55th and 58th WRS USAF

                                  Willie Weatherby, the 55th WRS  Logo                                                                                                                                                                     58th WRS Logo                                                                              
Hi, USAF guys, Welcome to my page. I am Conrad Layton; I was a Crew Chief/Scanner on WB-29s and WB-50s. I served in the 55th SWRS 1952-53 and the 58th SWRS 1953-55. I'm searching for 58th, 55th, or 375th Weather Recon guys that served at Eielson, Ladd, or Shemya AFB, Alaska, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico or McClellan AFB, California, Guam, and other points . Many of our guy have served in the other Weather Unit as well, like the 53rd, 54th , 56th 57th etc. If your served in one of those units we will honor your service and would be glad for you to join us.  I have about 750 names on our roster and mailing list. This includes an  "Honor Roll" for our deceased Officers and Airmen that I maintain with your help. Our group holds a reunion every year in June in Branson, MO. We just had our 16th straight reunion June 15, 16, 17th. We really had a good one. Some hung around Branson for a few more extra days.  The dates for the 2017 reunion have been set, they are the 7, 8, 9 th of June.  Come join us. 
WE  WANT YOU ON OUR ROSTER.  Contact me and I will get you on the mailing list. If you know of any deceased members, let me know and I will add them to our "Honor Roll".  If you have any great photos or a good story you would like to share from your time in the USAF, send them to me. I will edit them and add them to our reunion program which I hand out every year. It was over 225 pages last year.   You can get a copy of the program each year with the full Roster and "Honor Roll" if I have you on my roster. You can reach me by clicking on this e-mail address. Be sure to put 55th or 58th in the subject line.  Guys, Some of you are older than I and we are running out of time, if you haven't been to one of our a reunions you have really missed out on a great time. 
  conradlay at aol.com
 I still have a few of the patches you see at the top of this page if any one wants them.they're $5 each.   
8/15/16  Well, another reunion is in the books. We had a great 2016 reunion in Branson, MO.  The story will be coming out shortly. I had only one reunion program with new photos, up to date ROSTER, and some great stories remaining.  First come, first serve , just let me know. Call or e-mail.  Larry Liska also had some great decals of the 58th at Eielson, same as the one on my web page. I have a few left. They are free, but I'm asking you to pay for the postage.  $1.00  They are 4X4".  Sad news: our NASA flyover in the WB-57 tail # 927 got scratched because of a change in command. 
Dec. 2015 I've just added a new story to the story section called The final Chapter on the Lady of the Lake. I think it is a very informitive  story. It may be appearing in Air & Space Magizine soon. 

We are having a lot of new guys from the 58th WRS at Kirtland AFB join our group. When the 58th at Eielson AFB was deactivated, those guys went to the 55th at Mcclellan and McChord AFBs. The 58th was reactivated again in 1963 at Kirtland.  This is a partial list of some of the new guys from the 58th WRS at Kirtland AFB.  We're glad to have you guys aboard, Twenty-five people  were at this year's reunion representing the 58th at Kirtland AFB. We're growing.
Also a few guys from the other Weather outfits have been contacting me.   They are finding my web page and wanting to know if I know of anything going on in their groups. I tell them I don't, but I always extend them a welcome to our group.  
If you like the newsletter section let me know. If you don't like it tell me what I can do to make it better.  I'll take all the help I can get. (grin) If you know of anything that might add to it, please  let me know.
Steve Baker                                                  Tom Sailley                       62-66                              Richard Wojcik  
Emmet Cook                         69-72               Colin Heatherly                69-74                              Joe Davenport
Tom Cordell                          63-64               George Tash                     69-71                              Doug Miller
John Crow                            66-74               Max Schuermann              70-73                              Dan Templeton
Al Elam                                                          Dexter Bloom                                                           Donald A. Brady 

Patrick R. V.  Horton            69-72               Jim Bresslin                                                             Chuck Niessing
Paul Noel                              65-                   Roger Whettschreck         66-69                             
John Penz                                                     Joseph May                       65-68
Jack Boskers                       67-72               John Snelson                     71-72  !st SGT
Frank Sumner                      66-68                Edward Molen
Richard Ferguson                                        Roger Scott                        71-73                         
Conrad Sorapuru                                         Howard Woodward             63-65
Fred Tippet                           66-72               Allen Rogers                       69-        
Robert Parker                       62-63               Lewis Allen                         64-68
Larry Kinney                         68-69               Bill Alt                                  65-68
Dexter Blom                                                  Richard Ferguson 
Earl Heal                               69-72               Richard Jacques                 64-66
Michael Malcom                   71-72               Paul May                              65-68  71-72
David Sheldon                      67-72               Clinton Wells                       62-64                             
Glen Wilder                           62-63               Sherman Wilden                        

This is only a small number of the guys I have on the roster from the 58th at Kirtland. We are growing all the time. 

Oct. 10, 2014: AF releases criteria for new service medal

United States Air Force sent this bulletin at 10/10/2014 01:52 PM CDT  

Release No. 220

Oct. 10, 2014 

AF releases criteria for new service medal 

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs


WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James’ May 27, 2014, authorization. 

The NDOSM will be awarded to individuals for their direct support of Nuclear Deterrence Operations. 

“This service medal provides a clearly visible way to recognize the dedication and professionalism of our Airmen who are the guardians of our nation’s nuclear deterrence. Because of our success, often times nuclear deterrence operations can be overlooked as a critical function,” said Col. Zannis Pappas, missile operations career field manager. “The medal acknowledges the special challenges faced by those Airmen charged with supporting the nuclear enterprise and will be a point of pride by all who wear it.”   Service members may be awarded the NDOSM if they were assigned, deployed or mobilized to a wing, center or below in support of the Nuclear Enterprise for 120 consecutive days or 179 nonconsecutive days. Subsequent awards will only be authorized when a permanent change of station to a qualifying unit has occurred.   “The Air Force continues to demonstrate its support to the most vital part of the nuclear enterprise – the Airmen. This medal exists as a tangible way to acknowledge the importance of this mission and the dedication and pride that the men and women in the nuclear community show to their country,” said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “Having Secretary of the Air Force-level interest testifies to the importance of this decoration and impact on nuclear operations.”   The NDOSM will be worn with an “N” device for those who dispatched to a missile complex for 179 nonconsecutive days in direct support of intercontinental ballistic missile operations or are in direct support of nuclear laden aircraft. Only one “N” device will be worn, regardless of the number of qualifying assignments. An oak leaf cluster will be worn for subsequent awards, which will only be authorized when a permanent change of station has occurred.   Eligibility for the medal is retroactive to Dec. 27, 1991. Nominations for currently-serving Airmen will be processed through their respective chain of command.   A member’s current group commander is considered the awarding authority for the medal. Retired or separated Airmen can submit a request submitted to the Air Force Personnel Center recognition section for validation. The award can be presented posthumously, as well, so family members of deceased Airmen can also contact AFPC for information.  The medal is currently under development with a projected date of availability through the Defense Supply System of March 2015.


For more information and full eligibility criteria, go to myPers at https://mypers.af.mil. Guard and Reserve retired and separated Airmen and their family members may contact the Air Reserve Personnel Center at 800-525-0102, for assistance.


Symbolism: The bronze medal conveys the honorary recognition of high performance while contributing to the success of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrence mission. The laurel wreath symbolized achievement, recognizing the Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel who support nuclear deterrence. The atomic symbol indicated the core responsibility of nuclear surety. The star with the disc denotes the Air Force. The triangle on the reverse alludes to the nuclear triad. The blue represents the nuclear dominance in the sky; red represents the power and passion in which we provide nuclear deterrence; green represents the earth and our global capabilities; gold represents the wealth of our nuclear enterprise – our people.

CRL: OK, here is my opinion of this :  I think it sucks!!!!  It was designed to be self serving for someone.If they would include everyone back to where we all started testing and  monitoring nuclear deterrence, I think they called it.  This medal is  retroactive back to Dec. 27, 1991. I have over a two hundred people on my roster right now that have already died or are suffering from this nuclear garbage. Don't you think they could be included?  The people involved in this stuff today never touch these sampling filters. It is all done by people wearing enough protective clothing to protect from an atomic bomb fall out itself.  We were never warned of what it would do to us. (groan)  We should all bombard our Senators and Congressmen with letters of protest. 

November 18, 2014   A lot of you guys have ask about where to get one of the two patches I have at the top of this page.   I had some made and if you would like one, they are $5 each with  handling and mailing included.  Willy Weatherbee was the 55th Logo for many years and the Pole Vaulters logo was for the 58th for its entire duration of the 58th at Eielson.  

November 21, 2014



Well here it is September and I am just now getting around to writing the story about our 2014 reunion. I usually jump on this task very shortly after our June reunion so I can remember some of the great stuff that went on there. (groan) Now it is stressing me out to remember, but I’m gonna try.

It all started on Tuesday the June 12, Beverly and I arrived at the hotel about 2:00 pm and checked in at the Savannah House. Besides me and Beverly there were eleven others coming on Tuesday. Some were there to meet us and others started drifting in slowly. By dinner time we were all there and voted on a place to eat supper. We headed for the All American Steak & Chicken House and had a great meal. Afterward we returned to Savannah House and sat around eating ice cream & cobbler and really getting acquainted with the new folks  and remembering old times with the old ones until bedtime. (late)   

We had fifty-one in attendance with Jim Strong having to back out at the last minute. Among those there we were blessed with twelve new folks there for their first time. It is always refreshing to see some new faces among us. They were a really great bunch of folks. They were Joe & Bonnie Davenport from Headrick, OK, Glenn & Janet Wilder from Purcell, OK, Dan Templelton of North Highlands, CA, Rick Wojcik of Sun City, AZ, Jeanie Christianson of Claremore, OK (sister of Millie Ham), Max & Sharon Schuermann of Sand Springs, OK, Bernie Houle from Burien, WA, and Henry & Wanda Blair of Oklahoma City, OK. They all turned out to be a fun loving group. At 4:00 pm Wednesday the 10th, we had roll call and handed out our name tags, programs, and some other goodies. This year we gave all attendees a three way pen with pen flash light and stylus. I think everyone really liked them. Several wanted to purchase the leftovers from me. Actually they are about as good a pen as I have had.  I got more for the veteran’s in our “Sonshine Group,” the seniors at our church back home. We always celebrate our veteran’s at our July meeting

We polled the group to see if they wanted to go see an optional show that evening, (not on the Agenda) and they did; now it has been so long that I cannot remember which show. (groan) I think it may have been the Clay Cooper Show.

Thursday at breakfast we saw about all of bunch in the breakfast room. Ummm, great breakfast, they have about anything you could ever want.  At 11:30 Beverly met with the ladies and left for lunch at Vaskin’s International Deli and some shopping afterward. Us guys stayed at the hotel and ate pizza, hot wings & salad, sharing our photos and storytelling, you know, the kind that change every year because of our fuzzy memories.   Later we all departed for the Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show.  It was wonderful. One of our guys, Dan Templeton, was selected to represent the South in “ Horse Shoe” throwing contest and won the medal awarded to the winner. Dan wore it proudly. Actually the horse shoes are toilet lids.  (grin)  Then back to the hotel and more ice cream & cobbler. Again we all stayed up way way too late.

Friday another great breakfast and it was a free day to do as you pleased. Some went to old downtown Branson to check it out, some went to Silver Dollar City, and some to Dogwood Canyon. Some just hung around the hotel. We met back at the hotel at 4:30 for our photo session and then left for Grand Plaza Hotel for a really good dinner & entertainment.  We had a choice of prime rib, shrimp, chicken, or tilapia. I always pick the prime rib, Beverly's selection is the shrimp. We have made this stop a regular with our reunion. Later we went to see the Rankin Brothers Show on special request. Our group has seen it before and really likes it. They were really good as usual. Yes, you guessed it, back to the hotel for I/C & C, it was about midnight when the last one faded out to get some sleep.

Saturday morning the breakfast room was busheling. Everyone was sad they were leaving. There was lots of hugging and handshaking, a few tears. Some even wanted to know if I knew the dates for the next year's reunion so they could get it on their calendar.  By about 11:30 AM most were on their way home. A few were going to stay a little longer and take in some more shows. 

Everyone made it home in good fashion and a lot of fun was had by all.

8/11/15 Reunion Story is a work in process. Coming later. I also have added a new story to my Story section.

Hey Guys,I have several friends and comrades that have written some great stories. if any of you would be interested I could add them to the Stories section. 

Remember, Character is doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Do something good for someone today. Tell your family how much you love them and call one of your old Air Force buddies and give some of your time. 

to the 1955 58th WRS Squadron photo http://www.awra.us/FLT394-58WRS.html

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