Antiaircraft Artilleryman Records Thirty-year Military Career in a New Book

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 24, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- A pioneer Army Air Defense Missile expert who advised the German and Japanese Defense Departments on their air defense missile build ups during the Cold War; commanded a nuclear Nike air defense missile battalion in the joint air defense of the U.S.; and retired as chief, U.S. Army nuclear air defense missile forces in the joint Army-Air Force air defense of Okinawa during the cold war, describes his personal experiences in a new book, An Antiaircraft Artilleryman from 1939 to 1970.

In 1939, certain that the U.S. would soon be fighting World War II, nineteen-year-old Wilfred Boettiger joined the Washington National Guard as a private to get some military training. Little did he know it would be the beginning of a thirty-year career in the U.S. Army Antiaircraft and Air Defense Artillery Branch in the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Cold War.

In his book, Boettiger describes the training, mobilization, and pre-Pearl Harbor deployment to Alaska of his National Guard battery; his officer candidate training at Camp Davis, North Carolina; and his duties as gun battery and regimental staff officer in Hawaii. Back at Camp Davis, he describes training into be a Weissight instructor and then his unique combat service in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany.

After World War II, Boettigger served in the reserves until he was activated for the Korean War and describes his job as a post training officer at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, and then his gung-ho service as a combat field artilleryman in Korea. He then tells about his command of a 120mm AAA gun battery in the Cold War air defense of the Hanford Atomic Reservation and his selection to be a pioneer Nike Missile battery commander.

He then describes his assignment to the American embassy in Germany and service as air defense missile sales advisor to the new German Army and Air Force during their missile build up in NATO joint air defense from 1956-1959, his command of a nuclear armed, improved Nike missile battalion in the joint Army-Air Force air defense of Loring Air Force Base, and his advice to the Japanese Army and Air Force on their joint air defense missile build-up including the procurement of U.S. nuclear-capable Nike air defense missiles. He describes his advisory service preparing the Virginia National Guard for active duty during the Vietnam War, and finally, his experience as chief of Army air defense missile forces in the joint air defense of Okinawa when Russian bombers were probing the joint air defense.

About the Author

Wilfred Boettiger was born in Chicago in 1920. He spent thirty challenging years in the United States Army as surface-to-air missile commander and diplomat, retiring as a colonel. A bronze sculptor, he operated a workshop and created bronzes, including the life-size rhino for the San Diego Wild Animal Park. He was also a sailboat owner, amateur archaeologist, and, most of all, a lover and connoisseur of life. He has two grown children, two grandchildren, and had four marriages. Ret. Col. Boettiger is a member of several military and civilian organizations, including the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

       An Antiaircraft Artilleryman from 1939 to 1970
       By Colonel Wilfred O. Boettiger, U.S. Army, Ret.
       Trade Paperback; $21.99; 235 pages; 1-4134-7360-1
       Cloth Hardback; $31.99; 235 pages; 1-4134-7361-X

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