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Muff Millen

CDS targets

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It was low level wind shear. I had just checked out as an IP then and was somewhere back in the gaggle and dropped short too. After the drops, the IG wanted to go fly and drop and see what the matter was. They put together an all instructor crew. Gene Johnson as AC, me as CP and Bob "The Cobra" Jackson as Nav went up and flew with 2 TAC Colonels watching us. We dropped short again. Cobra called the drop using the winds from the DZ which were light and variable, but the doppler showed a 40 knot head wind.

The Aerial port guys hid the fact that Crafts load was so far away. I don't remember whether we got away with it or if we had a retake on the night HE. I remember an ORI practice at Langley when I had to be an IP riding CP for Leroy, that was scary!!

Bob

We used to use Blackstone AAF on Camp Pickett VA back then most of the time.

My favorite 37th drop story was the time we flunked the ORI at Pope in 71.

All 9 heavy equipment loads landed and short of the DZ, and Bob Craft and Chuck Slagle were the winners, 5 miles short of the DZ on the front steps of some families trailer. But they dropped on time.

Bob

Bob

I was on the DZ when this drop happened. We (CCT and IG team member) were standing on the IP and watched the lead bird (flown by our SQ CC LTC Martin) fly over head and then the load come out. At the time we thought we were going to be hit so we ran like hell to the side of the DZ. To our surprise NONE of the loads landed on the DZ. I got in the Jeep and raced backed to the base and met LTC Matrin and told him that none of the loads hit the DZ -- he looked like a Ghost! But as I recall they went back and checked with the WX guys/gals and found a low level wind sheer and as all the drops were spont on were lead dropped we ended up with a PI and passed that ORI. I do have some pic's somewhere of the assualt landings -- by-the-by Martin landed long :)

Edited by bobdaley

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When I was at Pope, I had the opportunity to do a Saturday Fun Jump for the 82nd. We didn't have great weather that day and ended up flying a NS IMC AWADS drop. CCT was pretty emphatic the first pass over on how great a drop it was with a PI. We racetracked to get the rest of the troops out and dropped 2 miles short (same aircraft, same nav, same equipment).

But that was the nature of AWADS with the ASN-24 in the early 80s. It was very complicated and very unreliable. If you had an experienced Nav, you might have a chance if you had problems. But if you had a young inexperienced Nav, forget about it.

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:) WHEN THEY STOPPED LANDINGS AT KHE SANH MID JAN 68, WE DID CDS. ALTITUDE WAS APPROX 500 FT . WE DID THE BALISTIC TESTS AT POPE IN 65-66. WHEN TAPE GATE WAS CUT LOAD WAS CONFIGURED SO MAIN CANOPY DEPLOYED AND BUNDLE TOOK 1/2 TUMBLE THEN HIT GROUND. IT WAS PRETTY ACCURATE. OF COURSE I'M MUCH OLDER AND THE MEMORY ISN'T COMPLETLY GONE. AT POPE WE PRACTICED WITH RAILROAD TIES.

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Jack: I think it was mid Feb '68 when they stopped the landings at Khe Sanh, because I landed there on Feb 10... my first mission incountry - we took a round through the fuselage that hit the AF Photographer standing next to me (hit him in the calf - would have been my ankle if he hadn't been there!)... interesting introduction to the Tuy Hoa mission!!

Jim Houston

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I made quite a few CDS drops over Khe Sanh during Feb/Mar 1968. Both practice at CCK and actual combat drops were well below 10,000 feet. I took some movies of the loads leaving the C-130E and the chutes fully open just prior to hitting the ground. I would say no more than 1,000 to 1,500 feet max.

When approach Khe Sanh DZ we would always confirm color smoke and then drop our load. On one particular drop the DZ command post did not comfirm drop pattern or "on target" reply after our load was delivered. Standard procedure was to hold over target until confirmation. After some time we finally received a confirmation from the ground on the FM radio (walkie-talkie). Seems a "streamer" took out the radio communications jeep. We were asked to drop a "new jeep" with radio communications gear on our return trip.

On a different drop we were delivering a fully load of 105mm rounds. While rigging the load the AC came to me (Loadmaster) and asked what to expect. That this was going to be his first "full load" combat drop. I advised him that he could expect a completely loaded aircraft with the CG sitting on the ramp at "green light" Well this was one drop I filmed. When the load was on the ramp all the camera was showing was the ground below. When the load cleared I went weightless and the camera caught nothing but clear blue sky.

After landing the AC came to me and his face was like someone with the flu, no color. He said had he not been warned about the radical change in flight characteristics we would have stalled and probably crashed. Not comforting news for me because we were rigging for another sortie.

Khe Sanh caused us to develop many types of new delivery (air and ground) in order to spend little or no time stationary on the ramp. Our "motor magnets" were too big of a target for the VC to miss. On most occasions, when we touched the runway, we were on rotation while our doors were coming closed. I would release the load manually and the piolt hit the throttle(s) and the load just slid off the door. The FE's had designed skids (like sled runners) on the bottom of the rear door. The door was lowered to the ground while we taxied and I would manually release the load. The pilot would then throttle up and the load would slide out the back while we kept moving. On one of the "non-stop" off loads we were delivering a full load of 175mm projectiles. One pallet broke loose and these 205lb shells went spinning all over the ramp. The Marines were jumping and hopping all over the ramp in order to avoid being hit by our load. Thankfully no one was injured, only our pride took a hit.

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