"The 17th is the pattern-maker." That's
the current description of the 17th Troop Carrier Squadron of
the 64th Troop Carrier Wing at Dyess AFB. The 17th is the first
of the wing's three squadrons, and "as goes the 17th, so
goes the wing," so to speak. Major G. E. Ridgeway, squadron
commander with 19 years of service, says the squadron is a little
over strength with 64 officers, and 119 airmen. The wing's second
squadron, the 19th, is due to be activated here about the first
of next year, with the third squadron coming later in the year.
The 17th Squadron is made up of a small administrative
section headed by Captain J. W. Joiner; an operations section,
headed by Major F. E. Ransford, a veteran ski-equipment specialist;
a maintenance section, headed by Captain J. E. Watson; and a personal
equipment section, headed by 1st Lt. John Kerr. Helping the squadron's
maintenance men with the upkeep of the C-130s are members of the
wing's maintenance squadron, which is slightly more than a third
of normal strength with 250 men "on board" here.
The mission of the squadron is much the same as that
for the wing, commanded by Colonel Donald F. Blake - supporting
Tactical Air Command operations, including primary re-supply of
the DEW line sites near the Arctic Circle. The squadron is authorized
16 planes and now has 14, some in various stages of modification.
M.Sgt. R. P. Rulin is first sergeant of the squadron
and Sgt. Tearl Tillery is line chief. Lt. William Stolgenburg
is supply officer. Major Ridgeway is a native of Mt. Vernon, Illinois,
and lives on the base with his wife, Mary, and children, B. Ann
14, and Kirby, 12, at 101 Utah Street.
August 10, 1961
Article courtesy of:
Guy E. Ridgeway
Former 17th TCS Commander and Firebird Pilot