The highlight of 1948 was my arrival on the scene. Little did I know that at the time of my birth, my dad was taking a course on Jet Engine Theory. Times were a changing in the aircraft industry and he was motivated to keep up with those changes. One thing my father valued was education.
He received his Certificate of Award from the State Board of Vocational Education and the Seattle Public Schools. He took this class at the Edison Technical School on Capital Hill in Seattle.
This was the original name for the Seattle Community College School District. It would expand to four campus’ throughout the Seattle area and more. He paid $3.00 for the course.
The photos below list the courses offered back then. Just click on the photo and it will open in a larger window, then remember to click your back button or close the window to return.
One thing about the government is that you can count on raises, at least in those days. On November 1, 1948 Keith received a raise. He was designated an Aircraft Mechanic General Leadingman at the U.S. Naval Air Station. He was still with the Boeing-Renton Naval Storage Project, unfortunately, I have not been able to find out much about it.
In December of 1948 he moved back to Sandpoint to the Overhaul & Repair Dept. He stayed there till 1952.
Describe this job: 12/20/48 to June 1951, Assembly Div. Fixed equipment: installation of seats, lockers, brackets, floors, turrets (PBY), armor plate or misc. body installations. June to Oct. 1951 Flight Control, installation of control actuators, cables, pulleys, rigging. October 9, 1951 to June 1952, disassembly, complete disassembly of PBY & PBM aircraft and delivery to planners for dispatching to repair shops. Routine duties of shop supervisor including time sheets, material and parts ordering, requests for engineering information, efficiency rating, shop equipment ordering, some design, shop planning, correction of materials, inter shop coordination. Supervisors: G. Leach, E. George Quarterman, about 20-28 in the department.
Again in 1950 and 1952 he took more classes through the Navy Training School. In April of 1950 he took the Initial Supervisor Training and then in 1952 he took a course titled Supervisor Development. Now, I think he would have been great as a supervisor for he was very good at teaching me how to drive a car. He never yelled and he just treated me like I was an equal. He carefully explained things to me.
In August of 1951 he received his Airman Card from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Civil Aeronautics Administration. It has his name, address, signature, height, weight, color of hair, date of birth and place of birth, date of issue and it was signed. This card is no longer used because all these different departments were split up and moved to other departments like the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA. You can try to read this article at Wikipedia but it is very complicated.
The following is a picture of him that was on his Airman Card. Well I see that the balding has almost become complete. There is a little fuzz on the top still. This is the man I knew.
More changes was coming and Keith was going to get caught in the closing of the Naval Air Station at Sandpoint:
From the HistoryLink website: Final Decades for the Naval Air Station
Peace came in August 1945. NAS Seattle found itself in a substantially reduced mission and by June 1946, the combined military and civilian staff dropped to about 3,000. Vast quantities of surplus supplies flooding onto the station and Sand Point became responsible for the preservation of 89 flying boats at Renton. Repair and overhaul of aircraft continued through the 1940s, but the Navy announced that the base would close permanently on September 1, 1950.
World events once again overtook the station when the Korean War erupted in June 1950. Closure plans were first held “in abeyance” then canceled as the base went to a six-day work week overhauling and modifying aircraft, training reservists, supporting operations at Whidbey Island, and supplying the fleet. That conflict ended in 1953 and so did the station’s responsibility for overhauling aircraft. The number of civilian employees dropped from 1800 to 200.
This would not necessarily be a bad thing for Keith as we shall see, he didn’t think of himself as a Navy man instead he was Air Force.