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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Wherebouts in Houston do you live? I'm in Sienna Plantation with a Missouri City address.
  12. 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.
  13. I wouldn't place too much faith in aircraft "names" since none of them were official.
  14. Yokota was the home of the USAFSS C-130B-IIs into the 1970s. They kept at least one at Cam Ranh to monitor communications in Laos. The mission has long since been declassified, as has the similar mission at Rhine Main with A-models.
  15. I'd like to remind everyone that it's still not too late to register for this years event. The official cutoff date to get the TCTAA rates at the hotels is September 17; after that, rates are based on room availability. We do need information for Lockheed Martin for those who want to visit the factory in Marietta on Friday. That information needs to be submitted ASAP. Check www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html for details and to see who is planning to be there. We're expecting a pretty good turnout.
  16. We did buddy starts all of the time in SEA, and windmill taxi starts if the runway was long enough. 3-engine takeoffs required special authorization. When discussing the Vietnam War, it is important to place an event in context. C-130s were involved in Southeast Asia from 1958 on, and there were different controlling agencies. Prior to October, 1966 when 834th AD activated, all troop carrier operations in SEA were under 315th Air Division which was headquartered at Tachikawa. 315th had a TMC (bet most of you guys don't know what a TMC was) in Saigon with detachments from it at various locations. When the 315th Troop Carrier Group activated, a command center was set up under it to control Vietnam operations. After 834th activated, all C-130 ops were still governed by 315th policies but the airplanes and crews were under 834th operational control. 315th inactivated in April 1969 and the C-130 wings transferred to the respective numbered air force in whose are they were based (Fifth for Tachi and Naha, Thirteenth for Clark and CCK.) We did buddy starts in TAC as well as windmill starts.
  17. According to what I can find on the Net, the 38th transferred to Forbes in July, 1969 then "came back." http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=14311
  18. Chris, the 316th was a new wing that was started at Langley after the 463rd went to PACAF in late 1965. They brought in initial cadre from other TAC bases, particularly Pope. They had three squadrons, the 36th, 37th and 38th. But didn't TAC still have OMS squadrons like we had at Pope? I know MAC still had them.
  19. The past 24 hours have been shocking to me. Yesterday was Mike Lyon's birthday and I made a birthday wish on his Facebook page. A few minutes later I got a message from Ken Smith that he had passed away recently. I found his obit online. Mike lived in Lake City, FL. I had talked to him just a few months ago. He was an engineer in the 29th at Clark when I was there. Then today I got a call from Ralph Bemis that he had heard that Chris Gray had passed away, but wasn't sure if it was a rumor or true. I went online and found his obituary - http://www.stephensondearman.com/services.asp?page=odetail&id=616&locID=1. Chris was my roommate at Charleston when I got there from Clark. He later went to CCK and spent the rest of his flying days in Herks. He had to quit flying due to a health issue but retired as a Master. Also, Chick Anderson called me a few days to tell me that Larry Hogue had passed away. I only remember him by name. I think he was at Clark too.
  20. I think I know the one you're referring too. If I'm not mistaken, the author is David Reed. I couldn't find it on Amazon.
  21. Dan, wings for enlisted men were nothing but a badge. You could wear them as long as you were on aeronautical orders or until you had been on flying status for a specified amount of time (I think it was three years.) Or, they became permanent after ten combat missions. When they became permanent, a set of orders was published awarding them and the orders went into your personnel record. Officers, on the other hand, were given an aeronautical rating as either pilot or navigator.
  22. I'd be surprised if they do since flight records aren't personnel records. When I got out of the Air Force, they gave me the entire record. Unfortunately, I left it in the attic of a house in Virginia when we moved out. I'm sort of surprised to hear that people got so much information. All I got from the NPRC when I asked for all of my records was stuff I already had in the personnel record they gave me when i got out.
  23. Incidentally, we have some former E Flight personnel coming to Warner Robins in October, also some Heavy Chain people and some Sky Hook/Combat Talon folks.
  24. Some E Flight personnel from Naha have been involved with the C-130 flare mission group. They just had a reunion in Dayton, OH in May.
  25. Remember that the 21st TCS/TAS at Naha and the 21st TAS at CCK and Clark are not the same unit. The 21st at CCK/Clark was originally the 346th TAS, which transferred to CCK from Dyess in early 1969. The 21st designation went to CCK from Naha when the 374th TAW at Naha inactivated. It was all paperwork and a transfer of lineage. If you want to find out about 21st history, read my book Anything, Anywhere, Anytime. The 21st activated in Australia in early 1942 as the 21st Transport Squadron. It became troop carrier later that year. The 22nd was activated a few weeks later then in November they joined the 374th Troop Carrier Group when it was activated by Gen. George C. Kenney. It remained in the Pacific until USAF for some convulted reason decided to transfer the lineage to a C-5 squadron at Travis.
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