KSLA Salutes: Vietnam Veteran Ernest DeWolf, Jr

KSLA Salutes: Vietnam Veteran Ernest DeWolf, Jr
DeWolf while on deployment in Vietnam/Source: DeWolf
DeWolf while on deployment in Vietnam/Source: DeWolf

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - At 17-years-old, Ernest DeWolf, Jr enlisted in the U. S. Air Force.

"I worked on radar sets and tracked aircraft."

DeWolf witnessed first hand how instrumental technology has been to our nation's defense.

"Our technology today is so far away ahead of everybody else," he explained, "That's why we're able to get a rid of a lot of stuff that we don't need anymore."

During his 16 years at Barksdale Air Force Base, DeWolf also served as an Air Force Inspector, inspecting all the radar bomb scoring sites around the United States.

DeWolf completed four tours in Vietnam, much of his work even today, remains classified.

However there is one duty night he'll never forget.

"We were at radar site in South Vietnam, up near the border," he recalled. "Planes when they had something or when they knew what was going on, we would get calls and they will give us coordinates and say so-and-so so-and-so so-and-so. We got a call and our Captain was outside, I was the next man in charge, so I directed the aircraft to this area and we drop bombs around where they said people were being killed and we run the enemy off. We really felt good about that, but we didn't find out for several years that the men that we saved were British marines, soldiers."

The life saving measures taken by DeWolf and his comrades eventually led them to be knighted by the Queen as a form of gratitude. However, DeWolf's service both before, during and after the Air Force has never been about him. It has always been about how he can help others.

The most exciting part of his service is being used by combat evaluation group. "I could do stuff for other people, that I could make sure things are done properly."

DeWolf is adamant the bonds shared between those who served in Vietnam are bonds that will never be broken.

"We all hold hands, there's no crap in between and we don't yell and cry to each other because we know what we done, why we done it, and how we done it. We just pat each other on the back. Everybody represents everybody."

DeWolf remains extremely active with the Freemasonry and their work with Shriner's Hospital, as well as the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

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