This photo, taken in the winter of 1959, makes you feel cold just looking at it! This is where members of
the 814th Air Police and Combat Defense Squadrons lived on the base.
Alan Hayes also talks about his duty as an air policeman
I read with interest Dick Miller's comments about his experience with the 8th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron and the film
from the U2 overflights. More or less, my last year with the 814th was spent at the internal security desk in building 1900 (SPPL)
Space Photography Processing Laboratory.
There were two guard stations in the building: One at the main entrance and one at the entrance to the film development lab. I
have a photo of me on duty at the guard station right outside the entrance door to the development lap, but I'll have to do
some digging to find it. And, he was correct about the weapon we carried. We were only allowed to carry a .45, as the M2
Carbine would have been too difficult to use in the confined area of the building.
It not only was the time of the U2 over flights but also was the time frame when the first CORONA spy satellite film was
successfully retrieved and developed at the lab. The lab technicians would run what were called gray scales to check on the
developing process prior to actually developing the film. The chemicals used had to be at the proper temperature and
strength and the technicians would practice over and over again to ensure they wouldn't ruin any of the film when the actual
development took place. The guard desks were badge exchange stations. When a person assigned to SPPL entered the main
building they exchanged their military ID for a photo badge, which allowed entrance to certain sections of the building. In
order to gain access to the development lab they would have to exchange the building photo badge for a development lab
photo badge and sign in on the logbook. You could always tell when they expected a new batch of film because they would
run those gray scale tests for hours and hours ...
And he remembers where he lived and where he got married on base...
The dog handlers were on the first floor. It was known as "Splinter Village" because of the wooden WWII barracks ... my wife
and I were married in Base Chapel #3 June 13, 1964 and had our reception at the NCO club.
photo by Alan Hayes
At right is Airman 2nd
Class Leif Nielsen, who
was assigned to the
APS/CDS Armory; this
was also shot in 1959.