Basic training with the Air Force, 1954

I joined the U.S. Air Force in October 1954 at age 15. (I lied about my age, of course.) We had 11 weeks of basic training.

My fondest memory is playing pool with the Lackland Air Force Base pool champion. No one would play a game with him because he was too good for everyone. I had never played, so I took him on. Of course, I lost every game, but he taught me how to be a pretty good pool player and I enjoyed the game with him teaching. I didn't know he was the base champion until much later when someone told me after I told them I played pool with him.

My worst memory is one week of bivouac in November 1954 in San Antonio, cold and raining for three to four days and nights. Absolutely miserable! The cold water would run under our pup tent sides and we had to sleep in it. It was great training because we learned that wars are not always fought in nice weather. I served 22 years active and 11 years reserve.

Delbert H. David, Master Sgt., U.S. Air Force Ret.

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