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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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 [email protected] 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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,
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.)
  12. 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
  13. Brenda Anderson, Chick's wife, passed away a couple of weeks ago. Chick is at home in Boise. I talked to him about a week ago. He says he's doing fine. If you know Chick and would like to give him a call, drop me a note at [email protected] and I'll give you his number. Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer around 2007 but she beat it. Then a new cancer was diagnosed about two years ago. Brenda was a really good lady. She was Carolyn's, Chick's first wife, best friend. She went to California to care for Carolyn before Chick retired and they later married.
  14. If anyone is interested, I've written several new books and revised my C-130 book (added pictures) and troop carrier history (ditto.) They're all available on Amazon. If anyone wants autographed copies, I am now set up for Pay Pal. Check www.sammcgowan.com/books.html for details on how to order. I have written a sequel to The Cave which is set at Clark in 1969-71. The title is MORTAR MAGNETS.
  15. I wanted to let everyone know that the Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association reunion/members meeting will be in Little Rock May 4-7, 2016. We had a good turnout in Tucson a year ago and are expecting a larger one in Little Rock. Check the web site for details - www.troopcarrier.org. We'll be in Dayton in 2018 and will be placing a memorial to troop carriers/tactical airlifters who gave their lives in WW II, Korea, SE Asia and the Cold War. If anyone would like to contribute, drop me a note at [email protected] and I'll tell you where to send it. We've got over $6,000 raised already. TCTAA Membership Application.pdf
  16. I've got links to my Amazon and CreateSpace pages on my home page now, www.sammcgowan.com.
  17. Talk to the store manager. He or she may not understand their policy. They are definitely supposed to give it to all veterans with ID.
  18. LOWES has had that benefit for some time. Home Depot would only give them on certain holidays. A couple of years ago one of the Home Depot pilots, who I used to work with in Kentucky, was here in Houston and we got together for lunch. While we were talking I mentioned that Lowes was giving discounts but Home Depot would only give them on holidays. He got all upset and said he'd talk to somebody about it. A few days later I got a call from a Home Depot executive who told me that they were changing the policy, that it was actually supposed to be all the time but somebody had dropped the ball. So, the next time you go into Home Depot and show your VA card, just remember "I can thank Sam McGowan for this discount"!!
  19. No, it's not correct, although it went into the records as having been shot down. They were on their way into Phan Rang and had a brand new navigator on board. He was supposed to be keeping track of their position but failed to realize they were below high terrain. I knew the AC, engineer and loadmaster from Pope and was at Cam Ranh that night. It wasn't until after the war when the official records were declassified that anyone heard they were shot down. For some reason, the USAF classified several aircraft losses as combat losses even though they were believed to have been accidents. I heard that it had something to do with survivors benefits. They were higher for someone who was killed in combat than in an accident. Seems to me it was triple indemnity for the GI insurance. Also, civilian companies could deny benefits to victims of accidents caused by crew error.
  20. My crew was checked out on GPES at Pope in 1965. Don't remember no microphone, but that was a long time ago. GPES was discontinued when LAPES came out but revised for use at Khe Sanh in 1968.
  21. The 1980s mission and the original E Flight mission were not the same. E Flight was a specific mission that was set up to support CIA operations using C-130As from Naha, particularly in Laos. Heavy Chain was set up in 1965 to support test missions in California. That's the problem with military projects- they're set up for one thing and people twenty years later claim to have been part of them when it was an entirely different mission altogether.
  22. Blind Bat troops didn't go TDY to SVN.
  23. if your husband was on Blind Bat, that does not qualify him for the herbicide benefits. They are only for persons who served "boots on the ground" in South Vietnam. You need to come up with information showing that he was TDY to Cam Ranh Bay, which is where we flew out of from Naha in 66-67, or Tan Son Nhut, where the Naha crews operated out of in 1969-70.
  24. It's Phan Rang. That's where the 315th Air Commando Wing, later Tactical Airlift Wing, was based.
  25. The 776th TCS airplane was not shot down, it flew into the side of a ridge while on approach to Phan Rang.
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