The First 20 Years Of My Life

I was born in Berkley County, South Carolina on July 4th, 1933. My Mother was Louveta Gertrude Ballentine Nielsen and My Father, Charles Aimar Nielsen, Sr.

When I was 4, I attended “Kellys Free Kindergarten” located on Huger Street, between King and Meeting Streets, in Charleston. Later I went Rivers Junior High School which had recently opened in Charleston. I then transferred to Murray Vocational School after having problems at Rivers Junior High School.

While I was still in Murray, I joined the National Guard. I was only 16 years old. The M-1 rifle I used when performing “drill” in the Guard, was almost too heavy for me to point and aim! My exposure to the “guard” caused me to enlist in the United States Air Force, December 14, 1949 – I was 16 ½ years old.

The First 20 Years Of My Life

1933
July 4, 1933

Born

I was born in Berkley County, South Carolina on July 4th, 1933. My Mother was Louveta Gertrude Ballentine Nielsen and My Father, Charles Aimar Nielsen, Sr.

1937
September 26, 1937

KELLY’S FREE KINDERGARTEN

KELLY’S FREE KINDERGARTEN

Mother put me in Kindergarten and as I recall it was “Kelly‟s Free Kindergarten” located on Huger Street, between King and Meeting Streets, in Charleston. I was about 4 years old.  

1946
August 26, 1946

RIVERS JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Rivers Junior High School had recently opened and instead of going to Charleston High School like my older brother, it became my school.

1947
October 27, 1947

ADDLESTONE’S MARKET & PALACE THEATER: 1947-49

ADDLESTONE’S MARKET & PALACE THEATER: 1947-49

One of my first real jobs was taking care of the vegetables and bagging groceries at Addlestone‟s Market on upper King St, just above Rivers Junior High School. When I left Rivers, I looked for another job because Addlestone‟s was too far out of the way. I had a friend..Read More

1948
October 27, 1948

MURRAY VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: 1948 – 49

MURRAY VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: 1948 – 49

After my problem at Rivers, I transferred to Murray. That school was really exciting. It was full of World War II Veterans using the GI Bill to either get their high school diploma or to learn a trade. The WW II veterans were no one to tease or otherwise mess..Read More

1949
March 14, 1949

NATIONAL GUARD AT AGE 16: 1949

NATIONAL GUARD AT AGE 16: 1949

While I was still in Murray, I joined the National Guard. My serial number was 25-125-178 and would remain with me for the balance of my military career. I was only 16 years old. The M-1 rifle I used when performing “drill” in the Guard, was almost too heavy for..Read More

October 27, 1949

HAD AN “OUT OF BODY” EXPERIENCE IN ROPER HOSPITAL: 1949

While lying unconscious on a white table in the emergency room, I had an unusual experience. I was above my body, beyond the huge circular light shining down on it, watching the doctors and nurses examining me. They had on white frocks and their faces were covered with masks. For..Read More

December 14, 1949

BASIC TRAINING IN THE U.S. AIR FORCE: 12-14-1949

BASIC TRAINING IN THE U.S. AIR FORCE: 12-14-1949

My exposure in the “guard” caused me to enlist in the United States Air Force, December 14, 1949 – I was 16 ½ years old. My parents reluctantly signed the paperwork indicating I was of the proper age. I underwent 13 weeks of Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base..Read More

1950
April 27, 1950

Keesler Air Force Base High-Speed Ground Radio Operator Course: 1950

Keesler Air Force Base High-Speed Ground Radio Operator Course: 1950

By late 1950 I graduated with honors from the “High-Speed Ground Radio Operator Course” at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi Mississippi. In addition to learning how to receive and send Morse code, it was necessary to draw from memory, the schematic of a “Superheterodyne Receiver.” That was the real beginning..Read More

1951
February 27, 1951

Burtonwood Air Force Base in England: FEBRUARY 1951

Burtonwood Air Force Base in England: FEBRUARY 1951

Upon completion at Keesler, I was given orders to report to Burtonwood Air Force Base in England. GOT MY GED! I was sent to England and based at Lakenheath Air Force Base and after attending tutorial classes, I passed the General Educational Development test (GED) and had the equivalent of..Read More

1952
December 31, 1952

HEADED BACK TO THE GOOD OLE USA – CROSSING THE ATLANTIC: 12-31 1952

When all the troops boarded the huge troop carrier we were required to state our occupation and its code. Of course, mine was “high-speed ground radio operator” and that‟s what I said. Somehow that got mixed up with the occupational code of a “medic.” After we got underway, I was..Read More

1953
February 25, 1953

MARRIED – DOROTHY ROBERTS: FEBRUARY 25, 1953

MARRIED – DOROTHY ROBERTS: FEBRUARY 25, 1953

When I returned from England I spent some “leave” in Charleston and married Dorothy Roberts, my lifetime girlfriend. We met as children when I worked at the Palace Theatre, which was then located on King Street, just above Spring but below Cannon when headed toward downtown on the left. At..Read More

December 14, 1953

RELEASED FROM AIR FORCE: DECEMBER 14, 1953

RELEASED FROM AIR FORCE: DECEMBER 14, 1953

Upon release from active duty, I entered Palmer College under the Korean GI Bill and held odd jobs here and there until obtaining the Diploma in “Standard Accounting.”