Wisconsin Veterans Museum image

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Roy C. Ihde
WVM ID Number OH 1190
Object Name Oral History
Title Oral History Interview with Roy C. Ihde
Date 2008
Event Cold War
Narrator's Name Roy C. Ihde
Interviewer's Name Ellen B. Healy
Description In this oral history interview, Roy C. Ihde, a Peshtigo, Wisconsin native, describes his career in the Air Force from 1946 to 1966.

Ihde touches on family military history, enlisting in the Air Force after his house burned down, basic training at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center (Texas), radar school at Boca Raton (Florida), primary and basic pilot training at Randolph Field (Texas), and single-engine fighter pilot training at Williams Field (Arizona). He reflects on his love of training and recalls reasons other people washed out. He talks about his assignment to the 4th Fighter Group, 336th Rocket Squadron at Andrews Field (Maryland) and duty as a P-80 jet pilot and athletic officer. Ihde comments on flying the F-84 Thunderjet. He recalls a three-year tour based in F├╝rstenfeldbruck (Germany), speaks of defending U.S. air space, and states he often had to intercept civilian airliners. He shares his impressions of the destruction in Munich and talks about going to the opera. Sent to Belgium on TDY, Ihde describes duty as a T-33 and F-84 instructor in the Belgian Air Force, touring the battlegrounds at Bastogne, and visiting the Soviet war memorial in Berlin. While stationed at Ladd Field (Alaska) to cold-test the P-80, he details flying with Charles Lindbergh and meeting him again later in Paris. While in Alaska, Ihde recalls seeing wildlife, flying over the Arctic Circle, and seeing the Ester Gold Fields. Assigned to the 27th Fighter Escort Wing based at Bergstrom Air Force Base (Texas), Ihde talks duty as the range control officer, practice with the low-altitude bombing system, and side-duty as a T-6 Texan Trainer instructor. He recalls meeting Paul Tibbets, the Enola Gay pilot who dropped the atomic bomb, and expresses his admiration for him.

Ihde speaks about Air Force life and side trips to visit Indian battlefields. Assigned to Dow Air Force Base (Maine), he speaks of flying the new F-84F Thunderstreak with the 506th Strategic Fighter Wing. In 1954, he discusses flying air defense over Hokkaido Island (Japan), protecting reconnaissance aircraft from Russian planes, testing Russian fighter launch response times, and being impressed with how polite the Japanese were. While based at Malmstrom Air Force Base (Montana), Ihde talks about his work with FICON (Fighter-Conveyance), duty in the 71st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, and reassignment to Larson Air Force Base (Washington) where he saw a UFO. He touches on flying and talking with Senator Barry Goldwater, who was in the Reserves in 1964. Ihde mentions attending Special Weapons School at Luke Air Force Base (Arizona), the secrecy surrounding the A-bomb, and Escape and Evasion training in the hills of California. He portrays a friend who was shot down during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ihde talks about working as a civilian pilot, keeping in touch with friends from the service, and attending reunions, and he highlights having a good experience overall.
Extent and Medium of Description Analog audio recording: 2 audio cassettes (approx. 1 hour, 20 minutes)
Transcript: 51 pgs.
Reproduction Conditions / Copyright WVM owns copyright to this material. Contact the WVM Research Center for further information about Terms of Use.
Biographical Record Ihde, Roy C.
Search Terms Cold War