TSgt Bob Kolhouse, U.S. Air Force (1970-1978)

April Runner Up


The following Reflection represents TSgt Bob Kolhouse’s legacy of their military service from 1970 to 1978. 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 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.

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?

The boss of the U-Tapao Control Tower during my first U-Tapao assignment (71-72) was MSgt John Finnegan. I liked him. I was the lowest ranking controller in the Tower (E-3 vs all others E4) and got more than my share of crap jobs, but understood and still liked him. My best ever practical joke was played on MSgt Finnegan at about 08:05 one morning in early 1972. I had just got off duty and was walking down the Control Tower stairs headed to the barracks. A few floors below me I could hear a lot of yelling: “Get back…Dammit…Stop it…Let go…Dammit…get back…M-fr…shit…Get off…” and it continued until just before I was in sight of the entrance door..  When I got down the stairs far enough to see the door there stood, just inside the closed door, a disheveled MSgt Finnegan with a cup of coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other and boy was he mad. “That goddam Fire Dept monkey is loose and the mother f-r was after my doughnut” he yelled…really pissed. I don’t recall if I said anything in response…he wasn’t really talking to me anyway….just yelling!! We passed each other right at the bottom of the stairs… with me about 20′ from the door and him headed up the stairs. When I opened the door to go outside there was the monkey (actually a gibbon of some sort) just a few feet away. Like a bolt of lightning a terrific idea hit me and I moved to one side and held the door open…the monkey took off inside like a bullet…I let the door close and went to the barracks.

The stairway inside the tower wound around an empty core that was about 10′ across and had a rope hanging down the middle. With stair rails 10′ apart and the rope in the middle that ran from top to bottom it was a perfect playground for a gibbon.

The next morning MSgt Finnegan came upstairs before I got off and, still ticked off, asked me if I had let that f-king monkey into the tower. I replied, with my most sincere and honest face, that I knew there had been a monkey outside because you were yelling about it, but I had not seen it. Adding, as if I was solving a great mystery, “it must have ran in as soon as I opened the door and I didn’t see it”. MSgt Finnegan fumed for a while and then added “it took all day to get that f-king monkey out of the tower…it jumped from handrail to handrail or shinnied up and down the rope…we finally lured it outside with some food from the inflight kitchen”.

I never admitted to my deed….but keeping from rolling on the floor laughing was an act that Spencer Tracy would have found difficult to duplicate.

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Tags: E-3 vs all others E4, MSgt John Finnegan

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Bond

    Hilarious and I’m still laughing.


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