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Saturday, January 19, 2013

EC-121 Warning Star - Part 2

Recently at my in-laws house, my father-in-law (FIL) and husband were intensely discussing the infantry and military service of their step uncle by marriage.  They knew so much detail and had photos.  I thought to myself, "I know so much more than that about my own father's service."  When I went to look up his group (which is known as an air control wing), I realized that I actually did not know much.  Since I work on my family tree, I decided that I'd dig up "proof".

Before I went digging, I did try to figure out exactly what I'd be looking for.  The 552d AEWCW, McClellen AFB, California was what I was looking for.  I also realized quickly that I was seeking the squadron number too.  I asked my mom but she could not remember exactly what squadron number he was in.  The next time I went to her house, she handed me this:

I asked her about the box.  She said it was probably given to my dad, full of cigars, by his Air Force buddy's when I was born.  The contents hold a treasure trove of what I like to call "proof" and stories that I will probably never fully realize.

Capt. Brian E. McGuire, USAF 

I asked my mom what the medals were for but she really did not know.  She said that after every mission to Vietnam, he'd come home with more medals or ribbons.  While it is not a medal or ribbon, there is patch above that refers to my father as a short timer and says "Go to Hell" on it.  My father was in the Air Force for 4 years and 3 months.  He would say that was long enough for him.

So, I found a lot but there was more.........see my next post.

Since I posted this, I've found out what each medal and/or ribbon he received represented.  They are as follows:

  1. Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  2. Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
  3. Vietnam Service Medal
  4. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  5. National Defense Service Medal 
  6. Air Force Training Ribbon
  7. Air Medal 

Of all of the medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal had the most striking description.

This medal was established on Dec. 4, 1961, to be awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, have participated in a United States military operations and encountered foreign armed opposition, or were in danger of hostile action by foreign Armed Forces.

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