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Tue, April 23

Gary Smith, U.S. Air Force

Gary Smith

City of Residence: Prescott

Branch of Service: USAF

Dates of Service: 1966-69

During the latter part of 1968 I was stationed at Kadena AFB in Okinawa. At the time I was a sergeant (E-4) assigned to the Field Maintenance Squadron machine shop. We were there to support air operations conducted by Strategic Air Command B-52s for daily bombing runs over Vietnam. During one particular mission at night one of the bombers could not launch due to a wheel brake not releasing. We were called out to assist other departments. While we were frantically trying to fix the problem, I handed the light to the airman behind me. He in turn must have dropped the light several times. So without turning around to see who he was I asked him, "How many more times will you drop the light?" He told me never again. Once we fixed the problem, we all climbed back into the line truck and headed back to the shop. It was during the ride back this airman returned my flashlight. However, he was not just an airman but actually a two-star general! We all had a good laugh over this incident.


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