By H. V. O'Brien
Reporter-News Military Editor

"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.

Abilene-Reporter News
Abilene, Texas
Thursday Evening
August 10, 1961

Article courtesy of:
Guy E. Ridgeway
Former 17th TCS Commander and Firebird Pilot