Biographical Notes re

Charles A. (Chuck) Stone

Page 3 of 6 Pages, of Chapter 6,


My squadron commander crewed me up as an A/C (Aircraft Commander) with a couple of really good guys and we got our crew checkout right there at Lincoln with the help of the special instructors sent in to work with our Bomb Wing crews at our home base. My copilot, Robert Stevenson, and Bomb/Nav, Morris Hatfield, and I got on well. But, in spite of all of this good news, there was something developing that would cast a shadow over my remaining military career, and, in fact, whatever was left of my life.

During our final training phase at Wichita, which related to Special Weapons classes, I was exercising in the barracks in the evening. While making some moves, I developed some back spasms that stayed with me for more than a week. Fortunately, the flying was behind us and I had time to get recovered. When I got back to Lincoln, I tried to get shaped up to deal with the challenges at hand. Things went along OK for a time.

There was another bit of news from the home front that entered the picture while I was in training at Wichita. Fairly early on in our training schedule, I talked to Nell on the phone one evening and she was telling me about the piles of sawdust that were accumulating on our slick and clean, hardwood floored, second level, of our house. Upon coming home for the weekend, I confirmed we had a real problem. I called an exterminator for an examination. He said we had a house where the hardwood flooring was infested with Powder Post Beetles. They were probably in the wood when it was first installed. He told us we could move out, temporarily, and he would come in and saturate the floors with a special poison, wait a week and do it a second time, and when we could stand the smell, we could consider moving back in. There was no guarantee that this would do the trick.

I chose the most logical alternative and checked out the name of the most well-known lawyer in Lincoln, Nebraska, and made an appointment. After he heard my story of being lied-to by the seller, and the real estate go-between being either a liar or lied-to, himself, he took my case. He said he would do so because he wanted the new service people in the community to get fair treatment. This action was going strong at the same time I was dealing with a drunken and often absent Aircraft Commander.

The lawyer really knew how to rattle the home-seller’s cage. It wasn't long and we signed an agreement that he would take his house back, we would be relived of the mortgage, and the monthly payments made, to date, would go for rent. Our lawyer, who normally took only high-roller cases, was most considerate and charged only a nominal fee. Bless that man! Nell and I hit the road again and, with some luck, found a nice older home in Lincoln where we could swing a purchase contract. We were soon moved into our new home which served us well up until we eventually realized we would be moving on, a number of years later.

I had arranged for my Yokota home built collapsible photo lab to be shipped to me at Lincoln. In both of our houses at Lincoln, I had begun to make use of it. As the settling in process continued, we were all challenged to make our WW II buildings on the base seem more hospitable. We had a 98th Bomb Wing Crew Lounge Room, located in our Operations Building. I attended a meeting where the question was raised as to how it could be made more welcoming for the troops. I told our bosses that, if they would get me permission from Security to roam the flight line with my Nikon camera, I would take the responsibility to create a selection of enlarged photos that showed our people at work on the ground and in the air, frame them and hang them up for decorations in that room. Permission was given and, over time, I collected a large number of negatives covering this subject. I had to use a great deal of ingenuity to print 20 x 24 photos in my limited facilities, but the job got done, much to the satisfaction of all. The photo collage you see on these pages, is a selected collage arrangement of these same photos, taken in 1955 and 1956.

This photo collage includes many of the photos that were taken in order to decorate the crew
lounge for the 98th BW crew members. In the 1980s, I put together this collage in order
to display the photos at a 98th Bomb Group/Wing Reunion. The photo, lower left
corner, where you see the KC-97 nose and the parked B-47s in the background,
won the SAC Annual Amateur Photo Contest for that year.

Photography was playing an increasingly important role in my life, stimulated by my earlier experiences at Yokota with the 91st SRS.

Early on, during our assignment at Lincoln, the local newspaper began conducting an annual amateur photo contest. With my photo lab in operation for my on-base projects, I entered a photo taken of our daughter, Sandy, while we were living in temporary quarters in a local hotel when we first arrived in Lincoln and were househunting. To my surprise and pleasure, the photo won first prize in the contest and the reward was some free equipment for use in my homebuilt photo lab. In a later SAC-wide contest, I won first place with a group of B-47s and KC-97s silhouetted in the sunrise. It was titled “Sunrise on Security”. Little did I realize that photography would be a key element in a variety of future chapters of my life.

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