Here is an interesting conversation that’s going on on Facebook. I thought I’d post it here so those of us who are not followers of the social media site would have an opportunity to chime in on the conversation if interested.
Jeffery Glenn Scism
6:19pm Oct 27
The most unique person I have worked for was Eugene Bolka, AKA Obscene Gene. Worked with him at PSD, and for him at Osan. His hobby was collecting dirty jokes.
6:19pm Oct 27
Also, SMSgt Kent. Man loves 2903. Never found a wrinkle on his uniform. And was very eager to mentor young airmen.
6:39pm Oct 27
I had dozens of opportunities to talk with Chief Binnicker; what an amazing guy! As an Airman, I remember going to the club on Friday afternoons. We (ALS) would sit around the table and listen to the old-timers tell stories and dish out advice. I missed that after the military decided drinking was a hanging offense…learned a lot during those talks. I sat down, kept my mouth shut, and listened. That’s what I did with Chief Binnicker; we would sit down for lunch, dinner (whatever) and listen… I still miss him!
Jeffery Glenn Scism
5:33pm Oct 29
I had 16 years in Life Support, Great places to work, and really great leaders in the shops. Clyde T. Ross, Ed Mackenzie, James Scott, Byron Smith Youngblood and Yeager, and as NCOIC, Waymond McGee, Eugene Bolka, and Udo C. J. Fischer.
9:12am Nov 9
John Nussbaum was my first superintendent followed by Larry Crawford and George ‘Andy’ Anderson. All were outstanding Life Supporters and excellent teachers. Nussbaum was crusty and smart as hell. Crawford was quiet, serious, but kind and Andy, well, he was Andy!!
The 479th TTW supported 4 AT-38 squadrons. In any given month we had 150 IPs and 200 students with each squadron flying around 40 lines a day. This meant we had a shitload of post-flights to do. We had a dedicated post-flight subsection. I’d been there about two weeks and was assigned to the early post flight shift which meant I had to open the shop and make the coffee. My trainer, Skip Young told me “Sergeant Nussbaum gets here around 6 and goes straight to the coffee pot. You open at 5, flick on the lights and make the coffee. If it ain’t ready expect to get your ass chewed. Got it?” Got it, I said
So I open up, flick on the lights and make the coffee. But I didn’t drink coffee and I didn’t know how to make coffee and the coffee pot was the one place in the whole shop that didn’t have an OI or some sort of instructions.
It was one of those old silver 55 cup percolators with the glass tube. The aluminum coffee tray had graduated markings for how much coffee to put in so ignorant me filled it to the line that said 55. An hour later John Nussbaum crosses the threshold.
Mornin’ Sar’n Nussbaum says I
I get a gravelly Mor’n back as he beelined for the coffee. A few seconds later the stream of profanity coming from the breakroom was epic in volume and originality. Airman Burney get your ass in here!! So I did. Terrified.
He calmed down and asked, “Son, what the hell did you do?”
I explained my dilemma of not having any guidance and he said ok and showed me the scoop (half a styrofoam cup) and said “5 of these. That’s it”
From that day on we had a coffee OI, and I got to brief all the new airmen on how to make the coffee.
9:36am Nov 9
As for characters I would say Terri Spalding out of Langley Air Force Base my first assignment.
10:46am Oct 27
As an old life Support troop I have worked with some incredible leaders and mentors…and some real characters!
My first Superintendent was MSgt Edmund Herbst; hung the phone up on Colonels, laughed like Herman Munster, always sounded like he was out of breath when he talked, and his farts would melt through a charcoal impregnated ACDE! But he was a great guy that cared about the people under him…
Anyone remember him?
Who was your biggest character?
Eugene “The Jeep” Bolka. Worked for him at Kusan in 1980. He so reminded me of that dog (jeep. jeep) on Popeye.
This may go back awhile, but I remember working for SMSgt William Leighton in Life Support at the 4550th Sea Survival School (TAC) at Homestead AFB Florida. A true patriot and professional.
I worked with most of these guys. They were all great to work with including Victor Sanchez. Thanks to them I ended my career in charge of the life Support Shop and the 1st Sargeant for the 310th at luke A.F.B.
I had the opportunity to work for James Rooney in 1972 at McGuire AFB He was cool calm and smart treated everyone equality and trained us to be the best in life support
I would place AL LOVING at the top of the list. He was not only a great friend, but instilled pride in everything he did. He paved the way for me later in my career for the opportunity to be a Life Support Instructor at Chanute. No only the basic course. But the Supervisor Course and ACES II travel team. Continue to stay in touch with him for 47 years. We worked hard and played hard…the best!
My vote was Eugene “the Jeep” Bolka. 80th TFS, Kunsan Korea in 1980. Second choice was SMSGT Johnnie Damron, Edwards AFB, CA from 1981 – 1984. RIP.