SSgt Edward W. Rearick Jr.
Synopsis of Military involvement
- Interred the Civil Air Patrol – Cadet Program (The CAP was just formed that year).
- Enrolled at University of Pittsburgh.
September 30, 1943:
- Enlisted in Army Air Force and deferred until 18th birthday.- Reported for active duty basic training, Keesler Field, Biloxi, MI. Upon completion of basic, we were again tested and finally assigned into classifications - pilots, navigators etc. It was at that time we were advised there was no present need and we were given a choice of other training with the understanding that should a need arise we would be given opportunity to re-apply. I chose communications and I was sent to radio school.
March 14, 1944:
October 24, 1944:
- Graduated Radio Mechanic School, Truax Field, Madison, WI. Sent to electronics school.
December 14, 1944:
- Graduated Electronics School, Chanute Field, Ill and sent to radar school.
- Graduated Radar School, Boca Raton, FL and assigned to permanent party status while awaiting assignment.
- Spent Thanksgiving aboard troop ship headed for Europe. Assigned to the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, night photographic communications department. Responsibilities to include aircraft communication maintenance and the installation and operation of RDF Station.
- Returned State side and separated from active duty, Fort Dix, NJ. Remained in the Inactive Reserves and assigned to the 375th Troop Carrier Group, Coraopolis, PA.
- Re-Enlisted in the Active Reserves.
- The 375th Troop Carrier Group in Coraopolis, PA provided weekend training using the C-82 aircraft. Required one weekend meeting a month; however, most members enjoyed the camaraderie and attended weekly. Added radio operator to my qualifications.
October 15, 1950:
- The 375th Troop Carrier Group was called to active duty and re-assigned to Donaldson AFB in Greenville, SC. I was assigned to 57th Troop Carrier Squadron. The new Air Force Blue uniforms were being phased in at this time. Donaldson had been unoccupied for years and was in bad condition and needed a lot of tender loving care to become functional. Once everything was spit & polished, it was determined, by the 57th Squadron Commander that we needed a Squadron Insignia. Checking the records it was determined that my Draftsman skills qualified me to produce the insignia and I was one of three who “volunteered” for the job. Since we were all from the Pittsburgh-Tristate area, home of HJ Heinz Company, the “Flying Pickle” was born and the rest is history (http://www.57thalumni.com/history/noteables---korean-war). My wife was working for the Heinz Corporation at the time and presented this information to HJ Heinz. HJ Heinz in turn published the article about the 57th insignia in the company newsletter and also had the article printed in the local newspaper.
Before the base (Donaldson) was spruced up, the squadron started making regular training flights hauling cargo and supporting Paratrooper training. Before long it was determined we were operational and the Group was transferred to Stewart AFB, TN. where we were assigned to the newer C-119 aircraft. During our training, we made scheduled over-water training flights from MacDill AFB to Puerto Rico. On one of our flights our nose wheel collapsed while landing on St Croix stranding us for several days. We were in hot water when we returned to base since we had made an unscheduled landings. I suppose they never found out that every over water training flight made that unscheduled landing, this is where the "Club" got their whiskey – duty free. Customs allowed us to bring one case of whiskey per crewman back home duty free. The whiskey supplier would double pack the whiskey cases and load the plane, but the receipt would only list single cases. Customs always counted heads and cases, checked receipts and sprayed the cargo hold as they left. Looking back I can only presume customs was aware of what was going on or we really could have really been up the creek. Also, we also made regular flights to Pope Field for Paratrooper training and equipment drops. One mission in particular, I remember was hauling four missiles from a factory in CT to the testing area in FL. The flight was uneventful; however, we found that when the cargo was loaded and the clamshell doors closed there was no emergency escape route for us other than through the Navigator’s Bubble!
September 24, 1951:
- Assigned to the 314th Troop Carrier Group in Japan. All member of the 314th would travel from CA to Japan via the USS Sitkoh Bay. Two weeks out of California, the ship lost a boiler and we returned to port for repairs. During this time, we had shore passes and enjoyed ourselves. When the ship was ready to depart and roll call was taken it was revealed several members had gone AWOL.
November 21, 1951:
- Arrived at Yokohama Japan and were assigned to the 62nd Troop Carrier Squadron at Ashiya AFB, Kyushu, Japan. From Ashiya we made daily missions into Korea dropping urgent supplies to troops, paratroopers, delivering napalm and other equipment. To insure our troops recovered the supplies, we were forced to fly dangerously low between the mountains where we would receive considerable small arms fire.
May 27, 1952:
- Received notice that it was my time to rotate home.
June 20, 1952:
- Arrived Stateside via USS Butner, Fort Mason, CA.
July 16, 1952"
- Separated, Selfridge AFB, MI.
November 1, 1952:
- Discharged from Reserves.
Other Organizations I become involved in after my discharge in 1953
United States Power Squadron’s:
- 1968 to present – Position - Squadron Commander
U S Coast Guard Auxiliary:
- 1979 to present – Position - District Commodore 5th Northern Region
Civilian Emergency Response Team (CERT):
- Ham Operator KC2THP