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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. That\'s not the squadron patch. The 35th TCS patch has a picture of a donkey with parachute coming out behind it. The donkey is remiscent of missions flown in Italy when the squadron dropped mules. It also has a lightning bolt through it if I remember correctly. I think there may be a picture on the Air Force Together We Served web site. I joined the 35th in February 1966. Until just before i got there squadron personnel wore squadron patches on their flight suits. Then they changed to the PACAF patch with the squadron patch on the arm, but then they came out and said not to wear unit idenfication and after that the patches pretty well disappeared. We had green baseball caps with \"35\" embroided on front in white but weren\'t allowed to wear them in SEA because the number 35 has some kind of meaning. [img size=100]http://www.herkybirds.com/images/fbfiles/images/35th.jpg
  2. We just had our first \"official\" Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association convention in San Antonio, Texas. Our main goal right now is to build the Association. Currently we have 102 dues-paying members and the goal is for each member to recruit at least three new members during the next year. Let me give you all a little bit about who we are. Bob Layman, a retired USAF CMSgt who spent his career mostly in fighter maintenance, gave a Power Point presentation on his time at Tan Son Nhut as a crew chief on T-39s in the SCATBACK courier mission. Toward the end of his presentation he started talking about the mission over An Loc for which C-130 pilot Bill Caldwell and loadmaster Charlie Shaub were awarded the Air Force Cross. When Bob started to talk about mission three people in the audience - Hector Leyva, Ralph Bemis and Charlie Armistead, spoke up \"I was there.\" In short, every one of the other two airplanes in that formation was represented in the audience. Not only that, Ralph and Charlie are two of the five Silver Star holders who are members of our organization. The other three are Billie Mills, Phil Dibb and Don Strobaugh, a veteran combat control officer whose biography reads like a history of the troop carrier mission. Don also holds the Airman\'s Medal, the highest non-combat award given to a member of the Air Force for an act of valor. Our group also holds 35 DFCs, 6 Bronze Stars, 5 Purple Hearts and more Air Medals than you can count. In other words, joining the TCTAA will put you in good company. Our membership includes pilots, navigators, flight engineers, loadmasters, maintenance and aerial port troops and combat control. The TCTAA is recognized as a not for profit wartime veterans organization, which means that as long as at least 90% of the membership is made up of veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the post-1990 period, all contributions are fully deductible as charitable donations. This gives us an advantage that many other veterans organizations do not have. Membership applications are available either from our web site at www.troopcarrier.org/home.html.
  3. I just learned that the home of Steve and Linda Privette was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Steve was an APG mechanic at Sewart and Naha, where he was in the 41st TAS. He currently works at the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake. Steve and Linda had a home in the little community of San Leone, which is on Galveston Bay off of Texas 146. According to the media, about 40% of the homes there were demolished and theirs was one of them. Although not a C-130 vet, Frank Godek is a retired C-124,C-141 and C-7 engineer who lives in Bayou Vista, another community located on on the body that connects the Gulf with Galveston Bay on the north side of Galveston Island. I talked to Frank yesterday and learned that while his home is repairable, he got a lot of damage. He said he intended to ride the storm out like he did when Rita came through in 2005 but that when he got up Friday morning and saw water everywhere he decided it was time to pick up and get out while he still could. There\'s a former C-130 pilot named Nagy that I met when he came to the last Galveston troop carrier/tactical airlift reunion who lives on the Island but I haven\'t a clue as to how he fared. Ted Applebaum lives on Clear Lake, but the damage there wasn\'t as bad as in other places. IKE was BAD MF and a lot of people have lost a lot from it.
  4. I don\'t know what the status of this lake is now since Hurricane Ike came through and flooded that area. Clute is a few miles north of the Gulf at the end of Texas 288. They had a tremendous storm surge even though the center of the storm went further east and a lot of water came ashore. The little community of Surfside which is just south of there was flooded and a lot of beachside homes were damaged beyond repair while some were swept out to sea. I\'m not sure exactly where Mammoth Lake is in relation to the shoreline but I believe it is pretty close.
  5. :( Guys, I was recently notified by AOL that they are discontinuing their AOL Hometown section and will not be hosting any more web sites. In view of this, I have purchased my own domain at www.sammcgowan.com and am in the process of moving the stuff I want to keep over there. My new home page is www.sammcgowan.com/home.html . As many of the oldtimers know, I got this whole thing going back in the mid-90s right after I joined AOL by searching profiles for anything related to C-130 and then building up an Email group from it. Scott Gager was one of those who was a part and he decided to set up an Email group and web site on Spectrum. To be honest, I haven\'t really been happy with the original sites but haven\'t been able to make changes on some of them since they were created with software that is now extinct. This got me off my dime and I have already switched a great deal of my material. I\'ve also set up an Email account at my new domain - [email protected] - but there are some servers such as Comcast that won\'t accept mail from it so I\'ll keep my AOL address, at least for awhile.
  6. I don\'t think party suits came out until late in the war. Nobody had them when I was at Naha in 66-67 or Clark in 69-70. Most of the pictures I\'ve seen were in Thailand around \'72.
  7. San Antonio is a good place for wives. The hotel is on the River Walk and there is a lot do in walking distance. There\'ll be a lot of wives there. The names of those registered are being posted on the web site - visit www.troopcarrier.org/home.html. It\'s still not too late even though the Convention is barely a month away. The cutoff date for the hotel is October 5 or 6.
  8. Robins was a good base when I was there in C-141s with the 58th MAS. It was one of my favorite bases.
  9. John Wayne didn\'t narrate the film, he introduced it. That film is out there but as far as I know it\'s never been made available commercially as \"Anywhere, Anytime,\" a film made about the 463rd\'s B-models at the same time has been.
  10. Fritz, As you know, the Dash IIs had a capsule in the back. That should explain it.
  11. The term HEAVY CHAIN has been come to be used for a lot of things, but the actual operation was a special mission in the mid-1960s that involved two C-130Es that were taken out of the Air Force inventory and given to a special unit that was based at Norton AFB, CA. They were an outgrowth of the old CARPETBAGGER mission from World War II that used B-24s to drop agents behind German lines in Occupied Europe. They replaced the B-24s with A-26s which were also part of the HEAVY CHAIN project. There are still some elements of the mission that are classified, primarily because of where they operated. As I understand it, they had one airplane in SEA. I don\'t beleive their airplanes were equipped with the Fulton system, although the two airplanes were later equipped with it after they were spirited back into the Air Force when the project concluded. Jerry Baird was the Ops Officer for the mission and he has told me quite a bit about it, except for the classifed part. They have had some reunions.
  12. The Four Horsemen video is alive and well and belongs to Lockheed. I\'d suggest contacting them. I had a CD that had it and some other old C-130 films on it but I sent it to Bob Ruffin. Two of the original Horsemen ACs are still alive - Bill Hatfield and Jim Akin. My good friend Col. Billie Mills also flew with them and was a copilot when they made the video. Bill is in Lower Alabama these days. I saw him back in February when he came to Clear Lake for the TCTAA board meeting. I\'ve got a page about them off of my C-130 page - http://hometown.aol.com/samc130/index.html.
  13. Crews from the 21st TCS dropped supplies to Aussies fighing the Japs on the Kokoda track. At that time the only US fighters operating in that area were P-39s and they only lost four men. There were some Australian P-40s in that area and Jap Zeros and other aircraft. Interesting find, especially to me since the role of troop carriers over New Guinea is of special interest to me.
  14. A flight such as that would have been written up in the 315th Air Division mission record which was kept by the navigator. Those kinds of records should be at the Air University at Maxwell. Awards and Decs at Naha were taken care of by sections. I was one of the three loadmaster awards and decs guys in the 35th. We would go through the Form 5s and put people in for Air Medals. Since the repairs you guys made were on the ground, it should have gotten either an Air Force Commendation or a Bronze Star. There should have been someone in maintenance responsible for awards and decs. Your right about crew chiefs normally not flying on missions out of Cam Ranh. The only time I remember any of the guys flying with us was on the night cargo flights to Qui Nhon.
  15. SamMcGowan


    My first TDY was from Pope to Shaw to attend physiological training in October 1964. My first real TDY was a few months later in March 1965 when our crew went on rotation to Evreux. We went a week early because the squadron had lost a crew on a night low-level during an ORI. We were supposed to be there for 90 days but then TAC sent out TWO BUCK and all of the E-models were called back from Europe to go to PACAF and we were only there for about five weeks. We had a couple of weeks before we were to depart for Kadena and during that time we went TDY to Benning to drop troops, the first basic airborne school to jump the Herk (they had been using Reserve C-119s.) We got called back from there a day early because of the DR crisis. We flew about three missions to the DR then left for Kadena in early May. We came home in early July and after leave went to the Congo where LEO was shutting down to bring back some people and cargo. As soon as we got back the whole squadron went to Mactan and we were there until December. I went home on leave over Christmas and as soon as I walked in the barracks Willy Singletary, our squadron clerk, told me orders had come in sending me to Naha.
  16. The Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association Convention will be in San Antonio November 6-9. Visit our web site at www.troopcarrier.org/home.html for details.
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