Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chapter 38

When I went to work the next morning I found I had been assigned as recruiting officer. I was very unhappy about not getting the job of operations officer I had been promised by Col. Jumper. He had been transferred and all promises were null and void. I lasted one week as recruiting officer. I went back to the personnel officer who was also my boss and said I was too honest for that job. By, did he blow his cork. He finally agreed to reassign me. He assigned me as an assistant ground safety officer. After one week, the base safety officer got out of the service and I was base safety officer.

Things in the Air Corps were in constant turmoil. The services were shuffling personnel out of the service as fast as they could and shuffling new personnel into fill the vacancies created by shuffling the first guy out. There within a few weeks, the guy who just came in would be notified he was eligible for release from the service and he would be gone in a day or two. Even bases were being shuffled. The training command didn’t need all its bases so they decided to close Fort Worth. But they couldn’t close Fort Worth because it was the airfield that supported Plant 4, which was Convair Aircraft Company. The Air Corps then decided to transfer the base to Strategic Air Command and SAC then decided to bring in a B-29 wing.

I had just begun to learn what ground safety was all about—the training command way—when SAC came in with a whole new way. To make things worse, the Air Force decided to also cut back the civilian force and fired my secretary. About the time my secretary left, SAC decided to inspect the new base and brought in a team to inspect the base. Since there were only Mr. Long, the safety engineer and myself and one of us had to man the office to answer the phone. I was forced to assist the inspection team and answer all their questions. SAC was much more safety conscious than training command so we were censored for several violations. We had to correct them and write a report stating how each discrepancy would be/was corrected. With no secretary in our office, all the writing had to be drafted, corrected and retyped by the personnel director’s secretary who complained bitterly. When the report reached the director who was my boss, he directed several corrections which required retyping. About this time, the director was released to go back to school teaching and the new director heard all the complaints of his secretary and ordered a new secretary hired for my safety office.

The first woman that was sent down by civilian personnel for interview was a big fat slob and didn’t have any of the skills required. I called the civilian personnel officer and rejected her. The next girl sent down was a little bit of a thing but cute as a little mule colt. After a very brief affirmative interview, Mr. Long and I were discussing her age. He insisted she couldn’t be more than 16 years old but I argued that the regulations wouldn’t permit them to hire anyone less than 18. When she came to work, we learned she was 27 years old, two years older than I. She had been a model in New York and had just decided to return to Fort Worth to live. She could also type and answer the phone.

After I learned what I supposed to do, I found I was having a hard time getting people to be safety conscious. I devised a series of bulletin boards, one in each important commander’s buildings. I labeled these boards, “booby traps.” As cheesecake, I would put pictures of some of the secretaries in various bathing beauty poses to attract attention. After that, I never had any trouble getting safety hazards corrected. One such bulletin board was just outside the base commander’s office. In a safety committee meeting, he indicated he would like to meet the little pin-up girl on this weeks’ picture. It was, of course, my secretary so I arranged to introduce him to her. Durned if she didn’t start dating her and about the time I was transferred, they were married.

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