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Major Ted Curtis--anybody?


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Recently I have been have having memory flashes of some of my most memorable events while working on the C-130. One of the most re-occurring memories is my time spent at Ubon /Blind Bat as a crew member in 1968.  I have always wondered what has happened to all of my former crew members as I have never seen any of their names show up here.

Ted Curtis was the AC on my crew and was quite interesting and fun at times. Otherwise, he was very serious about his job. One of the things he did during missions is record his contact with the ABCC bird and his talk with some of the fighter/bomber aircraft that were called in to destroy what we had spotted. Also with us "Peons" in the rear. I wonder if any of those tapes survived.  He said he was an ex-A1E pilot and he always wore a key ring on his flight suit that said "you've been had by a Spad" He also had another ring that said "be nice, shut up, and smile".   He also at times would walk up to the rest of the group (where ever we happened to be) and start tap dancing and say "if you can't tap dance you're a queer" . Of course, we--his crew, all knew how to tap dance!!  I think he and his crew plus myself and Chris were in the 35th. He and the rest of us are pictured in my gallery posing after one of our missions. Note that some of us have side-arms on. He furnished all of us with belt holsters for our 38's so we could carry an extra battery in our flight vests. The rest of us had already packed our gear and were ready to head back to the patio for breakfast and beer. If any of you can tell me about any of the rest of the guys in the picture I would really like to know. Also, I can tell you who each one pictured is. Including me--the far left guy with glasses. (you know, the brave/handsome one) -_-!

Boy, did we ever have some interesting missions. Of course some VERY interesting, and some with 100% cloud cover.

Thanks for listening,


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I'll send you a personal email tomorrow or maybe even call, but I want to comment on your post. I didn't do the blind bat thing, but it does seem to me that I spend more and more time reminiscing, with myself, about events that are close to 50 years old. On the rare occasion that I see my buddy Dave Ohmart and we reminisce together of events past I find it a bit difficult to keep my composure. Was that really me (us) that did that? Were we really there? Did I actually do that stupid stunt just to make block? I don't recall the names of any flight crew, but raggity old maintainers are never far away. Flight line chiefs: some good and some bad. The good ones made us good.

This has to be old age. Sit alone at night, think of big ugly airplanes and places with exotic names like Khe Sanh, Vung Tau, Bien Hoa, Pleiku. I'll never forget wire in tires. Changing brakes after dark (with a flashlight) the flight crew standing around looking at their watches. My wife of 42 years still does not understand. I can hear a Herk 20 miles out; I'll stop, eyes to the sky.

Ya, Chris, you were there, you did that. But is was a long, long time ago...

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I don't reply to much here anymore, but this thread really brought back some memories -- good and bad.

I remember one night being rousted out of bed in the barracks (no, it wasn't a "dorm" back then) at Tan Son Nhut. My airplane had blown 2 tires on some mud strip; I don't remember where.  My assistant and I were put on a C-123 with 2 mlg tires a jack and all the other paraphernalia needed for a tire change.  To make a long story short, we landed on a mud runway, offloaded the stuff and had the tires changed in no time.  What I remember most was the lighting being a reversed taxi light and the crew all holding flashlights -- all with the running GTC blasting in our ears. We were so covered with mud, we sat back in the cargo compartment for the tip back. Got a letter of commendation from the AC out of it -- lost, of course, from one of my divorces.

OK, stepping down from my soapbox.  Next?

Don R.

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