Submitted by: Richard Childs

Category: Books

With the words, “We’ll take one!”, spoken virtually ‘on a whim, then-Col. Leo Goodrich brought to the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard a new unit with a very specific mission - transporting injured personnel from one location to another via airlift.
This is the story of how this fledgling unit, initially staffed with very few military personnel and newly recruited medical personnel, began with virtually nothing, no uniforms or training materials, and went from being the unwelcome “stepchild” to the pride of their wing, then on to become the premier medical evacuation squadron in the U.S. Air Force system. 109th Aeromeds participated in all contingency operations since the Cold War through the first two decades of this century. Their exploits are chronicled within the pages of this history with stories ranging from light-hearted to sobering, offering a genuine insight into the realities of transporting the injured in conflicts global and regional as experienced by the citizen soldiers of this unit.

About the author:

Richard H. Childs Jr., nicknamed “Chip,” was born in New England where he spent his early years. In 1956 his family moved to Lincoln, Neb., where he attended high school and the University of Nebraska. In 1966 while attending the university, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve, enrolling in their 2 by 4 Program, which required two years of active duty plus four years of service in the active reserve. In December 1968, Childs began his active-duty tour and was assigned to an amphibious vessel which deployed to Southeast Asia in support of the U.S. efforts in Vietnam. Honorably discharged in 1970, he returned to Lincoln and the University, graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in English and journalism. In July 1973, he returned to active naval service, graduating from Naval Officer Candidate School in November. Over the course of his four years as a line officer, he served on commands in Japan, the Philippine Islands and Virginia. Leaving the Navy in 1977, he moved to Minnesota and joined the 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight, Minnesota ANG, a decade later in November 1987. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in September 1988 and earned his wings later that fall. In 1990, he made two deployments to “the Desert” in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, operating from Oman and the UAE flying live aeromedical evacuation missions. Childs retired from the National Guard in 1999, completing 21 years and 11 months of active duty and active reserve service. Always involved in historical organizations, he was a frequent contributor to the Old West Society of Minnesota’s monthly Gazette, as well as having articles published in the Minnesota Weapons Collectors Association Quarterly, the Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal and The Shootist, the official publication of the National Congress of Old West Shootist. Chip currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife and two grown children. (Photo courtesy of TSgt Richard Childs)