United States Coast Guard

Service Reflections of AE2 Allan Muller, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1975)


The following Reflections represents AE2 Allan Muller’s legacy of his military service from 1969 to 1975. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE.

Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Coast Guard.

07/23/1969 Last day as civilian LtoR pop, ME, Fred

I had to do a verbal book report in the 7th grade. Now, I was really nervous about standing in front of my class and delivering this book report on the past history of forming the USCG through the present. The present was through the late ’50s to late ’60s, which included lighthouses and Loran station, which were manned at the time.

I reread that book several times, along with other books on the Coast Guard, which kept my interest for many years until I received a letter that I was to take a pre-induction physical into an unknown branch of the U. S. Military. After discussing it with my wife, I enlisted in the USCG. The next day, I went to downtown Miami to the USCG recruiting station along with my letter from the draft board. I took the pre-enlistment test, and the recruiter asked if I tried to make the recruiters look bad. I answered, “Absolutely not”. On July 25, 1969, I took the oath, one day after my 23rd birthday. That afternoon, I headed to MIA, boarded my flight to Philadelphia, and then boarded the bus sent to pick up my group (I held all the records from my enlistment plus the other records of 3 other guys headed to USCG Tracen Cape May, NJ.

After searching our bags for contraband, for example, Band-aids, Q-tips, Styptic pencils, and aspirin into the trash. Electric razors to be sent home with our civies after we got our uniforms issued. You must keep your razor with extra blades, shave cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and shampoo. Towel. You could not keep anything you can use to injure yourself. Then you got a sheet, a pillowcase, and a blanket (no upper sheet). Then it was lights out, thus ending your first day in boot camp.

Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?

I am sitting in the hatch with my legs in the airstream.

After boot camp, I was on hold in Cape May until the next class formed for Aviation Electricians Mate School at Jacksonville NATTC Jacksonville. I graduated from ‘A’ School as an Honor student. After AE ‘A’ School, I received my orders to my permanent duty station at CGAS Miami, Opa Locka, Fla. Upon graduation, at the 1-year mark, I automatically went up from AEAN ( Airman with a Stryker Aviation Electrician E-3) to E4 Petty Officer 3rd Class. That, and the fact I was married, I lived off base with additional pay. I was lucky that we moved into my brother’s house in Miami Beach with no rent; the house would be sold at my next transfer to another duty station.

After settling in at the base, I got flight orders and started my HU16 E Grumman Albatross Seaplane training syllabus. I finished my training and got my SAR Air Crew Wings in the HU16E aircraft, then proceeded to earn Plane Captain and Flight Engineer On the HU16A.

After two years, I started training as a SAR Aircrew in the HH52A Sikorsky Helicopter. I transferred into the Helicopter shop as an AE, and I started the SAR syllabus as an aircrew, then Plane Captain, then Flight Engineer in the HH52A; after all that, I only flew in a fixed-wing A/C a couple more times.

We decided to get out and move to Colorado to live in the same city as my brother. Before being released from active duty due to downsizing by then-president Nixon, I arranged to purchase Buckhorn Liquor.

This, in hindsight, was the biggest mistake I made, not staying in for 20 + years. My original intent was to remain in the Guard for at least 20 years and retire with a pension. I could’ve worked for another 20 years as a civilian and be a double dipper.

If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?


No combat. Just operations flying at night and shoving Parachute Flares out the Port Hatch. Flying Blue Parol for 8 hours in the HU16E; when the President was in town or on BeBe Reboso’s Island out in the Atlantic, We flew a 12-hour flight in the HU16E. We had a CG Photographer for both patrols, which required many low passes to boats, and Russan “trawlers” who took photos of us while taking pictures of them. The trawler was covered with antennas instead of nets.

Did you encounter any situation during your military service when you believed there was a possibility you might not survive? If so, please describe what happened and what was the outcome.

YES. The first takes place on NAS KEY WEST. LCDR Neal and I were on a training flight. With me in the left seat. We landed, got refueled, and were relieved in the head. Back onboard, we were cleared to take off. At about 30 feet, an S-2 was cleared to take off on the crossing runway. The port wing passed about 3 feet from my side of the helo. It was collected down. The guys in the silver suits were on either side of us in seconds. Shut down, and the pilot went to the tower for an ass-chewing.

On a lighter note, the number 1 VOR was tuned to the OpaLocka VOR, but we were headed for the west coast of Florida instead of the east coast. It took me a long time to tell the pilot he was headed in the wrong direction. I even tuned the adf to Wham 560 on your dial. We got home OK.

Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which was your least favorite?

HH52A 1429 & C123 4505 @CGAS MIAMI

My favorite CGAS MIAMI is camaraderie, teamwork, and saving lives.

My least favorite has to be boot camp. I was the old man at 23, hanging around with teenagers.

From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect on to this day.

Eastern Airlines Flight 401

Eastern Airlines Flight 401. The L1011 took off from MIA and nose-dived into the Everglades. There were two large pieces. The cockpit from nose to cockpit wall and two rows of seats hanging out of the complete tail section of the L-1011, the rest of the aircraft was, at most, 3 feet across. About 200 passengers lived out of almost 400. SIT IN THE BACK OF THE AIRCRAFT!

I took pics the next day after dropping a large assortment of bouquets and wreaths. I don’t have them anymore.

What professional achievements are you most proud of from your military career?

Taking the AE second class test, passing, making #6 (could be wrong #), and advancing on my second anniversary. Tadaaaa!

Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or other memorabilia, which one is the most meaningful to you and why?

Sikorsky Winged S

I received the Winged S from Sikorsky four times; it’s the most meaningful because it was for seven lives saved. Life is a precious commodity, not to be wasted and hopefully not end prematurely.

Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?

AD1 Turley in the helo shop. I learned a lot from him.

List the names of old friends you served with, at which locations, and recount what you remember most about them. Indicate those you are already in touch with and those you would like to make contact with.

Cape May Tracenj-EM Club liberty

I can’t remember names from boot camp, but when we were allowed to go to the EM Club, a small group went there, and we bought cases of Coca-Cola, chips, and popcorn. Tom Brannon and I were close and have spoken on the phone. We were at CGAS MIAMI together.

Can you recount a particular incident from your service which may or may not have been funny at the time but still makes you laugh?

HH52A 1360

Running up a helo without hitting the ignition first makes a big boom. Nobody noticed. Another time, while on a training flight in an HH52A with two pilots up front and me and my gunner’s belt attached to the overhead. We got diverted to an overdue boat with a Grandfather and Grandson onboard. We located them, and they indicated that they were out of fuel. I lowered the hoist and hoisted the tank onboard. We proceeded to Marathon and landed at a marina, jumped out, filled the tank, and paid for it with a government credit card. We got back onboard, we took off, and we were in a hover over the boat in just a few minutes, hooked the hoist clip to the tank and talking to the pilots while directing position, talking constantly. The tank landed on the deck, and I returned the hoist and announced, “Passed gas.” All three of us burst out laughing. At this point, we returned to Opa Locka Airport, our base.

What profession did you follow after your military service, and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?

Gunnison Ambulance crew

I purchased a Liquor Store in Gunnison, Colorado. My wife was pregnant with our son, and we had Sharon, our daughter, and Max, our German Shepard. Our house took a couple more months to complete. So we stayed at my brother’s motel. I sold the liquor store after seven years. Later. I purchased the Gunnison Ambulance Service. after another seven years, the Hospital and county commissioners recruited my EMTs behind my back and canceled my monthly subsidy. They sent a letter, and my brother called and told me they gave me 30 days’ notice of cancelation of my contract. That was a mistake; the contract was written: “Notice of cancelation WITHIN 30 DAYS.”. I had my brother deliver a letter that Gunnison Ambulance Service would stop answering calls at 12:01 p.m. I gathered up my wife and kids, headed to Gunnison, and packed everything: computers, printers, printer paper, and business papers. The Oxygen company came and collected Oxygen bottles. We loaded up everything, and the convoy headed south to Las Cruces.

I went to school for Power Mechanics and got a job at a Dodge dealership. I eventually started working in a heavy-duty line, specializing in rebuilding transmissions. I moved back to Florida and worked at a Dodge dealership doing transmissions until 1997, when I moved my parents and myself to Venice, FL, on the West Coast. My 1st Cousin and I were hired to be my father’s caretaker. My father passed away in July 1997. My brother had a heart attack, and he was in the hospital ICU in Sarasota. He passed away in October 1997. My mother made it to May 1998. I am currently retired. I married my cousin in 2015. She collapsed on August 1, 2023, and passed away on August 7. I buried her in my plot at Western Colorado Veterans Memorial Cemetery. I am living in Grand Junction, Colorado, in assisted living. My balance is going to sh!t. I am the only one who still has a working brain.

What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?

I paid up for a life member of the American Legion.

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?

Leaving all my friends behind when I went REL-AD, RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Coast Guard?

Boot camp, keep your mouth shut, eyes and ears open. Embrace the discipline; it makes it easier.

In what ways has togetherweserved.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.

TWS is a great place to store your military memories and reconnect with shipmates.

Boot Camp, Units, Combat Operations

Join Togetherweserved.com to Create a Legacy of Your Service

U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard


Tags: American Legion, CGAS Miami, Colorado Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Eastern Airlines Flight 401, HH52A Sikorsky Helicopter, TogetherWeServed.com, U. S. Military, USCG, USCG Tracen Cape May


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