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TALTON L. REAVES
Grave marker for Talton L. Reaves in the Old Bluff Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Godwin (Cumberland county), North Carolina.

Talton registered for the draft while residing in Dunn (Sampson), NC. He made the 30 mile trip to enlist at Ft Bragg, NC and was amongst the first to be assigned to Co A, 508th PIR which was just being activated.

Attaining at least the rank of Cpl while in the army, Talton switched services to the US Air Force when it was formed in September 1947.

A MATS Manifest shows SSgt Talton L. Reaves departed RAF Manston (Kent) UK on 20 July 1951.  The flight entered the U.S. for customs and immigration processing at New York, NY before proceeding to Turner Air Force Base, Albany, Georgia.

Turner AFB had formerly been an Army Air Forces Flying Training Command facility for training of navigators and later for pilots in two-engine aircraft.

Reactivated as an Air Force base in April 1947, it became home to the 31st Fighter-Bomber Wing as part of the Strategic Air Command's Second Air Force. 

Beginning in December 1950 through July 1951, all tactical and most support components deployed to England and these dates coincide with SSgt Reaves flight, above, from RAF Marston to Turner AFB on 20 July 1951

The 31st FBW deployed to Japan during the Korean War and provided air escort service for bombers on their missions from bases in Japan.

Whether he was still a part of he 31st FBW or had been reassigned is unknown but, now a TSgt, Reaves was listed on a MATS Manifest for  flight from Tokyo to Travis AFB, CA on 16 June 1957.

 Apparently having been home on leave he shows up on 18 July 1957 aboard a Slick Airways flight from San Francisco to Tokyo.  This aircraft N-6813C was a fairly new (1956) DC-6A also known as the C-118 Liftmaster within the Air Force.  The four-engine aircraft could be configured to carry more than 60 passengers on a trans-oceanic flight but only 7 are shown on this manifest.  Slick Airways was a government air cargo charter service and the flight was probably carrying mostly freight with a few passenger seats.  TSgt Reaves may have been traveling Space-A

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