Griffiss Air Force Base Technology Park, Rome, NY

We took a short drive to Rome, NY, to visit Griffiss Air Force Base Technology Park. Planes, especially military planes, just don’t float my boat. Real snoozers. But I have two sons who are crazy about machinery. Aren’t all boys? So this is for them.

Griffiss was an AFB for decades before the Clinton Administration downsized it. The city of Rome developed it into a technology park, and, among other things, also hosted a debauched rerun of Woodstock in 1999 here. The AFB was named for the first U.S. airman killed in action during WWII, Townsend Griffiss.

Boys at Plaque

Townsend Griffiss

For most of its operation, the base was equipped with B-52 stratofortresses. All are gone except the “Mohawk Valley.”


Bomber at Griffiss

The kids circled round and round, very impressed with its size. I know what they were thinking: If only someone had left the keys in the ignition, right?

Under the wing:


Here’s the tail:


The huge wheels:


Here’s the coolest thing, a cruise missile. I’ll probably be tagged by Fatherland Security for mentioning those words.


A sobering plaque has the eternal words of Douglas MacArthur when he accepted Japan’s surrender. We love Douglas MacArthur. My kids are always writing reports on him, and I think we have seen the movie MacArthur ten times now?

WW2 Plaque

It has been difficult for the community to say goodbye to the Air Force Base. Its closure still stings and many people are still bitter about it. Slowly, some other things are rising from its ashes (like a mechanical school, and NEADS, but the base is missed by Romans.

I know there are a lot more things going on at the site, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find them. I guess I was confused by the dozens of little roads and signs pointing in every direction. I just drove round and round in circles…kinda like those NORAD fighter jets on 9/11.

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (177)

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  1. Bill Price says:

    I enjoyed the article about Griffiss.I was there from 1956 to 1959 in the 465th f.i.s.
    A very good book about Griffiss and three other bases in the northeast is The First Line by Bill Green.
    Sorry to see downtown Rome destroyed in the name of progress.

    Bill Price
    Jesup Georgia

  2. Anonymous says:

    Growing up in Rome, NY during the period when the base was fighting against closure, and the aftermath the closing brought, was tough. All of a sudden half of your friends had to move all at once. Traffic on the streets dwindled. The silence was deafening when the planes disappeared. Many of the small businesses that Rome depended on struggled and died.

    I can only imagine how people managed. I was too young to really understand what was going on, but I knew it was bad. Going back after being gone for a few years I was happy to see that the development of the land as a technology park had started to turn things around. It worries me that Rome is still so dependent on the three other major Air Force facilities that remain, but hopefully they remain open long enough for some larger businesses to move in and keep things going.

  3. Roy H. Lewis says:


    I was stationed at Griffiss 67-68 and worked on the
    “Hound Dog” missile which was the fore runner to the cruise missile. 416 AMMS

    Roy H. Lewis USAF 1966-1970

  4. Harry Ireland says:

    I lived on Griffiss Air Base from 1959 to the summer of 1964 when my father retired from the Air force in 1964 and we moved to Orlando Fl. I attended 4th grade thru 8th grade in Rome My father was a LTC with the 419th bomb Wing Sac. Needless to say I have alot of memories of that base to include the Cuban Missle Crisis. I have not been back to Rome since I left there in 1964 and have not been in contact with anyone I knew as a boy. My son will soon be stationed at Ft Drum and I hope to see the old homstead when I visit him

  5. Ken Kubilus says:

    Will never forget growing up on Griffiss as an Air Force dependent. My father was Joseph D. Kubilus.(NCO). Believe his first fighter maintenance there was the F-89.

    Great memories of living on Circle Dr.(coal heated), floating down the Mohawk River, Rome Free Academy and the general mischief that dependents got into. A decommissioned B-47 was on display and us kids were very glad that the belly hatch was not secured. The military police had a different opinion when they saw the flight controls being operated while base traffic passed on both sides.

    Hope to revisit Griffiss and the very good memories of being there.

  6. Mary (Dunn ) Burgess says:

    I was born on the base in 1964. I have not had the chance to return since I was a baby. One of my dreams is to see the place I was born. Some day I hope to atleast see what remains of the base.
    Mary Dunn Burgess

  7. Wally Tomaszewski says:

    Noticed the post from Harry Ireland.
    I was stationed at Griffiss from 1960-64 assigned to the 416th Bomb Wing.
    Col. Ireland was a great man and well respected.
    I returned to the Griff in 2008, just to visit. Saw my old barracks and 225 which I spent many hours tending to her auto-pilot system.
    Thank you USAF and Rome for bringing the old girl home.

  8. Mary Raynor says:

    My husband and I were stationed there in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was his first A.F. duty station. We have many fond memories of the base and the place. I worked at the State fish hatchery for the 2 years that we were there. I remember Black River Boulevard, and the Meadowbrook Apartments that we lived in. My brother came up from Long Island and married a local girl, so now I have a niece and 2 nephews there. Rome was a very nice little city. If I had to pick my favorite place out of all the places I have lived, I would pick Rome, N.Y.

  9. Alan Gregory says:

    When I left active duty at the now former Plattsburgh AFB in the far northestern corner of New York State in 1989, I began doing Air Force Resrve duty at Griffiss as well as HQ SAC, Offutt AFB, Neb. I really enjoyed my duty days at both locations. My wife and I recently visited the former base at Plattsburgh, which is now known as Plattsburgh International Airport.

  10. Mary Raynor says:

    Many of the bases at which my husband and I were stationed have been closed down. You can actually buy an apartment of old base housing at the St. Marie community (formerly Scott AFB in Montana). Google “St. Marie, Montana” or maybe “Scott AFB, Montana, St. Marie.”. Pictures of old base housing for sale will pop up.

  11. Capt Russell Danwin says:

    I was based at KREME 1980-1985 the years of the Reagan build up I flew 0225 many times as both a CoPilot and Aircraft commander.
    We also had KC135 tankers and the Great F 106 Air Defense command – One 106 used to be up on SAC hill but I see that is gone. The 106 had a HARD light AB or afterburner. We also had a ACE unit T37s that we used to build flight time as CoPilots It is sad that the whole area is slowly shrinking. I spent many weeks on ALERT.

    Capt Russ Danwin
    American Airlines ORD

  12. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Hats off to you Captain Russ Danwinn;

    That had to be a tough couple of years spent on “alert”. Living in those trailors and having the horn go off all hours of the day/night, then scrambling to get those B-52’s in the air ASAP.

    1966-1970 I was one of those “enlisted type” trying to keep the navigation systems working. GPS was not around in those days. We worked far more then 40 hrs/week trying to keep those birds flying. (67-68 at Griffiss AFB)

    The Mowhawk Valley is a nice area. Unfortunately MOST of NY has been hit hard by this present economic situation, and I do not think it will get better for quite a while.

    Roy H. Lewis

  13. Mary Raynor says:

    We have not been back to Rome for about 15 years. The city was really hit hard by the base closure, and a lot of houses are for sale cheap. Lots of businesses closed, too. I remember thinking, “It is not right to do that to these people — ruin their city by closing the base!” I remember the city fondly, and the people. I think the Revere plant, and the Pettibone plant are closed.

    We ran into the daughter of a Colonel Lenahan. She was a desk clerk at one of the local motels we stayed at. My husband remembers her father. The daughter said that her mom cries every time she rides by the base.

    I’m glad there are still some displays and memorials.

  14. Roy H. Lewis says:


    Does anybody have any photo’s from the mid 60’s when the B-52’s had the Hound Dog Missiles on them?


  15. Bill Price says:

    Five of us, who were aircraft mechanics on the f-89 at Griffiss, got together in 2003 for a reunion. Security let us in the hangers where we worked. They were very nice and let us go into the cockpit of the b-52. At that time the alert hangers were still there but have been torn down, so if you are planning to visit, hurry. A little triva that I found while looking for something else is very interesting. The Russians had targeted Griffiss for a nuclear attack But they were going to hit lake delta and let the nuke evaporate the water and it would come down in a 100 mile radius as nuclear rain.
    Griffiss was a great place to serve.

    Air Force forever.

    Bill Price
    Jesup Georgia

  16. Roy H. Lewis says:

    SNOW !

    What I do remember about Griffiss/Rome was the amount of snow we had. Winter 68/69. I remember putting orange styrafoam balls on our car antenas, so you could see cars coming into an intersection.

    Rome was on the edge of the snowbelt I think.

    I also remember working part time at “The Beeches” where they had a statue of Romulus and Rhemus — the mythical founders of Rome Italy who were raised by a wolf. Evidentaly it was given to the city of Rome NY, by Rome Italy, but the Rome NY mayor thought it was inapropriate for public display.

    Roy April 67 to August 68 416 AMMS

  17. Mary Raynor says:

    Yikes — a Nuke! Oh, I remember the Beeches, and also people putting orange styrofoam balls on their antennas so you could see cars coming through intersections, and also people owning a “winter rat” car to use through the winter! That’s funnyh about the Romulus and Rhemus statue!

  18. Don Roberts says:

    My Dad was a photographer for the photo lab at Griffiss (civilian) from the end of his term in WWII to the late ’60s. I grew up in Rome, and was on the base many times, saw the planes inside and out and watched them fly over, breaking the sound barrier. Often when a plane would go down near the base, my dad was called out to the site for photos. I even watched one go down myself one day while sitting on a dock at the lake.
    Later years I drove for Brown’s taxi service, and met many airmen and got to be friends with a few of them. I haven’t lived there since the ’70s, and haven’t been back at all. I can’t imagine what it must be like there now without the base as it was. Other than to imagine a modern day ghost town.
    A shame that what was once a major influence on my life as a kid, is now gone.

  19. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Hello again;

    Does anybody have any close up photo’s of the “Hound Dog” missile on the B-52’s? I was stationed there 67-68. Then onward to Offutt AFB Nebraska. ( Also 2 TDY’s from Offutt;
    Kadena AFB Okinawa, and Eileson AFB Fairbanks Alaska).

    Looking back — I’m glad I joined the Air Force.


  20. Mary Raynor says:

    I was back once in the 90’s. There is a WalMart there, but other than that, everything looked closed down. Many, many houses for sale for a song. The government shouldn’t do that to a town. It ruins everything and the town never recovers. But, I guess if they don’t need the bases any more…

  21. I arrived at the Griff in January of 1970 and was assigned to the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Can remember the barracks I lived in as an airman-first class. Can remmeber going to work at 3 in the afternoon sunny blue sky’s, and being in the big hanger where the 49th Hydraulic Shop was located. The Phase dock was right outside the door to the shop and I had to change both the HEP (hydraulic elevator pack) valves. After cleaning up, doing the forms and associated paper work went to go out and start up my 56 Chevy convertable and let it warm up. Much to my suprise it was hard to get the small walk through hanger door open as there was about a foot of snow higher than the bottom of the door, and the door was a good 10 to 12 inches above the concrete surface. About 3 the next afternoon they got us plowed out and my car in the parking lot was no where to be seen. after that used a yellow tennis ball on the antenna. Can remember the open house the base had to all of Rome and the Thunderbirds with the F-4E aircraft. Also remember we had a U-2 that belong to NASA there doing some things for the Rome Air Develppement Center. USed to go to the opposite side of the runway and watch the B-52’s and KC-135’s do touch-and-go’s and then land. Got a ride in the back seat of a F-106B model, takeoff was over Onida Lake now that was a great ride, we did and intercept on one of our T-33A that was used as a target aircraft. Left Griffiss AFB in 1972 for Korea. Maybe sometimne in the next few years will travel back to The Griff………..Msgt L. P. Eastwood (USAF Ret)

  22. Mary Raynor says:

    Gee, it sure is fun reading about all of this!

  23. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Me again;

    I got to see the Thunderbirds in 1967. Then they used F100’s
    ( of F86’s) You see, I got a parking ticket one lunch time an as punishment, I got put on a S*%T list. Anyway I was asigned crowd control at the air show as part of my punishment and unfortunately also was involved as part of an Honor Guard team at a funeral for some airman who committed suicide I think.

    Oh well. left Griffiss for Offutt in July 68.

    Roy H. Lewis 2 stripes at the time 🙂

  24. Lauren says:


    From what I have seen today searching the web the Griff as we knew it is gone. Read someplace they went in and the EPA did a lot of work cleaning it up after the Air Force left. Was sure a place for a lot of snow and cold…….used to be an augument guard when we would have a ORI and they would load up the six’s with everything they could carry, then download them and fly as many as possible. Watching the six takeoff at night was always a nice sight over the lake in afterburner.

  25. Dr. Bill Potter says:

    I was the eye doctor at Griffiss from 1983-1986. The memories are the greatest, both from the job and life off of the base. I still visit the area yearly, as a runner in the Utica Boilermaker. My wife and I lived in Utica then, as she was a nurse at St. Luke’s. Good friends, good times, indeed.

  26. Dave Edwards says:

    I was stationed at the Griff from 1980 to 1985. I served with the 416th Security Police Squadron. Rome and the Upstate New York area is beautiful. The people of Rome were great. The first time I went back in 2006 after the base had been closed was really hard to take. I have been back in 2006, 2007 and 2009 for reunions for the Security Police stationed at Griffiss. I still love the area and will come back as often as I can. If anyone is interested, the following site will have pictures of the base from the 70’s to current. Google 416th sps veterans. Thanks to the town of Rome for being such great hosts and also the City of Utica.
    Dave Edwards (Veteran)
    416th Security Police
    Griffis Air Force Base
    Rome, New York

    • Andrew says:

      i was stationed in 1983-84 with the AMS squadron. Worked on the b52 weapon systems trainer simulator, until it was given to civilians, phased out, and had to go to barksdale afb, in louisiana. absolutely loved griffiss, all the good friends i made, and times at jj’s and delta lake.

  27. Clarence (Al) Rikard says:

    I was stationed at Temple Hof in Berlin when I found that I would be stationed at Griffiss on returning to the States. After asking all around if anyone knew anything about Griffiss I found this fellow that said that the only thing he knew was that when it snowed they had to shovel the snow off the wings of the B-52’s and they had to throw up. I arrived in March of 1965, and was assigned to RADC. Performed my duties at the Verona Test Annex. I was a bar tender, and night manager at the NCO club during the evening. Met and married my wife of 44 years at the BX up on the hill. We were married in the Base Chapel on 10 Dec. 1966, and are still a happy couple. We lived in Woodhaven. I retired 1 Jul. 1974. After retiring I ran the Dining facility at the NCO Club. Along came a reduction, so I transfered to the Base Restaurant as assistant to Sam Fillipo. When Sam retired I took over as manager of the Base Restaurant system. We moved to Ft Myers, FL in 1980. Our youngest son was born in Rome. Still miss that place.

  28. Dick Lawson says:

    Nice job to all, was stationed at Griffiss 1972-1973–Ass’t Mgr, Officers Club. Loved the area. Youngest son born there. Sorry to see some of the pictures of the town and where I lived really bad, hope for a recover soon. Someday maybe will return to the area.
    Dick Lawson, MSGT USAF (Retired)

  29. Dennis Herman says:

    My association with Grifiss is pretty small potatoes compared to those who served there. Grifiss was the host of Cadet Civil Air Patrol’s summer encampments. Was there in 1961 and 1962. Anybody out there with any pictures of the closing ceremonies?

    We ‘toured’ the KC-135 and got an up close look at the B-52. Really enjoyed the phtotos under those massive wings. Have often told my kids about the 12 foot rise in the airfoil at the tips.

  30. Roy Lewis says:

    12 ft rise in the wings when flying. Remember;
    When on the ground the plane holds the wings up.
    When in the air the wings hold the plane up.

    USAF 66-70 Griffiss AFB 67-68 ( One winter was enough,
    till I seen what a Nebraska winter was like !)


  31. Otto Haldimann says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss AFB 1963-1965. I worked in the 416th on top of the hill in the supply section of SAC . Sgt Lynn was in charge of that section. I remember in the winter it was about 20 below on the flight line with the wind blowing. I enjoyed my 2 years there at Rome. I was married and lived off base in Utica the last six months of my service and returned to New Jersey until today. I am retired from M&M/Mars candy company 10 years now and visit the area once a year to see friends and family.

  32. I enjoyed reading some of the comments about the Griffiss Air Force Base Technology Park. Especially the comments made by Mr. Dave Edwards former 416th Security Police Squardron. I was also in this same Squardron from 1971-72. I have alot of fawn memories of the base. My wife and I have a 1969 GTO we are restoring. We joined this GTOAA organization to get as much information as we can for the restoration. GTOAA held a Convention in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in July of 2008. We live in Cental Pa. I told my wife what a “Golden Opportunity”!!! So on own way up to the Convention we made a detour to Griffiss!!! We arrived about 3:00 PM and left about 5:00 PM. Would of liked to of spent more time there driving around on the former base. But the wife wanted to get going. Took a lot of pictures. Was surprised that my old 416th Security Police barracks was still standing and the old chow hall!!! When I first arrived at Griffiss my first room in the barracks was the end room on the first floor in the front. My wife took my picture standing along side of the outside window. Would of loved to been able to go thru it!!! Drove down to the BX. Was surprised that was still there. The very same place it was in 1971-72. They shrunk it a little from when I was there. It was about the size of a dept store. I also worked ther part-time as a ID checker. Drove over to the weapons storage area and was very surprised at how much they had expanded that area. I think two of the most scarious moments when I was there was in 1972 I returned from weekend break. One Saturday night. There was alot of unusal activity going on for a Saturday night. (Worked 12-8AM) As I arrived for Guard Mount I noticed there were a number of high ranking Security Police staff members cars parked outside. They told us at Guard Mount that the then President Johnson had ordered the esculation of bombing in Cambodia. They had the B-52’s that were on Aleret on what we called “Easy Row” pulled out and at the ready!!!! We were on pins and needles all night long!!! The other time is when a B-52 crashed off the end of the runway. It was in the early spring of April 1972. It went off the end of the runway just before we went on duty. I was one of the patrol leaders that night. They disbanded the patrol and stationed us on the B-52. It was pouring down rain!!! They got one of the large Crash Firetrucks with the large rubber tires stuck in the mud. I spoke with one of the fireaman and he told me if it was going to blow up; it was going to blow up now!!! Fortunately it didn’t!!! There wasn’t anyone injured in the crash. I could go on and on about some things but these are just a few that stick in my mind. I had a great time there and I was overwhelemed with the hospitality of the USO they had there at one time!! Will never forget Griffiss AFB!!! Maybe someday I can return again and spend some more time there.

  33. Paul Benoit says:

    Morning, I was stationed at Griffiss at the same security police unit as yourself in 1972 1973 before being sent to Bolling to Honor Guard dutylate 1974, I remember the B-52 crash at the end of the runway I think the wings came off and it came in like a missle. i was put on special post 1 guarding the Blackbird from NASA. Many fond memories of the base, drinking outside the base at the ratskeller, and the commisary fire on the base every one turned out to put it out because all of rome’s beer was in there. I would love to have pictures of the gang different flight pictures if possible. I was manning the entry control point 5 echo 5 to the non alert B-52’s I painted it yellow and white with all the lettering, i stop and put a 4 star general in the mud when he attemted to cross over the orange rope that was tied to a wheel with pipe.
    Went to Mohawk valley community college at night time.
    My address in England; Paul Benoit
    4 Tay Close
    Corby, Northamptonshire
    NN17 2EP
    United Kingdom
    I stayed in England after my time at RAF Upper Heyford.

    I have another e-mail at because I have been working with the English Police for the last two years.

    It was good hearing from you and let’s stay in touch if possible.


    Paul Benoit

    • cindy bowman says:

      Hi. I was doing a little research about Griffiss. My mom’s 1st cousin was a crewchief who died in a fire/landing crash of B52H at Griffiss in 1957. As I was reading, I saw your post and read you went to Bolling USAF Honor Guard. I was a member of the HG in the mid 90’s. The military really is a small world, isn’t it?

  34. Evo Gamboni says:

    My Dad was stationed at Griffiss several times between 1954 and 1964 (Msgt Evo Gamboni) I still have family in Rome and visit every other year or so. The closing of Griffiss was indeed devastating to Rome but more sadly, probably not a good idea. I read an article recently that the AF was using the landing field to top off tankers before heading to the gulf. You would think this would have been thoroughly vetted before a
    “political decision to close the base was made. But not so. Sad but true

  35. Frank Hadl says:

    For Evo Gamboni—I am a HS classmate of your dad! Please contact me via email. I’m doing military research for our HS…

  36. Evo Gamboni says:

    For Frank Hadl – Email address please?

  37. Neal Pinkowski says:

    Was stationed at Griffiss from January of 70 till April of 71, then again from January to September of 73. Served as crew chief on a KC-135 but do not remember the tail numbers. Stayed in barracks 452 room 121. If anyone remembers a purple and black Dodge Challenger, that was me. Off base i used to hang in The Town Lounge and a place called Rusty?Barb’s. Also remember a place think it was called The Stockyards. Have not had a chance to get back but hope to some day.

  38. Kevin Murphy says:

    I flew KC-135’s in the 41st ARS from Oct 85 to Aug 92. It was a great place to live and work. I made many friends while I was there.

  39. Jon Willson says:

    I grew up in Rome in the fifties. I was crazy about aircraft and could identify any prop driven plane by its sound alone. The sound of a DC-3 (C-47) has stayed with me all my life. At the age of 16 I joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet, which enabled me to take hops on military aircraft while the pilots were getting in their mandatory flight time. On one occasion I was allowed to briefly take the controls of a C-47 and told to put the plane into a bank. The pilot of course knew I wouldn’t be able to budge the wheel- without hydraulic servos it was as stiff as if it were bolted in place.
    Our house was situated exactly one mile off the end of the old east-west runway, the main runway before the new SAC strip was built. No one who has ever experienced it can forget the sound of a pair of F-89 Scorpions scrambling on account of some blip on a radar screen, at full throttle with afterburners screaming, at almost tree-top level at 3 AM. Those were the days.

  40. Roy H. Lewis says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss April 67 to August 68. 416 AMMS. Hound dog maintenance squadron

    I remember the Stockyards and possibly Rusty’s. ( was that the bar with peanut shells all over the floor?)

    Possibly I’ll get up to Griffiss in a year or two since I only live about 200 miles from it.


  41. Dennis Herman says:

    Jon Wilson,

    Those were the days for us kids in the 50’s and 60’s ! Just wondering if you happened to participate in the CAP summer encampments at Grifiss circa 1961/62 ?


  42. Stephon Brown says:

    I was there tdy in the fall of 1981 for Doppler trainging at the Avionics department. Even thoudh I was only 30 days late arriving because of having incorrect orders. But I really had a good time. I would have loved to have gone back.

  43. Linda Holden Ford says:

    Does anyone remember the Griffiss AFB of 1958ish? I was a little girl and my dad was a Captain in the AFB. We lived in a building with a basement where I would ride my bike and I remember a lot of snow! Fond memories of Rome NY and that time. My dad has passed Col(RET) Kenneth M Holden.

    • Dr. Herbert Townsend says:

      I was a military dependent during the late 50’s early 60’s at Griffiss. I remember trudging through the snow going to Bell Road Elementary. Mrs. Hinkley was one of my teachers. The school is now named Jerry Clough Elementary, Mr. Clough was the principal when we were at Bell Road.
      My dad was a B-52 gunner (Sgt. Herbert Townsend, Sr).

  44. Scott Carpenter says:

    I am a “civilian” that was born and raised in Rome NY. I remember all the stories and would love to see more pictures. I have many friends that worked on the base. I can remember as a kid watching the B-52s take off and land from the front window of the house I grew up in…seeing all those planes fly over the house.

    Rome is undergoing a “rebirth” so to speak, she will probably not ever recover fully from the loss of Griffiss AFB, but she is still carrying on. The funny thing is that I commute to and from work through the Base…..there is a new highway that they are building in stages that runs from Chestnut St. gate, past Floyd Ave gate and out through Skyline gate. Skyline housing was torn down, and Woodhaven sits mostly abandoned. Rome built a new 9-12 RFA on land across the old Skyline housing tract. The old RFA on Turin Rd has been torn down with only the stadium remaining.

    Did anyone ever do business at B&W Television? My dad owned that store for years until his retirement, but my brother could not keep it going and it finally closed several years ago.

  45. Don Roberts says:

    Actually yes, I used to fix my own TV’s back then, and used to bring tubes to B+W for testing and then buy new ones. Don’t know when you were growing up there, but I was in the ’50s-’70s before I left. Too bad Rome and Griffiss are no longer a business partnership. Things always change, so do we. But all adapt, and I believe someday Rome will do so as well. I wish everyone who still go on there the best of luck and prosperity. We may all look back someday and say “remember when?”….

  46. Scott Carpenter says:

    I was a kid in the 70’s, worked for Dad after high school in the early 80’s….my brother still has the old tube tester in his garage…maybe he is saving it out of nostalgia…anyway, it was great to hear from you

  47. Frank Hadl says:

    For Evo Gamboni— I include my email address… Await response…. Frank.

  48. Ronda Chedotte says:

    My husband was stationed at Griffiss from November 75 until end of January 85. He worked in the 49th FIS. Those 10 years of our military life were a great time. Will never forget the people we met there, the town, and the “trip” we would take to Utica in the winter. This was great to look at and see.

  49. John Bemiss says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss in Nov 68 and left in Nov of 69 for Ubon Thailand. Was assigned to the 56 MMS loading nucs on the B-52. I can remember it snowing like crazy with a thaw in Jan and then right back to snow and more snow. We used to go to “The Rusty Nail” a little place in Rome that had music and plenty of beer. There was a bowling ally also and a lake not far from the base we all would go swimming in. Have not been back since I left. Rusty Nail still there?

  50. Steve Hall says:

    My dad, TSgt. Ralph A. Hall was stationed at Griff from 64-67.
    We lived in base housing (Woodhaven)at 3703D Pluto Ln. I was 5 yrs old when we arrived in Rome and have very fond memories of those days. I remember air raid sirens going off at noon every day, the sonic booms from the jets. I went to Bell Road elementary school (Now Clough Elementary) I remember the blizzard of 65-66. We had 12ft snowdrifts on our house on Pluto. It sure breaks my heart to see the old neighborhood in the dilapidated condition it’s in now. I would sure love for someone in that area to stop by 3703D Pluto Lane and get some pictures of the outside and inside. My dad died in 1985 and my mom is almost 80, I would sure love to see the place one more time B4 my mom or me leave this earth.

  51. Mary Raynor says:

    Wasn’t it the Rusty Barb? It was still there in 1980.

  52. Don Roberts says:

    When I grew up in Rome, it was the Rusty Nail. The first bar I’d ever been in that had peanut shells all over the floor. It may have changed it’s name later. Used to hang out there all the time in the early 70s, also the Stockyards, which is still there. I live in Arizona now, where it will be 108 degrees yet on Sunday, so to say the least, Rome’s much cooler temps sounds pretty good to me right now….

  53. Roy Lewis says:

    I vote for the Rusty Nail ( and the peanut shells) 1967-1968 416 AMMS
    I also remember the “Stockyards”, and of course that white stuff that fell from the sky for hours on end.

    I’m still stuck in NY — Why ? Well, Maybe Paladino can shake up the idiots in Albany. Of course I realy feel you Arizona. tough situation you have out there.

    Roy in Overtaxed NY

  54. Mary Raynor says:

    Ho-ho! Two against one. Maybe it was the Rusty Nail. Lol. Shows you how good my memory is. We went through there in the mid-90’s. Sad to see a closed-down base anywhere. Rome looks pretty sad now, too, with the base closed and several of the factories closed, too. I used to work at the fish hatchery. That was still there. We attended Bethel Full Gospel Church off base. We lived in Meadowbrook Apartments, which were very nice back in the late 70’s — they are kind of run-down now.

  55. I was stationed at Griffiss from 63-67 49th squadron and played guitar at the Hiway Inn for most of the time while there.Made a lot of friends and should go back for a visit-Carlton

  56. Bob James says:

    I was at Griffiss 1973-1978. 416th OMS, Crew Chief of KC-135A for about 2 years, watch a KC-135A burn to the ground during Jet shop maintenance. Work 6 months on B-52 and those were long days. Can’t believe the Buff’s are still flying! Last 2 years I was NCOIC of the squadron tool room. My Dad worked on the base in the 50’s and 60’s driving gas truck to all the installation around the base, which most people don’t know about at the time. I’m from Utica and the area was doing a slow death until Griffiss close now it dead. There more immigrants than Americans in the area now. I now live in TX (no winter) but my son still in Utica. As always the government does not care about the average person. Look at us now! People loved to blame Bush but he was better than what we have today!

  57. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Yes, the upstate region got hit hard with this “recession”. Actually all of NY is in pretty bad shape. The free-spending
    politicians have put the once great state is a terrible position.
    For all of Nixons “shortcomings” I do not remember him blaming JFK or LBJ for what they left him. For those of you too young to remember, they left him with 500,000 troups on the ground in Viet-Nam.

  58. Mary Raynor says:

    Well said, Bob and Roy.

  59. neeley talley says:

    i was stationed,griffis 1959 to 1963. weapons load crew chief. at the time 1959, itrained in class room, no b52s. our crews were sent to ramey afb.,for training, first time isaw b52. after returning to griffis, we welcomed b52s. i loved griffis in spring summer and fall. idont miss winter,tied with rope to deice ac, fell afew times insnow no problem. wing commander was sabertooth john brock.he tried to help us by taxieng b52s,f.o.d.wrecked several engines. i loaded hound dogs and nucks memmories are good.

  60. Harry Ireland says:

    I finally got to visit Griffiss this spring while visiting my son at FT Drum. Ilived there from 1959 to 1964 in Skyline Terrace which is now completrely torn down and RFA was built acroos from it.I hadn’t been ther in 46 years. I went to Delta dam and saw the old runway. If anyone who was s ked from 1959 to 1964 and lived there let me know my family went to church in Rome AT ST Johns Lutheran. My father was a LTC with the 416th Bomb wing.

  61. Scott Carpenter says:

    Steve Hall on Sat, 11th Sep 2010 7:03 pm
    I would sure love for someone in that area to stop by 3703D Pluto Lane and get some pictures of the outside and inside. My dad died in 1985 and my mom is almost 80, I would sure love to see the place one more time B4 my mom or me leave this earth.
    Shoot me an email at …I took some exterior shots of 3703D Pluto Ln this morning with my cell phone, not sure about going inside though, place is pretty dilapidated as is the entire Woodhaven tract. A movie company should come here to shoot a “wiped out by….” future type movie…ya know?

  62. Roy H. Lewis says:

    De-snowing Aircraft. It was crazy the way they would send personel on the planes to brush the snow off. Same thing in Nebraska ( Offutt AFB) But I went TDY to Alaska in the late fall of 1969. There they took one of those jet engine starters
    MA-1A ? blowers and fastened the end of the hose to a cherry picker. Would blow the snow off. Seemed like a great idea to me. Griffiss 67-68 Offutt was colder, but Griffiss got far more snow. Alaska — now that was “bleeping” cold.
    Interesting web page htp:// for you Hound Dog guys, like me.

  63. Stefan Golebiowski says:

    I was stationed at the Griff from 9/73 to 6/76 in the USAF Hospital Squadron at the Dental Clinic. Those where good times then. I passed through there in 11/09 and boy have things changed. I hope to go back up there sometime in 2011 and spend a little more time. If anyone else stationed at the Hospital Squadron around the same time…give a holler.

  64. bob gutkowski says:

    Hello,I was a freshman at Syracuse U. in 1956 and in AFROTC.recall there was about 20 of us picked for testing at Griffis,re combat pilot needs.since I had a serious car accident about 20 years ago,I can still recall some of the testing.centrifuge,depth chart,identifying color of my friends who was also on the S.U.frosh hoops team as I was recalled to me that it was tough and intended to separate the potential.I had always wanted to fly the F86F there anyone in the Rome.N.Y area that was in either rotc or regular air force that can re-acquaint me with that.I know when it closed a lot of folks were my head and heart I will always be a Flyboy or Zoomee.have gone to Peterson air force base here in Colo.springs,saw the T-33 but no chipmunk.was always an aviation buff even as a Kid…thanks for your time and help,regards..bob gutkowski

  65. bob gutkowski says:

    thanks for the response.also looking for pictures of Jet aircraft from that era.from f-80 thru f-86 and if you know of any good books on aviation from that era let me know.I am also a writer.guess I don;t have red blood coursing thru maybe just blue jet fuel.we had a lot of really good people in afrotc at “cuse and I have many good memories from that time and place.feel free to add any thoughts you have.thanks bob gutkowski

  66. Mike says:

    Hi everyone,

    I took a bit of time today and snapped a bunch of pictures of the Park Drive Woodhaven housing as it sits today. I was only 9 or so when the base closed, and I didn’t live in Rome, so I really have no memories of what it was like when the base was still active. As you can see, the housing is quite rundown and has been the target of vandals over the years. A handful of the houses have been fixed up and are being lived in, but the vast majority looks as it does in the pictures. As others have said, the other housing (Atlas Drive, etc – I’m not sure the name of it?) has been torn down. The new RFA has been built across the road. They have a construction gate across the entrance of where the housing was, but a few weeks ago it happened to be open while I was driving by, so I drove in. There aren’t any houses at all, but the roads are still somewhat intact, and it would make quite a nice park or something. I don’t have any idea what they have planned for in there, if anything. I’m not sure who exactly has been doing the demolition either – government or if it’s been bought by a private company or something. At any rate, here’s the album – I hope I did it right. You should be able to zoom in on the pics, and I added comments to some of them. And I apologize but they’re not in the greatest order… It was difficult to notice what road I was on when I was taking the pics, as there are no longer street signs. At any rate, I hope you enjoy seeing the housing as it sits today, dismal as it is…

  67. Roy says:

    Seasons Greetings — or Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone out there. After a couple of years it looks like I am the only one from the 416 AMMS (Airborm Missle Maintenance Squadron) who has found this site. I was at Griffiss from April 67 to August 68. That is when they had the Hound Dog Missiles on the B-52’s. Great place but too much snow. Well I wish every one of you a healthy and happy 2011 … and beyond.

  68. george perkins says:

    My father, capt glenn perkins, and the rest of us were at griffiss 65-70. We lived on Atlas drive. I have my fondest memories there. Attended bellamy elem. 3rd thru 5th grade then we moved to holland patent. I have a photo of me standing along side a hounddog missle, and sitting atop a quail. My dad was in the AMMS. As for those red styrofoam balls? we used to pluck them off the antenae for fun and collect them. All these posts really take me back.

  69. To all, I was the eye doctor at GAFB from 1983-1986. I found a website that really caught my attention. It is dedicated to the honor and memory of those who suffered accidents and war casualties in our B-52 aircraft. Note the accident at Griffiss on 8/5/72. Would anyone be able to add details to this entry, or any of the others listed on the site? I am touched by the first-hand reports here, as they humanize the descriptions what happened to these brave airmen.

    • frank hitzel says:

      i was stationed at griffiss afb from 1961 to
      1965 at the 2845 usaf hospital
      some of the bars were pfeiffers on floyd ave
      casey’s on old route 49 to utica

      i attended utica evening division and
      graduated from penna state

      i remember when one of the fighters from the 49 fis
      crashed on the runway. the guidance system failed
      the pilot jettisoned the canopy and went
      headfirst on to the runway and did not live
      they were good years for a airman. i completed
      my education at penn state in 1970 bs in business
      now 70 years old and living in northern pa where i
      i was born really enjoyed my days their

  70. Roy H. Lewis says:

    George Perkins;

    I remember your father. I believe he was the “maintenance officier” for the 416th. AMMS. Whatever his position was, we both worked for the 416th. AMMS.


  71. Pledger Moon says:

    I was at Griffis from 1956 until 1959. I went to tech school with Bill Price at Sheppard AFB, Texas. Bill posted above a couple of years ago. As a note, Bill passed away this spring, 2010. I was on the dock crew initially then transferred to the flight line where the birds were alive. I was a crew chief and upon going to the line my first bird was an F89D number 532649. Later I was crew chief briefly of 548. We converted our D,s to J,s and my last plane was 850. I always felt that 850 was my true plane as it was transferred into the squadron and I was its first crew chief in the 465th FIS. Other planes in our flight were 623, 625,648 and 660. My first flight chief was Sgt Kelso and our line chief was Sgt Kubilus.

  72. I was a little surprised to see this site. It has been a long time since I lived in Rome NY. I was born in Rome Hospital not to far from Griffiss AFB. I remember when the town was busiling with people. I rememember the streets being crowded.I saw the the base slowly close down and eventually close altogether. That was a sad event.I remember a lot of the bars that were in their hay-day,the rusty bucket which went through more names than I can count, then their was the midtown bar which was bought out to make room for the building of the now standing ft stanwick.I had been away from rome a number of years but when I passed through for a visit I surprized and disappointed at how many more buildings I used to see were gone

  73. Mary R. says:

    I loved living in Rome. I worked at the fish hatchery. That was in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Sad to see it the way it is now. Things like this shouldn’t happen, but it can’t be helped, I guess.

  74. Roy H. Lewis says:

    As a native NY’er and still a resident I lay th blame for the condition the state is in ENTIRELY on the NY politicians.
    Both parties are at fault for giving into the unions, again and again. The rest of us have been saddled with a huge burden.

  75. Bruce Harrington says:

    I was a B52 bomb nav tech in the 416 bomb wing from 1965-1968.
    One of the best experiences of my life.
    Would like to hear from anyone there during this period, especially Joseph Crisafulli who was a great mentor.

  76. Bruce Harrington says:

    Roy Lewis
    I have a great photo of hound dogs hung on a B52 taken from a KC135 during refueling.

  77. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Bruce: Bomb Nav tech ???? Which squadron we you assigned to?
    I was at Griffiss from 67 to 68 416 AMMS …


  78. Steve Douglas says:

    I was at Griffiss for a brief time late ’72 to March ’73 assigned to the 416th AMS. Loved all the snow. Cleveland, Oh native. Loved watching the B-52’s take off and land. Went to the Ohio Tavern in Uttica. I remember one time someone turned up the heater and “cooked” the fish in an E-9’s hallway aquarium.

  79. Bruce Harrington says:

    Hi Roy
    I was with the 416th AEMS.
    Noticed watering hole references in previous postings.
    Anyone remember Lindys or Coal Yard Charlies?

  80. Mary R. says:

    I vaguely remember Coalyard Charlies. Rome is a pretty sad place now that the base is gone. Lots of industries gone, too.

  81. Lauren says:

    I was there from January 69 to May of 72. I remember the Rusty Nail, The Stock Yard, and when you went out the gate Sears was on the right hand side of the road. If you went straight across there was Friendly’s Ice Cream. Is Romex still in business, they used to make electrical wire cable.

  82. Scott says:

    Lindys is long gone (Lindy was a close personal friend of my Dad…great guy, Lindy passed 20+ years ago) Rusty Nail is now another name, but the bar is still there. The Stockyards is still there although the old buildings around it are gone and it is now next to a Walgreens. General Cable produced Romex and they are as well long gone. Friendly’s Ice Cream is still there and still has good ice cream. Sears is gone, Montgomery Ward is likewise gone….but for all the loss that Rome has endured, we are still here and still proud of the many faces that came through “The Griff” back in her heyday…..all are welcome when you want to come through…I miss watching those B.U.F.F.s doing landing and take off practice…but, times always change…

  83. Scott says:

    …and yes, Coalyard Charlies is still open for biz.

  84. Ah, “The Coalyard,” as we called it. The hospital gang definitely shot a few rounds of pool there on a Friday evening, just a few years ago (1983-1986)! I will have to include it on my annual tour of the area, when I go up in July for the Boilermaker race in Utica.

  85. Mary R. says:

    I think Rome is my favorite place in all the U.S. that I have lived, and I have lived all over the U.S. Just something about it…I really liked it. I worked at the fish hatchery.

  86. Smith Weygant says:

    I worked on KC135 and B52 Nav equipment as a A1C at Griffiss
    from 60 to 63 and remember Coalyard Charlies, DA’s Bar and Grill, bartender Barbera, Georges Tavern, Georges’ twin daughters, Schottische, twist, mash potato, Marilyn. Also ORI’s, AEMS, Doppler, Tacan, VOR, Search Radar, the Finches(Babyface, Whybe, Fungus, Monti,…), Cuban Missile Crisis, Mobility gear, Blue station wagon to base ops, C47 to Olmstead AFB, near crash over PA, KC135 to Warner Robbins, small arms loaded, Cuba? no, left turn over Atlantic to Morocco, Chromedome, 15 minute doppler repair
    Chromedome maintenance base

  87. Ken Kubilus says:

    Ran across this video today and thought that those who were stationed at Griffiss would enjoy seeing this.

    The video description: This is how we did the MITO back in the day.
    These are B-52G’s and KC-135A’s from the 416 BMW, at the former Griffiss AFB, NY. The Buff with the old “lizard” paint scheme is piloted by Capt. John Hannan. The loud voices you hear are the maintenance specialists that worked all night getting the aircraft ready.

    Global Shield Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) launch of B-52’s and K-135’s back in 1987. What you’re seeing in the video is taking place, simultaneously, at every SAC base in the United States. Every B-52 in the video was eventually sent to the boneyard by HW Bush to be chopped up according to STAT Treaty. We went from a fleet of 300 of these monsters to under 70 today.
    You’ll notice the KC-135’s are flying heavy by the amount of runway they’re taking and they’re also trying to fly under the jet wash of the BUFF’s. The turbulence really bounces them around. ”

    • Phil says:

      I was up on SAC Hill when this kicked off. Other side of the runway. The video is being shot from the vantage point on Perimeter Rd, just down from the WSA. I worked in Comm, we had out Transceiver and receiver sites over there along with NORADS High Frequency Radio building. I was there from ’85 to ’95.

  88. Mary R. says:

    Thank you, Ken, for sharing that! I put the link on my Facebook and have gotten a comment already from a former Marine who loved the video. My husband remembers watching those nose-to-tail flights at Griffiss!!! Too bad most of them are gone. We dis-arm to our peril.

  89. Don Roberts says:

    As a kid I would sit on a dock on Lake Delta and watch these scrambling maneuvers overhead in amazement. Now my amazement comes from thinking about how much incredible power we had to protect The White House from attack, and it was all thrown away. Goes to show how weak we must look to terrorists now. Think 9/11 would have been attempted if Griffiss was what it was, instead of a business park?

  90. Mary R. says:

    My sentiments, too, Don. Unbelievable how we have left such an important, populated city such as N.Y.C. unprotected. Hard to believe how it was all thrown away.

  91. Scott Carpenter says:

    @Ken…thanks for the video link…I remember those MITO flights….we used to sit on the road at the end of the runway and hang out there until the base cops showed up to chase us off….it was awesome watching those places roar….the video brought back a lot of memories….

  92. Major John Sullivan says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss AFB 1974-1978 (active duty), 1978-1985 (reserves), and was a communications officer for the Northern Communications Area (NCA) later renamed to Continental Communications Division (CCD). I met my future wife who worked as as a secretary at MET 7. We were married in 1977 at the Old First Methodist Church in downtown Rome. Rome was a nice little city with many of the cultural activities of the big cities but without the hassle. Delta Lake was a few minutes away and was a great place to picnic or sail a small boat. The Boonville Gorge State Park was a beautiful place to go to see fall colors. My in-laws still live in Rome so we visit the city from time to time. It’s still down economically as is all of Upstate NY.

  93. Paul Baldwin says:

    Harry Ireland contact me at

    Paul Boriack confirmed me.

  94. HARRY SHARP says:

    I was stationed at the Griff from Jul. 1864, until Nov. 1968 with the 416 OMS. When I left there to go to Thailand I was the crew chief of B52 57-6518. My wife went back to Rome in July 1976 for the opening of the reconstructed Ft. Stanwix. we again went back to Rome in May 2001. What a change we saw since the base closed. I do remember the cold winters on the flight line, and the cold mornings on the alert pad. they were some of the best times in my life

  95. Dave King says:

    I lived on Griffis for 13 years at 3607 B Mars drive. My dad retired in 1972 ( Msgt Charles E King 416th AMMS ) The Woodhaven housing area was a neat place to live. It was a blast as a kid. Floating down the Mohawk from Lake Delta dam to Staley Jr High. The snow was awesome for making money with a snow blower. I also have memories of the ORI’s and watching the 52’s take off with all the black smoke. I had many friends and still do in the Rome area. I currently live in Va. I went back to Rome a few years ago and drove through Woodhaven and tears came to my eyes when I saw the house in such bad shape. It’s sad that the Feds let this happen to such a beautiful and fun place. To this day when people ask me where I;m from I say Rome NY. That was home for a very long time for me and always will be…. VERY FOND MEMORIES of that place.

  96. Bill Potter says:

    Dave, I feel the same way when I drive around Utica, with many fond memories. We lived in an apartment on Oneida Street when I was stationed at Griffiss 1983-1986. It was a wonderful building that is now in sad disrepair and barely occupied. Utica was headed south even then, but it is scarey now. I still hit Symeon’s or the Buffalo Head when I come back to run the Boilermaker!

  97. Roy H. Lewis says:

    To: Dave King;

    I believe I worked with your father. I was in the 416 AMMS 67-68. The Hound Dog Guidance Shop.


  98. Mary R. says:

    Yes,I have fond memories of Rome, N.Y. and Griffiss AFB. It truly is a shame that the Feds let everything go downhill so badly. Happens all over the place. No money to keep it up, I’m sure.

  99. Was in 49th fighter squadron 63-67.Played guitar at Hiway Inn.Lindeys was quite a hangout and we had a great time those years.Still have my 29 Ford hot rod and memories of a lot of great friends. Carlton

  100. Dave Smith says:

    I was stationed at the Griff from 1964 til Oct. 1968 with 416th AMMS Hound Dog Missle. Hey Roy. Worked flight line then hanger and finally Combined Systems in the bay. Sure was a chilly place in wintah! That snow storm of 65-66 was unreal, 54 plus inches!!!! Awesome to see the alert birds buried with just the tails sticking out of the snowdrifts. Whatching the 52’s & 135’s launching during the ORI’s was amazing! Was there when the figther went into Delta Lake and when the 52, (think from Minot), crashed just missing the trailor park. Messy sight! Really brought home how quick an air crew can buy it or any of use for that matter! Had some good times at Coalyard Charlie’s. To good sometimes!! Anybody remember The Green Acres? Anybody know the werebouts of Willy Broderick? I remember Charlie King. Sorry to hear he’s passed. Quess we’re all gonna do it though. Hey Guys, I’m looking to buy 4 416th Bombardment Wing patches for my memoabilia collection. Anybody got any or any leads? I never had any when I was at Griffis. Dumb!! Don’t rememember if we even had AMMS patches. If we did, don’t have them either. Do remember having the blue ball caps with 416 on one side and AMMS on the other. In combined Systems we wore those, blue neck dickies and white coveralls and shined brogans. Remember how well those worked out for me, beings I was the bay jockey snuggeled up to the J 52 to keep warm and grease and JP really just seemed to jump off the engine at me. Yup, my wife loved it I remember the 1st sgt. and commander bein especially impressed on time to!!!

  101. Dave Smith says:

    AHHHH! I just wrote a whole novel on my time at Griffiss and wallah, it deleted!!! @$@^%&!@# Was stationed there 1964 til Oct 1968. Was In 416th AMMS. Hey, Roy. Dave, I remember Charlie King. Sorry, but I guess we’ll all follow him someday. I was a sgt. in 68. Worked everywhere in the squadron, flightline, hanger ,alert pad and finally. combined systems. Remember wearing white coveralls, blue dickie and blue ball cap with 416 on one side and AMMS on the other. Remember I was a grease and jet fuel magnet. Wife loved it! Remember the cold, the snow ,the blizzard of 65-66. 54″ of snow,WOW! Remember Coalyard Charlie’s, Green Acres, some and some nights are a blur!!! Was back to the Griff in 95 on my way to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Syracuse. Lotta changes! Anybody know the werebouts of Willy Broderick? Hey Guys, I’m looking to purchase 4 416 Bombardment Wing patches. Anybody got same or know of same? Don’t remember if we had AMMS patches or not but I never had any of either. Would like to get same for my AF memorabilia. E mail is outta service. Picked up some FOD I quess. Ya’ll can reach me at 207-763-3052 or Dave Smith 16 Smith Dr. Hope, Me, 04847. Thanks. Bye Bye for now. Hope this finds it,s way to ya’ll.

  102. Dave Smith says:

    Opps! How bout that, both of these minnie novels seemed to have made the trip. Spect this PS might do the same. To Carlton Zeigler, I just sold a 30 A Hot Rot PU, fenderless with a flathead and a lotta topline equip,Posies, Pete & Jakes, S&W’ Painless etc. etc. Got a 38 Plymouth tudor with a 350/350 Olds setup, Nova front and rear, and all the other goodies, a 57 Chevy SS-HT with a warm 283, 350 AT, Tropical Turquoise, a 65 Ford F-100 Short bed from Mississippi runnin a 300/6, C-6 both new and a 68 Ford XL Conv. 302/C4 bought new in 68 in NY. Happy Motorheadin to ya. I’m retired several years now and do bout 65 to 80 events a year plus use em as daily drivers weather permitin. Been a long wintah! I’m more than ready. Keep the dirty side down. Dave Smith.

  103. Roy says:

    Wing patches: The only place I found info on wing patches was the website. This site is mainly oriented around the Hound Dog missile, which was carried on the B-52 from the early 60s to some time in the 70s.

    Dave Smith, it looks like you spent quite a few years at Griffiss.

    I was only there for slightly over 1 year 67-68. Do your remember polishing, painting, cleaning for some kind of BIG inspection. I believe it was a Senator Stennis who I was introduced to in the Hound Dog hanger. Wrong place at the wrong time for me I guess.

    I still have the “Welcome to Griffiss AFB” book …. Many photo’s are now on the AMMS website I gave you above.

    Take care. Like you and the rest of us, we will be joining Charlie King in the big squadron in the sky some day.

    Was the Highway inn in Loyd ?

  104. Hi Dave,Had a nailhead in the 29 back then ,sadly it finally gave up the ghost and I went to a Coevette 350 in the 80’s.HiWay Inn was right out side the base.We were thinking of meeting together(the band)and playing a night just for fun. The HiWay nixed the idea,said they were a family place now!We did have some good nights there.Now playing with 36-37 Cordsand putting a stock 31 A coupe together Carlton

  105. Stefan Golebiowski says:


    The Highway Inn was in Floyd. We spent many a good time there in the early 70’s.

  106. bob gutkowski says:

    hi folks…still trying to learn more about what Griffiss AFB was doing with testing and training in mid to late 50’s when I was at Syracuse U.I called post standard to check their archives,but haven;t heard anything back frat house was destroyed by a fire in 1978 and I know their were ROTC guys who were my frat brothers.well there are no records that were recovered there either.the Herald Journal was gone decades ago.there is one fellow here who grew up in Rome.he is in office business supply biz.he is trying to check also.I recall it was a very tough weekend.would appreciate everybody’s help in my quest for Information.thanks,bob gutkowski

  107. Dave King says:

    To: Roy Lewis

    Roy, I asked my Mother and she said your names sounds familiar. What a small world..

    To: Dave Smith
    I tink my Mom has some patches hanging in her basement with my Dads stuff. I will look to see what she has.

    Does anyone remember John Selock or Bill Wehnke. Iam still in close contact with both of them. John Lives in Maryland and Bill still lives in Rome

    It is GREAT to hear from guys that knew and worked with my Dad….

  108. Roy H. Lewis says:

    @ Dave King; If your father was in the guidance shop then I worked with him Shop chief was James Santaferra. If you go th the AMMS Alumni there is quite a few listings of guys who worked on the Hound Dog AMMS. With their bases and years.

    Best to your “Mom”

    I was very young when I was at Griffiss — I joined the AF in 1966 1 week after graduating High School Got to Griffiss before I turned 19. Was there from April 67 to August 68.

    @ Dave Smith — I too wrote a short “memoir” of my time in the A.F.

    I also remember the Highway Inn 🙂


  109. Dave King says:

    @Roy Lewis
    Santaferra went to school to get his teaching degree and was a teacher at Rome Free Academy. I remeber him well. I also talked to my mom she has 2 416th AMMS patches in a frame with all my dads stuff she also has pictures of the white coveralls and blue dickies you guys wore,if you give me an e-mail address I can e-mail u the pictures. I have submitted pictures of my dad getting the Missle Maint Tech of the year award to the AMMS web site and they have been posted on the site

  110. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Yes; Santaferra was going to college when I was @ Griffiss. I actually took one college course a Utica College the yer I was at Griffiss AFB. Please send me the photo’s of the patches.


  111. Dave Smith says:

    @Dave King.I was looking around on the AMMS Alumni site today and saw the pics of your dad. Sure brought back memories. The newspaper clipping and pic of the 416th AMMS receiving the Best AMMS in 8th AF for 1966,the tall skinny kid right directly behind the plaque with the darkish hair is me. I’m a 100lbs. heavier, balding and somewhat shorter now due to deteriorated discs in my back and a couple of back ops. Was a kick to see that pic though. I can’t get emails anymore.??? That part of computer is 10-7. You’d have to copy them and send by mail. Big Pain!!!! Address is 16 Smith Dr. Hope, Me. O4847 though. I became a career firefighter and Emg. Serv. Dispatcher after the AF. Retired now and wheel&deal special interest cars, hot rods, customs, sports cars, antique cars & trucks etc. I can’t open all the pics on my computer but the newspaper clippings were great. Think Roy Lewis sent in some of the pics. One was of Mac Wallace. He was my next door nieghbor on Bloomfield Ave. Wonder if he remembers Pappy Dunn, Granny Tibbett, Dick Brickell, Dave Simpson, Ed Felker and all those guys? The more I go through the alumni pages the more names and memories come flooding back. Adios.

  112. Roy Lewis says:

    @ Dave King

    The would really appreciate any info you can give them about the Hound Dog Missile. Especially some photo’s of the 416th Squadron Patches.


  113. Jerome says:

    I was born and raised in Rome. It is very sad what has happened there after the base has closed. The town still has not recovered, probably never will. I remember when East Dominick street was jammed with traffic from Reeve and Pettybone. Houses can still be bought for a song if you agree to live in them. Problem is there are no jobs. Meadowbrook used to be a nice place when it was new. I remember walking by there to go to school. Now with the new prison in town and the fine people that have relocated to be near their loved ones, the town has gone even further down hill.

  114. Mary R. says:

    We used to live in Meadowbrook Apartments when we were stationed at Griffiss. I used to buy one item from the Revere Ware factory each payday until I had a nice collection. I still have most of them. Sad that that factory moved out along with Pettybone. Meadowbrook Apartments were new and lovely when we lived there, but last time we went through, they had gotten rather run down. Rome was such a lovely place to live and I will always miss it. I worked at the fish hatchery.

  115. Wow,Just saw the photos of the housing.Hope all my friends escaped the downturn.Met Bobby Kennedy in Downtown when he was running for office.I heard they decommissioned the 49 fighter
    Squadron.I still have the plaque they gave when I left in my shop Carlton

  116. Dave King says:

    @ Dave Smith,,,funny you mention Pappy Dunn. I clearly remember him coming to our house and playing Santa when I was a kid..Ed Felker is now an officer and was stationed at the Pentagon for a while.

    @ Roy Lewis, Im going to visit my mom soon I will take the pics and send to anyone that would like to see them. I Live in Va and she lives in Maryland so I dont get over there as often as I like.

    @ Mary R…My Mom also still has the pots and pans hanging in her kitchen from Revere. She got those things over 30 years ago and uses them daily..

  117. Roy Lewis says:

    Thanks Dave. I look forward to getting the photo’s


  118. bob weitzel says:


  119. George Nelson says:

    I was stationed at Griffis AFB from 1982 thru 1994 worked as crew chief on tankers and bombers, also taught as FTD instructor as well. What a great place in Rome. Wanted to retire there until the base was targeted for closure…what a shame.

  120. Bill Columbus says:

    Interesting site! I was at Griffiss from 83-85 first as security – humping the bombers, then cross-trained into operations as the ground training scheduler for the KC135s. Last I was in that area was 1987. I passed through the town but never went on base. Heard about the changes and “woodstock” through the news. I had some great times, sweet loves, and made some great memories. Now with the wonders of Google Earth, I take a trip there every so often, even if it’s just virtual.

  121. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Drill team; I do not remember it, but once as “punishment” for getting a parking ticket on base I got put on a “sh& list”. I had to work crowd control when the Thunderbirds performed in 1967 and also had funeral detail for some guy. On the bus to the funeral they were teaching us how to operate the bolt action rifles. I am surprised no one dropped one during the ceremony.

    I I live in Dutchess County NY and right now I am very tired of the rain. I hope everyone has a great summer and please drive safely.


  122. Mary R. says:

    Hafta try Google Earth!

  123. Bill Columbus says:

    To Mary R – Google Earth lets you scan all over the world and to street level at times. I suppose you can get the same view from Google Maps and without downloading it. Needless to say, I can only remember some things from 25 years ago and I’m sure that things changed dramatically. One day I hope to get up there and take a real look around. I’m quite sure that the bar JJ’s is no longer there. 🙂

  124. Scott Carpenter says:

    You are correct that JJ’s is long gone…in its place is a used car lot, but Victor Gattari still owns the property and his sons run the operation….not your usual “sleazy-peasy credit easy” dumps…they run it with quality cars and quality service.

  125. john B says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss in 1969 SAC 462X0 load crew on the B-52. Was a young married airmen at the time and rented an apartment on W Dominick St. It was an old house and the owner (older Italian man and his wife) had turned it into 3 apartments, he had the bottom floor. The rent was $80 a month, my new wife and I had the 3rd floor. Can’t remember the address but did a google earth looks like not much has changed on Dominick. Sad to see the base housing has not been put to good use. The spring and summer were beautiful not too crazy about the winter. Have not been back since 1969 was sorry to hear they closed Griffiss. My friend Mike Krajewski and his new wife Mary, we used to hang out at the Rusty Nail and did a lot of bowling. Is the Bowling ally still there? Lost touch with Mike when I was shipped out to Thailand. I know he was from Buffalo NY. Mike if you ever read this send me an email

  126. Aymee says:

    My ex-husband was stationed at Griffiss til 1984-85. Our daughter was born there and I have often thought of taking her to see her birth place. I know the base no longer exists but are some of the building structures still up (the hospital)? Is it worth it or should I not bother?

  127. Jim Fahey says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss AFB (1967-1969) was assigned to the 2019th Communications Sq. taking care of TACAN, ILS instrament landing systems (Localizer, Glideslopes), VOR, HOMING BEACONS, etc. My time spent in Rome was pure enjoyment.
    I was newly married to a wonderful girl who also enjoyed life living in Rome NY. We rented an apartment on Kossuth St. for $60 monthly and we both were happy living and shopping in Rome until I was TDY to Japan. Rome & Griffis AFB was truly a happy environment for living in. We both miss that time of our lives. We lost all contact with any of our friends.

  128. Mary R. says:

    Aymee, it is always worth it to take your child to where she was born; we took our son to the base near where he was born in England, even though it was shut down and half demolished. If you can afford it and feel you want to go, imo it would be worth it and your daughter will love it. I don’t know how much of the base is standing, though. It has been many years since we have been there.

  129. Brigette V. Bishop says:

    It is so wonderful to think back to the wonderful times living on the base in Rome New York. My father John H. Bishop was a Sgt. at that time and my sister and I were between the ages of 5 to 8. It was such a joy growing up there. We lived on 2014 South Titan Circle on Griffiss Air Force Base. I loved the snowing winters and the beautiful white Christmas’s!!!!!! Absolutely Beautiful!!!

    • Phil says:

      When were you there? I lived on S. Titan for awhile ’85-’88, then moved to N. Titan when we had our second child. At the house on S. Titan, behind us was a big field with a pond (to the east). We could see the bar that was on old 331(??) from the house.

  130. Chuck Merkel says:

    I was at HQ GEEIA 1966-68. We lived on base on Pluto Lane.

    Anyone ever eat at Coal Yard Charlies?

    • frank hitzel says:

      my name is frank hitzel i was at griffiss from 1961
      to 1965 member of the 2845 usaf hospital

      we were there many times

      still miss the place
      i am now 70 years old

  131. Ron Pillsbury says:

    Just found this site. Funny how you get nostalgic as you get older. I was in the 416th AEMS from July 66 thru June 68. I worked on the electronic countermeasure systems for the B52’s. These posts bring back some old and good memories. I got married shortly after being transferred there. We lived at 757 West Liberty street. Paid $80 a month for an upstairs apartment and $5 a month for a garage around the corner. I remember lots of snow, extreme cold, friendly people, and beautiful fall leaves. There is no experience like working under the nose radome without gloves in 30 degrees below zero weather and snow blowing so hard you could’nt see your hands.

  132. It’s been a great pleasure reading all these comments! There’s so much history here. Thanks for all your comments!

  133. Roy H. Lewis says:

    “GEEIA” I was told that stood for “Get Every Electronic Idiot Available”. 🙂 Please take the comment lightly. I am sure you had an accronym for AMMS

  134. trying yet to get some information on the testing I went thru in 1956 at Griffiss.there were about 20 of us enrolled in AFROTC at Syracuse there anyone who can refresh my memories.and would anybody here at Peterson AFB colorado springs know anything about those tests.I did find some old pictures of me with my wing and signing up at the Archbold Gym.could use any help you can give me,we had a grueling weekend at Griffiss.I can recall something about combat pilot training tests.I live in colorado springs.let me know.thanks very much

  135. bob vassallo says:

    Reside in Philly. Belong to B52 Stratofortress Org and found this B52 on display. Drove to Rome NY and memories flowed into my head….Operation Niagara, Linebacker I & II. ORIs, I was NCOIC in Wingstandboard Section, Sheppard AFB and then became assigned to lst Combat Eval Grp, Barksdale AFB until retirement in 1985 (1965-1985). I read where the people of Griffiss want to make a more detailed museum…where do I send a donation.

  136. John Kaiser says:

    This is for Harry Sharp. You were my trainer at Griffis in 1966.
    Do you remember me, I was the only five level one striper on the flight line? Please send me a message via I was stationed at Griffis 1966-1969 as a jet aircraft mechanic in support branch. John Kaiser

  137. Gene McConnell says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss from sometime in 1965 (xferred from Robins AFB in Georgia) thru December 1967. I was assigned to the 416th AEMS and worked on the B-52 ASG-15 Fire Control Systems. I remember well the bitter cold and the wind. (we referred to it as “The Hawk”) I loved the area and the people and have nothing but fond memories of the time spent there ……well, there was that one time I had to replace the azimuth hydraulic pump on a turret in the freezing cold at night which was the equivalent of replacing the spark plugs in an engine by accessing through the exhaust pipe.

    • Bruce Harrington says:

      Memory is fading, but I thing we might have been room mates. You, me and Ron Erdman.
      I was Bomb Nav from 1964 until 1968.

  138. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Looks like we all have at least one thing in common. For some reason we remember the snow & cold… why is that? After Griffiss (April 67 till July 68) I was transfered to Offutt AFB Nebraska. Not as much snow, but I think overall it was colder. Replacing an astrotracker on the top of an RC-135C in the winter was probably as much fun as replacing the Azimuth hydraulic pump. To make my 4 year hitch even more fun, I had a TDY to Kadena AFB Okinawa the summer of 69 and then to Fairbanks Alaska in November 69 … Well for someone who never traveled more then 200 miles from NYC prior to joining in tht AF in 66, I did get to see a lot of the world thanks to Uncle Sam.

  139. Michael Foster says:

    I remember growing up on Griffis. We lived right outside the gat on Park Dr. I remember sitting on the hill watching the b-52’s take off one right after the other. And the air shows… I love those Thunderbirds. Memories never Forgotten.

  140. Roy H. Lewis says:

    The Thunderbirds. Funny, I think it was in ’67 when I got a parking ticket on base. That got me put on a “Sh!t list”. Was assigned crowd control when the Thunderbirds were there. Memorial Day ?

    • Chuck Laval says:

      I do remember the T-Birds that day, I was on the same list and got the same crowd control duty. I was in the AE RADAR shop on the hill. It wasn’t a time for good judgement, lighting up the tires on my 67-GTO while the old man was pitching a baseball game at the base field.
      I do remember the winters were cold (-31) on the flight line and the mountains of snow that lasted till almost the end of July. I guess that’s one of the reasons I retired in Fla.

  141. Chuck Merkel says:

    I was stationed at HQ GEEIA, GAFB, from 1965-1968. One of those winters we had a terrific snow storm while at work. I can’t remember how I got home that evening to Pluto Dr. in base housing but it wasn’t by driving my car. The snow had drifted quite high in the parking lot. A day or so later went to retrieve my car and had to shovel a lot of snow. Checking under the hood, the wind had packed the entire engine compartment with snow. Quite a job to clean it out.

    Anybody remember the dancers in the cage, upstairs in the stag bar at the NCO club? Quite few of the rated personnel would be there on certain nights.

  142. Robert G Gerring ( A1C USAF Retired says:

    Msgt L. P. Eastwood it was a pleasure reading your post. I too was stationed at Griffis AFB, Rome NY 1964-1966 as a Hydraulic Repairman. In July 1966 was reassighned overseas to the 432nd, Udorn RTAFB, thailand.

  143. Msgt L.P.Eastwood says:

    Robert G. Gerring, Left Kunson went to McGuire AFB in New Jersey (C-141). Went to Hill AFB Utah became an instructor on the F-4’s. From there to McDill AFB, Florida Master Instructor on F-4 and F-16. Final assignment was Minot AFB, North Dakota B-52H and KC 135. Retired in November of 1988.

  144. Robert Haywood says:

    Stationed at Griffiss AFB from 89-94 as a Fuels System Tech and then escaped maintenance and became an FTD Instructor (again after 5 previous years as instructor on F-15s) in AETC. But, I hated SAC with a passion especially with their manning policies. Performed more 12+ hour shifts in 3 years of SAC maintenance at Griffiss than all other remaining six bases combined in my 20 year career. Rome was a great place to live and the snow was fantastic especially when you owned a pair of snowmobiles. The people are greatly missed!

  145. arthur holyoke says:

    Stationed there from sep. 64 till may 68 except for two months tdy at Kadena in 66. Married a girl from Utica and presently live in Whitesboro ny about 10 miles from base so saw the whole decline. Was with 416 fms as jet engine mechanic, spent most of time in engine conditioning working on flight line out of nose dock 1. Do remember the “hawk” hasen’t been too bad the last few years

  146. Carol says:

    Just wondering if anyone ever heard of a man by the name of James Bugarelli, he was an air police with the air force in 1959, was stationed at Brize norton in England for a time then.

  147. mike wells says:

    My father was an NCO at Griffis from 68-74 working on KC-135’s. Retired there. His name was Hugh Wells, TSgt. I remember the snow and how it seemed everyone had a snowmobile. Went to Stitville Elem school in Floyd from kinder to I think second or third grade. Remember the fire at the commisary and how we sat in the car watching it burn down. Remember the B-52 that went off the runway and was stuck for quite awhile. Remember going into a hanger with my dad and not knowing that the yellow guiding lines were just painted on the floor causing me to leave foot prints all over the hanger floor (sorry to whom ever had to clean that up) Remember every time a B-52 flew over our home in Floyd we would lose TV reception. Remember the King Pin Bowling Alley outside the gate in Rome. Many many memmories as a kid there.

  148. Bud Jeansonne says:

    I was an instrument repairman for the 49th FIS at Griffiss AFB from September 1963 to January 1965. My boss was Sgt. Pat Colvin and I remember Sgt. Hansel running the radar shop. Other guys I remember were Bob Angel, Ray Belcher, Cliff Plotkin, Howie Bokor, and Bob Sambone. All great guys.

  149. Harry Ireland says:

    I was a ked at Griffiss from 59-64. My father commanded the A&E Squadron WE lived on Titan in Skyline Terrace. I just got back from visiting the old homestead as my son was stationed at Ft. DRum, Skyline Terrace is completely torn down and parts are overgrown. Where the hospital was an Wyndclifff Hotel stands and the Rome HIgh school is now on the site of the ball field; SAC hill is now the site of a NORAD station. I drove down Domnic into town. Bellamy Elementary is still there. And FT. STaanwix has been rebuilt. All the factories are closed. Send me a message if you where there any time bet 59 and 64. email

  150. Frank Udvarhely says:

    I was stationed there from 9/68 through my H. discharge in 8/71. I was assigned to the 2019th Comm Squad as a ground radar repairman. They were some of the best years of my life. I had many friends, both military and civilian during my stay there and the memories have been flowing back as I read through many of the comments. I hope all is well with all my former military and civilian colleagues.

  151. Ron Larson says:

    I was an IBM tech rep on the Bomb/ Nav system on the B-52s in 1959. Arrived before the first “G”s arrived and helped set up the mockup. I got them to put the radar antenna up on the roof. Lt Col Mc Kinney was the CO, a fine gentleman. Flew a few times on the oil burner route over the Adirondacks to the RBS site at Watertown. Managed to climb Mt Marcy. Came from Walker where we had 49 “E”s so just 15 a/c were a piece of cake. Left in 1960 for Loring with the 2 sqdns, like going from the frying pan into the fire.

  152. Don Braemer says:

    I was at Griffiss from 1967 to 1970, I was assigned to the T-33 section with three birds. 55-3019/56-1767 and 57-572. I was a staff Sargent and crew chief of 57-572. I recall one of the regular pilots Major Duffey, is he still arround? Is their any one in this group that worked in the T-33 crew back then?

  153. Charles Bartlett says:

    I was at Griffiss in the Com/Nav shop of the 49th FIS from July 1969 thru August 1972. I was a Staff Sergeant Aircraft Radio Tech. We worked on the F-106 radios and the T-33 sets also.
    Made several trips to Tyndall AFB on TDY and to bases in Maine and Mass with the 49th.
    Rome was a great town. I enjoyed all of the snow. Used to go down to the places in town and to Utica for shopping.
    Spent a lot of time at the NCO club. Ate many meals there also watched Monday night football there and joined in their lottery for the games.

  154. Gene Termyna says:

    My stepfather was stationed there from 68-71 Lived at 2024c south titan cir. used to ride our bikes around perimeter road to the observation site to watch the 52s,135s and 106s take off n land. My stefather was an electrician in the 49FIS.SSgt Brewster. Many fond memories of Griffiss

  155. hi checking in again.perhaps Mr.Bill Price or Evo can help me.I was at Syracuse U starting aug,1956.was on the frosh hoops team.and in AFROTC.I do recall about 20 of us picked to go to Griffiss for testing for combat pilot.I do recall the centrifuge and depth perception charts but since I had a very serious car accident in Colorado about 20years ago,may have had that part of memory gone.I did find some AF squadron yearbook pix.would appreciate it very much for someone on this site who may have been at Griffiss from late summer of 1956 thru summer of 1957.I know one of the other fellows on the S.U. frosh hoops team was also in AFROTC,think he was from Malone,N.Y. area.also any thing you can remember about the T 33 and the chipmunk let me know.thanks,bob gutkowski.I live near to Peterson AFB here in colorado to give this info to my grandkids,and you all are right about Rome.the people were delightful and very supportive of the guys at Griffiss.thanks very much bob is

  156. Roy H. Lewis says:

    Just checking in. 416 AMMS 67-68 Great group who kept those Hound Dogs flying. Interesting, back then the accuracy of the dogs with an atomic bomb; 2.5 miles was acceptable. Now the technology can fly them through a window I bet. But then again, with an atomic bomb, if you are off by a mile or so — so what.


  157. Tom Workman says:

    I was stationed at Griffiss for a year from late 1963 until late 1964. I was with the 416th AEMS and maintained the B-52G Defensive Fire Control System (FSC 32350G). I remember working the midnight shift that winter and trudging through knee deep snow on the flight line. Fortunately, from there I was sent to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. Two different extremes 🙂

    • Harry Ireland says:

      My father LTC Mike Ireland was the commander of 416 AEMS from while you were stationed there. Iwas a teenager than. I recently visited Griffiss as my son was stationed at Ft. Drum the base is basically gone all th post housing has been torn down. Hampton inn is where the hospital was and the high school where the softball field was. However on SAC hill is an Air Force early warning center which was the people who scrambled the fighter on 9/11

  158. Pam Garfield says:

    My uncle was Master Sergeant Francis Begy. I believe he was a mechanic. He was there during the 50’s then in 1968 was stationed in Goldsboro, N.C. I’m from Canada and in 1962 spent my entire summer at Griffiss. I loved it there. I used to babysit for Johnny and Cathy Jewel who also lived on the base. That was the best summer I ever had!

  159. John Juszkiewicz says:

    Was station at Griffiss from 75-76 with 2019 Comm Sq coming from Alaska the snow was no big deal.Live on Eire Blvd East just down from the canal and on the Mohawk river great fishing. My wife was not a big fan with the snow as she was in California while I was in Alaska. Use to hung out at Coal Yard Charlie’s across the highway from our house… old Phil the owner made the best prime rib on Saturday nights. Left there and went to Offutt to fly on the airborne command post more cold and snow until I retired. Griffiss was one of the best assignment I had.

  160. JOHN NILSEN says:

    JOHN NILSEN 416 OMS 1960-1964


  161. arthur holyoke says:

    Any jet engine mechanics from 416nth stationed there from mid 60’s to late 60’s? Was there 64 to 68 most of time on flight line.

  162. Wally Tomaszewski says:

    Have not looked at the site in a while. Smith Weygant I recognize that name. I was A/1C in the Autopilot shop down the hallway from the radar shop on sac hill. You mentioned the finches: Monti(Ronnie Montifusco) and baby face(Foster Alexander)and Doug Painter all fiches.
    I had the white 55 Ford with MOONLIGHT MADNESS in old english lettering painted on the rear Q-Panel.
    Sure remember the Cuban Missle Crisis working 12 hr shifts. The TDYs to Maron Airbase in Spain in support of the B52’s were a blast. Rustys was the origional name to the Rusty Nail. Knew the owner Rusty himself and cool barmaid Patty Gorman back in 61-64.

  163. charles banks a/1c says:

    stationed 1962-1966 went to a&p school on the base in 1966 t get my tickets great town people were great was with the 416 fms did many tdy,s really enjoyed my tour, hope sgt petterinni still around. best first sgt. around