Daniel Gibson Oral History
Mr. Gibson entered the U.S. Border Patrol as a member of the 85th Academy Session in January 1966. He furnished this oral history to the National Border Patrol Museum via e-mail on May 17, 2009.
Q – Growing up: Date & place of birth, parents’ occupation, etc.
A - I was born 10/10/1935 in Scranton, PA to Alexander and Dorothy Gibson. My father was a butcher but went to work in about 1939 for Crown Can Company as a mechanic. He repaired Closing Machines (put tops on cans) in canning plants. My mother was a housewife except for a brief period during WWII when she worked for Glen L. Martin aircraft company in Essex, MD.
Q – Where did you grow up, schools attended.
A - From age 6 I grew up in Dundalk, MD. The first few years we were bussed to several different schools till arriving in Dundalk Jr. Sr. High School. I was there from 7th through 12th grades.
Q – Why did you decide to apply for a position in the Border Patrol, when? Where?
A - I was a police officer and I shot in local competitions, including a league in Baltimore that included many state and federal agencies. I was bored with my job and looking for something else when I met two guys on the federal team. Sheldon Coon was with Immigration and the other fellow was with Customs. I applied for both and Immigration called first. This was in 1965 in Baltimore, Md.
Q – What was your starting salary?
A - I have no idea what my starting salary was.
Q – Where did you attend the Border Patrol Academy?
A - Class number 85 at Port Isabel, TX.
Q – Where were you stationed, and what positions did you hold?
A - McAllen, Texas, Patrol Inspector: Sould Ste Marie, PI and BPA; Miami FL,. BPA Detroit, MI. Investigator; Miami, Fl BPA; West Palm Beach Fl. Patrol Agent in Charge; Miami Fl. Anti Smuggling Agent.
Q – What significant details did you participate in?
A - The poor peoples campaign in Washington DC; ,Operation Intercept Calexico, CA.
Q – During your career, were you detailed to activities outside the Border Patrol?
A - Designated US marshal for the Poor Peoples Campaign.
Q – Please describe your favorite activities or special expertise in the Border Patrol.
A - I had no special Expertise, I was a slogger. I guess my best trait was I didn’t let go.
Q – Identify some of the other Border Patrolmen you worked with. Which ones impressed you the most?
A - I thought Kerry Jacobson was the smartest agent I ever came across. He had the whole case, detail by detail, layed out in his head, and could instantly retrieve and part of the puzzle.
Q – How many Sectors did you work in? If you wish, please name the Sector Chiefs.
A - I worked in the Detroit Sector under Warren Long and the Miami Sector under Eugene Chaput and Carl Reidenger, There was another chief at Miami but I will not name him because he was crook and a disgrace to our uniform.
Q – What supervisory positions did you hold? Which was your favorite?
A - I was the PAIC at West Palm Beach Fl. That’s the only one so I guess its my favorite.
Q – An example of your most frightening and/or funniest situation?
A - I have used up all of my war stories.
Q – Did you remain in the Patrol until retirement, or did you pursue other Service activities?
A - I stayed till the end of my career.
Q – What changes would you have recommended during your career?
A - Take the guy who made the decisions about the weapons we could carry and put him in charge of a pre school nursery.
Q – What did you do after leaving the Border Patrol?
A - After retiring I bought a Subway franchise and built it in Charlotte, NC. I enjoyed building the store (I was prime contractor) but once I opened I discovered the joys of supervising low pay employees. I spent most of my days and night in the store because the employees just didn’t show up for work, so I had to. After selling the store I did insurance investigations for American International. The pay was good and they treated me fine but I found I was in a hotel room somewhere four nights a week.
Q - Then what did you do?
A - I found a job as a criminal Investigator with the common wealth of Virginia. I investigated odometer rollbacks, counterfeit titles, false drivers license applications and fuels tax evasion. I finally found something I was genuinely good at. They left me alone and I put a lot of bad guys in jail. It was fun. I retired after 9 years and came to Florida. Since 2001 I have been doing background investigations under contracts with the department of defense, Treasury and Homeland Security. My cup runneth over. End of Oral History Statement.