Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Dewey's History

dewey_barich.jpg I was born in 1940. The earliest event I can recall is the night in 1943 mom took me and my older sister to the train station in Ravenna Ohio to see my father off to report for duty in the US Navy. He was 32 at that time and with 3 dependents unlikely to be drafted any time soon. He had sought and secured a commission as he felt the need to contribute to the war effort more than he could as a civilian. His action influenced me through out my life particularly as I contemplated a career.

As a high school senior in 1958, I made the first of three applications to the Air Force Academy. I was excited by the newness of the Academy and a life long interest in military aviation. I was not physically qualified because of less than 20/20 vision. I then enrolled at the University of Michigan in engineering. During my freshman year at Michigan, the admission standards for the Academy were relaxed to allow vision of 20/50 or better. I met that requirement but did not get the congressional appointment for my district. I was offered the opportunity to enlist in the AF Reserve and attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) at Bainbridge Maryland.

I accepted the opportunity and during the tour at NAPS received the congressional appointment from my representative. I think he may have been tired of reviewing my applications.

Basic Cadet Training was tough but having been through basic enlisted training I at least had had an indoctrination to military life. As I recall, I went through 2 roommates who left during the summer.

I struggled with academics all four years. Nothing came easy in the classroom. I lettered on the rifle team each year and was captain my first class year. I was honored to be chosen the 14CS Ethics Committee rep as that program got underway.

I qualified for pilot training with a waiver for my eyesight. I chose Laredo AFB (see struggle with academics above). The classes at Laredo were about one half the size at most of the other pilot training bases. We had a good opportunity to know everyone. 66A was the last class to fly T-33s which set us apart.

During Christmas break in pilot training Jaye and I were married at the Academy Chapel. The saber detail was arranged by my former rifle team coach CMSgt Harold Blume and consisted of senior sergeants as of course there were no cadets at the Academy during the break.

I chose C-130s in Military Airlift Command and was assigned to Charleston AFB. During the six months I spent flying there I saw more of the world than during the rest of my flying career.

One year after arriving at Charleston, assignments for SEA started coming down. In order to have some choice I volunteered for C-123s. The check out was at Hurlburt Field, FL. While there I volunteered for the 12th Air Commando Squadron. That was the outfit that did the defoliation. The low level, formation flying in a hostile (small arms with occasional 50 cal) environment was the most interesting and challenging of my career.

Following my Vietnam tour, we were assigned to Travis AFB, CA where I flew C-141s mostly back and forth to SEA. Our two children, Dawn and Dewey were born there.

After 3 years at Travis, I got an AFIT civilian institution assignment to San Diego State for the purpose of getting a MS in management. The guidance while in that program was something like 'Keep your hair cut, your mouth closed, take the maximum load and finish in the minimum time'.

We enjoyed our time on the west coast and wanted to stay there but the directed duty assignment following graduation was to Wright Patterson AFB, OH. I worked on two specific programs while there. I was not comfortable behind a desk. I recall learning about ECPs Emergency Change Proposals. This was something that had to be accomplished within 45 days. Not exactly the type of urgency of a bold print procedure in the aircraft dash 1.

We left Wright-Patt for Dover AFB and C-5s in 1976. This was to be our last PCS. I flew as a line pilot and was a simulator instructor.

Following retirement I operated a small sign shop - engraving and magnetic - specializing in show dog related items.

I feel blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to serve with my classmates in the forces that guard our country and our way of life. As in a quote from the film "A Few Good Men", during our time we stood upon the wall and said 'Nothing's going to hurt you tonight, not on our watch.'

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