Book Reviews and Comments





Comments:
Larry,
I stumbled across your site while researching Cold War Vets. Thank you. I was a Ground Radio Repairman assigned to the 6970th USAFSS/6973rd Security Squadron which later became the 6940th ESW/6943rd ESS under the command of Col.James Clapper. I was attached to "T" Group and supported many of the collections & intercept analysts, both ground and airborne. I was responsible for servicing & restoring much of the old electronics gear you all may be familiar with. Proud to be a Cold War Vet! Thank you all.

Roy Dixon
SGT - 6943rd ESS
Ft. Meade, MD
1979-1982


Added: January 27, 2013
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Comments:
I have enjoyed reading all five volumes of Larry's USAFSS history. Volumes IV and V cover the airborne history beginning with the Army Signal Corps in WWII up to the present, and adds to the ground-based operations records found in the first three volumes. I've often wondered what the USAFSS was doing after my service with this command ended with my discharge on 1 Dec 1952, and now I know. Thanks, Larry, for an outstanding performance in your research, organization, documentation, and persentation of this information :)

Added: January 24, 2013
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Comments:
I am in the process of reading Larry's Freedom Through Vigilance Vol IV, History of U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) Airborne Reconnaissance Part 1.
I can't thank him enough for this outstanding addition to the Freedom Through Vigilance Series.
This book is not limited to a pure chronicle of events, but also contains significant insights into the operators and platforms involved. A must read for anyone interested in the how the US monitored our enemies from WWII to the present. This book and series should be made required reading for politicians, policy makers, defense and intelligence agencies, and students. The project names, types of platforms, and operators change; the 'Cold War and War on Terrorism' remains the same.
Mike Beuster (USAFSS 1971-1975)


Added: January 23, 2013
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Comments:
Larry, I have now read Volume IV and V, Airborne History, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am struck by the differences in our missions when I flew them (Yokota 1960-1962 RB50 and C130), when we were just a passive hole in the sky (No computers, GPS, Satellite, Friendly radar coverage, our only link was our 292 monitoring where THEY said we were)...and the mission as it has evolved to today, and direct tactical involvement in the Big Air Force mission...It was an awesome research job for you authors and a great read for us exes...A lot of the history, of course, is name changes, realignment of commands, etc. for the benefit of the politicos (Military and civilian), but the mission of the "Bats" in the rear has remained the same personal and technical challenge for us as it always has been..Seems like my life, and that of many others, is frozen in time in that period in which we served. Thanks for the great job and much continued success in all you do. Looking forward to reading them again. Jerry

Added: January 23, 2013
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Comments:
I've read "The Price of Vigilance" and all five volumes of "History of the U.S. Air Force Security Service". I think that Larry has made a very valuable contribution and would recommend his books to anyone interested in military history. His books make for interesting reading. They very much broadened my view of the USAFSS and its pioneering role and contributions to the nation. An added highlight was the history of how the USAFSS evolved into today's Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaisance missions and the sacrifices made by fellow airmen during the Cold War,the Vietnam War, and present day wars. My small and modest contribution was serving in the 6952nd RSM at RAF Kirknewton, Scotland from 1960 to 1963 after tech school at Goodfellow, AFB in San Angelo, Texas. Thanks Larry and best wishes.

Added: January 21, 2013
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Comments:
The entire 5 volume series is an excellent compendium of ground based (Volumes I through III) and airborne reconnaissance (Volumes IV and V) by an expert who was there, not just someone who only reads about it. USAFSS is the U.S. Air Force Security Service; now it's the "Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency" (AFISRA), with a greatly expanded mission scope compared to the early days of the USAFSS, which consisted primarily of just a bunch of portable huts sitting on some mountain someplace classified. Personal communications with the author tell me the difficult and time consuming efforts required to obtain so many personal experiences of other people who were actually there and experienced history 'live' was really a labor of love, and that really comes out in the books. These 5 books are a "must read" for any one interested in the history of the Air Force's SIGINT (signals intelligence) gathering efforts from the 40s to the 80s and some history beyond that.

Added: January 21, 2013
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Comments:
I have just finished the last two volumes of "Freedom Through Vigilance". I now am a proud owner of the complete set. The effort put into the creation of these books is "above and beyond" and will be invaluable as set of reference books for years to come. Through these books I have learned many things I didn't know about USAFSS when I was discharged some 50 years ago. Thank you!

Added: January 21, 2013
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Comments:
I served in USAFSS/ESC from 1957 to 1979 with ground assignments in Okinawa (6927th), Japan (6986th), Philippines (6922nd), and Italy (6917th). Airborne assignments at Eielson (6985th), Rhein Main (6916th) and Athens ( Det 1 6916th).

I just finished reading Volumes IV and V of Larry's "Freedom Through Vigilance" and could not put them down until I was finished with both of them. It was very interesting seeing what happened before and after my airborne assignments. Very well laid out and documented with just the right amount of personal comments and observations. I was familiar with most of the people mentioned and have heard of most of the others.

Volumes IV and V have joined the other volumes and "The Price of Vigilance" on the bookshelf at my computer station. Most have bookmarks or bits of paper in them for quick access and reference. The only other book on the shelf is my Italian Dictionary.

Larry has done so much to chronicle the history of USAFSS/ESC and the follow on designators. A monumental task with outstanding results. Thanks.


Added: January 21, 2013
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Comments:
served 6985th SS 1964 to 1967 mostly charlie flight
left Air Force in April 1967 worked Pan Americn Airway in Fairbanks until 1968 the worked on DEW line for year came back to lower 48 and have never returned to Alaska
if you remember me please contact me am very proud of my service and the many memories :o


Added: January 11, 2013
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Comments:
Was in USAFSS in 62-63 in Pakistan, 6937 th Comm Group.

Added: January 10, 2013
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