150pxDad HighSnow

Call to Duty

On 11 Aug 1950 I received a telegram that said to report for duty on 18 August.

When I was sworn in to the active AF, I immediately applied for pilot training, but I failed to pass the eye exam for pilots. I have hyperphoria (sp) in my left eye. My depth perception and vision are fine but I cannot pass that part of the test. I took the eye test almost monthly, but nothing changed.

I was sent to Nome, Alaska as the Adjutant (a staff officer who assists the commanding officer). The job included many other titles ( club officer, fire marshal, motor pool officer, etc.). This was a one year, unaccompanied tour ( without your family). While there I would take the pilot training eye exam. I had been taking the pilot physical nearly every month for over a year - failing the eye exam each time. After talking extensively with an eye doctor in Alaska, he diagnosed Hyperphoria. He further stated that I was born with it, and there was nothing that could be done to correct this condition. However, he did describe how the eye test machine worked.


150pxLt Corbett

After much research I realized there was no way I could legally pass that test so I looked at the testing machine. Low and behold I could pass the test by moving the controls to where I could guess where the image should be. From then on until I retired that was how I passed the flight physical.


100pxDad 1952

I returned to the States to be discharged in May 1952. While I was taking my final physical I received a TWX that I had passed the flight physical. I terminated the discharge exam and headed for the motel where my wife was waiting for a civilian to return. I said that we were leaving immediately for Bainbridge, Georgia. My wife was always supportive and didn't blink an eye. We called my mother in Iowa who was keeping our 2 year old daughter, Gayle, and said we would call again as soon as we got to Georgia.

  B29 Crew
B-29 Crash Landing in Alaska

December 1951

The was a wing of B-29s stationed at Fairbanks AFB about 500 miles east of Nome. This wing's mission was to provide electronic surveillance data of Russian capabilities by flying off the coast of Russia. The B-29 had a history of engine fires and other mechanical problems. This B-29 had two engines on fire and had to crash land at Pt. Moses about 80 miles from Nome.

The only casualties were the tail gunner who broke his leg jumping from the tail of the aircraft and the navigator who was injured when the nose strut came up through the floor under his seat.

I arrived at the crash site about one hour after the crash. I was amazed and pleasantly surprised that the entire crew was in good spirits and stating that they were happy to be getting rid of another B-29, which would be replaced by a B-50. The B-50 was an upgraded version of the B-29 and had a much better flying record.