Stories From The Flight Line

The Dummy and SSgt. Davis
a true story by Ted H. Welch Sr.

      It was early in the spring of 1967 so it was cold, chilly and somewhat damp. I always disliked the 3rd shift (11pm to 7am), as it seemed to drag by, especially during the hours of 2am, until the sun came up. That night, my post was tail security duty on the B-52s near the Christmas Tree area where there was a nose dock, with open doors behind each plane. Out of all the security duties on the flight line I enjoyed that post as one had more area to cover rather than humping around the same aircraft all night.

     As usual, around 2 or 3am I became very bored. I knew my supervisor, SSgt Davis, was due by with some coffee as I had radioed in with that request. Having more time on my hands than anything else, I rigged up a dummy using my rain poncho behind several items just inside one of the hanger doors. I positioned it in such a manner that he would see it upon trying to locate my position as he drove in the area where I was guarding. Soon, I saw the headlights of the pickup and he pulled up just as I thought he would next to my dummy. At that instant, I jumped out from my hiding place, opened the passenger door and shined my flashlight in his face. His reaction was as I expected, SSgt Davis was, to say the least, quite startled. If he was sleepy before, he sure wasn’t at that point!

     After entering the pickup I drank a couple cups of coffee as we sat and talked for a bit which allowed me to warm up. The rest of the night went by a lot quicker as I reminisced about the earlier escapade. I saw SSgt. Davis a couple more times that night and each time, to me, it seemed as if he was a bit more cautious in his quest to locate my whereabouts. For some reason, after that night, I seldom was placed on the duty roster for that coveted tail security position. In looking back it was worth it as the story still makes me chuckle to this day!

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