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Colorado Springs, Co

Meritorious Service Medal Air Force Commendation Medal Air Force Achievement Medal Air Force Good Conduct MedalNational Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Service MedalHumanitarian Service Medal

I had just made MSgt in Civil Engineering and Col. Best the CE commander cornered me after the 1st 48 hours on site containing the fuel spill and draining the stream that ran through the area. He asked me to take the monkey off his back by being the go between for CE and all the other units. He gave me the job of project manager for running the recovery crew and anything that was needed from CE during that time. I worked with the Safety board and the 110/14 board. I spent 65, 14 to 18 hour days working on that crash site. I learned a lot about C-5s during that time. When the Safety board was done they had not come up with a reason for the crash. We had stuffed most of the parts and melted aluminum in a Tab V but the Safety board had not asked for the thrust reversers. I noticed that one had a lot of pine pitch in it but couldn't convince safety board to notice. Col. Barr from the 110/14 board came on site & asked about them and I had kept them separate from the rest of the junk. From that they were able to determine that #1 was open at the time of the crash. I was able to corner 3 Army guys with a recovery HEMIT (sp) and requested their help from their commander. They were wonderful help as we had 17 flats on the front end loaders used during the clean up. Their HEMIT had a crane and air tools that enabled them to change tires quickly. They were wonderful help. We also had the help of a civilian tank destroying crew from Homburg with their plasma cutter to cut the wings up into small enough parts to handle. I must admit those 65 days were quite an experience for me as a young new MSgt. When I left Germany I was stationed at Altus AFB. When looking at property in the country to purchase I was interested on one house on 5 acres but when I saw the C-5s turning right above it I changed my mind. I later purchased 20 acres about 4 miles north west of that spot so I wouldn’t be under any aircraft. I took an early retirement during the Clinton years in Feb 94 at 19 years of service. It no fun working for someone that wanted to take my guns away.

Last updated:2013-03-28 00:00:00