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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. Check www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html to see who's registered for the event in Warner Robins in October. So far, we've got about 40 registrants, including spouses and guests. Those who would like to visit the Lockheed/Martin factory need to get their information to Roger Greuel by mid-August as it needs to go to LM's security department. They need full name, date and place of birth, address and employer. Anyone who is not a US citizen also has to provide their passport number and state of issuance. We're getting a good representation of units and bases with a number of maintenance people as well as aircrew. The agenda is to arrive on Wednesday, October 17, have out meeting and presentations on Thursday with the reception that evening, travel to Marietta by rented coach (mandatory per Lockheed) on Friday, memorial service Saturday morning with the banquet that evening. This is a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. Warner Robins is just off of I-75 on the way to Florida. They have a really great museum with several C-130s, including a former Tachikawa A-model incorporated into the main building.
  2. If anyone really wants to know something about airlift history, and how it led to the development of the Herk, get a copy of my recently published book Anything, Anywhere, Anytime. Details for ordering are under the Promotions heading. I covered everything from the time Pappy Gunn's Philippine Airlines was organized into an air transport squadron through Vietnam, and then some. I used mostly official sources, such as the US Army Air Forces in WW II history and Ray Bowers history of tactical airlift operations in Southeast Asia. It is the ONLY history of combat airlift ever published.
  3. Chris, I believe these photos, at least the ones at the bottom, were taken at an exercise somewhere in the US. The terrain looks like somewhere in the Southwest. Pope was involved in a couple after we got there. I know there were a couple called SWIFT STRIKE and another called GOLDFIRE. The trucks have 464th TCW on them and the guys are wearing the old fabric name tags we got from the Fabric Shop along wieth a TAC Patch.
  4. There are so many holes in this story that it can't hold water. For one thing, defoliants were hardly classified in 1962, or ever for that matter. It wasn't until after the war that the Agent Orange controversy started. For another, Okinawa isn't tropical, it's sub-tropical, and the foliage there is nothing like Vietnam. Defoliants weren't and still aren't considered chemical weapons and did not require a chemical weapons battalion to handle them. "Chemical weapons," which are classified because they are banned by the Geneva Convention, are agents such as nerve gas, which the US Army kept in storage at several different locations and probably had them on Okinawa. This reporter is trying to connect dots of different colors. For that matter, defoliants were in widespread use all over the cotton-growing states in the US long before anyone ever heard of Vietnam.
  5. Note that is unsubstantiated. According to US sources, no Agent Orange was ever stored or used on Okinawa. Even in the case of Thailand, for a veteran to qualify for herbicide related medical problems, he/she has to have been assigned to duty on the airfield perimeters where it was actually sprayed. Vietnam service is presumptive exposure.
  6. They started showing up in Vietnam - which is where they are converted for use - sometime in late 1967 or early 1968.
  7. They didn't when Chris was in the USAF - there were no C-123Ks. They came about late in the war because the C-123Bs were lacking in power.
  8. From 1967-1969 the airplanes at Cam Ranh were As from Naha and Tachi and Es from CCK. The B-models operated out of Tan Son Nhut. In the spring of 1969 we (the 463rd) moved to CRB and the As moved to Tan Son Nhut. Then sometime in 1970 the As and Es made another swap, though God knows why. The whole reason given for the B-model move to CRB was that they were parts compatible with the Es, that and that we were starting COMMANDO LAVA. For the record, my first flight into the new field at CRB was in November, 1965 while TDY to Mactan. In February, 1966 after transferring to Naha I was there again on a two-week "shuttle as required" mission. This was before the Cam Ranh Shuttle started - it started a few weeks later in May. I was there from August-August, 1966-67 on shuttles (I was at Ubon May-July, 1966) and again May, 1969 to September, 1970.
  9. Chris, those pictures have 464th TCW on them. The 464th didn't operate out of Nha Trang; the 314th did after it went PCS to CCK. I can't figure out where they were taken.
  10. That's Silvey in that one picture. He was a character. He was a Red Rope in the squadron at Amarillo and we became buddies because we were both from Tennessee. We were in the same open bay barracks in OMS at Pope. I sort of lost touch with him after I went to the 779th. Were these at Mactan or where? We didn't have any mountains at Pope and don't remember any on Mactan either.
  11. Chris, those weren't "early" C-130 Ops in SEA and SVN. By 1965 C-130s had been operating in SEA for over five years. Naha and Tachi C-130A crews started operating there in 1958. There was a CALSU at Tan Son Nhut when we were TDY to Kadena and Mactan from Pope in 1965. 315th Air Division set up a command post in Saigon when the MULE TRAIN C-123s arrived in January, 1962.
  12. The information is on the accident report you posted.
  13. I recently posted the entire incident report for the incident when assistant crew chief Sgt Paul Meyer stole his airplane at Mildenhahl. This report has been available for years - I got it around 2000 from somebody. I included a link to the Yahoo group Bob Woods set up, but he really doesn't have any additional info. At one point I also had a file with transcripts of the HF conversation, but can't seem to find it so I mustn't have transferred it as I've switched computers over the years. His last words to his wife were "I've got a problem. I'll be right back as soon as I take care of it." The Yahoo group contains an Email from Jerry Bennett, who was one of the C-130 pilots involved in the search. He believes Meyer flew into a line of thunderstorms and took the airplane off autopilot and lost control. The entire incident occured early on Sunday morning during hours of darkness for the most part. He took off right after 0500 and radar contact was lost a few minutes before 0700. There are a lot of rumors about what supposedly happened but none of them have any support. Meyer was a private pilot but there is no indication he had either a multi-engine or instrument rating but he was trying to fly an airplane that required a minimum of two crewmembers even for emergency operation. He flew around over and in the vicinity of the UK for almost TWO HOURS! The report is at www.sammcgowan.com/meyers.html. (If you have MacAfee Siteadvisor, you'll get a flag but the site is safe.)
  14. At this point in the war, 315th Air Division operated a number of scheduled missions into South Vietnam, mostly from Okinawa, which was a major supply depot. I can't say for certain, but the mission number was probably the mission number for one of those scheduled missions. In 1966 the 314th TCW was involved mostly in missions operating in and out of South Vietnam. The wing did have a rotational mission at Nha Trang but this crew was not on it since they crew rested at Tan Son Nhut. The mission report doesn't say, but they had probably picked up their load at Naha, Okinawa then went to Da Nang and on to Tan Son Nhut for crew rest. Since they hit a mountain in Taiwan, the Vietnam portion has no bearing on the accident. The report says the airplane had been continually off course, which indicates a navigational error.
  15. They were on a routine transport mission carrying cargo to Vietnam. That's the whole reason the 314th Troop Carrier Wing was sent to the Pacific in the first place. The mission number is just the number for the mission; it means nothing.
  16. Registration forms are coming in nearly every day. The registration packet and the registration forms are posted on www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html. If you plan to go to Marietta to visit Lockheed-Martin, we need certain information (posted on the page) as soon as possible to turn into Lockheed for security. They need the info by September 1. Tom Stalvey and Roger Greuel are doing a fantastic job putting everything together.
  17. Interesting. Darrell and I are in Email contact and if I remember correctly, he joined the TCTAA not long ago. He has never mentioned that he was involved at Kham Duc.
  18. Actually, Memorial Day was originally intended to honor GAR dead from the Civil War. In the South it was Decoration Day. In 1967 LBJ got Congress to declare a national holiday in order to gain support from veterans groups such as the Legion and the VFW. He had escalated the Vietnam War two years before and was losing support.
  19. Since the book just came out in January, there are no "used" editions. There are book sellers who have access to wholesale prices who advertize "used books" on Amazon which really aren't used. Right now Amazon has this book for about $2.00 off.
  20. Jeff, send me a check for $56.00 at Sam McGowan, 3727 Hill Family Lane, Missouri City, TX 77459. For $75.00 I'm including my Vietnam novel The Cave (also about C-130s.)
  21. Up until the spring of 1969, all of the airplanes at Cam Ranh were As and Es. The Es moved there from Nha Trang in the spring/summer of 1967. The 463rd operated out of Tan Son Nhut from early 1966 to the spring of 1969 when the As and Bs swapped. There was another swap sometime in 1970 that brought the As back to Cam Ranh and the Es went to Tan Son Nhut. The reason given for the original swap was that the Bs and Es were parts compatible, but it was also because the 463rd was starting COMMANDO VAULT and would be loading at Cam Ranh. The move would cut down on ferry time. I am surprised that maintenance would have been in a qounset because as far as I know, 315th Air Division only had two and one was used for enlisted aircrews and the other for officers. Maintenance guys lived in open hooches not far away.
  22. Herky Hill opened sometime in 1968. I rotated to Cam Ranh from Naha from August 1966 until I left in August the following year after first spending two weeks there in February before the Naha/Tachi rotation started. The West Ramp opened sometime in early 1967 but flight crews continued living in the air conditioned qounsets on the East Side. I think the maintenance troops lived in hooches. I've got pictures of the West Ramp that I took in the summer of 1967 and there were no revetments.
  23. Not that I know of. He went into the C-130E-I program at Pope after I left for Naha in early 1966 and as far as I know he stayed in it until he retired. He went to Germany in the early 70s.
  24. http://www.macon.com/2012/05/08/2018773/c-130-pilot-sees-plane-for-first.html - I put this in the Video and Image section originally as a response to Chris Shutz' thread about his visit to the Robins Museum but since it's news, it belongs here. I talked to Mack right after the airplane went to Robins and at the time he didn't know if it was the airplane he flew or not. Crawford Ingraham was his engineer and Al Collins from 5th APS at Evreux was second loadmaster. He couldn't remember who his crew loadmaster was. There is an article about the airplane's delivery at www.troopcarrier.org/convention.html. Mack is planning to attend. There's a lot of information about Dragon Rouge in both of my books. Also, this is a link to my page about the mission - www.sammcgowan.com/dragon.html.
  25. Our crew was in Recife, Brazil on the way back to McDill from Leopoldville when my icon photo was taken by Don Sweet.
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