Monthly Archives: November 2011
Meet Timothy M. Barrett, he is my grandfather. Along with my Nan, Tim had a major part of my upbringing. Most of my days were spent with my grandparents. I can still remember walking to the corner store for late night snacks with Tim, coming back to the house and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with them both, I still can’t believe Tim knew all the answers before the contestants were able to chime in with theirs. During this time, Tim was a correctional officer and always had stories to tell. Needless to say, Tim is like a role model to me, I always looked up to him. When I mentioned my project to him, he was more than willing to share his story.
One day back in 1949, Tim was walking down 11th and Market and happened to pass a recruiting office in which was advertising between the ages of 17-34 to join the services. Tim made the decision to enlist since he was 17, but their quota was full, luckily another man approached him to join the United States Air Force. Tim thought they were the same branch as the Army, but the gentleman explained that in 1947, they separated and became their own entity. With this information, Tim chose to enlist in the US Air Force, but since he was only 17, his legal guardian (Mother) would have to sign paperwork in order for him to be fully enlisted. It took some convincing, but Tim’s Mother signed all necessary paperwork.
Next step was basic training, Tim completed his training at Lacklin Air Force Base located in San Antonio, Texas. After basic training, Tim was transferred to Sheppard Air Force Base – Tim wasn’t too fond of this location, so when able, he signed up to be relocated. With this, Tim was advised he was being sent far East for a three year tour of duty. Tim was sent to Camp Stoneman California where he took a troop ship to Tachikawa AFB in Japan. Once Tim got settled in Japan, he was told he was soon heading to Korea.
Tim served a little over a year in Korea as a cook. When this tour was done, he was later shipped back to the states – Pennsylvania, a 500 air defense group. Shortly after, Tim was approached to reenlist for six years, but Tim declined and was later discharged.
Overall, Tim enjoyed his experience and defending our country. One of Tim’s fondest memories during his time was hanging with the boys and gambling.