Al Walters lives in the Texas Hill Country, five miles east of Boerne,and 35 miles northwest of San Antonio. He was born on August 9, 1931 in San Diego, CA and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in February 1951, to become an airborne radio operator when CW was the primary mode for air to ground operational communication. He flew over 1100 hours as radio operator in seaplanes (PBY, PBM, P5M, SA-16) during the last exciting days of Coast Guard seaplane aviation, and stood shore station radio watch when not flying.
Al took and passed the examinations for Air Force pilot training during the last months of his Coast Guard enlistment. He was discharged from the Coast Guard in the rate of AL2 (Aviation Electronicsman Second Class) in early February 1955 after a four year enlistment, and a few days later, enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Aviation Cadet. Al was awarded his pilot wings and commissioned as an Air Force Second Lieutenant in June 1956 with Class 56-P. He retired from the USAF in the rank of Colonel on the second of July, 1982 after serving an additional 27 years alternating between flying, staff and command assignments. After leaving the Air Force, Al worked seven years as an aerospace corporation Vice President, and then successfully and sequentially formed and sold his interest in two start-ups. He continues to own a third start-up which specializes in radio telemetry.
He is an Air Force Command Pilot with 7400 hours of flying time in the T-33, B-25, KC-97, KC/EC-135, B-52D/G and the F4C/D. He flew 215 combat missions in Vietnam, flying the F-4C with the 557TFS, 12TFW, Cam Ranh Bay AB, from April 1968 to April 1969. His awards include the Legion of Merit with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with combat V and 2 oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters.
After 20-years off the air, Al took the exam for General in 1975 and was first licensed as WB6FHK. He upgraded to Advanced and passed the 20 WPM code test in June 1999, and then upgraded to Extra on 4 April 2000. He changed his call to K6NOF in 1998 to commemorate his first duty station, CGAS St. Pete, FL (NOF) where he began his career in military aviation and his love for CW. He is now K5NOF following relocation from California to Texas. All logs since 1975 have been uploaded to LoTW. Al adds recent QSO's to his LoTW record every two weeks or so, or immediately after a major operating event.
Al is a life member of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots’ Association, a member of The Air Force Association, a Golden Life Member of The Naval Institute, a life member of The Order of Daedalians (13864), the ARRL, the ARRL Diamond Club, FISTS (2956 - CC1485), the Kendall Amateur Radio Society, (KB5TX), the Coast Guard Club (483), and the Coast Guard CW Operator's Association (1478). ZUT.
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