Heading to Rockwell Air Depot in Coronado, San Diego, California for more Schooling, April 1938 to August 1938

Apparently Keith was sent to San Diego to take courses at the Rockwell Air Depot from April through July of 1938.  He was still with the 91st Squadron but I guess they sent him for more schooling.

Keith in Uniform with bloomers?

Keith in Uniform with bloomers?

He received a Certificate of Technical Training on April 28, 1938 in Automatic Pilot Maintenance. Apparently the course was April 14, to April 28, 1938. He received a Satisfactory with an efficiency rating of 90%. This was signed by J.T. Morris, Major, A.C. Chief Engineering Officer.

There was a 2nd Certificate of Technical Training on July 25, 1938 in Engine Overhaul and he received a Satisfactory. This was signed again by J.T. Morris, Major.

There were several other courses taken:  Electrician, Ignition and Battery, Repairer of Instruments.

There was a very large two page letter signed by C.H. Savage, Major, Air Corps. Adjutant, dated June 17, 1938.  It was a very involved letter so I share it here with the men’s service numbers blotted out.  Copies of the letter are available by leaving me a comment.

Special Orders No. 45, page 1

Special Orders No. 45, page 1

Special Orders No. 45, page 2

Special Orders No. 45, page 2

Keith writes his version of the classes he took at Rockwell Air Depot:

  • Disassembly 120 hours
  • Cylinders and values 20 hours
  • Rocker Arms, push rods 16 hours
  • Piston rings, rods 16 hours
  • Crankshaft 20 hours
  • Carburetors 20 hours
  • Generators 16 hours
  • Magneto 24 hours
  • Starters 20 hours
  • Assembly 104 hours

Total 374 hours

Remarks: Very good workman; interested in his work and attentive to orders and directions.

Another comment: Course: Controllable Propeller Maintenance, Rating satisfactory.

Based on articles online at Google and Wikipedia, it looks like Rockwell Air Depot was abandoned in favor of other fields like March Field just about the time Keith was there taking classes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_Field

When watching the Judy Garland show on TV in the late 50’s, my dad mentioned that he had seen Judy in person.  I do not know when this occurred but I am guessing it was when he was in California, or it could have been Minnesota?  He said that her voice was so strong it could be heard in the back of the auditorium.  Judy was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and there is a museum, which I have visited, about her life.

http://www.judygarlandmuseum.com/

Here are some photos of Keith with some friends cutting up a bit. Figuring out where photos were taken has been a little difficult.  This could be Shreveport where he was sent with friends, but the tiled roofs make me think it is Rockwell Depot in California or even earlier at March Field in California. It is summer time.  In any event he had fun.  He was probably the one who suggested this photo.  By now he was coming into being a photographer and film maker on his own he left me a great many photos.

Mowing duty, Keith on the left, the others are unnamed.

Mowing duty, Keith on the left, the others are unnamed.

Once he completed his courses, he headed back to Ft. Lewis to complete his service term with the 91st Observation Squadron in 1938.  Before he went back he made a visit to Mexico.

Posted in 2001, 2007, 91st Observation Squadron Gray Field Fort Lewis WA, California, Keith B. MacDonald, Rockwell Air Depot San Diego, San Diego, Trips to Minnesota 2000 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

91st Observation Squadron, Gray’s Field, Ft. Lewis, Washington May 1937 to April 1938…

Keith asked to be transferred to Ft. Lewis and the 91st Observation Squadron at Gray’s Field when he was stationed at Barksdale Field in Louisiana.

Entrance to Gray Field, Ft. Lewis, Washington 1937

Entrance to Gray Field, Ft. Lewis, Washington 1937

Here is Keith in his uniform. He is about 28 years old at this time.

Ft. Lewis, 1938 Private 1st Class Keith McDonald

Ft. Lewis, 1938 Private 1st Class Keith McDonald

A Lt. Col. Charles B. Oldfield, Officer in Charge at the Landing Field, Fort Lewis, Washington issued a Certificate on December 16, 1937.  It reads:

I certify that the following named enlisted men appeared before a duly constituted board of officers on December 6, 1937; that they successfully passed the examination with grades shown and that they are eligible for the rating of Air Mechanic in the classification indicate, provided they meet with the requirements of Army Regulations 95-70:

91st Observation Squadron, A.C.

  • Bachand, Warren L., Pvt. 1cl, #______, Repairer, camera 95%
  • Horst, Uriah, Pvt 1cl, #___________, Mechanic, aero engine, 82%
  • MacDonald, Keith B., Pvt. 1cl, # ______, Mechanic, aero engine, 95%
  • MacDonald, Keith B., Pvt. 1cl, # _______, Worker, propellers, 93%
  • Minter, Otis P., Private, # __________, Mechanic, gas engine, 78%
  • Shepherd, Edward M., Private, #______, Repairer, camera, 885
  • Molti, Conrad J., Private, #_____, Repairer, radio, 94%

3d Balloon Squadron, A.C.

  • Hall, Jack, Corporal, #_____, manoeuvering, 75%
  • Dortch, Paul H., Pvt 1cl, #_____, Mechanic, gas engine, 85%
  • Dortch, Paul H., Pvt 1cl, #______, Operator, balloon wi ch & motor windless equivalent, 79%
  • Phillips, Edward, Pvt 1cl, #______, Operator, balloon wi ch & motor windless equivalent, 79%
  • Schmaling, Robert W., Pvt 1cl, #______, Riggor, parachute, 99%
  • Forstad, Oswald  L., Private, #_________, Riggor, parachute, 94%
  • Cuptill, Edward H., Private, #_______, Repairer, radio, 88%
  • Meyer, William L., Private, #_______, Worker, sheet metal, 99%
  • Meyer, William L., Private, #________, Welder, 99%
  • Robbins, Wilbur D., Private, #___________, Armorer, 76%
  • Sutherland, James, Private, #_________, Weldor, 86%
  • MacDonough, John D., Private, #_______, Riggor, balloon, 78%”

Here is a link to HistoryLink.org about Gray Field at Fort Lewis and there is a picture of a Balloon hanger at Ft. Lewis.  This is very interesting to me because now I understand his interest in these balloons.

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=8623

1938 91st Sqdrn Calendar

1938 91st Sqdrn Calendar

Apparently once Keith arrived at Fort Lewis he was again transferred to the Rockwell Depot in Coronado, San Diego, California about April of 1938.  He was sent to get more instruction.  He was still attached to the 91st and would return to Washington State and make it his home.

Posted in 91st Observation Squadron Gray Field Fort Lewis WA, Fort Lewis, Gray's Field, Keith B. MacDonald, Washington State | Leave a comment

8th Attack Squadron, Air Corps, GHQ, Barksdale Field, Shreveport, LA – Dec. 1936 to May 1937

After graduating from the Air Corps School, Keith was assigned to the 8th Attack Squadron at Barksdale Field in Louisiana.  Here he is getting ready to leave Chanute Field:

Packing Up at Chanute Field

Packing Up at Chanute Field

Keith was very sentimental and would name his toys. I think that the vehicle in the above photograph was named “Priscilla.”  More on this vehicle in a future post.

Barksdale Field, LA

Barksdale Field, LA

He was in Shreveport about three months with a rating of Private.  His duties were Assistant Crew Chief and utility mechanic.  He worked on the Northrup A-17 and R-1535.

8th Attack Sqdron headquarters.

8th Attack Sqdron headquarters. Keith is on the right.

Work done: Preflight inspection, 20 & 40 hours, inspections, painting aircraft to compliance. Flight and Xc Mechanic.

Card for the 8th Attack Squadron

Card for the 8th Attack Squadron

Keith requested transfer to 91st Observation at Ft. Lewis.  He was on his way back to Washington State.

Posted in 8th Attack Squadron Barksdale Field Shreveport LA, Air Corps Technical School Rantoul Illinois, Illinois, Keith B. MacDonald, Keith B. MacDonald's Military Service, Louisiana, Rantoul, Shreveport | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Air Corps Technical School Graduation – 1936

After hours of study at the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, the day for graduating came. On the 13th of November, 1936 Keith B. MacDonald received his certificate of graduation from Air Corps Technical School in Airplane Mechanics

Air Corps Certificate 1936

Air Corps Certificate 1936

He also received a card showing all the classes he had taken, the hours and his grades. This was signed by Major James B. Carroll, Air Corps.

He was given a SATISFACTORY and he excelled in instruments, propellers, and construction as indicated by his grades.

Remarks were:

  • General conduct: excellent
  • Industry: satisfactory
  • Workmanship and theory: good
  • Resourcefulness: satisfactory
  • Reliable: does not require supervision.
  • A well qualified airplane mechanic.

Keith is 2nd from the left in the front row.

Graduation picture for 1936 Air Corp Technical Training School

Graduation picture for 1936 Air Corps Technical Training School

On the backside of this photograph are the names and signatures of his classmates, their home and station:

Air Corp 1936 graduation class names

Air Corp 1936 graduation class names

It reads Front Row – L to R:

  • Geo. Kettleband, 3 Jillson St., Prov. Rd, Boston
  • Keith B. MacDonald, Barksdale, LA
  • Louis Castro, 384 Davis Ave, West Brighton, S.I. N.Y., Langley, VA
  • Benny Dodyk, R#1 Utica, Mich, Maxwell Field
  • Leo Clingler, R.R. 2 Lebanon, Ind, Brooks Field
  • R.A. Dunbar, March – Plaino, Illinois, 625 East North St.
  • Robt Seward, 19 Adams St., Fair Haven, Vt., Kelly
  • G. F. [Tate], Chanute, Salt Lake City, Utah

Back Row – L to R:

  • Joseph F. [Iasobuzio], 413 Lincoln Rd., Bklyn, N.Y.,  Mitchell
  • Ray E. Boyer, Selinsgrove, PA, Randolph
  • Charles W. Burke, Hamilton, Virginia, Bolling Field, D.C.
  • John F. Clingar, March, Detroit, 94 Tuxedo
  • Maurice C. Unger, 1475 E. 11th, St., Cleveland, Ohio, Langley
  • Alfred Harris, 2626 Emmet St., Chicago, Ill., Randolph
  • Lawrence Ainsworth, 1002 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Az, Kelly

Here is the less formal graduation photo which I suspect was his idea:

Celebrating graduation

Celebrating graduation

Posted in Air Corps Technical School Rantoul Illinois, Illinois, Keith B. MacDonald, Keith B. MacDonald's Military Service, Rantoul | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment