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Everything posted by wukong

  1. Everytime I see the pix of Don Harrington I imagine a bank loan officer. Excellent pilot.
  2. It is difficult to describe a "typical" mission for a Herk. However, T/O at Nakon Phenom @ 0600L to Ton San Nhut, then 2 shuttles to Hue with 160 SVN infantry with a ramp baggage pallet of bagged rice and a pig in a crate. Return flight would consist of 6 coffins and 20 body bags, wounded on stretchers, walking wounded and a hand full of troops on leave. Return to NKP with 30k Budweiser.
  3. I was a TALO assigned to the 374th out with Marines during an ORI in 83. I watched Bill Kemmerer do a perfect LAPEs up in the Korean DMZ. Bill flew his LAPES pretty much as a short field approach to a flare. He described it as "bending the tops of the grass." As a pilot, 3-4 thousand lbs is damned near irrelevant to the cause of this crash.
  4. There were reventments on rebel row at Ton Son Nhut
  5. I am planning to give a presentation on the C-130 in Viet Nam at a Daedalian meeting in Feb 2014. I would like an information on Banish Beach available from members of this forum for support. I would especially appreciate any photos or other media that could be place in a PowerPoint format. Personal anecdotes are welcome. Information from the AF Historian is very thin.
  6. Gee Whiz, bitching and moaning is a God given right for all soldiers. It's written in the fine print on the stone tablets brought down by Moses. I can recall my uncle (a vet of Bastogne) passing judgement on my generation going off to the Southeast Asian games. Give it a break
  7. tinwhistle, I'm glad that you have seen fit to continue a formal education. At the ripe old age of 63 on Valentines Day, I am working on a BS in Electrical Engineering at FSU Panama City. When I finish this quest I look forward to a second career as an engineer. Perhaps I'll retire a second time after another 40 years. As an ancient sage once said "Illigitamus Noncorburundum" or something like that. (Don't let the bastards grind you down)
  8. Let me second jconner2 and say that I enjoyed your paper after finally getting around to reading it. Reading a piece from the perspective of one who has "skin in the game" is always relevant. I would say that your anger shows through out the paper. From a historical perspective I think you were a bit overboard in opinion not supported by any facts. However it is history as you participated in the events or had real time exposure to the events. Perhaps in the future some historian will cite your work in their take on the 20th Century. That is if the world survives catastrophic global warming or is it climate change.
  9. Tinwhistle, There is no reason that the war in Viet Nam cannot be discussed if we are civil with one another. Also Casey is right when he states that my opinions are just that. The subject of Viet Nam does raise passions that WWII does not and this is due to the fact that this military action was costly in both lives and treasure and did not in it self pose a direct threat to the survival of the United States. That said, the contest of whether the we "won" or "lost" this war hinges on a definition as a recent President of the US would aver, "That depends on what the meaning of is, is." Anyone can paint their own picture of how we won but I would like to have the picture painted against the two most cited "policy" objectives. 1. The domino theory of stopping "monolithic" communist aggression and 2. the survival of the political entity of a sovereign South Viet Nam. 1. Monolithic communism as an international force never existed. This is evidenced by Tito in Yugoslavia in 1948 when he basically told Stalin to shove it. I will grant that the tea leaves were somewhat clouded by the conflict in Korea. History seems to be a bit thin on US attempts to exploit the nationalistic differences that the "communists" continually paper over. There never were any true communists in either the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact Countries or the PRC. Stalin and Mao killed them all. 2. If the political survival of a South Viet Nam was the an objective, it should be considered a highly speculative venture from the start. Foremost this government was created out of thin air with no historical underpinning or popular support. The Diem regime was imposed by what were considered "Colonial Powers" and enjoyed no legitimacy to the majority of Asians. South Viet Nam was essentially a Buddhist majority ruled by a Catholic minority that could only be sustained by an outside military force. I've lost any bitterness that I felt 20 - 30 years ago and ask the philosophical question, "Just what did we win?" I can only say that Coca Cola is in Viet Nam and Russia and China are not.
  10. Any discussion of our involvement in Viet Nam has to be placed in context which is probably impossible in a forum. About 20 years ago my college age daughter ask me how American could have put up with HUAC. My answer to her was that Americans were in effect scared of the international political situation (ie the Soviets had the bomb). As a nation we had just fought an expensive world war where the human cost had touched just about every community in the US. The political policies that led to our involvement in Viet Nam grew out of that war. All war is politics and the politics were to not let that war lead to a nuclear confrontation or expansion further into the Asian continent. It is pretty difficult to sustain a war when on one hand you ask the nation to sacrifice and on the other hand execute policies that essentially tell the citizenry that the war is not a critical concern for the survival of our nation. I have no regrets for having flown the C-130 in Southeast Asia. We (all of our service brothers) never lost a military engagement yet we "lost" our war. However in the longer term I believe that our country has won the longer term struggle and I would not be surprised to see our armed forces conducting combined operations with Vietnamese forces in the near future. Nations do not have allies, they have common interests.
  11. I was in charge of an ALCE deployed to Utapao in 1982 when we tried to buddy start a C-130 with a Navy P-3. Because of the "Stinger" on the P-3, the Herk could not get sufficiently close to bring the engine rpm up enough to get a start. The appropriate authority would not authorize a windmill taxi start, so they flew another in with parts to fix the problem. I've always wondered why the disapproval of the windmill start at Utapao. Your would be hard pressed to find a larger or longer runway.
  12. I've tracked down John Grillo. http://www.fly-efi.com/personnel/john-grillo.html
  13. Great video, my fondest memories of CCK were the evening strolls down Chung Hwa road at the "night markets" with Lily.
  14. In the spring of 1973 I was tasked to fly an out and back from CCK to Clark AB with Lt. Col Phil Reide the Commander of the 345. After a lunch at Base Ops were were strolling across the ramp to our plane that was parked on a hardstand in front of Base Ops. It was a clear day and Hulk hill was a poster picture behind our Herk. I gazed down the airfield toward the North and there was a lone T-33 parked on another hard stand. I asked, "Colonel, what was it like flying the T-33?" Col. Reide chuckled and responded, "Jerry I don't know. I was in the last class at Vance flying the B-25." FWIW I was in Vance AFB UPT Class 72-08 and during my tour Vance received the last T-38 off the production line. I flew it when it had about 25 total hours.
  15. I have to give credit to Ted Applebaum for many hours of entertainment at the O-Club bar at NKP from his running commentary of his symbiotic relationship with Lt Col Richardson (21TAS CC). Evidently Ted had no career aspirations and a personal goal of draining the club systems in Thailand of ethyl alcohol. Richardson was well known for his philosophy of showing up for flight with a "belly full of bacon and eggs." I suspect that neither of the two shared Christmas card lists. The "Ted" show is as memorial as the NKP "go-go" dancer with square tits.
  16. Bob, Your memory matches mine. The Marines unofficial name for the place was "The Rose Garden." For those who are not geriatrics google Lynn Anderson. http://www.thaiflyingclub.com/linkairportnamphong.html This picture is the right layout and location but is listed as an asphalt runway and taxiways. Maybe it was asphalt. I would have sworn the runway and taxiways were concrete.
  17. I believe that an AC-130 was downed in the winter of 72 by a SA-7. Sorry, misread your post.
  18. One thing that combat operations permits is the freer expressions of personality that peace time drudgery tamps down. Perhaps the 4 most discussed personalities of CCK between 72 and the closure in 74 was Capt Applebaum (21TAS), 1Lt John Grillo (345TAS) and the Marosla twins (Dewey and Donnie). Muff and I have already mentioned John Grillo in other posts. Does any one know (venture to guess) which of the twins smuggled BB onto the Base in the trunk of his car? This incident to my knowledge made it all the way to the Embassy in Taipei.
  19. Nam Phong was a garbage dump situated on a first class airfield. Flew several missions relocating the Marines out to MCAS Futenma. On one particular sortie we went missed approach from a GCA at Futenma. It was during the heaviest rain storm I have ever experienced. At 100 feet decision height nothing was visible. The GCA controller was inexcusably incompetent and Bud Stokes the AC submitted a Hazard Report with the details. Muff, I believe you were the FE on that sortie.
  20. I can recall John Grillo (345TAS) telling a bar story about landing a Herk in the last 3000' at Korat AB in late 72 or early 73. According to the story John carried an extraction chute that he would rig in the bomb shackle and deploy at fighter bases. He would then have Transient Alert repack the chute. The story around the community is that the Fighter Wing Commander at Korat had a policy of having thier SOF personally counsel fighter pilots who landed long. John's story is that he suggested the SOF should "go to hell" when the SOF attempted to "explain" the base policy.
  21. The Nav on my crew (Jim Walcher) would set an alarm clock for our ETA to make sure someone was awake at a critical time. Poor "george" never gets a nap.
  22. Muff, I'm right. The 834ALD was the Hq for the MAC COMALF for PACAF until that disaster McPeak hit the Air Force. The Marines were on some field exercise and I we were moving the troops from Utapao back to Okinawa.
  23. I was the OIC of an ALCE det at Utapao in 1981 (must have been summer as it was hot as hell, HA!!) when one of our Herks developed a starter problem. We tried a "buddy" using a P-3. Because P-3 "stinger" would not allow the Herk close enough to the P-3 and the fact that the engines did not line up, the Herk could not get enough RPM to drive the starting sequence. The 834ALD would not approve a taxi start. So they flew a starter and Mx crew in from Clark. If there ever was a runway you would wish for when doing a taxi start, Utapao would be in the top of the list.
  24. Sometime in about December 1972 on a flight from Saigon to Utapao Mark Marz took our doggy 62 E model up to a mushy 33,000. In 1975 I flew one of the Super E's at Little Rock and took the empty airplane to FL350 with no effort at all. She climbed like a homesick angel. The indicated airspeed was very low but she still had a lot of unused power.
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