Photo: BR at home. 08/09/2003


The day I turned 18, I volunteered for the draft. Two months later to the day, Feb.7 1955, I was on my way to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. In May I reported to Btry G, 2nd Bn, 1st GM Gp, Package # 34 at Ft. Bliss, TX. The first night I was there I was the only person on the floor as the rest of the Pkg. was at RCRC pulling work details. In the middle of the night I awoke to a god-awful noise and looked out the window at the biggest damn airplane. I thought it was going hit the roof of the building. I found out later that we were in line with a major runway at Biggs Air Base and the airplane was a SAC B-36 heavy bomber.

Well it was late summer (September I think) when we went RCRC to fire the equipment, then back to Bliss. On the 5th of October I received orders that our package was reassigned as Btry B 602nd AAA Msl Bn, Army Cml Center Md. and WP o/a 11Oct to report NLT Nov 3, 1955. It was early spring 1956 that we moved to Fort Smallwood near Annapolis Md. This site went through several name changes. It was also known as Pasadena and lastly Jacobsville. Sometime in early 1956 we were changed to C Btry 36th.

I was released from active duty Feb 7 1957 at Fort Meade, MD. After release I went back to Illinois and then to St. Louis where I worked briefly at McDonnell Douglas building F101s. I came back home and worked for the B&O Railroad then to Chicago as a cable splicer for Western Union. Here I, on a lark, applied for the Illinois State Police and found a home. I retired in Dec. 1989 after 30 years. The first 20 years were on the road, the last 10 were in a Cessna 182 or a Cessna 310. It was a Great Life but I must admit that RCRC, even though I was only there briefly, left a lasting impression on my soul and all the Pkg. # 34 guys were the greatest.

Good Health to All. I was so proud to be among you.

B. R. Blaydes

If anyone out there knows where to find Chief Warrant Robert Kerr or Captain Paul Ellis, please notify the Webmaster. He will pass your info along to me.