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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. 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 semcgowanjr@gmail.com 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 semcgowanjr@gmail.com and I'll tell you where to send it. We've got over $6,000 raised already. TCTAA Membership Application.pdf
  4. I've got links to my Amazon and CreateSpace pages on my home page now, www.sammcgowan.com.
  5. 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.
  6. 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"!!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Blind Bat troops didn't go TDY to SVN.
  11. 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.
  12. It's Phan Rang. That's where the 315th Air Commando Wing, later Tactical Airlift Wing, was based.
  13. The 776th TCS airplane was not shot down, it flew into the side of a ridge while on approach to Phan Rang.
  14. Skip, I don't know where you went to survival school or if you've just got CRS. The four-line cut was made on four lines that were marked with red tape. You were supposed to look up and pull them and cut them with the hook blade on the knife. In fact, there was a knife sewed into the riser for just that purpose. I don't think they had even come up with the four-line cut when they started issuing the switchblade knife. I got mine in 1964 when I went on flying status but quit carrying it because I had a hunting knife. There was also a small metal survival knife in a pocket on our survival vests. They showed a film at survival refresher showing how to make the four-line cut.
  15. Guys, we had a major discussion on the subject of "reunions" at the TCTAA convention a couple of weeks ago and the general consensus is that there are too many and it costs too much to try to attend all of those a person is eligible for. It costs at least $1,000 just for transportation and lodging for each event. It makes a lot more sense to have one national event somewhere each year or so for anyone who was involved in the troop carrier/tactical airlift missions. Granted, those units that are already having them are going to continue but the numbers at the various events are dwindling. The Sewart Association isn't going to have any more and there are other groups that are shutting down due to lack of interest and the fact that members are dying off. That's the main reason we established the Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association, so as to have one organization for everybody. Last week in Warner Robins we had people there from every troop carrier/tactical airlift wing that ever flew C-130s and most squadrons. There were people there from Blind Bat/Lamplighter, E Flight, Commando Vault, Naha, Pope, Sewart, Dyess, Little Rock, Langley, Forbes, Lockbourne, Everuex, CCK, Tachikawa and Clark. Join the TCTAA and participate with the people who made the reputation of the C-130. Membership forms are at www.troopcarrier.org/membership.html. We've got members ranging in rank from E-4 to Major General. Right now we've got 137 members and we're growing. Come and join with us!
  16. I don't think they're getting any takers. The SOC doesn't want it or so I am told by someone who is heavily involved with them.
  17. Dutch, I may have some but not certain. I have some of the personal effects of my friend Don Thomas who was killed tragically a few years ago. He collected a lot of stuff. I know I saw some master sergeant chevrons in there but they may have been in the stuff I took to the TCTAA convention for the auction. I'll look and see if I still have them.
  18. Js normally come without wing tanks, but they were added to the WC-130Js to extend their range. Not sure, but the new special ops airplanes may have them as well.
  19. In fact, it's listed in my Book Store.
  20. Dick was a navigator in the 35th TCS at Naha in 1966-67. I was crewed with him on the flare mission. He's written several novels over the years. The first was WARBIRDS. Most of them are available in paperback. He's a really good guy.
  21. We had a really good turnout in Warner Robins last week, with approximately 60 people in attendance. We had aircrew maintenance, operations and aerial port people there. Nearly everyone was C-130 at one time or another, with several going back to the 1950s. Tom Stalvey and Roger Greuel did a good job putting everything together, with a lot of help from Roger's wife Janet. We're in the process of deciding where to have the next one in 2014. Tucson has been suggested. Check www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html to see who was there.
  22. https://www.createspace.com/3974494 - Go here to order. Also available from Amazon, Kindle and will be on Nook.
  23. I suppose I should post the link to my author page on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Sam-McGowan/e/B001KIC8QA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
  24. Those of us who are attending the TCTAA convention in Warner Robins next month are going up to Lockheed to tour the factory. If I think of it, I'll try to find out.
  25. I flew with Howie Seabolt for a year in the 29th at Clark. He loved short strips (and everything else about tactical airlift.) By the way, the 29th pilots at Forbes came out of B-47s. The 313th TCW was formed when a B-47 wing at Forbes inactivated.
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