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Fryguy

Crew chief took off in a 130

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bobdaley   
bobdaley

I flew with a former enlisted Navy pilot Hal Tietjen at SW Airlines.

I think he later took a commission. I know he was in VR-24 at Port Laoty(sp?) now Kenitra Morroco.

He said that some of his friends were offered commisions and turned them down to stay enlisted.

Bob

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larry myers   
larry myers

Don,

Pomeroy flew the two C-117D Super Gooneys and the one C-47 (sometimes two aboard) we also had two C-45's assigned-I don't recall him every flying one of those. We hauled mostly cargo and personnel, with some vip's moved in the C-47 on occasion. As I recall a fellow named Stanley was the boss of the C-131 a Lt Commander-that aircraft was in a world of its own, explicitly for the use of the Commander Naval Forces Europe in London, at his every wish and beckon. It had its own personally assigned E-8 and E-9 for maintaining and crewing it-the Master Chief taxied it wherever it needed to be positioned. ( yes maintain, they performed almost all the work on it). Us sailors did lots of polishing of the "bird" therefore didn't appreciate its presence much. It would have been a rare occasion for Pomeroy to have flown on it, could have, I just don't recall any such event.

Larry,

I'm thinking there were around 12-15 Nap's in 1969-I can come up with 10 easily. The last four Marine NAP's retired the same day in January 1973-Master Gunnery Sergeant's Joseph Conroy, Robert Lurie (17,600 hours), Leslie Erickson, and Patrick O'Neill. Last Coast Guard NAP Master Chief John P. Greathouse retired February 1979 (14,000 plus hours). Leland Pomeroy, Merton Jackson, Ralph Carr, Kenneth Milburn, and R. K. Jones were active Navy NAP'S. Ralph Carr was the only Senior Chief, rest being Master Chief's. Ralph Carr and Merton Jackson in 1967 made undoubtedly the US Military's last all Enlisted Crew flight, ferrying a P3A from East Coast to West Coast-Carr was Pilot in Command. All Enlisted Crews were not out of the norm much of the early periods of NAP history, but by the 1950's were something to behold, as was rare by then. There was an all enlisted combat crew during Korea, PPC Patrol Plane Commander was a First Class Petty Officer NAP (E-6) flying the PB4Y Navy single tailed B-24. In 1955 there were around 600 NAP'S onboard-that year some 321 were commissioned, that cut down the numbers significantly, from then on it was just a matter of time for the era of the NAP to end. That end was in January 1981 when my Friend Master Chief Robert K. Jones (13,000 plus hours) went on the retired list. He had been the NATOPS evaluator for the C-131 worldwide, anyone requiring a "check ride" flew with him.

Pomeroy was a Senior Chief part of that time, he was advanced to Master Chief during my tour at Mildenhall.

Quinn, Thanks for the clarification. Very interesting stuff.

In 1957/58 I encountered a Marine NAP. Received a call that a transit USMC FJ3 had landed and was requesting fuel and lox. I was dispatched to service lox on the transit jet. When I pulled up to the aircraft there was a typical USMC Gunny getting out of his flight suit. Underneath he was in sharply creased khakis with a high and dry salt and pepper crew cut. He wouldn't allow me or the refueling crew close to the aircraft. He serviced it himself. And secured it for the night. I didn't know what to make of all this. Had no idea there was such a thing as enlisted pilots. I was thinking has this guy stolen the aircraft? I'm guessing that the next morning he caused quite a stir in base ops when he filed his flight plan. There was quite an audience as he got ready to depart .

On a similar note when DOD consolidated navigator training at Mather AFB, and Navy and USMC enlisted troops started to show up the school was beside itself. Enlisted navigators-OMG.

The Navy had several great programs in those days. One that comes to mind was the LDO. Another was the ability to retire with credit for 20 years service while only serving 19 1/2 years. My sister-in--laws husband began his career as an enlisted sailor, became a WO, then an LDO and finally retired a Master Chief.

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bobdaley   
bobdaley

One of the best Herk pilots I ever met was CWO4 Henry Wildfang USMC

He should be 98 this year. Last I heard of him was on his 95th birthday.

He got his wings in 1942 and retired in 1978. When he retired he was the "Grey Eagle", the longest serving pilot in the USN/USMC.

He was enlisted before he became a warrant and had some interesting stories about times at AFB's when he was hassled for being an enlisted man authorizing his own flights.

His airplane was blown out from under him at Khe Sanh 149813

Bob

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OldSalt   
OldSalt

Mr. Marine C-130! Henry Wildfang went through the Aviation Cadet Program in 1941/42-designated a Naval Aviator/Second Lt of Marines. Served in transport squadrons in combat areas and perhaps the PBJ (B-25) in Pacific. After release from active duty in 1946, he resigned a Major's commission and enlisted-reenlisted after almost 90 days as a Master sergeant and designated a Naval Aviation Pilot. Appointed to WO-1 (Naval Aviator) in 1960-most interested folks know his history including Khe Sahn and Gray Eagle award as the senior Naval Aviator on active duty. Gunner Wildfang is one of the Few/Several NAP'S I have found that came into the NAP program through the back door so as to say. Already completed flight training and being experienced pilots with no Officer billets available, they could thread the needle back in by going into the NAP ranks. I have found some that were allowed in via this route After the NAP program was shut down in 1947-just that they didn't go through flight training as NAP'S!

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OldSalt   
OldSalt

I flew with a former enlisted Navy pilot Hal Tietjen at SW Airlines.

I think he later took a commission. I know he was in VR-24 at Port Laoty(sp?) now Kenitra Morroco.

He said that some of his friends were offered commisions and turned them down to stay enlisted.

Bob

Sourced up some info on him-enlisted in Navy 1937, flight school 1940, designated NAP in late 1941. In 1943 commissioned as a LTJG. Flew with a "Black Cat" PBY outfit in the Pacific. Flew in Berlin Airlift, and was in VR-24 in Morocco, and then Naples, Italy. Retired 1957-flew with a University for some 14 years, then Southwest Airlines. Snapshot of his career, states 10,000 hours military and 19,000 plus civilian hours-if true that's a bunch. Joined the Great Majority in June 1987.

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bobdaley   
bobdaley

That's him

He flew Dc-3's DC-6's and DC-9's for Purdue University Airlines before coming to SW Airlines in 1971.

He was the number one Captain at SW until he retired. He then worked in operations and later became a dispatcher.

About 1990 we were on a sunset cruise up off Cape Cod. Ran into a bunch of guys wearing VR-24 caps at the bar. I asked if they knew Hal and they all did. Then they surprised us and we met Betty, Hal's widow. She had come to the VR-24 Reunion.

He was a great guy to fly with.

Bob

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OldSalt   
OldSalt

Quinn, Thanks for the clarification. Very interesting stuff.

In 1957/58 I encountered a Marine NAP. Received a call that a transit USMC FJ3 had landed and was requesting fuel and lox. I was dispatched to service lox on the transit jet. When I pulled up to the aircraft there was a typical USMC Gunny getting out of his flight suit. Underneath he was in sharply creased khakis with a high and dry salt and pepper crew cut. He wouldn't allow me or the refueling crew close to the aircraft. He serviced it himself. And secured it for the night. I didn't know what to make of all this. Had no idea there was such a thing as enlisted pilots. I was thinking has this guy stolen the aircraft? I'm guessing that the next morning he caused quite a stir in base ops when he filed his flight plan. There was quite an audience as he got ready to depart .

On a similar note when DOD consolidated navigator training at Mather AFB, and Navy and USMC enlisted troops started to show up the school was beside itself. Enlisted navigators-OMG.

The Navy had several great programs in those days. One that comes to mind was the LDO. Another was the ability to retire with credit for 20 years service while only serving 19 1/2 years. My sister-in--laws husband began his career as an enlisted sailor, became a WO, then an LDO and finally retired a Master Chief.

Larry

Fascinating story of military aviation history-all the active duty types that I encounter are completely dumbfounded when told that indeed Enlisted Men flew military aircraft. Since this is a C-130 thread, perhaps someone with the know how could come up with a site dedicated to the Enlisted Pilot, Army/AAF/Navy/Marines/Coast Guard The stories out there like yours are legion, if they aren't told, and seeing as the Officers wrote most of the history, it will be lost. I have written to various entities, down through the years, many are always crowing about the Tuskegee Airmen, telling them there is another just as Rare facet of military aviation,that is virtually completely ignored-the Enlisted Pilot. One could wonder it the Marine NAP was just showing that he could perform the servicing duties alone to folks that he knew would be greatly impressed. I have many interesting stores along the line of yours-including many instances in WW11 of Shore Patrol accosting NAP sailors and Marines on liberty for impersonating officers by wearing pilot's wings.

The navigators-In an aircraft ferry squadron I was in for a short time (VRF-31) they would hire a Gunnery Sergeant navigator on occasions for long distance deliveries. To me it is foolish to have Air Force and Navy flight training together (if they are still doing that) both services lose their identity and special camaderie established over many many years of doing it they own way!

At Mildenhall there was also a Lt/Lcdr up from the NAP ranks via the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program Arthur Beatty, but of course Sir by me-Good officer and pilot he was. The Constructive Time gained by re-enlisting 3 to 6 months early surely made it shorter to the 20 year mark-I think that has been sent to Davy Jones Locker now. I climbed in to the officer ranks via the LDO aviation maintenance program just shy of 16 years-I made sure to remain a Temporary officer, also retiring as a permanent Master Chief and temporary Lcdr. I always thought the Air Force was wrong in not allowing folks to climb up without a college degree. Anyway, the Army Air Force in WW11 had its very own famous NAP, a combat veteran, inventor extraordinary and genuine colorful character, had a book written by a General about him, as well as mentioned many times in the General's own biography

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SamMcGowan   
SamMcGowan

I don't know if I've said anything on here or not but three years ago Bob Patterson (as in MG Bob Patterson) was with us in Warner Robins for the TCTAA convention. After breakfast on Sunday morning I was sitting with him, George Dockery and a couple of others when he brought up the Meyer incident. Bob was a major at the time and was in Germany as a TAC representative. He briefed TAC commander Gen. William Momyer on the incident. Bob says that all of the crap about him being shot down, etc. and etc. is all bullshit. (I've seen the incident report - I've got it somewhere and it says the same thing.)  Bob says he believes that Meyer failed to pressurize the airplane and became hypoxic and passed out because his flying became erratic during the final minutes before he crashed.

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SamMcGowan   
SamMcGowan

I may have already posted this link, but if I did, here it is again. Several years ago someone sent me the accident report of the Meyer incident. A couple of years ago I uploaded it to the Internet. Here is the link - www.sammcgowan.com/meyers.html. If you've never read it, read it.

Remember one thing about the military - it is the most massive rumor mill in the world, ever.

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SamMcGowan   
SamMcGowan

I may have already posted this link, but if I did, here it is again. Several years ago someone sent me the accident report of the Meyer incident. A couple of years ago I uploaded it to the Internet. Here is the link - www.sammcgowan.com/meyers.html. If you've never read it, read it.

Remember one thing about the military - it is the most massive rumor mill in the world, ever.

I just read through the incident report and note that the transcription of the radio communications are not included. I have read it and I thought I had it. Meyer's last words to his wife were, i.e. "It looks like I've got a problem. I'll be right back after I take care of it."

What I posted goes back several computers. Someone, I forgot who, sent me the report back in late 2000 or early 2001 and I downloaded it onto my Compaq desk top. I replaced that computer with a DELL three or four years ago. The transcript may be on it. If I can find it, I'll upload it. If anyone else has it, perhaps they can upload it. The conversation with General Patterson was three years ago in October 2012 in Warner Robins. I believe Bob is planning to attend the TC/TAA convention in Little Rock this coming May. We were just BSing when he brought the incident up. Bob was one of those involved with the investigation. Although he was based at Lockbourne at the time, he was TDY to USAFE HQ and volunteered to brief General Momyer, the TAC commander, on the incident when he got to Germany. Momyer was very concerned about the morale of the troops and the incidents that led up to Meyer's actions.

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David.Bearden   
David.Bearden
On 12/16/2009 at 7:06 PM, bobdaley said:

I was in the 37 TAS from 69 to 73

Bob Daley

Bob, I was in the 37 TAS from 1970 to 72...

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warrior41882   
warrior41882

I was with the 463rd OMS 1981-83 Dyess AFB. 
I didn't get out much as I was ISO. I worked in the hanger doing heavy checks. 

I also heard a story of a Crew Chief taking a C-130 while on Rotation. 

It was all about his girl friend/wife. 

Probably folk lore. 

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bobdaley   
bobdaley

True story, Sgt Myers took 63-7789 from Moldyhole on 23 May 69. Ended up in the English Channel. Wife and booze problems.

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jconner2   
jconner2

Just came home from a vacation in Vancover and Victoria.  While in Victoria we took a bus tour to Buchart Gardens.  Th driver was English and I mentioned I had a business there in the 90's and was TDY to Mildenhall in the 60's.  He mentioned he worked for a newspaper near Mildenhall and had reported on the Paul Myer's story.  I mentioned that it was still a topic on the C-130 forum.  We had a nice discussion and it was quite a coincidence.  He remembered Paul's name.  Seems a really small world sometimes.

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MsgtRock   
MsgtRock
On 12/10/2009 at 10:14 AM, Fryguy said:

I was wondering if anyone has any info on a story about a crew chief taking off on one of the planes stationed at Mildenhall. I was stationed there 96-98 and that story surfaced. Any truth to that? Also, it was said that the plane was shot down. Thanks

 

Fryguy

 

Stolen C-130 starsstripes24may.jpg

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richard warrell   
richard warrell

I was an asst. crew chief on B-47s in the 509th BW at Pease AFB in the 60s when Paul showed up as a brand new 3 level. He was assigned to me for his 5 level training. Paul was an intelligent guy with a great sense of humor.  He fell off the right wing tip and shattered his elbow on his first day on the flightline! He went through his 5 level training with flying colors. I was so saddened upon hearing of his death. I contacted his son a few years back and they were in the process of having some divers trying to locate the wreckage. I never heard how they made out. If anyone knows anything i sure would like to know.   Richard E. Warrell ([email protected])  Thank you!

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