McCulloch boys had lots of ‘fun’ at Lackland AFB

This week Tootsie reports on the McCulloch County boys who “fought” the North Koreans during 1950-54. The McCulloch County boys who took on North Korea from San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base during the early 1950s included Billy Dale Moseley, Carl Scoggins and myself, from Rochelle; A.J. Browning from Lohn, and Bobby Mohler, Jackie Gartman, C.E. Harlow, Charles Terry, Drew Rick-man and Montgomery Wagonner from Brady. We departed Brady on a chartered bus from Abilene, arriving about 6 p.m. We got to the base which was over crowded, got our first shots, orientation and to bed by midnight. Jackie and Bobby had been there since August as well as Carl and Montgomery, who was a captain in the reserves and had been called back into service. The third night we were there, Jackie came over to our barracks decked out in a second lieutentant’s uniform. The sergeant-in-charge of us stood and saluted him. Jackie asked for me, and we headed to downtown San Antonio. I was hiding in the trunk of the car after we got off the base. He stopped and let me out. I said, “I didn’t know you were an officer.” He replied, “Only at night. During working hours I’m a PFC (private first class).” I was nervous and happy at the same time. After nine days of basic training, we made permanent party, and I was in the same barracks with Jackie and Bobby Mohler. I couldn’t make up a bed like they wanted so I slept on top of the covers. I would go over to DrewRickman’s barracks to visit at night, but usually he was in a fight with someone. His cousin, Montgomery Wag-goner, was in charge of the brig or stockade. I suppose we would have all stayed there if it hadn’t have been for him. Mohler and A.J. Browning and I all worked in a headquarter squadron issuing special orders. The only way I got there was they asked for anyone who could type. I raised my hand and was put in charge of checking the typing of about 20 civilians who were typing orders, and I couldn’t even type. After about a year, Mohler was tap dancing on one of our work tables and Major Buche walked in. The next day Bobby was sent to Mitchell AFB in New York. By this time, Jackie had promoted himself to captain (night time only). We had a good time, just didn’t know it all the time. When General Eisenhower ran for President, he made a statement that if elected he would end the war in six months. He just about did it. We all got out in late 1954 and early 1955. I hope that Lackland has become more organized than it was back in those days. The only medal any of us won was the Good Conduct Medal which no one really deserved to receive. A.J. was the only one of us who re-enlisted. I’m sure Gartman would have been promoted to general in another year.

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