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Updated on Thursday, September 03, 2015 04:28 PM

Tom Conway
32nd AAA Brigade HQ Battery
Bushey Hall 1953-55 U.S. Army Base

photos & narrative Courtesy of Tom Conway, former member 32nd AAA Brigade HQ Battery Guard Unit.  
If you have any questions or you have any photos you would like to share and add to this page, please email me at:   Tom Conway ...

   click on image to enlarge it . . .

1)-  Tom Conway, soldier returns to duty at Bushey Hall 45 years later, 10/2000. 3)-  Thanksgiving dinner in the mess hall, 1954 HQ Battery clerk, Cpl. Arnie Cowan, his daughter and Wife. Sue and Bud Money. Right foreground Rose Florio, wife of Cpl. Joe Florio, a cook assigned to 34th OPS. (Source- Bud Money)

4)- Photo taken by Bud Money at a dinner party in 1954. L-R, Front: Tom Conway, Sue Money, Don McCartan. Middle: Rose Florio. Rear: Ron Vigo, "Angela", from London with her date, Johnny Tufo, Joe Florio, Harry Montana. *See amendment below
5)- Bud Money, Tom Conway & Don McCartan outside Sweetwater Tavern in Annandale Virginia, September 2000. 6)- Sue Money at motor pool gas station. 7)- General Greunther & Brigade Commander Colonel May.
8)- Inspection on the parade ground. 9)- Parade ground winter of 1954. 10)- Mary Alice Conway just inside main gate. 10/2000 11)- Parade Ground. 10/2000
11)- Mary Alice & Tom Conway in front of former guardhouse (also laundry & post office). 10/2000 12)- Tom Conway & Harry Montana clowning in front of  the Guardhouse in 1954. 13)- Tom Conway and Bud Money in front of Tom's home. 2/2001 14)- This picture was taken at the front gate of Bushey Hall in 1957, and was sent by a former inmate named Jim Rapinac.
15)- Bushey Hall Hotel front entrance. 1953 16)- Near Bushey Hall  Hotel - along Water Lane. The students marched to town every Sunday morning for Church services. 1953 17)- Bill Rosol sent this photo to me. It was taken in an unidentified pub in Watford on 23 December 1954. L. to R. - Bill Rosol, Perry Cunningham, Herschel Winn, Joe Merck, and Don Soule. All were in HQ of the 32nd AAA. 18)- Ken Forbord sent these photos taken in 1953-54. Does anyone recognize the female? I think I would have remembered her! I have a new computer, and would appreciate confirmation of all 3 pictures.
19)- Bushey Hall Hotel - Jacobean style center upper window area. Picture taken from the upper right side window of the Bushey Hall Hotel. 20)- Field communications operations with radio station (2GT) near Winsor England. Ken Forbord with camera. 21)- Photo of Don Mcartan taken in March 1953. 22)- Photo of Don & Carol McCartan taken on their honeymoon in Paris.
23)- The old clock tower of the "Castle" before the wrecking ball got to it in mid 1955. (courtesy of Don Seidman) 24)- The old clock tower.  (courtesy of Don Seidman) 25)- Looking across the cricket field at the Royal Caledonia School. (courtesy of Don Seidman) 26)-  (courtesy of Don Seidman)
27)- Douglass House Airmen's Club 1954 28)- Late 1953 at a party at a pub near the Bushey Station.
Several Bushey Hall soldiers & wives
29)- Cpl. Barney Williams & Sgt. Don Seideman -1954 30)- Ken Forbord (K9BKJ) was a radio operator at the station 2GT during my time at the 32nd AAA
31)- The pond on Watford High Street, near the Town Hall, taken by John Hayden, in 1955. 32)- Odeon Theater on Afford high street, taken in 1955 by John Hayden. who was an American soldier stationed at Bushey Hall. 33)- John Hayden who was an American soldier stationed at Bushey Hall. 34)- John Hayden was a mail clerk at Bushey Hall.
35)- John & Val Hayden, August 25, 1956 Wedding Day. 36)- Bob Price, best man wedding John & Val, Aug 25, 1956. 37)- Jack Fehily, deceased, Jim Rapinac, with 2 British 32d Brigade Hq. Secretaries at Bushey Hall, Spring, 1957 38)- General Post meets Bushey Hall Officers Club Manager Jim Rapinac during inspection in 1957. Behind Post are Captain Chester Brown nd Major Carl Baswell.
39)-  This is a photo of  "Rapp" -Jim Rapinac (Black Uniform, Center), playing in 1957 at Denham-Bucks Gym, for the 32nd HQ team, which won the USAF Squadron level Championship. 40)-   32d AAA "Dragons" 1957 UK Champs.  Top row:  Master Sergeant George Graeff - coach, Max Shapiro, Jack Fehily - deceased,  Jim Rapinac, Tom Plunkett.  Front row:  Jerry Bunkers - deceased, Bob Albee, Tom Pikulas, Andy Anderson


41)-  "Rapp" - Jim Rapinac and 1957 Morris Minor. 42)-  Front gate 2005 photos courtesy of Jim Rapinac.
43)-  Mess Hall 2005 photos courtesy of Jim Rapinac. 44)-  32nd Brigade HQ Building 2005 photos courtesy of Jim Rapinac. 45)-  Capt. Hill. 46)-  Interview Dec. 4, 1956.
47)-  Capt. Hill and Sgt. Graeff Inspection. 48)- Communications Bldb. 1956-57.    

The 32nd AAA Brigade HQ moved from Mildenhall in the fall of 1953, when an advance party settled into the old hotel, which soon became known as the "Castle".  At about that time, rumors started that it was haunted, and some of the more superstitious soldiers refused to sleep in the building. and slept outside in "pup tents".

     I landed at Southampton on December 31, 1953 and celebrated New Year's Eve at NCO club party at USAF Repo Depot, Shaftesbury.  A few days later I was sent to Bushey Hall.

    During my first few months, I worked in the base carpenter shop, because I had trained as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood.  In early spring, I joined the 6 man permanent guard detail which manned the main gate.  We pulled 4 hour shifts, with 4 hours off, on alternate days, and alternate weekends.

   Other than myself, the guards were Johnny Tufo, Larry Milstead, Don McCartan, Francis ( "Bud") Money  and Harry Montana.  Not long after I joined the group, we became sort of a " family".  With the exception of Money, who was married, we had in common that we were single, all in our early twenties, had been drafted, over imbibed at times when off duty, and grateful we were not sent to Korea.  All of us were PFC and though technically under the supervision of the First Sgt. did not have to stand guard mounts and ran the show ourselves.

    After a few more months, Money's wife, Sue, joined him and he transferred to the motor pool because he did not want to work nights. 
A transient soldier, Ron Vigo, replaced him for a short period.  He was replaced by Rodney Gould, who had left his home in England to go to the states and join our Army.  He had transferred from a Military Police Unit in Germany for compassionate reasons, and lived with his family when not on duty.  There was some friction at first because he was promoted to Corporal, because he had gone to Military Police School and placed in charge of us.  Fortunately, he was a nice guy, and soon all was well.

    I have been in touch with everyone but Rodney, and to date have not been able to locate him.  John Tufo passed away early last year 2002
and Don McCartan died of a heart attack last December 2003. The others are alive and well.  Larry is a retired carpenter, Mac owned a gas station then went into the insurance business, Monty still works for an appliance retailer.  Bud was in telecommunications until he retired, and Johnny was very successful in automobile sales and had his own dealership for many years.  By early spring 1955, everyone but Rod and I had gone back to the US and several transient troops filled in until late April, when the guard unit was disbanded.  I rotated home in late May 1955, and enrolled at the University of Missouri that fall and graduated from Law School in 1961.  I am retired from Federal Service and enjoying life with Mary Alice, my wife of 38 years.  We have 2 sons, and 3 grandkids.

    As my pictures show, both Bushey HalI and I have changed considerably in the past 60 years.  I would love to hear from anyone who was stationed with Brigade Headquarters in the 1950s.

Tom Conway ...

   *Amendment: Photos  4)- & 3)-   Joe Florio died of a massive heart attack in March 2011, and his wife, Rose, died peacefully in her sleep in September 2011. Joe was a cook assigned to the 34th Operations Detachment.
   32nd Brigade HDQ Message Board, Click Here!

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