Monday, June 15, 2015

Military Monday: DR Ahead - "Get That Drift Down to a Gnat's ___ !!!!"

After my dad, Fred Pape, came back from Korea in March 1953, he was assigned back to Ellington Air Force Base in Houston to the 3605th Observer Training Wing, as an instructor in the navigator school there; the same one he graduated from in April 1952.  Dad was assigned to Ellington for the remainder of his time in the Air Force, through April 10, 1955.

Most of the pictures I have of Dad from this time period are of him with Mom, as he met her during this time and they married in Houston on September 11, 1954.  However, Dad does have a copy of a "yearbook" for Class 55-04 (the fourth class in 1955), which would have been near the end of Dad's time in the Air Force.  At left is his picture in the yearbook, and below is a photo of the front cover.

The yearbook was called "DR. AHEAD," which meant "dead reckon ahead."  Dead reckoning is a navigational process defined by Merriam-Webster as "the determination without the aid of celestial observations of the position of a ship or aircraft from the record of the courses sailed or flown, the distance made, and the known or estimated drift."

"Drift" is defined as "the deviation of a vessel, aircraft, or projectile from its intended or expected course as the result of currents or winds."

The cover was apparently used for a number of classes, differentiated only by the class designation embossed on the cover (just below the compass in the center).

In the photos below, I have lightened the background so the embossed "55-04" stands out a little more.  Dad's yearbook also had his name and position embossed on it as well:

Senior Instructor, 04C

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

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