Letter to Bob Brennan (15-48)

March 24, 1997

Thanks for your letter to class 15-48! Somebody should historify our class and I second your self-appointment as "Historian."

After going through Navy flight training with no “unsats” and no “downs” I made six carrier landings in six tries on the carrier off of Pensacola in the F4U-4 Corsair. I then headed back to the beach at about 1500 feet. All I wanted to do was get back and land safely without pulling the wheels up after landing so I could get my wings (at the time there was a spate of Corsair trainees pulling up the wheels after landing.) However, Midshipman Ralph McQueen, who had just made his six carrier landings, caught up with me, pulled up into tight wing formation, waved at me and then started to a series of tight barrel rolls over my head from wing tip to wing tip. He was obviously ecstatic. I thought “I gotta get away from this crazy guy.” I dropped down to about 300 feet over the water, did a hard 360 turn and lost him. Neither one of us pulled up our wheels after landing and we both got our wings the next day. I haven't seen Ralph since.

About my career: Right after getting my wings I went to Whiting Field to attend F-80 jet flight training. I think it was class no. two. After that I went to VF-11 (Red Rippers) for a while and then to VF-12 (Flying Ubangiis). With VF-12 I made three six month Med cruises and three Carib cruises, then to NSA as a fighter analyst then to naval intel school where I learned German, then flew A3Ds with VQ-2 in Morocco and Spain and Turkey, then to NATO CINCSOUTH in Naples, Italy, then to Washington DC, from there to USMILGRP Chile, finally to JSTPS at SAC Headquarters where I retired from the U.S. Navy after 21 years (actually 23 years) of service. While in the Navy I learned French, German, Italian, and Spanish, I flew over 30 different types of military aircraft, and had a great time. I could never understand why they paid me for it.

After the retiring from the Navy I went to work for an oil exploration company for about a year, left them to form my own oil company, drilled about a hundred oil and gas wells, got quite a few strikes, hung it up after fifteen years, tried farming and raising cattle on our farm in Nebraska but two years was enough of that. So my wife and I motor-homed through most of the USA and Canada then decided to settle in Denver, Colorado where we really like it. Through an odd series of circumstances I built and patented a wallbed (often referred to as a “Murphy Bed”) and am doing quiet well with it. I just hired a BRISTOL WALLBED, INC. President whose main task is to take BWI national. He's done it with two other companies. Check us out on the Internet!

Finally, I've never not owned real estate. We now own about 30,000 square feet of small buildings in LODO (Lower Downtown) Denver, near the new “Rockies” stadium. It is really fun to live here. My wife, Diane, and I ski (but less and less), go fishing, hiking, biking and do some traveling. We have two lovely, married daughters and five super grandchildren. Probably I will never retire,

Bob Brennan it is great to hear from you, but please, not Rochester in January!

Robert A. Rulis, CDR, USN (Retired)


Pensacola Pre-Flight Class 15-48