Fred Remembers Part 17

16 Dec

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills


And so, in August of 1957, I left the family in Tokyo and flew on a PanAm flight across the Pacific Ocean with stops at Wake Island, Midway, and at Hickam AFB in Honolulu.


Hickam AFB flight line


Charles wrote:  It was during our assignment to the 41st  Air Division and Johnson Air Base that our older son, Fred, left us to return to the United States and matriculation at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. He was the first of our children to leave the nest and I felt his absence very keenly.  I know the other family members also missed him but, for me, it was a shock.  I was to feel that same shock when the other children, in their turn, left Kitty and me and I never did get used to it. Oh, I learned to live with the fact that we had our children only for a few years and that they must leave us to take their place in the world.  It was the will of God and we had to accept the reality.

A friend of mine, Pete Benefield, was on the same flight.


Pete Benefield and friends, Hawaii


While in Tokyo, we kept each other company.  We stayed at the same hotel.  Nearby was a theatre that was showing Around the World in 80 days.  The theatre had been built just for that movie.  A ticket cost 80 yen (360 yen = $1.00 U.S.).  It was in Cinemascope and full stereo sound.  We had seats near the back.  It was in English with Japanese subtitles.

The next day we flew out on a DC7  with four old propeller engines.  We stopped in Wake Island to refuel.  As we were landing, I could see the ocean white caps under the wing.  We used nearly all the runway to land.  After Wake Island, we flew to Hickam AFB in Hawaii.

Pete stayed in Hawaii.  I flew on to San Francisco International Airport.  I took a cab into town, to the train station.  I stayed in a hotel overnight, then took a train the next day to Los Angeles.  Aunt Eleanor (Mom’s sister) and Uncle Bob met me at the station.

A few weeks later, I took the El Capitan from LA to Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico.


Sandia mountains from my dorm window – UNM golf course


After registration, the University put me in a room in Mesa Vista Dorm – the only men’s dormitory at that time.


Mesa Vista Dorm


They put me in a small, two-man room, but instead of two single beds, there were two bunk beds.  They actually put four men in one small room.  Apparently they did not expect all of us to complete the first semester.  As it turned out, two did drop out by the start of the second semester.


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~









JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Fred Remembers Part 17”

  1. divoran09 December 16, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    Great post. I too rode the El Capitan between LA and Albuquerque, but I was going the opposite way, out to LA to start married life with Bill.


    From: Old Things R New Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:02 AM To: Subject: [New post] Fred Remembers Part 17

    ludyja posted: “Sunday Memories Judy Wills And so,


Thank you for stopping by and reading our posts. Your comments are welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: