was his favorite level of legal proceedings if you happened to run afoul of navy regs, very seldom would he hand out the minimum proceedings of Captain's Mast and its limited punishments available to him. We had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of two of Hamilton's finest on my 21st birthday and a personal introduction to "Deck Court" as a result of that brief introduction but that is another story. We loved hurricane season because we got to run around like hero's in our heavy trucks and equipment while base was on lock down. Stupidity of youth I can see now in hindsight. My email is email@example.com and I live at 23821 Coyote Ct, Tehachapi, Ca 93561. Hope to hear from any of you who remember me."
9 December 1948 - 1950, Dann Murr, YN3, was at the Naval Operating Base (NOB), attached to VP-45. "Spent 1st Christmas away from home, and Christmas Eve, until after midnight, Dan Lynch and I played one-on-one basketball in the base gym. We threw our first liberty together in Hamilton. Loved it in Bermuda. Remained with the squadron until April 1951. Left the service in 1952 and became a sportswriter for 40 years in the southeast and mid west. Retired to Florida in 1992. Email address is DMurrnlhs@comcast.net. Bermuda was my most favorite place. I was back there a few years ago. Very disappointing to see that the Navy base has been dismantled and is no longer there. For those interested, I'm an author and historian."
May 1949 as Deputy Commander, then from July 14, 1949 to August 30, 1951, Colonel (later, Lieutenant General) Jack G. Merrell as Commander. He married the former Martha Bassett of Dallas and they had a son and daughter. His family were in Bermuda also. He became USAF comptroller in November 1964. (His daughter Suzanne Merrell Wright wrote to say he retired as a 4-star general in September 1972. She planned a visit to Bermuda by cruise ship in October 2008).
August 31, 1949 to July 14, 1953, Colonel (later, General) Richard F. Bromiley was in command.
1949 to 1950 Staff Sgt John Russell was based at KAFB, Bermuda, accompanied by his wife Dorothy, transferred from the 66th AACS Group HQ to the 1934th AACS Squadron. "I was a Staff Sgt and had 10 airmen to maintain 36 3 KW Transmitters plus a Pan American (owned) 12GLX homing beacon for US commercial aircraft to find Bermuda. Once it was off the air for a week and people had to be flown in from the US with parts we did not have. One Sunday morning we were visited by the St George Police Chief wanting to know if I could communicate to Ottawa Canada for the Assistant Manager of the St George Hotel. We could and provided the connections for many months and the manager took us out for dinner and dancing almost every Saturday night. He had to visit these places as part of his employment duties! We enjoyed them as he had a car and my wife and I, without one, could never have visited all those places. I obtained my Bermuda amateur radio license VP 911, from Governor Sir Alexander Hood. I treasured and held it for many years until it got lost and that number was eventually re-issued to another person. My wife and I then lived in an apartment at historic Banana Manor, St. George's, then rented to us by F. C. Outerbridge. I can be found at 3940 khz between 2 am and 3 am on the Trans Con Net on amateur radio. My call and biography can be found under K4FNU at QRZ.COM. I communicate with Bermuda Amateurs via the Bermuda 2 meter repeater via Echolink. We are both in our mid 80's, married 65 years last September. We live at 7 Oak Hollow Dr, Beverly Hills, FL. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone (352) 746 9684. John (and Dottie Russell, ex W1QDM, WA2DIL,W3ZZK, WA4VWU (now K4FNU), VO2JR and VP9II. (Email info received July 24, 2011).
September 1949 to April 1952, Thomas Austin Morgan (who retired as a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force) was stationed in Bermuda at Kindley AFB, in the communications department. He was married to Helene Marie Morgan (maiden name Mueller), a German war bride. They met when her husband was stationed in Germany during the occupation of Germany after WWII. Their daughter Shirley (Kelley) was born July, 1950 at Kindley AFB. She writes: "I recall how my mother said the islands were known as "The Isles of Rest", "The Isles of Beauty", "The Isles of Dreams". We first lived on Pond Hill, Pembroke East, highest house on the hill. Our neighbors, the Matthews, had kids and grandkids. We saw the "Gombeys" at New Year's, Guy Fawkes night on November 5. In February 1950 we moved to Cox's Hill, Pembroke West, to a house owned by Mr. Dunkley, a dairyman. Captain Calvert, Capt. Kenna, Lt. Lebherz and 2 nurses took care of my Mom at the time I was born. She mentioned the beautiful beaches, pink houses, wonderful people, etc. I am trying to get the family slides taken during our time in Bermuda from my sister".
1950 to 1953 Stanley A. Cohan (then 2nd lieutenant, now major, USAF, Ret) - at e-mail email@example.com - was a pilot with the 29th Air Rescue Squadron USAF based at Kindley AFB. He and his colleagues initially flew SB-17's and then advanced to SB-29's. He wrote this author to say he was an unsophisticated youngster right out of Air Force flying school headed for his first posting. "What a wonderful three years it was! The work was exciting, the island most beautiful and the Bermudians were ever so gracious! I loved the island to the point that I returned with my wife for ten Christmases in a row. I have lost contact with almost all my colleagues - except for Ken Wilbur (later Colonel, USAF, Retired) - who resides with his wife Lucy in Greenville, S.C."
USAF WB-29 flying over Bermuda, 1952
1951 to 1954 Hal Susskind was a USAF Major based at KAFB Bermuda with the Air Rescue flight. "My wife Rae and my six month old son, Michael were at Kindley with me. Two months later we added a boxer pup to the family. The tour was exciting, the people and scenery were beautiful and friendly and I was promoted to Major as I was leaving. Highlight of my tour in Bermuda was escorting President Eisenhower's aircraft to and from a conference. My wife's highlights were sitting through several hurricanes with son, Michael., while we evacuated the aircraft to a safe place. I participated in a life saving mission flown out of Bermuda on July 21, 1952. I was the navigator on an SB-29 which flew 1000 miles out of Bermuda and acted as the Bombardier to make a night drop of Blood Plasma on the deck of a Swedish freighter to save a seaman's life. Also aboard were Tom McGrain (navigator) and George Welch (commander). Now I live with Rae, my wife of more than 60 years, at 2602 Deerfoot Trail, Austin, Texas."
1951 to 1953, Captain Russell A. VerNooy USAF was stationed at Kindley AFB with the 53rd Weather Squadron (see graphic below), flying the WB-29s. With him was his wife and young son Russ. They lived on a rented cottage at the bottom of Knapton Hill, near the junction with Harrington Sound Road close to Devil's Hole. Their Bermuda friends included the Forbes family - this author's family - at Flatt's. Young Russ attended both Cavendish School (he still has photos of the Maypole events and students) and Lyceum in Bailey's Bay. Contact details are: Russ VerNooy, 19 Millers Joist, Plymouth, MA 02360-7751, 508-209-0347 home, 617-529-4514 cell (when not home). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1951 to 1953, Jerry Boling, now of 1117 Paul Ave, Oak Harbor, WA 98377, email email@example.com was at Kindley AFB Bermuda as an A/2c.
November 16, 1951 to November 24, 1954, Johnny L. Nolen was a S/SGT in Det. #10, 9th Weather Group at Kindley AFB under Col. Beatty. He writes: " I had the privilege of seeing a newly crowned Queen Elizabeth and her husband as they made their first visit to Bermuda. While I was NCO in charge of the Rawinsonde Section of the weather group, Col. Beatty and I made the first weather balloon observation in the eye of a hurricane done by an Air Force station, I think in 1953. This website mentions the crash of a Cubana plane in 1952. I was there. On that particular MORNING I was waiting for the plane to take off so I could release a weather balloon. The control tower always gave us a "GREEN LIGHT" after take-off so I was waiting for that. The plane took off almost directly over my head and I saw an engine on fire. I watched as the plane banked left around the point and then saw the bright light from the explosion. I immediately called the tower to report what I had seen. They were aware of the crash because they had lost contact with the plane. My address is 904 Garden St, Rossville, GA 30741."
1952 to 1955, Captain Christian Malford Cotham, Jr, USAF was stationed at Kindley AFB Bermuda. With him were wife Jeanne E, sons Christian Malford III, age 9-12, who attended Saltus Grammar, and Jeffrey Clarke, born Friday 8/13/1953 at the base hospital in Bermuda, email firstname.lastname@example.org. "My father's hobbies in Bermuda included fishing, photography, and boating. He bought a boat while in Bermuda and took a lot of ribbing for putting two motors on the boat, but had no trouble selling it when he was transferred to Wichita Falls, Texas in 1955. Mom loved the beaches, flora and fauna, but missed family in central Texas. They both later told many stories at family gatherings of their island adventures, how beautiful it was, their unusual converted horse stable quarters (after Kerri House), and quirky little Morris Minor. My brother Chris recalls quite a bit about Saltus Grammar, the blazer worn, and some of his best friends made there. I was named after one of his school chums - a native of Bermuda. I haven't seen the islands yet. Some day, I keep telling myself."
February to May 1952, Eugene Napier (now of 1461 Cloverdale Ct, Sunnyvale, CA 94087) was in the 1st Air Rescue Sqdn (CO Major Welch). He writes: "We had two B-17's with plywood boats slung under the bomb bay and dropped with three 50 ft rayon parachutes. Sometime in 1951 we traded our B-17s for two B-29's with aluminum boats with 1 100ft nylon parachute. I met my wife at Elbow Beach, we were married in 1953 and 30 years later returned for our anniversary and stayed at the Elbow Beach. I purchased my white formal wear from HA&E Smiths on Front Street. Of all the places I've been in the world since then, I enjoyed Bermuda the most."
1952 to June 1954 Milton M. Rothholz, Jr. was stationed at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda, as a Corporal in Top Security on the Air Force switch board. In September 2011 His widow Toby Greenburg email email@example.com, now on Nantucket Island, wrote: "He died 12 years ago and was buried in a military cemetery in Maryland. We were young, I was 18 years old, and newly married. I was one of the only Americans working at Trimingham's in Hamilton. We watched the Queen and Prince arrive. We also were there for the Big Three Conference. We lived on the Middle Road with the Madeiros family and then in Paget. I got my first driver's license in Bermuda in 1952. We rode the island on a Triumph motor bike while I was pregnant (we never told our parents). Not long after we left our daughter was born at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. What wonderful carefree days."
1952 until his retirement in 1965, the late Truman J. Romee was the chief planner and estimator of the Public Works Department of the US Naval Operating Base (NOB) Bermuda. He had previously served as a master electrician PO 1st class with the USN during WW2 & The Korean War and was first assigned to NOB in 1942. His son Jammie A. Romee - of email firstname.lastname@example.org - writes: "I first arrived in Bermuda when I was just ten days old, on September 23rd 1952. We lived on what was then Bermuda's highest point (Rose Hill cottage) in Southampton Parish, WHAT A VIEW ! In 1963 we moved into "Sea-o-rama" a nice house owned by the French family on "Sea-swept-farms" (also in Southampton). Randy French and I were both born on the same day in 1952 and were close friends as kids. I attended the Port Royal school, and later The Whitney Institute, and then KAFB HS. When Dad retired we moved back to Jacksonville, Florida where I finished school and went on to a USAF career. I currently work for the U.S. Postal Service in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My childhood memories are wonderful ones filled with magic and joy. Someday I hope to return and find a few of those nostalgic memories again. Keep up the good work and many thanks for the website!"
1952 to 1955 Lt. Col. Henry Offerman USAF was assigned to Kindley AFB, Bermuda, flying hurricane missions and air sampling. He died August 11, 2006 in TX.
1952-1970, Nurse Olander was at the Kindley base hospital. In addition to her military duties, she raised three children, the eldest of whom, Timmy (Tom), was about 13 in 1954 and was at the civilian Whitney Institute in Smith's Parish in 1954. Then he went to Saltus and Mount St. Agnes, also local civilian schools. He spent 27 years in the US Army, retired as a lieutenant colonel and is now involved in teaching paramedics in the Washington DC area. He is also a firefighter/paramedic volunteer with a local fire department. Another brother was Peter, a year younger, still a resident of Bermuda and living in St. David's. The youngest was Bob, who also went to Whitney for a couple of years before going to Kindley in 1957 and graduated from there in 1966. The family lived in St. George's.
August 1952 to May 1956, Billy Samples was stationed with the US Navy in Bermuda, as an air crewman, AT-3, in VP-49. He writes: "We originally flew PBM aircraft and transitioned into P5Ms in about 1953. I married a Canadian and had a daughter born in the hospital at Kindley AFB. We resided in Hamilton for about two years. We took the "Ocean Monarch" to New York and I was discharged at the Brooklyn Navy Yards."
December 24, 1952 to September 1954, Tom and Ellie Ryan were stationed in Bermuda with the US Navy in Southampton Parish. Tom was an ENCM, in charge of the Boat House, under Captain Leeper. In February 1953, their daughter Susan Harrod was born in Bermuda at Kindley AFB. (In July 2002, she finally got to return to Bermuda. It was wonderful and more beautiful than the home movies and the stories told by her parents and sisters. She found the AFB was no longer in use, and more upsetting, was the fact she could not get into the former Naval Base. She really wanted to take a photo of their house on base for her parents, who have many fond memories of their time in Bermuda and I know would love to hear from anyone who is still around. They can e-mail her or her parents. Bermuda is truly a beautiful place (VERY expensive), with nice people, and she can't wait to return).
1953-1954, S/Sgt Bailey Skelton USAF, step-father of Tom Taylor who contributed this, was stationed at Kindley AFB. "We lived off base in Seaview Cottage on North shore road at the bottom of Crawl Hill. I went to school at Whitney Institute. I still have my report card. I was 11-12 at the time. Of all the places I've lived in this world Bermuda is my fondest memories. I will never forget my first sight of Bermuda from my aircraft window. I also remember seeing Queen Elizabeth and her husband, school was let out early so all of the children could line her path at the Airport. Great stuff ! I also remember a character known as" Captain Blood" or as he is known to his friends " Blood." I probably knew Nurse Olander's boys who went to Whitney. Will never forget the singing frogs. I've been back to Bermuda several times and I would love to see some old acquaintances the next time I go. My address is 449 Payne Dr. Miami Springs, FL 33166."
January 1953-54, T/Sgt John Widener was stationed at KAFB, with the 53rd Weather Recon (Hurricane Hunters). He, his wife Mary (who joined him in February 1953, with their 2-year old daughter and son - born in Bermuda -(Editor's note: see Bermuda Citizenship for who qualifies, under Bermuda and British law) left in June 1954 for White Sands, New Mexico). Mary Widener writes: " We resided off-base, on Water Street in St. George's, the property during the Civil War was a warehouse, and was converted to apartments at that time. The owner was the Mayor of St. George. The apartments were at the foot of the hill that went steeply up to another street, but Water Street curved to the right down to the offices of the Mayor and his business. Next door to the left was a beauty shop, then further to the left was a Chinese cafe, and on down was a grocery store. Then on down to the left was the town square and a hotel. We have often wondered what happened to that area. I recall a Mr. and Mrs. Cousland (spelling not certain) who lived in the upstairs apartment and had lived there many years. We now live at 505 E Moses, Cushing, Ok 74023, 918-225-3723, but have fond memories of our time in your Bermuda."
July 15, 1953 to July 2, 1956, Colonel George W. Peterson was in command at Kindley AFB, Bermuda.
1953 to 1956, John W. Pope - at email Jjjapope331@aol.com - was stationed at NOB Bermuda, initially as an Aviation Ordnance man third class and made second class during that tour. "I was then transferred to VP-49 as air crewman aboard 8 boat, a P5M.,where I stayed making many sub patrols, one of which was the discovery of the then brand new Nautilus sub, which was on its way around the world under water. I, my wife and family, enjoyed our tours there very much. I was then transferred. I am now retired living at 9016 Trellis Pointe, Charlotte, NC 28227. "
November 19, 1953 to May 26, 1956, Staff Sergeant Anthony J. Grabarits was stationed with the USAF at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. He is believed to have driven the base's CO around the island. After the military, he married and died in the USA in May 2011.
December 9, 1953, Herbert Buswell, 23, serving at the time in Bermuda with the US Navy in Southampton with VP-49 as an aircrewman very nearly lost his life. It was during the "First Summit Conference" in Bermuda. Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain was reviewing, in Hamilton, the "Big 3" Armed Forces security guard. As he did so, two Bermuda Air Tours Luscome 8a aircraft, registration numbers VR-BAE and VR-BAS collided in Hamilton Harbour and crashed into the sea. VR-BAE was flown by Buswell. He was seriously injured. VR-BAS was piloted by 18 year-old Bermudian Philip Masters. It was badly damaged, but Masters managed a safe landing before the aircraft sank and managed to get ashore. Buswell's life was saved by a Bermudian, Mr. Stanley Ross Doe, who for his bravery was awarded the (British) George Medal.
December 1953 to June 1956, Arthur Gately, now at 2 Libby Lane, P.O. Box 91, Moody Maine, 04054, was stationed at Kindley AFB in the 1934th AACS squadron and worked as a radio operator in the air/ground station. He knows that Hurricane Hunter planes were both B29's and B50's. He, as one of the radio operators in the AACS squadron, primarily "ground" operators, were given the opportunity to cross-train as flight operators by going along on the 13 and 14 hour flights of the 59th Air Weather Squadron known as the Hurricane Hunters. Before mid 55 all planes were B29's, at which time they started updating the equipment to B50s. He personally flew in several 29's, and once in a B50. As his duties required him to send the call sign of the aircraft many times over the air, he remember some of the numbers: 1734, 2089, 5281, 4040 and 9769. When you were airborne in one of these planes you were known as being up on "The Gull." Several different weather routes were flown depending on the time of the year. There was the Lima route, the Juliet route etc., and when you were flying this route the call of the aircraft would be Gull Juliet 9769 or Gull Lima 4040 and so forth. He and his wife visited the former base in 1999 and the Bermuda Land Development Corporation was at that time converting all of the buildings to housing units. They were not allowed to roam. But a security guard escorted Arthur to his old barracks so he could take a look, after 45 years.
1954-1955 Michael Artale was stationed at KAFB Bermuda, with his wife Flora. " Our daughter Betty Jean was born in Bermuda in March of that year. Her address and married name are Betty Jean (Artale) Kessler, 97 Roosevelt Pl, Mineola, NY 11501."
1954 to about 1963, Lt. Cdr. Joseph Pinning was the Office of Naval Research Resident Representative at the SOFAR Tudor Hill Lab in Southampton, Bermuda. He ran a very effective Project Artemis from his office. Artemis was a major effort by the US Navy to find and fix Russian subs with underwater acoustic equipment. He is survived by a daughter Elizabeth Pinning in Panama City, Florida.
1954 to 1958 Art Holmes - now of Augusta, Georgia - was stationed in Bermuda with the Hurricane Hunters and again from 1962 until 1564 when the unit was replaced by satellites and returned to the US. He writes: "It is now a reserve unit and they are called to active duty only when we are threatened by the brewing of a hurricane. During that time the unit was designated at different times as the 53rd or the 59th Weather Recon. Squadron. There were a number of TV news reports emanating from Kindley, including a major news event when famed newscaster Edward R. Murrow flew an actual hurricane mission with us. We also went to Ascension Island off the coast of Africa to scout the weather for the testing of the intercontinental ballistic missiles in 1958. I thoroughly enjoyed my off duty time during my six years in Bermuda, but recently returned on a cruise and was astonished by the changes."
All of 1954 and the first six months of 1955, Tom Wood was stationed at Kindley AFB, in the 1934th AACS as a radio operator. He writes: "I have been reading some of the postings about people who served with me there. Several mentioned events that I remember. Such as the B47 that exploded immediately after making a low pass down the main runway at Kindley. I also recall the Princess, Elbow Beach and Bermudiana hotels with fond memories. I I occasionally played in a small, local civilian dance band. We played at the officers club, NCO club and I think a civilian club. I think there was a night club called the Angels Grotto also. I have many fond memories of Bermuda. After all I was only 20! I could write more but just wanted to pass this along and say I appreciate your web site. Tom Wood, 709 W. Morris Circle, Dunn, NC 28334 email@example.com.
January 1954 to January 1956, Robert Dillard, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org served in the 1934 AACS Squadron at Kindley AFB. "I arrived as an A/1C and left as a S/Sgt, working while there in the Teletype Center for about one year and the Air/Ground Station for about one year. Tom Wood mentions the explosion of the B47 in 1955. I was working at the Air Ground Station that morning and almost all of the staff was outside the building watching the flight and saw the explosion. I returned to Bermuda in Aug. 2005 to visit and was amazed at the traffic increase. St. George was much the same even after 50 years and Kindley could not really be recognized. I found this site simply by searching for 1934 AACS Squadron and was surprised to find information. Thanks for what is provided. Bermuda is a very beautiful place to visit."
1954 to 1956, Richard Dearing - email email@example.com - then Airman First Class - was stationed at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. He was in the 1934th AACS as a ground radio operator, also worked at the direction finding station. "I remember the crash of the B47 on the fly of the base. I was at the chow hall and they asked for anyone with A positive blood to go to the hospital. I enjoyed my time in Bermuda, the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Elbow Beach Hotel, and many other places too many to mention. I also remember the Swizzle Inn and the rum swizzles. I knew a family, I don’t remember their name but they lived up the hill on the closed end of Hamilton harbor, the name of the cottage was Edina. They would have me over for dinners and special occasions. My wife Rosemary and I have been back to Bermuda twice. We flew over and took a cruise on the Nordic Prince on our twenty fifth anniversary in 1989. The ship docked On Front Street. We had a great time. Thank you for your Bermuda Online website, we really enjoy going through it. My home address is 9910 Royal Lane, Unit 702, Glen Oaks Townhomes, Dallas, TX 75231-1821. Phone 214 348-2207. "
1954 to 1957 Raoul E. Chapman was stationed at KAFB Bermuda. "I was with 1604 Supply Sq. Absolutely wonderful - great memories ! Ma and Pa Hawkins of the Harrington House were just fabulous. I remember B-47 crash while buzzing the base. While originally from California, have been in Texas many years. Would like to contact others that were in Bermuda 1954-1957. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org."
1954 to 1956, Edward Bonnafon was Airman First Class at Kindley AFB. "Worked in the base post office and part-time in the theater. Address is 10454 Abington Way Rancho Cordova Ca 9567. Email Bonnafon10454@aol.com. Would like to hear from anyone who know me at that time."
1954-55 Roger Hicks was stationed at Kindley as an Air Traffic Controller. He writes: "One action not written about that I hope to see more of was the B47 that we handled in 1954 that blew up after performing a low pass over our main runway. I have always wondered what happened to the barracks that housed the Air Police and AACS squadron upstairs? Are all the rest of Air Force buildings intact?"
1954 to 1957 Phillip Walling, now of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, was stationed at KAFB, Bermuda. He and his wife, then newly-married, arrived on the cruise ship Queen of Bermuda and lived in the rented house "Harringcliff" overlooking Harrington Sound. They loved Bermuda. They left on the cruise ship Ocean Monarch. They have many happy memories.
1954-55, Harlan Hooks was at Kindley AFB Bermuda, a mechanic with the 35th MAT Air Transport Squadron. He recalled the crash of the B47, its recovery operation, and an emergency landing of a Super Constellation G. His daughter is Dr. Kim Hooks of Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, KY.
May through September 1954, Brigadier General Fred A. Heimstra, US Air Force Medical Service, was the commander and aviation medical officer for the 1604th Medical Squadron at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. He died on November 1, 1996.
June 1955 through August 1958, Major Dick F. Tedford, his wife Mary Jane Tedford and sons were in Bermuda. Lee L. (Grantham) Tedford, worked at ZBK-TV shortly after it went on the air and wrote: "My mother and I produced and I hosted a weekly live local show, "Time Out For Teenagers" from August 1956 until August 1957. I began a radio program on ZBM-2 daily, playing top forty music and went on to have daily and weekly music programs on ZBM-1 as well. They were historic years in the history of Broadcasting in Bermuda and those of us fortunate to be a part of that page in Broadcast history were also among the pioneers in Radio and Television worldwide. At ZBM-TV, which went on the air in January 1958, I worked with former members of the BBC, CIBC (Canadian Broadcasting), ABC and the Bermudian Broadcasting company's Radio Centre staff. I also wrote a column about TV for the Kindley "Skyliner" for a while. I attended Whitney Institute, where I met Tim Olander. We played basketball together on the Kindley Hawks."
1955 - 1957, Fred L. Browne, now at 113 Clemwood Parkway, Hampton, Virginia 23669, served at Kindley Air Force Base with 1934th AACS/AFCS. He writes: "I was a Teletype operator at the Base Communications Center and 1934th Air to Ground Radio Station. Teletype operations of the day required around 30 personnel to operate Air Force Communications around the clock. I hope to contact Herbert Schlecht and his wife Hazel. Herb was from Pennsylvania and Hazel was from Cheltenham, England. I enjoyed reading the exploits of others. I have many memories of pleasant times I experienced while on the island. Thanks to TSgt Howard NCOIC base communications center and SSgt Bean, Shift supervisor at the comm center for helping with my development in early Air Force training. I also remember ZBM1 and 2 Radio stations which always played Wake-E-Wakey every morning. Some day I hope to return for a holiday."
June 1955 to June 1958, James Mathews, stationed in Bermuda, was one of the five technicians who set up and operated the Kindley AFB TV station, ZBK-TV, Bermuda's first. They loaded it at the factory in Michigan City, Indiana, trucked it and then flew it to Bermuda via Dover AFB.
June 1955 to August 1957, Alexander J. "Scotty" Stewart - email email@example.com, of 329 Hilltop Dr. Gulf Shores, AL 36542 - was stationed in Bermuda with the 59th WRS. "Some of the happiest days of my life were spent in Bermuda. We had the Porgies SCUBA Club on the base and spent many weekends exploring the reefs and wrecks around the Island. Members of the Porgies included A/1c. LaPlant, Geiger, Major Harwood, Harry White (civilian), George (Bermudian), the boat's Captain, Airman Hughes and Sgt. Mears. A/1c LaPlant (59th) was the person who won the competition to design the 59th Hurricane Hunter logo. "Pro bono publico." Years later I went back on business and was again diving with the late Harry Cox aboard the Shearwater. It has now been 50 years almost to the day since I first set foot on the Island and hope to return yet again. Most happy to come across your web site."
1955 to 1957, Roy Nall was stationed in Bermuda at KAFB with the 1934th AACS sq.1955-1957.in ground radio maintenance. " I formed a band, The Country Drifters and played on the base tv station and Base clubs, also entered and won the Tops in Blue AF talent contest. Returned in 1988 for vacation. Great place! Came across your website by accident. " Roy Nall, (email firstname.lastname@example.org), 225 Cimmaron Circle, Folsom, CA 95630.
1955, Michael Morris at 9216 Monhegan, Baker, Louisiana, USA, was born in Bermuda (but is not a citizen, see Bermuda Citizenship at www.bermuda-online.org/citizenship.htm) at Kindley Air Force Base. "My birth certificate is still a conversation piece. My dad was transferred back to the States shortly thereafter. About 1997, I returned with my family to visit Bermuda. It is the most beautiful place that I've seen. Our stay at the Princess Hotel was very enjoyable. One highlight of our visit was a return to our church - the Portuguese Evangelical Church. They provided me with a history book of the church. I don't know if we'll ever return because of the high costs, but thanks for this website that allowed me to re-visit."
January 1955 through December 1956, David Patrykus, ET2, now living in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. email email@example.com, was stationed at the USNOB, in Southampton Parish, Bermuda, as an Electronics Technician. He and three others lived in the transmitter building up the hill from the main base on the peninsula. "We maintained all radio equipment on the base and on the crash boats which were deployed when launching or landing the Martin P5M Marlin's of VP-49, the aircraft of FASRON (Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron) 101 or Coast Guard aircraft. I have fond memories of my time in Bermuda. Also, I recall the fun we had during College Weeks at spring break time. My wife and I visited there on a cruise in 1997 and I found Bermuda to be just as I had remembered, if a bit more congested. The people were just as friendly as I had remembered. Unfortunately, one of our old haunts, the Longtail Club on Front Street, was no longer in business. We were able to enter the old base but it was sadly neglected with many of the buildings dilapidated and the aircraft hangars demolished. My old transmitter building was in a sad state of repair, peeling paint, rusty, etc. and when I left the brass doorknob came off in my hand. I took that as a sign and still have it for a souvenir. We hope to return to Bermuda again."
1955 and 1956, Larry J. Myers - now of 2539 Millers Woods Road, Boonville NY 13309-5020 - was stationed with Det. 10, 9th Weather Group at Kindley AFB. "To me, Bermuda was like an enchanting young woman one could only dream about. I visited Bermuda several years ago. Kindley AFB was gone. The enchantment was gone. But the memories linger on. We had a baseball team, there's a photo of it on my website. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
1955 to 1956, Don Brown was stationed at Kindley AFB. "During that time, he and my mother, Ellen, lived off base in a pink home named Cartref's Cottage. I was born at Kindley AFB June 2, 1956 (but am not a Bermuda citizen by law) and since then I have been known as my mother's "Bermuda Baby." I'm Don and Ellen Brown's daughter, Donna (Brown) Slaten, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (Email Donna Slaten at Bermuda56@excite.com). My parents were sent back to New York by helicopter shortly after my birth due to some post birth trauma that my mother experienced. In 1979, I married, and my husband and I were fortunate enough to honeymoon in Bermuda. We found Cartref's Cottage, which looked identical to the old picture taken in 1956. We even looked up Rodney Brown and his wife Winnie (?) who looked after my young parents back in the 50's. Rodney was still playing and singing in the hotels. During our stay, we had a moped accident, and I was bandaged up at the hospital. We would love to go back for a vacation. My father died tragically in a plane crash in 1982. My mother is remarried and lives a couple of miles away."
September 1955 to March 1956 A1C Jack L. Caldwell (now at 195 College Street, Macon, Georgia 31201) was stationed at Kindley with the 1934th AACS Sq. from September 1955 to March 1956 - not the usual tour of duty of 30 months. A teletype operator, he was transferred from Albrook AFB in the Panama Canal Zone. Many KC97 tankers were involved at Kindley. Hurricane hunters were WB29's. After the delights of Panama, where the only times the bars closed was on Good Friday, Bermuda was too quiet, too British, in the opinion of many hell-raising airman. This type of control did not sit well with him and he was happy to leave what everyone in his unit called "the Rock." Plus, he thought the weather was dreadful. But there were compensations. In March 1956 he helped defend Elbow Beach Surf Club from those on spring breaks from Penn State. He could have extended his stay but elected not to.
24 December 1955 through 15 December 1958, Julio Miranda was an A&E Mechanic with The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, a member of WB-29 crew 44-94040. He writes: "It was the only B-29 in our Squadron to see action in W.W.II. I read E. J. Slemmons's (see below) son is looking for pictures, I have a few plus the Hurricane Hunter Logo. My address is 2 McKenna Court Wallingford, CT 06492-3564."
Kindly sent by the late Julio Miranda, above. He wrote, not long before his death in 2005: "This was the nose art on the WB-50's. I believe none of the B-29's had it."
Miss Hurricane Hunter 1956, with Lt. Col. Earl F. Dunphy, CO of The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) stationed in Bermuda.
All three photos above sent by the late Julio Miranda.
August 1955 to August 1958, M/Sgt. Solomon W. Johnson USAF was stationed at Kindley AFB. His daughter is Ann Johnson. He passed away 9/11/02.
1955 to 1958, Billy Lawrence Hairston (who passed away in 1995) was with The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) based at KAFB. He was married to Montez Moore Harlston. Their daughter and son were born at the Kindley Air Force Base hospital, she in 1957 and Jeff in 1958.
December 1955 to December 1957, William Foster, Master Sergeant USAF retired, email DISAGT@aol.com - was based in Bermuda as an aircraft mechanic with the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters). He writes: "I arrived there on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day in the transient barracks. We left McGuire AFB, NJ, on a C-54 in sub-freezing temperatures and landed in sunny Bermuda wearing winter blues. It was quite uncomfortable. I remember the radio operator, Billy Hairston, mentioned in your site. It is remarkable that one of your posters recalled the tail numbers of the B-29s.I was a ground crew member on 2089. I have fond memories of Bermuda and its people. I have not returned but hoped to go there by cruise ship in 2005. Thanks for your efforts. My address is 46 Waynel Circle, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548."
1955 to 1959, Ralph Butler was stationed at Kindley. His daughter Margaret Neubauer, 4 months to 4 years old at the time, who works in Panama City, Florida, wrote on 26 July 2002 and sent this: "The photo below is from our time at Kindley Field. In the first, my father is the second from the right, front row. We lived in the “Virginia Cottage” for one year when we first arrived in Bermuda, then moved on base to Bldg. 540. My husband and I will be visiting Bermuda 27 July to 31 July, and hope to be able to locate these two homes. My sister was able to when she visited in 1993.
I enjoyed the information on the military presence in Bermuda from your website. My father was retired from the Air Force in 1972 after 30 years of service. I was four months to four years old when we were stationed at Kindley Field, so I am looking forward to visiting the beautiful island of which I have a few memories. Thanks again for keeping the military history of Bermuda alive. "
Ralph Butler (second from the right, front row) and friends at Bermuda 1955-59
1956, EJ Slemmons was a pilot with The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) stationed in Bermuda. His son, Ted, was born at Kindley AFB. He is seeking pictures of a B29 Hurricane Hunter or design of its logo, believed to be a red hurricane shape hurricane warning flags in the middle. (See below).
1956-1957, Donald Hull - now of Smithfield, VA, e-mail email@example.com, was stationed at Kindley AFB in the 303rd Air Refueling Squadron.
01-04 1956- to 06-15-1957, A/2c Donald K Shurtliff was assigned to KAFB, the 303 Rd Air Refueling Squadron "Worked as an A&E mechanic on flight line with the KC-97 S. The best duty of my 5 1/2 year career. Departed Bermuda for Mountain Home AFB ID. Where I was Discharged 07-25-1958. 72375 Upper Way West, Palm Desert CA 92260. firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 23, 1956-October 15, 1958, Colonel Philip H. Best was in command.
1956 to 1959 M/Sgt William J. Bloom, Sr, USAF was transferred to KAFB in Bermuda. He and family (including son Dr. Stephen Bloom later at University of Florida, Gainesville, lived on-base.
1956 to 1958, Paul Tilton Jr. - now of 118 Dogwood Drive, Henrico N.C. 27842 - was stationed at KAFB as a Ground Radio operator with the 1934th AACS Sq. "I had the chance to fly with a buddy of mine with the 59th weather Sq. every time I could on my time off. I remember on 1 flight going thru a storm in the south Atlantic. losing 2 engines, having to abort to Barbados and blowing tires on landing, then waiting 3 days for repairs from Bermuda. I also went TDY to an island off the coast of South America to work radio for the recovery of space capsules during the space race . The best thing was I was in MATS and not SAC....I really enjoyed Bermuda as a 19 year old."
1956 to 1959, Troy L. Hanson, Lt. Col USAF Retired, now of Colorado Springs, CO, was stationed at Kindley AFB with the 303rd Air Refueling Squadron from 1956 into 1959 . "Our family was started with our two children being born in the new Kindly AFB Hospital Steven March 22 1957 and Sandra March 8 1959. We had a wonderful time living on your island and enjoying the Bermudians. We lived in Normar Cottage next to Captain Stan Burns the Harbor Master. The 303rd ARS is planning its final reunion in Colorado Springs September 22, 2007. I would like to post your article for all to read. Again congratulations on a very interesting piece of research. I look forward to our future communications."
1956 to 1960, Major William (‘Wild Bill’) A. Swanson
(now deceased as well as his wife Marian R.) was stationed at Kindley
AFB Bermuda as a Hurricane Hunter pilot. "I am his daughter (Karen R.) and
I have a brother (Kris A.). We spent 4 wonderful years in Bermuda which included
living at Somers Hill and Neston’s Cottage. At Neston’s
Cottage we had a back yard as large as a football field that lead down to the
bay that was encircled by the island except for the smallest draw bridge in the
world. This draw bridge would be raised to allow the masts of sail boats pass
through but, we also used it when we held onto a rope and jumped into the
rushing waters under the bridge. The perfume factory was one of my favorites,
especially during Easter (the lilies were everywhere). I can’t forget
Devil’s Hole and St. George either. I feel very blessed to have had the
opportunity to have lived and go to school in Bermuda from the age of 7 to 12.
1956 to 1959 T/Sgt James E. Garner, USAF/SAC was stationed at Kindley AFB and served as a refueling operator on KC-97’s. "He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medals and other distinctions for his career service. He served on Tinian in the 40th Bomb Wing during World War II. He was also featured in the Air Force Times along with his Dachshund Fritzi who had his own parachute and accompanied Dad and the crew on missions. Dad loved fishing on the Service Club boat that went out every Saturday and helping clean all the fish that the wives would prepare at the Service Club. I can assure you it was some of the best tasting fish ever. They caught rockfish, yellowtail, bonita (occasionally), flounder and more made a special effort to avoid the sharks. Dad loved to snorkel and it was a treat to swim with him. Bermuda brought us many happy memories. He was laid to rest on December 17, 2010 at Arlington National Cemetery at the age of 89. His wife of 45 years, Roberta Jean, who had preceded him in 1989, was buried with him." Info supplied by their daughter Pat Garner.
15 March 1956
John W. Cook at Main Gate.
John also kindly sent the remarkable photograph below of a unique piece of KAFB memorabilia he has collected. As it has not been seen on this website before, can any other former KAFB personnel throw any light on it and let both John and this author know? In the meantime, it's just a guess it might have been issued for staff cars from the motor transport pool at Kindley that traveled frequently from Kindley AFB to the US Naval Operating Base at Southampton Parish. Or it might have been issued to the CO and/or other senior officers then at KAFB. Or it might have instead been a plate issued to all at KAFB who owned private automobiles either purely at KAFB or who also ventured into civilian areas of Bermuda and might have needed vehicle ID at the base gate when returning to KAFB. The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Air_Transport_Service - was replaced in 1966 by the Military Airlift Command (MAC) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Airlift_Command.
1956 to 1959, S/SGT Ralph Poole was stationed at Kindley AFB, at the 1604 MATS Hospital. "I thought Bermuda was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. The flowers, water, and snorkeling around the coral reefs kept me in Bermuda for nearly four years. I recently visited Bermuda with my wife Carolyn after nearly a 50 years absence. We stayed at the Grotto Bay Hotel and had a room overlooking a small part of what used to be Kindley AFB. An old taxi cab driver gave us a tour of the old base. Great memories! The old Veterinary Building where I had an office still existed but is now part of the Bermudian economy. A retired Lockheed Martin Engineer, my e-mail email@example.com and I live in Auburn WA."
1956-1959, Boyd R. Lemon, SSgt, a teletype operator, was stationed at Kindley AFB. His son, John Lemon, started first grade at Kindley Elementary School. He'd like to hear by e-mail from any other school attendees there at the time or after.
November 1956 until November 1959 Patrick J Calnan was stationed at Kindley AFB. "My rank was A/2c. I was with the 59th WRS Hurricane Hunters as a flight line mechanic for 2 years, and later with the 1604 Field Maintenance as a Driver of one of those yellow follow-me trucks. I have a very clear memory of losing a WB-50 on one of our GULL flights. I was asked to join the search in a rescue C-54 as an observer. I recall flying for hours with my thumb on the button to release a dye marker. But nothing! A VERY BIG empty ocean. I was 17 years old when I arrived in Bermuda. It was a wonderful place to grow up in. My contact address is Patrick Calnan, 16 Lantern Lane, Chelmsford, MA 01824. E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1956-1959. Tech Sgt Robert Emmett Barber was stationed at Kindley AFB, with the refueling squadron, also as a flight mechanic. He was accompanied by his wife and three children. They lived in the DeGink area near base commander's house. Entry sent September 2, 2011 by his daughter Bonnie Barber Carter. "My brothers played baseball and my dad often umpired. I played with Col Best's daughter. I'll welcome comments by any of my dad's contemporaries and/or children or playmates. Email me at email@example.com or mail 1314 W. 3rd St, Roswell, NM 88201. "
1957-59, Cliff Morris was in the Navy in Bermuda, based at the Annex in Southampton, pulling duty at the secret Tudor Hill submarine and surface ship detection facility. He also hosted a radio program on ZBM-2 that was sponsored by the Navy.
October 1957 to October 1959, Ralph B. Coleman - known as Breeze -was a medic working at the Kindley AFB hospital. "Would love to do it all over again. I do not know why but I was given the nick name "Breeze" while I was there. Ralph B. Coleman, 243 Washington Ave, Scotia, NY 12302, firstname.lastname@example.org."
March 26, 1957, the late Larry Muller (he died in January 2004) was a young man stationed at Kindley. His daughter Traci Muller Rylands - the Editor/Writer of High Schools That Work, (Southern Regional Education Board) wrote us. " He was the air traffic controller in the tower when President Eisenhower visited Kindley AFB and Bermuda specifically for a Summit Conference with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Larry remembered his days in Bermuda with much pride and joy."
President Eisenhower arriving at Kindley AFB on March 26 1957 and being met by British Prime Mister Harold Macmillan
March 1957 to March 1959, Bill Satterwhite was at USNAS, Southampton, Bermuda and had many great times including at the Elbow Beach, Princess and Bermudiana (until it burnt down) hotels. After not having been in Bermuda since then, he and his wife Carol wanted to visit Bermuda on the cruise ship RCCL's Voyager of the Seas in November 2005. During his tour of duty in Bermuda, he was assigned to the Special Services division. A local gentleman was the Captain on his fishing boat, with the last name of Cartright or Cartwright. Anybody know where he is now?
1957-58 Cdr. George T Trudell was the Executive Officer of the US Navy Base in Bermuda. "He was my father. We lived in the house next to the CO, Capt. Badger. I was 11yrs old and my brother Edward was 15. Some of my fondest memories were of living on that base, going to school at Mt. Saint Agnes Academy, swimming at the beach cove and pier, eating French fries at the beach shack, watching movies at the outdoor theater, and spending hours at the Hobby Shop. I had so many good friends, Dennis Hansen, Carole Haas, Keith Barton (who is now an author), Jan Witczak, David King, William Stapp, (my boyfriend), Judy, Michael & Alexis Halloran, Philip Canal. I read online that the base is in a sad state of disrepair and much of it has been demolished...very sad. It was such a beautiful place. We were stationed there for 2 1/2 yrs and I loved every minute of it". Betty Trudell at email email@example.com, 578 Andorra Circle NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703.
June 1957 to June 1960,Marilyn writes: "I have lots of fond memories of Bermuda. My family arrived on the Queen of Bermuda into Hamilton from New York and my brother, boyfriend (future husband) and I left on a MATS plane after graduation from Mount St. Agnes Academy. The three of us spent many fun days, riding our bikes to little coves off base, swimming and enjoying peanut butter sandwiches. We rode to school on a Navy bus and if we missed it in the afternoon, got home via Navy Launch. The main sport that I remember from school was track and field. I know that the private school (Saltus) also in town was our biggest competitor, maybe our only one. Our uniform was a navy blue jumper with white blouse and a blue blazer. Most of our social activities were spent on base with movies, swimming, beach parties and our teen club dances with the kids from Kindley. We alternated sites and the Navy bus transported us back and forth. Fishing and golfing were popular with the guys also. At the beach parties, the girls made box lunches and these were auctioned off to the boy with the highest bid. My dad was executive officer of VP45 when we went to Bermuda and made commanding officer of VP 45 before I returned to the states in 1958. My future father in law was in administration on the base. We had lots of musicals at school and ballroom dancing was part of the curricula. Our senior Prom was held at the Princess Hotel and we took a boat ride afterwards -- all of us singing the popular "Yellow Bird". Life was good. Great memories."
Kindly sent by Marilyn Thomas Hansen, above
"I hope to be able to return to Bermuda either this year of the next with my sister as she has not been back since our original time there and we want to go back in remembrance of our mother and the happy times spent there. Sadly, due to frail health our father will not be able to come with us."
January 1958-November 1969 Frank Morrison was based in Bermuda with the US Navy at Southampton, then Tudor Hill. His three children, including Sandra Morrison (who wrote this e-mail) were born in Bermuda. " "Tourists would see us on the dock at Mangrove Bay when the tourist boat pulled in, would encourage us to dive for coins saying "look at the cute native children." I attended Sandys Grammar School then Kindley High School. All but one semester of my schooling was there. It was lonely as we lived a long way from the high school, I must have read every book in the small library on the base, and watched every black and white movie ever made on ZFB and ZBM. When we first got there, TV was only on from 5-9 pm. Kids in the states got cars, I got a boat. Liked to go to movies at the base in the boat. Have a lifelong love of fishing and become very "homesick" if I don't live by the water (now on TX gulf coast)."
1958, William and Lula Mae Housel were at Kindley. Housel Sr. married in 1957 when Lula Mae was 14 years old. Their son Tracy Lee Housel was born at Bermuda's King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on May 7, 1958. They returned to the USA in 1959. The boy joined the US Navy as a young adult and was a submariner. He was given a death sentence for the murder of Jeanne Drew in Georgia on February 7, 1986 and executed by Georgia on March 12, 2002.
May 1958 to May 1960, David Haynes served
with VP-45 at the USNOB BDA as YN-3. "Lived in
May 1958, Richard I. Van Dusen, then an E-3 Yeoman, now at 15370 Finley Drive, Gulfport, MS 39503 - arrived in Bermuda for duty with VP-49, until October 1961. He lived in the barracks on the Southampton Navy base. He wrote: "I fell in love with Bermuda and the people. I made many trips to Hamilton and the drinking establishment on Front street. I used to go to the dances on Saturday at the Police Club, don't remember place, but it had a football (soccer) field. I lost many pool games at the Club on Front street for British, Canadian and American sailors. When I was assigned toVP-49, I had the privilege to work with some great Navy aviators who flew the P5M. I went on some missions and enjoyed them immensely. I remember the night VP-45 lost the commander out in the Triangle; the UFO's the pilots spotted; the beaches and the crazy bike riders, me included, but I can't remember the names of some of my friends. A couple I remember, Vanderhoff, Picklesimer, both crew members of the P5M. I would like to hear from them, I had a best friend, Bob, can't remember his last name, he was a storekeeper on the NOB. Can anyone help? Please contact me at address shown."
July 1958 to May
1961, Lt. Col. Thomas
J. Connair, Jr., was stationed at HQ 1604th Air Base Wing at
Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. Initially, he was the Base Executive Officer,
and later the Base Inspector General. He and his partner, Sgt. Leamon Keel, were
Kindley doubles badminton champions 3 consecutive years (1959-61), and he was
the runner-up to Sgt. Keel in singles competition during the same period. He
also competed in tournaments on the
July 1958 to June 1960, A2C Jerry Treloar & wife Delores - were based at KAFB Bda, R4360 Eng. Mech. - WB50s - PE Dock - 59th WRS - Hurricane Hunters - supervisor, Msgt William Machen. "Currently - Ret/Msgt/USAF/C-141 Flight Engineer ( 30 years C-141 aircrew training). Lived in Claytown on the north shore, just around the curve from the Bermuda Perfume Factory. Rode a 125cc Norton motorcycle. First duty assignment and were newlyweds. There has never been a better time in our entire lives than those 2 years in Bermuda. Deloris worked in Hamilton for a CPA, Mr. E. Brownlow Gray. We were there for the following events: (1) Bermuda's 350th Anniversary graced by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillips personal appearances. (2) The U2 which lost all power and glided over 300 miles landing on our alternate runway. I almost got hit by it, because I was short cutting across the runway as it was landing. (3) Several Navy blimps tied up for a couple of days on our overflow parking. (4) One of our WB50s went down without a trace just north of the island. All crew members were lost, including a friend of ours, a young radio operator named Scott. (5) Four F100s took off in formation, passed through a cloud off the end of the runway and only 3 came out. No trace of the 4th one. (6) Deloris and I were charter members of the first motorcycle club on KAFB sanctioned by the AMA. We still have our jackets. We took both our mothers to Bermuda in Jul 98, to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We will be in Bermuda Jul 2008 to celebrate our 50th anniversary. It was just as clean and beautiful as it was 40 years earlier. Everyone in Bermuda are just wonderful. WE LOVE BERMUDA ! Address: PO Box 742, Altus, OK. 73522 Ph. (580) 482-2826"
July 1958 to July
1961, Lieutenant (jg initially, full lieutenant at departure) Paul A.
Lamb (now Commander, USCG, Retired) - email firstname.lastname@example.org
- at 4300 Beach Drive
SE, St. Petersburg
, Fl. 33705 - served
at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Naval Air Station,
August 1958 to August 1960, Wes Pleasant was stationed at Kindley AFB, Bermuda with The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters). He writes: "While there I met and married my wife (a Canadian, there on vacation) and our first child was born there. Al Rae, who was there too, spoke of an incident involving an AP who went berserk and started shooting up the place. I was right next door, just down the hill from the AP HQ at the commissary when it happened. I was putting some groceries in the saddlebags on my bike when all hell broke loose just up the hill from me. Last I heard they shipped the guy back to Walter Reed in a straight jacket. The worst Xmas I ever spent in my life was at Kindley. On Xmas day everything on that island was closed except the civilian air terminal, which was across the runway from us. We were using the WB-50 and I just found out that the aircraft had a reputation for killing people and I guess we contributed to that - we lost an aircraft with no survivors somewhere out over the Atlantic. Just disappeared. Makes you wonder about that Bermuda Triangle stuff."
1958, Herb Miller was stationed at Kindley with the US Coast Guard. He now lives in Georgetown, Florida.
1958-59. Airman 2nd Class Joseph Patrick Hoffman - email email@example.com - spent eighteen months at Kindley Air force Bass Bermuda. Assigned to the 1934 AACS air to ground radio squadron. "My AFC; Outside Plant Communications on the Antenna field at the end of the flight line and Rap/con Tower antennas. I was left tackle for the Kindley Flyers football team. We were coached by, Capt. Sweat. We won the 1958 Caribbean Bowl Championship. We flew to San Juan Puerto Rico. The game was played in the Escobar Stadium. We played the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard, Washington DC State Teachers College and others in all, 10 games. I did an actor's voice on ZBM -1 radio show. I was a member of a quintet singing group named The Nomads. We won the United States Air Force Tops In Blues contest held on base in early 1958. I lived off base across from the Pink Beach Colony Resort. My rent was only $65.00 per month. I met a local islander, Rodney Tucker. My wife Grace and I became good friends of the Tucker family. Rodney and I would go to Pink Beach in early AM and body surf later ride together to the base. Rodney cut hair on base and played piano around the Island. While I was there between 1958,1959 the US Navy Blue Angels Jets performed their show for us and the Islanders. I can be reached by telephone at area code 717-471-4878, address: 47 E. Main St., Apt. 3, Mountville, PA 17554 -1639."
1958, Robert George was apparently stationed in Bermuda, but his dates of arrival and departure and with which unit is not yet known. Linda - email - Lindahistory1@aol.com e-mailed on 28 December 2004 to say she is his daughter, born in Bermuda in 1959, with his name attached to her Bermuda birth certificate records. She asked if anyone could help her with further information.
1958-1960 Al Rae was stationed at Kindley AFB in the 1604 Air Police Squadron. He wrote on 19 March 2002: " I have some old photos of planes landing there during that time, including a U2, that had an emergency landing. Also, a friend, Bill Cook, from the same unit was somehow involved in a shooting that led to two deaths at Air Police Headquarters in Bermuda early in 1960. I never heard what happened afterwards. Perhaps someone from Kindley at the time has some information, or suggestion on from where in the USA - as it was a military matter not a Bermuda one - to get it?"
1958 to 1961 Staff Sgt Alma Len Peterson was stationed at Kindley AFB in Bermuda from 1958-1961 as a Radio Operator with the 1934th AACS, along with wife Trudy and daughter Marion. "It was a dream assignment. I used to take my little daughter around the island. We would visit all the old forts, and the naval base on the far end of the Island. Marion and I would explore the island on our Triumph motorcycle. I can be contacted at A. Lenny Peterson (c/o) firstname.lastname@example.org. Or by mail at P. O. Box 128, Ash Fork, AZ 86320."
September 1958 to September 20, 1959 Warren Lustwig was posted to the US Naval Operating Base, Bermuda. He can't give his home address to this website.
December 19, 1958-August 12, 1959 Colonel George L. Robinson was in command.
January 1959 to December 1962 M/Sgt Wayne W. Woodruff (Woody) served as a Flight Engineer on WB-50D aircraft assigned to the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) at Kindley AFB. In addition to military duties he dedicated his off duty time to the Kindley Youth programs serving as a Little League Baseball Coach, Manager and as equipment manager for all the Little League Baseball and Football teams maintaining and ordering new equipment as needed. He served as President of The Kindley Little League Association in 1962. Woody, wife Jeanne and their 4 children, Michael (Mike), Yvonne (Corky), Mark and Mitchell (Allen) resided at Fubler Villa, Cedar Ave. Hamilton the first 2 years then at the Rabbit Hutch, Turkey Hill Road, St. George. He retired from the USAF June 30, 1967 as a SMsgt. In March 2006 Woody, Jeanne, Corky and husband Laird, Mark and wife Deanna visited Bermuda and thoroughly enjoyed new experiences and reliving old ones. Jeanne and Woody live at 13611 14th Ave. South, Tacoma, WA 98444-2124 e-mail email@example.com.
1959-1961, Don Deming (email firstname.lastname@example.org) was assigned to KAFB with the 1604th Air Police Squadron. "Was there part on the time Al Rae was there, but honestly do not remember him. Bill Cook was a friend of mine too, and I was told he did go off and shoot several people, killing a couple. He was brought back to Bermuda and had trail, was sentenced to 33 years at Leavenworth, Ks. and that was the last I heard of him. I dated a Majors' daughter by the name of Showers while I was there, and remember Bermuda as a great place. My wife (not the major's daughter) and I have visited the island a couple of times and love it."
1959-1961, A/1c Doug Selander (email email@example.com) was assigned to Kindley AFB, in the 55th Air Rescue Squadron as an aircraft Instrument technician. "I got there when the rescue squadrons from Thule, Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland were just relocating to Kindley. When I arrived from the states, I was assigned to a Norwegian carpenter named Thor for a month or two to help re-build the orderly room that wasn’t yet ready for occupation. Our flight line buildings were the worst by far of any on the base. The “Hanger” was of wood construction that allowed only the nose of two planes to be under the roof but the rest of the plane was out-in-the-open to rain and wind. The rest of the base had permanent hangers and buildings. Two of my close flight-line friends were A/2c George Rapone, a hydraulic specialist, and A/2c Roger Terni who was a crew chief on one of our 4, SC-54’s (tail numbers: 524,609, 665 and 667). I remember one Sunday afternoon in 1960 when an air policeman named Cook shot up the AP Headquarters. I heard the automatic weapon being fired from down the hill from our Rescue dorms above. I went out on the lawn and a guy came running up from below and screamed “somebody’s shooting up the place down there.” AP Cook was being disciplined when it all started - he had to clean his weapon in the armory located in basement of the HQ). That’s when he went berserk and starting shooting up AP’s and everything else. He fired at one sergeant at the front desk but the sarge ducked under the desk. Cook reached over and raked the floor next to him with bullets but missed him by inches. Cook went outside on the lawn firing till he ran out of ammo. He went back inside and down into the armory to reload - that’s when another AP grabbed him. Someone said the AP guard on the front gate was told what was happening but he would not leave his post under any circumstances. I saw Cook afterwards - they had him down on the back of an open, wood stake, ton-and a-half truck with AP’s all over him shortly after they got him. They drove him away to someplace. I think Cook killed 1 or 2 people. I understand he was not executed but was sent to Leavenworth, MO, sentenced to 33 years."
June 1959 to August 1961 Charlie Witteman (email firstname.lastname@example.org) was stationed at the Naval Operating Base Bermuda. " I was an Electronics Technician with the Ground Electronics Division responsible for maintaining radios in the Control Tower and Crash Boats. I also worked at the Receiver Site and had two 5000 watt transmitters at the Transmitter Bldg to communicate NAVFAC and base data to Norfolk thru a 4 channel multiplexor. I got married while stationed there and lived in "Uppity", Middle Road, near Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. My new wife worked as a Clerk-Typist at the base in the Supply Dept. We had more company and visitors than we could afford as I was only a ET2 when I left Bermuda. Enjoyed working with shipmates Ralph Otts and Chief William Williams. "
July 1959 to July 1961 Bob Lawrence, of 2951 Avenida Valera, Carlsbad, CA 92009, was stationed at Kindley with the 1934 AACS Squadron. He has several hundred colored slides from Kindley and rest of Bermuda from that time frame. He met his wife on a blind date at the Elbow Beach Hotel and they were married on Staten Island, New York on November 19, 1960. They have always talked about going back for a visit, but never made it.
1959 to 1961, Lieutenant Colonel Fellie F. Robinson was based at KAFB Bermuda as the commanding officer of the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (The Hurricane Hunters). The squadron flew daily on weather reconnaissance missions from Kindley on WB-50's, into all hurricanes and potential hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean. His family lived on Kindley AFB next to the base hospital. While they were there, the Air Force built the high school directly across the street from the house they lived in and their son Richard F. Robinson attended that high school. He was in his early teenage years when they lived in Bermuda. Colonel Robinson currently lives in Redland, California and has considerable information concerning his tour as commanding officer of The Hurricane Hunters. His postal address is 642 S. Eureka Street, Redlands, CA 92373. There is a book called The Hurricane Hunters that describes the history of the 59th. (Richard Robinson and his wife celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary by visiting Bermuda September 7 - 14, 2002).
June 1959 to June 1961, Ronald L. Snyder, Airman 3rd class, was stationed at Kindley AFB as a KC97 mechanic. He was assigned to the 303 Air Refueling Sqd. His wife Marcellious Jewell Snyder joined him there. A child was born in Bermuda.
June 1959 to 1962, SSgt Bernard Ulmer USAF was based at Kindley, with his family. He was a crew chief on the KC97. After reassignment to Alaska, he was reported as having drowned in 1969.
1959-62, Harry T. Randle lll was stationed at Kindley AFB. His daughter Renee Baranek, nee Randle, wrote on 5 May 2002: "I was blessed enough to have been born on beautiful Bermuda. My father was in The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters), and navigator. He flew C-124 propeller airplanes then, and later moved onto C-141's. Unfortunately, we had to move in 1962, after my brother was born, to of all places, Utah. I have one clear vision of Bermuda, and one is not nearly enough. Thanks to you, I have been able to see the military hospital where I was born, and the Officer's Mess where my father most certainly spent much of his time exaggerating his escapades with his buddies. Sadly my parents both died quite young. My father at 44 and my mother at 43. I cherish any remnant of memory or information about our lives together. Thank you for your photos on this Bermuda website. "
1959-62, the father of Donna Sakanich Benham, at Decatur, Texas, was stationed at Kindley AFB with the Hurricane Hunters. She was in the 3rd, 4th & 5th grade but has vivid memories of those days. They lived in three different houses near the Harrington Hundreds area. She knew she was in a special place at a special time. President Kennedy came to the island and they got to see him and he waved at her.... she never forgot it. (She had a school friend, Harriet Larslier, whom she would like try to find. She went to school on base but was a local or English. Her father must have been civil service or worked on base. They lived on St. George's Island).
September 3, 1959 to June 21, 1962, Colonel Lester C. Messenger was in command.
November 1959 – July 1963, Senior Master Sgt Andrew (Andy) Joseph Ujhazi, served as NCO IC for the Civil Engineering squadron. Andy and his wife, Erika (Ricky) and 2 daughters Dorothy (Dottie) and Jane (Janie) lived at 361 Bundy. Later, Andy and Ricky moved to San Antonio, TX. Andy died in 2003 with Ricky still there. Dorothy is married, living in Pullman, WA and can be contacted at CambricCollies@roadrunner.com.
1960 to January 1962, Tom Zimmerman was with the SAC 303 ARS Security
Defense Force, at KAFB The 303 ARS flew KC-97's
refueling B-47's over the Atlantic. He writes: "Witnessing a night
air-fueling along side a Boom Operator was an experience I will never forget.
Working all shift hours, I had time off to also work as a Lifeguard at
Clearwater Beach. The money I earned as a Lifeguard allowed me to buy a 1956
Ford Anglia which was licensed for off-base use. Being an Airman with a little
extra money from life-guarding, a car and a US Dollar that bought much more in
Bermuda funds than it does today I was fortunate to experience the best Bermuda
had to offer. Who could forget College Weeks, Gun Powder Cavern, Swizzle Inn
when it was a neat quiet place with maybe a dozen patrons, Christmas in Bermuda,
the Princess, Elbow Beach, Talbot Brother & Nephews, Hubert Smith, Front
Street, Horseshoe, John Smith's, St. George, opening day at Carlton Beach and
the beautiful smell of burning cedar wood. Bermudians
adopted US Servicemen as members of the Bermuda Family and there was a mutual
respect that many today would have trouble understanding."
January 1960 to January 1962, William Cummins (now of 720 Vera, Arnold, Missouri 63010, email email@example.com) was at KAFB Bermuda with the 1934th AACS, as a Channel and Tech controller. He writes: "Initial duty was at the comm center located between the base theater and Base Headquarters. I also lived in the Pink Palace across from the PX. I was later transferred to and lived at the Fort Victoria Receiver site. Great duty as we got separate rations and had our own little house. I really like your picture of Fort Victoria today - see www.bermuda-online.org/seestgeo.htm. Such a shame that the hotel was later built there, as Fort Victoria could have been a great tourist site. Only about a hundred yards - as the crow flies - from the Gunpowder Cavern - now, sadly, shut for decades - where I spent many happy hours. Also spent time at the circle bar in the Elbow Beach and the Princess Hotel downtown. I refer to my time there as two years in paradise. I plan to return in March 2005. Editor's note: he wrote on 10 August 2005 to say he finally returned in June 2005, via a 7 day cruise out of New York and was able to visit some of his old haunts. He returned to a shuttered Fort Victoria and found his old office all boarded up. "Things and buildings had certainly changed in 40 years but the people were as friendly as ever. Brought back some old memories and the guys I worked with. I wish I knew what happened to S/Sgt Dick Southworth and William P. Wood. If anyone knew anything about them I would sure appreciate it. Thanks again for a great web site."
29 Feb 1960 to 2 Dec 1962, Phil Spurlin was stationed at Kindley AFB with the 303rd Air Refueling Squadron "We lived on Spanish Point." He now lives in Biloxi, MS. He was a Staff Sergeant in charge of Aircraft Towing Operations for the 303rd Air Refueling Squadron. In July 2007 he spoke to and it was reported in The Royal Gazette Bermuda newspaper about the apparent disposal of waste oil at Kindley. “They had a wash rack where they washed the tankers. The engines on these planes must have slung quite a bit of oil on the cowling and wings which would be washed off whenever they washed the plane. Because of the high corrosion caused by the salt spray from the ocean, these planes were washed much more often than those in the States. I’m just guessing, but all the grease, oil and hydraulic fluid washed off the plane probably went down a drain into the ocean.”
March 1960 to March 1963 Jean Robert Menard was at Kindley AFB, with the 1934th AACS (Communications Squadron). Married to Riba, and with both in their 20s, they lived in Paget and St. George's Their son is Michael J. Menard. Contact him at 2924 Thistledown Drive, League City, TX 77573 if you served in Bermuda about the same time as his father.
April 1960 to June 1962 Joseph J. Narciso was at Kindley AFB in the 55th Air Rescue Squadron. "He was my father. We lived on St. George, across the harbor from Kindley, where for years there was a large rusty old shipwreck right off the dock behind our home on Cut Road. I am the oldest of his six children, then aged 10-12, yet my memories are still quite vivid - a visit by President Kennedy; walking to Stella Maris Catholic Church to serve Mass under Fr. Vallimont; receiving the New York Daily News - but always a day late - to follow baseball and the Roger Maris & Mickey Mantle pursuits of Babe Ruth's home run record in 1961; seeing the Ocean Monarch and Queen of Bermuda spill tourists onto St. George; watching construction of the Sonesta Beach Hotel in Southampton; taking visiting relatives from the US on a one-day taxi tour of the islands (Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Somerset Bridge, Devil's Hole, Fort St. Catherine, etc. Joseph J. Narciso Jr, Atlanta, Georgia, USA."
May 1960 to May 1962, Peter Balk - now at 1270 Lavender Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 - was stationed with the 1934th AACS Squadron at Kindley AFB. "I Lived in the barracks across from the commissary. I was a radio operator on the base, providing support for military and commercial aircraft inbound and outbound. Had many good times there, on the beaches, at the hotels, etc. Lots of great memories. My wife and I went back to Bermuda for vacation in 1978 and stayed in St. George at the Holiday Inn there. I understand it was damaged badly later in a hurricane. We had a wonderful time. An employee of the hotel made arrangements for us to have a riding tour of the base with another couple. It was a U.S. Navy base by that time. Have been looking for people that were there at the same time, without much success though. It's been too many years I guess."
May 1960 to May 1963, Lloyd Robert Anair was stationed in Bermuda, at the USNOB Southampton, as a 1st Class Quarter Master, Search & Rescue, for the United States Coast Guard. "Our family resided on Woodlawn Road. Three of his four children attended Port Royal School and we enjoyed many days at Horseshoe Bay." He died on June 30, 2003 and is survived by his wife Hazel, his two daughters Brenda & Donna, and his two sons Len & Bruce. Contributed by daughter Donna King.
1960-1962 Airman second class Jerry L. Reed was in aircraft maintenance with the 55th Air Rescue Sq and the 48th Det#1. "We escorted President Kennedy on his 34 day goodwill tour of South America. We had the SC54D aircraft and the SA16 helicopter. I remember the U-2 flying into the base when we didn't know of such an aircraft. I would love to hear from any of the gang from that time. My home address is Jerry L. Reed, 508 Lovers Lane, Alamogordo. New Mexico 88310. I loved Bermuda and after my discharge I went back and worked at the base exchange."
August 1960 to June 1963, AIC Robert Cress was stationed at KAFB Bermuda with
the 1934th Communications Squadron as an air traffic controller.
"I was a single airman and lived in the pink barracks across from the
commissary. This was the greatest place I have ever lived and I
will never forget the time I spent in
October 1960 to October 1962, Glenn M. Kidd, Jr was a Dental Technician assigned to the USAF Hospital at Kindley AFB. "I accompanied a Navy patient with a broken jaw back to the states in July 61 and married my high school sweetheart while there. She joined me a couple months later and we lived in a cottage across the road from Pink Beach on the South Shore. My address is CMSgt (Retired) Glenn M. Kidd Jr, 3127 S. St. Rd. 29, Logansport, IN 46947."
1960-65 Sgt J. W. Harper, USAF (he died in 1986 when still quite young) was stationed at KAFB, Bermuda. He, his wife and daughter Denise (now Breidenbach, now residing in Cornville, AZ ) lived in Blue Hole Hill in Hamilton Parish and loved it there. His daughter attended 1st to 5th Grade at the KAFB school Bermuda. She would love to return one day.
1960 to 1963, late US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Edison Blagg, born in Maryville, Missouri, on September 17, 1918, a decorated veteran of two wars, was Provost Marshal and commander of 1604th Air Police Squadron at Kindley Air Force Base. As such, he was also the liaison officer between the USAF and the Bermuda Police. He headed the Kindley security arrangements for the visit to Bermuda by US Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and later for the 1961 summit conference between President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. Several of the three children of Colonel Blagg and his wife Claire Elizabeth Cassell Blagg attended school in Bermuda - son Timothy A. Blagg (Whitney Institute); daughter Barbara Blagg Mosley (Kindley Air Force Base High School which later became Roger B. Chaffee School when under the USNAS and later yet the Bermuda Government's Clearwater Middle School). Colonel Blagg died in Dover, Delaware, in December, 2000. His youngest son, G. Daniel Blagg, is the author of Bermuda Atlas & Gazetteer - one of the best books written in and about Bermuda - and was development director for Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda until he relocated to Italy in late 2004).
1960-1962 Willie B. Fears, Sr was stationed at Kindley Force Base, Bermuda, as an Airman 33d class. "He was my father. He was on duty during President Kennedy’s visit to the island on December 21-22, 1961. I would like to know if you know where any additional photos of that visit might be. My father, who worked in the Motor Pool, was assigned to chauffeur a lieutenant back and forth from the Bermudiana Hotel in Hamilton and Government House in Pembroke where JFK and Prime Minister MacMillan met. At age 23, he was then the only Airman 3rd class old enough to drive around the island. The other airmen third class were not old enough, according to Bermuda laws prevailing at that time, to drive outside of the base. So because of his age, he was allowed to work with the Airman First class and the Airmen Second class. He also transported a bus load of people back to Air Force II when they were ready to depart from the island. My father is 75 years old on April 2, 2013. "Lillie M. Fears, PhD, Professor of Journalism, Arkansas State University, email LFEARS@astate.edu."
July 1960 to July 1963 Senior M/Sgt Orville L. Willits, Jr. was based at KAFB, Bermuda, with 303rd Air Refueling. (He passed away 10 Oct 1985 of lung cancer). His son Kim P. Willits was in the first graduating class of Kindley AFB High School in 1962. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and Germany and has since retired from federal civil service. Kim's sister, Cheryl Ann, was born in the base hospital in Nov 1961. She is now married to an Air Force officer. The Willits family first lived in Hamilton at Fenchurch North, then spent a few months in DeGink before moving to Bundy Street, also on-base. They lived across the street from the McIllrath's.
1960 to 1963 Ronald Slater, now at I53I Masterson Road, Cleelum, Washington, 98922 and email firstname.lastname@example.org was stationed on NAS Bermuda, Public Works, with the US Navy Seabees. "As a enlisted sailor, all of us caught all the stuff the officers could dream up. The one thing they could not control was the women. For over forty four years, my wife Edna and I have been married. She was born and raised in Bermuda and has been my greatest fortune. The island was my honeymoon for over seven years. God, I loved it. I'm now a retired Helicopter Flight Instructor. My wife became the Seabee queen in I961 and still has her crown, and Bermuda figure. Rejoice Bermuda, she was one of your finest works. Her last name was Simons."
1961 to 1962 Gerald L. Howell, Airman 2nd Class, was stationed at KAFB with the 1934th Comm Squadron, ((formerly Air Force and Airways Communications or AACS Squadron). "I worked in the Flight Facility Center, Rapcon, and GCA (Ground Controlled Approach or Precision Radar). Spent time at the Rec hall playing ping pong, and shooting pool. Saw many black & white movies, and cheap bowling. The MATS Terminal was the best place to eat. Remember standing at the fence by the terminal and having my hand brushed by President Kennedy, and Alan B. Shepard, Jr. I sang tenor in a coral group known as the Bermuda Highlanders, formed and directed by a Captain (pilot), whose name escapes me, but at least once we were featured on the local TV station in Hamilton. Wonder if there is a tape or keniscope of it? Best buddy was A2C William Meyers, Radio & Radar Maintenance. Air Traffic controllers had official handles, mine was "Hotel Lima" and best controller there was called "Peter Rabbit." He had a beat up old boat which he put a Ford Anglia motor in. We went snorkeling for lobster (I think it was illegal). I now am a general contractor (Home Improvement), 6402 Nathan Hale, San Antonio, TX. 78247.
January 1961 to December 1962 Bill McDonald was stationed at Kindley. He retired from the US Air Force and lives in South Carolina with his wife Peggy. He was assigned to the 1934th Communications Squadron (AACS) as a radio operator providing air to ground radio communications to all aircraft - military and civilian - in and out of Bermuda and many more transiting through the area. He and his direct colleagues were unique in the Air Force in that they provided services for civilian airlines in accordance with an agreement with the Bermuda government. They worked at the Communications Building. He lived directly across from the commissary in a barracks known as the "pink palace". He was promoted to E-3 and E-4 and turned 21 in Bermuda. He and friends had Cyrus motorbikes with high rise handlebars and low cut motorcycle seats. They experienced Beach parties, water skiing, fishing, New Year's Eve at the Princess Hotel, entertaining the ladies during "College Week" at the ducking stool and Black Watch Pass, drinking beer at the White Horse Tavern, doing the twist, seeing Chubby Checker at a Hamilton night spot, and eating lobster dinners. Bill also remembers the open houses at the base, hanger dances, happy hour at the Airman's Club, steak night at the dining hall and parties at Clearwater Beach.
1961 to 1963 David Siegel (and wife, Janelle) were stationed at KAFB Bermuda with the 1934th Communications Squadron as an air traffic controller in the Tower. "My rank was A1C. My current mailing address is 2480 Ballantrae Circle Cumming, GA 30041. "
September 1961-May 1962 James Chapman was stationed at KAFB, Bermuda.
1961 to 1963, Albert Fizer - email email@example.com - was stationed at KAFB, Bermuda. He writes: I was in crash rescue in the fire department when the B-47 went into the estate of Errol Flynn off the end of the runway in October 1963. I knew most of the high school kids there as we hung out in the base cafe together. I really enjoyed my days there If any one wants to e-mail me, feel free to do so. I was friends with a girl named Linda Lee if any one knew her."
1961 to 1963 Jerry Zucchero, airman first class, was stationed at Kindley AFB, Bermuda, as a medical corpsman as the USAF hospital. "The pictures of the hospital bring back so many memories. My barracks were about 200 feet from the hospital. I do remember "Nurse Olander" and Msgt. Dorris Barcroft whose names are mentioned on the website. I had so much fun there and I hope to go back someday."
1961-65 MSgt Leo E. Burke (deceased) was based in Bermuda with the 1934th Communications Squadron USAF. His wife was Agnes (deceased) and their children were Carl, Robert, Laura, Maureen, Christopher, Annmarie and William (born at Kindley Hospital). Carl writes: "Base housing for large families was in short supply and we were lucky to live on the "Economy" from '61 through '62 at Blue Horizons on South Shore Road near Dunscomb Road in Warwick Parish owned by the Augustus family. In 1963 we moved into the DeGink area on base. We lived in a four bedroom house at 1023-C DeGink (neither house nor unit are there now) near the Kindley AFB Main Gate. After transferring to Travis AFB, in California, MSgt Burke retired after 27 years of service. Those wishing to contact members of the Burke family are invited to contact me at 2725 11th Ave. Sacramento CA 95818 or call (916)747-8781."
May 1961 to May 1964 Gary Prowant served in the Air Force at Kindley AFB, assigned to the 1934th Communications Squadron. "My wife, Charlotte and I lived in Wooden Cottage number 3 at Buildings Bay at the time. We have three children (all grown now), Debra, Ronald and Ramona (Ramona was born in Bermuda in December 1962). He was assigned to the Base Communications Center as a Teletype Operator but was also responsible for operating the Base Switchboard Operations periodically. While working the latter one night I had the honor of meeting one of the seven original astronauts (Virgil "Gus" Grissom). Captain Kay was my OIC and Lt. Col. William C. Wilson was the Squadron Commander. In February 1962, I was a volunteer in efforts to search for a missing KB-50 from Langley AFB, VA which had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle area, something I will never forget. After more than 20 years with the Air Force, I completed 21 1/2 years with Lockheed before retiring in Pflugerville, Texas after making 26 major moves (overseas/stateside).....our final home is here in Pflugerville and we purchased a motor home to travel the United States at our leisure. Our home e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org."
March 1961 to July 1964, Richard Crisci, now at email email@example.com, was an EM3, Bermuda Naval Air Station, Navy Operations Boathouse. "In between supporting VP-45 & 45, the hurricanes and the early space launches it was one great party. I have a lot of wonderful memories of some of the nicest people to have passed through my life. Sailors can always find a way to fun and I could not have asked for a better assignment to share a beautiful island with them. The picture below is one of those days when we really earned our money. A P5M Marlin came in with a fire on board and we were all waiting in the sea lane for her to touch down. Glad to say all ended well and we had a lot to talk about over the cold beers in the Club Bermadoo afterwards. In the photo from L-R. Billy Hugh Glidewell, Rich Crisci, Ted Ursek, Lucian Dupree, Rudy Diaz."
August 1961 to July 1963, Robert Schaaf was at Kindley AFB, Bermuda, with 1934 Comm. SQD, heavy equipment radio repair, with his duty station at the end of the runway. " I lived in the Pink Palace, a room right above the barber shop. I loved Bermuda, the beaches, rum swizzles, escorting all the lovely ladies around the island, motor cycles, all night beach parties. Thinking about it brings back the fragrances of the tropical flowers. It was wonderful. I now live at 1955 Arthur Street, Eugene, Oregon 97405, email firstname.lastname@example.org."
1961 to 1964, SSgt Ellsworth L. "Pappy" Burks was based at Kindley AFB, as a KC-97 "Boomer." He was accompanied by his wife Vera who was the manager of the small BX at the MATS terminal. The Burks were both survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their son, Wally, lived with his parents and worked at the on base service station. The Burks retired to Great Falls, MT where they both died and and where Wally and his family still live today.
1961 to 1964, John Scaggs was assigned to Kindley Air Force Base Bermuda with the 1604th Air police squadron. "I worked in the base's police headquarters, also worked the gates and the bank run base. I left Bermuda 1964 to go to Cheyenne Wyoming to Warren Air Force Base. The three years I spent in Bermuda was the most beautiful part of my life. I was discharged at 1965 at that time I returned to Marshall University and became a high school teacher and head football coach. I missed my friends, especially James Phillips and Adrian Donaldson of Saraneck, New York. If anyone knows anything about the 1604th Air Police squadron please notify me by email, mail ,or call. Phone 843-450-3007. Email:email@example.com. Address: 730 Frontage Road East, Myrtle Beach, SC.29577. "
April 1961 to May 63 Steve Kelly was stationed at Kindley, assigned as a photographer with the 1604th AB Wing, Kindley AFB, Bermuda (1968-71 #22648). On 08 July 2002 he wrote: "I remember clearly being in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis and flying over the shipping lanes in a SC54 trying to figure out how to work a camera I had never ever used previously. I spent numerous hours documenting in photos the crash of a RB47 during the missile crisis. It crashed into a hill just short of a large house, fully loaded with fuel."
1961-64, M/Sgt Dorris Barcroft (who died 2/5/83) was stationed at Kindley AFB, as a corpsman at the Kindley hospital. He was the father of Jane Barcroft. On 22 Jan 2002 she e-mailed from Memphis, Tennessee to say " I love your web site - a wealth of information. We have a picture of him and Enis (the monkey who was in space and splashed down close to Bermuda!) taken at the hospital. There are five children in my family and my youngest brother, Timothy, was born in Bermuda in 1963. All of my memories of Bermuda are very special and wonderful Some of the best years of my life were in 8th, 9th & 10th grade at Kindley High School. We lived in Smith's Parish - our house was called "Cotton Patch." We returned to the United States in June, 1964 on The Queen of Bermuda. In July, my sister & I planned a trip to Bermuda and stayed at Harmony Hall in Paget. There was a "Reunion Cruise" planned for the week of 7/4 and many former students from Kindley High School returned to Bermuda. More than 38 years have passed since I lived there." Since 2002, still living in TN, she's been back to Bermuda often and has written two books of poems about Bermuda, Pink Sand Poems (2005) and Bermuda On My Mind (2007). Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 1961-1964, Thomas J. Harris (now at 12243 Raintree Drive, Panama City, FL 32404, email TJHCHIEF@aol.com) was at KAFB Bermuda, with the 53rd Weather Recon SQ Hurricane Hunters. He was the Crew Chief on WB-50 aircraft 337, the last WB 50 to leave Kindley. "It was a wonderful tour and I went on to stay in the USAF for 30 years. I retired in 1984 as a CMST."
1961-64, MSgt Charles R. "Dick" Knerr was assigned to the 1934th AFCS squadron at KAFB. His son Charles Knerr, of 2707 Kidd Drive. Pantego, Tx 76013, email CRKNERR@aol.com, writes: "After leaving the Air Force, he worked for a contractor at NASA. We lived off base on Bermuda, high on the hill near the Clay House Inn, Devonshire Parish. Two siblings: Jerry David and Bonnie Lee. My mother: Anna Knerr. I attended Kindley High School and commuted back and forth by bus or using my motor bike, which I had "fixed" with an illegal gear. I supported this motorbike and other expenditures with a bag boy job at the Supermart on Front Street in Hamilton. My fondest memories of the north shore include listening to various American stars perform at the Clay House Inn, including Redd Foxx and Aretha Franklin. I enjoyed fishing off the rocks nearby. The wonderful smell of cedar burning in our fireplace is still warm in my mind, as well as the sights of cruise ships and whales offshore. I recall very vividly shaking the hand of John F. Kennedy in August 1963 when he visited Bermuda for a summit with the Prime Minister of England. I also recall learning of JFK's death, while riding a bus home from school that fateful day in November 1963. And I remember attending a "cricket" match on the first day, shocked to learn the game might last five days . . . which it did!! I have often thought of returning. Island fever is in my blood . . . perhaps it all started on the various islands of the Bermudas. Bermuda is etched in my memories. . ."
1961 to 1964, Herman Tassoni (who retired from the USAF in 1972 and died on March 3, 1994) was stationed at KAFB Bermuda as an aircraft mechanic, with his wife and daughter Theresa. She was four years old when they first moved there. She attended the first and second grade of the KAFB school on base. After Bermuda, they were sent to Dover, Delaware. She writes: "Even though I was young while I was there I do remember some things, such as when President Kennedy drove past our apartment in December 1961. I remember all the people who lived near us made signs to greet him and all us kids got to wave at him. He actually slowed down and rolled the window down to wave back at us. I remember how clear the water was and also the hurricane that hit the island while we where there. If there is anyone who remembers my father or was there at the same time as we were, I would love to hear from you. He always liked Bermuda but never had the chance to go back to visit. You could write me at 215 Orchard Drive, N. Cape May, NJ 08204 or email me at email@example.com."
1961 to 1963, R. E. Greene, now of 1208 Allendale Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, (717) 691 0248, served at KAFB Bermuda, in the Bermuda Air Route Traffic Control Center with the 1934th AFCS. His colleagues included Gaible, Sundeen, McKenzie, Bowersox, Gatewood and Jolly. Memorable moments including meeting many entertainers at once-famous now gone local nightclubs and seeing the plane taking Mercury astronauts crash in Castle Harbour when learning to keep the capsule from sinking. He saw sharks in Castle Harbour at the time. He watched as two Canadian civil aircraft taking missionaries to Africa with a stop in Bermuda got confused, turned north in error and one crashed into the sea.
1961 to 1963, John Grey, now Rev John, email firstname.lastname@example.org, now of 3360 Brinkman Drive, Grove City, OH 43133 and a retired TSgt USAF, was stationed at Kindley AFB from 1961-1963 with the 1934th AACS Squadron. "I worked at both the weather station and the communications center. I also worked at the motion picture theater during my time off from work as projectionist, cashier, usher, etc. My good buddy stationed there with me was Jim Von Hagel and he just died in 2010 in Washington State. He and his wife Joan, who is also deceased, and their two children lived off-base and I was at their house quite often. I went with Jim to meet their plane when they flew in. It was unusual for a low ranking airman to bring his family to Bermuda. I remember in December 1961 when President Kennedy came to visit Prime Minister McMillan. I went down to the flight line to take pictures but his plane was late coming in and by the time he arrived there was too much shadow for the pictures to come out. I have the pix packed away because you can't make the President out too well. I remember the base pool tournaments - Jim and I usually came in 2nd or 3rd base-wide. An MP named Bill Sears and his partner Zeke usually won all the tournaments. Bill Sears was a big fellow and when the coast guard got too rowdy at the Airman's Club, they would call for the AP's and when Bill came in things quieted down pretty quick."
October 1961 to May 1963, a USAF officer - ultimately Brigadier General William M. Constantine - was stationed at Kindley AFB as a KC-97 aircraft commander.
November 1961 to June 1963, Marvin D. Crawford was assigned to 1934th
Communications Squadron (AFCS). "I came to Kindley fresh out of Radio
Relay Repair school at Keesler AFB, MS. I was a very young nineteen years.
I lived in the pink barracks across from the Base Commissary. I worked in
Mux Maintenance in P110. My bosses were TSgt. Wesley H. Litten, TSgt.
Roland Hughes and SSgt. James H. Oliver. Donald W. Foster, with whom I had gone to
tech school, arrived the same time I did and we worked together while at
Kindley. I remember a local man, Rodney Tucker, ran the barber shop
on base, which was located in the same building as my barracks. My email
Early 1962-63, Robert E. Jacob, now Captain USN, Retired, now residing at 613 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, Willow Street, PA 17584-9647, was assigned to the Naval Operating Base, Bermuda, with VP-49, one of the two seaplane squadrons based at what is now Morgan's Point. He writes: "At the time, I was a Lieutenant Commander. My flying assignment was as Patrol Plane Commander of a P5M-2 aircraft known as Woodpecker 8. A photograph of my plane taken in February 1962 along with WP-9 is included on page 190 in the Colin A. Pomeroy book "The Flying Boats of Bermuda". I gave a copy of it to Neal Stephens of The Reefs while visiting there in October 2004. The Reefs can be seen just below the hull break on WP-9. During my tour with VP-49, we experienced the Cuban Crises and I was the initial O-in-C of the detachment sent to Guantanamo Bay to operate surveillance flights around Cuba. My family thoroughly enjoyed our stay on your beautiful island. We lived at the Lantana Colony Club for several months upon arrival - regrettably, during our October 2004 visit we could not get into the area to see it."
Spring 1962 to fall 1964, Gary P. Brown was stationed at the US NOB (later the US Naval Air Station) Southampton. "My rank was ETN3 and I worked at the Tudor Hill Underwater Sound Lab. Commanding officer was Com Pinning. Frank Morrison was a Master Chief with whom I first worked. This past week (June 2008) I returned to Bermuda on a cruise and revisited the base locations I remembered only to find them closed and barricaded, which was sad but things change. I have so many good memories and experiences of Bermuda that will always be with me. I hope someone I was stationed with will contact me at my email address, email@example.com."
June 21, 1962 to May 27, 1964, Colonel Edward L. Jones was in command.
July 1962 to winter 1963 A2C Dominick Caruso was stationed at Kindley Air Force Base Bermuda with the 53rd WRS as an avionics technician with the WB 50s. Later, he continued with the 53rd at Hunter AFB, Savannah, GA. He now lives in Montrose, Colorado 81403.
1962 to 1963 Capt. William K. I. Manning, USAF, was the military obstetrician (OB-GYN), at the Kindley AFB Bermuda hospital. Children: William Jr; Michael; Leslie and Timothy. Wife Elizabeth. Michael at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org wrote this. "We lived in St. George's, then moved to a home across from the Swizzle Inn. Children attended school on base. One of life's most enjoyable experiences."
January 1, 1963 to December 1964, David Burgess - email DEBUNC@aol.com - was based at KAFB Bermuda. He now resides at 109 Rainwood Drive, Simpsonville, SC 29681. "I was stationed in the Headquarters Squadron of 1604th Air Base Wing. I was only 17 when I arrived. I reported for a while to Sergeant Agee Morgan and remember him fondly. Captain Mary Helen Pike was in charge of our office; her husband Captain Eugene Pike was Squadron Commander."
April 1963-April 1965, James K. Hamilton - email jkhamilton@Charter.net - was stationed at Kindley Air Force Base with the 1604th CES, crash rescue. His oldest daughter Joanna was born June 24, 1964 at KAFB hospital. He left the base with the rank of A2C. He is currently living at 103 Dagnall Circle, Laurens, SC. He wrote: "Bermuda was a beautiful place but very easy for an airman to get homesick."
April 1963 until his death in December 1965, S Msgt Ralph W. Ferguson was stationed in Bermuda at Kindley AFB as a member of the 55th Air Sea Rescue Squadron. He is survived by his wife, Doris, sons Ralph and Randy and daughters, Karen (Ferguson) Olander-Wells, Debbie and Vicki.
June 1963 to June 1966 Jerry L. Tanner, then A2C - A1C, was stationed with the 1604th FMS, Hydraulic Shop, Kindley AFB, Bermuda. Now retired (1 Sept 1978), he lives at 3358 Timbersedge Dr., Marietta, Georgia. His family are wife Marylon, son Scott, daughter Phyllis. "My daughter was born on 12 July in the base hospital. We lived off base (1) Davis Cottage, Vesey St. Devonshire, (2) Jerry Simons House, Harrington Hundreds, Smiths, and (3) Locust Cottage, Harrington Hundreds, Smiths. We loved the entire 3 years, our daughter is planning (reservations made) to go see her birth place and take pictures of the ex-homes."
July 1963 to March 1966 CDR Joe Davis, USN (Ret), email email@example.com - now living in Jamestown, NC, was stationed at NS Bermuda as the ASW Opcon Officer. "I found your website by chance. Our workspace was a window-less room on the south side of the main seaplane hangar. VP45 was on the north side and VP49 on the south side (along with the USCG air detachment). The NavSta aircraft was an HU16D which I and the other station pilots flew, except for the 2 UH34 helo pilots. Later, our CO had operational control of a rotating detachment of P3s based at Kindley AFB supported by the Naval Air Support Detachment. We were the Bermuda ASW Group (TG 81.5) under ComASWForLant (TF 81). My family lived on base in MOQ 401D right across from the O Club. It was great duty, but somewhat confining for our families who were stuck on the island. We pilots flew to the States about once a month or as we called it "the big Exchange." I have fond memories of NavSta Bermuda".
July 1963 through July 1965, James Dowling was stationed at Kindley AFB. On November 2, 2000 he wrote: "One of the most beautiful places on Earth. I met my future wife on Elbow Beach. Have been back three times, last was in 1995. Going back to Kindley (then a Naval Air Station) I found it to be in the process of closing, took a ride around the base on my moped and felt like I was going back in time. Hope to visit again in the near future, the “Great Place & Great People."
July 1963 through July 1965 Bob Clevenhagen AO3 was at USNAS, Bermuda.
On August 31, 2009 he wrote: "I just discovered your great site and 2
friends from over 40 years ago. Thank you so much. I think often of
1963 to 1964, Douglas Belleavoine was in the US Navy and stationed at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda as an AOAN in Naval Aircraft Support, the station armory. "Myself, AOAN Tom Rust and AOAN Joe Bonsey were transferred to Kindley AFB in 1964 to work at the newly established ordnance shop supporting the P3 squadron. I married Pauline Fox, from Spanish Point, on July 7, 1964. Our first son, Theodore, was born November 9, 1966 at KAFB hospital. Members of the ordnance shop were AO1 Tim Flannagan, AO1 Sam Harris, AO1 Carl Bates, AO2 Mike Munfort, AOAN Jerry Moore and AOAN LB Rogers. Red Tuttle was then and still is to this day my best friend. I left Bermuda in 1967 but have returned several times to visit my wife's family. We always stay with her cousin Pinky (Miss Pinks) and Baby Crane in St. George. My mailing address is 19687 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park, MD 20653. E-Mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to hear from anyone stationed at KAFB from 1964 to 1967. Thank you for an exceptionally fine web site."
1963-1964 Jim Nunn, email@example.com, was a CET3 Seabee Public Works Naval Air Station Annex. Worked in the telephone exchange and on lots of water breaks!
1963 to 1964, Andrew More, now living in Texas, was an air passenger specialist at Kindley Air Force Base. In July 2008 he told Bermuda's The Royal Gazette his job was to dump tons of human waste in a deep pit. He claims it has caused his ill health and stated he was asking for compensation. It is not yet known whether he received it.
September 1963 to September 1965, Edward Thompsett was stationed at KAFB, with the Navy Seabees. "I remember all the good times I had there. I also played with two bands, one was the Lively Ones (bottom photo below) and the other was The Country Rhythm Boys (top photo below). We played at all the service clubs on base, Airman's Club- NCO club and The Officers Club. We also did a big show at the base Movie house as some of the members of the group were being transferred to other duty stations as their tour was done in Bermuda, I attach some pictures of the bands. My email is and my mailing address is 43 Heritage Rd. Clinton Corners, N.Y. 12514.
September 1963 to May 1966 then-ATN3 -ATN2 Marvin G. (Yogi) Bair, email firstname.lastname@example.org - now residing in Madisonburg PA, was stationed at US NOB Bermuda and later moved to NASD at Kindley AFB. "In addition to electronic maintenance duties I was assigned maintenance and crew duties on the station aircraft (HU-16D and UH34G). Bermuda was my first assignment, I was young, single, and worked with some great peers and excellent mentors. What can I say except fantastic memories and great foundation for a continued career. Thanks to all and I would be happy to hear from any of you."
1963 to 1966, Jon Martino, from San Diego, California, was based in Bermuda, at the USCG Air Detachment and Station at Kindley AFB. At one point he was engaged to a Bermuda girl.
1963 to 1966, C. J. Berry - at email email@example.com - was stationed at the USCG Air Detachment at Kindley AFB until it was closed in 1966. "My rank was Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate. I now reside in Mobile, Alabama. My family and myself enjoyed our tour of duty in your beautiful island very much. We lived in "Dover Court" in Hamilton. Our children attended Mt. St. Agnes Catholic School. We have been back on a visit to Bermuda once since leaving Bermuda and it was great seeing the Island and some of our Bermudian friends."
1963 to 1967, Billy Lightfoot was based at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda, as an airman (E1-E3) working in the Aerial Port. He retires in September 2005 from the Georgia Air National Guard as a Chief Master Sergeant. (This information, previously unknown, was given to the author on 4th April 2005 by MSgt Michael E. Creo, First Sergeant 165 Aerial Port Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, at email firstname.lastname@example.org, who will be grateful for any information by email or post from anyone who served with Lightfoot at the time in Bermuda).
1963 to 1965, Pat Branigan - now living at 3418 Frontier Street, Cheyenne Wyoming 82001, phone 307-633-4718 - was stationed at Kindley AFB, as an Air Policeman. He writes: "I worked with Jim Dowling who I have not heard from in all these years. I would like to get his address (not known here in Bermuda) or have him given my address. I also have a picture of myself and Colonel Jones in 1963. I had wonderful friends in the local community that made my tour a memorable experience."
November 1963, the US Coast Guard detachment transferred from the U.S. Naval Station to Kindley because greater range could be gotten from its HU-16 Albatross aircraft by land takeoffs rather than water takeoffs.
December 1963 to December 1966 or January 1 1967, Thomas L. Brogan was based at KAFB Bermuda, as First Sgt of the medical group. He was there when the base hospital was closed and converted to a clinic. His American wife, Caroline, and children Michael 17, Beatrice 16, Carollynn 12, and Pat 11 were all happy dependants. The family's introduction to Bermuda was Norwood House in Bailey's Bay, where they enjoyed sunken gardens, grass tennis courts, a small island that broke the water between them and the ocean proper. They then moved on base late in 1964 and enjoyed the many amenities the base and St. David's Island had to offer. They left Bermuda in summer 1966.
Around January 1964, Technical Sergeant (E-6) Lowell (Micky) W. Belter, was in the 55th Air Rescue Squadron at Kindley Air Force Base. "He was my father. Our family (my mom & dad, my two brothers, and one sister) lived at "Blowwinds" on North Shore Road, Pembroke. Six months later, my father was on the HC-97 aircraft at Kindley AFB. His aircraft was assigned to NASA to train for the recovery of Gemini spacecraft as the last few Mercury flights had overshot the aircraft carriers by about 90 miles, and NASA was considering reassigning that mission to the US Air Force from the US Navy. On June 29, 1964, my brothers and I were swimming around 11 am when my dad's HC-97 and the C-54 from the Azores flew over us, wagging their wings. The aircraft flew in formation over Castle Harbour and then moved about two miles south of Castle Island. One plane had parachutists to practice jumping into the sea, while the other aircraft was taking pictures. They were flying about 1,000 feet above sea level. The first jumpers left the plane, and the C-54 banked to offset the lost weight. The HC-97, with more powerful engines, did not bank, and the two aircraft collided. This created a huge fireball seen on beaches miles away along Tucker's Town and John Smith's Bay. There were 12 men aboard each plane, for a total of 24. 19 personnel were killed, and the five who survived where parachutists who had either just jumped or were about to. Rescue craft were only able to recover nine bodies (not my father's). Astronaut Scott Carpenter, who was over at the Navy base working on SeaLab, attempted to recover remains, but the two mile depth prevented this. About two weeks later, my family and I left Bermuda on USAF transport back to the USA." Mike Belter, email email@example.com, 4275 Big Sky Court, Gahanna, Ohio 43230, USA. Editor's note: On June 29, 1964, two United States Air Force aircraft stationed at Kindley Air Force Base (KAFB), Bermuda, collided at sea of Bermuda during a NASA mission from Kindley AFB. 17 US servicemen died. They took off between 11:05 and 11:10 am local time. The first aircraft in the air was a HC-97G (serial number 522773), assigned to the 55th Air Rescue Squadron (55 ARS) at Kindley with 12 crewmen. The other aircraft was a HC-54D (serial number 4272590) assigned to the 57th Air Rescue Squadron (57 ARS) at Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores with 12 crewmen. The mission was for the aircraft to conduct an aerial photography mission to support the NASA Gemini program. It was necessary for the specially-trained para-rescue personnel (jumpers) to exit the aircraft, jump into the waters and install a flotation collar on the Gemini capsule. The planned mission was to have one aircraft with jumpers, while the other photographed the activities. The designated drop zone was about two to four miles south of Bermuda and about four to six miles from Kindley. Both aircraft arrived at the drop zone and because of the clouds, decided to fly the mission at 1,700 feet (below the clouds). Aboard each aircraft were photographers and para-rescue men. On the sea below, there were about three boats, one of which included a photographer, who filmed the aircraft’s operations. During the first run, the HC-97G took photos and the HC-54D was slightly forward and above, began deploying para-rescuemen. Right-hand patterns were flown, and photos were shot with the sun behind the cameras and at an angle that would not reveal any land surfaces. After a few passes over the drop area with all four para-rescuemen being deployed from the HC-54D, the aircraft changed positions. This placed the HC-54D slightly ahead and above and to the left of the HC-97G. After flying one dry run, and again in a right-hand pattern, two para-rescuemen deployed (jumped) from the HC-97G. Seconds later, the two aircraft collided. The HC-54D suddenly banked to the right, colliding with the HC-97G, hitting the wing or midsection of the HC-97G and sheering both its wing and the tail section, and both aircraft immediately plunged towards the water. A total of 17 Air Force personnel were killed. There were 7 survivors, all who jumped prior to the collision. Only five of the 17 killed had remains recovered.
April 1964 to January 1966 Kenneth Noto, at email firstname.lastname@example.org, was stationed at the US Naval Operating Base (later, the USNAS), Southampton. "I often visit your Bermuda Online site to refresh my memory about details of my stay that have been lost to me. I have been back to Bermuda quite few times since the late 80’s with my wife and we love to visit. Recently a number of US Military Veterans, including myself, have joined together for a group visit to the island we fell in love with so many years ago. We will be arriving in Hamilton Harbor August 28th 2012 on the Veendam. I’ve been trying to put together any photos, documents, stories, etc for the trip. A rather severe hurricane passed over the island when we were there. It did a good bit of damage. The emergency duty station for us was the motor pool, which at that time was located in the old seaplane hanger. We were safe enough, but were basically trapped without food. Several of us attempted to reach the galley for supplies but were driven back by the storm. At one point the eye passed directly over the base. We jumped into several vehicles and raced to the mess hall to stock up of food and ran back to the hanger as the eye passed by and the storm resumed. Other than our US Navy base which had it's own power house and underground utilities the only light visible from the base was Gibbs Hill Lighthouse."
July 1964 to July 1965, 1 Leut. Kevin A Zebrowski USAF was based at Kindley AFB Bermuda with MATS.
July 13, 1964 to July 18, 1966, Colonel Oren J. Poage was in command.
May 1964 to May 1966, Pete Cesere, at email email@example.com served in the USAF at KAFB with 55th Air Rescue. "It was my first assignment after Tech School. I'm looking for any others who served at the same time. "
1964-65, Al Harvey SN was based at US Naval Annex in Bermuda. "Worked in boathouse and on crash boat. Spent 6 weeks at Kindley Hospital." Email Al at firstname.lastname@example.org as he would like to hear from anyone who served with him.
1964 -1966, Larry Timmons was stationed at Kindley as an air policeman. "I first worked patrol and the gates and later was moved to the AP offices because I was the only one they could find who could type! I also worked at the Class VI (liquor) store on base. I lived in base barracks until I married in Aug. 1965. My wife, Sue, and I then lived in St. Georges, Frith's Apt #8. We had a great time with a lot of friends - including Keith Garrison, Richard (Jean) Reese, Marino (Bonnie) Rotondo, Larry (Linda) Watkins. Am now living at 1013 Chestnut St., Ashland, OH 44805 (419-289-2512). Contact me at my wife's email email@example.com."
1964 to 1967 Bill "Red" Tuttle was stationed in Bermuda, at both NOB and Kindley. "At NOB I mess-cooked and at Kindley I was in the Naval Aircraft Support Detachment NASD (see badge below I sent you on July 30, 2008). I have been in contact with Jim Bayersdorfer, Doug Belleavoine and Freddie Platt. It would be great to hear from any other shipmates who were stationed there during our tenure. I can be reached at email SHANEENGRAVING@AOL.COM. Please ID yourself as a Bermuda shipmate in the "subject" block. "
1964 to 1967 Max F. Foster and his wife were at NOB Bermuda. "I was a Navy CPO and did a lot of work moving our operational control to KAFB. We lived on Long Bay Lane in Sandys and loved it. I understand the area (Dorol Cottage) is to be rplaced. Miss the island and the people." Max F. Foster, 119 Paul Lane Crawford GA 30630 706-743-5650, email firstname.lastname@example.org
1964 to 1965, Phill Bee was a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman & surgical Tech at the US NOB at Kings Point, Southampton. "I supervised and ran the Operating Room Theatre at the dispensary." He married a Bermudian and now lives in Seminole, Florida 33772.
1964 to 1966, Jeff Linna of Cloquet MN, USA 55720, was based at the US Naval Annex in Bermuda. He wrote on September 25, 2001: "I enjoyed seeing some familiar scenes on your website. A total of 29 months of the best duty a sailor could dream of! My wife and I intend to come back to Bermuda in the not too distant future. The old Bermuda song tells you to come to Bermuda very soon with the one you love. We will be there. You have a wonderful website. I'm so glad I found it!"
July 1964 to July 1966, Dr. Barton Spitz, now of San Diego, California, was at Kindley, with his wife. He was Chief of Surgery at the Base Hospital. Sometimes, he assisted local surgeons at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. His youngest son, Scot, was born at Kindley. Dr. Spitz understands he does not have dual citizenship even though Dr. and Mrs. Spitz wife think of him as their most valuable Bermudian gift. Dr. Spitz later retired from the practice of surgery.
1964 to 1967, Cdr. Roger W Becker, USN, was the Executive Officer (2nd in command) of NAS BDA in Southampton Parish from 1964-67. "He was my father. I was born at Kindley AFB in 1958. We originally lived in the wee cottage on the hill above the captain's home. That too was an old cottage called Windswept, Quarters 'G'. My parents and I lived in Sound View and recall vividly my mother describing the historical significance of our home, Quarters 'B'. Particularly the Bermuda 'tub' ceiling. The captains home below, known today perhaps by it being next door to the Rockaway ferry dock, was called Far Rockaway. My Dad joined the USN after the attacks on Pearl Harbour. My folks were married in Washington DC in 1957 and honeymooned at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda. Dad was assigned to USN NOS Bermuda in early 1958. I was born in Nov at Kindley. In 1962 we were stationed for 18 months at NAS Brunswick, GA. Then back to BDA in 1964 to live in Sound View until April 1967. Dad retired from the Navy in 1967 and bought a home below Gibb's Hill Lighthouse where he lived until 1972 when he moved to Virginia Beach, VA. My dad was a big deep sea fisherman in Bermuda and elsewhere and was involved in many fishing clubs including his own IFGA club which he founded, Bums, Inc. and had many famous members including Lee Marvin and Jonathan Winters." Sent by Anthony C. Becker, email email@example.com.
Namely, sites that have an active hyperlink to this site and vice-versa. Others will be welcome if they too reciprocate the link and either relate directly to the former US military bases in Bermuda or are by persons who once served there, or their children.
October 1, 2015.
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