Memories of Malden

Do you have a story to share from your time at Malden Army Airfield or Malden Air Base? We'd love to hear from you! Meanwhile, here are some memories of Malden that have been generously shared with us and may sound somewhat familiar to you.

I got lost on a rather long VFR solo cross country on a nice spring day (good visibility) which started at Malden went to Paducah, KY then to Jonesboro, Ark. and back to Malden. One of the visible landmarks along the way was the Air Force Base just outside Blytheville, Ark. Anyway for some reason Jonesboro never appeared even after I flew another 20 minutes beyond my ETA. Knowing I was lost I flew down to 4,000 feet and began looking at names of towns on Water Towers and found I was over Marked Tree, Ark, about 20 miles south of Jonesboro. Because of the added distance this created, my fuel started to run low as I flew back to Malden. I thinned out the mixture as much as I could without causing the engine to overheat, to save fuel, and reduced the RPMs, which also used less fuel. As I entered the Malden landing pattern the gauges said I was close to empty, and I made a good landing, no go around, parked the plane and returned to the flight shack. Instructor Russell Essex was there so I told this story to him, and how low my fuel gauge registered when I'd shut the plane down. He went out to see in the dash how much fuel was put in the plane after I'd shut it down. He came back in and said I had only .2 of a gallon left and if I'd had to go around I'd never have made it. My response was, "But I made it!" That's what being young is all about, no sense of risk. I didn’t' give it a second thought. It would be different today!

H.D. Jr. Class 56B

H.D.Jr., Class 56-B

My aviation career started as an Aviation Cadet in Class 56-N and lasted for 43 years. Paul Johnson was my flight instructor and mentor. He was a perfect instructor for me and I "heard" his voice prompting me throughout my career. "Pappy" Dewald released me for solo. I remembered what Pappy said when he was given a demonstration flight in a T-33, "All these years I have been flying at a stall!"

The PA-18 and T-6s were great plans to learn fundamentals on flight.

My next assignment was Bryan AFB for T-28 and T-33s, then Perrin AFB for the F86-D. I was assigned to Selfridge AFB with the Air Defense Command for the next 5 years, flying F86D/: and F-106s. When the Berlin Wall went up, I was assigned to the 526 FIS, Ramstein AB, Germany, flying F-102s the next 4 years. I left the Air Force after 11 years and joined Unit4ed Airlines. I flew most all United's aircraft, both domestically and internationally the next 32 years.

Malden Air Base and Anderson Air Activities served me well beyond all expectations!!! A special thanks to you and all my aviation friends.

     -- L.K., Class 56N

L.K., Class 56-N

I arrived at Malden Air Base in July of 1954, Class 55R, as a Foreign Cadet from the Honduras Air Force.  My Instructor was Mr. Widner, cigar smoker, excellent Pilot and human being.  I left for Bryan AFB in January 1955.  I have great memories of the old Base.  I flew for 30 years (military and commercial) and logged over 24,000 hours.  I am now a proud Citizen of the USA, my Country that I learned to love while I was undergoing training with the USAF. 

    -- C.G. Class 55R

C.G., Class 55-R

I went through Malden as an aviation cadet in class 56-B. 

I was at Malden from Oct 54 until April 55 before transferring to Bryan Texas for single engine training.  My instructor was named "Doc" Edwards.  I certainly tried his patience as I had not even driven a car before soloing the PA-18 and the T-6.  His instructions were apparently great as I went on to survive 20 years as an Air Force pilot.

- G.W. Class of 56-B

G.W., Class 56-B

Class of 54k- "Mean" Gene Sackey was our instructor. I will never forget our first meeting and his short speech. "My name is Gene Sackey and I have about 10,000 hours and have never had an accident, any questions?" I took one look at him and said to myself this hillbilly is going to teach me to fly. Well he went on to bigger and better things. As for myself, I retired after 20 years and most memorable part of my career was flying 100 missions over North Viet Nam in the F-105 (thud).

    -- F.S. 54K

F.S., Class 54-K

"Our class had several Italian students and they loved the soft American bread. I can still remember them in the mess hall with their trays stacked high with many slices of bread. And I remember the woman (Ma) who ran the mess hall."      

     - - H.D., Class 56-B, 1954-55

H.D., Class 56-B

"Remember the place like yesterday. Especially the cadet barracks that were like converted motel rooms. Remember the rooms housed four cadets to each and had windows that went sideways until Uncle Andy, Mr. Anderson the contractor, had the place redone and then the windows went up and down. One of our class also got a small radio station started there with a range of about five miles that we found the AF Tac Officers were listening to since we played Kenton, Brubeck and the like. That is, until one night they were having a party with Mr. Anderson and one of our guys said something disparaging about the old man!"

           -- A.D., Class 57-J, 1956

A.D., Class 57-J

"I remember that whenever someone did something stupid, a silence would fall over the cadet mess hall at dinner and there would begin a tinkling of spoons on glasses. Then the name of the guilty party would be chanted by all present until the guilty party stood on his chair for all to see, and announced his error for all to hear. I remember it well because I stood on a chair one evening.

         -- R.R., Class 54-K, 1953

R.R., Class 54-K

"Landing in one piece at MAB after the T-28 night solo cross-country to Paducah!"

          -- L.F., Class 57-A, 1955-56

L.F., Class 57-A

1944,missippi river flooded all of the land,at dorena mo,our family of sharecroppers was evacuated to malden base,we were like refugrees, living at the base,we lived better than we did living in the house where we were rescued, they fed us well there at the base,better than we had at home,powdered eggs & milk was a treat,loved it,what a nice place it was,compared to the cotton fields,you folks were our heros,even with the planes dive bombing us when pickin cotton.my mom would always say 'keep your head down",keep on picking,never mind those planes,they couldnt hit us anyway, guess she was right, they came close but no accidents, all this is some memoral times,thank you malden afb, my brother joe,was so inspired with the planes, he went into the air force, i was in the marine corps,due to the nature & way we were raised,always fighting & scuffling, i later on became a professional fighter,joe became a business man, had it not been for the malden afb,saving !
 our lives,none of this would never have happened, once again afb, thank you
J & J Newsom

Newson, Flood 1944