Memories of... Spirit Missions

Bud Calloway

Scott Hente and I (along with another CS-36 doolie squadron classmate) snuck out of the new dorm one night and went over to the Chaplain Rectory (the houses where the Chaplains lived, over by where the Visitor Center now sits, kind of at the south end of the cadet parking lot) and drank cheap wine (Boone's Farm or Strawberry Hill, I'm sure) with the daughters of one of the Chaplains and her girlfriends until about 3:00 am. We didn't really do anything with them, just got loopy, staggered back to the dorm and survived a pretty rough day following, but in any case it was pretty ballsy for first semester doolies. This was Hente's program—he knew, or had met, one of the girls somewhere (church?) and she had invited him to come over—so I was just an unwitting participant, along for the ride on this one!

Otto Dieffenbach

Memories of...Vandenberg's Raiders

Members of CS-31 were involved in the Commandant's Office-in-the-Air-Gardens caper. See the photo in the Checkpoints write up by Rich Chanick, published before our 30th Reunion. Can’t remember who was behind the camera.

Who crashed the F-15 into the Air Gardens? –  me.

Charlie Beadling

Memories of...The Minuteman III

The notorious Minuteman III mission.

Greg Frick

Ed Wilcock has the best recollection of our doolie year Army Week. He was the guy who hot-wired the tractor and was pulling the missile (that was on the trailer waiting to be installed in front of Fieldhouse) up the ramp and towards the center of the terrazzo when the tractor stalled—never made it. It would have been so cool to see that missile out in front of Mitchell Hall.

John Howard


I was not part of the MM III team, but I think it was that same night that Bentley Rayburn (my doolie roomie) and a couple of other guys from CS-36 tried to get the X-4 off the pedestal in the Air Gardens. We got it unchained and rotated it around, but it was way too heavy to move. We left it pointing at an odd angle (not at the dining hall when we started). A few days later we saw it chained down, but at the same odd angle we left it. So, you can look back at old pictures of the Air Gardens and tell if it was before or after the Fall of our doolie year by the direction the X-4 is pointing.

Dennis Mellen




...And After

I got the inspiration to write this from Paul Kent's article, on Charlie Beadling moving the Minuteman Missile for the Army game. The best I recollect, considering the “half-timer's” I suffer from (I only forget half the stuff), Steve Groathouse and I were playing foos-ball on Friday night before the Navy game. Seems our opponents, 2 bedwetting momma's boys from Canoe U staying as guests in our dorm thought they were pretty tough stuff consistently defeating us at the table. Obviously we needed revenge. As we left for our room, I got the brilliant idea to borrow (we will not lie, cheat . . . ) one of their uniforms until after the game. I think Steve came up with the idea about wearing it for the march-on and the scheming and planning began.

Our group wasn't scheduled to march on, but we still needed to wear our uniforms to the game, so the problem of how to transport the uniform to the game was a problem. Straining by having to think, we decided on a laundry bag. Taking my bed sheets and blankets out of the laundry bin (you remember, no one slept in their bed), we stuffed the Navy parades into the bag just prior to bordering the bus to the game.

Once at the game, we proceeded to a little cubby inside the tunnel at Falcon Stadium. Until that moment I had thought Steve was going to wear it onto the field, but no his flawless logic was, "Hey, it's your laundry bag!" He was right and so by default I was the undercover Swabbie. Following our plan, we waited for the break between the brigade of midshipman and the AF group.

At the point, I rushed out onto the field pretending I was late to ranks trying to find my spot. I must have run around the brigade 3 times before finally stopping throwing my hands up in despair and walking off the field through the tunnel. I wish I had a picture of the brigade commander's face. Unfortunately, I couldn't get off the field in time before a group commander Cadet Col. Rowe P. Stanton nabbed me by the collar and asked, "Are you one of us or one of them?" With "We will not lie, cheat or steal . . . " echoing in my mind I replied, "One of us." To which he replied pointing to the VIP seats, "Boy are you in trouble—do you know how many generals and admirals are watching, much less the television coverage?" Well, C/Col Rowe P. Stanton was right to the tune of “3 and 35”.

Two notes: (1) Rowe turned out to be my T-37 IP in pilot training, (2) and my squadron thought it was so cool, I got enough top ratings that I made the Commandant's List—while still marching tours! PS: Groathouse, you're still the best Smack-Wad-Do-Jazz Doolie I know!

Gary Whitfield

Does anyone recall unbolting the F104 and rolling it around one night? Not that I would admit to any first hand knowledge of it, of course...

Chuck Willis

Regarding Gary Whitfield’s question about unbolting the F-104 and moving it one night: I am hazy on the details, however, I recall there were only a very small number of us and that we were all wondering where it would end up as it rolled down the "Bring me Men" ramp. I think we borrowed bolt cutters to cut the chain, but I think he is right, we had only to unbolt it. The next day, there was a stern PA warning about molesting the "war memorials" on the terrazzo. Can anyone tell me what war the F-104 fought in? We pulled the stunt in part to upstage my brother's (class of sixty something) moving the Bell X-1 that required a crane to get back in place over near Arnold Hall. I am sitting here in a hotel in Vienna, Austria with insomnia about to return to the States. Reading this stuff really brought back some good memories.

Tom Schoeck




Basic Cadet James Schuman and I ('75 non-grad) took off one night in our bathrobes and sneakers (might have been slippers) for a jaunt to the Flat Iron. I believe (can't fully recall) that the dreaded Cougar Squadron had placed a "Big C" on the side of the Flat Iron using bed sheets. We were going to rearrange the sheets to spell out the big "E" of Executioners. After what seemed like twelve hours of aimless and rather hapless hiking (including some post dinner gas pains suffered by Mr. Shoe) we stopped to ponder our next move. Suddenly we heard some noises. Yep, some other crazies (with a flashlight too I believe) were coming close . . . obviously in pursuit of the wayward 40 sheets. Well, the ambush was classic. Basic Cadets Schuman and Schoeck, hiding in the bushes, when suddenly and with great ferocity we growled and grumbled (and passed gas) and shook those bushes for all that they were worth. "Bears that is . . . Black Bears . . . big and mean" (this portion sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies). My, oh my, how that group of America's finest did squeal and scamper and flee back in the direction of the Cadet Area. Sounded like a herd of little girl Brontosauri trampling a potato chip factory. And they never even stopped to consider why it was that the big mean Black Bear also made laughing noises and smelled like Mitchell Hall.

I suspect that the lads that got caught that night by the 'Phantom Grizzly' will never come out and quite admit that their feminine side got the best of them on the way to the Flat Iron during 1st BCT. And Shoe and I would never rub it in, of course. During future excursions, we stuck to guidons . . . I believe that 3 might have been our record for one night (perhaps 2). When we got back to 17th Squadron, I'm sure we snuck down and got a 10-cent Pepsi. Cadet Schuman probably spent the rest of the night shining my boots for me because he was a thoughtful roommate—but I'm also a little bit fuzzy on that.

Ric Lewallen




Buck Rogers & Kevin Huennekens at
General Galligan's Desk, Fall 1971

Freshman year: We took a screen off our dorm window, covered it with paper and painted a spirit sign on it. We then went in to the dining hall late one night. I and another fellow climbed onto the ceiling of the dining hall, dropped a rope down and hauled the sign up to the ceiling. The incredibly stupid, but true, part of the story was that at the time I was climbing through all those girders in the ceiling, I had a cast on for shin splints. Somehow, we survived.   

Junior year: We were going to play CU—which was always a big game. A group of us decided that we would hang a “Beat CU” sign on the marble side of Fairchild Hall. Someone commandeered some SERE LMRs. A classmate was a rock climber and he was going to rappel from the roof with the sign material. I found out the AP patrol schedule, and figured out how to fix the doors so we could get into Fairchild Hall at night. This was during a time when such "enthusiastic" spirit missions were highly frowned upon and we did not want to get caught. At about 1 AM, we deployed; the advance team got across to Fairchild Hall to the doors next to the library. Entry into the building went without a hitch. All was going well until an unscheduled patrol was going down the road between the terrazzo and Fairchild, and caught a glimpse of someone crossing the walk . . . lights flashing, they drove up the Bring Me Men ramp and deployed. Fortunately, the door team had sufficiently scattered and were not caught. Unfortunately, they discovered the doors unlocked and relocked them. The inside/rappel team did not have a way to get OUT of the building. Also, unfortunately, the rappeller was already on the side of the building. Fortunately, the SPs were focused on the activity at terrazzo level and never saw the rappeller. The cops eventually left. The inside/rappel team only got one letter up, so it was not the impact we had hoped, but it was good—and the fact that no one got caught made it even better.

Jim Carlson

Congratulations to Steve Rogers for continuing a long, dedicated professional career of service to our nation and mankind. Steve started out with our class as a doolie (with me) in CS-22. I had the good fortune to be in the same element with him during BCT where I recognized right away that this was one guy who was going to be leading our class eventually. In fact (and I’ve said this to Steve before), he was my direct inspiration to seek the position of class president (after our 10-year class reunion). 

Steve was our 22nd Squadron class council representative when we were smackwads, and he asked me to join him in several council meetings. What I remember about those meetings was that they were in the evenings some time before taps, and that it was good to get away from the squadron upperclassmen for an hour or two. I don’t remember too much of the meetings, or who were there (Bill Ellingsworth, Dan Burkett, and Bruce Edstrom are a few faces that I still recall). I do recall, however, that for what they now call a spirit mission, the class council voted one time to have us doolies take ourselves out for a morning run! It sounds preposterous now, but at the time, it was a way for us to engender class unity by doing something that took a lot of coordination and didn’t involve the upperclass. (There were always squadrons being taken on morning runs anyway, so it wouldn’t be too goofy an idea. This time, however, it would be the entire wing of doolies from '75!) We all formed up on a dark, early in the morning on the terrazzo by the Old Dorm, with a cadre of our classmates as wing staff who called us to order and a report! Each squadron reported all present or accounted for. After that, we ran as a group around the terrazzo, twice I think, made a lot of noise, and finally were dismissed. When we got back to our squadrons, the 3-smokes from ‘74 couldn’t quite figure out what was going on – but for the most part, they were glad they didn’t have to run us that morning. I think some squadrons had their smacks eat at rest that morning. I know ours did.

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