Webmaster's note: These are excerpts from
recent e-mails I have received on the web site.
They are edited where appropriate.

Scott Sampson, 1969-1970

Wonderful site. Brings back lots of memories
of my childhood. Do you have or know of any
pictures of base housing from the late 60's
early 70's? Any information about the Bowie
school or the base theatre, commissary, BX
and cleaners.

Thanks for the great website.
Regards
Scott

Frank J Andruss Sr

Love the work you are doing on the web site. It
looks very good and I enjoyed going thru the
old photographs. It brought back memories of
a time when I had visited the Base over the
years.

Dick Miller

Looking good !! Do you know if there is an
organized Westover Air Force Base Veterans
Group ? I belong to the Sampson Air Force
Base Veterans Association. (Former basic
training base at Geneva NY). I also belong to
the 28th Wing Association (Ellsworth AFB).
These are both very active groups that hold
reunions each year and a lot of "chatter"
between members.
You might find the SAFB website interesting:
www.sampsonvets.com

Jerry Springman, 1958-1961 Rugrat

Lived at Westover 58-61. My Dad, MSGT
G.F.Springman, was an ECM operator on a
B-52. I believe he was with the 346th. He
retired from there. Many good memories from
there. Went up there a few weeks ago just to
look around. Not at all like I remembered. I
learned to hunt at the Rod & Gun club, worked
at the riding stables and also caddied at the
Golf course. The base was real busy back in
those days. Did a stint in the Marines from 66
to 70. My Dad could never figure that out.
Guess he figured I would join the Air Force.
Saw Viet Nam from the ground.
I enjoyed your site.........Thanks.

Fay Ward, 1960 -1964

My late husband,at that time, Lt. Col. Albert
Ward was in 8th AF HQ.I worked with the Girl
Scouts and later in the Base Library.
We lived in the Wherry housing on Davis Ave.
I was in the area, visiting a grandson in 2005
and was shocked to see all that empty space!


Fred Clark

Thank you for the great overview of Westover
AFB. My father was stationed there in 58 to 60
and we lived just outside the base. I still am in
contact with several friends from our time at
that base.

Art Spafford Jr

Another fine update to your site. Thanks
again. I have watched, for some weeks now,
early morning (0500) informational
programming including segments of "Cowboy
57" on both the A&E television network and it's
sister network, the Biography channel. The
programming is part of A&E's "Classroom"
series. In the black and white segment, which
runs approximately five minutes, many of the
Westover AFB crews, command post and
facilities are depicted. The original control
tower above the Base Hangar is displayed as
is a vintage Ford station wagon racing alert
crews down the "Christmas Tree" to awaiting
aircraft. The alert fighter "barns" are visible in
the background. The film ends with a
Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) over what
appears to be the Pioneer valley. 99BW
patches are visible on the aircrew member's
jackets. I remember many such MITOs as the
planes arched over the Connecticut River and
over flew our home in Holyoke. I recall the
event usually coinciding with supper around
1800. I've not had any luck finding a
commercial copy of Mr. Stewart's film nor have
I been able to find anything on either of the
network's Internet pages. They list only
"informational programming" for their
respective timeslots. There is a short mention
of the film under the Internet Movie Data Base.
Just thought I'd pass along this information on
the films broadcast. I'd be surprised if your
PAO shop did not have a copy of the film
archived.

Regards,
Art Spafford Jr.

J.N. Maxson

Andrew, the Emblems Picture looks great. FYI
when I sent you that picture of all Westover
emblems I think I failed to inform you of its
origin. It is a cut down copy of a picture of the
award presented to MSgt Frank Sylvanovich
for being the Top EWO in SAC (don't ask me
what year it covered). It was framed and had a
brass plaque attached to the lower part of the
frame so engraved when we presented it to
him. Years later Frank had agreed to send the
picture to me to be included with our material
honoring the Enlisted B-52 EWO's that served
on B-52 Combat Ready Crews at the Gunter
Enlisted Heritage Hall but he passed away
before he sent it. I tried for years to get it from
his son but to no avail. Frank had sent me a
photo of it and I trimmed off the edges to use it
as my computer wall paper and that is what I
sent you.....Keep up the great work it brings
back memories....Max

Dennis Thibodeau, President B-52
Stratofortress Association

This is a Great new Home Page. Now the B-52
model brings back many memories for me as
I personally worked on 608 many times and it
was crewed by my room mate at the time
Dave Moore. The real 608 is still in a lake in
the middle of Hanoi. It went down with a
Westover crew aboard. Some of them got out,
others didn't.
I will contact Dave and let him know that his
bird has been memorialized at Westover.

Thanks
Dennis Thibodeau, President B52
Stratofortress Association

Pete Ferraro

Andrew,
I also grew up in Concord under the departure
path of the Hanscom One SID and fondly
recall the beautiful noise of those 124's
passing overhead. Nice job on this site. Keep
up the good work.

Pete Ferraro

Arlie Burns, 8th Recon Tech Sqdn

When I got back to Westover in May 1967, the
8th RTS was at Stony Brook until 1970 when it
disbanded.
I  thought  you might want to add it to
the Westover Website.  ALL too often the
guy with the wrench is forgotten. This
brought tears to my eyes the first time I read
it. I wish we knew who the
author was, I would like to shake his hand.

-- Dennis Thibodeau
Former Westover Crew Chief  B52D
55-0111 The Miss Patty >

THE CREW CHIEF
The pilot was everyone's hero
He was brave, he was bold, he was
grand
As he stood by his battered airplane
With his goggles and helmet in hand

But for each of these flying heroes
There were thousands little renowned
And these the men who worked on
the planes
But kept their feet on the ground

We all know the name of Lindberg
And we've read of his flight of fame
But think if you can of his
maintenance man
Can you remember his name?

And think of the wartime heroes
And the acclaim that they all got
Can you tell me the names of their
Crew Chiefs?
A thousand to one you cannot

Now pilots are highly trained people
And wings are not easily won
But without the work of the
maintenance men
Our pilots would march with a gun

So when you see a powerful airplane
As it makes its way through the air
Remember the grease stained man
With the wrench in his hand
For he is the one who put it there
Patches of pride mark units' lineage at Westover
SAC
This famous emblem once
graced the B-52s and KC-135s
that flew at Westover.
Guestbook
The 99th Bombardment
Wing patch could be
seen on the left side of
the noses of the B-52s.  
The translation from the
Latin words is
"Aggressors Beware."
The 4050th Air Refueling Wing was
SAC's first flying unit at Westover. It
arrived with KC-97F and G-model
tankers in April 1955. In August 1957,
the 4050th became one of the first
SAC units to fly the KC-135
Stratotanker.
99th Air Refueling Squadron
SAC's "Mighty Eighth" Air
Force moved from Carswell
AFB, Texas, to Westover in
June 1955. For the next 15
years, strategies affecting
thousands of airmen and
aircraft were made at
Westover's headquarters.
The 57th Air Division
reported to HQ 8th Air
Force. It was assigned to
Westover from 1956 until
1969. The 57th
headquarters was in Bldg.
1100, which still stands
today near the base ellipse.
The 26th Air Refueling
Squadron was assigned
at Westover from April
1955 to August 1957,
when it relocated to
Plattsburgh AFB, N.Y.,
with its KC-97s.
The 384th Air Refueling
Squadron flew KC-97s out
of Westover from 1955 to
1965. The tanker crews flew
the last KC-97 from
Westover to the boneyard
on Nov. 10, 1965.
Webmaster's note: These are excerpts from
recent e-mails I have received on the web site.
They are edited where appropriate.

Scott Sampson, 1969-1970

Wonderful site. Brings back lots of memories
of my childhood. Do you have or know of any
pictures of base housing from the late 60's
early 70's? Any information about the Bowie
school or the base theatre, commissary, BX
and cleaners.

Thanks for the great website.
Regards
Scott

Frank J Andruss Sr

Love the work you are doing on the web site. It
looks very good and I enjoyed going thru the
old photographs. It brought back memories of
a time when I had visited the Base over the
years.

Dick Miller

Looking good !! Do you know if there is an
organized Westover Air Force Base Veterans
Group ? I belong to the Sampson Air Force
Base Veterans Association. (Former basic
training base at Geneva NY). I also belong to
the 28th Wing Association (Ellsworth AFB).
These are both very active groups that hold
reunions each year and a lot of "chatter"
between members.
You might find the SAFB website interesting:
www.sampsonvets.com

Jerry Springman, 1958-1961 Rugrat

Lived at Westover 58-61. My Dad, MSGT
G.F.Springman, was an ECM operator on a
B-52. I believe he was with the 346th. He
retired from there. Many good memories from
there. Went up there a few weeks ago just to
look around. Not at all like I remembered. I
learned to hunt at the Rod & Gun club, worked
at the riding stables and also caddied at the
Golf course. The base was real busy back in
those days. Did a stint in the Marines from 66
to 70. My Dad could never figure that out.
Guess he figured I would join the Air Force.
Saw Viet Nam from the ground.
I enjoyed your site.........Thanks.

Fay Ward, 1960 -1964

My late husband,at that time, Lt. Col. Albert
Ward was in 8th AF HQ.I worked with the Girl
Scouts and later in the Base Library.
We lived in the Wherry housing on Davis Ave.
I was in the area, visiting a grandson in 2005
and was shocked to see all that empty space!


Fred Clark

Thank you for the great overview of Westover
AFB. My father was stationed there in 58 to 60
and we lived just outside the base. I still am in
contact with several friends from our time at
that base.

Art Spafford Jr

Another fine update to your site. Thanks
again. I have watched, for some weeks now,
early morning (0500) informational
programming including segments of "Cowboy
57" on both the A&E television network and it's
sister network, the Biography channel. The
programming is part of A&E's "Classroom"
series. In the black and white segment, which
runs approximately five minutes, many of the
Westover AFB crews, command post and
facilities are depicted. The original control
tower above the Base Hangar is displayed as
is a vintage Ford station wagon racing alert
crews down the "Christmas Tree" to awaiting
aircraft. The alert fighter "barns" are visible in
the background. The film ends with a
Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) over what
appears to be the Pioneer valley. 99BW
patches are visible on the aircrew member's
jackets. I remember many such MITOs as the
planes arched over the Connecticut River and
over flew our home in Holyoke. I recall the
event usually coinciding with supper around
1800. I've not had any luck finding a
commercial copy of Mr. Stewart's film nor have
I been able to find anything on either of the
network's Internet pages. They list only
"informational programming" for their
respective timeslots. There is a short mention
of the film under the Internet Movie Data Base.
Just thought I'd pass along this information on
the films broadcast. I'd be surprised if your
PAO shop did not have a copy of the film
archived.

Regards,
Art Spafford Jr.

J.N. Maxson

Andrew, the Emblems Picture looks great. FYI
when I sent you that picture of all Westover
emblems I think I failed to inform you of its
origin. It is a cut down copy of a picture of the
award presented to MSgt Frank Sylvanovich
for being the Top EWO in SAC (don't ask me
what year it covered). It was framed and had a
brass plaque attached to the lower part of the
frame so engraved when we presented it to
him. Years later Frank had agreed to send the
picture to me to be included with our material
honoring the Enlisted B-52 EWO's that served
on B-52 Combat Ready Crews at the Gunter
Enlisted Heritage Hall but he passed away
before he sent it. I tried for years to get it from
his son but to no avail. Frank had sent me a
photo of it and I trimmed off the edges to use it
as my computer wall paper and that is what I
sent you.....Keep up the great work it brings
back memories....Max

Dennis Thibodeau, President B-52
Stratofortress Association

This is a Great new Home Page. Now the B-52
model brings back many memories for me as
I personally worked on 608 many times and it
was crewed by my room mate at the time
Dave Moore. The real 608 is still in a lake in
the middle of Hanoi. It went down with a
Westover crew aboard. Some of them got out,
others didn't.
I will contact Dave and let him know that his
bird has been memorialized at Westover.

Thanks
Dennis Thibodeau, President B52
Stratofortress Association

Pete Ferraro

Andrew,
I also grew up in Concord under the departure
path of the Hanscom One SID and fondly
recall the beautiful noise of those 124's
passing overhead. Nice job on this site. Keep
up the good work.

Pete Ferraro

Arlie Burns, 8th Recon Tech Sqdn

When I got back to Westover in May 1967, the
8th RTS was at Stony Brook until 1970 when it
disbanded.

Webmaster's note: These are excerpts
from recent e-mails I have received on
the web site, which also include
memories of Westover. I have inserted
links to help these veterans better tell
their stories.


Seeking 814th members

A2/C Tony Frisco
7169shep@comcast.net
814th Combat Defense Squadron
1958-1962

I’m looking for some old buddies. I notice a
Jeff Smith that served the same time I did.
Looking for a Sgt. Segan and a few others that
served in 814th CDS and Base police.                

Working the flight line with guys like, A1/C
West from New York, A2/C Williams from
Philly, S/Sgt. Robert Segan, both CDS and
Base Police, Joe Middleton Base Police and a
bunch of other guys.
I can't remember all the names, it's been over
50 years. Flight line was cold, base Police was
great, loved patroling the base.
A chapter in my life that I'll cherish forever.
If anyone knows where any of these guys are,
please e mail me @
7169shep@comcast.net
Or any other guys that I served with.


Thanks,
Tony

Recce Tecce now lives near base

Curt (Oscar) Holm
curt@theholms.us
8th RTS
1967-1970

Lots of fond memories and memories of
friends and fellow Airmen. Worked at the Base
Photo Lab (on main base); my barracks were
in "Stony Brook
." I recognize Richard
Hoffman's name on this page.
I now live and work very near the good 'ol
Westover AFB.


Retired chief remembers WAFB

Peter Schieferdecker
afpete@gmail.com
499  OMS/ 99 OMS
1964-1969

Arrived as a SSGT from Clinton-Sherman AFB
in 1964. Was a KC-135 (ramrod #61-308)
crew chief. All four of my children were born at
Westover. Had immigrated from Germany in
1956 to Manchester, NH . Went TDY to several
places in SEA., Korea, Japan and
Phillipines.         
From Westover to Seymour Johnson, Korat
RT AFB, Rhein-Main AB, Minot, Suwan rkafb
and again Minot.
Retired as chief master sergeant after 31
years. Last time at Westover was a few years
ago when i visited my daughter in Weare, NH,
truly enjoyed my time in Massachusetts.

499 OMS airman shares memories

Bob Schiltz
rschiltz@frontiernet.net
499th OMS
Jan 1963 to July 1966

Hi, I just happened to type in Westover AFB
today in Yahoo search and came onto this
website. Boy what memories these pictures
bring back to me.
I joined the Airforce two weeks after
graduating from high school in July 1962.
After basic training at Lackland, I went to
Chanute AFB in Illinois for training on the B52.
My tech school there was for "Jet over two
engines"  and was then shipped to Westover
in Jan 1963 upon completion.
As luck would have it being that my
classification was "Jet over two engines," they
were short crew members for the KC135s so I
was assigned to the 499th OMS instead of the
99th Bomb Wing. After being on the KC135s
for a short time, I soon found out how much
easier it was than crewing the B52s. I worked
in recovery for a short time, refueling,
inspecting etc. when they landed. I then was
assigned as a 3rd wiper, which is what the low
guy on a ground crew was called. About a
year later I became assistant crew chief on my
aircraft. I remember spending many days on
alert. We would stay on duty at the alert trailers
down past Hangar 3 for two twenty four hour
days then have 4 days off. I was married and
lived in Chicopee Falls. I worked part time at
Thom McCan shoes at Springfield shopping
plaza all 4 days off from alert. I used to make
more money selling shoes than I did as A2C
with hazardous duty pay.
We flew many Young Tiger missions to Guam
and Thailand and we would be gone 30 days
each time. We would do the refueling of the
B52s over Viet Nam. I could not have ended
up with a better specialty in the Air Force.
Laying in the back of the KC135 next to the
boom operator watching the B52 come up
under you and connecting our boom to it just
30 feet away was like the 9th wonder of the
world and I will remember those images
forever. I have never been back to Westover,
but will always remember those 3 years as
some of the best of my life. I can still feel the
cold going up my spine on those cold winter
nights out on the flightline, standing in the
wheel well monitoring the fuel distribution into
the different fuel tanks for our flight the next
day. Coffee at the coffee shop in Hangar 3
sure tasted good afterward. Anyway, so glad to
find your website.
Thanks so much, Bob Schiltz


Remembering the missile crisis

Ed Amos
eamos49@yahoo.com
99th A&E
4/60-7/63

I worked in the auto-pilot compass shop with
CMSgt Kouhry as our supervisor. Yeah
grinders were a great treat, especially when
the chow hall had liver.
Was on flying status for 2 years. Enjoyed it and
got paid for it too. Little did I know that the
chances of getting out of a B52 without an
ejection seat were slim to none.  Fondly (?)
remember ORI's, launch trucks in the winter
and the Cuban Missile Crisis. All in all I have
fond memories of my time at Westover.
God Bless All that gave the ultimate sacrifice
from there.
99th Field
Maintenance
Squadron
499th Field
Maintenance
Squadron
439th Aircraft
Maintenance
Squadron
439th
Maintenance
Squadron
Jim Musser
lojm2@msn.com
18th Comm Sqdn
10 Dec 62-27 Sep 65

My wife and I along with our 4 month old
daughter Jayne arrived at Westover in early
December 1962 in search of a place to live.
I had just completed a years tour on North
Mountain, remote from thule Air
Base,Greenland, at the 1983Comm's Tx
Site there.
We set up housekeeping initially at Gill's
trailer park which was located just outside
the main gate. I was assigned to the
Maintenance Section at the Short Order
Receiver Site, which was located out past
the rifle range and near the curve on the
road that went around to Stonybrook AFS.
"Short Order" was SAC's Primary HF Radio
Net. The system played a vital role in SAC's
system of Command and Control, enabling
communications with SAC bases and
planes anywhere in the world.The Receiver
Site also housed the Short Order Radio
Ops section.
The staff there routinely handled the "traffic"
of planes coming and going from the base,
as well as liasoning between the COC (aka
"Notch") ,and other Short Order
Stations, and other 8AF bases. We had our
own Power Production Section on site that
in minimal time could supply all power
needed to run the sites equipment in event
of loss of commercial power.
18thCOMM had their transmitter Site in
nearby Granby,MA. When you understand
all the intricate systems we had at WAFB
(HQ 8th AF) Everything was  duplicated at
Barksdale AFB,LA (HQ 2nd AF), March
AFB,CA (HQ 15th AF)and Offutt AFB,
Omaha,NE (SAC HQ).
All the redundancy was designed to ensure
that SAC would retain ability to Command
and Control SAC forces. If Omaha was
knocked out Westover could assume C&C,
etc. Westover, that is to say (SAC) was a lot
different than Thule.
Security was much more rigid. To this day I
regret not having snuck some photo's of my
duty station (cameras were not allowed).
The noise the Buff's made was loud
normally but really LOUD during MITO
scrambles(and even on the coco alerts). My
wife and I used to joke that B-52 wheels
sometime rubbed the trailer roof. Later we
moved to South Hadley Falls and sleep
was easier to obtain. Some other
memories include seeing the Kennedy's
when they landed at WAFB in Oct of 63,
enroute to Amherst to dedicate a library I
think it was. And of course the fateful day in
November when the CIC was assassinated.
I was on duty at the time and we got the
Deedle-Deedle (Alert Sound)"This is
Dropkick with an alert message....THIS IS
NO DRILL...I SAY AGAIN.. THIS IS NO
DRILL".
Then they issued us M-1's and locked the
base down as we went to DEFCON 3. In
January of 64 we had a BROKEN ARROW
when a B-52 went down near
Cumberland,MD.
I was a member of the 8AF Disaster
Control Team, but was alternate for this
event. A2C Frank Sis (from MD) went down
to set up field communications for this
accident. It was an ordeal due to a heavy
snowstorm at the time. Our second
daughter Karen was born in the Westover
Hospital in July 65.
Although I mustered out in Sept 65 I still
remember the tremendous Pride of the
people on Westover. SAC had slogans like
"Peace is our Profession", and "Zero
Defects" (not a bad idea dealing with
Nuclear Weapons, and the multible
millions of dollars of equipment... right?)At
that time with WAFB, having a fighter wing,
a Bomb Wing, and a refueling wing, and
8AF HQ, Westover was the largest
employer in MASS. I was on North
Mountain in Greenland during the Cuban
Missile Crisis when we went to DEFCON 2.
Then while at Westover I regularly drove by
the Recce Tech and Film labs buildings
without understanding then, the role they
played in the Cuban Missile Crisis the
previous year.
I enjoy your website. Keep up the good
work.
Thanks.
This 814th Combat
Defense Squadron
patch as worn from
1956 to 1964.
(courtesy of Alan
Hayes)
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