It had been 30 years since he last saw those tail numbers but the memory of them remains as if it was only yesterday. Three C-130H Hercules that had flown around the world countless times fulfilling their mission yet here they were after all this time. When last they met it was at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, while the aircraft were under his father’s command, today they would become his planes.
“When I first got to Yokota Air Base, Japan for my change of command ceremony it was like being greeted by old friends,” said Maj. David L. Mueller, 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “I didn’t know a lot of faces when I first got here but I recognized those aircraft immediately. I remember being in the second grade, wearing my reflective belt and ear protection of course, and walking around on those planes with my father, a commander of the aircraft generation squadron at the time, I even helped him paint the propeller tips back in 1989.
“While the memories of my time on those planes with my father stuck with me, what I will always remember of those days is how my father interacted with the Airmen he worked with and for throughout his career. Seeing the way he led and the type of person he was contributed to my decision to serve my country when the time came later in my life to answer that call and led me to where I am today.”