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14 Sayonara!» February 1952-September 1957 First stop on the way home: beautiful Hawaii! Some tourists plan for years to get there and spend days or weeks or maybe a lifetime in "paradise." 1was impressed with the mild temperature when we arrived; a brief, pleasant shower cooled things off and heightened the fragrance of the gorgeous flowers that abounded everywhere. But 1 was not impressed enough to want to interrupt my eastward flight. At the passenger terminal at Haneda airport, near Tokyo, 1 had been assured by the dispatcher that 1 was booked straight through to Travis AFB, near Sacramento, California, and that 1 didn't have to worry about being "bumped" along the way. So when 1checked at the dispatcher's desk at Hickam Field about the takeoff time for the final leg to Travis, and learned that my name had been scrubbed from the manifest, 1 was shocked. And upset. And let him know it. "Sergeant!" 1 fumed. "What in hell's going on? How come I'm not on the manifest for the flight that just came in from Tokyo? Have you checked my priority?" "Yes, Major." (I was still wearing the gold leaves of my spot promotion , reluctant to give them up until I set foot in the USA. And besides, the effective date of rescission of the spot promotion was February 15,1952.) "But 1 have orders to remove you from the manifest." "Sez who?" 1growled. 297 298 "I got the word from the ATC office in the terminal, Sir, and I have arranged for your gear to be offloaded. It will be over in the baggage room. Maybe you can find out what's going on over in the A TC office. It's right next to the snack bar near the main entrance. Sorry 'bout that, Sir. Good luck!" "Thanks, Sarge, for the tip." Although he was not the culprit, I was still ticked off. Stomping through the terminal with a full head of steam as I weaved in and around the clusters of passengers, some GIs, some dependents, some coming east, some going west, I arrived at the A TC office ready to lock horns with whatever knucklehead had messed up my flight. The office had large windows shuttered with venetian blinds that were partially open and I saw a familiar face seated at a desk inside. "Great!" I thought. "At least I'll have a friend in court when I make my plea to be put back on the manifest in time for takeoff in about an hour." As I entered the office, Captain Paul Adams, an old buddy from Lockbourne A F B, rose to greet me. "Hi, Charlie, uh, Major! Good to see you." "Good to see you too, Paul, but I won't have much time because I'm here to get back on the flight to the States that just came in from Tokyo." "Yeah, Hoss, I know. I saw your name on the incoming manifest and had you bumped so you could spend a few days here and some of the other guys here in Hawaii could get to see you." "You WHAT?" I roared. "You mean to tell me YOU had me bumped? Here I am on my way home to my family and you had me bumped?" Paul looked hurt. "Well, yeah, man. After all, it's been almost three years since we all left Lockbourne and I try to see all the guys who come through here, going either way. For old times' sake." "Look, Paul, I appreciate your sentiments and I really am glad to see you. But I have to be honest with you: I'd really prefer to see my wife and son. So, since you claim you can have anyone bumped, let's see if you can get me back on that flight." "If you insist, I can get you out tomorrow on the first thing smoking, but your flight is about to taxi and it's too late. So since« A-Train you're going to be here, RON, why not relax and enjoy Hawaii? I'll show you around, if you'd like." "Thanks for the offer, Paul, but I'm beat from that long haul from Japan, so I think I'd just as soon check into the TOQ and maybe see the movie at the base theater, then hit the sack early." "OK, Charlie. I'll make sure you're manifested out tomorrow, first thing...


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