marker for Talton L. Reaves in the Old Bluff Presbyterian Church
Cemetery, Godwin (Cumberland county), North Carolina.
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
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
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
The 31st FBW deployed to Japan during the Korean War and provided air
escort service for bombers on their missions from bases in Japan.
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.
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