Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fred Hanke: Cold Warrior

Recently my Aunt sent me some old family pictures. The pictures are mostly ones that my father sent to his brother over the years. When my Uncle passed away a few years ago, my Aunt began to give them to me as she sorted through things. In this most recent group, I found this gem:


I had never seen my dad in such a pose as that. The pose immediately reminded me of Gregory Peck in Twelve O'Clock High.

Dad was a crypto/radio operator in the Air Force, stationed in France in the mid 1950s. Thus the bomber jacket, white scarf, and radio handset. One other note: the insignia on his hat is one of my prized possessions. Here is a closeup of that insignia:


It is made of cast metal, not plastic, and is heavy for such a small object. They made men and metal of the right stuff back in those days. For comparison, here is his official Air Force portrait:


I like to think of dad as a Cold Warrior, in some small way. He was, in fact.

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