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Pat Hatch
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Hey Guys,

I ran across your forum today and decided to join. Thanks for having me!

I flew C-130E's in the '60s. Spent a year at CCK in the 50th (1967-1968) and then went back to the 61st at Sewart and moved to Little Rock in 1970. I was an instructor in the school squadron (4442nd) when I got out of the Air Force in 1971.

Retired in 2005 after a career in corporate aviation. But I never got over my love affair with the Herk--first love and all that, I guess. What blows my mind is that it is still going strong after all these years with no end in sight.

Just wanted to introduce myself and say hey. :)

Edited by Pat Hatch
typo
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Thanks, guys, I appreciate the hospitality.

Like many of you who were at Sewart, I married a Nashville girl, and as you might imagine her family was really affected by the floods. One of her schoolmates was unfortunately one of the drowning victims over the weekend. She and her husband were on the way to church when their car was caught up in a flash flood. Their bodies were found on Monday.

I'm a little bit disappointed by the lack of media coverage the flooding has received so far. You can draw your own conclusions, but as someone else said, there was no looting or crime spree, so no story. I am gratified by how the folks have pulled together and pretty much taken care of themselves.

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Welcome Pat. Bid you by any chance know a Jack Hilton? He was in the 4442nd OMS.

Last time I saw him he was an e5 same as a staff sargent while I was in. He had a 67 or 68 malibu ss and he came to the Davie Crocket hotel where me and my wife stayed a few days in 68. He was from around Ashville Nc. and we joined about the same time. We were also about the same age.

After I got out in nov.66 I talked to his mother several times and one time she told me he was in SEA. I don't know if PCS or TDY.

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Welcome

Are you the Pat Hatch who flew 62-1861 the day it got shot up?

Bob

Yeah, hi Bob. That's me. I was just speaking of you last night with Bob Woods who mentioned that you were on this site. I mentioned to Bob that you and I have a friend in common. I was telling Bob Woods about my wife being from Tenn and how her best friend also married an Air Force guy and thus we have all been good friends for all these years. Anyway, if you haven't guessed who it is by now, he was in Caribou school about the same time I was in C-130 school at Sewart. We were dating roommates (and schoolmates) and we both ended up marrying them. So I just got off the phone with Father Felton who told me to tell Father Bob Daley hi! Felton Havins is also retired from Southwest, of course, and he and Mary Catherine live here in Vero Beach. They are up in Nashville at the moment trying to dry out their kid's house that got totally flooded out. He just told me that their house is a total loss and they had no flood insurance. So dad must come to the rescue! Anyway, he's got them in a rental for the time being. It happened so fast that the only thing they were able to rescue were the animals, family photographs, and important papers. They are just going to walk away from the house, I guess; homeowner's insurance will not cover anything.

Felton said the last he knew you were living in the Dallas, TX area. Said he'd like to hear from you. Please explain the "Father" title that you have for each other!

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Welcome Pat. Bid you by any chance know a Jack Hilton? He was in the 4442nd OMS.

Last time I saw him he was an e5 same as a staff sargent while I was in. He had a 67 or 68 malibu ss and he came to the Davie Crocket hotel where me and my wife stayed a few days in 68. He was from around Ashville Nc. and we joined about the same time. We were also about the same age.

After I got out in nov.66 I talked to his mother several times and one time she told me he was in SEA. I don't know if PCS or TDY.

Thanks, Don. I can't say that I remember Jack Hilton, but then my memory ain't what it used to be! I was paired up with a great FE at the time, but for the life of me, I can't remember his name. He and I would team up to teach systems to our student pilots, and he was really a knowledgeable guy. For years I've been trying to remember his name, and I wish I knew what became of him. Heavy set guy with a pencil thin mustache, thinning blond hair. I don't know if there's any way to go back in the records and see the names of the instructor FEs at the time. Funny, too, because I kept a log book and I have every C-130 flight that I ever made with a/c tail numbers and all. I note that I wrote down the names of all of my student pilots that I graduated, but for some reason, I didn't include his name. Maybe someone here on the list might remember him. That would be quite a find for me!

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Hi Pat

Father Bob was the name I got tagged with at Langley. Being a shy bachelor Second Lt I don't how I became the squadron chaplain. It followed me to SW airlines and the Reserves and Guard. Obviously people making up stories. I do think in Felton's case though he may have been a father figure to many of the stewardess's at SWA.

Bob

Say hi to Felton for me, I was in Nashville Thursday, what a mess!! We are till in Dallas

Edited by bobdaley
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Welcome.....I was at CCK from Feb 67 to May 68. Loadmaster in the 345th. Returned to Sewart for discharge in June of 68.

Hi Mike,

One of the copilots in the 345th was Captain Erle Bjorke; I wonder if you knew him. He was killed at Khe San in 1967, you probably recall the incident. He was a good friend and classmate at pilot training. Great guy, he left behind a wife and baby girl. Everyone was killed except the AC. The aircraft impacted near the end of the runway on a GCA approach to a drop. That baby girl now has 3 girls of her own; she had been in touch with some of us a while back seeking information about her dad.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Pat.....nice to share information with you. My AC was Capt Gerald Kitchen, Co-pilot was Capt. Gary Anderson and Nav was Capt Clifford Dykes.

I enjoyed flying with Capt Kitchen. He was an IP as well as all the crew were instructions except our FE. I though Capt. Kitchen had some "balls". One night we were at Danang as it started to get dark. There were only 2 birds left on the ramp as every night the base was taking rockets so it was supposed to be cleared of aircraft before dark each night. We couldn't start #3. We even tried to get an "air start" from the next to last herkybird on the base. He backed up and spun #3 with his prop wash but the engine would not light off. Rather than leave the aircraft exposed we taxied by the tower with 1 and 4 turning and ended up taking of (aircraft was empty) with #3 standing at attention. As soon as I blocked the wheels at Cam Rahn Bay the OIG rolled up and took the AC in for questioning. It seems someone from the flight deck called in the incident to some one in OPS.

Many years later I saw a film of the history of the C-130 on history channel (Wings). It detailed our adventures at Khe Sahn and darn if Capt. Kitchen wasn't in the film helping PAX's in through the rear troop door. I think he saw the film crew and hammed it up for the movie.

Great times and great crew members back then.

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Welcome to the site, I'm also new here.

I was to young for Vietnam (turned 50 June 24th), but love reading all the story's everyone tells. What is really cool is that most of the aircraft all you older guys flew are still in service and as a crew chief on herks for 21 years I more than likely worked on or even crewed those very same aircraft.

The newest herk I ever worked were 1973 super E's (EC-130H compass call)But the coolest thing is that you guys were able to play with those herks when they were new...

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