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Air America C-130s

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Vince,

It depends on the time frame in question whether or not E Flight has Super"E" models, as another post indicated we had them when I was in E Flight in the 80s. I do, however, agree with your comments on people assuming they know what E flight did. The mission of E Flight changed over the years, and it continued on in a different role after the Vietnam era.

Doug

The C-130E's that were at CCK were not Super"E" models. They were just plain "E" models. The tail numbers were 62-1859,63-7868,63-7879,64-0497,and 64-0515 that were mostly assigned and used by E-Flight for all Clandestine missions in Taiwan,Korea,Thailand, Laos and other places in Asia. All aircraft were painted anti-corrosion GRAY and had detachable Stars and Bars and Tail numbers held on with screws and rivet nuts. For the person that desputed the Air America WebSite Dr.Leeker's info,I would say that Dr. Leeker was "Mostly Right" in the Bio that he talked about.There are still many "Projects" that us E-Flight personnel can not tell the media even till this day.

There are many people that "assume" what E-Flight did and also have ideas coined up by non-E Flight USAF personnel. The only personnel that can vouch for OUR WORK are the Air America and E-Flight maintenance and flight crews that bravely flew and maintained these aircraft and helped many hundreds of thousands of of people in East ,South, and South East Asia .

The only people that understand this are the people that were with E-Flight special projects.

Sincerely

Vince Acquaviva Jr ( former CCK and Clark E-Flight)

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"E Flight"'s involvement with C-130s actually started in 1958 or 59 after Billie Mills worked with CIA people out of Peterson Field, CO. He and his crew then took an airplane to Japan and worked with pilots from Civil Air Transport and taught them how to fly the C-130. Billie told me that most of those guys had thousands of hours of flying time dating back to WW II. The CAT pilots were based in Tokyo and came down to Kadena to pick up the airplanes, then flew with them and a USAF crew from the 21st TCS to Taklhi, then took them on missions into Tibet. When CAT was spun off, the C-130 operation went to Air America. The mission operated for about 12-14 years with A-models. Much of the mission has been documented. For instance, Heinie Aderholt (who just passed away this week), documented it in his biography AIR COMMANDO ONE. Heinie commanded the unit at Kadena and was, in his words, "the customer." E Flight as a special flight was established in 1960. Before that, the entire 21st TCS was involved in covert operations. After the Laotian civil war the Air America/CAT-flown C-130s got involved in operations into Laos, where the US was not supposed to be. Operations into Tibet continued into the mid-60s, but seem to have been infrequent. E Flight was only one of a number of military units that provided airplanes of various types for CIA use. For that matter, they used airplanes from a number of sources. The first civilian Herk operated in SEA wearing the colors of Alaska Airlines.

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Over in Desert Storm, with the 345th TAS / 374 TAW, we were sitting in the truck one day an this little guy named vinnie from I think Willow Grove (reserve C-130 unit) told us that 63-7879 and 64-0497 were ex Air America birds. We said 'no way' but then he pointed out that those two acft didnt have data plates in the flt deck. He told us he worked them in Vietnam before they got 'reassigned'.

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Yes,

There was a guy by the name of "Vinny". It was "ME", Vince Acquaviva from Willow Grove Air Reserve Station in Penna, and like I said before 63-7879 and 64-0497 were E-Flight aircraft when I was at CCK and later Clark before I discharged.

Most of our E-Flight aircraft were "sanitized and the data plates were one of the items. It was great to work with the 374th again when we were at Thumrait during Desert Storm.

Many people do not know that there are still Vietnam Vets still working on C-130's in the Air Force Reserve and Air Guard. I was able to see daily and photograph former E-Flight 63-7868 at Al-Udied during my Last Tour before I retired in 2007.

Thanks for bring back some memories of working with the 374th again.

Sincerely

Vince Acquaviva (E-FltatCCK)

former E-Flight and 913AW Willow Grove PA

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"All aircraft were painted anti-corrosion GRAY and had detachable Stars and Bars and Tail numbers held on with screws and rivet nuts."

The 130th got our E models from Clark in '75. The unit they were assigned to was deactivated and sent to Clark. Two of those planes had the rivet nuts where the National Star insignia went. Some folks that were around those planes in SEA always said those two had been "gray birds". All planes were '62 E models. 62-1804, 62-1824,62-1784,62-1787,62-1788, 62-1790, 62-1795 and one more that was 62-17xx. Maybe RZ or John Wilson will remember. They all went to Little Rock for the ANG school unit. 1804 & 1824 were delivered new to Charleston AFB, SC in '63 and started out as MAC birds..

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Dave. are you afflicted with CRS? The other acft in the group was 62-1798.

I think all of them had the nutserts around the "stars and bars".

Sure were pieces of crap when we got them 84 was a corrosion nightmare, but they eventually worked into great acft that we could take anywhere with pride!.

RZ Hill

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This airplane has a great history and should be in an air park with a discription of its history.

It was the plane that on the last day of the VN war was motared at Delat Cam Ly and received major damage but was flown out to NKP on three engines and loss of utility hyd system, then used as a gray bird in the late 70s.

It is now at LRAFB school and about a year age suffered an inflight roll back of all four engines...due to the high skill and knowledge of the crew the plane was safely recovered and landed back at LR.

The C-130 has shown a great deal of empathy for the crews and has saved many crew lives in its ability to continue to fly with severe problems.

Muff

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Dave, 1798 was the one that came back from depot with the "refurbed" left wing that had numerous scab patches on the upper wing surface. It also was the one with the "loose" truss mount for #1 engine that showed some weird vibrations. Didn't like that acft much, came home once with 14 red x items.

RZ , you still postin?

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When I was a Crew Chief on 62-1804 until June 1970 it wasn't in E-Flight or an Air America bird and was still camo. When did they change that? Now, (at least less than a year ago), it is at Little Rock. Bobby Dugger a loadmaster sent me some very nice pics of it!

Of course now it is gray!!

Just one of the things that I do know that CRS hasn't screwed up yet.

Ken

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Hey, Jon,

I was an E-Flight propeller technician while assigned to Clark AB from 75-78. I'm trying to find any declassified info out there, so I can finally tell my wife what we did whenever we would disappear for a week. I checked out the Air America website, but couldn't find the C-130 E-Flight section. I, too, was proud to wear that little cobra!

My TS helped me get my SCI, and that got me an assignment to a new ESC unit for a couple years.

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Hey, Jon,

I was an E-Flight propeller technician while assigned to Clark AB from 75-78. I'm trying to find any declassified info out there, so I can finally tell my wife what we did whenever we would disappear for a week. I checked out the Air America website, but couldn't find the C-130 E-Flight section. I, too, was proud to wear that little cobra!

My TS helped me get my SCI, and that got me an assignment to a new ESC unit for a couple years.

patrick29,

I have a couple of things about Air America that I can send to you. Contact me @

dutch65625@centurytel.net.

"Dutch"

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Dave,

I was with E-Flight for about almost 3 years at CCK and our early move to Clark in 74. Our "E" Model Greybirds were 62-1859,63-7868,63-7879,64-0497,and 64-0515. Thay all had the"removable Stars and Bars and Tail Numbers" and were painted anti corrosion light gray.

All 5 were GREAT E-Models to work on and I have seen them after my active duty stint when I was in the USAF Reserves.

64-0497 and 63-7879 were assigned at Yokota and went to Thumrait, Oman when my Willow Grove "E" Model Unit the 913th was with them together during Desert Storm. 62-1859 went to the Nevada Air Guard at Reno. 63-7868 went to Rhode Island then to Dyess which I saw when I was at Al-Uhdid,Qutar in 2006. 64-0515 went to Maryland AirGuard,then to Puerto Rico Air Guard. . I would assume all these GREAT E-Models are AMARC now in Arizona.

I was first assigned to the "A" Flight at CCK and an assistant C/Chief on 62-1804 . I recognise all the 62's that you talk about and I think I have blanket orders somewhere that has the names of each Crew Chief and Assistant in the Flight.

http://www.utdallas.edu/library/collections/speccoll/Leeker/c130.pdf is the website pdf that shows the that c-130's that E-Flight used.

Sincerely

Vince

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EFLTatCCK, (Vince) and others good to see you finally somewhat opening up about E=Flight, while I was at Naha, 68 to 70 we had 2 A/C electricians flying with E-flight "A" model Silver Birds, never could get anything out of then only they left sometimes late late at night with no ID's on their flight suits. Vinnie, was great to serve with you at the Grove those 20 years before BRAC got to us!! Enjoyed Desert Shield / Storm with the Yakota guys at Thumbrait! 374 FMS Sparkchaser!

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I suppose the Talon 1's i worked at Clark back in 1984 & 85 were some of the original E Flight Birds, We even called the guys that were designated to work them as E Flight Mechanics! They made us slick mechanics work them also and i remember removing the removable panels and we used to stash them under upper crew bunk! This i am sure was after the real E Flight had gone away. The birds that had the removable panels when i worked them were not Talon 1's but H model's! Once the 1St SOS was formed they all went over to their control and i missed that because the FE's were some great guys that really just wanted to turn and burn and left all the BS back in the Op's room! Did any of your guys remember a Mr Doble? He worked for AA and the Embassy their in Thailand after he retired and he would take care of us when we would visit Shot A HIP? One retired american had a restaurant just up the road from there that his Family owned and ran but i forgot his name also? When we passed thru we always stopped by and had a wonderful meal at his restaurant/house! Before going into Pattaya Beach!

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Three of the Talon 1's at Clark in 1984 & 1985 were previously Heavy Chain airplanes, not E Flight aircraft. Aircraft 64-0571 was not previously a Heavy Chain, but was especially modified as an equivilent, to replace 64-0564, which was lost in 1981. The configuration reference of those four aircraft was Rivet Yank. There were no crew bunks on the flight deck of Talon 1's in that time frame.

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This was the C-130A I was assigned to (Silver Bird) while I was in 21st E-Flight in 68-69. That is in between Cam Rahn, Tan Son Nuht, & Ubon Blind Bats

Lockheed C-130A 56000503 3111 14 June 67 ex 317TCW, Lockbourne

AFB, OH

Service history: transferred from the 317th TCW, Lockbourne AFB, OH, to the 374th

TCW, Naha, on 24 May 67 (67144); based at Cam Ranh Bay between 12 and 14 June

67 (67163-65); back to Naha on 14 June 67, most probably to E-Flight/21st TCS; to

REC2-service with the 374th TCW, Naha, between 21 June and 9 September 67

(67172-252), that is probably bailed to Air America on 21 June 67; on 31

December 67, the Wing became 374th TAW, Naha; to WRAAR, Naha, for overhaul

between 31 March and 11 April 68 (68091-102); transferred to the 51st Fighter

Interceptor Wing, Naha, for maintenance, between 28 May and 10 June 68 (68149-

62); possibly used by Air America out of Takhli (T-05) in December 68 as 605;

delivered to Lockheed Martin Aircraft Center, Greenville, SC, for overhaul on 18

April 69 (69108); arrived there on 22 April 69; redelivered from Greenville to the

374th TAW, Naha, on 24 July 69 (69205), reentering CA-service at Naha on 30

August 69 (69242); used by Air America out of Takhli (T-05) in November and

December 69; to E-Flight/21st TAS/F2-service, that is believed bailed to Air

America between 31 January and 10 June 70 (70031-70161); transferred for VKmaintenance

to the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Naha, between 9 and 21 July 70

(70190-202); then back to the 374th TAW, Naha; no other rotations or movements in

1967-1970.21

Fate: transferred to 139th TAS, Schenectady County Airport, NY, on 19 April 71

(71109, that is much later than the other 374th TAW C-130As); to AMARC, Davis-

Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ, in December 91 as CF101; current in October 97.

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