Kwaj - Home for 23 Years

by Shermie Wiehe (72-97)

After receiving my technical degree in Electronic Engineering Technology at Missouri Institute of Technology,  I located an advertisement for technical positions overseas in the Kansas City Star newspaper.  I applied and about 30 days later I was scheduled for an interview with Kentron, Hawaii at the Hilton Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri with the late Jerry Brewer and Red Wilson.  About a month after the interview, I was flying to Kwajalein to begin my new career and life at Kwajalein (23 years, 3 tours).  I spent the first 2.5 years on Carlos working as telemetry (TM) technician my supervisor, Mr. William (Bill) Patton.  I learned a lot from Bill and his technical team of technicians.  They motivated me to be become one of the range rats from Carlos.  One of the guys I admired as a real rat at Carlos, was Jim Schilling's, presently a resident of Kwajalein. Carlos had a great bunch of guys.  The big trip to Kwaj on the shoppers boat every Thursday evening was the big thing of the week.  I'll never forget the my first fishing trip at Carlos with the TM crew.  Bob Horn and the late Emery Kingery got a big kick out of watching me feed the fishing in near typhoon conditions that day.  From the farm to the ocean, what a big change I made in my life.  I made friends with the Marshallese there and they taught me how to play guitar in my spare time.  After a little over two years at Carlos, I moved to Kwajalein so I could use my music (piano) skills.  I worked for Nick Skoglund and Tony Utz in Optics section (The Animals) for several years.  Later, I moved to the Range Instrumentation Computer Maintenance group where I worked for the late Bill Turvey and the late Jim Enking for about three years.  I spent the rest of my years working on Kwajalein providing technical support on computer systems in lead and supervisor positions.  I worked at ALTAIR from 92-97 for Tom White, Dale Sponseller, Norman Larivere of Raytheon and for Steve Chapman and Steve Hunt (good friend) of MIT Lincoln Labs.  I enjoyed the work and technical challenges at ALTAIR most of all.

I enjoyed playing softball, bowling and providing entertainment (Shermie & Friends band) for many years at Kwaj.  Musicians I remember that performed with me were as follows:  the late Lonnie Smith, Jim Burns, the late Tony Timas, the late Brian Buckley, the late Kajo Balos, the late Mari, Rick Medeiros, Lauren and Gretchen Rodecker, Bob Sanders, Mary Couture, the late Harry Kalihiki, Bob Thornton, Harold Lakabun, the Jerry Milung, and the late Elwin Pound, Kalani Kaiminaauao, Elika Kaiwi and Ed Hamblin.

Shermie's Place