Quinn, Robert Arthur, SSgt

Ordnance/Maintenance (Enlisted)
 
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Current Service Status
USAF Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Current/Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 747-Airplane and Engine Mechanic
Current/Last AFSC Group
Ordnance/Maintenance (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1951-1952, 97th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
Service Years
1948 - 1952
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Staff Sergeant


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Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2015, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Enjoying my 7 great grandchildrensmiley
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   
 Countries Deployed To or Visited

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1948, Basic Military Training (Lackland AFB, TX), 1110
 Unit Assignments
9th Fighter Squadron  - Flying Knights49th Field Maintenance Squadron97th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
  1948-1950, AAF MOS 747, 9th Fighter Squadron - Flying Knights
  1950-1951, 49th Field Maintenance Squadron
  1951-1952, 97th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2015, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Reflections on SSgt Quinn's US Air Force Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE AIR FORCE.
I come from a family of 8 kids, 4 boys and 4 girls. My father was in the Navy and served on a Battleship, the USS North Carolina during WW-1. All 4 of us boys were in the service during war times. (All 4 of my sisters married guys in
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force.
Brother John and Marie's Wedding
the service). My brother John, the oldest of the boys, served in the USAAF and was stationed at Hickam Field when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He was a radio repair specialist. He stayed at Pearl Harbor for the duration of the war. He was my hero. My brother Jesse was in the Navy and served on a Destroyer during WW-2 as a Machinist Mate. My younger brother Tom, decided that the Quinn Boys should be represent in all 4 services, so he joined the USMC and served in a Corsair Fighter Squadron as a aircraft mechanic during the Korean War. I guess it is just in the Quinn blood to serve our country during war-times.

I come from an Irish American family. We were all definitely military orientated. All of us were somehow connected to the military. My father and all of us boys were in the service. My dad, in WW1 Navy, brother John, WW2 USAAF, brother Jessie, WW2 Navy, brother Tom, Korean, USMC, and myself, Korean USAF. (Notice how all of us boys were in different branches of the service.) And all 4 of my sisters were married to servicemen. My oldest sister, Burnice, WW2 Army, sister Pauline, WW2 Army, sister Bee, WW2 Navy and sister Evonne, Korean, Army. My father was a WW1 Navy vet. He served aboard the USS NORTH CAROLINA. Dad was born in Maine in 1899. My mother was born in New Hampshire in 1895. They met while dad was in the Navy. Dad passed away at the age of 64 with lung cancer. My oldest brother, John, joined the USAAF in the late 1930's. He was a Radio Operator stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. (Thankfully, he was not injured.) I wrote to him every Sunday while he was away. He was my hero! I saved every letter he wrote to me while he was in Hawaii. I was always drawing pictures of aircraft, making model airplanes and I use to dream that someday, I was going to be a fighter pilot. (Unfortunately, that could never be, because I was nearsighted). John returned to the US in 1945 after the war ended. My hero passed away from a heart attack at the early age of 51.

My brother Jessie joined the US Navy when he turned 18. He served aboard a Destroyer in the latter days of WW2. Jess and I were very close. After his separation from the Navy, He married, and following in the steps of our dad, he had 7 children. Must be something they feed these Navy guys to have all these kids, huh? And strangely enough, my sister Bee who was married to a Navy guy had 7 Kids. Jessie passed away from lung cancer at the age of 84. My younger brother Tom joined the USMC in 1950 when he turned 17. He was assigned to a Marine Corsair Fighter Squadron as an Aircraft Mechanic. He'd like to kid us about why he joined the USMC. It was to make sure the Quinn brothers were represented in all 4 services. Tom lives in Burlington, Massachusetts with his wife Becky, and at age 70, is still working! During those 1940 years, dad and mom were not getting along too well, and finally, in1945, they separated. My 3 older sisters were already married and not living with us. Jessie had just joined the Navy, and my brother Tom and little sister Vonnie I went with my mom.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
One of my baby twin daughters contracted polio, and I felt I must be with my family as much as possible to help care for her. I was offered a job in Civil Service at Chanute AFB as the Engine Build-up Chief. I worked at Chanute until the middle of
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
WW2 Liberty Ship
1959. Because of personal problems at home, in 1959 I decided to move back to Massachusetts. My original goal was to make the USAF my career. As a kid, I had wanted to be a Fighter Pilot from the time my brother John entered the USAAF in 1939. I knew that I was nearsighted, however, I could see perfect with glasses. I kept hoping they would let me fly, but that was never to be. Nevertheless, I was still intrigued with Fighter aircraft. I just had to be around them. After Basic training at Lackland, I received my P-80 Jet A&E training at Chanute AFB. Jets were somewhat new to the AF, and I have to tell you, I was so thrilled and so proud to know that after my training, I was actually going to be assigned to a Jet Fighter Squadron! My dream was going to become a reality! I just had to learn everything there was to learn about the P-80. After completing my training, I was sent to California.

I was assigned to board an old WW-2 Liberty Ship manned by US Merchant Marine seamen that were delivering some of the first P-80 Aircraft to Japan. The only other Military person on board was an AF MP. His job was to guard the aircraft stored below in the holds. My job was to check the aircraft daily to assure they were secure and their skins were showing no signs of damage from the sea air. (I want to tell you, that voyage was something! That ship's top speed was 11 knots. (12.5 mph). Now mind you, that speed is only obtainable on a nice calm day. We had very few nice calm days on the trip! We had storms that I swear had to have been pushing us backward. Even on nice calm days, that tub would just be rocking side to side. Talk about seasick, oh boy! IT TOOK US 29 DAYS TO GET TO JAPAN!!!)

When I arrived in Japan in late 1948, I was honored with being assigned to one of the first Jet Fighter Squadrons stationed in Japan, the 9th Fighter Squadron, of the 49th Fighter Group stationed at Misawa AFB. While there, to further my AF qualifications, I took aircraft Hydraulic Specialist training at Johnston AFB. In the 2yrs I was assigned to the 9th Fighter, I was promoted from PFC to Sgt. I went to Korea when the war broke out and was promoted to SSgt, and assigned as a Battle Repair Crew Chief. When I returned to the US, I was assigned to the 97th Fighter Interceptor Squadron based at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH, and was assigned the duty as the Engine-Buildup Chief. In Sept. of 1951, one of my twin daughters came down with Polio. My wife and I elected to have her treated at a private hospital. I couldn't afford to pay for her care while in the AF, so a friend of mine suggested I try getting a job in Civil Service at Chanute AFB. I applied for a job, and they offered me almost twice what I was making. I was on an "Indefinite Enlistment" with the AF so, although it broke my heart to give up my dreams, my baby came first.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
KOREA. It still haunts me to this day. I can never adequately convey what I saw there and how it changed me from a cocky 19yr old to a very disillusioned boy! I would never again look at life in the same way. When we arrived at Taegu, as we
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?
Korean Children
where getting off the plane, I was stunned! I could not believe what I was seeing. I could hear gun fire, explosions, armed soldiers scurrying about, etc. We all piled into the back of a 6x truck and were taken to a more secure area. Tents and Quonset huts were being set up, supplies piled up everywhere, fuel trucks, etc. At a distance away, we could see what appeared to be some sort of abandoned airfield. The buildings were all in dilapidated condition, some half destroyed. As we climbed off the truck, I was again shocked with disbelief: We could see a large group of poor Korean women and little kids all huddled together over to one side. Those poor little kids, so dirty and looking so, all I think of is, terrified, and some in like a lost daze. It was heartbreaking. It then fully hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm actually in a war zone! (To this day, I can still remember being so confused by it all. I was not prepared to see those poor little kids and women like this.) In retrospect, I do believe that, being in Korea somehow changed my outlook on life and beliefs. It made me realize how lucky we Americans are.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
By far, my time serving with the 9th Fighter Squadron at Misawa AFB in Japan was the most rewarding and holds my fondest memories. There I had the opportunity to apply all that I had been taught. I felt like, "Man, I'm really a Crew Chief of a Jet Fighter."
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which was your least favorite?
T-33 Jet
My biggest thrill was the day when my pilot, Lt. Thomas, took me up in our T-33 and even let me take over the controls for a minute. It kind of fulfilled my dreams. I WAS ACUALLY FLYING A JET!!!. (I'm sure he had his hand on the stick back there in the rear cockpit, just in case, but, at least, for a little while, I was flying a Jet.). There at Misawa I served with guys that, over a time became some of the best friends that I have had in my life. All of you who have served know what I mean. The feelings, the trust, camaraderie, you just all become brothers to each other. I especially remember the time when a P-51 from the 8th Fighter Squadron that was on alert duty collided with two P-51's from the 35th Fighter Group that were making a mock air attack on our base.

He tore off one of his wings and was spiraling in toward us. All of us out on the parking strip started running for the hanger. He crashed into the 8th Fighter's parking ramp and then slid into our 9th Fighter's ramp. The P-51 blew up as it hit one of our P-80s. All Hell then started to break loose. Explosions, ammo firing off, the smell of Jet fuel, smoke, people yelling, etc..Then, over the loudspeaker, an order of, "All 9th Fighter enlisted personal, report immediately to the Squadron Assembly Area. All Officers report to the Ready Room." You could of heard a pin drop as the First Sergeant began Roll Call. When he finished, a collective cheer broke out. ALL WERE ACCOUNTED FOR! All were safe! My best buddy, Jim Riley told me that he had to watch the whole thing. He was sitting in a Weapons Carrier in front of the hanger when somehow his foot got jammed between the floor pedals. As for my least favorite Duty Station, that would be Taegu (K-2) Korea. Although I hated being there, I knew that someone had to help these poor people.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
By far, the most memorable moment of my time in Japan occurred in June of 1949. On that day, a group of P-51 Mustangs from the 35th Fighter Squadron made a mock air attack on our base. Two P-51 fighters from the 8th Fighter who were flying air patrol at
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect back on to this day.
that time, engaged them. One of the 8th Fighter's broke off a wing when he collided with a 35th fighter. A few of us were standing out among our planes on the parking ramp when the accident took place and we saw the P51 spinning in toward us. We all ran toward the hanger. (And let me tell you, you really do not know how fast you can run until something like that takes place.) Luckily, all of us made it safely out of the way before the P51 crashed right into the middle of our parked aircraft. None of us on the ground were hurt. As I recall there were no other casualties than the 8th fighter pilot, and I believe two of the 35th Fighter pilots. One of my buddies, Riley, was sitting (I should say sprawled out) in the driver's seat of a weapons carrier parked just outside the hanger. When he saw us all running for the hanger, he said he tried to jump out and run with us, but he somehow got one of his big feet entangled in the floor pedals and could not pull it out! He told me he thought he was going to have a heart attack when the plane crashed and all the ammo started firing off. Luckily, although he had to sit there all during the crash and the aftermath, he was not hurt.

There are so many memories, but the ones from Korea are most vivid. I remember when in the latter part of October 1950, it appeared that the war was all but over. Our forces had the North Koreans on the run and about ready to push them into the Yellow Sea. But then, China entered the picture. Hordes of Chinese troops entered the battle. Our troops were stopped cold. Shortly thereafter, the news came through that our Marines at the Chosin Reservoir were cutoff and surrounded. They would attempt to fight they're way to Hungnam, (a North Korean seaport occupied by our forces). There, they would board ships and return to South Korea. The 49th Fighter Group was one of the many AF units that participated in the Marines drive to Hungnam. At that time, the 49th had F-80s. They were no match for the swept-wing Mig Fighters, and had been reclassified as Fighter-Bombers used primarily in Korea for ground support. They engaged the Chinese at very low altitudes so as to avoid hitting our Marine units, which in turn sometimes caused damage to they're aircraft by their own bomb and rocket fire. Our job at the 49th Field Maintenance was to assess the battle damage and repair if possible. Proudly I can say that our Battle Repair Crew performed outstandingly during that period. We rested during the day while the aircraft were on their missions, and would work through the night to get battle-damaged aircraft readied for the next day missions. I'm not sure how many days it took for the Marines to reach Hungnam, but I do remember all of us cheered when we got the news that the Marines were now aboard ships and on their way back to South Korea. As much as I hated being in Korea, somehow, I began to feel privileged to be there. The 49th Fighter Group, (which included our Field Maintenance Squadron) received the Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Citation medals for our part in that action.
WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER?
AT ONLY 19 YEARS OLD, and having been a Buck Sergeant for only a few months, "BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS", I was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and assigned as a Aircraft Battle Repair Crew Chief in the 6149 Field Maintenance Squadron. First and foremost, I
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - What professional achievements are you most proud of from your military career?
Passing out Food for the War Torn Villagers.
would have to say I am most proud that I was able to be part of an operation that helped prevent a Communist takeover of a free nation. Secondly, thinking back over it all now, in less than 3 years, and at the age of 19, I went from Recruit to SSgt., and was given the duty of Crew Chief over a Aircraft Battle Repair crew. I just couldn't help being proud of myself. I sort of boastfully look back and think, "Not bad for a thick-headed Harp from the Charlestown end Boston with not much of a formal education".

The Korea Service Medal, the Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation that I received are also most meaningful to me. The Korean Service Medal; it marks the time in my life when my boyhood ended. I would never again be that cocky know-it-all kid. There is no way I can adequately describe the feeling of humbleness that I felt starting on the very first day I arrived at Taegu. The shock from what I saw even stunned me to a point where I began to even doubt the existence of a loving God. These poor people, these poor innocent little kids. Over time I became proud that I had helped these people remain free. The Korea Service Medal shows my pride in being part of that victory. The Air Force Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citations are acknowledgments from our Government and the Korean Government that they were grateful for our service. They also lets those who see them on your chest know that, you have been in harms way helping to protect the freedom of others.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR OTHER MEMORABILIA, WHICH ONE IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
The Korean Service Medal, the Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation that I received are the most meaningful to me. The Korea Service Medal; it marks the time in my life when my boyhood ended. I would never again be that cocky know-it-all kid. There
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or other memorabilia, which one is the most meaningful to you and why?
Proud of the help we gave to the South Koreans
is no way I can adequately describe the feeling of humbleness that I felt starting on the very first day I arrived at Taegu. The shock from what I saw even stunned me to a point where I began to even doubt the existence of a loving God. These poor people, these poor innocent little kids. Over time I became proud that I had helped these people remain free. The Korea Service Medal shows my pride in being part of that victory. The Air Force Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citations are acknowledgments from our Government and the Korean Government that they were grateful for our service. They also lets those who see them on your chest know that, you have been in harms way helping to protect the freedom of others.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
Those poor refugees in Korea, especially those little kids. Some were no more than babies. As a child I had seen movies, pictures in the papers, posters, etc. about what hardships war refugees were enduring during WW-2. But, to actually see them face to face was an experience I
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?
F80 Shooting Star
WILL NEVER FORGET! The truth is, that even today, at 83, I still have dreams once in a while about those poor kids. Each and every one of my Aircraft Instructors at Chanute AFB were instrumental in my becoming one of the first P-80 Jet Fighter Crew Chiefs stationed in Japan. I hung on to every word they spoke, every chart, every training tool, and every other example that they displayed. When I didn't fully grasp something they were trying to teach me and I asked about it, they would always explain it more detail until they were sure I got it. We had different instructors in each phase of our training; engine, airframe, hydraulics, etc.. In my mind, those Instructors all, although they were not there in Korea, they deserve to be recognized as having been a vital part in keeping South Korea a free nation. (That's something else I came to realize in Korea; it takes more than just the people who were physically in a war zone to win the battle.)
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
One of the most funniest things I remember happened in Japan. One night, Jim Riley, a buddy of mine, was caught in a geisha house by the MP's. After spending the night in the Base slammer, he was returned to the squadron. While waiting to be called into the Squadron
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
The Bob Hope Show
Commander's office, he was talking to one of the clerks about what happened. He told the clerk that he was gonna just tell the Major that he was only doing what Gen. MacArthur had told the troops to do, "Show the Japanese the American Way Of Living". He then heard the yell of, "Riley, get your ass in here"! He said he turned and there stood Major Sharp, the Squadron Commander, who had been standing in the doorway of his office and heard the whole conversation. For the next two days, Riley was cutting grass outside the Squadron Day room, WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS for all to see! (The clerk told Riley a few days later that he had heard the Major laughing his ass off after Riley had left the office that day.)

The Army Engineers erected makeshift latrines for us throughout the area. Not the homiest creations in the world, but they did serve our needs. Along with the usual long field type community urinals, they even had enclosed individual stalls for you do you know what. Now, these stalls had a water tank way up over the commodes. These tanks were actually 55 gallon metal gasoline drums cut in half. They reworked the damn things, installing homemade parts etc. (Those engineers were geniuses when it came to improvising.) They hung pull-chains attached to the homemade flushing array. Now, when you pulled the chain to flush, a big rattling echoing boom would sound above your head and the water would gush into the ground below the seat you were sitting on, and flushed to only God knows where. (Got the picture?) One day, a USO Camp show came to Taegu. Some of the Stars were, Bob Hope, The Tailor Maids, and one of my all-time favorite Country singers, Jimmy Wakley. Boy, I tell you, they put on one hell-of-a-show for us. The laughter was non-stop and at times defining deafening.

For a little while, I believe all of us were just about able to push Korea right out of our minds and just relax. Well, then at some point during the show, Bob Hope had to go to the little boy's room. Whether by oversight or on purpose, (I tend to believe, on purpose), Bob was not informed about the big boom he was going to encounter. When he returned to the stage he explained his ordeal and said when the Big Bang went off, he had to sit down again, and as he put it, "and take another dump". I want to tell you, the uproar of laughter was tremendous. It went on and on. Later during the show, someone used the latrine and when the boom came, Bob says "I hope he didn't have his pants pulled up yet." The deafening uproar of laughter started again.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
While I was stationed at Wright-Paterson AFB, in late1951, one of my infant twin daughters was struck with Polio. A doctor that was a cousin to my wife recommended we have her treated at a polio clinic in Illinois. My wife and I agreed, and she moved back to Danville
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?
F86D Jet
to be with family and close to the doctor who was caring for our baby. The cost was way over what I could pay. I was offered a job in Civil Service at Chanute AFB in Illinois, where I would still be working on AF jet aircraft, doing the same job, but I'd be making almost twice what I making. So, with heavy heart, I left the AF. My baby came first. Chanute was only about 40 miles from Danville. We rented a house in the Danville area and I commuted back and forth to the base. I drove a taxi at night and weekends. I also owned a 1949 Nine Passenger Mercury Station Wagon that I used to carry people back and forth that also worked at Chanute. (Charged them each $1 a day. Gas was only about 22 cents a gal. in those days and my Woodie had over-drive, so it only cost me about $1.00 a day for gas.) Thankfully, I was able to pay the medical bills and take care of my family while my poor baby girl was going through needed therapy. After a time, I was promoted to Work Leader of the Aircraft Engine Shop. I held that position until, in September of 1959, my father called me and told me my mother had terminal cancer and was not expected to live more than a few months. I immediately resigned my position in Civil Service and moved with my family to Massachusetts to be with my mom. She past away in the 1960. ( At this point, I want to interject a somewhat bizarre epilog to my military days.)

While working at Chanute, one day I was informed that a F-86 had made a hot emergency landing on our base due to a fuel related malfunction, and was being towed to our hanger area. Whereas in my military days I was a Jet engine specialist, I was assigned to help diagnose the problem. As I neared the aircraft I could see it was an F-86D and the closer I got, I could see the markings on it identifying it as a unit from the 97th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the Squadron I served in as the Engine Build-up Chief. (The attached picture is an actual shot of a 97th Fighter.) Adding to my amazement, I found the pilot was Major Turner, my old Squadron Commander! I quickly diagnosed the problem as a faulty fuel regulator and replaced it. The Major and I chattered for a while, and then he flew back to Wright-Patterson. When I returned to Massachusetts, my brother Tom got me a job as a truck driver for Sears Roebuck where he also worked. In 1987, I had a work related permanent back injury that restricts my movements and prevented me from ever returning to work. I am now 84yrs old and retired.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
I'm a member of the American Legion Post 210 here in Danville, IL. It's a great place to go to when you need to relax and be with fellow Vets. I joined American Legion Post 19 when I returned to Massachusetts in 1959. My father and 3 brothers were also
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?
American Legion Member
members of the Post. Brother Jesse and I were very active members. (Brother Tom lived in Burlington, and although a member, seldom visited the post). Jesse was Post Commander in 1980, and I was Junior and Senior Vice Commander in 1992 and 1993. Because of worsening health issues, I felt I would not be able to perform the duties of Commander. After consulting with the other Post Officers, the decision was made that I would instead run for Post Adjutant, whereas the present Adjutant elected not to run in the upcoming election. I remained Adjutant until 1997, when my health became such that, I was for the most part, home bound. In April of 1999, Post 19 honored me with a Gold Life Membership. What a surprise and honor that was! At the monthly meeting, the Commander presented me with this beautiful gold plated Life Membership Card! I will cherish it for the rest of my life! In Dec of 2013, I decided to move to Illinois to spend what time I may have left with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Although I am now a member of Post 210 in Danville, Illinois, I will always be a Post 19er.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
I joined the Air Force when I was just a young cocky 17 year old kid with not a clue of how lucky I was to be an American. I had no real clue of what war, death, fear, seeing other people suffer and die, comradeship, or having to depend
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?
Teaching the Young Soldiers about Life/War
on others to stay alive. I had no clue. I learned at a real young age how fragile and unpredictable life is. I learned that NO ONE can ever make it through this life without help from others. Having learned that, I believe the most profound affect of my having been in the service is, having been shown just how very very lucky I am to be an American Citizen. I also came to realize that, without the help of others, I could never have become the person I am today. I also believe that, by always trying to follow the Golden Rule of, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", I have earned the respect of most of those I have met in my life.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE AIR FORCE?
You will face situations that your instructors had not specifically covered during your training. They have tried to teach you the basics. Of course, they cannot anticipate everything you will encounter, but, you brain is a wondrous thing! It has been storing things you have learned all through your life
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Air Force?
Sit down, have a Coffee, think about your future.
from childhood. It has the amazing ability to quickly assess a task. At lighting speed it will recall things you have learned, and then help you use your common sense in how to approach the task you now face. In fact, it may even help you to find a better way to solve the problem! Listen and learn everything you can in life. Listen to your instructors closely. They know what they are doing. If you do not understand something they are telling and/or showing you, let them it know it. Don't ever think that they will think you are an idiot for asking questions. Their job is to help make you become the best you can be. They are passing on to you what they have learned.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
I know I am old now, and cannot really do much of anything useful anymore. (Can hardly even walk anymore, let alone trying to be of a help to anyone else.) But, joining TWS and filling in these questions has reminded me that, although I'm not good for much anymore,
SSgt Robert Arthur Quinn (Bob) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
TWS USAF/The Wild Blue Younder
at one time, I was a help to my Country. That restores my pride in myself. Filling out this TWS questionnaire has made me recall so many things in my life. Not only have they stirred memories of my service days, they have me reminiscing in every stage of my life. My mom and dad, brothers and sisters, childhood friends, good times, bad times etc. In fact, I am now staying awake many a night with thoughts of things past. I remember things I did right, and I remember many things I did wrong. Hopefully, if there is a 'Hereafter', I will have more 'good things'. I've done then 'bad things', so that I might spend eternity with my sweetheart Carol. I suppose the best way to sum this all up is, I liken my life as portrayed by Frank Sinatra in his song "I Did It My Way".

*J*

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