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Looking for a hat from Naha 35th


FunkyZero
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Hello,

i just signed up so I could make this post, I've been on a long hunt for something that eludes me still and I hope you all don't mind me using your forum to seek assistance.

My father was stationed in Okinawa, 35th from around 65-68-ish. I don't know a lot about his service, he isn't real talkative about himself, never has been. But what I HAVE heard is him complain for 40 years about his damn hat that he lost. I've been on a mission for the last year to try and have one made for him, but the details are sketchy and I don't want to ask him because I want it to be a surprise.

Here is what I know: He was part of the 35th TAS, a mechanic of unknown level. I know he volunteered occasionally to go on night flights to drop flares, but I don't think that was his regular unit, he did it for extra pay or something. The hat as I've heard him describe it was green, had a patch on the front, one side of the hat had letting that said C-130 and the other side I believe said Naha Japan. I remember him saying they made them stop wearing the hats they had made and they had to remove the patch or something instead, then they later made them stop wearing those as well (something about identifiable labels). The hat he lost was the original with the patch. I'm sure I don't have the details exactly right, but I am hoping that someone here has a photo of the hat that I can use to get one made as close as possible to the original. I've never seen the hat personally, he lost it sometime when I was a kid and I guess I never paid attention. I'm attaching a photo for your enjoyment and if luck comes my way, someone may recognize it and be able to help me out. it's not a picture of the hat though, unfortunately. Dad is back row, second from the right (with the arrow my grandmother defaced the picture with).

Thank you all for the forum access. Dad is starting to play with the computer a lot so I'm hoping he's not already a member here and see this.

 

Vernon Richie Service 1967 [1600x1200].jpg

Edited by FunkyZero
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I remember the 35th hats well, and had one at one time. I do remember one time when we were told not to wear them, but not many guys paid attention to that!!  The hat would have Naha Okinawa on it! It wasn't called Japan that long ago!  I think 1972 was the date of the change!

I will go through my pics of that era as there should be at least one of the guys wearing a 35th hat.  Also, you may find some good pictures of one of the hats in the "users gallery" on this forum!

Good luck,

Ken

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Funky Zero,

Here are a couple of pictures of the 35th hat from the '67-'68 time frame. It should also be noted that many of us had hats made that other info on them such as our names, squadron logo, aircraft number etc. So my guess is your father had one made like I did. They were fairly cheap over there. I'm sure if you had one made like the one he described he would be extremely happy. But like Ken states it would have said Naha AB, Okinawa and not Japan back then. My recollection is the color was more like the lighter green but since I was in the 21st you might want an opinion from someone like Ken who was in the 35th.

Hope all this helps.

Sonny

21st-35th Hat.jpg

35th Hat.jpg

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Thanks, you guys are awesome. I have a question already though... as far as the lettering, would it have said Naha Okinawa, or Naha AFB, or Naha AB? I'm trying to make sure I get this right.

I've sent that patch photo off to a custom shop, I'm dreading what the quote is going to be when it comes back, but it's gotta be done. I have a bad feeling this is going to turn into one of those bulk purchase things with a minimum required. I'll spend some time this week browsing through the forum user photos and see what I can dig up too.

Thanks again for the info, you guys are very helpful.

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An awful lot of guys had them custom made as has been said.  In the Philippines, there were usually shops right next to the bases that specialized in making them.  I'm sure Naha was the same. Saigon was also loaded with shops where you could get lighters engraved, parachute material suit bags, jackets, flags, hats etc. with the squadron logos and any number of sayings on them.  Too bad you can't find a picture of him wearing the hat.  I still have my 772nd orange hat.  The squadron patches were often modified as well.  Ours was the Hallmark Squadron, if you care enough send the best.  Some of us had patches made that said If you care enough send someone else, I've already been.  I know your Dad will appreciate the effort.

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Funky Zero,

It would have said Naha AB, Okinawa. If it becomes a minimum purchase I would almost bet you could sell them to some of the guys from the 35th on this forum. Just be sure to add shipping charges. I know a lot of guys from the 35th and they are all pretty good guys. If you get a good price let me know. I might want to have a 21st one made for myself. Good Luck.

As for you Ken, I am partial to the red of the 21st and would NEVER defect to the 35th!!

Please send my best to your Dad as he is a fellow Blind Bat (flare drops), as is Ken.

Sonny

Blind Bat '64-'70 Patch.jpg

Edited by Sonny
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Robert,   I could never forget the 374th FMS  !!  All of the shops saved my butt many times!  Remember, we were working on A Models! 

Also, you guys seemed to leave some nice useable tools behind on occasion.  You know, the kind that "crew chiefs" weren't allowed!!

Sonny, I would never think you would defect to the 35th!!!   You would have had to deal with Msgt. Andrew Haskell!!

Funky Zero, I have some pics in my gallery that I took while flying Blind Bat missions. Maybe some of them would jog your Dad's memory.

Good luck on the hats,

Ken

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Ken,

MSgt. Haskell....haven't heard that name in a while. No thanks, we had MSgt. George Tanner and he was a great guy.

                                                and

Robert Podboy, Like Ken I could never forget the 374th FMS and the fantastic support we Crew Chiefs got from them. It was always a team effort.

 

Sonny

FunkyZero,

I have been studying your picture. It looks like it was from his Tech School and he is looking familiar as is the airman to his right (left of him in picture). Names would help but I can understand if you don't want to post them in an open forum.

Sonny

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Well, I got something back. they are going to charge me 50 bucks to digitize the photo into a format they need for their machine, then each patch is going to be around 25-30 bucks. Once I get this all ready and lined up, I'd like to ask if anyone else wants a copy while I'm ordering, it'll just be exact cost  (I'm eating the 50 bucks, I had to do that anyway). I doubt anyone else wants to pay 30 bucks for a copy of it, but I'll offer up just in case.

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Funky, I already have a patch, but there is a guy on this forum that is looking for one!  He was the Maint. officer for the 35th during my time there. (67-69) . I can almost remember his name, and when I find it, I will let you know.  His forum name has F4 in it.

 I will check my messages and see if his is still in them.

I have been thinking about the 35th hats, and the ones I remember and had, didn't have the patch on them. Most of them had their name or nick-name on the back.

Good luck on your quest,

Ken

Funky, I just did some digging, and the guys that was looking for the 35th patch was F4ENut  His first name is Barry last name (I think), is Sanders.

Edited by Mt.crewchief
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Ken,

MSgt. Haskell....haven't heard that name in a while. No thanks, we had MSgt. George Tanner and he was a great guy.

                                                and

Robert Podboy, Like Ken I could never forget the 374th FMS and the fantastic support we Crew Chiefs got from them. It was always a team effort.

 

Sonny

FunkyZero,

I have been studying your picture. It looks like it was from his Tech School and he is looking familiar as is the airman to his right (left of him in picture). Names would help but I can understand if you don't want to post them in an open forum.

Sonny

ony,   I think that Sgt Taner and I went to Naha at the same time. I think he is listed on my orders  for something.

I will look and see.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, you guys are awesome. I have a question already though... as far as the lettering, would it have said Naha Okinawa, or Naha AFB, or Naha AB? I'm trying to make sure I get this right.

I've sent that patch photo off to a custom shop, I'm dreading what the quote is going to be when it comes back, but it's gotta be done. I have a bad feeling this is going to turn into one of those bulk purchase things with a minimum required. I'll spend some time this week browsing through the forum user photos and see what I can dig up too.

Thanks again for the info, you guys are very helpful.

I still have my 35th cap but its worn too badly to wear. They were simple Kelly Green baseball caps with the number 35 embroidered in front in white letters. Some people added other things but most of us didn't. I have thought about having some made up but never followed up on it. I don't know when they started wearing them. I knew some 35th people in 1965 and they were wearing them then. We didn't wear them in country due to Seventh AF regulations but wore them around the base when we were at Naha. I can't remember if we wore them in Thailand after the rules changed or not. We didn't wear them at Ubon as a rule. I wasn't wearing mine in photos taken there in early 1966. I know we weren't allowed to wear them on flare missions because one of the E Flight mechanics let his fly out of the airplane before they were taken off of the mission and Hanoi Hannah read off all of the stuff he had on it (and he had a lot.)

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  • 5 years later...

Best I can remember, back in that time period, the hat rule was, if the wing commander approved it, the squadrons could wear hats of the squadron color with the squadron patch on the front of it. It could be legal for a long time, and then the wing commander got promoted, or reassigned. The squadron hats suddenly became illegal to wear. They were always, only for work uniform and never legal for any other uniform. Had a red hat with 776 TAS patch on the front of it. It was legal, then it was not, then it was. When the new wing commander took over, the custom hats were not legal until he actually approved them.

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