Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Rest in Peace, Colonel John A. Dramesi

Rest in Peace, Colonel John A. Dramesi

12 Feb 1933-17 Sep 2017

Copyright 2018 by Michael H. Maggelet


I was assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, 509th Munitions Maintenance Squadron, in January 1981 at Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire after completion of the USAF nuclear weapons specialist course. It took a few months for my final top secret clearance/background investigation to be completed, not to mention several safety classes, including in-depth training on bomb disassembly/assembly. The first system I would work on, after certification by wing quality assurance, was the B61 bomb. Certification on the B43 followed soon after.

  By mid year, and after certification on numerous other tasks, we were rather busy with a number of wing and SAC exercises, including the ten day long “Global Shield”, in which all of SAC’s nuclear forces were generated to alert status.
  During one such exercise later in the year, we had pulled two MHU-141 trailers loaded with four nuclear weapons into our small maintenance bay, tracking in a small amount of water and mud. By this time, Colonel John Dramesi had taken over as wing commander, and just about everyone was familiar with his name due to his former POW status and his book “Code of Honor”, which several of us had read.
  One evening, Dramesi decided to visit the weapons storage area. I won’t go into the specific details of our nuclear weapons team’s encounter with Dramesi in the maintenance bay around live nuclear weapons, only to say he lost his cool over a trifling matter and that he was asked to leave our bay by our huge shop chief, a former Titan II missile fuels specialist who stood around 6’4”.  
  While there were other factors for Dramesi’s early retirement from the 509th, it was unfortunate that he was not placed in a non-PRP command staff position in 8th Air Force or higher up in SAC. Unlike some POW’s who also underwent interrogation or claimed torture, Dramesi never gave away military information to the North Vietnamese communists.

  Rest in peace, Colonel Dramesi, it was an honor to serve under your command.



A tribute to Col. Dramesi from  

POW Traitors
Washington Post article on those who collaborated with the communists.

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