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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. I found a very interesting tidbit in this report. It seems that MATS was supposed to fly six C-124 loads of tents, cots and rations to Ascension Island for the Belgians and C-130 crews use. The C-124s left Rhine Main six hours before the C-130s left Klinebrogel but they weren't there when the C-130s arrived at Ascension. In fact, they didn't get there until SIXTEEN HOURS later! And MATS was claiming that they were the "airlift experts"!
  2. It doesn't. I had already found that. It doesn't have the list of names, which is what I want. I thought I might have it on my desktop but can't find it. Bob Daley compiled the list several years ago and posted it on Scott's old site. I thought it was linked to this one but apparently not.
  3. Pilots don't have to "have the knowledge" of an engineer. Don't forget that the C-130 was one of the LAST airplanes to have a flight mechanic as part of the crew (they changed the name to flight engineer in 1967). SAC did away with flight engineers on bombers starting with the B-47. There hasn't been an airplane certified with a flight engineer by the FAA since the Boeing 747. The reason flight mechanics were included on C-130 crews was because the Air Force intended to operate them into austure areas, not because they thought there had to be a third crewmember in the cockpit. MATS/MAC put engineers on its airplanes because they sometimes carried passengers, and in the 1960s the FAA wanted a third cockpit crewmember. The airlines did away with navigators by the early 1960s. So did MAC on the C-141 and C-5 by the 1980s. The C-130J doesn't need either an engineer or a navigator because it has advanced avionics. Dash 1 requirements are for NORMAL operations. TAC established minimum crew for EMERGENCY operations in 55-130. MAC set minimum crew for it's airplanes in 55-1. If I remember correctly, Emergency crew for even a C-5 was for either two pilots or one pilot and an engineer.
  4. I didn't think about it before, but they probably installed Benson (Bentson?) tanks in the cargo compartment to make the trip. They installed them in other airplanes for long over-water flights. The MULE TRAIN C-123s went Mid-Pac by way of Hickam, Wake and Guam and on to Clark. Carl Wyrick was AC on the lead airplane and Bobby Gassiott was his nav. They were talking about it in San Antonio two years ago. I'll be spending several days on a cruise with Carl next month and should see Bobby at the TCTAA convention. C-47s went to Australia and New Guinea in 1942-43 by way of Hawaii using Benson tanks. They talked about using them on Herks when I was at Pope, but we never needed them. Even with them some airplanes had a hard time making it to Hawaii in the winter and went the North-Pac route instead. One time when I was in C-141s we were on the way back to Elmendorf from Kadena and were diverted to intercept and escort an AC-47 into Shema. They were down to fumes when they got on the ground.
  5. http://www.history.army.mil/documents/glasgow/glas-fm.htm I just (re)found this article on the Net. It's an Army report on the Congo Rescue mission flown by crews from the 464th Troop Carrier Wing. (The rescue mission that actually worked.) Some interesting observations - one of which is that the Air Force pretty well left the mission planning up to the Belgians.
  6. Not sure. There were at least three B-models lost in accidents in 1967. If the only losses were enlisted, then that is probably the one. I may still have the file on my desktop. Bob Daley compiled the list and it was on Hercules Headquarters.
  7. Is the C-130 crew loss list still available? It was on the old Hercules Headquarters site. I'm trying to find the names of the three enlisted men who died on a B-model that crashed in Vietnam in 1967. Jerry Bennet was the aircraft commander. Allegedly, the engineer was trapped in his seat and the two loadmasters went back in the airplane with the intention of chopping his leg off with the crash ax and the airplane blew up. Jerry tells me that he doesn't remember the exact details of what happened until he woke up in the hospital. Sam That was 58-0722 at Bao Loc 16 Apr 1967. The crew losses were SSgt David Glover, SSgt Donald Kannell, A1C David Chaney. That was also the story I heard Bob
  8. There's a picture of the Sewart ramp that was taken in 1962 that is around. It shows a couple of snub-nosed airplanes on the ramp then. In fact, I put it on my new C-130 page (still in progress at www.sammcgowan.com/c130.html). Lars O. shows 3135 as going from Systems Command to 315th, and does not show 3134 going to TAC/PACAF at all. I had always heard that 3135 was at Sewart and went over with the squadron when it transferred in mid-1963. We never took 3135 to Southeast Asia because of thunderstorms. It may have gone to Korea and Japan. The only time I remember flying it was on locals.
  9. It depends on the winds. The distance from the West Coast to Hawaii is roughly 2,500 miles. Jet fuel weighed then and weighs now 6.5 lbs per gallon, depending on temperature. Deployments were not always through the mid-Pac route. C-123s, C-47s, etc. deployed to Asia via Alaska and the Aleutians. We took an A-model back to Naha by going to Elmendorf, Adak, Midway and Guam in 1967 because winds over the mid-PAC route were too strong. One of the 61st pilots told me they didn't have them on the 61st airplanes when they went to New Zealand and McMurdo in 1960. The Ashiya deployment was in early 1958.
  10. Actually, the minimum crew for a C-130 was two pilots and an engineer. Navs and loadmasters were mission-specific. Until about 1963, scanners flew as the fifth member of the crew and loadmasters were in aerial port. 55-130 allowed operations with either two pilots or a pilot and a flight mechanic for wartime emergency (meaning evacuating to a dispersal base in the event of all-out war.) In other words, the answer to Julio's question is "yes." But the second person would have to be either a pilot or a flight engineer, not a navigator.
  11. If you ever get a chance, visit the Central Georgia Aviation Museum at Warner-Robins. They've got an entire C-130A fuselage built into the building that they use for school groups, etc. It was a Tachi bird. There is an A and an E on display at Dyess, but they're inside the gate. I believe they also have an A at Little Rock. There is a B at the Medina Annex to Lackland that is being used to train loadmasters, engineers, boomers, etc. in the enlisted aircrew training school.
  12. I've been doing a lot of work on the Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Assoc. web site at www.troopcarrier.org. One thing I'm trying to do is to put every possible link related to the mission on the Links page - www.troopcarrier.org/links.html. All of the newletters but Volume III are also on the site on the newsletters page - www.troopcarrier.org/newsletters.html. We're looking for more members! The TCTAA is the only officially recognized fraternal organization dedicated to the troop carrier/tac airlift mission. If you're not a member, please join. We're all getting old and when we're all gone no one is going to know there ever was a troop carrier/tactical airlift mission.
  13. Are you sure about 3135? That airplane went to Naha with the 345th/35th in 1963, at least I've been told it did. It was assigned to the 35th when I got there in early '66 but was never used for anything but locals because of the radar. It might have come over later to replace one of the airplanes that were lost.
  14. The A-models weren't delivered with external tanks. I've heard two different versions of when they were installed. One was when the 61st deployed to New Zealand and the other was when the 463rd deployed to Ashyia. My guess is Ashyia is the one that prompted the installations. We've had some discussions on this in the past. The original pylon tanks were drop tanks and were designed to be dropped before the airplane went into into a hostile fire area. Later on the drop mechanism was disabled but some airplanes still had the switches on the overhead panels.
  15. I've been working on the TCTAA web site, including the Links page. If anyone has any troop carrier/tactical airlift sites that are not listed, please let me know and I'll add them. The site is www.troopcarrier.org and the links page is www.troopcarrier.org/links.html.
  16. I hate to see so many veterans getting the idea that they have to go through the DAV, VFW, Legion or some other organization in order to apply for benefits. It's really not that difficult a process and there is absolutely NOTHING they can do that you can't do for yourself, and in a lot less time and without having to talk to or see someone. The primary purpose of those organizations is political, meaning lobbying Congress to pass laws related to veterans. The VA site allows a veteran to apply and submit the forms online. The issue is proving to the VA that a disability/illness is service-connected, and in the case of illnesses connected to Agent Orange, providing proof that you actually set foot in South Vietnam and none of those organizations can help you with that. I applied for benefits for Type II diabetes in 2005 online and the entire process was painless from start to finish. I filled out the forms online, got a letter of instruction in the mail, followed those instructions (which was to submit a copy of my DD 214 and have my doctor submit copies of my medical records) then saw a VA contract doctor who evaluated my conditions and then started drawing benefits. I have yet to set foot in any kind of VA office, hospital or talk to a counselor on the phone. In fact, the only person from the VA I've talked to in decades is my next-door neighbor, who is a nurse at the VA hospital here in Houston. I was pleasantly surprised when they gave me disabilities for medical conditions I hadn't even thought about, but which were documented on my medical records. My application was for Type II diabetes but they also gave me disabilities for skin conditions on both feet, which I've had since 1965, and for what I basically thought was jockey itch. It turns out that those two conditions are "Chloroacne," which is one of the first problems asociated with Agent Orange. I was also evaluated for cataracts, but at the time my vision was still correctable to 20/20 and they didn't rate it. (I've since had them removed, but not through the VA.) As I said, retirees and veterans (non-retirees) are covered and treated differently. Military retirees can apply for "combat-related" compensation for a disability which increases their benefits but this is only for retirees. How compensation works for retirees is not something that concerns me. Since so many of the service-connected issues are related to Agent Orange exposure, veterans who apply for them MUST have PROOF that they physically set foot in South Vietnam - and not Thailand. Just flying over doesn't count and those of us who were in the C-130 squadrons at Naha, Tachikawa, Clark, Mactan and CCK may recall that we were given "blanket orders" that covered pretty much the entire Pacific. The ONLY documentation of physical service in South Vietnam are the travel vouchers we submitted for travel pay. The military did not put TDY duty on our personnel records. A citation for a DFC or other decoration won't get it unless it specifies something physically on the ground in South Vietnam - this is because of missions flown out of Thailand which is not covered. I was fortunate in that I reenlisted at Cam Ranh Bay and it is shown on my first DD 214. Some C-130 veterans were credited with an SEA tour if they spent a cumulative 365 days in either Vietnam or Thailand but unless there is something that specifies "South Vietnam," that will not do. Veterans who flew out of Thailand and did not land in South Vietnam are SOL. Maintenance and other support personnel have an even more difficult time of proving South Vietnam service because not everyone went TDY to the C-130 operating locations. If they have orders that specifically assigned them to an APO in South Vietnam on TDY, they will have no problem but if they were on "blanket" orders, they are going to have to come up with some kind of proof. By the way, there is a hitch when it comes to pay records, I guess you could call it a "catch." The catch is that although pay records contain copies of travel vouchers, the VA does not request them until they get proof that the veteran actually set foot in South Vietnam. I get 15-20 Emails a year from guys who have applied for benefits but have been turned down by the VA because their records don't show Vietnam service (the VA goes by APO numbers.) Most of them are able to eventually get benefits but the process is long and slow for them. Ten years ago the VA would accept a letter from me based on my "expertise" on Vietnam airlift operations and a reference to Ray Bowers book TACTICAL AIRLIFT but I don't know if they'll accept those now or not. They've gotten a lot tighter due to the current government lack of funds. Since I haven't applied for a disability for hearing yet, I can't say what the VA will accept, but I do know that the VA rep. I heard last week stipulated that a percieved disability has to have been diagnosed prior to applying. That means it has to have been diagnosed by a doctor and has to be in a person's medical records somewhere. The FIRST thing the VA asks for are medical records showing the diagnosis. One of the conditions for service-connected is that the condition has to show up within a specified time after the veteran leaves service (I believe it's seven years.) They make special exceptions for some diseases that are "presumptive" in relation to exposure to certain chemicals. By the way, I just got an Email from someone who has something to do with mesothelioma: Hi, My name is Colin Hare and I'm the Veteran Liason for the Mesothelioma Center (Asbestos.com); an organization devoted to assisting veterans through their application processes for VA benefits, and helping them obtain the maximum benefits for which they are entitled. While I was browsing through a number of Veterans sites I came across your website and was very impressed by the information you have listed. Countless veterans are currently suffering from life-threatening illnesses that are a result of exposure to asbestos, a material that was commonly used in hundreds of military applications, products, and ships because of its resistance to fire. The Mesothelioma Center provides a complete list of occupations, ships, and shipyards that could have put our Veterans at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. In addition, we have thousands of articles regarding asbestos and mesothelioma and we've even created a veterans-specific section on our website in order to help inform about the dangers of asbestos exposure. Because so many veterans visit your site, I thought that you may be interested in posting our link to help educate veterans on the dangers of asbestos exposure by linking to our website from your page at troopcarrier.org/links.html. Please let me know. You can reach me at chare(@)asbestos.com or at 407-965-5755. Thanks again. Best Regards, Colin Hare Mesothelioma Center
  17. Pat, I tried Emailing you but the MSN address I have for you doesn't seem to work anymore. Drop me a note at [email protected] so I can update my address book.
  18. Pat, I was at the PLA Gathering of Loads last week and heard a VA rep talk about benefits. Before you can submit a claim - or before they will accept it - you have to first be diagnosed. If you're like me, your FAA hearing tests over the years showed deterioration if you were taking the tests in the box. The first time I took the test after I went to work for Ashland Oil, it showed loss in the areas associated with industrial noise and with exposure to turboprops. Before you apply, you need to go somewhere and take a hearing test unless you've had one recently. I've not applied for benefits for hearing loss yet, but plan too. If you're already drawing VA disability, it might be easier. Remember that the VA is for VETERANS, not retirees, and anyone who served in the military at certain times is eligible for some benefits. Military retirees are handled differently. Personally, I wouldn't mess with the DAV, VFW, etc. They don't have a clue about C-130 veterans. You can do everything yourself online on the VA website in about an hour. I applied for benefits for Type II diabetes several years ago and it took about three or four months for my claim to be processed. They will send you to a VA doctor, probably a contractor, but they will want to see documentation from a doctor of a problem before they'll do anything.
  19. The Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Assoc. has a number of caps left over from the 2005 Troop Carrier Homecoming. While there are still one each TAC Troop Carrier and TAC Tactical Airlift caps let, most are PACAF Troop Carrier and USAFE Troop Carrier. (All C-130 non-MATS/MAC airlift units were troop carrier until August 1, 1967 when they were redesignated as "tactical airlift.") We're selling these caps for $15.00 - including packaging and postage) with the proceeds going into the TCTAA fund. The caps are blue with either a PACAF, USAFE or TAC patch on front with "troop carrier" embroidered on either side. If you'd like to purchase one of these caps, send me an Email at [email protected] and I'll tell you where to send the check. First-come, first served! TCTAA membership forms are on the web site at www.troopcarrier.org.
  20. I went down to San Antonio last week for the PLA's "gathering of loads." While it wasn't dominated by C-130 people, there were a few there. I ran into Bob Antoline, who went to Naha on the same plane with me and about 25 others and was in the 35th. There were a number of people from Dyess, as well as a few from Travis who were at CCK and Naha. Didn't get all the names because the name tags were too darn small. Personally, I think these organizations are a good way to renew old acquaintances. The PLA is actually a professional organization but has a lot of vets in it too. We went out to Lackland and visited the aircrew training school and heard a briefing on how they train modern potential aircrew members, including flight attendants. They've got a B-model that they use to train loadmasters, engineers, boom operators, etc. It's one of the former Yokota birds that went to the Reserves at Kelly, then to Lackland when it was retired. I was suprised to see that they've got one of old 1950s' era Bulldog winches in it! Those things were already old when I got to Pope where we had a newever version on the new E's we were getting. Speaking of organizations and gatherings, it's still not too late to make the 2010 Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Assoc. convention next month - www.troopcarrier.org/home.html.
  21. Technically, yes. But they were used for other things as well, such as taking out enemy base camps. At the end of the war the VNAF dropped one at Xuan Loc that reportedly killed 1,000 NVA. The Cambodia Incursion was set off by the detonation of a pair of Blu-82s.
  22. The Marines had a handful of warrant officers still flying during Vietnam but I don't think the Navy did. There was even one Marine NCO pilot still flying in the early 60s. CWO Henry Wildfang was one of the last, if not the last, of the USMC warrant officer pilots.
  23. 64,000 hours!!!???? That'd be over 1,000 hours a year for 64 years. They've only been around since 1965 which is 45. I was at Pope when the first ones were delivered.
  24. No different than E or Hs to Js. The E model was nothing but a B-model with long-range pylon tanks between the engines. The H is an improved E.
  25. If you're talking about logistically, I'd agree. But the C-130 wasn't designed for logistics. It was designed to be a combat troop carrier with the mission of hauling a load of troops 1,500 miles and delivering them either onto a drop zone or onto a forward field in a combat zone. The last time C-130s were used in that role was in 1972 except for the drops at Panama. The C-130 came out of a long and rich heritage that started in New Guinea in 1942. AMC came out of a logistical mission that started in the US at about the same time and which was essentially a military airline.
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