An airman's time in service

Pocatello, ID

Right out of high school in 1967 I left home for the first time for the Air Force, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, on August 10, 1967, for basic training.

Little different climate than Pocatello, Idaho, hotter, more moisture in the air, big spiders clowning on the ground while you are standing at attention. Finally basic training’s over and you are headed to your second training base via train, with sleepers. I remember my train roommate and I got out our hot uniforms, sitting and watching out our window. Must have dosed off, we woke up and we were in some big city people glancing in our window. Closed the blinds and put our uniforms back on. Mine was Chanute Air Force in Rantoul, Illinois for tech school.

When we first got to Chanute Air Force in Rantoul, Illinois, I was listed to start training for single engine jet. Chrysler was testing its turbo car back then, I thought it would give me an opportunity for work when I got home. I was in (PAT) for three months, I was called in to the office, and told I was being transferred, transferred to what, where, you will stay here but you are going to ICBMs.

I said my scores are not quite high enough for ICBMs, they said hide and watch, after thinking about it, I was upset at all, at the time, about the only thing with single engine jet was the turbos on choppers. That mint a possibility of an overseas tour. (One of two time of my enlistment that I can thank the good lord).

My second time, still at Chanute Air Force in Rantoul, Illinois, it was Christmas holiday. I checked out and went up to Chicago on the train. I got there around 5 am.

I was enjoying the sites, and around 3 pm, I stopped off at the USO Club, sitting there talking to other GI’s when I got this feeling that I needed to get back to the base. I got back to Rantoul, Illinois, and checked in. I asked barracks guard if there was any messages for me? He looked and said no.

I told him I would be at USO Club off base. That is where I got my call from my brother-in-law in Idaho that my uncle who had raised me and put me through school, had been killed in an auto accident.

After graduating, I left Chanute Air Force in Rantoul, Illinois, and my first main base was France E Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, 90th MIMS I stayed there for a while I took a year and half early out and reenlisted for four more years and a $5,000.00 check. I later transferred for my last two and half years to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, 341st MIMS that’s my winters were worse than Idaho. I mean one burner Coleman Stoves under the engine oil pan to heat the oil up enough to let the engine rotate and start. Then heat your manual transmission up while riding the clutch!

I got out in February of 1974.

— Airman III Class/ Buck Sgt. James Humble

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