Hahn Air Base, West Germany: The 50th AP K-9 Section, 1961
...always trust your dog!
WELCOME TO HAHN'S K-9 SECTION,
Hahn AB, September 12, 1961, 50th AP K-9 Officers and NCO's... M/Sgt. Stocks, Chief M/Sgt. Rathsack, Major Louis S. Harp CO, Lt. Robert J. Johnson K-9 OIC, T/Sgt. James W. Callow Kennel Master
HAHN'S K-9 SECTION
...was divided into three working flights*, each with a A1c, as a Flight Leader. Lt. Johnson was the K-9 OIC and T/Sgt. Callow, was the KennelMaster 'til December 1, 1961, when T/Sgt. Guy assume the KennelMaster position with S/Sgt. Bobby Waits as his second in command.
Usually, we worked six days on (three nights of post and three days of training at the kennels) and three days off. In the early sixties, all our posts were on base, but by the middle of '62 we also had off base missile sites, when the 586th K-9 merged with the 50th. In the winter we worked from about midnight 'til dawn (just about seven hours) and during the summer months a little less.
Nothing to it! All you had to do, is break the No. 1 rule of the military ...volunteer! Usually we had a waiting list of guys from regular security, who wanted to join K-9, either they just loved dogs, and wanted to work outdoors with a Sentry Dog or just couldn't stand the sameness of working a fix post. Personally, I got tired of playing cards on SAT all the time, I kept loosing! And I really did like the idea of being paid to play with a sentry dog for three years; plus I knew, I could beat any dog playing cards! lol
Openings in K-9 became available as Dog Handlers became "Short Timers" or transfered back to regular security duty, mostly it was because they were going back to the real world.
Once you got your spot in K-9 and were reassigned; your first duty was to 'break in' on the Dog assigned to you. That meant, you would spent everyday at the kennels taking care of your new dog...you would be the only person to, feed him, give him water and clean his pit area.
You would spent a lot of time just sitting in front of his kennel, reading and talking to him. Allowing the Dog to get used to the sound of your voice, so he would realize that you were his friend and not just a meal. Everyday you followed the same routine, until you felt confident enough, that the Dog, wagging his tail when you approached him, was really glad to see you and just didn't want to tear your arm off.
Sometimes it went quickly and the new handlers after several weeks, would be able to walk into the dog's kennel, put a leash on him, just like they were 'old buddies' and start to work post...sometimes depending on the dog, it took what seemed liked forever!
My First, Edo R-587 - Born: 11/54 - Died: 7/61
Don't let the paw and sweet face fool you...Joe Brandt and myself were the only ones, that Edo would allow to shake his 'hand'...anyone else he would try to chew them up!
MY FIRST DOG, EDO
My first dog, Edo, had a reputation for being the meanest dog in the kennels. It took me two months before he would even allow me to pet him. Afterwards though, we became the best of friends! Only one other person could handle Edo and that was Joe Brandt, the caretaker. Unfortunatly, Edo died exactly one month after we started working post, of cancer. Perhaps the cancer contribute to his meanest but Edo worked up until the night he passed away and didn't show any signs of being sick. He was everything that a Sentry Dog was suspose to be, and a lot more!
USAFE DOG TRAINING SCHOOL, 1962
Located, Hotel Kilo in Wiesbaden, West Germany
Davis, Hodum and myself, attended, from Feb. 2nd To March 9th, 1962. We were the first and last from Hahn during my tour.
My 2nd Dog, Arras I, Wearing the Muzzle, Far Right. And No, You're Not Seeing Things, The Dog In the Middle Is Wearing Sun Glasses!
READY TO MEET SOME OF "THE GUYS?"
Edo, Arras, Grief, Beau, Stau, Rolf, Prince, Lord, Bob, Ajax ...they might be furry and enjoy a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears but these and fourteen other members of the 50th K-9 could outrun any would be intruder and also bite hard enough to break a bone...they were some of Hahn's 24 Sentry Dogs, that were assigned to base security in 1961 along with us, their partners handlers.
They were the eyes, ears, and yes the noses of our first line of defense for night time base security. During the early sixties, there wasn't any electronic fence sensors or day/night infrared cameras yet, we still depended on posted sentries, SATs and K9 patrols to protect all secure areas, fence lines, etc on base.
Bill Kull & Stau
At Hahn, all of our Sentry Dogs were male german shepherds, purchased locally. German shepherds were used because they were an aggressive breed with excellent prey/kill instincts. Now despite how that sounds, USAF Sentry Dogs were not trained killers, they were however, trained to attack, to catch, bite and hold the bad guy, until us, their partner/handler called them off ...which wasn't the easiest thing to do!
SiteBuilder Note: In the middle of 1962, when the 586th Missile Squadron Air Police merged with the 50th, we had a total of 57 handlers and dogs. By 1966, there were only 46 handlers/dogs at Hahn and by May 1967 a two flight system was initiated due to personal shortages and the section had 28 dogs assigned. The reduction in dogs and personel was mostly caused by the Vietnam War effort, and a larger reliance on electronic security systems.
50th Air Police Squadron's
Capt. John E. Stacey
Jan.-June '59 - July-Dec. '59
Major Louis S. Harp
July-Dec. '59 - 15 July '62
Major Jack L. Birkenstock
15 July '62 - 23 June '65
Lt. Col. Kenneth H. Werner
Wg. Intel. Temp. Replacement
23 June '65 - 22 Nov. '65
Major William J. Scull
22 Nov. '65 - 12 June '67
Capt. Robert L. Simmons
12 June '67 - unknown
SiteBuilder Note: About our CO's, we were lucky...most were career officers, who knew when to push and when to back off. Most we would have followed to hell and back ...if we weren't already there! The same can be said for our KennelMasters.
50th Air Police Squadron's KENNELMASTERS
1960 - 1965
T/Sgt. James W. Callow
S/Sgt. Robert Waits
T/Sgt. Winston White
T/Sgt. John A. Krause
Kennel Master, 1961 T/Sgt. James W. Callow
and Dick Caswell
1961, K-9 FLIGHT #1
(l-r) A/2c Jack Hannah (Asso), A/2c Larry Rupprecht (Copper), A/2c Paul Girard (Ajax), A/2c Don Ensley (Lux), A/2c Butch Doan (Blitz I), A/2c Bulan Davis (Prinz), A/2c Jack Archer (Alex) & Willy Schneider, Flt. Leader (Arno)
1961, K-9 FLIGHT #2
(l-r) A/2c Tom Ranalli (Alf), A/2c Al Cunningham (Rex), A/3c Butch Kurzinger (Ero), A/2c Bob Wallum (Arras II), A/2c Don Zlokovich (Bonzo), A/2c Dick Marr (Burche), A/3c Hill (dog unknown), A/1c Anderson Flt. Leader
1961, K-9 FLIGHT #3
(l-r) T/Sgt. Callow Kennel Master, A/1c Jim Weaver (Blitz), A/2c Tom Newton (Arras I), A/2c Roger Taupier (Claus), A/2c Phil Cole (Bobo II), A/3c Jim White (Hasso), A/2c Bob Wallum (Arras II), A/2c Dick Caswell (Beau)