TUSLOG Det 3-2
Oct. 1959 - Oct. 1960
© 2013 by Author
Contact the Author
(05 Nov 2013.)
David Simmons here. I was the Baker Trick 202 from Oct. '59 - Oct '60.
I'm the one for whom you added Bill Baxter's name to the memorium page. I read your story down to and through the FOLLOW-UP piece and am sorry to disappoint you. There was a tunnel. I know that because I was one of the folks who found it and was actually in it. The entrance was in the roadside ditch down the road to Samsun, on the Black Sea side. Entry was made by lying on ones' back and scooching in. Once past the entry opening it was hands and knees. Not quite enough room to stand up. It went on for quite some distance. We explored it twice but to this day I have no idea of its extent. I would not go in there again. Talk about young and foolish. And yes, there was a skull which we recovered and brought back to the site. We set it on somebody's dresser, put a fez on it and I took a photo. I probably still have the slide somewhere if it hasn't turned to goo after 53 years.
I was in and out of Sam on a C-130 on several occasions. Typical itinerary was Sam, Trab, Athens, and back. No JATO assist needed.
Names I remember:
Bill Baxter 202
Herman "Buddy" Meyer 292 (later became a wildly successful college basketball player and then coach)
Wayne "Spook" Tiller 202
Stuart Wiseman 203, Syracuse
Van Carpenter 292
Red Wright 292 (I think)
I see lots of faces I can't put a name to anymore. Wish I knew where they all were and how their lives unfolded.
That's all for now, George. The USAFSS was quite a ride, wasn't it?
(09 Nov 2013.)
I've attached copies of four photos from of our Samsun days. They are copies of copies, and the originals weren't that good to begin with, so I hope they arrive on your end in good enough resolution for you to at least make something out. If not let me know and I'll snail mail them to you.
The group photo was taken at the entrance to the tunnel/cave. I guess my original description of its location wasn't very good. It's on the right side of the road (north side), down in the ditch, some distance down the hill from the Det 3-2 site entrance/guard shack/booth or whatever you want to call it. On the first trip there were only three of us; me, Carpenter, and a third who I can't recall. Might have been Red Wright. We had one weak flashlight, no rope, and no shovel. Did not like wriggling in on my back with black widows clustered just above my nose. No pictures on that one.
The Tunnel Crew. (Click for full size photo.)
The attached group photo folks are all Baker Trick, shown on our second excursion. To the right of the guy with the shovel, whose name I can't recall, is Van Carpenter (292), followed by the guy with the rope whose name I also don't recall, and then me (202). Below me is Jim Call (203 - I think), Stu Wiseman (203), and Bill Baxter (202 who took my place).
Van Carpenter and Me. (Click for full size photo.)
The photo showing me and Van Carpenter, seen grimacing, was taken fairly deep in. That's the rope extending down into a hole we're standing on the side of.
Dave's Skull. (Click for full size photo.)
Here is the skull on the dresser in my room. I have/had another image somewhere showing skull with red fez someone put on it. Don't remember what we did with the skull. It probably stayed there in somebody's room. Time has, unfortunately, eroded the quality of the slide.”In fact time has done the same to me! ~Dave Simmons
Beach Photo. (Click for full size photo.)
The beach photo was taken at "our" beach. When we wanted to go to the beach we just checked out motor pool jeeps. The boys are in the process of erecting a sun shade. The guy with the towel and striped shirt is Bill Baxter (202) and, clockwise, Rodriquez (292 - can't remember first), Danny (292 - can't remember last), Stu Wiseman (203).
Site Photo. (Click for full size photo.)
I climbed the tower to get the site photo - a no-no but I did it anyway. My quarters were just below and behind me and motor pool was to the left of the road.
I never came to, or left Det 3-2 any other way than by air. I was in and out on an Air Force C-130 a couple of times and Trabzon too. Don't know/remember what field we used but how many could there have been? No JATO. I think the only C-130's flying in 1959 and 1960 were the A & B models, neither of which were JATO capable anyway. I was an Air Force Loadmaster for five years, have owned and flown my own airplane, and have always had a moderate interest in airplanes. That by no means makes me an aviation expert but it does make me sufficiently knowledgeable to know whether or not I have ever been JATO'ed. In fact anyone experiencing JATO is not likely to ever forget it.
I have not found my slides yet but have not given up. If and when I find them I'll transfer them to CD and for posting here. You may do with it as you will. The images are obviously not doing me any good if I can't even find them.
Just happened to think that "by air only" is not strictly true. I went to Amasya by coal-burning train and to Ankara in a motorpool 6X. That trip was hell. Horrible road thru the back country. My back was screwed up for a month. Not a shock or spring worth a damn in a 6X.
(16 Nov 2013.)
Here's another item to add to my page, if you care to do so. I will send additions as they occur and time permits, and will send images if I ever find the slides. If it becomes bothersome just let me know. Thanks. Dave Simmons
For those of you who may have already forgotten what the dining hall served on Thanksgiving of 1959, here it is. The menus were printed on folded blue cardboard and placed on the tables. Also included was a greeting from commander Crepeau and a prayer of thanks from chaplain Rohrer. I thought the food was pretty good although I admit to having liked Air Force food no matter the venue. Anyway, the whole affair was nicely done considering the circumstances. In case you're wondering, I have no idea why I saved that menu.
(Click on each page of the Menu to see full-size.)
I remember reading somewhere that TUMPANE, the company that provided facility services in Turkey, hired U. S. citizens and Turk nationals to do the work. But I also remember that the person who ran the dining hall was a German and the guy who ran the motor pool was a Scot. That seems right to me but memory does not always serve.
As you may recall we ate pretty darned well for nearly the whole year and then went to ancient C-rats for the last day or two of the fiscal year (or K-rats; I forget which). I guess we were the victims of the budgeting philosophy that required using every red cent appropriated for the year or lose some of it for the following year. Remember the Lucky Strike cigarettes that were so old that they still had the green packaging instead of the white which came later? They were old but still actually smokeable, if one cared to do so. There was also some sort of flat, hard biscuit in there that I enjoyed gnawing on. I don't know if it was supposed to be that rock hard or not.