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Carpenter, Kenneth A. (1964-1967)

Profile added 12/30/2011 12:13:58 AM

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Hometown:  Southbridge, Massachusetts

Unit at Loring:  42nd Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron

First day at Loring:

It was a beautiful summer day. I arrived in Aroostook County at Presque Isle Airport via a Northeast Airlines DC-3 (the last true tail-wheel equipped commercial airliner.) The flight up from Boston was an absolute thrill especially the low and slow portion over the Atlantic and Penobscot Bay.  After a year of basic at Lackland and tech school at Chanute Field in Illinois, I was excited to finally be where the action was and the real Air Force resided.  I can’t remember much about the actual reporting in to the 42 AMMS.

Most memorable experience:  

One cold winter night the facility air conditioning system for the AMMS hanger and shops malfunctioned (froze up?).  Since our bench testing of the guidance system black boxes required chilled air I was detailed with a pal from graves shift to secure a ground power cooling unit.  Off we went with a small tug to get one.  I will never forget being outside in minus 45 degree temps starting up this unit and connecting the large hose to the outside coupling connector of the hanger. What a crazy experience!

Last Day at Loring:  

After 38 months of time in grade (the stingy promotion process of the Air Force in the mid-60s) and the experience of three long winters in Northern Maine, I was prepared to be moving on to the next chapter of my life. It was a great experience and I was proud of my service.  Working with a digital computer in 1963-67 and the guidance system of the Hound Dog missile (the granddaddy of the current cruise missiles) was special.  My late wife of 40 years, Marcia, and I were married while I was there in late 1965. She and I lived off base in Caribou, and she was employed as a civilian employee at Loring with the CE and Supply Squadrons (1965-67). We had fun (including driving through the Allagash to attend Québec Winter Carnival's and did a lot of growing up there as two young kids.  My final drive south on 23 June 1967 was done with buddies from the AMMS Guidance Shop who were discharged with me and heading home too.


What did you do after Loring:

Attended University of Massachusetts at Amherst and secured a BBA and MSBA with the help of the GI Bill. I retired in 2007 after a career in public accounting, financial management in private industry and state government, college teaching and international agricultural development.  In 1993 I flew back non-stop from Moscow to JFK in New York and cross into the USA within sight of Loring. I thought of the irony of this experience; in 1964-67 I was part of SAC ready to launch B-52s with Hound Dogs to Russia and ready to be on the receiving end of a Soviet ICBM while in 1993 I was returning from the new Russia after consulting with its new private independent farmers and cooperative managers.  What a personal ending to the Cold War!


If you agree, people can contact you at (email):  kcarpva3@gmail.com