Joseph P. Jablonski Interview, 22 February 2005

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was put in, because he's one guy that probably would have preferred to be in aircraft security (laughs)...'cause it took a while to learn some of this stuff.
TT:Do you remember your missile crew—the guys underground?
JJ:In the capsule? No, I don't.
TT:Those guys were separate from you basically. They were doing 24-hour alerts so they were rotating every 24?
JJ:No, they were out there for three days also.
TT:Oh, were they?
TT:Basically all you guys were on alert (laughs) for 30 years, you know. SAC was amazing. It's really something to be proud of.
JJ:Yeah. I mean you didn't know who was playing games with you or if it was going to be a real thing. They were testing you constantly it was never ending. You had no free time, not much free time. That's what they said, "you'll never get out, and you'll serve four years up here. The only way you'll get a pass out of here is to another SAC base," which I found it ironic to go to a place like the Canal Zone, 'course a lot of guys went before me and told me that they were looking for guys, you know, 'you ought to put in for it and try it,' at that skill level. One guy had left and said "keep putting in for it, you might get it" and I don't know if anybody pulled strings or if this thing here had something to do with it, but I got out of SAC, and (laughs) that was a major accomplishment. It was tough, I mean, it was all spit polish, it was four years of boot camp if you're in SAC, I mean constantly.
TT:Well LeMay established that, didn't he? I don't know how else you'd handle nuclear weapons without that.
JJ:Yeah, which was a good thing you know...
TT:What do you, what did you think it was?
JJ:It made a believer out of me, almost instantly.
TT:That these things existed?
JJ:The fact that I saw guys with so much rank, supposedly experienced—I don't know if they ever ran into something like that before—running around like kids, the fact that they were saying "Shoot it Shoot it!" when we pulled up I mean...
TT:Are you talking about Robert O'Connor?
JJ:I really don't know.
TT:But whoever was the highest rank at N-7 at the time is who you're referring to?
JJ:(Nods yes). See, I never met them personally. All I know is I saw a guy with stripes up and down his arm, you know, actually in frantic (laughs)—I mean we could see it and evidently the thing had come closer to them before we were there.
TT:Well, they were just 500 feet away at times.
JJ:Yeah, so it was actually hovering right above 'em.

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