"You don't know where you are going, if you don't know where you came from, and how you got to where you are!" JB 3:16, 9/99

Serving in the Armed Forces - USAF Days


United States Air Force - 1966- 1970
Sgt. James B. Anderson, II
Vietnam War Era
Nuclear Weapons Specialist
8th Air Force
509th bomb Wing
41st MMS *
Expert Marksman / National Defense / Good Conduct
   (Vietnam War Era)

& as a Communications Specialist
1916th Comm Squadron
during 'Project Arc Light'


*
On October 1, 1972, the 40th MMS and 41st MMS from Plattsburgh and Pease AFB respectively were inactivated and activated the next day as the 380th MMS and 509th MMS. This action was part of a SAC-wide move to give munitions maintenance squadrons the same numerical designation as the wing to which it is assigned.


 The 509th Bomb Wing traces its historical roots to its World War II ancestor, the 509th Composite Group, a unit formed with one mission in mind: to drop the atomic bomb. 

The group made history Aug. 6, 1945, when the B-29 "Enola Gay," dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The "Bockscar,"  visited the Japanese mainland Aug. 9, 1945, and dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

The 509th would settle in at Roswell Army Air Base, N.M., where it became the core of the newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC).

The 509th BW moved its personnel and equipment to Pease AFB, N.H. in August 1958. By 1965, the B-47s and the 509th BW were slated for retirement.  SAC, however, decided to keep the bomb wing alive and equip it with B-52s and KC-135s. 

The 509th Bomb Wing was activated for the Vietnam War.
It was a war that many people did not support!
Many Veterans of the Vietnam War Era were mistreated and dishonored by Americans who blamed them for the huge life loss during the war campaign.

What was amazing was that Americans spent their lives degrading and blaming the Veterans, marching in protest, burning draft cards, leaving the country to avoid the draft, as cowards do, BUT NOT ONCE, NOT EVEN ONE TIME, did you ever see a protest, or parade, or card burning for the American lives lost here in the states in the same time frame!

What lives you say!?

While they complained and protested about the 45,925 war heroes that died in Vietnam 1961-1972,  
NO ONE MADE ANY EFFORT on behalf of the 143,550 who died in their homes due to fires in the same time frame!!!

That information was a keystone in the report of the National Commision on Fire Prevention and Control called America Burning.  (Click here to read the report) SOUND FAMILIAR?!


The War in Iraq and other countries that we help to gain freedom and democracy has been an issue to those who have never served their country, and to those who did but never knew why they served.


I spent 9 months in Denver Colorado at Lowry Air Force Base in Technical school studying electronics and then each Nuclear Weapon used by our Armed Forces.  The back gate led right into the now famous Columbine school area of Aurora, CO. But the area was absolutely gorgeous with the mountains, the snow, (if you didn't like the weather, wait 10 minutes -it would change!), and the countryside.

I became a member of the Lowry Golden Eagles - Drum & Bugle Corps - and I spent many of my weekends traveling around the state doing performances with the corps. Our most memorable was to  be in downtown Denver on Memorial Day, as the sun broke through the clouds and we were a highlight of the parade! Gov. John Love asked if we would perform at
Denver Univ. stadium for the Memorial Day show. In front of  over 30,00 people we did our highlight Drum Corps performance that included "Over the Rainbow", "Black Saddle", and I had a drum solo as well! It was an awesome standing ovation from the crowd as we marched off the field!

Yet, at 6pm that night, as we left for the chow hall, we had 4" of snow!!!



[We often traveled
to the US Air Force Academy, Breckinridge Ski Resort, Loveland Pass Resort, and lots more doing parades, show presentations, and music performances.]


But the 4 hour horseback ride that I went on in the Garden of the Gods Mountains was BEAUTIFUL!!!

But it came to an end as we graduated and went to the field to do the highly technical job we were trained to do: ensure that every Nuclear weapon complied with time compliance changes on critical components, tested and repaired every detail of the weapons, and loaded them onto clip-in assemblies for the other team members (munition loading specialists) to load onto the aircraft.
Originally scheduled for a base in England, my orders were changed when an LCHS classmate of mine from '66 was nailed for bringing drugs back to the US from Vietnam. It had delayed my Top Secret clearance as Army Intelligence, that was handling my clearance, arrested him, conducted that investigation, and then finally finished my clearance!!! Because of the delay, I got Pease AFB NH - NEW England instead!!!!  Arrggghhh!!!

But I was 1 of 14 in a shop of 10 when I arrived in August of '67.  But by November, there were only 5 of us left. The rest had deployed overseas. With Sgt Barry L. Team Leader, Sgt "Zeb" Z, CMSgt Nathan H., and SMSgt Ray B., we formed the only team in the 8th Air Force to receive 7 out of 8 Highly Qualified ratings on specific Weapons operations evaluations. We were proud of that - and the team we had.  B-52's were the Aircraft on line with KC-135 Fueling Tankers as well. They had just begun bringing us new higher tech weapons and new fighter bombers [FB-111's] when I left the service in the summer of '70.


This is the weapon I primarily worked on for 3 years - not classified anymore - right off the web now! The MK28 was the 'mainstay' of SAC during the 'Cold War' 
and have yet to be completely dismantled by the Defense Department (as of 2012).


Mk28 [Mk 28 FI Mod 1]

The FI, for "Full Fuzing Internal" was developed to adapt to new low-level delivery techniques of the Air Force in the 1960s, and is the only model of this bomb equipped for air, ground, and delayed action. 

It had 4 different delivery options against the enemy and had 1.1 Megaton of power for each weapon on board the Aircraft. 


"You May Be a Nuclear Weapons Specialist If..."

You use TP-35-51 to work on your car.
Your first reaction to an international crisis is "Nuke em!"
You love the smell of MEK in the morning.
You laugh at the so-called "nuclear experts" in the media.
You have a mushroom cloud screensaver.
You've used a Kimwipe as a coffee filter.
You were disappointed when it was only an "elephant walk".
You thought Eastman 910 was sticky.
A zipper is either an "interlocking slide fastener" or a "neutron generator".
You claim to "fix typewriter's" for a living.
You can order a beer in two, three, or more languages.
You want to bring back airborne alert and QRA.
You miss doing B43 LLC's.
You miss the AIR-2A Genie.
You know what USAFE, EUCOM, and USAREUR mean.
You've done a "carrier landing" at the enlisted club.
You've visited Rocky Flats, and survived.
You've eaten food in North Africa and the Far East, and survived.
You think the USAF tech school should be at Kirtland.
You have a copy of "Dr. Strangelove".
You're an expert painter and craftsman.
You don't miss MSET!
You do miss SAC.
AFN-TV commercials still bring nightmares.
You've been stationed at places you still can't talk about.
You love demolitions training.
You know all the words to "Ein Prosit!"
You think beer tastes good with cola and a lemon in it.
You've learned to eat pizza with a knife and fork.
You knew people with names like "Udo", "Dieter", "Heiko", and "Heika".
After Germany, you know every "Sprockets" episode.
You've been to the DMZ.
You've seen the Berlin Wall. 
Your workplace was a floating airport.
You know that "BUFF" really doesn't mean "Big Ugly Flying Fellow"
You can insult anyone in five different languages.
You know what a "pram, boot, nappy, and biscuit" are.
You've done an LLC standing inside the bomb!
You know who St. Barbara is.
You've survived NATO TAC Eval's and detest MOPP gear.
After PACAF, the neighbor's dog looks appetizing.
You know that "EOD" means "Every One Drinks!"
You know "Caddyshack" by heart.
"IYAAYAS" means "If You Ain't Ammo, You Ain't Sh*t!"
You know from firsthand experience that "Army Intelligence" is a contradiction of terms.
The shop motto is "BOHICA".
You know there's no such thing as a "peace dividend".
Your team members were named Curley, Moe, and Larry.
You've mastered the "million dollar screwdriver" on an E-1's salary.

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