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    All photographs were obtained from public domain sources.

    Rivet Ball (I found out the name more than 40 years later) where she slid off the end of the runway. She and her missions were beyond Top Secret.

    Tom was an electronic technician, and was at Shemya to maintain the electronic air navigation aids that were on the island, specifically a TACAN set, a state-of-the-art instrument which gave a pilot the location of his aircraft.

    *After some investigation of his new responsibilities, he found that the TACAN set had some serious problems. Correcting those problems quickly became Tom's top priority.

    *He saw the opportunity to develop a business out of building high quality electronic kits, and arranged to run that business parallel with his Air Force duties.

    *At the beginning, Tom met his room-mate, with whom he was to become fast friends.

    *A possibility of gaining an early release from the Air Force also presented itself at this time, and Tom along with three other young Air Force sergeants did everything they could to take advantage of the Air Force wide program that they were being denied. These efforts were rewarded with an alliance with a powerful senator.

     
    Duty on Shemya was mainly a bore for Tom and all the other poor souls who were stationed there, but due to his own efforts and the circumstances that presented themselves they were able to do their work and even have a little fun along the way.

    The danger that was inherent in the island's location and the details of his duty were an always present factor in Tom's daily life.

    In spite of all the obstacles, Tom was able to turn his time at Shemya into an enormously enriching experience.

    Read about his experiences and some of the fun he had in the book available here.