Air Force

December 6, 2013

Former commander sees mission decades later

Tags:
Tech. Sgt. S.E.
432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Retired Air Force colonel Linus Upson Jr. (left) and his family gather in a hangar and receive a briefing about the MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft during a tour of the base, Nov. 27. Upson, who was the base commander in 1945, brought his family to see the base he commanded, which was once known as the Indian Springs Airport, with the primary mission to train Airmen for combat.

LAS VEGAS — Linus Upson Jr. was a 27-year-old Army Air Corps major when he was assigned to Command Indian Springs Army Air Field in 1945.

Both Upson and the base were in the early stages of serving their country. Upson had only a few years of service under his belt when the base stood up in early 1942.

“There was hardly anything on the base but a few buildings and almost nothing out on the range at the time,” Upson said.

The base was one of many established to support a growing military department after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Upson took command near the end of World War II when the creation of the U.S. Air Force was still two years away.

“The mission was to bring in aerial gunners for indoctrination,” said Upson, who recalls having a strong sense of pride in training men to survive combat missions.

After training, the gunners would serve on B-29 Superfortress bombers, which flew training missions over the Nevada range. Upson said the training focused heavily on teaching gunners how to tear the machine guns completely apart and put them back together.

After Victory in Europe Day, Upson managed the shutdown of the training mission he had built up. His reign as commander lasted only six months and ended with the final transfer of all gunnery training equipment to Las Vegas Army Air Field, which later became Nellis Air Force Base.

Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and retired Air Force Col. Linus Upson Jr., Air Force retired colonel, chat during a base tour, Nov. 27. Upson, who was previously the base commander in 1945, saw the improvements within the remotely piloted community and learned about the remotely piloted aircraft mission, and was able to share his experiences and what the mission was like during his time as the commander at the end of World War II.

Upson went on to serve a full career, to include commanding more units before retiring as a colonel. After he left Indian Springs Airport, he wouldn’t set foot on the base for 68 years.

During those years, Indian Springs Army Air Field closed, reopened, switched services, changed missions and finally became Creech AFB. Today, the buildings have almost tripled, and it is home to the Air Force’s premier remotely piloted aircraft wing.

Upson finally returned to the base Nov. 27, 2013, and brought some of his family to see where he commanded.

Three generations of his family accompanied him on the visit, including two of his sons who also served in the military. One graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1970 and was an F-15 pilot before retiring as a colonel. Another served in the Army as an Infantry Ranger first lieutenant from 1967-1971 before switching to the U.S. Army Reserve.

“This is still a good place, as good a location as I remember it,” said Upson. “The mission is large now. It’s amazing what the Airmen do here.”

When asked about ever visiting any bases he’d served at in the past, Upson said he never avoided Creech but life never gave him the opportunity. After learning about the current mission, Upson realized a truth evident both when he commanded and today. The mission has always been to train Airmen for combat operations crucial to the fight.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Nellis prepared for Air Force Fitness Management System upgrade

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Air Force Fitness Management System, or AFFMS, will be offline from Dec. 31-Jan. 11 to enable Air Force Personnel Center teams to transition content to the improved Air Force Fitness Management System II. The new system – AFFMS II – will improve accessibility and fitness program managers’ ability...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero

82nd Airborne integrates with USAFWS for JFE 14B

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero Eleven C-130H Hercules’ from various Air National Guard units and 13 C-130J Super Hercules’ from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, prepare to...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Sweet treats delivered to Airmen in dorms

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airman 1st Class Devonte Robinson, 99th Medical Support Squadron (left) receives a freshly baked cookies from Master Sgt. Sharon Tyree, 99th MDSS first sergeant, during the...
 

 

Thunderbirds release 2015 show schedule

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2015 show schedule. In its 62nd season, the team is slated to perform 71 demonstrations at 39 locations. The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2015 at the...
 
 
Courtesy photo

SecAF: ISIL fight requires comprehensive approach

Courtesy photo Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James WASHINGTON — The air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is working as part of the ongoing joint effort to disrupt, degrade and destroy the terrorist ...
 
 

Family Dynamics: CMSAF, wife Athena talk about AF life at home

U.S. Air Force photo by Michael J. Pausic Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, Athena, pose for a photo at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept.16, 2013, in Washington D.C. FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — In a special edition of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin