E-5 Second Class Petty Officer (AME-2)
Duty Stations - USS Enterprise CVA 65 1st Nuclear Powered
Air Craft Carrier - USS Independence CVA 62, NAS Jacksonville, Cuba NAS Oceania, Attack Squadron 64, AME-7207
Carl E. Behm, U.S. Navy
Medals and Awards: Good Conduct and Cuban Campaign Medal.
Duties: On the U.S. Navy's F9S, F8TS, T28S Panthers AD 5/6 attack fighter, test and confirm that the hydraulic ejection seats are confirmed ready to go insuring the pilot that if needed, in case of an ejection that the ejection is ready to go. Other duties involved going into the aircraft confirming again all parts are fastened and connected properly. After all tests are confirmed the ejection seats are then loaded and ready to use if needed.
Married: Barbara Taft from Ripley on Dec. 27, 1959.
Children: Erick, employed by Otis Elevator, Dallas, Texas; Jennifer, employed by Westinghouse Corp. Baltimore, Va.
Carl E. Behm was born June 3, 1941, in Lockport General Hospital. He is the son of Walter and Mildred (Simmons) Behm. The family lived at 49 S. State St. in Ripley. His dad Walter found work in the Ripley area and as a child Carl attended Ripley's grade, middle and high school.
While in high school he participated in sports, playing baseball and basketball. He was a member of the 1959 graduating class of Ripley.
Only four months after high school he signed papers to become an active member of the U.S. Navy. On Oct. 6, 1959, he started his Navy obligation from Jamestown. His first military stop was Great Lakes, Ill., for U.S. Naval boot camp training. Additional training followed: U.S. Navy Aviation School in Memphis, Tenn., the U.S. Navy Aviation Structural and Mechanical School, Naval Air Technical Training Center Schools, Martin Baker ejection seats, A4D 2N Skyhawk Aircraft, Advanced Maintenance of AD4, Inflight Refueling School.
After all the Navy training came deployment to Cuba. He was attached to the USS Enterprise, the Big E. His duties were the Navy's A-40 Skyhawk Squadron. Duties were to keep a squadron of 12 planes ready for the next assignment.
Along with the ejection seat section, he was to help with loading bombs and assisting with any mechanical work that was required. The Independence and Enterprise TAOR (territorial area of responsibility) was the waters off the coast of Cuba.
The ship was put on 12-hour shifts. He recalled his duty was from 1900 hours to 0700 hours. On Nov. 17, 1962, the Cuban crisis brought the U.S. Navy into a full naval blockade of the waters surrounding the island. He was transferred to the USS Independence and was assigned to attack Squadron 64.
After the Cuban crisis, he went to the Mediterranean where he was deployed on the Enterprise in early 1963. Later that year his military obligation was fulfilled and this carrier sailor headed back to his Western New York home in Ripley.
Coming home, Behm had his whole life ahead of him and had to decide which road to take. In 1964 he received an appointment as deputy sheriff by Chautauqua County Sheriff Charles C. McCloskey. His career in the law field was as follows:
1966 - Deputy sheriff appointed by Sheriff Merle A. Campaign.
1968 - Appointed county police patrolman under the first competitive civil service for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office.
1972 - Employed part-time by Monroe Marina, Westfield
1973 - Appointed county police sergeant by Sheriff John R. Bentley. Behm instructed vehicle and traffic courses for police officers. He was reassigned to crime investigation division involved in all aspects of criminal investigations and supervision of junior jurors.
1974 - Instructed burglary and related investigations for immediate police officer training school.
1980 - Assigned to supervision in Ripley's substation in addition to all present criminal investigation duties. This included court presentations, regular supervision, prisoner transportation, extradition proceedings and interstate communications with Pennsylvania State Police in Lawrence Park, Pa. and the Erie, Pa., Police Department.
1985 - Retired from the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department after completing 21 years and three months of service.
Along with the above duty assignments Behm also attended classes and received advanced education. In 1973, he graduated from police officers supervision course. In 1975, he graduated from New York State Police Academy, which focused on organized crime school.
In 1976, Behm graduated from FBI National Academy Quantico, Va. Courses included: police management, forensic science education and training, sexual assaults, firearms training, combat shotgun training, behavioral science, constitutional law, physical training, defensive tactics as well as classes in first aid, radar, explosive devices, firearms, and other police and community safety related programs.
Carl Behm is one man who not only was dedicated to his country but also was dedicated to his community.
In the service he had a job that I believe not many people have heard about, an ejection seat technician. It is one of the many jobs that the military needs accomplished in order for us to have the greatest military in the world. This is a job that if not performed exactly right could cause pilots unnecessary death. Everything must work and work exactly the way it was designed.
The seat is designed to work differently in different scenarios. If ejection is above 10,000 feet, oxygen would be needed. If the ejection is below 6,000 feet a drouge chute (a special chute that opens if a certain height was met) is needed to protect the landing. It is a job that allowed for no errors.
Behm's job with the community also required him to be on top of his game. Since he wasn't satisfied to just show up and collect his pay, he took every course or class he could attend. Advancement in the early days of the county Sheriff's Department was through the person in charge, as systems and new laws were instituted. The method for advancement in the police department was later changed to the civil service exam.
Carl Behm has the honor to say he was the first to advance in the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department by taking and scoring high on the civil service exam and earning that position he held.
He is a good man who is known for his dedication to the service of the people of Chautauqua County. He's one of the guys who kept us safe at night. He's one of the guys who put the bad guys away; when we called he came. If someone decided to honor our local law enforcement people, I am sure the name Carl E. Behm would be published.
For that Carl Behm is our Hero of the Week.
Submitted by John Fedyszyn Vietnam Veteran