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Posts posted by BRlang

  1. Larry, with due respect I will add my support to the Airforce using enlisted men to fly drones. I was a C-130 loadmaster at CCK. The lowest rank for an AC I flew with was Captain and the highest was Lt. Col. They were in command of the Aircraft and the Crew that worked for them. They made the final decision on everything we did. On occasions they would ask for our input and it was all in are none. Example little before sunset we had hydraulic fluid pouring from number two while sitting on the ground at a dirt strip that was hot. It was little before sunset and he wanted to do engine shut down right after rotation and climb out on three engines. It was an all or none decision. I call that leadership. He was in command of a flight crew. For a drone there is no command required. You are in charge of the joy stick and nothing else. Targets are identified and assigned. I was proud enlisted puke. ( I can fly an airplane too).  

  2. Ode to Hanoi Jane


    Sgt. BR Lang USAF




    Welcome home a hero you are. All I did was survive a war

    Those words ring hollow so save your breath as 50 years have passed and I gave it my best.

    Been a half century since that stage in my life, now I have two kids and a wonderful wife.

    Flew the skies of Vietnam for a year and a half I look back now and I just have to laugh.



    From Saigon to Chu Lai to Khe Sanh and Kontum

    hauling bullets and beans well be back real soon.



    More ammo to Hue for the boys to fight I hope no more KIAs

    going with us tonight.

    The “Screaming Eagles” were bad to the bone looks like 6 boys in bags we’re taking them home.


    Came home on leave for 30 short days. My mind was a mess all filled with haze.

    Saw the news for the first time it seemed like a year. Protest filled the streets cops in riot gear.

    Then on the news to my dismay was Jane Fonda big as day.

    She was hanging with Commies and manning the guns. Boy looked like they all had fun

    She sat with the gunner looking up to the sky as they screamed hey John McCain you gonna die.

    She laughed and joked with that Commie fellow but he never even saw her boobs in Barbarella.

    She had plenty of fame because of her name but showing some skin was her only game. Now back to the News!!!!!



    Protest filled the streets and “why are you here?” “Drugs and chicks do I look queer?”

      “Life is a party and to Nam I ain’t going and it’s back to the streets and the party were throwing.”

    I looked at that guy his name was Howard…I knew then he was simply a coward.



    Then John Kerry uttered those words. “They are Baby Killers I tell ya”. I thought that’s absurd

     How would he know with his protected

    status?  He didn’t have a clue of the crap thrown at us.



    Leave is over back in a combat zone. Hooked up with my flight crew this felt like home.

    The war’s winding down and the airfields ain’t secure. Pulled all the patrols out crews gonna die for sure.

    Boys are in trouble and need bullets and beans. Low level airdrop is our only means.

    Fly low and slow to hit the drop zone. Hope like hell that Charlie’s  gone home.

    Fly 600 feet the drop zone is in sight. I thought holy crap as I look off to the right.

    There was Charlie shooting his gun 20 MM shells ripping through One.

    One’s on fire and we feathered the prop

    We gotta keep on and make this last drop.



    “Loads clear” as we continue to burn. We bank to the right in a low slow turn.

     We need some altitude or we gonna die. Then I saw the SAM coming up in the sky.

     I then saw Charlie getting away. He didn’t have the balls to stay and play.

     He was down in a rice field ridding a Honda and I see on the back I think that’s Jane Fonda.



    The SAM hit Three and we are going in. I never thought this is how it will end.

    The plane hit hard as we hit with a thud it seemed like forever as we skidded through the mud



    By the grace of God we all survived but now had the end finally arrived.                                                                                                           The plane was burning and we gotta get away. I grabbed my weapon as this was not my last day.



    We hid in the bush waiting for rescue. We looked at each other and that’s when we knew. We had cheated death and dropped the load too.



    We stayed real low as Charlie approached the plane. There came that Honda and our girl Jane


    They danced around the plane as flames hit the sky I couldn’t help but wonder if we’re gonna die.                                               



    We called for air cover as the Chopper arrived. We might just get out of this alive.

    Up in the sky was a fighter jet. That was the best thing we had seen yet.

      He dropped two large bombs on the burning plane. Got the Honda, the dancers and maybe even Jane.



    The chopper lifted off as it began to rain. I thought to my self was that John McCain?



    We were ordinary people that did extraordinary things. One in fifty thousand enlisted troops

    were on flying status. How was I so lucky to make the cut.  















  3. This is the my motivation for my poem

    Notes: This was written from both personal experiences and experiences of close friends. Some didn’t have the happy ending and the entire crews were lost. Thankfully I was never shot down. I wrote in first person purely for the effect of the story. The end of the War gave us some of the most hazardous flying duty for the C-130 crews as most of the airstrips had very little security.  All search and destroy missions had ended leaving The Viet Cong to operate at will. The new rules of engagement would no longer allow patrols to secure the flight paths into the remote airfields. They could only “defend” their positions and no longer do search and destroy missions required to secure the flight paths.


    Several bases were under siege and low level airdrop was the only method of delivery of supplies and ammo.


    Jane Fonda spent August of 1972 with the NVA anti-aircraft gunners and helped boost their morale even though none of them had any idea who she was. During the summer of 1972 and while Hanoi Jane entertained the NVA, my squadron lost several C-130s on missions like the one I wrote about in my satirical poem.


    I flew 133 Combat Missions in Vietnam with some of the best flight crews to ever crew a C-130 aircraft. I was one of Capt. Elwood’s “Mission Hackers”. I am forever grateful for his pilot skills and thank him and all my Pilots for bringing me safely home after all our Combat Missions. 

  4. I wrote a poem "Ode to Hanoi Jane". Dedicated to many of my friends that went back from LRAFB to CCK and friends still at CCK when i left.  during the end of the war. Lots of battle damage to the squadrons and needed airframes and crews. I was asked if I wanted to go back TDY for 60 days in summer of 72 but turned it down. Its kind of long like 4 pages. I'll see if the bosses here mind if I post it..

  5. Bunch of 7's.....September of 70 I did 3.4 hours on training flight and then again on January 20th of 71 logged 6 sorties and 4.9 combat hours..We made 6 trips from Song be to a strip on the other side of the Mountain and never raised the gear or flaps...After take off checklist and before landing checklist at the same time..I was a loadmaster at CCK from Fall of 70 to summer of 71......Our unit hauled Bob Hope all over Vietnam but CCK never got a show while I was there. Rick Vieth was the Loadmaster from My squadron that got the trip... 

  6. Jack, I think I found the tail number. Don't know the entire number but look where the foam slid down under the cockpit.  This photo was shortly after we had fire out.

    Looks like 847. My flight logs show I last flew that plane on August 9th, 1970. 5.4 combat hours and 6 sorties. I was in the 345th out of CCK.

    I have looked at that photo several times and just noticed the number. Now I wonder what ever happened to the aircraft. 


  7. I was crew on Elwood"s "High Altitude" flight in Vietnam and 34,500 was all we could get. He wrote about it on his blog. We Left Da Nang empty with minimum fuel. He did our typical  level at 50 feet, gear up, flaps up hit 200kts  and pull the nose straight up with a wingover left turn. Felt like about 4 Gs on climb out.. We went up pretty good to about FL28.5 then stair stepped a couple of hundred feet at a time to 34,500. I almost passed out in the back putting away chains and stowing gear..FE said we were holding 8,500 cabin pressure. That was in my 2 pack a day days and I couldn't catch my breath. Two amazing things happened that day.. ALCE let us come home empty and we got over 34,000 feet..We wouldn't tell anybody our FL. "Spare 634 say flight level" We ignored them till we got down to 20,000.....

  8. I don't know the tail number and cannot find any record of the incident anywhere on the web. I don't know if the information was scrubbed as were were moving Cambodians from Cambodia to Nha Trang for training. We then hauled them to Bien Hoa to be put on barges on the Mekong River back to Cambodia.  I had a hundred or so combat loaded on pallets on the floor. Thanks for the photographs. The plane was buddy started. Ironically my crew did the buddy start several weeks after the plane blew up. Actually it was not from a hostile event. I heard people say it was hit by a rocket, took a mortar round or a shachel charge was put in the wheel well. The front left main brake locked up. All that damage was from a hot brake and tire explosion. We had just taxied in and as we stopped the plane made a very loud noise and shook as we stopped. The A/C asked me to jump out and inspect the wheel well. I crawled under and saw nothing wrong. Just as I walked back up the ramp and started unloading the troops it blew up. Knocked me down and bodies were flying everywhere. The dozen or so sitting next to the blast had a very bad outcome.we were doing engine running offload when it exploded. We had a pretty good fire going for a few minutes. 

    You can see the blood on the floor in your last photo. My FE snapped a picture of me as they were putting out the fire. My eyes tell the story.      


  9. Lemac should be FS 487 based on an earlier discussion. MAC is 164 ". If you load to 20% of MAC the CG would be at FS 519..

    Crew is most likely the same but not sure of fuel...It would be in the Mid point of MAC I would think...I just can't recall the fuel station...

    Good luck

  10. I could only guess that the FS 1022 included the door as well as the ramp. This chart was dated June 2015. There is not an additional 25 feet of cargo space in a "J"...Unless you can be advised otherwise I would stick to the C-130 Load Chart. I would establish MAC on the unloaded C-130. 

    Add the fuel. Once you get the operating weight compute the %MAC to give you the balance station. Use that point to configure the balance point of the item you wish to launch. After the launch the C-130 would revert back to the unloaded aircraft weight minus the weight of the item launched and minus the fuel burn. This exercise is basically an airdrop from the out side of the C-130..

  11. I am working up my appeal for Tinnitus. I was denied as I could not prove service related and it was not on any of my flight physicals.

    I thought I had a pretty good packet but since it was not on my exit physical and I cannot prove the onset was within a year of discharge they denied. Have any of you had success for this claim without a notation in your medical records. I was very descriptive about my exposure as a loadmaster and it fell on deaf ears (pun intended). I even had a significant event where a tire blew up into the plane killing 3 Cambodian troops and me off my feet onto the ramp. They stated that I didn't seek medical attention at the time of the blast.. It's hard to raise your hand for help when you have casualties being evacuated. My ears rang every time I unloaded at Song Be with that 175MM going off every minute or so..

    Any advice would be appreciated. 


    BR Lang

    C-130 Blast.pdf

  12. Most don't know it but Federal Express looked at the C-130 early on once deregulation of the airline industry allowed Federal Express to move from the Falcon jet to aircraft with payloads over 7,500 lbs. In the first 6 or 7 years Federal Express operated under FAR 100???? as an air taxi license. The C-130 was not a good fit at the time. Speed was an issue and the availability of the B-727 from Easter Airlines. All of our markets were large airport cities. We did not have the need for short field operations or airdrop. I was excited when the C-130 came up as I could move back to my old job just making 10 times more money.  

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