My second trip with Major General LeRoy Svendsen was a 3-day cross-country to Las Vegas. He had some business out there and I was once again, his “seeing-eye IP.”
The trip was more or less straightforward until we stopped at Willi, (Williams AFB, AZ), on the return. After a couple touch and goes, he made the full stop. On rollout we were directed to contact Base Ops (Operations). So I flicked over to their frequency and checked in.
“Willi Ops, Tonto 07 is on freq,” I called.
“Sir,” came the reply, “how do you spell the name?”
Now remember, I was flying with General Svendsen. I instantly figured out that they probably had some young airman, with a bag full of letters standing at the marquee in front of Base Ops, wondering how to spell the general’s name: Svendsen, or Svendson, or whatever. So I asked, as we continued to roll out, “Are you ready to copy?”
“Yes Sir,” came the reply.
“B-O-B” was my transmission, and the radio went silent! The General, listening to the whole conversation, began laughing his ass off while clapping his hands over his head!
When we reached parking there was the usual greeting party; the Wing Commander, the Base Commander, The Director of Ops and a few “horse-holders,” and one steaming base Operations Officer. He was the fat major in the background, and he wanted to talk to me!
As we deplaned I fell in behind General Svendsen, with my eye on the angry, fat major. He motioned for me to come over to him, and I shook my head, “No.” By the way, I was still a Captain at this time. As we trooped the line of the greeting party I once again glanced at the angry, fat major. Nor he was motioning for me to come over to him by curling his fat, little index finger on his right hand.
“No,” and again, I shook my head. That just went to piss him off even more. Now he curled his finger at me with ever more ‘authority,’ and began squinting at me with his beady eyes, now pointing down with his index finger for me to put my person directly in front of him. Still, not going to do it!
At this point he became ‘very animated’ and pointing to his rank, he once again then pointed down to the space in front of him. “Okay, that’s the game,” I thought to myself, I pointed to General Svendsen’s 2 stars, and flipped him off – never to look at him again.
I also made sure that I never went to Will again for 6 months or so…