I joined the Navy in Oct. 57, went to boot camp at San Diego.  Reported to
Norman, Oklahoma in Jan. 58.  Survived Aviation Fundementals School and
received orders to ATA School in Memphis.  I started "A" School early in
58. I completed ATA school as an AT. i.e. I had both the N phase and R
phase. As I remember it Don Lee and I were one of the first or last to be
straight AT's. A School competed in August or September of 58 and received
orders to COMBARPAC  at Barbers Point Hawaii.  I was assigned to the Flag
Staff for the Barrier Operation.  In that capacity I operated the teletype
to NORAD headquarters in Colorado Springs. We also experimented with Single
Side Band voice communications with the picket ships. It did not work.
Growing bored with teletype I asked for radio school and received it.  At
the completion of radio school I worked at NAX5  until Oct 59 when I was
able to switch with a married radio operator in VW12 so he could stay home.
I was TAD to VW12 until the BUPERS cleaned all of the airdales out of
COMBARPAC and established AEWBARRONPAC to which I received orders to.
While TAD to VW12 I flew as 1st. Radio operator with a number of crews,
finally ending up with F24. Flying 15 hours barriers from Oct 59 to Jan 62
I only missed one deployement cycle.  I tool leave when I re-enlisted.  I
guess I amassed about 3500 hours in Super Connies during that period.
Went to ATIB school in early 62.  I met my wife of 37 years in Memphis
while in B school.  We got married in November of 62 when I graduated. Had
orders to VR8 at Moffet Field.  When I got to Moffett in Dec. of 62 I found
out we were at war in SVN.  Made a few trips in there.  We were flying
C121's and transitioned to the C130.  3 years later I was back in Memphis
for AVB schoo fpor 9 more months. That course was a ball buster.  Then VR1
Tacamo at Pax river in C130's.  Tacamo split off and became VQ4 shortly
after I got there.  Spring of 70 I was back in Memphis teaching at AVB
school.  Made E8 that year. Got orders to VS22 in 74. Whoa-a carrier
squadron. Went aboard the Saratoga as Maintenance Chief for VS22. I can
tell some stories about that-couldn't find my way from the Chief's quarters
to the flight deck and back.   I made the first 6 weeks of a Med cruise and
retired.  Throughout this process my wife managed to have 3 sons 3 years
apart. After retirement  we came back to Memphis.  I went to the University
of Memphis on the GI Bill and after all of the electronics training I got a
Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering. I needed to learn something
new.   Having a mechanical engineering degree and all of that electronics
training and experience has served me well.  I went to work for Cummins
Engine Company while in school in 1977 and have been here ever since. I
have spent those 22 years  building plants, building manufacturing lines,
and managing the Manufacturing Engineering department.   I got my pilots
license on 1990, built my own airplane which I have since sold and now own
two antique Pipers that I fly on regular basis.  My fondess Navy memories
however are of the Barrier.  Probalby because I was young, dumb, and
I plan to retire next year on my 62nd birthday or sooner if I get too much
crap at work.
Gib Pierce