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Everything posted by BRlang

  1. I read the the 345th after a few moves since CCK was at Keesler...Anybody know if it is still C-130 or what their mission is these days.
  2. You guys are looking good. Your Crew Wings look great. At the time I didn't realize how special it was to be Air Crew and on flying status as an enlisted person. Only 1 in 50,000 enlisted airmen can wear those wings. I guess I took a lot of stuff for granted when I was 19 years old.Happy Veterans Day to all who served or who are serving.
  3. Thats good news. Being from Mississippi I love to visit the Biloxi area and see C-130s flying around. I was in the 345th at CCK and have read here that the 345th found a home at Keesler. Is it still an active C-130 unit or if not what mission did it take on.
  4. Cool, you looking good for the miles in the rear view window..I think most of us had that streak...
  5. Dang, cost you a stripe? Yep, I had a 66 Mustang that a little of a reputation at Sewart...Avoided any run in with the MPs...
  6. Who needs a dang checklist anyway....
  7. Dang, you were a newbie. Two stripes and black boots. Looks like you were hauling my least favorite load. Max Pax....I do remember you for sure. Thanks for the pic...
  8. How bout 100% flaps. Did one on accident. Dirt strip up close to Cambodia. Landed and taxied onto the ramp. No forklift and nobody met the plane. Figured the field was hot. Did a speed off load and taxied back onto the runway in one quick move. I was still closing the ramp and door when we started engine run up and soon as the door closed light went out AC released the brakes. I held on to the left paratroop door and away we went. Normal takeoff until we got to about 50 kts. then hard to accelerate but then we just jumped onto the air. Your pretty much committed to fly off a 2700" strip. Ain't no stopping at that point. Everybody missed the flaps in before takeoff.
  9. Monty, thanks for the memory. I left Sewart and the 2APS for CCK. While at CCK they closed Sewart and Moved 2APS to LRAFB. When I returned I came back to LRAFB. I loved LRAFB and the surrounding area. I liked it so well when I got out I went to work for a little air express company that was flying 5 Falcon jets out at Adams field. I stayed in the LR area till 1980. The little company grew and actually employed some of the pilots I flew with in Vietnam. They called it Federal Express later to be known as FedEx. Everybody thinks we started in Memphis but actually born out of the FBO, Arkansas Aviation, at Adams field. Had I not been stationed at LRAFB I would have never worked for FedEx. I guess I owe my 40 year career to LRAFB..
  10. You brought back a bad memory from my first days after getting checked out in Vietnam. I had been on my own just long enough to be dangerous. Three pallets of 175 rounds. Cant get any more routine than that. Unless you screw up and the first pallet is two locks too far forward. Thats less than a foot so how much difference can that make. 30,000 lbs makes a lot. It takes you from about 22% of MAC to a 12% of MAC. The forward limit is 14% at that weight. You can recover from nose heavy but you can't if you are tail heavy. Thank goodness for a 10,000' runway at Bien Hoa. Takeoff roll should have been about 3,000'. Plane didn't want to rotate. Finally with the yoke in his crotch and nose up trim Major Cherry got it off the ground. As soon as it was cleaned up I got a call on the headset. Hey Load, what was our CG. We only did a form "F" on the first leg and I had not slipped the load. I did a quick calculation on the slip stick and it was a couple notches under 14%. I reported back that it was "just" under 14% of MAC. Thank goodness we were going to a long runway. He was very calm and said we will add a few kts to the touch down speed and treat it as a MAX wt landing. We landed with out incident. After we unloaded I tried to hide but there are few hiding places on a C-130. He got me alone and we sat on the ramp. I was waiting for my ass chewing but being the professional that he was he calmly explained to me that no load is routine and every crew member was accountable the the other 4. He taught me more about detail in that 5 minutes and leadership than any ass chewing could ever teach. I slipped every load from that time forward regardless of how many times I had hauled it. Thank you Major Cherry for you pilot skills and leadership.
  11. In Vietnam we operated at about 135000 lbs at forward fields. Usually we were heavier landing than taking off. Some times you would max out with rolling stock and be pretty heavy leaving as well. I know we climbed out at the steepest angle the we could based on our weight and airspeed. Approaches is a different story. I had a couple of A/Cs that would hold lots of altitude and pretty much dive down to the runway. Even operating pretty heavy it is still a very impressive aircraft. I crewed an "E" which at the time was the newest stuff we had. A few time we flew max gross weight around 155,000 lbs and takeoff roll was several thousand feet and there was no steep climb out...You can see in this picture we are still around 4,000' on short final to a short strip
  12. Frank hung out with about 5 of us. We called it the posse. I remember the day he didn't come home. Seems like it took forever for them to find the plane. Routine flight that had a tragic ending. Jim, I remember you. Can you post a photo of your CCK days.....I know what you mean about the TDYs. My roomie was always there as he was grounded by the OSI....
  13. Wow, that was an amazing report. It was interesting as to the number that were non combat loses. A few of the aircraft fell out of the sky more times than they were hit. I am assuming that many of these were lost to rocket and mortar attacks on the ground and not shot down.
  14. On this day in 1970 we lost a running buddy. Frank Wilson was a loadmaster in 776th. Hit a mountain departing Taipei. Frank was part of our posse. Fun guy and everybody loved Frank.
  15. Just finished watching Episode 10. After watching all 10 Episodes I now have a much better understanding of just what the hell went on or at least I think I do. My war was Episode 9. Right after I got checked out in country we started hauling load after load up to the Cambodian border. Like I said my war was tactical. I had no interest in the strategy at all. Tie down the load, give a good CG then leave it up to the pilot to land without bending the airplane. I am glad to report that they did just that a little over 700 sorties that I flew. I remember the faces of countless grunts that ran aboard and collapsed on the cargo pallets that I would use for "combat loaded troops". No seats just a flat floor. I knew they had been through a bunch of crap but no idea what the field beyond the dirt strips we worked looked like. This PBS series gives me new respect for these guys. The move into Cambodia gave me a safer war to fly in. Back home all hell was breaking lose in the streets. Did they want me to die. Actually I don't think the care. Like I said my war was tactical. Things seemed to get much calmer after we took out many of their safe havens across the border. My part of the war ended not long after Lam Son 719 where we supported the invasion into Laos. I remember going into base ops and seeing Khe Sanh on the board. I thought it was closed. It was but just reopened to support the Laos operation. I could only remember the stories that Charlie Brault had told me when I first got in country. I can't remember what we hauled but I do remember the approach. Total soup. We did a GCA approach in and broke out of the clouds and luck would have it the runway was right in front of us. I could just imagine the hell around this place 18 months earlier. WE landed and did a speed off load then right back on the runway never to return. A couple of months later I was home. For the last 10 dayz I been watching the PBS series, all 10 episodes. If you have not watched I encourage you to do so. Only a few scenes with C-130s. Seemed like they were all burning. If you were not there and keep the C-130 in the air go read about Spare 617 or Pat hatch and see what real heroes look like. We have cheapened the term Hero. Most of us were not heroes. I get sick of being called that now as people try to make up for the no-welcome we got. Welcome home Hero. I was no hero just a ver good loadmaster that could turn a plane in under 8 minutes and then get back to the roof top of the Merlin Hotel, drink some warm beer then go do it again tomorrow. 700 loads and you get to come home. I just finished Episode 10. The war is finally over.
  16. Well, I have watched the first 5 episodes of the series. The inflated body counts and the playing down of American KIAs and just dis information brings to light a few situations that come back to me. After flying and back on the roof of the Merlin Hotel we would sit around and talk about where we went and what we hauled. The dreaded KIAs would always come up i the conversations. The number we hauled would always be higher than what was reported on the network news. We were just one of three C-130 groups in country. Add in the "Boos" and Choppers and I see now that they were not reporting any where close to the true numbers of KIAs. I never saw the war as political. My war was tactical and my only interest was putting in the chocs after 16 hours of bouncing off dirt strips. Medicate, sleep a little then do it again the next day. Do that for 15 months then go home. That's what I did. Many of my friends came home and became activist. I just went to work and started a family. I survived mine and moved on. I feel so lucky to have made a good decision and Joined the USAF and been selected to be a Loadmaster
  17. The VA card is handy. The ringing in the ears thing amazes me. I am now in the appeals process. I submitted a packet detailing my job, noise exposure and a significant event with a tire explosion killing 3 of my PAX and blowing me off the ramp and still got denied. If you have any thoughts of Gov't Health care look no further than the VA to see why we don't want it.
  18. I'm glad to see the VA finally looking at evidence we send in. Many times in the past they would not even read your packet and say they would do nothing until your 214 was amended. Maybe they are responding to the changes at the top.
  19. You talk about a flashback....I was stationed at Sewart AFB in 1969. I was a loadmaster in the 2nd APS..I was fresh back from Pope for my C-130 Loadmaster school....IN Aerial Port you do more rigging airdrop, duty LM than and drop zone than flying...unless of course they needed a LM for 5 hours of touch and goes or a 10 hour over water then they would dish it to the Aerial Port folks....Hurricane Camile hit the Mississippi Coast in Late summer. We went into full mobility and two days after land fall we had a fully operational terminal set up at the Gulf Port Airport. We were pretty damn good at mobilizing...I learned more in the next 10 days about the Loadmaster job than any training. We set up a massive staging area, and worked around 100 flights a day. Every military aircraft you could imagine was bringing in water, food and countless loads of electrical crews and trucks. There was no electrical or water anywhere along the coast. We were the only way in as every bridge on Highway 90 was down. We worked out of a civilian Hangar at the Gulfport Airport. We ate Spam sandwiches for days. The Salvation Army had a food truck set up down the ramp from us. They day before we left we had to burn fuel out of the Jeep for outage. We took off west on 90. We were waived through every checkpoint on beach road. We had to drive inland through yards to get around a ship that had grounded on Why 90. We got to the bridge at Bay St Louis or should I say where the bridge used to be. That is where the eye came ashore. They city council was throwing a beer party at the city park on Beach Drive. They took us in with open arms and hugs. We loaded up the next day and flew back to Sewart. I was ready to get home. They had three morgue refer trailers set up just down the ramp from us. They had a constant arrival of ambulances bringing bodies. What a mess. God Bless Texas and Louisiana....
  20. I'm very familiar with Millington NAS. It is about 20 nm north of MEM international. They stopped for refueling. That makes perfectly good sense as a fuel stop. The air traffic out of Millington is well clear of MEM. They should have been climbing out over Arkansas and no reason to even be over Mississippi. I have flown LRAFB to Travis AFB. It is a long leg. I can't see any reason for them to add 30 minutes to the already longer leg. No WX in the area to vector them that far south.
  21. I have a question. If traveling to California then why was the plane 100 miles due south of Memphis. I worked for FedEx and when we departed MEM on 18 we make a hard right turn and climb out going west. The plane should have never even been past Tunica which is about 80 miles north of the crash site.
  22. Ken you know one mans trash was another mans treasure. Having the perimeters defoliated at the forward fields made it easier to keep charlie from setting up under final approach. At the time it was a good thing. I was pretty much by the book and refused loads if any leakage was noted. While some might have been flown out to the field in barrels for local application most was delivered via the air in the C-123 sprayers. Looked like giant crop dusters.
  23. I was loadmaster from May 70 til July 71. I don't recall ever hauling any agent orange. All of the forward fields had the perimeters sprayed but all the applications I ever saw were from Aircraft. I don't think we had any C-130s that I flew with any residue. If any drums of haz mat or any liquid were leaking we would bump them. Even in war you can't fly around with liquids leaking on the Aircraft.
  24. Never saw the Flight Surgeon. We caught a ride back to TSN where we were met with a safety team to de-brief us. We were grounded for three days until they came back and put us back on the line to fly. There is no record of the incident anywhere. We were part of a Cambodian mission and I think the scrubbed the records. I have seen other pictures of the aircraft on this site. Another poster on this board led the MX team to patch up the plane, chain the gear and fly it back to CCK. Glad I didn't get that flight. Ben Hoa to CCK wheels down!!
  25. I always said that we were ordinary men that did extraordinary things. These guys prove it. Hats off to the Chopper Guys that saved our Crew Mates. Glad to see them get the recognition they earned and deserved.
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