I spent 21 years in the USAF, 20 of it in USAFSS as first a Persian linguist (1965), then a 202 (67-68 – Peshawar, then a Russian Linguist (basic and Intermediate at Syracuse U), and the final 10 years, flying aboard various aircraft that we were used on.
At one pint, I was at the 6931st stationed at Iraklion, as the only Russian linguist on Baker flight, working a special job. Things were going great with the rack, and I loved the island. My Boss, however, was a real stinker, a day lady, who kept trying to invite himself to my on base quarters.
I was heavily involved with our First Shirt, Dallas Swope, the NCO club Manager, MSgt MacDonald, and the AFRTS boss, a SMSgt whose name I don’t recall. Every week, we would meet on Tuesday at one of our homes to shoot darts (and drink beer of course)! On the nights I wasn’t working a swing, I would be playing my hammond organ at the NCO club, thanks to MSgt MacDonald…..made more in tips than the AF paid me!
When I thought it got too bad, I told his boss, I believe he was a 202 in charge of the day shop, and he agreed, I should do something. I had already had a run in with someone about my 7 level, which I had passed all the tests and done all the work on in Berlin, my previous assignment.
I decided to look for a possible assignment, and found one….OLJA 6910th, Rimbash Germany! I had no idea where that was at, but I knew that the 6910th was at Darmstadt, so how bad could it be? I applied for the assignment, and was told: “You haven’t been here long enough”. Well, they were wrong, and I was accepted for the assignment.
NOW comes the “fun” part of the story! One night, working a mid I believe, I was told by a 202 that someone named SMSgt Joe Gerard wanted to talk to me on the opscomm. I did NOT know at the time that I had gotten the assignment…yet…. Joe informed me that I HAD indeed, gotten the assignment, and would be working for him when I got there. I asked where “there” was. His comment was something like “1 km from the Czech border in southern Germany”!
When I told him where I was, he was astounded. He knew about Crete, but had no idea how I was to get from Crete to Germany. His instructions were: “Well, somehow, get to Bari, Italy. Drive north on the autostrata until you get to Regensberg, West Germany. Turn right (eastbound), until you get to a city a few kilometers from the Czech border called Furth-im-Wald. Turn right again (southbound), and about 10 kilometers later you will be in a town called Rimbach. There is a church with an onion dome on the left, and on the right is a gasthouse. The army is on the first floor, and the AF is on the second floor. Let me know when you leave….hope to see you soon!”
I boarded a car ferry from Iraklion and went to Patras in Greece. Then I drove to Pireus and boarded another Italian car ferry that let me off in Bari, Italy. I made it to Rimbach, and served 3 years there, ending up in Augsburg when the site was moved and automated.
Joe Gerard, now unfortunately deceased, was my boss until he got an assignment to the embassy in Vienna. I went from Rimbach/Augsburg to Omaha and flight status.
The tour at Rimbach in the heart of Bavaria was not only fun, but interesting. I found out much later, in 1992, that I had been less than 35 kilometers from my mother’s family place in Babina, Czechoslovakia. The people of the area (and their food!), were lots of fun and made the tour outstanding.