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Interview with Felix Frank Revello [Undated]

Charles L. Duncan:

When you first joined the Army Air Corps, what was one of the main reasons you joined?

Felix Frank Revello:

I wanted to fly airplanes.

Charles L. Duncan:

At aproximately what time did you join? What year did you join?

Felix Frank Revello:

June 4, 1940, at nineteen years old.

Charles L. Duncan:

Were any members of your family in the military or Army Air Corps at this time?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, I only had one sister.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, how long were you in the military?

Felix Frank Revello:

Twenty and a half years.

Charles L. Duncan:

Would you have considered your experience in the military to have been positive in a sense that you enjoyed being in the military and that you were glad that you served?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh yes, very much.

Charles L. Duncan:

Do you have some particular time in your service in the military that you would like to talk about that was really wonderful to you that was something that kind of sticks out in all of your service that you would like to discuss or tell me about or something like that something that you would find that had a considerable impact on you during your time in the Army Air Corps?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well, it was all pretty interesting. I went through training at Kelly Field in 1941 before graduating in 1942 at Lubbock in multi-engine school and from there I went to Midland and Childress in 1943 training bombardiers after that they sent me to Guam where I spent six months on Guam before coming back to the States.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how was your experience in Guam? And what was Guam like during this time period?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, it was a jungle.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was it very humid?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh it was very humid, especially during the rainy season.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was it very tropical-like.

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, tropical.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was it very beautiful there?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah it was nice.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was there any mountainous terrain there?

Felix Frank Revello:

yeah, there was some mountainous terrain.

Charles L. Duncan:

How would you consider our military base there were they very large or very small compared to the size of the island?

Felix Frank Revello:

The military bases were big, they had to accommodate B-29s.

Charles L. Duncan:

And you said you were there for about six months, after you were there for about six months, what else did you do?

Felix Frank Revello:

I came back to the states. I was shipped to Bowling Field in Washington DC. I was a VIP pilot there flying generals around.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how long did you do that for?

Felix Frank Revello:

Uh, two-years.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, what was that like, did you enjoy it your time?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh yeah, I enjoyed it?

Charles L. Duncan:

Could you tell about any particular flights that was most memorable to you?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, they were all pretty routine.

Charles L. Duncan:

Uh, could you tell about some of the generals you flew? Do you remember any particular names of any generals?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, like General Spots, Spicean, and General Persons. Those are the only ones that I remember.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, were would you usually do these flights to Seattle,

Felix Frank Revello:

Um, Bowling Field is in Washington DC.

Charles L. Duncan:

Oh, Washington, I'm sorry. I know that there is a Boeing plant there.

Felix Frank Revello:

That is a Boeing plant, this was Bowling Field.

Charles L. Duncan:

Oh, okay, I'm sorry .... So what places would you usually routinely fly to from Washington DC?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, we flew all over the United States.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, so how long did you say you did this for?

Felix Frank Revello:

2 years.

Charles L. Duncan:

2 years ... And what did you do after that?

Felix Frank Revello:

I went to Middletown, P A. Flights or what we call "Flight Service." We went all around the country checking out the instrument approach facilities at all of the airports and the military airports around the United States checking for accuracy for approaches.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how did you do this for, approximately?

Felix Frank Revello:

I did that for about a year.

Charles L. Duncan:

For about a year. Were there any flights where any particular situation occurred or for the most part would you consider that to be routine?

Felix Frank Revello:

Routine.

Charles L. Duncan:

Routine. And, urn, during this time period, what was the year what was the exact time period that you were doing this?

Felix Frank Revello:

1948-49.

Charles L. Duncan:

Forty-eight, forty-nine. So it was kind of after WWlI came to an end.

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah.

Charles L. Duncan:

So at this time was the size of the military starting to decrease at this time in terms of the number of persons per branch?

Felix Frank Revello:

I really don't know.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was there a draft during WWlI like there was during Korea?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, yeah. They started a draft in September of 1940.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, when do you remember the draft ending?

Felix Frank Revello:

Do what?

Charles L. Duncan:

When do you remember the draft ending?

Felix Frank Revello:

It didn't, when WWII broke out it just kept going.

Charles L. Duncan:

Yeah

Felix Frank Revello:

Going to 1944.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, so after do these basically inspection flights, what did you start doing after that?

Felix Frank Revello:

I got shifted to Johnson Island.

Charles L. Duncan:

Uh, Johnson Island.

Felix Frank Revello:

About 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. That was island was a mile long and just seven feet above sea level. It was made out of a coracle; engineers went in there and built the runway there. It was a very small island. I spent about 8 months on that island.

Charles L. Duncan:

And what was your main job on that island?

Felix Frank Revello:

We were in to air-training and air-transport command. We had a refueling station on Johnson, Johnson Island. I was in charge for watching for refueling and tower, control tower operation.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how was the control tower compared to now in terms of technology, radar, and other instrumentation.

Felix Frank Revello:

No, it was very rudimentary. It was just transmitters and receivers. We had no radar in those days.

Charles L. Duncan:

While on Johnson Island, did you experience any, anything in particular that stood out to you or any situations that arose while you were there?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, very routine.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, so what did you do after that?

Felix Frank Revello:

I got shipped back to the States to Tampa, FL for six months. They had a B-29 outfit there, then the Korean War broke out and they sent me to Smerda, TN to a troop carrier and I flew a C-119 gunship to Korea. In 1950 they sent me or the whole outfit to Korea. I spent a year flying back-and-forth between Korea and Japan. And when I came back I went to Miami, FL to stayed a troop carrier flying C-II9. We flew troopers and dropped paratroopers and flied into Canada, Alaska, Panama, mostly military maneuvers. Then we flew members of the IOIst Airborne and the 820d Airborne at, uh, Fort Bening, at Hope Field, NC. We dropped many paratroopers.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how long did you do this for?

Felix Frank Revello:

I was in the troop-carrier about four years.

Charles L. Duncan:

Where did you spend the most time stationed at?

Felix Frank Revello:

Probably Randolph Field.

Charles L. Duncan:

Yep and how was your experience at Randolph during those times ... during the Korean War?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well the Korean War was over by the time I got to Randolph.

Charles L. Duncan:

Okay. Did you ever get to see any combat in Korea?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, I got almost 300 combat hours in Korea dropping paratroopers and dropping supplies for the troops and we helped ... the Marines were trapped on the Choksen Reservoir in the winter of 1950 and 51, they were out of fuel and ammunition and food and we went in there and dropped all their food, ammunition, and fuel so they could fight their way out of the Northeast Coast of Korea where the could be picked up by a ship.

Charles L. Duncan:

Do you remember any particular instance in your 300 combat hours that you gained in Korea and any particular instances that were most stunning to you that you remember really vividly to this day?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, pretty routine. We sustained small arms fire. We were flying at real low altitudes making drops.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, what emotions did you have when you received this fire, were at any time concerned about it or was it much of an issue?

Felix Frank Revello:

Not really

Charles L. Duncan:

Were able to fire back?

Felix Frank Revello:

Do what?

Charles L. Duncan:

Were you able to shoot back?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, we didn't have any way to shoot back. We were flying the C-119 troop carrier cargo ship.

Charles L. Duncan:

Oh, okay. And how, how was the C-119? Was it difficult to fly compared to?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, that was a very easy airplane to fly; very modem, up-to-date cockpit in it

Charles L. Duncan:

Did you enjoy the C-119?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, I sure did.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, how big usually was your flight crew?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, about four. I had a copilot, navigator, radio man.

Charles L. Duncan:

How was the air traffic filled in Korea, were there a lot of different war planes in the air or was the air traffic pretty scarce?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, it was pretty heavy. You known we had a constant stream of airplanes going backkand-forth between there and Japan, C-47s, c-54s c-46s.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, did yall ever experience any crashes?

Felix Frank Revello:

No.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, how many flights would yall do? On an average week how many flights would yall do?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, we only did about we did about ... well, we would start out early in the morning ... we would jump over to Korea and then from there were different bases in Korea ... some days it would be three, or four, or five flights. We had a period there where we would flew every day for six weeks. We would get up about 4 o'clock in the morning and get through about 8 o'clock at night.

Charles L. Duncan:

So, it was basically humanitarian supplies. It was basically composed of. ..

Felix Frank Revello:

Supplies, and carried troops back-and-forth ... and the Marines got trapped up there at Choksen Reservoir. We were flying out ofHungnam in Korea at the northeast Coast. We were flying the wounded back to Japan at Hupawuka.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how were things like at Hupawuka?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well we didn't spend much time there? We would just fly in there, and they would take them off in ambulance and then we would go back for another trip.

Charles L. Duncan:

So yeah didn't spend much time there?

Felix Frank Revello:

No. our base was in the Sea of Japan.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how was Japan at this time? I know you said you didn't spend all that much time there. But, based on what you did have observed when you would fly in how was Japan at this time during the Korean War?

Felix Frank Revello:

It was very modem and up-to-date.

Charles L. Duncan:

Was it pretty much over what it went through in WWII from what you could see I known that you had a limited means of seeing it sense you were coming in and getting ready to go back to Korea.

Felix Frank Revello:

Well, yeah I flew into a lot of basis in Japan, they were all, all fixed up, like Tachykowa, and Hupawuka and Tokyo, and Nugowria that was a big city.

Charles L. Duncan:

Um, so, urn, how would consider your experience in Korea, would you have something else you would like to talk about, from the time that you fly these missions into Korea and back into Japan, was there any flight, I know that you said that most of them pretty routine, is that correct?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, mostly routine. We had one airplane crash in the fog. We were shooting zero-zero landings. Zero ceiling and visibility on DCS. They came in too low and hit the edge of the runway, killed several of the troops on board.

Charles L. Duncan:

Were you pretty close to these troops?

Felix Frank Revello:

Do what?

Charles L. Duncan:

Were you pretty close to these troops, or?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, I didn't know any of them.

Charles L. Duncan:

How often would you estimate that there were crashes due to arm's fire or due to weather conditions?

Felix Frank Revello:

That's the only one I know of We didn't have any crashes due to arm's fire.

Charles L. Duncan:

so, how would you describe your over-all experience in Korea, just kind of, how would you ... ?

Felix Frank Revello:

It was hectic.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, so exactly how ... I can't remember if! already asked you this ... how long would you did you fly these missions from Japan to Korea

Felix Frank Revello:

A year.

Charles L. Duncan:

A year. So, what did you do after that?

Felix Frank Revello:

I rotated back to the states and went to the Miami troop carrier.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how was that?

Felix Frank Revello:

Pretty good for Miami, we would fly all over ... all over the states to Canada and Alaska, we go all the way to Alaska. One winter up in Alaska, my squadron lost two airplanes in November, one ofthem hit a mountain, and one of them was going from Anchorage to Kodiak ... it disappeared over the ocean, it never did show up at Kodiak.

Charles L. Duncan:

Does Kodiak sit on the Bearing Straight?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, it's off the coast of Alaska.

Charles L. Duncan:

How long, how long were you in Alaska?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, we used to go up there for a month maybe, just six weeks on winter maneuvers up there.

Charles L. Duncan:

And, were you ever concerned about weather conditions when you would be flying over Alaska?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, yeah, in winter time it's always night there in Alaska. We had all kind of mountains that we had to fly around.

Charles L. Duncan:

Do you remember some particular mountain ranges that you would fly around that were most concerning to your squadron?

Felix Frank Revello:

Um, we flew in the Valleys, of say, Anchorage and Fairbanks and Big Delta, Allison, Point Barrow, way up there, the furthest north airfield we had.

Charles L. Duncan:

So, I would imagine that it was pretty cold there?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, in Fairbanks it would get down to about 40 below zero; the airplanes would freeze to the tarmac.

Charles L. Duncan:

Would the fuel ever freeze?

Felix Frank Revello:

The fuel, no. we would use 115, 145 octane fuels. Every night when we got through flying around, we would inject fuel into the oil system to keep the oil from getting hard overnight. We had a chart that gave the temperature and how long we would use that ... I forgot what we call that now, but anyway we would inject that oil, I mean that gasoline into the oil so that it wouldn't (" ") overnight ...

Charles L. Duncan:

What would yall do when the airplane would freeze to the tarmac at night, what was your procedure for getting it loose?

Felix Frank Revello:

We had to use blow torches around the wheels to get them warm.

Charles L. Duncan:

Would those blow-torches ever cause damage to the wheels?

Felix Frank Revello:

No.

Charles L. Duncan:

So, what did you do after that?

Felix Frank Revello:

I ... came to Randolph; I was an instructor in the C-119 teaching them troop-carrier tactics. Then I went into B-29 training. I trained pilots in B-29s, in four-engine school. After that, I went into base operations. I flew B-25s, C-47s, T-33 jets. From there, I spent about four years and then I got shipped to France. I was in France for two years. I was in the tactical outfit. We had F-I00s. Two years in France and then came back to the States to retire and came back to Randolph and retired.

Charles L. Duncan:

And how was France when you were there? Do you remember any particular things that you did in France?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, it was nice. France was a nice place. I got along with the Frenchmen, we were ...

Charles L. Duncan:

Where in France did you say?

Felix Frank Revello:

Shumat.

Charles L. Duncan:

Shumat.

Felix Frank Revello:

About 140 miles southwest of Paris.

Charles L. Duncan:

Did you enjoy the cuisine there?

Felix Frank Revello:

The what?

Charles L. Duncan:

The cousine (food)?

Felix Frank Revello:

Oh, yeah. We were mostly in mess-hall is where we would eat of course my family came over there with me.

Charles L. Duncan:

Oh, that's nice. And so after you were shipped back, came back to the United States that's pretty much when you retired and then you were at Randolph. So what did you do after Randolph? Were you still an instructor at the time, or did you do something different?

Felix Frank Revello:

After Randolph?

Charles L. Duncan:

Yes sir.

Felix Frank Revello:

I retired and went to work for an airline company called Capital Airways and after that I got a job flying executive oil men for three different companies.

Charles L. Duncan:

So, um, out of your entire time of service in the Army Air Corps, which time would you consider to be most memorable to you out of all of the places that you were stationed?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well, they were all about the same to me. One airbase was just like another.

Charles L. Duncan:

Yeah. Can you explain the types of foods that you would eat starting back around the time of Korea, when you would do the missions back-and-forth between Japan and Korea?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well, we would eat a lot of sea-rations. We had heaters in the C-119 and have a box seaarations and put them in the heater and heat them up, eat the sea-rations.

Charles L. Duncan:

What other types of food would you eat? Or was that pretty much what you would eat?

Felix Frank Revello:

We had dinners; we had breakfasts, and the sea-rations.

Charles L. Duncan:

What about like after Korea when you would come back to the States after Korea? What types of cuisines or what types of foods would you eat?

Felix Frank Revello:

(Laughing) It was just normal food.

Charles L. Duncan:

Yeah, would you describe it as pretty good? Or was it sort of so-so?

Felix Frank Revello:

Well I was married and my wife did the cooking so it was pretty good.

Charles L. Duncan:

Oh, okay.

Felix Frank Revello:

Then in 1979, I went to work for KTSA flying a traffic helicopter. I flew for them for seven years, flying twice a day, five days a week.

Charles L. Duncan:

Did you enjoy doing that?

Felix Frank Revello:

Huh?

Charles L. Duncan:

Did you enjoy doing that?

Felix Frank Revello:

Yeah, it was a good job, had good hours, it was a good shift we flew.

Charles L. Duncan:

Would you describe some of these pictures to me?

Felix Frank Revello:

(He described the pictures as he showed them to me.)

Charles L. Duncan:

Did you do most of your training at Kelly Field?

Felix Frank Revello:

Kelly, we didn't get any flight training, preflight. I was there about six weeks. Then, I went to Stanford for primary training, Brady for basic training, and Lubbock for advanced training where I got my wings. (He began discussing his pictures of the planes that he piloted for several minutes)

Charles L. Duncan:

Is there anything else you would like to talk about from your entire time of service? Is anything else that comes to mind?

Felix Frank Revello:

No, it was very routine, day-in and day-out.

 
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