was in the P.I. the second time I had been on D Flight. The Resources
Flight Chief was a guy named TSgt Schwartz. Everybody had a hard time
getting along with him. He was always wanting to control the dog
handlers and we were in no mood to be controlled.
Anyway, it turned out that C Flight had a shortage of NCOs assigned
to it and SSgt Hedrick and myself were the ones Schwartz elected to
kick off his flight. The first night I worked on C Flight I didn't
know anybody at all except Hedrick.
It was a swing shift. The posting trucks transported us out and I had
northend that first night. I got off near flightline POL instead of
the northend. I was almost a mile from my post when I got off the
I began walking along the grassline in the general direction of
northend. It was almost totally dark at the time. As I got closer to
the northend Keller began alerting in the direction of the flightline
and I could barely make out about six people working on the runway
lights. After a couple of more minutes I knew exactly what was going
on. Six beeks were ripping off the lights. I bent over and unhooked
Keller and began running at the intruders who still had no idea I was
there. I was still at least fifteen hundred to two thousand yards away
from the intruders when I released Keller. Finally the intruders saw
us and frantically began trying to carry what they could toward the
grassline just north of the jet test cell. When it was apparent to
them that if they continued to carry their contraband they'd get
fucked up they dropped it and scampered away into the grass. Keller
and I never caught any of them. They were just too damn far away. I've
been involved in a number of intruder incidents while at Clark and no
dog has ever made me prouder than Keller did that night. We did
recover an estimated $6,000 worth of runway lights and cable that
The great thing about it was that I did it my first night off D
Flight and away from TSgt Schwartz.
was at Clark the first time there was a situation one night where
about ten intruders came in and hit the DPDO where they kept all the
salvage items. My memory eludes me to some extent but at least one
handler involved was McCauley. He handled Copper at the time. I don't
really know how the incident itself started. I was posted on the
southend that night. I was handling Thunder at the time.
I had listened to the entire drama unfold. About a half hour after
the beginning of the activity our flight commander Capt Groth, (Call
sign Ranger) pulled up on my post and quickly found me. He instructed
me to hop into the jeep which I did. We then went careening north
across the flightline area and he sped past where the actual incident
had happened. He dropped me off by the base riding stables and told me
to sweep along the washout and see if I could turn anything up. I had
already developed a reputation for my abilities and willingness to go
Captain Groth took off and the game continued. There were flares
going up everywhere and apparently they had already caught two or
three intruders. I began sweeping through the stables. Keep in mind
that I was in an open pasture and there were horses wandering around
the area loose. I had a hell of a time keeping Thunder from attacking
one of the horses, but I managed. As I got near the washout itself
Thunder miraculously threw this monster alert into the washout. I'd
been involved in about a half dozen situations with him already and
knew when he was alerting on a human being.
It was darker than hell out that night and I could barely see my hand
in front of my face. As I got closer to where I knew the bank of the
washout to be I entered this ten foot high elephant grass. I began
sloping slightly and stopped, knowing full well that the cliff was
somewhere to my immediate front. I stopped, feeling myself on the
edge. I grabbed Thunder and pushed him over the edge to see how far
down it was and he must have caught on a lip about six inches square.
Thinking I was still further back than I was I took one step and found
myself in mid-air. Thunder and I fell about thirty feet down the side
of the cliff and splashed loudly into the fast flowing current of the
stables washout. I sat there in the water shaking the cobwebs from my
head and Thunder was sitting next to me growling at me. I told him to
shut up and I managed to clamber to my feet. I felt around and
discovered I hadn't lost my .38, radio or any of my flares during my
I swept through the entire washout but obviously because of my
careful footing and grace Thunder never alerted on anything again that
night. They probably heard me ten miles away splashing around like a
fish in a boat. I stayed out there until well after 8:00 am searching
the area. Nothing further was found but at the beginning of the
incident at around 3:00 other members of the flight managed to catch
about three intruders behind supply.
McCauley also dogged the RP flight chief, who's name I can't
remember. Apparently McCauley had released Copper on a couple of guys
and the RP flight chief had gotten in the way. Copper, being Copper
just dogged the first thing that got in the way. About an hour later
McCauley was sweeping around or chasing somebody and didn't realized
where he was and fell into a concrete drainage ditch and broke his
leg. The night proved to be costly even though we caught a couple of
intruders for our efforts.
following account took place sometime around early 1980 or so while I
was at Clark the second time.
There was an intruder sighting near the flightline POL. I was on an
eastside sweep with Ron Smith (Smitty). I was handling Keller at the
time and he had Bo Jangles. There were a couple of other handlers
involved in the incident also. My memory eludes me after all this time
but it seems as though one might have Reggie Spiegel or Rod Lopez.
Smitty and I had had plenty of opportunity to set up an ambush but
for some reason we got split up. I don't remember how that happened. I
think he went off to follow up on an alert that Bo threw. Both of us
were extremely experienced so staying together wasn't a huge priority,
although splitting up wasn't very smart.
Anyway, I decided to sit on the edge of a field in the ten foot high
elephant grass. I had a field of vision a good hundred yards to my
front and sides. There was a big banana grove to my right along with a
few smaller trees.
I had only been in ambush position for a few minutes when I saw two
shadows to my right near the trees. I knew they weren't handlers and I
quickly got to my feet and unhooked Keller. I whispered in his ear for
him to "Get him" and he bolted off in a blur. This was a
very dark night and visibility wasn't great. Keller quickly
disappeared into the jungle about thirty yards to my front and I
almost immediately heard screaming. He'd gotten one. Within seconds I
was one the scene and pulled Keller from his stricken victim. He'd hit
the intruder in the lower and upper left leg. At the time I was
carrying four sets of handcuffs. One real set and three sets of the
plastic flexicuffs. I pulled out my only set of real cuffs and
handcuffed the guy to the strongest tree in the area that I could
find, then took off to see if I could find his partner.
The rest of the incident and sweep turned up nothing more and about
an hour later I returned to get the guy I'd handcuffed to the tree.
Because of all the activity I hadn't remembered exactly where I'd
been when I caught the guy and although I looked around for the better
part of an hour I couldn't find the location where it had happened
again. I couldn't find the banana grove or the stand of trees I'd
handcuffed the guy to. Smitty also helped me look for him to no avail.
To this day I don't know what happened to him. He might have managed
to get away at some point. Who knows.
During intruder incidents and apprehensions things got quite hectic
and I'm sure this also happened to others at one time or another. The
thing that made me the maddest was the day off I had sacrificed
because I couldn't find him again.
following incident occurred the second time I was at Clark.
Seeing Elmer's name passed to me for the Dog's list reminded me of
the time he bit me... Yes, bit me!
Elmer, being Elmer was one of the weaker dogs around as everybody
knew. There was a female handling him at the time who's name I can't
remember. Anyway, I was on D Flight and Diane Lieber was the trainer.
I was one of the better wrap men on flight at the time and we were
working a swing shift one afternoon.
Diane had me working with Elmer, trying to bring his aggression up a
little, which was just about impossible. I had him on the wrap that
day, (sort of) and I was working him back and forth and taunting him
verbally, all to no avail.
Then for some dumb-ass reason I reached out and grabbed him by the
chest hair. He let go of the flimsy hold he had on the wrap, lunged
forward and nailed me in the arm pit. I wasn't wearing my shirt at the
time and only had on a tee-shirt. He ripped the sleeve off my
tee-shirt and but a pretty good sized gash in my right arm pit. As
soon as he did it he let go and backed off. Me too...
I just stood there dumbfounded, looking at him, unable to believe
what had just happened.
To this day I can't believe that candy-assed dog nailed me. I only
got bit twice, once the first time I was at Clark and that was through
the wrap on the tips of my fingers.