Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. In fact, it's listed in my Book Store.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. https://www.createspace.com/3974494 - Go here to order. Also available from Amazon, Kindle and will be on Nook.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Here's the difference - "tactical" refers to direct support of troops in combat. "Strategic" is a word the MAC staff dreamed up for what is actually the "logistical" mission, which is moving supplies into rear area depots. During World War II, it was all called air transport but only troop carrier units were involved in direct combat. In Vietnam we flew both logistical and tactical missions, which is the way its always been. Logistical missions carried cargo from Cam Ranh and Tan Son Nhut to places like Qui Nhon and Da Nang. Tactical missions were into the forward fields in direct support of combat operations. There was also some airdrop, but really not as much as many might think. Most airdrop was in 1968-early 1969 and 1972. Read my book ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME and you'll understand the difference. Troop carrier units flew logistical missions but their mission was combat. Air Transport was purely logistical and were not allowed to operate into forward areas. In fact, ATC only lost 7 airplanes in the entire war.
  14. I am working on a new book which should be available soon. It's called HAULING TRASH and is my personal memoir of my 12 years hauling trash in C-130s at Pope, Naha and Clark, C-141s at Robins and C-5s at Charleston and Dover. Check my author page on Amazon.com and it'll show up as soon as it goes in print, which should be within the next few days. Also, I have now made my C-130 flareship novel The Cave available on Kindle. Here's the link - http://www.amazon.com/The-Cave-ebook/dp/B009F6YOQG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
  15. Convention is less than a month away but there's still time to register. Rooms should still be available at our rate - check with the hotel. We've got over fifty people coming now, and all of the TCW/TAWs are represented. Check www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html.
  16. A-models had drop tanks; E-models had external tanks. The A-model drop tanks were originally designed for T-33s. Lockheed started modifying As for drop tanks starting around 1960. Before that, they had no external tanks and used Benson tanks for Pacific deployments. The drop mechanism was later removed and the installations became semi-permanent. We couldn't make it to Hickam in an A in the winter time. I was on a mod bird mission and we had to go to Elemendorf, then to Midway to make it back to Naha.
  17. Can you post a picture? I suspect it might have something to do with the Bird Air crews; they were the ones who flew missions into Cambodia. I can't see how it would have been used by a gunship squadron. As for the TLC Brotherhood, I gave up on that a long time ago. Too many wannabes.
  18. Why preserve an airplane that never did anything? One crashed and one was converted back to C-130H. This airplane should have also been returned to its original configuration. There were scads of C-130s, As, Bs, Es, Hs, that actually made historical contributions and most of them were cut up for scrap. The E-model Robins got recently is actually a historical airplane. It was on Dragon Rouge and then went to CCK and was later assigned to E Flight. Hurlburt would be the logical place but if they don't want it, scrap it.
  19. Chris, the Mohawk picture is at Lawson Field at Ft. Benning, GA. We were down there dropping troops. We went down in late April '65 and were there when the DR whistle blew and went back home that night. Another group of Pope airplanes from the 779th went down in August to drop the 1st Cav' one last time before they deployed to Vietnam.
  20. There was no difference at all in the four squadrons at Naha. We all did the same thing except that each squadron had its own special operations missions. We rotated to Cam Ranh Bay and Bangkok and flew whatever airplane happened to be available. Enlisted crewmembers all lived in the same barracks and in the same hooche at Cam Ranh.
  21. In fact TAC-Trained Killers HATED MAC! Former MAC personnel, particularly loadmasters, had to be retrained to perform under combat conditions. They thought they were airline employees and had to be educated.
  22. The troop carrier mission was part of TAC from the beginning. TAC was established right after World War II. Eighteenth Air Force was the troop carrier organization. MATS was a DOD service administered by the Air Force. MAC activated as a command on January 1, 1966 but troop carrier remained with TAC. MATS did pick up some TAC C-124 troop carrier squadrons in 1958 and they retained their troop carrier identity. Troop carrier changed to tactical airlift on August 1, 1967. MAC managed to get control of the tactical airlift mission after Vietnam because an Air Force study determined that there was duplication of aerial port facilities and it would be a cost savings measure. After the Gulf War, most tactical airlift went to ACC. In 1999 AMC managed to get it back.
  23. Wherebouts in Houston do you live? I'm in Sienna Plantation with a Missouri City address.
  24. Troop carrier was replaced by tactical airlift on August 1, 1967. A notice came out from the Vice-Chief of Staff, Gen. Bruce Holloway, in July. Originally, troop carrier units were called Transport, but that changed in 1942. The change to tactical airlift was supposed to have been because the new name "more accurately represented the mission as it was being performed." Hell, there's no difference now from what troop carriers were doing in 1942! Read my book Anything, Anywhere, Anytime and you'll see what I mean. As for General Momyer, who just passed away, he was a true friend to airlift. He was the C-130 project officer during its development and was the one senior officer who said that transferring tactical airlift to MAC would be a big mistake. He commanded Seventh Air Force at the height of the Vietnam War - Khe Sanh, Kham Duc, A Loi, you name it. He was a firm believer in tactical airpower, including tactical airlift.
  25. I wouldn't place too much faith in aircraft "names" since none of them were official.
  • Create New...