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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. I just read through the incident report and note that the transcription of the radio communications are not included. I have read it and I thought I had it. Meyer's last words to his wife were, i.e. "It looks like I've got a problem. I'll be right back after I take care of it." What I posted goes back several computers. Someone, I forgot who, sent me the report back in late 2000 or early 2001 and I downloaded it onto my Compaq desk top. I replaced that computer with a DELL three or four years ago. The transcript may be on it. If I can find it, I'll upload it. If anyone else has it, perhaps they can upload it. The conversation with General Patterson was three years ago in October 2012 in Warner Robins. I believe Bob is planning to attend the TC/TAA convention in Little Rock this coming May. We were just BSing when he brought the incident up. Bob was one of those involved with the investigation. Although he was based at Lockbourne at the time, he was TDY to USAFE HQ and volunteered to brief General Momyer, the TAC commander, on the incident when he got to Germany. Momyer was very concerned about the morale of the troops and the incidents that led up to Meyer's actions.
  2. I may have already posted this link, but if I did, here it is again. Several years ago someone sent me the accident report of the Meyer incident. A couple of years ago I uploaded it to the Internet. Here is the link - www.sammcgowan.com/meyers.html. If you've never read it, read it. Remember one thing about the military - it is the most massive rumor mill in the world, ever.
  3. I thought I would include this photo. Charlie Armistead and Ralph Bemis were telling me what happened at An Loc. In the photo , Charlie is telling how he was sitting against the CDS bufferboard and holding to tiedowns but the impact was so hard that he was picked up and thrown over the bufferboard and against the 245 bulkhead. Ralph was sitting with his back to the wall under the ladder and holding on to the stanchion. He was thrown across the cargo compartment and into the right side of the 245 bulkhead where he was trapped. Charlie and Robert Kirkpatrick, the nav. worked for half an hour - in a BURNING AIRPLANE - to free him! Some Army helicopters came in and their crewmembers helped get Ralph out of the airplane. They told me that they flew for about 15 minutes after they were hit over An Loc. They had the paratroop doors open and were watching the fire in their right wing. When the flap burned off, they told the pilot it was time to get the thing on the ground! Incidentally, this was the eighteenth mission that Ralph had flown on which his airplane took hits. The other seventeen were during his previous tour at Clark when he was right in the middle of the Tet Offensive, Khe Sanh, etc. Ralph was over Kham Duc with a crew waiting their turn to go in when the camp was declared evacuated.
  4. There were oodles of them there a year ago. They're parked behind other types but there are several rows of them and are a number of columns across. There are also a bunch of C-5s.
  5. The daughter of the copilot on the October '67 crash is a friend of mine. I also recently learned that her dad, Earl Bjorke, took the place of my AC at Clark, Steve Finch, either for that mission or for the shuttle. Steve went from CCK to Clark on a consecutive tour. I don't know what Bob means by "blown on the ground." The Marine KC-130B was hit while on approach with a load of fuel bladders and set on fire. It blew up on the runway. Some of the crew got out but their passengers perished. It was one of two Marine KC-130s lost in the Vietnam War. The other collided with a fighter during a refueling mission. A third C-130, a B, was also lost at Khe Sanh but it was after the siege had been lifted. Actually, this video is available for purchase online but it is not posted online because it has been copyrighted by Traditions Military Video. I have it in DVD and VHS.
  6. There were quite a few Herks there last October, mostly from Little Rock. One road goes right by them but I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a decent shot up close. The only way to get in there is on a tour bus. They are being used mostly for parts according to what we were told.
  7. Here are some photos from the 2012 TCTAA meeting in Warner Robins, GA. Stony Burk and Don Short in front of C-124. They were both in Shakies before they went to Herks, Stony at Evreux then at Clark, Orlando and Langley. Next is Don Short, Jim Tomlinson and Sam McGowan, all 35th TCS LMs. Memorial Service in C-130A, Sam McGowan and Stony Burk in C-130A,(Stony is stricking the SEA LM pose - in the left troop door.) Ralph emis and Charlie Armistead (2), Ralph Bemis, Bob Patterson, Major Award They caught me completely by surprise when they presented that glass sculpture to me. It is a very gracious award. I am looking at it right now. Tom Stalvey had it made in Atlanta. I have the name of the company if anyone is interested.
  8. SamMcGowan


    A year ago the TCTAA was in Tucson. One of our trips was to Pima. Here are a few pictures. The people standing next to the A-model are me and Bob Steele, who was in the 35th with me at Naha 66-67. (That airplane needs paint!) Bob Steele is in the first photo in the preceding post. Here are some more photos from Pima. The individual is Mike Schmid, 35th TCS LM, the second is Jim Tomlinson and Bob Steele, 35th LMs and the third is Steel and Schmid with Bill Goodall, 374th FMS, in the middle. More TCTAA at Pima - Mike Welch and Ray Snedegar; Steele, Tomlinson and Schmid with Bill Goodall and Jim Esbeck in the background; Mike Schmid, Ralph Bemis and George Dockery
  9. We went to AMARC a year ago when the TCTAA was there for our members meeting. Here are some C-130 pics.
  10. The earliest pictures of camouflaged airplanes in the AIRLIFTER collection I have are in the May 16, 1966 issue. There's a picture of a camouflaged B-model in an article on Operation BIRMINGHAM. There's also one of the nose of A-model 476 in camo. If you look at my Flareships page, it shows all (or most) of the C-130As at Ubon at the time and they are all camouflaged. I was at Ubon May-July 1966 and took the picture during that time. I think it was in early June when all of the kickers were called out to the flight line for a demonstration by the AMS people on the dangers presented by flares and advising us to leave them the hell alone and not be trying to take out parachutes to make bombs. (That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of anyway. You already had an incendiary bomb that burned at several thousand degrees and wanted to put in hydraulic fluid that burned at around 800. On the other hand, we had people who weren't exactly rocket scientists.) My recollection is that USAF put out an order to camouflage all tactical aircraft in late 1965. Some were painted in the States but most of the PACAF airplanes were painted "locally," meaning in the Pacific. I know for a fact the A-models were painted at the Kawasaki plant in Gifu, Japan. If I'm not mistaken, the B's were painted in Manila and the Es in Taipei. I was told by a 29th TCS vet that their airplanes were already painted when they left Forbes for Clark. I don't know how long it took to paint them all but after the summer of '66, you don't see many silver airplanes in THE AIRLIFTER. (I know, I know, the E Flight airplanes at Naha were left unpainted but up until around September or October 1966 we still had unpainted airplanes at Naha that were not assigned to E Flight.)
  11. No one seems to have mentioned it yet but Ralph Krach, who was once active on the old C-130 forum, passed away back in July. Here is his obituary. http://www.riemannfamily.com/obituaries/Ralph-Krach/ My first encounter with Ralph was in the fall of 1965 and TDY to Mactan and flying the new Bangkok Shuttle. Early one evening around sundown we went into Taklhi, Thailand with a load of hazardous cargo and were parked on the hazardous cargo ramp. The aerial port ramp tramp told me there was going to be a delay for our outbound load because of a high priority mission. A few minutes later, an unmarked C-130A pulled in and parked beside us next to an Air Force flatbed loaded with airdrop bundles of a type I'd never seen before. As soon as the engines were shut down, the truck started backing up to the ramp. Some marshallers dressed in T-shirts and shorts with combat boots marshalled them in. I was sitting on the ramp of our airplane with Don Sweet, our engineer. After the airplane was parkd, one of the marshallers came over to talk to us. He had a distinct Baltimore accent. He made small talk with us then when the airplane started closing up and starting engines, he slid down off of the ramp and started walking over toward the mysterious airplane. But then he turned around and looked us. "By the way, you didn't see what you think you just saw." A few months later in February I arrived at Naha and was given a classified orientation briefing in which we new arrivals were told about the 6315th Operations Groups and our many missions, one of which belonged to the 21s TCS and was called "E Flight.." Still, it wasn't until I read Chris Robbins' AIR AMERICA that I realized we had seen an E Flight mission in operation. Then even more years later I got in touch with Ralph through the Email group I sat up on AOL back in the 90s. One day I was looking through 315th AD's newspapers The Airlifter that Samantha Wales had loaned me and came across a picture of Ralph receiving an award and realized it had been him that we saw at Taklhi that evening so long ago! Ralph started out his service in the Army during the Korean War, or perhaps before. He fought in Korea and I was recently told that he fought in the Chosen Reservoir but I'm not certain that is true. He told the group at the first Blind Bat reunion that he was down on the ground in Korea and looked up at some airplanes and told his buddies "in the next war I'm going to be up there." Ralph enlisted in the Air Force and was trained as a radar repairmen. His only C-130 assignment was at Naha where he was initially in the 51st FMS (at that time all Naha C-130s were assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing and "loaned" to the 6315th Ops Group which provided the crews.) He was selected for E Flight and transferred to the 21st TCS. When the 6315th was tasked to provide C-130s for FAC/Flare missions over Laos, Ralph was one of the E Flight personnel who flew as kickers. That was in November 1964. The following April, operations started over North Vietnam. Ralph was at Da Nang when sappers blew up two of the mission airplanes and damaged another. After his Naha tour, Ralph went back to SAC and then to Keesler as an instructor. He retired in Biloxi. When some of us started talking about having a C-130 flare mission reunion, I suggested Biloxi because Sid Marcus had a hotel there at the time (it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.) Ralph volunteered to put it together and he pretty much did everything single-hand, and he did a bang-up job. I'll never forget on Saturday at noon when he and Marianne came in with several pans of fresh steamed shrimp he and Marianne had cooked themselves. They sat it out with cheese, crackers and other hors dourves. Everyone agreed it was the best reunion they had ever been too. At some point, Ralph developed Type II diabetes (as have I.) I last talked to him a couple of years ago and he said he wasn't doing very well. It finally got the best of him,
  12. TRASH HAULERS is the same book that was published originally in 1988 as The C-130 Hercules, Tactical Airlift Missions, 1956-1975 (I hated that title!) by TAB/Aero. I put out a revision in 2011 but it didn't have pictures. This is the third revision and is in large format with a bunch of pictures, some that were in the original and some that weren't.
  13. I was TDY to Mactan when the 463rd came in. The 464th from Pope had a squadron at Mactan and the 463rd had a squadron at Clark. There was one 463rd crew we used to see a lot. The loadmaster had flown with my AC, Capt. Marve (Gene) Shoupe in C-123s at Tan Son Nhut. One day they were telling us that we were going to stay at Mactan PCS. Well, before we went to Mactan, the entire squadron (779th) was briefed that we were going to transition into special operations and we already had brand new C-130E(Is) on the ramp at Pope but we couldn't tell them that. A few weeks later the Langley crews started moving into tents at Mactan. That same crew was one of them. The 779th went back to Pope and started what is now the famous COMBAT TALON mission right after the first of the year. (I missed the PCS to PACAF when the 776th left but got special orders to Naha when I got back from leave in early January.)
  14. Chris, if I said '66, it was a typo. All of the TAC C-130 squadrons went too PACAF in late '65 except, perhaps, for the 29th, which may have left Forbes after the first of the year. The 50th went to Clark, the 345th to Naha and the 776th to Tachikawa until sometime in early '66 when the 314th transferred to CCK and the three squadrons joined it. I hope you'll come join us in Little Rock in May. We've got a lot of Pope vets in the TCTAA and are getting more from CCK. Sam Are you 100% certain about the camouflage? There were camouflaged airplanes on the ramp at Pope when I left for Naha in January '66. Most of the airplanes at Naha were still silver when I got there but we were taking airplanes to Gifu, Japan for paint. The E-models had moved to Cam Ranh by the time I left Naha in July 1967 and they were all painted by that time. If I can attach it, I'll attach one I took in May '67. I've got a bound volume of all of the 315th AD newspapers from May '66 to August '68 and it has E-models in the '66 issues that had been painted.
  15. I am going to make a deal. I will sell TRASH HAULERS and ANYTHING, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE for the same prices that I sold them to attendees at the TCTAA convention in Tucson last year - $25.00 for TRASH HAULERS, $28.00 for ANYTHING,, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE or $50.00 for both. However, because these books are HEAVY, I have to charge $5.00 for shipping. I'll take checks or money orders. Send your order to: Sam McGowan 3737 Hill Family Lane Missouri City, TX 77459 My Email is semcgowanjr@Gmail.com if anyone has any questions. These are revisions of the original books but in a larger format and with pictures. I wish I could take credit cards but I'd have to set up a special Pay Pal account. These prices are discounted from the retail prices. If you decide to order from Amazon, you might want to use the links on my pages on www.sammcgowan.com/books.html. There are three versions of both books available from Amazon and other booksellers. The first is the Author House version, The second is a CreateSpace version without pictures. The other is the ones shown below, which are in large format with pictures.
  16. See my post about Little Rock. By the way, we are up to Member 285 now. Thanks to Bill Kehler, we're about even between officers and enlisted. Some of them are (were) heavy hitters.
  17. I'm not sure what happened to the 775th. It may have gone to Sewart with C-123s. There was only airfield at Tuy Hoa in 1965, an old French field. The Air Force built a new base there in 1966 and called it Tuy Hoa. When I got to Naha in early 1966, Tuy Hoa was the old field. My first trip in-country from Naha was in February 1966 to shuttle between Cam Ranh, Tuy Hoa and Ban Me Thout. John Butterfield had a prop reversal problem at Tuy Hoa a few weeks later and went off the runway. The Army Class 26ed the airplane when they tried to move with a tank. It seems to me the new field opened later that year. I know that they had a C-130D from Elmendorf working for the company in charge of construction. The building of Tuy Hoa was Project TURNKEY,
  18. I suspect the one in the museum is one of those given to the VNAF during the final days of the war. I've got a history of the mission (CHECO Report) on my page www.sammcgowan.com/bomber.html.
  19. We got this straightened out. Becky got in contact with me. It turns out that Ben had what he needed all along but was focusing on his Blind Bat time when he should have been focusing on his TDY to Cam Ranh Bay. She sent me a copy of an APR that mentioned so many days TDY but said "Southeast Asia." She also sent me excerpts from the 374th history. I wrote a letter to the VA and pointed out that during the time frame mentioned the only place the Naha wing was TDY other than Ubon, which was mentioned elsewhere, was Cam Ranh. At first they turned him down (again) but then they realized the APR was proof. Speaking of Blind Bat, Ralph Krach passed away a couple of months ago.
  20. Dave Horn sent me the same thing. I talked to my good buddy Stony Burk who was in ARRS at Clark at the time and he says its bullshit. There was a Blind Bat C-130A crew that tangled with a pair of MiGs over northern Laos one night when they were diverted to flare for ground personnel. They were about 120 miles west of Hanoi when they were alerted that two MiGs had taken off and were headed for them. They had no maps because they were out of their area but they dropped down below the ridges and used their radar to stay away from them. Jack Blewitt was the nav. Jack taped intercom and radio transmissions and sent me copies back in the 80s. I'm not sure if I still have them or not. The crew was from the 35th and I heard about it when they came back to Naha. Jack said the MiGs were so close they were picking up their radar energy.
  21. I don't know if I've said anything on here or not but three years ago Bob Patterson (as in MG Bob Patterson) was with us in Warner Robins for the TCTAA convention. After breakfast on Sunday morning I was sitting with him, George Dockery and a couple of others when he brought up the Meyer incident. Bob was a major at the time and was in Germany as a TAC representative. He briefed TAC commander Gen. William Momyer on the incident. Bob says that all of the crap about him being shot down, etc. and etc. is all bullshit. (I've seen the incident report - I've got it somewhere and it says the same thing.) Bob says he believes that Meyer failed to pressurize the airplane and became hypoxic and passed out because his flying became erratic during the final minutes before he crashed.
  22. First, I don't remember an airfield like that. Most of them were fairly level. As for films, the John Wayne film was a TAC production. There is a much better film called Anything, Anywhere, Anytime made by photographers from Clark in late 1970/early 1971. It's available from Traditions Military Video on their C-130 Vietnam DVD. I know the story about how it came about but don't feel like typing it all out right now. Let's just say that Howie Seaboldt was behind it.
  23. 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.)
  24. This is not exactly right. Lowes and Home Depot will give discounts to active duty, retirees and DISABLED vets with proper ID all the time. They give discounts to all vets with proper ID on certain holidays
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