Tom Carlin started his aviation career as an Air Force navigator, flying KC-135 airborne refueling tanker aircraft. On his own, he obtained a Private Pilot certificate and bought an airplane.
Often, his commander needed tom’s assistance with air transportation issues that oould not be accommodated with Air Force aircraft, and he quickly became the “hero” of the unit. this visibility was instrumental in his getting an assignment to Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT).
Following UPT, he remained as an Instructor Pilot, then became an Aircraft Commander in the C-141. He had numerous missions that involved air refueling and extended crew duty times, sometimes exceeding 24 hours.
Later, he flew the RC-135, again on extended missions.
After Air Force retirement, he started his airline career with a major airline, and purchased another airplane, this time a retired Air Force T-41 Mescalero trainer. It turns out this is the EXACT airplane your humble podcast host flew as a student pilot in Air Force UPT at Laughlin Air Force Base in 1967!