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Mt.crewchief

Loadmaster Question----Viet Nam era

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Jim,

Do you happen to have any pics of a Med Evac configuration and also one of Max Pax?

I took pics of almost everything while I was there, but usually didn't bring my camera when I was recovering my plane!!

Thanks,

Ken

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Oh, yeah that's what I remember, too. I can almost smell them %$@#*. One question, Jim, is the picture with the prisoners reversed?? Looks the floor at the crew entrance door is on the right instead of the left. or maybe it's an english C-130?? LOL

Giz

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Yeah, GALLEY FLOOR that is what I was tryin' to remember. Thanks again for bringin' back another little tidbit of my life so long ago. That is what I like most about this site

Giz

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Sometime in 66 our crew was sent to Loc Ninh to transport the army. When we got there my A/C was put in charge of the airlift operation. We flew about 2 missions to An Khe and then sat on the ground to coordinate the loading of the C-130's B's & E's. I believe the army general's name was Rosenberg (?) who was commander of the operation. As it was late in the day the rear guard started coming out of the bush. There were 150 troops and they were told to bring all of their equipment and get on our B model. Any one not able to get on the plane would be left there for the night, no choppers were available. I put them on the flight deck, on the upper cargo door and jammed them into the cargo compartment. I climbed into the left paratroop door and closed it. We started engines and went to An Khe. After that when Rosenberg needed a ride on a C-130 he requested our crew if we were in country.

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Our E-Flight birds had slick floors the first 4 years I flew on them. We used skate wheels to load everything using teak/mahogany plywood as our pallet and then loaded warehouse pallets side by side on them. Got lots of practice with chain gates!! Loaded many loads of RVN troops either floor loaded or on bare pallets with straps for lap belts. My favorite place to sit was on the aft overhead escape hatch step. I could lean back and just keep my pistol on my belly in case someone wanted to be difficult. Never had to use it on a passenger, but used the fire extinguisher on some unruly prisoners one time. The huge (for a Vietnamese) QC guard was clubbing them with his baton, so I thought the fire extinguisher would work better and maybe keep someone from getting beat to death. Worked great and the QC was appreciative. I very seldom used the J-bar on C-130s but used the hell out of it on C-5s.

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Gizzard: You're right - the picture got flipped when I scanned in my slides .. here's the right way. Also, the prisoners before they got on the airplane..

Jim Houston

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We did one cram-all standup pax run that was so full we couldn't run the straps. At the last moment they added a K-9 and guard; which cleared up about 10 feet on the ramp.

Hardest load was a road grader with a flat tire. The thing was basically a motor on a steel frame, with a blade. They had added a lead bar to weight down the front and never noted it. I had them back it in thinking the weight distribution was normal. Started raising the ramp and nothing was happening. Looked up front and the nose wheel was about a foot off the ground. Managed to lower the ramp without blowing seals. Had to take the thing out and put it in frontways. A/C noted it seemed awful nose heavy on take-off. Typical SEA thinking, take the road grader to the tire instead of the other way round.

Anybody else drop cows?

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Had used the pallets to move pax on many occasions. However, I don't remember ever using straps. Just instructed to lock arms with the guy next to each other for landing and takeoff. Most of the pax were Vietnames prisioners or RVN's. I did have ocassion to move some Marines/Army from front area's under fire. All they wanted was in the aircraft. They could care less about restraint. "combat essential" We did rig somedays for in country passenger runs. Full complement of seats with seat belts. It was really tight with a full load in this confirguation. Also flew many medical evacs with full complement of Dr/nurse and litters. Actually flew missions with ever confirguation the aircraft was designed for.

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Our E-Flight birds had slick floors the first 4 years I flew on them. We used skate wheels to load everything using teak/mahogany plywood as our pallet and then loaded warehouse pallets side by side on them. Got lots of practice with chain gates!! Loaded many loads of RVN troops either floor loaded or on bare pallets with straps for lap belts. My favorite place to sit was on the aft overhead escape hatch step. I could lean back and just keep my pistol on my belly in case someone wanted to be difficult. Never had to use it on a passenger, but used the fire extinguisher on some unruly prisoners one time. The huge (for a Vietnamese) QC guard was clubbing them with his baton, so I thought the fire extinguisher would work better and maybe keep someone from getting beat to death. Worked great and the QC was appreciative. I very seldom used the J-bar on C-130s but used the hell out of it on C-5s.
Jon, who are you? I was at Naha and got out at Dover in 1975. Drop me a note at sam@sammcgowan.com. I'm sure we know each other.

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Regarding combat loading, 315th and 834th Air Division established a policy for 100 troops/passengers combat loaded. We didn't really use that method much for passengers as it was a tactical procedure and 834th operated several scheduled passenger runs around the country. Combat loading was authorized in 1966. Before that we were required to rig seats anytime we carried troops or passengers.

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Had used the pallets to move pax on many occasions. However, I don't remember ever using straps. Just instructed to lock arms with the guy next to each other for landing and takeoff. Most of the pax were Vietnames prisioners or RVN's. I did have ocassion to move some Marines/Army from front area's under fire. All they wanted was in the aircraft. They could care less about restraint. "combat essential" We did rig somedays for in country passenger runs. Full complement of seats with seat belts. It was really tight with a full load in this confirguation. Also flew many medical evacs with full complement of Dr/nurse and litters. Actually flew missions with ever confirguation the aircraft was designed for.
Mike, the procedure called for straps but a lot of loadmasters didn't bother with them. The procedure called for the troops to sit on rows on the floor and the straps to be run across their legs. We usually just put the straps down if we put them down at all.

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Having been all over the world in the back end of a C130, I can tell you THE BEST place for sleep was on top of the cargo pallet, You are close enough to the hot air ducts to keep you toasty warm while those unlucky enough to be in the troop seats freeze their feet off.

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You know, as I read the post I keep hearing from or about the CC's. I don't recall ever having one on board my aircraft. Perhaps the CC's were assisgned to the AC by tail number and I never met them. Most of the general aircraft general issues seem to be handled by my FE. I was TDY at every base the c-130E's flew from. Where were you CC's hiding when I was re-rigging the AC? I did a lot of re-rigging in route from an off load point to a different on load point that required an new configeration. I think my AC helped once as did the FE. There was a documentary called "Wings" on the discovery channel once. It was a special on the C-130 and about how it came into it's own during the battle of Khe San. I was shocked to see my AC in the film helping on load some troops through the troop doors. He must have seen the camera's as we approached the tar mac and was mugging it up for the camera's.

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Where I was stationed ,any time the acft.took off and was going to land at other than home base a crew chief was to be onboard.I many times helped the load and flt.mech. off and on load. I remember an instance when my acft. was loaded by an A/P load and as we taxied out for T/O I noticed the load shift. Had to hold at the end of the runway while the loadmaster and I hustled to secure things

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You know, as I read the post I keep hearing from or about the CC's. I don't recall ever having one on board my aircraft. Perhaps the CC's were assisgned to the AC by tail number and I never met them. Most of the general aircraft general issues seem to be handled by my FE. I was TDY at every base the c-130E's flew from. Where were you CC's hiding when I was re-rigging the AC? I did a lot of re-rigging in route from an off load point to a different on load point that required an new configeration. I think my AC helped once as did the FE. There was a documentary called "Wings" on the discovery channel once. It was a special on the C-130 and about how it came into it's own during the battle of Khe San. I was shocked to see my AC in the film helping on load some troops through the troop doors. He must have seen the camera's as we approached the tar mac and was mugging it up for the camera's.

Mike, As far as my experiences go, and I think it was a standard procedure, all of the C-130 inputs to Vietnam had two crewchiefs and that was their airplane! Most of the time, the crew chiefs did not go on missions in-country as that was our only time off!! All of the rigging and de-rigging I ever did was after the plane returned to base (CRB) or before it left on a new mission that called for some sort of rigging configuration!! Sometimes, we rigged a plane for passengers or med-evac and somebody higher up would change their minds and we would have to de-rig!! So, I guess I could ask where were all of the flight crews hiding then??? I started this thread praising how hard the loadmasters worked so you probably realize my last sentence is in fun!!

I am definitely glad I didn't have to go with the airplane or I would have never had an hour off!! Many hours were spent on the airplane working on it until it was ready to fly again. Sometimes I never saw a bed for several days!! Just one "for instance" changing the pilots nesa window!! What a pain!!

I wonder if the new era crew chiefs and flight crews have to put in as many hours as we did??

Ken

PS, Sometimes we derigged the plane on the way back to CCK or Naha and the Loadmaster helped!! Much easier then!!

Edited by Mt.crewchief

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Mike anytime the planes in the 61st-62nd left Sewart AFB and was on TDY they had CC/ACC with the crew I was on tdy to Europe and the Congo South America and South East Asia while I was in the 61st.

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I think one reason they started the CALSU at Bangkok was to let the CC and ACC get some rest. We took over the plane when it taxied in and did all the work till it was ready to taxi out.

I started that about Aug. of 66 and got out in Nov. 66.

While on missions we worked with the FE Or LM which ever one needed the help.

I should remember more of the names but a mind is a terrable thing to lose.

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As I recall, and it was a long time ago, when the 776th was still at Pope the CC flew with his assigned aircraft. Later on, the Wing changed over to the Orginazitional Maintenance style. The aircraft still had an assigned CC, I was assigned #877, but rarely flew with the aircraft as there were maint types at just about anywhere the aircraft ended up. However, any time I asked I was usually allowed to fly with my aircraft for the days sorties. It is my understanding that late in 1966 all CC were required to fly with thier aircraft. I didn't actually know about the Requirement, just noticed that I was with my airplane all day, or night. Along with that, MTcrewchief has it dead on correct. One note: some flight crews were better than others, of course, and I noticed that when the aircraft came home with the cargo compartment covered in blood and other assorted debris it was a special type of LM that stuck around to help clean up. Re: Sam McGowan.

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The question of whether or not a crew chief flew with his aircraft has come up many times and the answers never seem to be the same. I can only speak for myself. I and sometimes my assistant (sometimes both of would go) flew with my airplane where ever it went. We worked her til she was ready to fly and flew with her. Slept whenever we could and helped the loadmaster and FE whenever it was necessary.

I almost never left my aircraft while it was at CRB. Too many scavengers (me included!) looking for things!! Would sleep with all the entrance doors locked with tie down straps so I wouldn't lose anything. The vast majority of flight crews were really good and easy to work with. I had a few that you could tell did not want to fly and would look for a reason to turn down your aircraft (such as missing tie down straps and chains).

The crew chief and assistant both went to Ubon for the Blindbat missions. Each day one worked her and the other flew with her as a flare kicker. We would alternate days. Been lots of discussions about whether or not crew chiefs were flare kickers. Seems it depends on when you flew the mission.

I was in the 21st and MSgt. George Tanner was my Chief and he allowed me to do it this way. This was during the '67-'68 time frame. Can't speak about before or after that. Can't speak for the other squadrons.

Just my two cents.

Sonny

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As stated before at Evreux the C/C flew with their acft. if it was landing off station even if it was only going to Chadareux.They were also on hazardous duty status. But of course there were exceptions: on the ALS mission that included a stop in Warsaw,Poland the C/C was droped off in Copenhagin and while in India C/C were not required to go up to Leh. We generaly weren't required to fly while at Lockbourne except on TDY back to Evreux but remained on H/D status. On the Pau JT a CALSU with maint. people was established at Pau and a C/C wasen't required to go to down there even if the flt. crew and acft. RON'd.

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Yea! we always kept a supply of C- Rations hidden on the plane to eat when the flt. crew didn't bring anything back we made do with what we had.

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I can remember doin' a preflight with my FE 'cause we had no crew chief with us, but some damn good CC and Fe folks had taught me what to do, even watchin' the props stop at the different positions......No CC's were flyin' with us in-country, much, at the time. had to shut down an engine for some reason, I think we went to Ubon or udorn or some place' like that.All I can remember was that there was metal in the oil of the engine, not all of it,as I recall,I think we had sheared a starter and had to get a buddy start from a marine Herk, forget the dirt strip we were on......We flew quite a bit without a crew chief on-board, but we had many great ones that did. As for the deriggin' and clean-up, I think one of the last items on the LM checklist was to insure the cargo compartment was clean,and all the stuff stowed away. I know I always tried to do it. I can remember those red butt cans hangin' on the seat rails that hadn't been emptied in what seemed a month's worth. I remember one time, early in my career, haulin' a forklift, and all kinds of junk back to Forbes, I think it was, after one of the bare base operations. Must have been two in the morning, when we got there. had a bunch of aerial port guys on board, dead on their ass. You can imagine how many chains, devices, etc there were.The TSGT in charge of them wanted to have them stay and clean all of it up. I said "No, just hook it to places so it don't flop around and I'll put it away goin' home." I still remember the looks on those guys faces and how glad they were they could deedee mau out of there. Musta taken me an hour to get it all put back and in order, probably wasn't in full compliance with any checklist or TO. but it was the right thing to do. And I know damn well I got that back ten fold............that is what we did back then, nearly all of us. and that's who we are to this day. I wonder if they do stuff like that now??????????

Load clear

Giz

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Sonny, I think I mentioned before that Sgt Tanner and me went to the 21st TCS at the same time.

I still got the list and just looked to make sure.

We were in 51st OMS I think "D" section before.

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