James F. Bond Sr. Interview, 26 February 2005

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South Carolina was one of my first bases where we were involved in another classified program at dealing with missile nose cone recovery using the C-119 aircraft.
TT:Oh, to catch them in the air? I have seen pictures of those nets strung out across—
JB:Actually, they were two long poles coming out the back of the aircraft and nylon cable, that's what the catch was and the packages were all rigged with a pointed object on them like a spear, and that's what we caught—either in the air, or if it fell in the water, soon as it hit the water, it popped up, we could catch them in the water.
TT:Huh. So you'd track, maybe they'd give you radar coordinate and then you'd get a visual on and then you'd position the—?
JB:A lot of times it was already known that the package would be coming down. But we never got a live package, all of ours were practice and we did most of it down in Charleston, South Carolina off the jettys.
TT:So these were the first reconnaissance satellites?
JB:Right, that's what it was.
TT:The Corona program?
JB:Yeah. I ruptured myself on a mission and I was grounded. Couldn't fly anymore so I had a choice of things I could do on the ground and I worked in a dining room for a while, peeling the potatoes until I could make up my mind what to do, or what they want me to do—and that's not what I wanted to do. A couple of buddies of mine were in the Air Police, that's what it was called at the time, and I went and talked to their adjutant officer and the commander and went and took a test and qualified enough to get into it. So I started on-the-job training, I never went to their tech school; all of mine was on the job training or OJT as they called it.
TT:Oh really, I bet there was a huge demand for that position in the late '50's because they were just opening the missile field.
JB:There was.
TT:So you didn't go through any training programs.
JB:Not at Lackland. I went through a lot of training programs you know. When I became a part of the law enforcement career field we went through a lot of training. I was an instructor after I learned how to do different things—I was an attack instructor, a riot control, accident investigation. At Lackland we had the basic training school for Air Police, security and law enforcement and I helped work with some of them, plus and I was assigned to the base police unit at Lackland, which is like your city police. Now how I got to Lackland to begin with, on my second enlistment I came back from Minot, well I was at Minot and said, "I'm tired of this cold weather. I'm tired of standing out here freezing cold."

TT:And the date is?
JB:It was after basic training.
TT:Oh so it was still in the late 50s?

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