Travis Air Force Base
After airplane mechanics training at Chanute field, I was assigned duty at Fairfield-Suisun AFB (later to become Travis AFB). The Internet has much information about Travis AFB. The following statement was found on the Internet:
"Travis AFB is named in honor of Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, who was killed in a B-29 crash at the installation on 5 August 1950. At the time of his death, the general was commander of the 9th Heavy Bombardment Wing and was the base's commanding general. Formal dedication ceremonies were held on 21 April 1951."
I drove the "42 Buick across the great Route 66, going through some of the most thrilling country imaginable. Stops were made at Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. At Needles, California, my route struck north past the Mojave Desert, past Muroc AFB (Now Edwards AFB) on the way to the largest air base on the west coast. It was spring time and I hadn't seen green grass in 2000 miles. I wondered what kind of forsaken land I was going to be in. In the last 100 miles driving from Stockton to Rio Vista and to the air base the land suddenly burst into beautiful rolling hills covered with tall green grass. The cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean was evident as I crossed the last few miles. The new landscape lifted my spirits and from that moment on the Sacramento Valley was a vital part of my being. It was late in February when I arrived at the field. The Air Force gave me very adequate time to drive the 2500 miles or so from Chanute. Even though I had visited Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon on the way, arrival was still three days ahead of schedule. The airmen's transient barracks became my home until I moved to permanent headquarters. The barracks at the base were two-story concrete construction with windows on both sides of the large open rooms furnished with double bunks. The barracks' construction allowed a cross ventilation from the west wind and stabilized day and night temperatures, making the living quarters reasonably comfortable day or night.
While waiting for assignment to a B-29 ground crew I was permitted to roam the base nearly unrestricted. About the second day of roaming, I went onto the flight line with a Brownie camera and took pictures of the three new B-36's parked near the hangars. Two military police immediately introduced themselves and escorted me to the main gate where their operations center was located. I though I was really in trouble now. My camera was confiscated and I was sent back to the barracks. I was told I would get my camera in a few days. When I returned to get the camera, I was handed the camera and the three black and white developed snapshots I had taken. I still have those snapshots of the B-36's. There was no further action taken, so I must not have been a security threat.