U.S.C.G. Air Station San Juan
I started my aviation career immediately upon graduating from Harwich High School on Cape Cod, MA. by joining the U.S. Coast Guard in September 1967. After months of training, I reported to my first duty station, USCG Air Station San Juan in Puerto Rico. After additional training I received my air crew wings and became a flight mechanic / SAR on the HU16E Albatross (goat). My years with the U.S.C.G. was certainly some of the great years in my life and a great start to what was to become.
My first introduction to Antilles Air Boats. VS-44 "Excambian" was the neighbor next door.
Naval Air Technical Training Center - NATTC - Millington, TN / Aviation Structural Mechanic School 1968
Returning to San Juan. Flying over Ramey A.F.B.
B-52 / Strategic Air Command
Naval Air Technical Training Center - NATTC - Millington, TN / Aviation Hydraulic Mechanic School 1968
A San Juan specific stencil and red spray paint was kept in the HU16 interior cabinet to inconspicuously let other Air Stations know when we visited. It was reciprocal until Command decided ...enough.
There were many happy feet appearing in/on HU16's for awhile. (inside a wheel well, or under a nav table, etc.)
Commercial airline flights from the States to Puerto Rico for the most part were being flown by DC-8 and B707 aircraft. Both had four engines. It was procedure that if any aircraft lost an engine the U.S.C.G. Air Station dispatched a HU16 Albatross to be airborne and follow the flight in to Puerto Rico International Airport. Needles to say these aircraft loosing one engine had little impact on their ETA into San Juan. The Albatross on the other hand... we would get airborne and watch them fly right by, if they had not already landed. Semper Paratus!
A day of searching for a local fishing boat ended with an extended stay at the Barbados Hilton. The questionable mechanical put us on the ground until a part came from San Juan. Will elaborate later.