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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. They started showing up in Vietnam - which is where they are converted for use - sometime in late 1967 or early 1968.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The information is on the accident report you posted.
  25. 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.)
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