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Heins, John (1956-1958)

Profile Added:  5/4/2011 1:55:01 AM

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Hometown:  Linden NJ

Unit at Loring:  42nd Tactical Hospital

First day at Loring:  Mid July, I was picked up at Caribou train station in Khakis by my friend Bob Mosher. Temperature was in the Low 40's. Bob had to use defrosters on the car,while driving to base, in order to see to report for duty. We toured Caribou and Limestone en route to Loring, all in about ½ hour. We stopped at the diner outside the Main Gate for coffee.

Most memorable experience:   Driving on ice-covered roads 50+ miles to Canaan's bar in Madawaska, Me, to meet Canuk girls. Driving a 6X6 truck to Presque Isle AFB with hospital laundry. 102"of snow in 1957. Walking from barracks up hill to Hospital in -30 degree, 30 MPH wind weather, having to walk backwards in order to make progress.Going on a squadron picnic at Long Lake on June 30th with ICE still around the edge of lake. Playing inter-squadron soft-ball and tag football.

Last Day at Loring:   I worked with some great people in Orderly Room, including my supervisor A/1C Joe Robertson, Co-worker A/1C Charlie Daniel, M/Sgt Thomas 1st Sargent. T/Sgt Gonzalez NCOIC, Lt. J. Gusloff, OIC, Major Joseph Quenk, Hospital Administrator and Col. Eugene Banks, Commander. 

Being in the Orderly Room assigned to the task of preparing the Daily Morning Report afforded me an opportunity to familiarize myself with everyone assigned to the hospital unit. We also cut all the personnel orders for actions within and outside the squadron; knowing full well what affected each individual. It was difficult to give up all these relationships at once, en route to Tripoli, Libya and my next assignment at 7272nd USAF Hospital.


What did you do after Loring: Re-assigned to Wheelus AFB in Tripoli, Libya to the 7272nd USAF Hospital where my function was again in the Orderly Room, with additional duties to include Air-Evacuation Coordination, loading and unloading patients and accepting responsibility for patients' records. I also was assigned work in the Out-patient Clinic scheduling patient visits and taking information from patients and entering for records purposes.

Wheelus AFB was used to coordinate the transfer of patients between near-Eastern bases, Italy, Turkey, Greece and onto Wiesbaden, Germany. With the outbreak of hostilities and our military involvement in the civil war in Beirut, Lebanon in 1958 the US started to receive casualties too numerous to involve transferring through Wheelus and resulted in re-assigned me to Incirlik AFB in Adana, Turkey where the Turkish base in NATO was used as a logistical support operation for the Beirut conflict. Eliminating Wheelus and sending patients directly onto Germany.

Once again, I worked for the 1st Sargent in the Orderly Room along with additional assignments, including maintaining medical records, preparing reports and correspondence, typing orders,A&D reports , admitting and discharging patients;  all using manual typewriters and mimeograph sheets and stencils.

Air-evacuation was my responsibility, as well as bringing chow from the mess hall to the hospital to feed patients and staff. This required driving a "cracker-box ambulance with stick shift.

After being discharged upon return to Stateside, I was hired by Public Service E & G as an underground electrical helper, moving on to Passenger conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad, owner-operator of Newark Taxi medallion, owner of limousine service, and finally into the Security field, retiring from ADT/Tyco Industries.


If you agree, people can contact you at (email):john.heins@verizon.net