Proud veteran shares his experiences
“When I retired from the military in 1967 after 20 years, I missed the military. All of my knowledge I got was from the military,” Victor J. Haas said.
Haas, a 20-year U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force retiree, was born Dec. 15, 1929. He enlisted in the Army at the age of 18 in Philadelphia Jan. 16, 1947. Born in Andreas, he now resides at Fellowship Community in Whitehall.
The former master sergeant working in missile deployment noted, “I was lucky when I got into the service because missiles were being developed.”
Haas recently sat for a conversation with The Press at Fellowship Community with a model of a Minuteman II on the table in front of him. The missile was in service from 1965 to 1998. Haas was involved with deployment, and aerial location of subjects to be bombed by missiles, and helped guide B-29 bombers return safely from their missions to their airport base. His team utilized bright stars such as the North Star to plot not only a safe return of bombers, but also accuracy in striking enemy targets.
Haas told a story about his father, who served in the Army in World War II under Gen. George Smith Patton Jr. He served in the campaign to liberate Europe.
Haas said his mother was not keen on his impulse to join the Army and would not sign his papers to enlist. He and his dad kept things quiet, and Haas enlisted with the assistance of his father.
After basic training, Haas attended a number of training schools including drafting/topographical drafting school and instructor training school, after which he was an instructor in a drafting school.
“I taught surveying and missile technology,” Haas said.
He was stationed in a number of military bases, including in Okinawa, Japan; Fort Warren in Wyoming; Florida; Bitburg Air Base in Germany; and in the Republic of Formosa. He visited the former Soviet Union and the KGB headquarters, as well as the Philippines, Finland, Cuba and Jamaica.
“I learned a lot in the military,” Haas added. “I was very lucky and traveled the world and learned the history of other countries.”
After Haas retired from the Air Force, he worked in a surveying business he developed with his son, Gary. He also worked in the banking industry in Florida and educated real estate agents and others about land surveying techniques.
Haas is married to his wife, Marjorie. In addition to his son, the couple has two daughters, Judy Rickman and Vicki Kennedy, and five grandchildren.
He is a proud member of the Korean War Veterans Association. Haas, at age 93, appears full of vigor and of gratitude for his military experience, grateful for his education and his life career both in the military and in civil life.