Just when he thought he got away with it

An Airman who disappeared from an Air Force Base in North Dakota 40 years ago is in custody of the U.S. Air Force after he was discovered last week living in Florida.

Jeffrey Michels, 64, was arrested Thursday on charges of desertion after he failed to report for duty at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base on July 6, 1977, WFTV reported.

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13 Responses to Just when he thought he got away with it

  1. Dan says:

    Guy is a pro at ‘hide and seek’…..

  2. Unclezip says:

    Minot. What a shithole. Can’t blame him for that. Coldest winter I’ve ever spent.

    • l2a3 says:

      Yep, the winds were cold and brisk. But look at the benefit of having your own “hill” to ski down, among the North Dakota ‘trees” rolling by. And above all else you got to watch Canadian TV, blackout shades to keep the sun out of your room AT MIDNIGHT, and an electrical plugin post at your parking slot so your engine would not freeze in the winter. Life doesn’t get any better that that.

      • l2a3 says:

        I mislabeled the “trees” rolling by, They should have been labeled North Dakota “Flowers” (tumbleweeds”, The “Trees” were “telephone poles.”

    • Skipperdaddy says:

      I was at Elmendorf and guys there said it was tropical compared to Minot.

  3. JeremyR says:

    I worked AWOL apprehension for a stint at Ft Riley. Service members who went awol during a PCS more were the ones who didn’t get caught. the receiving unit didn’t want to report them as it effected readiness and the commander’s OER.
    We had a number of them we knew the exact location of, but couldn’t get a unit to report them. In one case the guy skipped en-route to Hawaii leaving his wife and three small kids abandoned in housing. Well, as soon as he didn’t report, they got booted off base losing PX and hospital privileges. We located him with in a week, but it took over a year to get him in the system.
    The worst deserter of all though is Worthless Willie who joined the Navy Reserve in order to dodge the draft. Too bad Peanut brain Carter pardoned all the Vietnam scum.

    • Drew in Michigan says:

      Agreed JR. did awol ap at ft ord, this really is a non story, there’s a unit on every post dedicated to awol and deserters (I think it was either CCC or CCCC) they get them back on the books(not to mention but it’s like boot camp on steroids) run them through a 5 min hearing, sentence is reduction to lowest grade and either general or other than honorable discharge, get a DD 214 then they are in and out in under 10 days. Oh yeah and back then (86) they got a greyhound bus ride to HoR. Once they got dropped off at the bus station they were on their own.

    • warhorse says:

      we had a guy named Dodge in boot camp in san diego that figured out that the stormdrain behind our barracks was dry, unguarded, and exited off the base. he would sneak out for an hour or two at a shot, usually bribing the watch with a candy bar. if you paid him he would bring back various contraband. cigarettes. magazines. newspapers. insoles for your shoes. the 1990 issue of “playboy’s blondes, brunettes, and redheads” holds a special place in heart..cost me double the cover price though…

      well one night he didn’t come back. no one knew what happened to him. we dumped all the contraband into a garbage bag tied it off and hid it in the empty barracks next door…in case he got caught…and then reported him missing. for a while after they’d call his name out in rollcall and we’d say “UA” in unison.

      well 2 months later on bootcamp liberty I see the now-famous “UA Dodge” walking across the street. “DUDE! where the hell have you been?? you need to go back man they’re not gonna punish you just give you a plane ticket home!” “nah, I’m good. I have a job at the Long John Silvers, and I sleep at the bottom of this elevator shaft..it’s cool!”

      I have no idea if they ever caught him or if he ever went home.

      • DanB says:

        Long story short. MCRD San Diego, ’67. Guy somehow got away, made it back to his home (St. Louis, iirc). Walks in, says, “Hey Pop, I’m home”. His dad decks him and drags him down to the Marine recruiting office. Last I heard he was back at MCRD, only this time in the ‘motivation’ platoon…moving sand back and forth between this pile to that pile with cement covered shovel & cement covered wheelbarrow.

  4. Cederq says:

    I loved doing AWOL Apprehension, went all the country on Unc Sam’s dime and it was a true hunt at times. Sure gained some skills with that.

  5. Granny says:

    The saying in the USAF used to be “Why not Minot?” If hell ever freezes over, they will find it at Minot, N. D.

  6. H says:

    Long about 1971 or thereabouts, a long-haired hippie freak showed up at the orderly room of a company of the 197th at Fort Benning and asked to see the first sergeant. He said, hey top, thought I’d just stop by and see what I needed to do being as how I’m supposed to get out of the army today.

    Top went thermonuclear and hilarity ensued. I don’t remember all the details, but this dude had vanished a couple years before, and had somehow never been reported AWOL or dropped from the rolls of the active army as a deserter. And it turned out there wasn’t a damn thing that could be done to him because his absence had never been properly reported. He had to be separated that very day because legally, it was just as if he’d been present and accounted for the whole time. They could not hold him past midnight or charge him for being absent.

    Thereby setting a whole new level to FIGMO (fuck it, got my orders). I never had it explained to me how any of that was possible, neither how the system missed him nor how the system got him processed out that very day, but evidently the cracks he fell thru were pretty wide and deep, and he skated out of it free and clear.

    • Cederq says:

      And he should have gotten a whooping big check when he separated… more drugs and rock and roll! Where’s the white wimmins?

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