The year of 1960 at Dreux AB was very good for me. I arrived ready to get to work on the 13th of January from Incirlik Air Base Adana, Turkey. I came by way of Adana, Ankara, and Istanbul, Turkey. A one night stay at the Istanbul Hilton hotel and next up was a flight to Munich, Germany. A same day flight on to Frankfurt, Germany and a flight from there to Paris, France then a nights stay at the Littre hotel. Then I headed out for Dreux by train and got a ride from there to Dreux AB the next afternoon.
Settled in at Dreux AB I was put into transcient alert. I had done this
type of work for all my stay at Incirlik AB. What a difference it was at
Dreux AB compared to Incirlik AB for we had very little traffic at Dreux
AB. The shift was still 24 hours on and 48 hours off as it was in Turkey.
Sometime in early February I met a young lady on the base and we saw each
other for a couple of months. After we parted company I was just doing
what there was to do on base on my off time. There was more to do on base
at Dreux than in Turkey.
I recall it was sometime late in May that year I was on duty, my 24 hour shift, and there were no aircraft left over from the day before to contend with. It was a very slow day and I had had breakfast, lunch, and dinner so when mid-night chow time rolled around I called ops on the intercom and told the airman on duty I was headed to the chow hall. He said all was quiet and no need to hurry.
I signed in at the chow hall and had eggs, bacon, sos, pancakes and a
quart carton of good ole milk from Holland. Then I sat back and talked to
some airmen and after an hour and a half I returned to work. When I began
transcient alert duty at Dreux we had a room and a bunk in the rear of the
main hanger. From the rear windows we could look out toward the snack bar.
Now we had been moved to a side room facing ops and the fire station more
toward the front corner of the hanger. We had a window and an outside
door, our telephone, intercom and of course our GI bunk. A table and a
chair made for comfort. This room was not large and who knows what it had
been used for in the past.
Well, here we are back to work from mid-night chow with nothing really to do. I placed a call to ops and I think the airman on duty was asleep for it took a while for him to respond. He told me there were no aircraft headed toward Dreux AB tonight. So I said to let me know if something pops up and he said OK. I had on my fatigues and not my white coveralls so I just closed the door and removed my boots, grabbed a GI blanket and tried to get a nap. Sometime around 1:00 AM the ops airman is calling to me on the intercom saying an F-86D fighter jet has landed on the runway at the 06 end and to park him near ops.
My boots on but not tied I ran to the parking apron close to the fire station but the F-86 fighter jet was making his turn there already heading the nose out toward the main runway. Landing lights off he cut his power and with the canopy already up he hopped down from the cockpit. I believe he was a 1st LT telling me he would be ready to leave within an hour. He said no fuel or chocks just a fire guard will do when I depart. Shoes tied I just got into my yellow 1954 VW follow me truck over near the hanger and pulled it up somewhat near the aircraft to sit and wait. Like the pilot said in an hours time, here he came ready to leave. He went up the aircraft side foot steps, seated himself, fired up his engine and with a salute got out of there. Of course I waited till he was airborn and then I went to finish my nap. I never asked anyone at ops what he came to Dreux AB for anyway.
Maybe some of our readers will let us know about this.
Just a story about one of the the small things that happened at Dreux Air Base
By A/2C Sibert