Pineville Air Force Vet­eran Shares Mem­o­ries

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Dick­er­son

Larry Cay­wood of Pineville, an Air Force vet­eran, re­cently shared some mem­o­ries from his life.

Cay­wood grew up in Pineville and grad­u­ated from high school in 1954. He joined the Air Force right out of high school be­cause there were no jobs in the area, he said. In the Air Force, he was a jet air­craft me­chanic for 20 years.

From 1958 to 1968, he worked in Al­tus, Okla., work­ing on KC 135 tankers, which are air re­fu­el­ing air­planes. He was a main­te­nance crew chief.

Cay­wood spent 1968 in DaNang, Viet­nam, where he worked on F4 air­craft.

“While I was in Viet­nam, I talked to pi­lots a lot and I knew those who were cap­tured or killed, and I learned it wasn’t a very pleas­ant place,” he said.

Af­ter Viet­nam, he went to Nel­lis Air Force Base in Las Ve­gas and worked in the chief of main­te­nance of­fice. He was the non­com­mis­sioned of­fi­cer in charge of the air­craft records sec­tion for two years and worked on dif­fer­ent air­planes as qual­ity con­trol chief and flight chief.

“We re­ally en­joyed the Las Ve­gas area, our fam­ily did,” he said. “The moun­tains and Lake Meade, and the moun­tains in Utah. We vis­ited na­tional parks.”

He and his wife, Hope, whom he mar­ried in 1955, had two sons, Michael and Craig. Craig worked for the Air Force as an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer, and Michael worked for McDon­ald Dou­glas and Kim­berly Clark in Tulsa. Both are re­tired and live in the McDon­ald County area.

Af­ter leav­ing Las Ve­gas, Cay­wood was in Air Force re­cruit­ing in Kansas City for two years. He re­tired then and moved back to

“I re­ally en­joyed the Air Force and had a good life and made a lot of friends.”

Larry Cay­wood Pineville Vet­eran

Pineville and bought a farm, rais­ing beef cat­tle.

Hope worked for 25 years as a gro­cery store man­ager for Phillips, Wal­mart and Harps.

“Since she re­tired, we travel some,” Cay­wood said.

He has been in­volved in Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 392 for 34 years. He has been the com­man­der and fi­nance of­fi­cer and has taken part in mil­i­tary fu­neral honors for many fu­ner­als.

“I re­ally en­joyed the Air Force and had a good life and made a lot of friends,” he said, adding he still has friends he made in the 1950s and 1960s that he vis­its.

“Hope adapted to the Air Force real well. She was a great mil­i­tary wife,” he added.

He said he vis­ited sev­eral coun­tries dur­ing his time with the Air Force but never got to see the sights due to con­stant work. All he got to see was the airstrip.

“I’d tell Hope one piece of con­crete looks like an­other piece of con­crete,” he said.


Larry Cay­wood of Pineville is an Air Force vet­eran and a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 392 in Pineville.

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