I lived in the Vancouver Barracks with my family from 1961-1965. My dad was a staff sergeant stationed in the Barracks as a food inspector. He worked right across the street (Hathaway Road) from our brick duplex. There were several families with children stationed there with whom I went to school. I attended the old Harney Elementary School and Mac Loughlin Junior High School. Most of the wooden buildings in the Barracks sat empty and were only used by the reserves. One building that was used belonged to the rifle club that had target shooting in the basement. I learned to shoot and handle a rifle there.
My most vivid memory of the Barracks was on Friday, October 12, 1962, when remnants of typhoon Freda created the Columbus Day storm. My Mom, brother and I were at home when the storm hit, and the lights went out. We peeked out the windows and saw the huge oak trees around the head quarters sway in the wind. When we spotted a wing from one of the airplanes from Pearson Airpark come flying up McLoughlin Road we decided to go down into the basement. With gusts up to 92 miles per hour many of the oak trees toppled to the wind’s power. The next day there was quite a mess. However, most of us children reveled in the newly built shelter by an oak that fell over the small playground behind our houses. Since it was a Saturday we were able to play and enjoy the new roof of our playground. Several big wind storms have been in my experience since, but nothing can top the Columbus Day storm.
Cindy Killip lives in Clark County