Mail Memories

Charles "Chuck" Shaffer
12th Air Postal Sqdn - Detachment 3
@ Chas 1957-60

I arrived in Châteauroux in November of 1957 at the ripe old age of 17. I remember at the train station in Paris before leaving for Chad, I had to use the restroom. The Army Sgt. directed me to the restroom and while I was using it, a woman came in. That freaked me out!  I was told later that that was common in France where men and women used the same restroom. Hmmmmmmm! 

I was assigned to the 12th Air Postal Sqdn. We ran the base post office at Chas and Déols. We pulled duty at the warehouse at Déols loading and unloading mail sacks from aircraft. The mail bags were sorted, with some going to APO's in Spain, Libya, Germany, and more. Sometimes we would have to take registered mail to a plane sitting on the "hot spot". That's where they would rev up their engines before take-off. Our French truck drivers wouldn't get very close so I would carry the mail to the side door (staying away from those propellers ) and get the required signature before turning the mail over to the loadmaster. Quite an experience and I have many many memories which I will share later.  [Posted 2-1-06]

We pulled mail guard for one month at a time. We were issued a 45 and 3 bullets and told not to shoot anyone since it might cause an international incident. Never figured that one out. We were guarding registered mail which included the base payroll which we brought from Paris and also secret material. One of the guys pulling guard duty accidentally fired the pistol while the train was headed back to Châteauroux. He said that bullet ricocheted all around that mail car. If I remember right he got an Article 15 for that one.  [Posted 2-19-06]


Copyright © 1997-2010
Jenelle Peterson
Dallas, TX