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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 
 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 

 

Deeds, not words make ‘quiet professionals’

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Joint U.S. forces train together during integrated Green Flag exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway during Green Flag-West 14-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 21. Green ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 




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