King Salmon Air Force Station, on the north bank of the Naknek river, on the Alaskan Peninsula, was my first tour of duty in the Air Force. I was there from November 1963 to November 1964. My first full day of duty was November 22, 1963 — the day JFK was shot and all hell broke loose when the US military went on full combat alert.
I finally got all my surviving color slides (73 images) from my year in Alaska scanned and ready for prime time. All the images are ‘super slides’ shot with a box camera on 127 film. Here are a few neat reflection shots.
The Air Force Station was at one end of the King Salmon Airport. Our mission (Air Police Security) was guarding the alert aircraft hangar and the nuclear storage facility. The runway was long enough to accommodate a wide range of aircraft and we had all kinds of interesting visitors like this KC-135 Stratotanker from SAC (Strategic Air Command).
Here’s another shot I took from inside the patrol vehicle. Most of the time, us junior guys humped the ramp but we did get to ride patrol (in rotation).
I like the angle of this shot. There’s no mistaking this aircraft for anything but a tanker.
This final shot isn’t so dramatic, but it does give you a better sense of the refueling boom on the aircraft’s tail.
Little did I know that a year later I’d be stationed at Westover AFB in the center of Mass. Westover was a huge SAC base and 8th Air Force HQ that had 15 B-52s and a fleet of KC-135 tankers on alert ready to go when the sirens went off. The bombers were loaded with nukes and the tankers full up with JP4.
I was assigned to the Combat Defense Squadron (don’t remember our unit number). Our mission was to secure the flight line and guard every one of those aircraft and their alert air crews. I have plenty of stories but no photographs. And yes, I got to know the KC-135 and B-52 intimately — 8 long hours at a time.