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Vietnam Vets.


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Just had a few thoughts I thought I would share with you and nothing big just thinking of the past. I suppose all you vets that came back from Vietam , where probably just like me. After I come back to the states I really never thought about Vietnam. For the rest of my career the subject just didn't seem to come up. After retiring from my civilian job with a lot of time on my hands I found the Herky Bird site and Vietnam came back to my memory like it was yesterday. There is no way we can thank Sam and Casey for all the work they have put in keeping this site going we all ouw lot to them.

Like a lot of flight engineers we have a maintenance background and a lot of us were crew chief's in SAC we went through flight engineer school. Then to Pope then straight overseas and were flying. Our first combat mission a few days later. I arrived in CCK the last of December 1966 after spending leave time at home for Christmas. When I flew my first mission out of CCK it was a local and it must have been six weeks since I have flown last and I felt like I forgot everything I was a nervous wreck the copilot started the check list and said GTC I sat there like a not only a log staring at the overhead panel I didn't have a clue where the gTC starts,switch which was. Finally, the copilot pointed to the The gtc start pannel. After I got it started I calmed down and everything seemed to come back but I will have to say I was embarrassed terribly. I flew my first combat mission out of Nha Trang it was a night mission and they started shoting at us right after lift off boy did I get my attention.

All of us, flight engineers were NCO as you well know. I will have to take my hat off to the loadmaster's. Most of them were two and three stripers didn't have a lot time in the service . And they were probably fresh out of loadmaster school. They were very young and they did a great job.

I came back to the states stayed about a year then went to Clark for two years when I came back from Clark I was at Little Rock and seen the first woman in a miniskirt and I'd never seen that before and I also noticed that all the men were wearing baseball caps.

This site has brought a lot of us together we have so much in common most of you guys seem like brothers I enjoy this site very much. I know that i have made typing mistakes and sometimes I don't spell correctly but none of you have chastised me and thank you for it. I am a great grandpa now, and like most of you flight engineers that were in Vietam we are in our 70's.

If any of you haven't Googled CCK AER BASE . Taiwan lately try it there is alot of new stuff on it. It even has some

herky bird post on it.

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Hell, anyone who can spell "chastised" correctly ain't that bad a speller.

Ya know, sometimes smells and sounds bring back memories of Vietnam. A few years ago, we had some sort of insect infestation here in Central Florida. The sounds of the Hueys and Gooney Birds spraying and their support vehicles, a couple of deuce and a half trucks brought back those memories.

Thankfully, I was a C-130B 3rd wiper back then and not some poor 17-year old grunt slogging through a rice paddy holding an M-16 over his head.

Don R.

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I hadn't heard of VietNam when I joined in Feb 63 and until an alert in Aug 64 was the first time I heard that word used. My chance to go to Clark was Oct64 till Jan 65. I was a 3 rd wiper.

I still got to do a lot of flying and got shot at thinking it was camp fires that I saw flashing through the tree limbs. The pilot told me we were over some sea and those flashes were people on boats shooting at us.

I got to go back to Naha in June 65 for 17 more months doing the same thing as I was doing at Clark.

When I got out in Dec 66 I would watch the weather and some local news and turn the TV off when the war news came on.

As for spelling I am one of the worst and someone rudely tried to scold me and then erased their post. I left mine up but it got deleted.

I enjoy this forum and can deal with the memories it brings back. I even went and got registered with the VA so I can use their medical facilities, if need be.

I have met some old friends on here but CRS has almost taken over.

Thanks to all that have made these forums what they are.

Don Myers

Thanks to all the Vets and other Military personell for what you have done and are now doing.

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CFisher, thanks for reminding us of the great web site we are all a part of. I want tothank all of you for the great info and entertainment provided here. Before Herkybirds I hadn't thought much about my time in service. You guys have triggered a lot of memories some painful but many more that were great. I know that all of you that spent time at CCK remember the time there fondly.

Wil

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Well, big picture, same but different nowadays. I'm almost half a 70 yr old FE, loads are still (mostly) young. Most of us FE's are prior MX, however I did meet a FE who was a prior personellist...whole other story. You guys paved the way, and I thank you for that. Some of the "hostile repair" procedures we have now are said to be a product of you guys.....

...I've seen it on here quite a bit, gotta ask...what are you guys talking about when you say "3rd wiper"? Never heard that since I've been around, probably some lingo of a bygone era. Oh, speaking of lost lingo, nowadays we aren't supposed to call the chowhall a chowhall, it's a "dining facility"....

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...I've seen it on here quite a bit, gotta ask...what are you guys talking about when you say "3rd wiper"? Never heard that since I've been around, probably some lingo of a bygone era. Oh, speaking of lost lingo, nowadays we aren't supposed to call the chowhall a chowhall, it's a "dining facility"....

3rd wiper = crew chief, assistant crew chief & 3rd wiper.

Don't get me started on "dining facility." How about "barracks" now being "dorms" like you're in college! Even the CBPO is called something else. And this may not be very PC, but are 702's still called titless WAFS? (That last one may be lost on a few of the younger guys.) Do they still have ORI's, MSET & ASET visits?

Don R.

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Back in the days when I was a crew chief in SAC. They gave you an aircraft and it was yours. You had a assistant crew chief and that was a official position. You were proud to have. You also had one or two helpers they were the lowest position on the aircraft. When you're aircraft came back from a mission it was yours to fix and you worked around the clock if necessary till it was ready to fly.We call the other people on the aircraft second and third wipers this wasn't a bad title they were good men they just didn't have a lot of experience. You didn't ask for any help from from other people. But it was good in a way when you're aircraft was ready to fly the whole crew was off till it was scheduled to fly I under stand why they finely had to change to a different system because the old way took so many more people. You had to be an NCO to be a crew cheif . I can rember when a lot of M/Sgt were crew cheif's You don,t hear of that to day

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I found your name's on the crew list. Capt. kitchen, AC Lieut. Anderson Gary L. CP Dykes Clifford E.Nav Guy William T. Sgt. flight engineer Brasfield Michael Sgt. loadmaster. I wish I could remember you all but it seems that time has erased my memory

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  • 2 years later...

I hesiteted for a few days before adding my thoughts. I do have a tendency toward hyperboll and thought I'd think before typing. My story is very much like those told here. Mostly ignored my SEA/Vietnam service, and when pressed I simply said it was early in the war and there wasn't much going on. As mentioned earlier, once retired from 30 years of driving a "big rig" my military service has come back to stay! I've been a part of the VA medical system for a few years now and that really made a "Vietnam veteran" out of me. However, what has really made me proud of my Vietnam War service was the discovery of my old aircraft in Peoria this past September, and the VIP treatment my wife and I received while there. Those new generation of USAF personell were truely interested in hearing all about me, my airplane, and they hung onto every word of the couple war stories I told. One of the young APs at the gate stoped me on the way in the second trip through the gate asking if I was the guy who served in Vietnam with that airplane in the park. Turns out that both of his grandfathers served in the South Vietnam Army, and he wanted to say "Thank You"! Came close to tears. So after nearly 50 years (can it really have been that long ago?) I can say with pride that I am a Vietnam War Veteran!

To all of you Vietnam Vets out there: Welcome home and job well done.....

tinwhistle (Chris)

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"AC Capt Kitchen" if that was Jim Kitchen, he is living over west of Fort Worth. Retired USAF LC and retired from TWA/AA

Bob

American Airlines not the other AA

Not sure if the same Kitchens or not, but back in 80ish time frame was flying a evening PP out LRF while in the 16th TATS. I had an IFE upgrade and a student FE in the seat. Heading up north to Blytheville AFB for the PP. Got a call from the LM that there was fluid streaming from the #3 engine. Went back and looked and it was a sheet of liquid streaming from the cowling seams. Checked the fuel gages and #3 tank was much lower than #2. They were pretty well balanced after TO. Advised caging #3 and heading back home.

Maintenance did a CND troubleshooting and tried to hand it back to us. Major K asked for my opinion and I told him that I don't advise it considering the circumstances and that they did nothing more than pressurize the fuel system and the T-handle was still pulled. Ended up refusing the aircraft and cancelling. Got our asses chewed the next day by the squadron CC, a LC. We explained what happened and the whys. CC still didn't like it, "maintenance said it was ok to go."

CC was a real d***. Maybe that's why we were on his shit list from then on. Anyway, Major Kitchens gained a lot of respect from me after that. A real stand up guy.

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Like you I came from SAc through Pope and on to the 776th at CCK. I am 76 now. My first goof was on my first flight out of CCK. On my preflight I noticed the back hatch was off. I asked the loadmaster to put it in when he got the door and ramp closed. Well he forgot it and so did I. On climb out the plane didn't pressurize very well. The load (Sgt Jones) came up into the cockpit mad as hell. Said he had one terrible time getting the hatch in since I had the controls on auto presssure. Oh Well. My nenmis was the nose gear lock which I constantly gorgot to remove. Thank heavens for loadmaster, he actually made a sign we hung on my seat.

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