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bobdaley
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New SEA questions;

Somewhere I had the name of the loadmaster on 62-1853 that was shot down at Soc Trang 12 Aug 72.

He was the only crew member who survived. Does anyone remember his name? Most of the crew were from the 776 TAS.

On 28 Apr 1975 during the Saigon evacuation 72-1297 was destroyed on the ramp at TSN. 72-1297 was a MAC aircraft from Little Rock, but I have seen it in 2 places that it was a 776 AS squadron aircraft. 776 was at Clark at the time so I was wondering if the crew were from 776 or if the 776 thing was a mistake.

Thanks

Bob

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Bob, I think part of the crew on 1853 belonged to the 50th. Capt. Ward & Msgt Tannehill were in the 50th when I left in Jan. 72. Capt ward was one of 2 student copilots with Maj. Blackmon in Aug & Sept 71, then we were split up to other crews. I do not know who the Lm was on 1853. I heard the name once but I didn\'t recognize him. He sure was a LUCKY guy that day!! I understand he was standing in the open paratroop door for take-off & was thrown clear....

Glenn

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  • 10 months later...

New SEA questions;

Somewhere I had the name of the loadmaster on 62-1853 that was shot down at Soc Trang 12 Aug 72.

He was the only crew member who survived. Does anyone remember his name? Most of the crew were from the 776 TAS.

On 28 Apr 1975 during the Saigon evacuation 72-1297 was destroyed on the ramp at TSN. 72-1297 was a MAC aircraft from Little Rock, but I have seen it in 2 places that it was a 776 AS squadron aircraft. 776 was at Clark at the time so I was wondering if the crew were from 776 or if the 776 thing was a mistake.

Thanks

Bob

FYI...the C-130E that was blownup (mortars) during Operation Frequent Wind while on the ground at TSN was not a 776TAS bird but one from the 314TAW/50TAS flown in from Little Rock. When it landed at Clark AB from the Rock, a 776TAS crew flew it into TSN. The AC was Capt Larry Wessels, whom I flew with at Clark and CCK. None of the LR crews ever flew into TSN, and I firmly believe the Herk was blown up due to misidentification by the NVM. You see, the 314TAW birds had the new MAC fin flash, yellow stripes bordering the black MAC, which is very similar to the ARVN flag. The mortar rounds tracked the C-130E while it was taxing into the ramp, so I think the NVM mistook it for an ARVN C-130. An interesting note: The C-130 loss report had the gross weight of the bird at >200K lbs...seems everything missing from the 374TAW was onboard the bird at that time...all written off due to combat loss.

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FYI...the C-130E that was blownup (mortars) during Operation Frequent Wind while on the ground at TSN was not a 776TAS bird but one from the 314TAW/50TAS flown in from Little Rock. When it landed at Clark AB from the Rock, a 776TAS crew flew it into TSN. The AC was Capt Larry Wessels, whom I flew with at Clark and CCK. None of the LR crews ever flew into TSN, and I firmly believe the Herk was blown up due to misidentification by the NVM. You see, the 314TAW birds had the new MAC fin flash, yellow stripes bordering the black MAC, which is very similar to the ARVN flag. The mortar rounds tracked the C-130E while it was taxing into the ramp, so I think the NVM mistook it for an ARVN C-130. An interesting note: The C-130 loss report had the gross weight of the bird at >200K lbs...seems everything missing from the 374TAW was onboard the bird at that time...all written off due to combat loss.

I was a Loadmaster in the 50th at the time this happened.

We had arrived at Clark the day before after flying from little Rock to March ,to Hickman with 12 hours on the ground then Midway on in to Clark.Long trip but quick.

The squadron was in the theator for incountry briefing with our first sorties to be flown that afternoon.During this briefing is when we got the word that all C-130 flights to TSN were cancelled and that one of our new aircraft had been destroyed.Nobody from Little Rock were aboard it.The 776 aircraft were in such bad shape that most of them were grounded for maintnece.They had flown the S--- out of them .

Never did get the full story but we had heard they had 2 Blu 82B's aboard when they got hit.

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I can remember going to Clark from Sewart in late 64 then going in country and haveing to remove broken starters, to put starter plates

on the engines and hi speed taxi to start some engines.

Also used a lot of generator plates too.

If we found a broken plane somewhere it was fair game for canabilisem.

One plane was on the side of the runway at CRB with the nose gear torn out and the windshields torn out from a cable and buldozer trying to get it off the runway.

That is the way I remember it.(CRS) has almost taken over my life.

Thats what I tell the wife anyway.

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Donwon wrote: "One plane was on the side of the runway at CRB with the nose gear torn out and the windshields torn out from a cable and buldozer trying to get it off the runway."

I think that was at Tuy Hoa. When I was there in '68 there was a hulk off the runway and we were told it had been basically destroyed by the Army trying to tow it using a bulldozer - first put the chains through the cockpit windows (we know how well that worked out), then they put them through the troop doors with similar results.. Bob Daley can probably fill out the details...

Jim Houston

LM - 776TAS 1968-69

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The only survivor on that crash was the LM, Jerry Weeks. I had to go in an pick,

up the engines, and other stuff a few day afterward, Got to visit Jerry in the hospital

in Saigon. He was in a full body cast. The Engineer I was flying with on that shuttle

was Cliff Ross.

Thanks Glenn,

One of the problems with old timers is now I have to try to remember who asked me that question?

Bob

Edited by bobdaley
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  • 1 month later...

I was at Clark when Bullwinkle was there. The story that was related to me was that 72-1297 had taxied in and they were to load the Blu 82 with the engine running and get out of there. The Blu 82 was nowhere to be found, so the (Kadena ?) crew shut down and went into Ops. That was when they nailed 1297.

I flew that plane several times at Little Rock. That was the cleanest C-130 I had ever seen. It was the CCs baby. He didn't like writeups, so you just had to leave him a note and he would bend over backwards to get you what you needed. Oh, and you better leave the cargo compartment as clean as you found it. After 1297 was blown up they gave him a crappy '64 E model.

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  • 2 months later...

I was a Loadmaster in the 50th at the time this happened.

We had arrived at Clark the day before after flying from little Rock to March ,to Hickman with 12 hours on the ground then Midway on in to Clark.Long trip but quick.

The squadron was in the theator for incountry briefing with our first sorties to be flown that afternoon.During this briefing is when we got the word that all C-130 flights to TSN were cancelled and that one of our new aircraft had been destroyed.Nobody from Little Rock were aboard it.The 776 aircraft were in such bad shape that most of them were grounded for maintnece.They had flown the S--- out of them .

Never did get the full story but we had heard they had 2 Blu 82B's aboard when they got hit.

I just found this thread, so in case it is still of interest, there were no Blu 82s on board when our plane was hit. We had just offloaded the Blu 82s on the otherside of the runway, had taxied to the other side, and were on our way to pick up pax when we got hit.

Doug Webster

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I was at Clark when Bullwinkle was there. The story that was related to me was that 72-1297 had taxied in and they were to load the Blu 82 with the engine running and get out of there. The Blu 82 was nowhere to be found, so the (Kadena ?) crew shut down and went into Ops. That was when they nailed 1297.

I flew that plane several times at Little Rock. That was the cleanest C-130 I had ever seen. It was the CCs baby. He didn't like writeups, so you just had to leave him a note and he would bend over backwards to get you what you needed. Oh, and you better leave the cargo compartment as clean as you found it. After 1297 was blown up they gave him a crappy '64 E model.

We were not to pick up a Blu 82, but to offload, which we did. We never went to base ops, nor was there a plan to do so. We were to offload ordanance, pick up pax, and leave, all engines running. When we got hit, we evacuated to the ramp area until hopping on the last plane that had been on the ramp when the mortars started.

Doug

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  • 2 months later...

I was on the aircraft, 64-0556, that picked up Wessel's crew after their aircraft, 72-1297, was indirectly hit by the B40 on the taxiway at VVVS. The members of my crew that I recall were Greg Chase, Lynn Spence, Hanson. We were assigned to the 21 TAS. The 374 TAW units participating in the airlift were 21 TAS, 776 TAS and, out of Kadena the 345 TAS. The 50 TAS had just arrived at Clark and had not flown into VVVS when the field finally closed the night of the attack.

We did not take a BLU-82 in; however, 72-1297 did. We arrived shortly after 72-1297 and were sitting at the loading area with the engines running and the ramp and door open waiting for our refugees. Greg told me to go out and talk to the CCT commander and see what the hold up was. I got about halfway to the jeep that the CCT was standing around when the first B40 rounds hit. The directive was if the field came under attack to get the airplane off the ground and back to RPMK. After the first rounds stopped, and they were reloading, I got up and started back toward my aircraft when I heard the engines winding down. My crew exited the aircraft via the ramp just as the second wave of rounds started to fall. Meanwhile the CCT commander was yelling get that f...... aircraft off my ramp. We got back in the aircraft but could not get the GTC started. As it turned out, in the heat of battle, it was forgotten that the GTC door was closed.

Meanwhile, we were watching 1297 taxi from the bomb dump over to the loading area. It was obvious that the NVA were trying for 1297. As we finally got the gang bang engine start process going we saw 1297 coming toward the loading ramp on the parallel taxiway. A B40 round hit just behind the right wing of the aircraft. Some shrapnel from the round went through the right wing from below. I remember seeing several streams of fuel coming out of the right wing as big as your arm. When the fuel reached the point on the taxiway where the round had hit, it ignited. Wessel's crew evacuated the aircraft and ran up the taxiway toward our aircraft. By this time we had all four running and were just holding for Wessel's crew. We couldn't reach anybody in Tiger Ops for obvious reasons. We taxied out and did a max effort take off and spiraled up over the field.

Once we were out of harms way and had enough altitude, we contacted Red Crown. Red Crown provided ATC and reliable NAVAIDS being all the in country NAVAIDS were unreliable having been over run by the rapidly advancing NVA. They informed us to go back and pick up the CCT. At this point we did not have enough fuel to comply. As it turned out, the Marines extracted the CCT via rotor wing the next day.

After we got settled down I remember Larry Wessels saying, "The Pubs officer is going to kill me because my pubs burned up with the aircraft." It's kind of strange how the mind works in times of stress.

72-1297 was a Little Rock bird painted with the new MAC stripe across the tail. The 374TAW's aircraft were still assigned to PACAF at the time of this occurrence. We went under MAC in June of that year. I remember Larry commenting that 1297 was a very low time aircraft and still had the new smell inside of it.

When we got back to Clark and debriefed Intel, I recall them speculating about it looking like a VNAF logo on the tail. There were also rumors that a COMSEC violation occurred disclosing the fact that the aircraft had a BLU-82 aboard. In any event, it was obvious that they were aiming for that aircraft.

I have attached a couple of photos that the CCT took of 1297 after sunrise. They are attached:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jimmie,

I was the navigator on 1297. I had always assumed we got a direct hit through the right wing. I don't recall having spoken to anyone on your crew about the incident afterwards, so I never heard the description you provided. After 35 years, it is good to hear the correct chain of events.

As a slight edit to the description, we initially exited the aircraft to a ditch just to the left of the taxiway (towards the runway and away from the loading ramps). Later on I heard from intel that that area had been mined! After a brief stop there, we ran to the ramp, and I am guessing we ended up about 50 yards from your plane. We were already there when we heard your GTC start. Prior to that we hadn't realized there was a crew there. I still remember squatting low on the ramp before hearing your GTC and having one of the two security police who were with us (to provide "crowd control" for the passengers) asking if they should fire back. I found this both amusing and incredulous at the same time. I have no idea what they were thinking of shooting at.

Doug

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1297 was the A/c that my sqd commander flew into Clark from here at the Rock.

I was on 1296 with the Ops officer. Both A/c had less then 1,500 hours on them. What a joy it was to fly such new A/C . The CC on 1297 was the CC that went to the factory and picked it up , if my old brain is remembering right.I believe he had a hangover for a couple weeks afterwards...

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JimH,

It was Tuy Hoa. Personal experience. I was crew chief flying with my acft, 55-0040 and I don't remember any of the crew's names. The AC took a voice vote for us all - asking if we wanted to risk the landing, etc. There was no lights on base, base was under fire and a damaged C-130 was just off the side of the runway. When they on the ground heard our Acft, they turned the Anti collision light on. Just above touchdown, the AC would turn out landing lights on, (we were blacked out also). It was the third try before we were lined up with the runway. One experience I will never forget. FYI as a crew chief, I was not on flight orders so I got no medal. Guess no one could add me after the fact, anyway the crew received the AF Cross, i believe if memory serves me correctly.

HighTide

Cecil Wayne Wright

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  • 4 months later...

JimH,

It was Tuy Hoa. Personal experience. I was crew chief flying with my acft, 55-0040 and I don't remember any of the crew's names. The AC took a voice vote for us all - asking if we wanted to risk the landing, etc. There was no lights on base, base was under fire and a damaged C-130 was just off the side of the runway. When they on the ground heard our Acft, they turned the Anti collision light on. Just above touchdown, the AC would turn out landing lights on, (we were blacked out also). It was the third try before we were lined up with the runway. One experience I will never forget. FYI as a crew chief, I was not on flight orders so I got no medal. Guess no one could add me after the fact, anyway the crew received the AF Cross, i believe if memory serves me correctly.

HighTide

Cecil Wayne Wright

No Naha crew and no A-model crew was ever awarded the Air Force Cross. Shortly after we started operating out of Cam Ranh, the Air Force established a major base at Tuy Hoa complete with a hard-surface runway and a wing of F-100s. Tuy Hoa was on the coast and was hardly a forward area. ARRS had HC-130s there and for a time in '68 there was a C-130 operating location there. A couple of HC-130s were knocked out there by rockets during Tet '68. Before the new base opened we used the short runway that had been built by the French or Japanese. John Butterfield ran off the end of it when one of his props hung up on the low-pitch stop. That was the one that was towed with tanks and chains, but it was by Army troops, not Marines. Binh Tuy was down in the Delta and was an around the clock base with a lighted runway. We went in and out of there at night all the time. They had a couple of squadrons of A-1s there.

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  • 3 years later...

Jimmie,

I was the navigator on 1297. I had always assumed we got a direct hit through the right wing. I don't recall having spoken to anyone on your crew about the incident afterwards, so I never heard the description you provided. After 35 years, it is good to hear the correct chain of events.

As a slight edit to the description, we initially exited the aircraft to a ditch just to the left of the taxiway (towards the runway and away from the loading ramps). Later on I heard from intel that that area had been mined! After a brief stop there, we ran to the ramp, and I am guessing we ended up about 50 yards from your plane. We were already there when we heard your GTC start. Prior to that we hadn't realized there was a crew there. I still remember squatting low on the ramp before hearing your GTC and having one of the two security police who were with us (to provide "crowd control" for the passengers) asking if they should fire back. I found this both amusing and incredulous at the same time. I have no idea what they were thinking of shooting at.

Doug

The crew of 1297 was

FP Wessels, Larry W.

CP Kronemeyer, Douglas K.

XCP Cleland, David J. Jr.

NN Webster, Douglas W.

FE Taylor, Larry D

LM Thomas, W.Allan

I actually still have a copy of the flight orders as well as pictures of the aircraft after the attack.

My recollection of the mission is slightly different in some areas as discussed above. We were a relief crew for a mission of three aircraft that were to carry BLU-82s into TTN and back haul passengers. Our mission was put on hold due to the fact TTN had been attacked by A-37s that had been captured at DaNang. We were finally released and 1297 was the third bird in the stream. The over-water flight was relatively calm. Nothing but scattered thunder storms. We had been issued kevlar vests, steel pots and survival vests with .38 pistols. No one wanted to suit up, but I did put my kevlar vest on. The survival vests were all stored in a large metal container which I placed on the cargo floor next to the crew entrance, and none of the crew ever accessed them, even after the AC was hit by artillery. I was the officer that signed for them, and later had to certify that they were destroyed in the wreckage, as well as the FF transponder. We had two Security Police on board, armed with M16s.

When we coasted in we contacted Red Crown and they were calling active SA32 sites to the west and north of TTN about 40 miles away. They were also reporting active 37 and 57 radar cans. The TTN controller wanted to set us up with vectors to an ILS. We instead chose standard op combat approach. We flew overhead the field and depressurized at 14K. Bleeds off. We experienced numerous golf balls slightly to our north, but they did not go above about 10K. They were probably 37s. We spiraled down and landed. There were numerous fires still burning on the airfield. We taxied to the bomb dump and offloaded the BLU-82. We taxied to go pick up paxs.

While on the parallel taxiway, I notices what I thought was a fountain of sparks at the very end of the taxiway, which was about a mile away. I had no idea what it was. The FE then immediately said we were being rocketed and to get out of here. Wessel’s made the decision to take off from the current position from the taxiway. The FE immediately told him we did not have enough taxiway, so he aborted.. I could see a very orderly path of artillery rounds marching down the centerline of the taxiway, about 50 yards between them. We all very calmly watched them. I saw the last round hit about 30 yards in front of us and them I was slammed into my right arm rest. I cursed, and the LM called out that we were hit and to evacuate. Wessel’s ordered an emergency shutdown. The crew exited and formed up in a ditch to the forward left of the aircraft. We agreed to go to the pickup pt and we all started jogging. We located the CCT at their jeep. At that time there was a long burst of automatic weapons fire. The CCT team called out to hit the deck. After that we looked on the ramp and noticed there was a C-130. We did not know if it was a VNAF. We decided that if it was a VNAF, that our SP’s would take it by force if necessary. It turns out it was a 21TAS aircraft that had rode out the barrage. I think they were #2 in the stream. #1 had already departed. They offered us a ride out.

During the takeoff roll I had walked up to the cockpit, and I could not believe the number of artillery rounds that were impacting on the runway in front and around us. It is amazing that we were not destroyed. We continued to circle up to 14K. I remember looking down at the field out the left side door, and noticed rounds still impacting the field. It is amazing that we survived.

I have a picture of the crew, the crew orders , and pictures taken by the CCT of the aircraft immediately after it was hit and burning, plus what was finally left.

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No Naha crew and no A-model crew was ever awarded the Air Force Cross. Shortly after we started operating out of Cam Ranh, the Air Force established a major base at Tuy Hoa complete with a hard-surface runway and a wing of F-100s. Tuy Hoa was on the coast and was hardly a forward area. ARRS had HC-130s there and for a time in '68 there was a C-130 operating location there. A couple of HC-130s were knocked out there by rockets during Tet '68. Before the new base opened we used the short runway that had been built by the French or Japanese. John Butterfield ran off the end of it when one of his props hung up on the low-pitch stop. That was the one that was towed with tanks and chains, but it was by Army troops, not Marines. Binh Tuy was down in the Delta and was an around the clock base with a lighted runway. We went in and out of there at night all the time. They had a couple of squadrons of A-1s there.

Sam,

The HC130s that were destroyed at Tuy Hoa were hit in June (or July) of '68. I was there on rotation from CCK that night. My FE (who was a tank commander in Korea) woke me up and said to follow him to the bunker - he said he was quite familiar with "incoming" and that's what the noise was! The next morning 2 of the HCs were destroyed. Here are some pictures I took when we taxied out the next day.. also, the C130 Operating Location at Tuy Hoa was there for the whole 13 months I was at CCK (Jan '68 to Feb '69) and was still going when I left (Det 3 (prov) 834 Air Division).

Jim Houston

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1297 Copilot

I have been studying Operation Frequent Wind lately and I enjoyed the telling of your experience. As a FE from that entered the AF in the early 1980's the lessons and experience you guys shared with me on the Herk gave more knowledge than I ever would have received from a book or manual. Personally I want to say thank you. I could have never done what I had done without the knowledge you guys shared on the operation of the C- 130. So from another veteran, thank you Sir...

I would enjoy hearing more of your take on things about Operation Frequent Wind. I wonder what the traffic was like on the inbound/outbound legs into TSN? Did you see much over Saigon? I bet the radio's were busy. Also did you see any of the SVN Huey's departing and heading out to the carriers?

Also, were you guys really going to acquire if it was a VNAF C-130? Did you guys really think you could fly that A model? I guess you would have found out... Brave...

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