Ray Dean Rittenhouse

I joined the Air Force as an enlisted member in April, 1954 and while in basic training successfully tested for the Aviation Cadet Program qualifying for pilot and navigator. Following basic at Lackland AFB I was transferred to Goodfellow AFB as a Pre-Cadet, then five days after my 19th birthday I was back to Lackland AFB as a Cadet. Primary pilot training was at the garden spot, Marianna AB Florida.

Then on to Bryan AFB, Texas for single-engine jet training. I had an F-100 assignment in sight when everything slowed down following Korea, SAC was booming, I selected B-47s, Lake Charles AFB, Louisiana. It proved to be the right decision. There I had the privilege of spending seven years in the aircraft, and reportedly was the youngest Crew Commander, with Select crew status, upgrading at 23 years of age. Things went downhill as the B-47 phased out in 1963, SAC sent me to B-52s at Clinton Sherman AFB, Oklahoma, the worst assignment of my career.

It took four years to get out of the assignment - thank God for the B-66, HQ Air Force pulled me out of SAC after many requests, to Shaw AFB, then to Takhli, August, 1967. The assignment proved to be the most rewarding experience in my Air Force career. The members of the B-66 program, at Shaw and at Takhli, there was never a better collection of people to work with, anywhere. My fondest memories remain with the aircraft and people assigned as commanders, staff, instructors, fellow crewmembers and support personnel.

Not much after SEA, I then went to the HQ USAF IG, back to SEA in the RF-4C, Udorn and to HQ 7th AF, total 276 SEA combat missions, then to H.Q. USAFE and as Squadron Commander, back to SAC as Squadron Commander and DCM, back to Europe as DCM, then when we lost our oldest son in 1980, requested retirement. It was a sad day. We have lived in the Houston, Texas area since. I was privileged and blessed as a part of the TEWS/B-66 program.

Following retirement as an O-6 high-school graduate I went back to school, received my B.S. and M.A., since practicing and teaching Clinical Psychology. GOD Bless America.
Email: aarrkk@selec.net

Ken Coolidge

I entered the Air Force in March of 1960 after getting an ROTC commission from the University of New Hampshire. After graduating from the "Winter Survival Games" at Stead AFB I was assigned to the 9th TRS as a Navigator and assigned to an ECM crew. We did all the usual stuff, like TDYs to McDill and numerous exercises until being deployed to Takhli in August of 1965. I went over with Bernie Russell, Joe Canady, Larry Becker, Larry Rein and Ken Sexton. Talk about the blind leading the blind. The EWOs knew what was going on but Bernie and I struggled to keep the bird right side up. The maps were dubious, the terrain matched some of the time, and the radar returns didn't look all that good. Eventually after studying the radar scope photos we all came up with a series of identifiable fixes that were good enough to keep the ELINT shop from complaining. Come December I elected to go back to Shaw and instruct in the new CCTS. Great job except for the students. You'd get in a new guy, get him up to speed and then have to start all over again.

In 1967 I got an assignment to RAF Alconbury in RF-4Cs. England was great. I was reassigned to Mountain Home AFB as in instructor in 1970. After one year they wanted to send me back to Shaw but I fixed them. I volunteered for another trip to SEA in RF-4Cs. After my first mission I realized my mistake. From SEA it was back to RAF Alconbury.

This time I spent most of my time in Wing as the Current Operations Officer and Wing Plans Officer. In 1975 I was caught up in the rush to put Rated people into the Security Police career field. Being the Squadron Commander of a Security Police Squadron isn't all bad. In 1978 they sent me to the Pentagon but on the way they moved the Air Force Office of Security Police to Kirtland AFB, NM.

I retired in 1982 and took a job with a Security Company in the Los Angeles area. We bought Pinkerton in 1988. I retired as a Regional Vice President in 1993 and started my own small Security company. We worked Government Contracts at US Embassies and Consulates around the world.

In 1997 I came down with cancer. After a stem cell/bone marrow transplant in 1998 I was in remission. Not wanting to be the richest man in the cemetery my partner and I decided to slow down. Unfortunately my partner died very suddenly about a year later.

I then got myself hired as a flight instructor and have been doing that for the past two years. I commissioned my son at the University of New Hampshire in 1981. He is now a LtCol assigned as the Commander of the Eastern Test Range at Patrick AFB, FL. He is a PhD Chemist who went from the research field at the AF Academy to the Space Program. He says the math is the same. They have four children ranging from 11 to 17.

My daughter is another story. She flunked her commissioning physical and got married a year later. I told her to stay away from fighter pilots so she married a Helicopter Pilot. He is a LtCol and Commander of the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, FL. They have three children from five to thirteen. Last summer I taught my oldest grandson, Peter, how to fly in the same plane his father learned in over twenty years ago. There are six others waiting in the wings to get old enough to spend the summer with us here in Southern California and learn how to fly. Peter is off to college next year and will most likely wind up wearing a blue suit. It would appear that the Air Force is our "family business". Email: geobyron@aol.com

ref. http://www.b66.info/bios/bios2.htm#RayRittenhouse