Newton P. Matthews




Veterans History Project

Summary of Interview

Newton P. Matthews was born in North Carolina, in January of 1941; grew up in Goldsboro, NC, site of Seymour Johnson Air Base; he graduated college at Wake Forest University in Winston- Salem, NC in 1962; he describes the cold war tension in the early 1960s, he joined the U.S. Air Force to avoid being drafted into the Army; he says he was selected for Officer Training School as a navigator, he wanted to be a pilot but at the time needed 20/20 vision; he mentions being in training during the Cuban Missile Crisis; he recalls navigator bombardier training and follow on assignment to Shaw Air Force Base, SC in 1965 to fly in EB-66s in a reconnaissance role, no planes at the base as they had all been deployed to Southeast Asia to support the Vietnam War; he recounts deploying to Thailand in early 1966, he explains his role of EB-66 in Surface to Air Missile and Anti-Aircraft Artillery suppression using electronic warfare, he outlines the crew roles; Mr. Matthews reveals that you had to complete a hundred missions before being allowed to return home, flew 103 missions in eight months; he tells of one mission to fly a plane back to Tulsa, OK for modifications, got to see wife and daughter; he describes socializing with other Airmen; he recalls next assignment to 603rd Air Commando Squadron in England AFB, LA flying A-26s and explains his role; he says unit had orders to deploy to Southeast Asia again, he did not want to go back so submitted separation from active duty; he reveals that he missed the military and requested to return, got a notification to return a for a staff job in the Panama Canal Zone; he states next assignment was to Grand Forks, ND to navigate B-52s, he describes time as the squadron navigator instructor; he recounts transition to an intelligence position, worked in Langley, VA and then Izmer, Turkey for NATO doing assignment target selection and identification; recalls last assignment at Offutt AFB, NE on the Joint Strategic Target Staff; Mr. Matthews’ work for Strategic Air Command deciding targets and delivery system in the event of a nuclear war; details his having to translate targets to computers in the 1980s; he mentions he retired in 1995 and spends time with family and travelling across the country in an RV.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

33 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1655

Transcript Number

No. 1655

Length of Transcript

33 minutes


Patrick Driscoll

Interview Number

No. 1655

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