“I had a love affair with an airplane” was how Mr. Robert Schaffer described his service to our country. In an interview in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on October 30, 2010, it was evident that his service in the United States Air Force was viewed with pride.
He grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and after his high school graduation in 1956, he joined the Air Force.
He had his training at Lockland AFB and was then assigned to Tech School at Shepherd AFB in Wichita, Texas. It was there that he began working on C130 aircraft.
In 1957, he was at Stewart AFB in Smyrna, Tennessee. He was in the 50th Troop Carrier Squadron, which became known as The Red Devils. He was assistant crew chief to Colonel Howell. He left Stewart in 1958 and went to Japan. It was while he was in Japan that he was promoted to chief. Upon leaving Japan, he spent four years in Germany, until 1964, when he was assigned to Clark AFB for a 60 to 90 day rotation to support Southeast Asia.
He said that he never really experienced a sense of fear while taking troops and ammunition to Vietnam; it was more a feeling of what he was doing for our country. It was evident in the interview that many of his experiences in the military could not be talked about.
On a colorful note, Mr. Schaffer was also involved in flying with the USO programs and got to meet celebrities like Bob Hope and his entourage, along with many others.
He is a proud veteran and very supportive of the military.
We hope you enjoy this interview with Vietnam War Veteran, Robert Schaffer.
Interviewed by Janie Bogus on October 30,2010.