Former crew chief to visit site of ‘Old 509’
By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
An early chapter in the life of retired Bell-South employee Dwaine Howard of Hartselle will be re-visited early next month when he returns to his native state of Michigan to take part in an observance that harkens back to a time when he served as a T-33 crew chief in the U.S. Air Force more than 40 years ago.
Howard will be a special guest of Jackson, Mich. Aug. 4-6 for the annual barbecue picnic of the Experimental Aircraft Association. His host will be Kent Maurer, manager of the Jackson County Airport.
Howard said he would be accompanied on the trip by his wife LoRayne and her sister and brother-in-law, Donald and Willene Curbow of Falkville. They will be joined in Stockbridge, Mich. by the Curbow’s son, Dwight Curbow and wife Sue. On the weekend of Aug. 2-3, they will attend a family reunion in Indiana.
Howard’s ties to the T-33 date back to 1964-65 when he served as its crew chief. At that time the converted F-80 fighter was based at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs, Colo. and was assigned to Major General Michael Joseph Ingelido, then inspector general of the Air Defense Command. The code name for the aircraft was “Smokey 51.” General Ingelido would fly the plane over the Distant Early Warning (DEW)Line in Alaska and Labrador to test the skills of radar operators and the scramble readiness of pilots stationed there.
While serving as the T-33’ crew chief for 18 months Howard was assigned to C Flight, 4614 Maintenance Squadron. He was granted a hardship discharge in 1965 after two years of military service. .