A couple of days ago, I met my daughter, Samantha, and my Grandkids, Charlotte and August at Ft. Baker. In mid 1965, I was stationed there. Well, not actually, I lived at Ft. Baker, I was stationed at Hamilton Air Base. Well, maybe not actually, again, I slept at Ft. Baker, worked out of Hamilton, and lived during my off hours in the Haight. Let me explain.
I was a sergeant in the Army and a driver for Army General Andrew Lolly. I had been stationed at Ft. Bliss Texas, teaching HAWK – Homing All the Way Killer air defense missile – to German Air Force troops but was transferred to California for my last six months in the Army. I know, I know, rough duty, but somebody had to do it.
As an aside: General Lolly was an Army general but had been given command of the 8th Region of NORAD -Wikipedia says that NORAD pronounced NORR-ad means North American Aerospace Defense Command but, I think, at the time it meant North American Air Defense – making him the only Army commander of what was basically an Air Force show. Rumor had it that Lolly was given the 8th because it was the worst preforming Region. General Lolly was an all around great guy – especially to enlisted men – and by the time he left, the 8th Region was the best unit in NORAD. end aside.
So I was working for General Lolly who was stationed at Hamilton. Because I was in the Army, I was assigned to Headquarters Company at Fort Baker which was really the headquarters for a Nike Hercules missile battalion deployed around the Bay Area and assigned to NORAD.
The Nike missiles, armed and ready to go, were there because we were scared shitless that the Soviets were going to attack us at any minute. The Soviets were even worse than the Germans because they were Godless heathens, just like the Islamic Jihadists are even worse than the Soviets because they are religious fanatics who don’t believe in our merciful, compassionate God. But, don’t worry, the next enemies will be even worse (sarcasm intentional).
Meanwhile, I had met a woman who lived on Masonic Street just above Haight and I spend all my free time with her. But Ft. Baker was a great place to sleep and it has now been turned into a upscale retreat center. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at the place. Since it is in Marin, meeting Samantha and the Grandkids seemed perfect.
Ft. Baker looked good as did the view from one of the Herc Batteries.
And the grandkids looked great!