View Full Version : What were you doing in your 21st year???

01-02-2010, 12:46 AM
Pilot Charlie Brown---- trying to return to England after bombing run over Germany, December of 1943. Painting shows his B17 bomber, helpless and dying but still flying and shadowed by ME109 with German pilot refusing to finish him off.

21 year old bomber pilot Brown refused to land, was escorted to English Chanel, exchanged salutes with the German and flew on to eventually land in England. Brown and ME109 pilot became good friends in later life.

What were you doing in your 21st year???


True story, see Charlie Brown B17 in Snopes.


Tony Ennis
01-02-2010, 01:17 AM
Men sure seemed to have more brass back then.

01-02-2010, 01:47 AM
If he is 21 years old he is in his 22nd year.

Men sure seemed to have more brass back then.

What choice did they have? Bomber air crew had the highest death rate of just about any in WWII. 30 missions required with only a 29% chance of making it alive.

01-02-2010, 02:25 AM
I had the honor and pleasure of working with a retired Air force officer who had been a B-17 pilot in WWII. He had an uncanny ability to pick the right course of action when faced with conflicting information.

I often wondered if that was a result of his war experience, or the reason he survived it.


01-02-2010, 02:33 AM
Hmm ... The day I turned 21 I spent driving to a physics conference. Since then, I have led an entirely ordinary life as a physics student and spent the last several days feezing my bum off and scraping shape parts :)

Fantastic story. Thanks for sharing.

<edit> My Grandfather was a B17 pilot in the Pacific.

01-02-2010, 02:58 AM
21?? Ummm.. I guess I was in the gulf. Persian gulf. I was on a ship doing escorts for tankers cause the Iranian small boats were trying to stop the flow of oil out of the gulf. Then we got the order to secure (destroy) all of their off shore oil rigs and anything that moved off the Iranian shore including aircraft.

For me that was the start of the Gulf war because we were siding with Iraq in an undisclosed manner against their long time battle partners, Iran.

So when we took Iran out of the picture that let Iraq, our at the time allies, move freely throughout the area and on into Kuwait. We know what happened after that.

I think it is ok to let waring parties keep to their own affairs. They tend to occupy themselves...

I think we got played by the Iraq gov. and look where it got us some 20 years later.

Trying to play the role that the Russians did 23 years ago in Afganistan.. They had to pull out after years of nothing. I imagine we will pull out after years of nothing in Afghanistan like Russia did.

Maybe we should employ some of the Russian Generals from back then to let us know you cant fight that battle. But yeah, 21 years old seems like yesterday.. JR

01-02-2010, 03:30 AM
21 yrs old- I was not doing anything so commendable as putting my life on the line for my country. I was nursing my '53 chevy along through drive-ins and riverside lanes, frequenting bars, inhaling a substance with a latin name, testing chemicals- working in an electronics shop where I was to remain for the next 20 odd years. Building amplifiers, speaker boxes, lots of camping and mountain climbing, saving money to buy a van. Building forts out of wooden matches and setting them on fire in a rented apartment, drinking a lot of coke and going to three day parties.

01-02-2010, 03:36 AM
21 - I had already been overseas and finished a 3 yr hitch in the army by then

01-02-2010, 05:11 AM
21 hmmm, Stationed in Germany..

Working my ass off... 80 to 120 hrs a week sometimes...

Occasional Red Army Faction Bomb going off, Nuke Protesters at gate..

Last terrorist bombing for me, was my last day in Army at Rhein Main airbase AUG 1985 waiting for plane to load...

Got to watch Medevacs fly in (3 Killed) and spend an extra night until they checked out plane for bombs...

Cold War..... yea right...

Had an elementry school teacher... B17 Door Gunner, did not make it to 30 missions. Had a plate in skull,and still wore his issue wristwatch.. 1976 or so..

He was older of course, but us kids never pushed him.. just a quiet guy, who earned his respect from us...

Terrible losses in those things...

Peter N
01-02-2010, 05:25 AM
I was burying both my parents and trying to decide where my life was going.
Eventually decided on leaving work and going back to full time education at Uni.


01-02-2010, 05:59 AM
If you look at cockpit photos of B-17s both from the era and of current restorations nearly all of them are missing one item. In the centre of each control yoke there should be a circular maker's badge. They were all pried off almost immediately by the pilots as a souvenir.

It looks like this one.


Your Old Dog
01-02-2010, 06:41 AM
I know exactly what I was doing the day I turned 21. I was in Vietnam being consoled by some buddies as I had received a wedding invitation for my girl friend from her sister. I told her we should break up before I shipped out because I might not be coming home. She would have no part of it and kept me on the line until she found someone else. As I recall, the song Young girl get out of my life came out about that time from Gary Pucket and the Union Gap. I drank enough San Miguel to float a battle ship.

Remember Jodi, the guy we sang about in basic training cadence? Well the prick was alive and well in 1967.

Here's the tune if you aren't familiar with it! http://dreamtimepodcast.com/podcasts/dt_58.mp3

01-02-2010, 07:46 AM
I think me and Darryl must have had a lot in common............LOL

I was doin a 4 yr stint in Jasper then, nice place when you have zero responsibilities...........

I can recall checking out a WW2 site years ago and in particular just how tough those B17's and 24s were, many came back less half the men and airframe and still held together to land safely............

Weston Bye
01-02-2010, 07:48 AM

My grand uncle George brought back his B-17 with a hole the size and placement of the FO and insignia in the side of the fuselage.

At age 21 I was repairing and launching RA5-C Vigilantes off the flight deck of the America, then later the Enterprise.

01-02-2010, 08:18 AM
I turned 21 in Phu Loi VietNam repairing UH-1 helicopters. I wish now I had stayed in for 20 or 30 years, but lifer was a 4 letter word back then. Most fun I had was flying recovery going after downed helicopters. Man what a trip. But, back then I was bullet proof.:D :D


John Stevenson
01-02-2010, 08:34 AM
Spent the whole of the afternoon and most of the evening trying to winch a artic out of a ditch where he'd jackknifed off the road in bad mid January ice and was lying on it's side.

No air bags in those days, just grunt and cold wire hawsers.

Only bright glimmer of the day was I got a 17 year supply of toothpaste :p


Lew Hartswick
01-02-2010, 09:57 AM
I was probably in the radar maintenance shop at the 763 AC&W Sqdn
near Lockport NY in 1953. I'm sure there wasen't a lot to do, the
CPS 6B was pretty reliable, all 6 transmitters. :-)

01-02-2010, 09:59 AM
I was in a squadron at NAS North Island, and had just made PN2 three weeks before. My glorious uncle decided that I would spend all four years on North Island...including twenty months of sea duty during which I never set foot on a ship! Must've had a (unknown to me) fairy godfather in Wahsington!


01-02-2010, 10:04 AM
21? - Summer break from college and enjoying life. It seems that I had tickets to the Reds baseball game on my birthday. They were playing Arizona in Cincinnati. I believe that they lost but I would have to look it up to be sure. Dunn and Arroyo were playing and Marty and Joe were broadcasting the game. And yes, I was drinking one of my first legal beers.

My '67 Mustang was finished for the most part and dad was letting me use the S10 pickup for daily driving. Hunting, fishing and running around with friends, making just enough money to get by and be happy. Growing up in a little farm town not far from the big city was a good thing. Anything bad was so minor that I cant say that I remember it.

Almost forgot how much drive I had back then. I remember having so much energy. Trudging through fields carrying a shotgun hunting was easy. Now, I need a nap in the back of the woods so I have the energy to get back out! :) Then again, I was getting more sleep back then. The insomnia must have started a good 7-10 years later.

21 seemed to be the point in many peoples lives where everything is going right. To hear the stories of others in such a struggle makes me thankful that I have been so lucky.


01-02-2010, 11:17 AM
21 - I was still mooching off my parents, and playing Bass in a Heavy Metal band.
Enjoying many different "Girlfriends" after gigs on the weekends.
Consuming very large amounts of alcohol, marijuana, and whatever else we could get our hands on.
Living the rockstar lifestyle, without a penny to my name, and didn't have a care in the world.
That was, of course, before I had to grow up and join the real world.:(

01-02-2010, 11:22 AM
I turned 21 at Guantanamo Bay where I was the electronics tech for WGBY, the base radio/TV station.

Bay of Pigs occurred a few months later and I well remember a bunch of us sailors being scattered through the hills to defend the base perimeter, each armed with an M1 and 1 clip of ammunition.


Uncle O
01-02-2010, 11:32 AM
I turned 21 at Guantanamo Bay where I was the electronics tech for WGBY, the base radio/TV station.

Bay of Pigs occurred a few months later and I well remember a bunch of us sailors being scattered through the hills to defend the base perimeter, each armed with an M1 and 1 clip of ammunition.


15 whole rounds of ammo !!!???
I bet you were feeling gooood....

For some reason I assumed Carbine...
could have just as easily been M1 Garand...even less rounds tho.

Tim Clarke
01-02-2010, 11:41 AM
Dad flew B-24's out of Dover, England in WWII. Got the crap shot out of his plane 3 times. Landed 2 that never flew again. 3rd one went down over Germany on, I believe his 23rd mission. He spent the last year of the war in the Stalag. He would have been about 28 at the time.

As for my life at 21, I was finishing my education at the local Jr College. Mom wanted me to keep out of the mechanical trades, but had given up hope by then. Was working a couple part time jobs, taking care of a small fleet of tow trucks, and sweeping the floor in a machine shop.

Then there was girls, beer and what are now called Rat Rods. Engine swaps were the name of the game. A couple favorites were the V-8 '62 Falcon, and a '54 Dodge with a 392 Chrysler.


01-02-2010, 11:48 AM
Just shortly after 21, I was an hospital corpsman on a US Coast Guard cutter. Oddly enough, It took me many ears to truly recognize the the totality of my assignment and the crew who looked to me for answers and medical/ injuries.

I found it was both amusing and that age has caused me to truly understand the responsibilities I was faced with.

01-02-2010, 11:54 AM
21st year was spent in the Air Force at Norton AFB in San Berdoo, CA., and at Williams AFB at Chandler, AZ. Radar tech.

brian Rupnow
01-02-2010, 12:37 PM
21 was truly the wonder year for me. I was in my second year at a big engineering company (Govt. sponsored apprenticeship). I was going out with the prettiest blond in town, and had the fastest drag car for miles around. I lived the good life, in 1967. My whole life was touched with an element of magic that year.--brian

j king
01-02-2010, 12:50 PM
Wish I could remember..Damn beer really does kill brain cells me thinks.

01-02-2010, 01:01 PM
1963, finishing up year four in the Air Force...Must have liked it. I retired in 1982...

Roy Andrews
01-02-2010, 01:13 PM
seem to be a lot of military here. i was an undesignated airman loading bombs and missiles onto F-14s in VF-31 on board the Kennedy preparing to transition to the forrestfire. my birthday i remember well. air ops off Syria. i along with many others was on the flight deck for almost three days straight. finally someone was killed and they let us rest. it's gruesome but for a long time that seemed the normal on the flight deck. work us until someone was killed and then take a break. it would be called a safety stand-down. lost four friends up there. i was strong and a little crazy so i got put with the AOs which i liked. it was also a lot safer than the alternative. chocking and chaining where most of my friends were killed.

01-02-2010, 02:23 PM
It was in 1967 - My birthday was Jan 1, so was probably recovering. That year I got a Bultaco Matador, a Hodaka, and a Harley KR.


That's me and my Bultaco in the Baldwin Hills of Los Angeles, and my brother's Kawasaki 120 near Palmdale. Well, now it would be in the center of Palmdale because of the growth :)

I think my ex must have burned all my old pics - once had a lot of them.

Larry Swearingen
01-02-2010, 02:24 PM
My 21st year ? Aboard the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2 with a boatload of
Marines and their Helicopters, UH-34's. I was an Aviation Electronics
Tech 2nd class.
My 21st birthday ? The day after Christmas 1966 we were in
Olongapo, Phillipines and the ba$tards sent me out on Shore Patrol
that night.


Forrest Addy
01-02-2010, 02:55 PM
1962. My predominant recollection was rassling with trade math. I am not a born methemetician and flunking math was a quick way to hit the street in my apprentice program. 5 out of 11 of us passed to graduation. In that year was the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the first adventures into Viet Nam, the birth of a niece, working on cars, chasing women, the whole spectrum of activity avalable to a young American male free of responsbility and making good money. All this came in second to my understanding of the Law of Sines and continued fractions.

My class instructor was a terror capable of frightening rages and instant dismissals of the lame and lazy (He fired two guys out of my class. Made them leave immedately). When he went through our homework he jeered at you personally about your stupid mistakes and was perfectly willing to pass around your botched problem for the rest of the class to see and snicker over. Yop. Shop Math, 1962. I remember my 21st year very well.

For all that he was a fine teacher and between the terrorizations set a fine example of competence anf experience. He carefully explained fine points and differentated concepts to keep confusion at a minmum. "Good steel is made in a hot furnace, gentlemen" was his usual response to our sniveling.

01-02-2010, 04:55 PM
My 21st year: Got married in a December snowstorm, started a family. In that order, but with a shrunken timeline. ;)

Still married to that girl 29 years later.

01-02-2010, 05:32 PM
I had just finished my apprenticeship 3 months earlier in the shop I was working. I was probably designing and building one of my 1st plastic injection mold with out any guidance. I was working roughly 75 hours a week back then and loving it. This would have been in may of 1984.

01-02-2010, 07:00 PM
Riding Harleys, drinking beer, and spreading happiness and fun wherever I went. Unfortunately, most people had a different idea of what constituted happiness and fun than I did. Oh well. ;)

d kirby
01-02-2010, 08:22 PM
It's nice to read the very interesting journeys that you fellows have taken in your lives. Mine by comparison, is very dull and boring.

1976- Just finishing up my automotive apprenticeship at a truck shop in town, and started to ride dirt bikes. Started to dirttrack race motorcycles that same year. Quit work shortly after and raced bikes those summer months, I felt that this sport was the be all,and end all for me, lots of fun times.

In 1993 that racing game almost did end it for me, and have not been able to do much since, but it has led me to a passion for machining, which led me here, and to that I am forever learning and grateful.

john hobdeclipe
01-02-2010, 09:35 PM
I turned 21 in late '71. I was working in a furniture factory, taking furniture production classes, chasing every woman who could move, drinking way too much, all the usual stuff us irresponsible kids do.

Still 21, in early '72 I borrowed some money, gathered up my savings from many years of mowing lawns, and opened a bicycle shop. Boy, was that ever a growing up experience!

As an aside, in order to borrow the money from a rural, small town bank in North Carolina, in 1972, I had no choice but to shave off my beloved beard. Secured the loan on May 15, let my beard start growing out again, and haven't shaved it off since.

My parents were of the Great Depression - WW2 generation. I never stop being thankful for what they did on behalf of a generation unborn.

Dad flew B-24's out of Dover, England in WWII. Got the crap shot out of his plane 3 times. Landed 2 that never flew again. 3rd one went down over Germany on, I believe his 23rd mission. He spent the last year of the war in the Stalag. He would have been about 28 at the time.

Dad was a B-24 nose gunner in New Guinea. Made it through 54 missions without getting seriously hurt. He told some chilling stories...the one that sticks in my mind is being trapped in the turret because the rest of the nose was shot up, and the guys couldn't manually crank the turret around. The plane was a shot up shambles, and all he could do was sit there and wait.

01-02-2010, 09:54 PM
I don't recall exactly what I was doing the day I turned 21 (I am sure it involved some alcohol), but for most of my 22nd year (as Evan pointed out :) ) I was in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas for basic training and AIT.

I noticed a lot of guys on here seemed to have some military time. Pretty cool.

andy b.

01-02-2010, 09:55 PM
April 1974, U.S.S. Reclaimer. Pearl Harbour, HI. Buddies threw me off the fantail, but then they bought all the beer that night.

01-02-2010, 10:09 PM
My 21st year was no where near as fun or exciting. I was married for 3 years. My wife was expecting our first. I was working as a long distance telephone operator for the amazing rate of $102 a week. Inflation was rampant. I missed the Vietnam War draft by a few months.

I'd joined the Phone Company based on assurances that I could transfer to a technical position in 6 months. This was the mid 1970s and the Equal Opportunity Act was in full force. I did not realize what that meant.

I had no career path, since a white male was not allowed to transfer into a job traditionally held by men. It took 6 years to finally get a technical position. In those 6 years the costs of houses doubled, my pay trailed inflation by a year and I'd not saved a dime.

I would not go back to the 20's again. I like life now. I have the means to buy toys. I get to play with my toys. My job is once again just a job, no longer a career. Life is GOOD.


01-02-2010, 10:37 PM
I was preparing for a combat jump into Haiti with the 82ND Airborne. Operation Just Cause

01-02-2010, 10:45 PM
21? I was a punk. Dating the cutest little buck-toothed redhead, racing motorcycles, stealing cars, and ripping off drug dealers. 21 was a non-stop party, with drinking bouts lasting into the early morning, and hangovers that came close to inviting suicide. I drank, I fought, I spent time in jail.

Ya know, I might do the whole thing over again, just to see that little redhead again.

Tin Lynn
01-02-2010, 10:53 PM
I turned 21 in 1968 so I would have been in Phan Thiet Viet Nam. I don't remember what I was doing but I was on the South China Sea coast. I think we were finished filling sand bags to protect the microwave radio vans by then.

The water was the prettiest blue I have ever seen. That was the year of the Tet Offensive.


Dave S.
01-02-2010, 11:09 PM
April 25th 1968 graduated from Coast Guard Enginemen A school 1st in my class. Made 3rd class enginemen and headed for Astoria OR to serve aboard the Coast Guard Cutter White Bush for 2.5 years.


01-02-2010, 11:31 PM
I sorta' remember - - I turned 21 in Subic Bay, RP.
We pulled-in (on the Oriskany) for repairs and San Miguel.
I joined the Navy when I was 17 so by this time I was an ABE2 but couldn't legally drink in the states. Finally, the big day..Now I can drink anywhere and where did I celebrate:Olongapo, a place where no one cared how old you were!

Pete F
01-03-2010, 12:07 AM
1989, in college, playing guitar and pool in between homework, trying to start a blues band (ultimately successful enough to play the Whole Earth Festival in 1992 - good enough for me). Not super exciting, comparatively.


doctor demo
01-03-2010, 01:25 AM
I turned 21 while working for Southern Pacific in Sacramento. Working as a laborer cleaning locomotive engines so they could be torn down. I hired on as a Boilermaker but because My last name was the same as a Railroad Cop's name the Shop Steward thought I was a Narc and wouldn't let Me in the shop, so while waiting for an Electrician or Machinist apprenticeship to open up I was a laborer. I left there for a much cushier job as a floor hand on a drill rig:eek: .


01-03-2010, 02:39 AM
1982 spent the year playing rugby in Ireland and living hand to mouth.

Speaking of bombers just yesterday I was talking with my uncle and FIL.
Uncle shot down in B24-internment camp for the remainder. FIL flew 30 missions in B17, he said they were always grateful for the inferior B24 which flew 10000 feet lower and took most of the heat.

01-03-2010, 04:20 AM
I turned 21 in Subic Bay Olongapo city, an E-5 with a pocket full of combat pay. A good time was had by all.

Limy Sami
01-03-2010, 06:52 AM
At 21 I was working 100+hrs /week (and getting paid for 40 if I was lucky) AKA Whipping Boy,......... for the family business - which went belly up 2 years later,......... which inturn led me to housing and semi supporting my parents and grandfather for the next 10 years.

Would I change it? ..... too f'n right.

01-03-2010, 08:09 AM
As has already been noted --- lots of ex-military here. I turned 21 in 1960 in the machine shop aboard the USS Fort Mandan LSD-21. I think we were in the Caribbean at the time. Seems like that was at least 2 lifetimes ago.

oil mac
01-03-2010, 03:21 PM
I turned 21 in 1960, Life was good in some ways, really hard in other spheres, Dad had been ill for a long time, and "your humble servant" had to shoulder the running of the household, Mum & i sometimes struggled with financies from an apprentices wages, and the small allowance on sickness pay dad got. I guess in many ways i didnt give a damn for anybody or convention, Was dating a really pretty little redhead, Pity her dad &mum wanted someone a bit better healed for her! At that time the Glasgow dance hall bands were about the best anywhere in Britain, Somehow or ever it seemed to be a more colourfull time to live, and the songs &muisic was brilliant
People then seemed to help each other and seemed to care for one another more, Society seemed to have more of a cohesion about it, That old world was to end in the 1980/s, with the marvellous statement from one of our ex British prime ministers, who stated "Ifind difficulty with the concept of society"
At that time i was busy building up my workshop, bit by bit, the "iron bug", had bitten in badly, A couple of years earlier i had purchased a really beat up 3 &1/2" centre lathe, With pestering the guys in the turning dept, for hints &tips i still marvel at the good efforts i obtained from her, Wonder where her old bones finally ended up ?
What about the guys i worked beside, No it was not a lifetime in a rosy peaceful balmy, tranquil heaven, Except for my tradesman and a few other guys in the shop, greed for money, and lust for high bonus earnings had made it a shop with a bad attitude one to another.
The day i was 21, I went to work ,clocked in at 7-45 a.m. & the crane pulled a big mould for a turbine pump out of the stove, and i spent till 3-30 setting the cores in it sealing up the joints etc &finally poured 15 cwts of molten bronze into the mould at 4 p.m Tidied up &clocked out at 5 pm, home to a nice party &birthday tea mum &my friends had organised
Would i do it all again? You bet, with a few changes on the road through life and more pertinant attention to, and questions asked about many of the everyday things i took for granted. Come to think on it a camera would have been a good idea.

01-03-2010, 05:36 PM
I was assisting an electrician replacing batteries in an aid to navigation somewhere in the dark in southern Puget Sound.

That was Jan 21, 1966 and I was stationed at CG base Seattle.

01-03-2010, 05:37 PM
1983, most important year of my life next to my wedding year. After spending the spring failing out of college for the 3rd time, a family friend who was a professional photographer told me about the advertising model making industry in NYC. I went to a few shops with my design school portfolio, got hired immediately by a big shop run by a crazy Japanese guy, and started working 60-100 hrs a week at something I was actually good at. They soon saw I was a good mechanical designer and then I was designing special effects for commercials, all before I was 22. What a lesson in "school isn't all there is to the world".

01-03-2010, 06:50 PM
It's getting real foggy from back then.
Seems to me I was becoming a Disabled Vet about then.

My wife's father was a copilot on B17's.
He was in near the end of the war so he got home.
Those boys had a lot of guts!

01-03-2010, 08:22 PM
21...Enjoying winter break of Engineering school.

Since today happens to be my birthday (25), I am enjoying a Guinness, while shopping on the 'net for my first house. :)


01-03-2010, 11:20 PM
1975 I turned 21. I was stationed at Keesler AFB and had just finished basic electronics. Getting ready for my career field of a ground radio repairman.

At the time I didn't know what my permanent assignment would. Turned out to be a three year stint at a little known operational location called RAF Barford St. John, England.

01-03-2010, 11:32 PM
I actually don't remember turning 21. But I've noticed that quite a few of us were swept off our feet by "cute little redheads..."

01-04-2010, 12:05 AM
In '65 I would have been on the USS Grand Canyon. Probably in Naples, Italy providing repair services for the destroyers.

1937 Chief
01-04-2010, 02:22 AM
21 I would have been waiting for my greetings from Uncle to join the army. I fooled him, I jouned the Navy. Stan

Cecil Walker
01-04-2010, 11:49 AM
Jan 17, 1968 Going from Cam Ranh to Phan Rang RVN....undoubtedly we were NOT preparing for the Tet offensive!!

Amazing how many of us turned 21 in the same place....RVN.


Liger Zero
01-04-2010, 01:30 PM
...when I was 21 (not all that long ago really!) I was working for a local injection molding house as a resin handler/process-tech full time.

Year 22 is when it all went to hell. Year 22 is when we got new management who decided anyone under the age of 45 "too young" and started making "serious changes" to the structure of the company.

Well I'm about to embark on my own molding adventures at the age of 30-something with a short break this summer for boot-camp... seems the Naval Reserve is down on recruiting numbers and is willing to overlook (in writing) some shortcomings and stuff to get themselves a warm body sitting in an office doing paperwork (Yeoman).

It is very sad/very funny at the same time to see people who have gone through so much, achieved so many things turn into fearful ignorant good-for-nothings with a lifetime of information locked up in their heads... afraid to share what they know lest they lose their job.

From where I stand this is the greatest tragedy of the Offshoring Of America's Manufacturing Legacy. Within a decade not only will we have lost the capacity to do any meaningful manufacturing here but we will have lost all of the experience needed to get back up to speed... and we will have to learn it all over again.

When it is all said and done, after I've issued all my complaints and all of my whinging and whining... I hope I don't become "one of them." :D

01-04-2010, 02:25 PM
1970, on temporary duty to southern Japan (that was good), flying the Korean DMZ corridor on EC-121's (that was bad)......

Nine months later, permanent orders to forward air controller squadron (OV-10's), multiple locations, S.E. Asia....

01-04-2010, 04:09 PM
Fall of 1971, was in school and had just met the girl I was going to marry the next spring. Draft lottery number was 168, so school deferment would not have been needed. Had already tried to enlist after my first year in college, but the recruiter had talked me out of it.

Tim The Grim
01-04-2010, 08:22 PM
I turned 21 in August '74. I was a junior mechanic in a Harley dealership after just graduating from a professional M/C mechanics course. I had my own Harley and played lead guitar in a working rock band. My fiance was a Swedish/Russian strawberry blond and smokin' hot. I weighed 135#, had a 29" waist and stood 5"11 in my socks. My hair was down below my shoulder blades.

My girlfriend gave me a Buck knife for my birthday. Six days later I stuck it a crazy guys neck who attacked me at the Harley shop in a storage room. It was necessary as he was 6'5 200# plus with a steel plate in his head and he was choking me. He had just seen his bike all smashed after the wreck that got him the steel plate and he went berserk because it wasn't fixed..
No charges. The other mechanics just tossed him out the back door. He survived.

Two months later the shop went bankrupt and closed. I got my first job in a Tool Room of a precision ceramics manufacturer and spent the next 30 years in Machining.

I still have the same Harley, guitar and amp. Not even a picture of the girl.