Hometown Hero - Harry Sommers - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hometown Hero - Harry Sommers

MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) -

Harry Sommers served in the air police from 1956 to 1960 at Chennault Air Force base in Lake Charles. .  

"You know at that time, it was Cold War days," said Sommers. "Chennault, Lake Charles. They had a team out on the flight line. I don't remember the numbers of air craft. But there was 7 or 8 of them, all loaded up, all ready to go.  The crews stayed out there, all they had to do was when the word came, boom, they would go." 

The Lake Charles location was a Strategic Air Command base and had B-47s armed with nuclear war heads. Harry was charged with guarding them. 

"Everybody was worried primarily about Russia and bombs coming. edit.  Sometimes when you're on the flight line at 3 o'clock in the morning fighting mosquitoes?  It's kind of hard to realize. You say to yourself, I must be important guarding this big plane out here, you know this dude's worth 2 million dollars." 

Sommers remembers when a fire broke out in one of the planes on the tarmac.

"It was one of the first, I think, aircraft to catch on fire with a bomb on it. I was working the main gate. It did not go off as most people know. It was a big scary time. Later on, somebody said you couldn't have run far enough, fast enough. If it would go off, it would be devastating enough."

Sommers is originally from Virginia, but met his wife while stationed here, and decided to remain in the Lake Area.

Copyright 2018 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.

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