Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright and Dedication

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

This is not the story of a great war hero. I did not win the Medal of Honor or even make headline news. The real heroes were those who were wounded or killed in the line of duty. This is instead the story of an ordinary air force pilot who, like thousands of others, loved his job and serving his country. The excitement of being a small part of the history of the...

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1. Realizing the Dream

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pp. 3-12

I cannot remember a time when I did not dream of being a military pilot. To explain my desire for a military career, I must go into my background as a young boy. While my father, Allan T. Stein Sr., was in Texas trying to recover from the Great Depression, my mother and I lived with my widowed grandmother, Martha Jack Anderson, in Rock Springs...

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2. Pilot Training

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pp. 13-20

In August of 1943, we were sent to the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Classification Center (SAACCC), where we were given various tests to determine the type of training we were to receive. The tests were very comprehensive and took two to three days. Some of the cadets went to navigator training and some to bombardier training. I was relieved to be...

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3. Combat Crew Training

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pp. 21-25

These ages are as of 1944. I had my twenty-first birthday while I was in the Pacific. Most of the rest of the crew had just graduated from high school before entering the service. The entire crew with the exception of the pilot had just completed their technical training. The pilot graduated from flight training the class before me. While I was completing advanced pilot training...

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4. Combat

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pp. 26-59

The troop train’s destination was San Francisco, where we boarded buses for Hamilton Army Air Field. Hamilton a was beautiful permanent base about twenty-five miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, but sadly, it has been closed. When we got to Hamilton, we found many crews that had been waiting for two or three weeks for the Ford...

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5. World War II in Retrospect

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pp. 60-69

No one on the crew said a word. There was no feeling of elation. There was no celebration or any comment by the crew about the war being over. We simply salvoed our bombs and returned to Ie Shima. Even after we landed, there was no celebration. We were just too exhausted. I think we were afraid to believe it in case there was some...

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6. Training Command

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pp. 70-94

After a 45-day leave, I reported back to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio in January, 1946. When I returned from overseas, having elected to remain in the service, I did not realize how difficult it would be to stay on active duty, as thousands of officers, especially pilots, also elected to stay in. There were far more than the needs of the peace time army air...

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7. Reese Air Force Base

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pp. 95-102

In the summer of 1949, a B-36 landed at Barksdale and Gen. Curtis Lemay got out. The SAC had taken the base over for 2nd Air Force Headquarters. The Training Command had to pack up and move. My squadron moved to old Lubbock Army Air Field, which had been renamed Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, Texas, where I received my wings in...

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8. Strategic Air Command and the Cold War

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pp. 103-129

I graduated in April, 1952, from the AOB school and received my bombardier and radar wings. I received orders to the 49th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing stationed at Hunter Air Force Base, Savannah, Georgia. I went by Houston to pick up Eva and the boys. We took a little leave, rented our house, said good-bye to our parents, and headed for...

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9. Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico

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pp. 130-135

This was no ordinary move as from one city to another. This time we were going overseas, which meant we had to pack three different groups: household goods, which would go by ship and take two to three weeks to get there (hold baggage); items that we would take with us on the plane to tie us over until the hold baggage arrived; and the furniture...

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10. Alternate Air Force Headquarters

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pp. 136-139

We flew back to Charleston Air Force Base on October 25, 1961. We had ordered a new station wagon and it was waiting for us when we arrived. Our old Plymouth was shipped back by boat and would not arrive for a couple of weeks. Finding a place to live in Montgomery was very different for us. There were plenty of choices. However...

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11. The Vietnamese War

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pp. 140-173

At the Alternate Air Force Command Post, we were on distribution for most of the services’ war plans. It was quite a classified library. We had a captain running it. One day he brought an operations plan in for me to see since it could be in our area of responsibility to monitor. He could not believe it and wanted my opinion. I agreed with him...

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12. The Final Air Force Days

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pp. 174-181

When I rotated back to the States in June, 1967, I wanted to go back to Maxwell Air Force Base. We had bought a house in Montgomery and I had left Eva and the kids there. I had friends in the right places, so I was able to kill assignments to Special Air Warfare Branch of the Tactical Air Command, which would have been more of what I was...

Index

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pp. 183-185