Tom Gamble USAF

Pilot wings (and commission): 9-15-51, Vance AFB OK

No favorite airplane - really liked all of them - T-6,T-28,TB 25. T33 (over 2,000 hours), F-80, F-84, F-86D (not so good), F-94A/B, F-1OO, T-34, T-38.

As an 18-yr old, was in the Navy at end of WW1I (in boot camp when they dropped the Bomb); The Korean War broke out the week I graduated from college, so I entered the avcad program to escape being recalled as a swabby.

Got into jets right after graduation, went to Tyndafl for T-33 and F-94 checkout. Fought the Korean War at McGuire, shipping out just alter the cease fire to Japan for the first of three tours there- 68th FIS at Itazuke.


Back to Texas as an F-86D IP at Perrin (Denison), then to Japan again (by now a captain) as an advisor to the Japanese Self Defense Force, flying meatball-equipped T-33s and F-86D for two years.

In 1960, with new wife in tow, to ADC SAGE in Maine, where first child was born. Another tour in Japan followed at a Japanese radar site and, later, base flight at Yokota.


Now back to Craig as a T-33 IP; led the last flight of ATC T-33s to the Davis-Monthan boneyard. T 38 training squadron operations officer (made light colonel there).

Laos, and Cambodia before spending a miserable 8 months at 7AF HQ as a staff weenie to add insult to injury. I finally started earning my pay with a tour in F-100s out of Phan Rang in Vietnam, piling up 95 missions in South Viet Nam.


 


Passed over to bird, and retired a Moody in 1973 while in a major's job.

Retired in 1973, remaining in Georgia for two years to garner an MBA at the local Georgia college. 71 returned to my home town in 1975 to work for five years as an administrator at my old high school, finally burning out and resigning. At least my two kids were able to get good secondary educations and go on to good northeastern colleges.

 

 

 

After 18 years in Albany, working in blue collar jobs and picking up an MA in history under the GI bill, I decided to get out of the big, empty house and the snow belt, moving to Santa Rosa in 1993 with my long-suffering wife.

Life here has been good. Darkened only by the death of one of my kids in an accident.

As I look back on my career. I have few regrets. I made a few bad decisions along the way which probably hurt my chances at higher rank

But all in all, it was satisfying, with the usual hours and days of boredom leavened by the moments of stark terror, exhilaration, and triumph!