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SamMcGowan

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Everything posted by SamMcGowan

  1. I've purchased and read a number of books about the C-130 over the years and most of them are junk, which is true of nearly all of the aviation books you see. In addition to Joe Dabney's book, I'd also recommend Martin Caidin's "The Long Arm of America." Ray Bowers' TACTICAL AIRLIFT is a good source for material on C-130s in Vietnam. Joe is supposed to be sitting up a web site. He spends most of his time writing local interest material centered around the Carolinas and Georgia. The same goes for most of the stuff you see on The History Channel. I hardly ever watch it.
  2. The photographer "owns" any photograph they take, and should be properly credited anytime it is published. The same with written material. To not credit it, is a violation of copyright laws. Unfortunately, people have been playing fast and loose with photographs and other materials on the Internet. The exception is "public domain," which includes photographs and material taken and/or published by government sources. The best rule is that if you don't know where it came from, don't post it.
  3. There is no "average" speed. In all transport category airplanes, V1 and Vr are based on V2, takeoff safety speed, which changes with gross weight and is affected by temperature and altitude. Having written a novel about C-130s and three non-fiction books about them, I can tell you that you shouldn't even attempt to try to use specifics.
  4. Col. Russell Crane, who commanded the 374th TCW/TAW at Naha, passed away earlier this week in Williamsburg, Virginia. When I get a copy of his obit, I'll post it. Col. Crane came to Naha from McChord and was initially assigned as vice-wing commander. He took over the wing when Col. John R. Neal left in the summer of 1967 and was in command at the height of the Vietnam War (that, for those who don't know, was 1968-69.)
  5. When we had the Blind Bat reunion in Biloxi in 2002, we were guests of the 815th Airlift Squadron and were briefed on the airplane and went through a static display. They were flying with two pilots and a loadmaster. The weather squadron made a flyby for us. I don't recall them saying what their crew was made up of, but it seems to me they may have a navigator and drop sonde operator on board.
  6. They're getting rid of the Credible Sport airplane because it has no historical value. Robins is releasing it back to the USAFM to dispose of it as they see fit. If there's a place for it, it should be at Hurlburt. We're having the 2012 Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association convention at Warner Robins October 17-21, 2012. We'll be going up to Marietta to Lockheed on Friday. Keep an eye on www.troopcarrier.org for details.
  7. Don, there was a khaki uniform with shorts, knee socks and a bush jacket but it was phased out in 1963. They were also phasing out the 505s and replacing them with 1505s. We got two sets of 505s and one of 1505s when I went through basic in July, '63. They quit issuing not long after that. There was also an optional long-sleeve polyster shirt but you had to buy it in the BX; it wasn't issued.
  8. There were no 60 series A-models. The last A-models were 57 serials. All 60 serials were B-models.
  9. Grant, when I got to Naha in February, 1966 most of the Naha airplanes were unpainted. You could still see where the red nose and tail painted had been removed from them. They were just starting to camouflage the entire C-130 fleet. I'd have to look but I believe this picture was taken in the summer of 1966. It shows some airplanes lined up for periodic maintenance.
  10. I've got my doubts that crew chiefs were authorized to taxi airplanes at Langley. I was in maintenance at Pope in 64 until I cross-trained and no one on the flight line was authorized to taxi. If an airplane needed to be moved for a run-up, etc., it was towed. When Meyer went down, I was at Clark and crew chiefs weren't taxiing airplanes there either. Meyer had a civilian pilots license, however, and some of the pilots he had flown with had let him in the pilot's seat (I had pilots let me in the seat too for that matter.) When the news came out about the incident, I was in-country on the shuttle and the pilot I was flyng with had just come over from Langley. I believe his name was Ewert. The story came out in Stars and Stripes with Meyer's picture and the crew was discussing it on the intercom. The pilot commented that he had let Meyer in the pilots seat a number of times. I've seen the report of the incident - I think I still have it somewhere. Meyer had gone out the night before and got stinking drunk and was probably still drunk when he took off. He had been patched through to his wife and was talking to her when contact was lost. His last words to her were "Looks like I've got a problem. I'll be back as soon as I deal with it." This leads me to believe a light had come on or something. I've got over 16,000 hours as a pilot with more than 10,000 of that in high-performance transport category airplanes. Meyer was in an airplane that was designed to be flown by a minimum of two people, either two pilots or a pilot and a flight mechanic. My guess is he got into trouble and the airplane went out of control, possibly into a spin. His "looks like I've got a problem" could have referred to anything, but one of those things could have been that he had bled off airspeed and was approaching a stall. Pieces of the airplane were found in the English Channel off of the French coast.
  11. The revision of the C-130 book is in the final phase before it'll be released. They're currently making corrections to the Galley which should be complete in the next 10-15 days. I've set up a page for my writing at www.sammcgowan.com/author.html. Instructions for ordering autographed copies is on there. The book will sell for $23.95 and I'm adding $5.00 for shipping to that. Right now I'm not set up to take credit cards but am working on it. FYI, the airplane shown on the cover is 64-0556, which had been delivered to Sewart a few months before I took the picture at Dong Ha in October-November 1965. According to Lars O.'s info, it went to CCK and remained in the Pacific for its entire flying career. It ended up at Hurlburt first as a maintenance trainer and then as a loadmaster trainer. My understanding is it has since been scrapped. At this point I don't know when the troop carrier/tactical airlift history will be ready. It's still in production and they have yet to send me the galleys for proofing. I actually sent it in first and was expecting it to be ready first, but they evidently were able to format the C-130 book first. Regarding the 1988 book, I saw some copies through Amazon.com starting at around $13.00 for used and closer to $100 for new.
  12. Was he a Thai or a Nung? We had a lot of Nung guards at Ubon. They walked the perimeter right behind the Blind Bat hooch. One night infiltrators tried to attack the Blind Bat hooches but one of the Nungs managed to fire his shotgun when they were cutting his throat. However, Ubon was a RTAF base.
  13. I've sent the manuscripts for my books to the publisher and they should be available soon. Anything, Anywhere, Anytime is a history of the USAAF, USAF troop carrier mission and the tactical airlift mission that followed it. It should be a must-read for all veterans as well as modern military members. No other book has chronicled the entire mission from the troop carrier perspective. Trash Haulers is a revision of my 1988 C-130 book (with the title I hated.) I've done quite of revision and added a few things. They both should be available for purchase around the first of the year if not sooner.
  14. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/fayettevilleobserver/obituary.aspx?n=william-h-baush&pid=154258188 - I got a call over the weekend from Bill Collier, to tell me that flight engineer Bill Baush passed away last week. Bill was a veteran C-130 flight engineer, who was at Ashiya on A-models. He was in Stan/Eval with the 463rd at Langley and Mactan (maybe Sewart before that.) He was chief engineer for PACAF when he retired. Bill is mentioned several times in my C-130 book. Bill also told me that he had gone to Roanoke, Virginia to visit Jim Radford, an engineer at Pope and Clark. Jim retired to his home in Christiansburg, Virginia and made a fortune in real estate, but he is suffering from Alzheimers and is in the VA hospital in Roanoke now. Bill said he doesn't know anything. Very sad.
  15. I did some checking. The first C-130As assigned to Europe arrived in October, 1957. The 317th TCW inactivated in September, 1958. The 317th and 475th had combined into one wing at Evreux, the 317th. 322nd Air Division activated in Europe in March, 1954. When the wing inactivated, it was only the headquarters - the 317th CAMS remained active as did the 317th FMS. The three flying squadrons reported directly to 322nd headquarters. They did the same thing with the 483rd TCW in Japan a little over a year later, inactivating the wing and assigning the squadrons directly to 315th Air Division. Since the 317th was still active at Evreux in October, 1957 when the first A-models arrived, they were assigned to it, or to its three squadrons. 317th was still active in the summer of 1958 during the Lebanon Crisis and 317th's C-130As were heavily involved. The crisis was in July and August and the 317th inactivated in September. So, yes the first C-130s in Europe were assigned to the 317th Troop Carrier Wing, but at the same time they were controlled by 322nd Air Divison since it was the parent for all airlift operations in Europe - including TAC rotational squadrons - just as 315th was the parent for all airlift operations in the Western Pacific.
  16. The information that I have is that it was lost at Chu Lai. It was not shot down. It was shown as an operational loss, not a combat loss. Bowers refers to a C-130 pilot who attempted to take off at Chu Lai with a known engine problem. He says that two passengers died in the fire that resulted after the airplane went off of the runway due to loss of directional control.
  17. http://www.robins.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123271109 - This is the news release from Robins about 7868. It says that Mack Secord was the pilot who flew it in and out of Stanleyville. I talked to Mack today and he said the museum had called him but he doesn't know for sure. Mack and his crew were Chalk Six and were supposed to drop some equipment to the Belgians to use to clear the runway. After they took off out of Kamina, they lost a life raft and it wrapped around the vertical stabilizer. They turned around and went back to Kamina and got the spare airplane, which may have been 63-7868. By the time they reached Stanleyville, the field had been secured and Chalks 7-11 had landed and discharged their troops and took off again. Mack landed and was told to wait on the ground along with Chalk 12, which was configured as a hospital, to wait for the hostages to be brought to the airfield. When they got there, they all headed for Mack's airplane because he still had the engines running. They were all wounded so his loadmasters, one of whom was Al Collins who was later at Clark (Al was with 5th APS and was second loadmaster - I don't know his crew loadmaster was) had to get them off of the airplane over to the other one. After they loaded up with about 100-125 passengers, they taxied out to takeoff. As they passed by some elephant grass, two Simbas jumped out and one fired a burst from a submachine gun into the wing while the other tried to force the paratroop door. None of the crew knew it but the Chalk 12 crew saw what happened. The other crew called them on the radio but Mack failed to realize what they were telling him until after he had become airborne. They knew they had fuel streaming out of the wing and decided to land without reverse. His engineer was SSgt Crawford Ingraham. Mack had hit his head the night before when he came out to his airplane to get some sleep and had a splitting headache all day. When he finally got to Leopoldville they had to lift him out of the seat. The flight surgeon diagnosed him with a brain concussion.
  18. I'm trying to get a list of the Chalk Numbers and corresponding tail numbers for the mission. Somewhere I have a copy of Col. Don Strobaugh's mission report. He was a captain with 5th Aerial Port at Evreux at the time and went into Stanleyville with the mission. I can't find my copy but am in touch with Don and hoping he has his handy. I just now talked to Mack Secord, who was the pilot on Chalk Six. They lost a life raft and went back to Kamina to get the spare. Mack lives in Atlanta. He got a call from the museum at Robins asking if it was his airplane but doesn't have access to his records. Crawford Ingram was his engineer.
  19. I didn't see the other post. FYI, the Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Assoc. convention will be at Warner Robins October, 2012. Already a number of Pope veterans are making plans to come. This will give more incentive. I'm in touch with several Dragon Rouge veterans and will encourage them to make the trip.
  20. Resting Place for a Red Dragon Herk: A 47-year-old C-130E, one of the Air Force's oldest Hercules aircraft and the veteran of a harrowing rescue decades ago, landed for the last time at Robins AFB, Ga., for display at the adjacent Museum of Aviation. Aircraft # 63-7868 arrived at Robins on Tuesday, reported the Macon Telegraph. On Nov. 23, 1964, this aircraft was among the C-130s that participated in Operation Dragon Rouge to rescue 2,000 western hostages held by rebels in Stanleyville in the former Republic of the Congo. Damaged by rebel fire departing Stanleyville, aircraft # 63-7868 continued 800 miles on three engines, delivering its passengers to safety and earning its crew the MacKay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of that year. Previously assigned to the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, Ark., this C-130E is the museum's second Hercules variant, joining an AC-130 gunship already on display. (See also Museum of Aviation release)
  21. Don, it didn't have an FE. FEs first appeared on flying boats, then on B-29s. It had an aerial engineer which is not the same thing. FEs were trained to compute cruise performance; aerial engineers were not. My dad was an aerial engineer on B-24s. The 307 was developed from the B-17. Note the wing, engines and under carriage.
  22. It wasn't an Air Vietnam airplane. The airplane was silver with no markings other than a tail number. It was part of the CIA stable. It was a common sight all over South Vietnam.
  23. In 1968 the 374th had A-models.
  24. The hand pump was in the cargo compartment on both the As and Bs, but it was disabled when the doors were sealed. The Early Es also had it, but after a few E-models were produced they discontinued the forward door.
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