In Flensburg geheiratet

zur Portalseite 3D-Fotos

B i l l   C.   W a l t o n

I was born and raised in Clarksville, Arkansas. I joined the Army in 1948, when I was 17, and arrived in Germany on 23 December of that year. In Flensburg, six months later to the day, I met Krys, the woman who would become my wife. We were married in Flensburg in 1954.

Hubschrauber Pilot

After graduating from helicopter flight school in 1957 I flew Army airplanes and helicopters for the next 21 years. A couple of my more interesting missions included being part of a crew on seven helicopters that we flew from Hanau Germany to Lisbon Portugal to support a visit by President Eisenhower, and being a maintenance officer and pilot in the last helicopter of a flight of 70 that we flew from Kentucky to California, in 1967, so we could load the aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier.

A N Z E I G E –

Als US-Soldat 13 Jahre in Deutschland

I spent 5 tours (13 years) in Germany during my Army career. I was stationed in Giessen, in Denmark just across the border from Flensburg, Frankfurt, Hanau, Pirmasens and Augsburg. I flew over most of what was then West Germany, from Bad Tolz in the south to Itzehoe in northern Germany. I also had a 6 month tour flying the East German border from Bad Kissingen to Bad Hersfeld. I speak, read and write German although my writing needs much improvement. I am very interested in the history of Germany, particularly that which deals with Northern Germany, around Flensburg.

1957 - 1961

On my 3rd tour in Germany (1957-61) I became interested in sports cars and hillclimbs and competed in the German Hillclimb Championship in 1960 & 1961. That was a great deal of fun as the fellowship and friendship among the drivers was very intense. I didn’t place high in the Championship (31st in 1960 -No ranking in 1961 as I left Germany in August and missed 4 races) but I really enjoyed myself and became acquainted with some fine people.

1963 - 1966

During my 4th German tour (1963-66) I continued with racing cars in hillclimbs, first with an Alfa Romeo and then a 1965 Mustang. My hillclimb activities came to a sudden stop in Sep 1966 when I exceeded my capabilities and I put the Mustang upside down in a 20 foot deep ditch, while competing in a hillclimb near Nuttlar, in middle Germany. I was not seriously injured (except for my pride) but the Mustang was a total loss. When I finally got home from that weekend my wife asked me if I had had enough of racing and I agree it was time to switch sports. She has yet to mention the loss of that year old Mustang.


I was also fortunate to be able to spend two tours in the Republic of Vietnam, 1962-63 flying U1A airplanes and 1967-68 as a helicopter maintenance officer. During the 1st tour in Vietnam I was flying missions to support the Military Advisory Group. The road network in Vietnam was very poor so air transportation of men, mail, food and supplies was the best way to move these items. Many little airfields had only 1 or 2 Americans near them and they were always glad to see us.


My unit, the 18th Aviation Company, moved the pilots every three months to another base location. I spent 3 months in Danang where flying over jungle mountains was routine. The aircraft out of Danang were not shot at very much, but in the event of a mechanical problem there were very few places to land. Next I went to Saigon and flew all over the southern Delta.


Being in Saigon meant getting up every morning at 0400 to get to the airfield and being a target for anyone with a rifle, as the Delta was table flat and you could see aircraft for miles. Our airplanes were often hit but we never lost one due to ground fire. From there I went to Pleiku which combined mountain flying with flying over empty plains. I did get a bullet in the propeller while flying in this area but the propeller stayed in one piece until I landed. Following a tour in Nha Trang I went back to Saigon to finish out my year in Vietnam.

Saigon 1963

I was in Saigon in Nov 1963 when the coup d etat to overthrow President Ngo Dinh Diem took place. We were living in the Alfana Hotel in downtown Saigon about 2 blocks from the Palace where the major fighting occurred. A machine gun team set up their weapon in a park across the street from us and they were busy all night firing at someone. They were not trying to kill Americans because no bullets struck the hotel. But to be safe I spent the night laying on the floor, below window level. The next morning it was all over and we continued with our missions.


The 2d tour in Vietnam was a model of teamwork between myself, the mechanics who worked for me, and the pilots of the organization. We worked long hard hours, but everyone pitched in and we accomplished the mission. I really believe that year (67-68) was my hardest working year ever. We arrived in Vietnam during the middle of November and the first time I had any time off was 4 hours on the morning of 12 March. The relationship between the pilots of the unit and my maintenance section made me very proud. The pilots trusted our work without question and all of them knew that if they had a maintenance problem that we would come to the site, fix the helicopter or arrange for its evacuation, no matter where it was or who controlled the area it was in.


I crashed a helicopter on 6 Feb 1968, my 37th birthday. It had sustained battle damage and had been repaired by our support maintenance. They were short of test pilots so I agreed to make the test flight for them. After a short satisfactory flight I parked the helicopter in its parking revetment, which was very narrow and quite high. I parked a bit crooked so I decided to take off and repark. As I lifted off I lost control, hit the revetment, which caused the tail rotor and tail rotor gear box to break off the aircraft. I spun around twice and crashed. Luckily I was not seriously injured but the helicopter was totally destroyed. The accident investigation board sent the tail rotor to Texas for evaluation. It was determined that the tail rotor bearings had been improperly installed and had “frozen together” causing me to lose control. My mechanics dug out a piece of the helicopter stabilizer bar, which had broken and buried itself in the ground, and gave it to me as a souvenir of my accident. My three grandsons helped me. I call it Walton’s Vietnam Monument.

1978 – Abschied von der Armee

I retired from the Army in 1978 and worked for 9 1/2 years as a civil servant in the Fort Benning Public Affairs Office. This was a very interesting and demanding job, telling the Army story and escorting visitors and reporters. But I had so much fun during this period that my wife told everyone that I would have probably gone to work without pay and there is a lot of truth in that statement.


I contracted a food born illness in 1988, almost died and it took me over 2 years to recover. As a result of this sickness I couldn’t work anymore and had to resign my position and accept a medical retirement from civil service.

Interesse an der Fotografie

I was a casual photographer for many years, shooting color slides and BW prints. During my 2d tour in Vietnam I became seriously interested in photography as a means of getting my mind off repairing shot-up, beat-up helicopters all day.


I had looked at stereo cards, as a young boy, in the Public Library in Clarksville. They had a stack of scratched cards and a very beat up old stereoscope and I remember spending hours “travelling” all over the world, But I didn’t realize that you could make your own stereographs and this subject lay dormant, as far as I was concerned, for many years.


My interest in stereography was renewed in 1968 when an old photographerer in Arkansas,Henry Frazier, showed me some stereographs he had made many years before and explained how to make them. But I didn’t know about free viewing and I did not have a stereoscope so I didn’t attempt to make stereographs until 5 years later, when I bought my first antique stereoscope.

Stereoscopic Association
of America

Learning about the National Stereoscopic Association in 1975 I joined it and through STEREO WORLD discovered the Stereoscopic Association of America and became member #715 in 1978. Five years ago, after learning that the Photographic Society of America was maybe interested in stereo cards I joined that organization. I am now heavily engaged in insuring that stereo cards are fully integrated into all PSA Stereo activities. The International Stereoscopic Union (ISU) has recently recognized stereo cards as a means of stereographic expression so I joined that organization and am helping all I can to make stereo cards an important part of the ISU.

Friedrich Brandt – Pionier der Fotografie in Schleswig-Holstein

Black & White stereo cards are my main stereo interest although I shoot a few stereo slides so I can enter some international exhibitions. People are my favorite stereo subjects, I have my own darkroom for black & white work. I also collect antique stereo cards but limit my collecting to a very few subjects. I like military related cards and those of places I have been or hope to go , so I can possibly make Then & Nows. The only stereographers whose work I collect are Friedrich Brandt, who lived in Flensburg in the 1860s and was the pioneer photography of Schleswig-Holstein and Charles Junod, one of the stereographers who covered the Prussian/Danish War of 1863-64. Needless to say stereo cards from these two men are rare. I have only 6 Brandt originals plus 8 copies . But I only have two Junod originals and 4 copies. I looked long and hard at the Richmond NSA Convention, but didn’t find any cards by either man.

3-D Buch "Back to Basics"

Although I am no longer working I am still busy with stereography, golf, swimming, genealogy and community service. I am on the Mayor’s Commission on Diversity and on the Board of Commissioners of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. I am also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Stereoscopic Association. I also started my own business, Muscogee 3-D, which so far is non-profit. I published my first 3-D book “BACK TO BASICS’ and am slowly getting organized to do another one.

zur Portalseite 3D-Fotos 

I am 67 years old and my wife Krys and I have one son, three grandsons, one great grandson and a fine Schnoodle named TRUX. We live in Columbus, Georgia and extend a welcome to our home to any of you who may come our way.

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