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Bill Sandlin

After graduating from F-86 Transition and gunnery training at Nellis AFB the spring of 1953 I was assigned to Korea. However the armistice was signed. So I went to a brand new 15th FIS at Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona.

I had a wonderful time helping this squadron form. We took over the old Airline Terminal at the northwest side, and I became a cleaner upper and carpenter. My very first Squadron Commander, Major Hugh “Slip” Slater and I got along famously. Just think - the Air Force paid me to shoot skeet, and furnished the ammo and targets. Because I had been an aircraft mechanic, I was given an additional duty as the “Assistant Maintenance Officer.” I enjoyed joining our mechanics and helping them mechanic our aircraft. After a year or two we were re-equipped with F-86Ds and became an “All Weather Unit” at Tucson, Arizona, which is CAVU almost all the time.

On September 23, 1955; I married a Mexican-American, Pima County Sheriffs Deputy. My goodness, this made our marriage very interesting. I proposed during her very first flight aloft.

I left the Air Force on December 19, 1955 and joined American Airlines on February 7, 1956, with 1,590 logged flight hours. After completing training at LaGuardia Airport, New York City, I was assigned to Boston. Can you imagine a Louisiana native with a civil war (‘The War of Northern Aggression’) great grandfather? I mean having to look at “Yankee” Statues.

This resulted in the “only” Yankee Sandlin, when our first was born in Boston.

Early 1959, we moved to the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex. After accumulating 29,604 logged flight hours, I retired December 28, 1988 and started visiting the localities I had viewed from the air, via motorcycle. For a fellow that didn’t leave Louisiana until 1950, flying lead to “Travelitis.”

Looking back on it, my time with you’all was tops.