Edward W. Jackson – Elmendorf

I was born June 1st, 1963, at Travis AFB. My father was transferred to Elmendorf AFB, where we lived for a time on base housing. Then my father rented a home nearby, where I and my parents lived. My father was a fighter pilot, relaxing in a break room at a hanger, when the shaking started. He and a buddy went to the doorway, in the nick of time. A huge floor to ceiling fridge fell over, just missing them both. Getting out of the hanger was hard to do, as they had to crawl out of it, to the outside. After the quake happened. One fighter plane that had come in that day, and was new, was nose into the ground. The shaking snapped the nose landing gear off. The huge hanger door was stuck where they were. For the whole buildings were warped. All the pilots were scrambled, and made ready to take off. At the time, pilots in those planes had the capability to engage Russia with a nuclear weapon that was launched from the plane. 45 minutes later, the men were told to stand down, that it was just an earthquake. My mother did not see my father for nine days, as those pilots were on alert at the base; in case there was an attack from Russia.

They say kids can’t remember anything when they are real young. I remember a bell on my toy train ringing out of the blue. I was sitting on the living room rug, with various toys, near a picture window. This train was meant for a child to sit on, and that bell rang and rang. I heard my mother screaming, and crying. She was in the kitchen, and she had one of those portable dishwashing machines that roll. Well, it went banging around, and ran over her foot to begin with. She hopped up on the counter, and that crazy machine was whipping around. I remember the blood from her cut big toe, and her crying, and later, the cold. We had lost our power. Lucky for us, neighbors took us in. Their apartment complex had lost its internal stairways, which had collapsed. People went up into their second floor apartments with ladders. This building built of concrete had to later torn down. But, being there that night, we had heat, but no water. I just remember the bell ringing, and the beautiful sun shining through that window, before the glass cracked, and my mother screaming.

Edward W. Jackson, of Missouri