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Medrick G. "Rick" Johnson

Rank

Samsun

TUSLOG Det 3-2

1962 - 1963

2015 by Author

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I transferred from Peshawar to Samsun in early '62. I was a 203 and roomed with "Elfie" Brannigan.  Finished the tour in early '63 and completed my enlistment at NSA. Currently, my wife and I reside in La Quinta, CA (near Palm Springs), having retired about 12 years ago from Yamaha Motor Corp. USA (34 years).  I enlisted in June of 1960 in Phoenix, AZ (Scottsdale), after dropping out of ASU.  (Enlisted -- not drafted.)  I was sent to Syracuse University to learn Russian and graduated from course with honors.  From Syracuse, I was sent to Goodfellow AFB, TX, in early 1961 for 20331-1 training (Intercept).  I was scheduled for flight status, but was pulled off with emergency orders to Peshawar, Pakistan.  Spent six months in Peshawar and then transferred (kind of an emergency, I guess) to Samsun, Turkey (Operator and Transcriber).  At Samsun, my room-mate was "Elfie" Brannigan.  From Samsun, I was then assigned to NSA (Ft. Meade, MD) in '63 (Linguist/Analyst) with Top Secret Codeword/Crypto Clearance.

I formed the folk-singing trio (Gold Coast Trio), and won our category in the 1964 USAF World Wide Talent Contest; made a movie with other winners "Tops In Blue"; was scheduled to go on the Ed Sullivan Show, but were pre-empted by four funny looking guys with long hair and English accents.  Discharged in June of '64 in Laguna Beach, Ca.

My two best buds (in and out of the Air Force) and I met studying Russian at Syracuse... Dave McMichael, who enlisted in Grass Valley, CA, and Cim (Cimarron) Conway from Carmel, CA.  Dave went to Wakkanai, Japan, and Cim went to Trabzon, Turkey, during the same time I was in Peshawar and Samsun.  We lucked out and all three of us ended up at NSA.  I learned a few chords on the guitar and banjo, stole a bunch of Kingston Trio songs, and entered the (huge) talent contest....(see above).

Dave is retired from the ad business and lives in San Clemente, CA, and Cim, unfortunately died a couple of years ago in Ben Lomond, CA (near Santa Cruz).

I hope I can scare up a few of our close pals from any of the above assignments.  Am excited to know that our old Alma Mater, what was the tiny and obscure USAF Security Service has an "alumni organization", and I would be honored to be a part of it.

Medrick G. (Rick) Johnson


CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE:

Best Buds in Samsun, Charles Simon, Rick Collins, & "Tombstone".

Banjo Break, Samsun:  Rick Johnson & Rick Collins.

Team "Red Raiders", Rick Johnson & Bob Hayden.