Nov 1965 - Nov 1966


I was stationed on Shemya with the USAFSS as a staff sergeant from November of 1965 through November of 1966. These photo's were taken in the summer of 1966.  One shows an RB-47 launch taken from my room in the consolidated building.  This was one of the last RB-47's in commission for that job.  We also had two SAC RC135's planes manned with USAFSS crews. The Security Squadron commander was Major Richard Drain.  He led the moustache growing contest during our year on the rock.  "Draino" had red hair and his handle bar made him look like Yosemite Sam from the cartoons. Memories from the rock are based on GI's using ingenuity to make fun out of a very depressing duty assignment.  Roll call keggers were frequently held in the bunkers from WWII.  We held a St. Patrick's Day Parade by the graves of the Russian Sailors and a Polar Bear swim in Aug of 1966 when it was a sweltering 47 degrees.

I've included an article about Shemya copied from The Seattle Times, dated 1 August, 1966.

e-Mail Tom Ryan

Boozer.jpg (19462 bytes) #1. This close up of Boozer is a great shot of the old guy in his familiar pose...he actually went swimming with us on the beach by the sunken barge in the heat wave of 1966 and we had a hard time getting him out of the water. (Click HERE for more on Boozer). This photo of Boozer was taken in the summer of 1966. Boozer was a malamute husky and the mascot of the USAFSS. He slept out in front of the consolidated and his favorite food was knockwurst soaked in beer. Unfortunately, the guys frequently kept Boozer drunk until Draino put a ban on that activity. Boozer had a son named LBJ (some thought after our then president) but it actually meant Little Boozer Junior. The president was referred to in far less kinder words (flim flam man, teenage assassin, etc.)
consolidated-bldg-opt.jpg (33936 bytes) #2. The consolidated building on Shemya is where we lived.
rb47-launch-1966-opt.jpg (18570 bytes) #3. the RB47 launch was taken from my room on the second floor front of the consolidated...down the road on the right are the gym and the theatre and the road continued on to the flight line. The flight line ended in a sheer drop cliff so the flight line was actually on a plateau like part of the rock.
big-alice-opt.jpg (30413 bytes) #4. Big Alice.
radar-hill-opt.jpg (27073 bytes) #5. Radar Hill. The principal sites operated by GE civilians.....we were not allowed to take any pictures of the AAF/JOG.
ssgt-ryan-opt.jpg (38819 bytes) #6. That's me...imitating a bird on Radar Hill.
tundra-rose-opt.jpg (52594 bytes) #7. The tundra flowers were a 22 year old's attempt at art photography.
fox-cave-1966-opt.jpg (25232 bytes) #8. Fox Cave. A shot of the brown tundra covered cliffs with the radar in the background....we used that cliff for down hill surfing on GI made cardboard was scary and great one hurt during my time.
wwii-bunker-opt.jpg (46383 bytes) #9. WWII Bunker.
Bunker-opt.jpg (40792 bytes) #10. Bunker.
shemya-plug-opt.jpg (55737 bytes) #11. The Shemya Plug. The plug is mentioned in the Times article and was right in front of the consolidated bldg near the flag pole. 


Last Updated: 22 Nov 2008 14:16