I left Danville, Virginia, U.S.A., on January 19, 1961 to
travel by bus to Roanoke, Virginia in order to take the
Air Force test and physical.  The next day, January
20th, (the same day that John F. Kennedy took his oath
as president) I took an oath for a four-year tour of duty
in the United States Air Force. During my four-year
tour, I came home only four times.
After eight weeks of basic training, I attended the Radio
Intercept Analysis Specialist School at Goodfellow Air
Force Base in San Angelo, Texas.

On December 22, 1961, I arrived at Karamursel Air
Station, located southeast of Istanbul, Turkey.  When I
reported in, they told me to come back on January 2,
1962 for processing.  

So I took off for old Istanbul with a new friend.  The Air
Force provided a free bus to Yalova, a town twenty
miles west of the air base.  At Yalova we purchased
thirty-five cent tickets for the two-hour ferry ride north
to Istanbul.  This was the first of many weekly trips to
"The Bull."

1961 - 1963
Downtown Yalova, Turkey - 1962

(courtesy Wade Johnson, one of my buddies in the Air Force)
In 1962 the main road by the
Karamursel Air Station was unpaved. It
runs from Yalova to Istanbul. Mule or
horse drawn wagons were a common
sight in the area near the base.
My friends and I were fascinated by the historical sights, the sound of  unfamiliar language, and
the wonderful smells of Turkish food being sold by street vendors.  We stayed in the Hotel
Santral, the second best hotel in all of Istanbul.  It cost $2.00 a night.  On one occasion, the
Santral was filled and I stayed in a small room in another hotel, which cost fifty cents per night.

Two weeks after I arrived in Turkey, Richard Rowland of my hometown came to Karamursel.    
Later after we both were out of the Air Force and back in our hometown, Richard and his wife
Wanda introduced me to my wife Nancye on a blind date. That was over 35 years ago and Nancye
and I are still married.

Wade Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama, who also became a good friend, arrived at Karamursel
about the same time.   Wade and I were room mates in Texas until he got married, and we worked
together until we were discharged in 1965.  In February 2000, Wade sent me most of the pictures
on this page.
Turkish Boys - 1962
(courtesy Wade Johnson)
Turkish Shop 1962
(courtesy Wade Johnson)