Robert E. Wallace
818 72nd Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516-3834
April 8, 2000
I grew up in the Canton/Massillon area in Ohio and graduated from
Washington High School in Massillon on June 9, 1949. Six days later I
was on a train bound for Lackland AFB and Basic Training. After basic
was Technical School at Lowry AFB for Machine Accounting ??? What the
hell is that, I wondered. But continued the upward progress from Unit
Record Machines and Punched cards through IBM Computers with Magnetic
Tape and later with Disk Drives. Learned a lot of programming languages,
went on to Computer Timesharing and then to Personal Computers. Could
never get away from that field and now canít even spell programmer.
Finally graduated to plain old USER.
My first duty station was Chanute AFB, Rantoul, IL where I progressed to
After President Truman gave me an extra year, I re-enlisted and was on
my way to Korea on the USS Mitchell when the Armistice was signed and we
were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean enroute to the Replacement Depot
in Japan. Korea was phasing back and I wound up staying in Japan for
three years at Tachikawa AB.
Returned to US at Orlando AFB, FL, promoted to TSgt and applied for
Transferred to Parks AFB, CA where I was notified to report to Lackland
for Officer Training. You guys all know about the next six months.
commissioning, was assigned as Statistical Services Officer at Kincheloe
AFB, MI where I found our classmate Ben Cacciamani in the Personnel
active duty in 1960 due to personal problems and worked at 1st National
Bank of Orlando, now Sun Trust Banks, while staying in the active
Resolved my personal situation and applied for recall to active duty and
ordered to Myrtle Beach AFB, SC.
Transferred to McConnell AFB, KS after promotion to Captain. Received AF
Commendation Medal for transforming the worst Data Processing base in
TAC into 1st place.
Selected for duty with CINCPAC Joint Staff in Hawaii. CINCPAC station
was a Marine Base, Camp H. M. Smith, HI and my office was at Kunia in the
middle of Oahu in an underground 3 story building beneath a pineapple
field. The CINCPAC was Adm. McCain, father of our present Senator, and
the sword he wore when in full dress was bigger than he was. My first
boss was a Navy Commander, followed by an Army Major. It was a most
interesting assignment and worked closely with both the Operations and
Intelligence staffs. I accepted my Regular Commission and was selected
for promotion to Major. Received Joint Services Commendation Medal.
Transferred to Hq USAF Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, TX after my CINCPAC
tour and implemented the Weighted Airmanís Promotion System (WAPS).
After being alerted for transfer to Washington, DC, I chose to retire
before the L/C promotion board convened. Awarded a 2nd AF Commendation
worked for General Electricís Timesharing Division as a District
Technical Support Manager until a major reorganization eliminated my
district. I then worked for United Airlines in a Quality Assurance role
until that project with IBM was later abandoned. Next jobs were on major
consulting projects until I decided to permanently retire.
enjoyed all my AF roles and assignments while sometimes reflecting on
some of the more enjoyable fringe benefits. Bachelor Officers at Myrtle
Beach always escorted the Sun Fun USA Pageant contestants every year.
Wichita, KS was a great place for a Bachelor. Hawaii is where Louisa and
I were married. San Antonio is where we bought our 1st home (now part of