Newsletter 22-1 1600 20110326.indd

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					April 2011                                                C-7A Caribou Association                                         Page 1

                Caribou Association
                                                             Volume 22, Issue 1

          Come Fly in the Bou at Reunion 2011 in Dallas
  The Radisson Hotel, 1241 W. Mock-                   Dallas-Ft Worth Airport (DFW) is         ciation to take the Bou fliers to Addison
ingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75247, 214-               16 miles away. Taxi and commercial          Airport starting at 0800. The museum
630-7000 will be headquarters for Re-              shuttle bus are available at DFW.           has in interesting collection of aircraft
union 2011 from 21-25 Sep 2011. The                   Group room rate is $109.25 (includes     (see information on page 3) and a small
hotel has 296 rooms, free high-speed               taxes). Check-in time is 3:00 PM. Res-      gift shop. Buses will make several trips
internet access, free guest parking,               ervations may be made starting 1 April.     to and from Addison Airport. All fliers
and space for parking of RVs. URL is               Specify “C-7A Caribou Association”          will be back at the hotel by 1700. The                when making your reservation. To get          For those not visiting the Cavanaugh
hotel provides free shuttle bus from/to            the group rate, your reservation must       Flight Museum and/or taking a Bou
Dallas Love Field (3 miles). Love Field            be made by 8/31/11.                         flight, Friday afternoon is an opportu-
is served by Southwest, Continental                   War Room will be the Champagne           nity to visit Northcenter Park Mall (12
Airlines, and Delta Airlines.                      Ballroom (sections A, B, and C). Tenta-     miles) from 1200-1600. The Mall has
                                                   tive schedule of activities can be found    over 120 shops, over 20 places to eat,
          In This Issue                            on page 3.                                  and a movie theater. Many consider
                                                      Registration will open at 1200 on        that is a must for a visitor to Dallas.
President’s Corner ................. Page 2        Wednesday, 21 Sep. The Memorabilia          See
2011 Reunion activities ......... Page 3           Room will be open from 1500-1700.           for information.
Pig Roast ............................... Page 4   Welcome reception from 1800-2000.             Friday evening is Texas BBQ time.
Bou Heroes at Duc Lap.......... Page 4                On Thursday, we will visit the Fron-     No reunion in Dallas would be respect-
Caribou Pipeline...................... Page 5      tiers of Flight Museum for guided           able without enjoying a good Texas
Short Timer ........................... ..Page 7   tours (see info on page 3). Buses will      BBQ. Buses will depart from the hotel,
Museum of Aviation ............. Page 8            be provided by the Association and          starting at 1800. All will be back at the
New USAF Tanker ................ Page 9            will depart the hotel from 1300-1400        hotel by 2100.
Travis AFB Museum ............ Page 9              and will return at 1600. A (optional)         Business meeting will be in the Coral
Duct Tape ............................. Page 10    plated dinner will be at the hotel from     Room (1 and 2) from 1030-1200. While
Mortars at Can Tho .............. Page 10          1900-2100.                                  the members are making momentous
Extractions ........................... Page 10       On Friday, it’s time to kick the tires   decisions in the business meeting,
DFC at Katum ...................... Page 11        and light the fires! The highlight of the    the ladies can enjoy an optional Tex-
Bou Heroes at Bu Dop ......... Page 12             reunion is the opportunity to fly once       Mex cooking class/demo led by Chef
Bou Heroes at Loc Ninh ...... Page 12              again in our favorite airplane – the Bou.   Michael Killgore. After the demo, the
Pax from Hon Quan ............. Page 13            The Cavanaugh Flight Museum has a           gentlemen may join their ladies for
Con Thien.............................. Page 14    flying Bou, S/N 62-4149. We hope to          lunch, featuring the dishes the ladies
Bou Heroes at Con Thien ...... Page 16             be able to have 15-20 passengers on         have been seeing and assisting in the
Med-evacs at LZ English ...... Page 17             each 40 minute sortie of the Bou from       preparation.
Letter Home .......................... Page 17     Addison Airport (16 miles from the            Group pictures will be taken from
Ben Het Recalled .................. Page 18        hotel), The flight will include takeoff      1700-1830. Pay-as-you-go bar opens
Ferry Mission to U.S. ............ Page 19         and landing at Addison Airport, flight in    at 1800 and the banquet is from 1900-
FCF ... Plus............................ Page 22   the local area, and takeoffs and landings   2130.
Return from Bangkok ........... Page 23            at an auxiliary field. Final permission        Sunday morning wraps up the re-
Most Embarrassing Moment . Page 24                 form the FAA is pending on the number       union. Checkout time is 12 PM. Last
Noble Farewell ...................... Page 26      of passengers on each flight.                chance to pick up Memorabilia.
Airpower Classics ................. Page 27           Buses will be provided by the Asso-        See you in Dover, DE in 2012.
Page 2                                                 C-7A Caribou Association                                        April 2011

      The C-7A Caribou Association Newsletter
           is the official publication of the                                       President’s Corner
              C-7A Caribou Association.
                                                                Finalizing the details of this year’s reunion have been delayed some-
   Elected Officers and Board Members....                        what by my slow recovery from cardio-thoracic surgery in January to
                                                               remove a carcinoid tumor from my right lung. Menu for the banquet,
   Chairman of Board/Vice President - Peter Bird [535, 71]
                                                               details of the Tex-Mex cooking demonstration for the ladies, and the
   President/Board Member - Pat Hanavan [535, 68]
                                                               details and schedule for flights in the Bou owned by the Cavanaugh
   Treasurer/Board Member - Mike Murphy [537, 68]
   Secretary/Board Member - Al Cunliffe [458, 68]
                                                               Flight Museum will be tied down in the next few weeks. The reunion
   Board Member at Large - Fred Dimon [535, 68]
                                                                                             flyer should be in your mailbox early in
   Board Member at Large - Bob Neumayer [459, 69]                                            June. Our Dallas-based reunion team is
   Board Member at Large - Pat Phillips [535, 68]                                            pulling the last information now.
                                                                                              The list of possible reunion locations
   Appointed Positions                                                                       after 2013 includes: Ft. Walton Beach,
   Bereavement Chairman - Jay Baker [535, 66]                                                FL; Fairfield, CA; and Sterling, VA.
   Chaplains - Sonny Spurger [537, 68], Jon Drury [537, 68]                                   If you have an idea about a good reunion
   Historian - Robert Blaylock [457,70]                                                      location, e-mail your thoughts to a mem-
   Newsletter Editor - Pat Hanavan [535, 68]                                                 ber of the Board.
   Newsletter Editor Emeritus - Dave Hutchens [459, 69]
                                                                                              War stories, humorous tales, and little
   Reunion 2011 Planners - Don Griffin [536, 66],
                                                               known facts are needed for the newsletter. Jot them down and send
                            Doug Boston [458, 68],
                            Charlie Austin [457, 67]
                                                               them in. These items make our newsletter top notch.
                            Paul Witthoeft [483, 70]
   Webmaster - Peter Bird [535, 71]
   President Emeritus - Nick Evanish [457, 66]
   Chaplain Emeritus - Bob Davis [457, 69]                      B-17 Navigator’s
   Squadron Representatives...                                        Log
   457th     Royal Moulton [457, 66], phone 540-720-7092   1-18-44, mission #18. Frank-
   457th     Mike Thibodo [457, 70], phone 651-483-9799 furt, Germany. Mean Point of Im-           went straight down. 15 min. later
   458th     Lee Corfield [458, 69], phone 724-775-3027  pact – business section of town.           in the group next to us, one Fort
   458th     Al Cunliffe [458, 68], phone 334-285-7706
                                                        City of 500,000 people. Carried            came up under another one & cut
   459th     Bob Cummings [459, 66], phone 865-859-0888
                                                        38 incendiary bombs. Were #2               its tail completely off.
   535th     Cliff Smith [535, 69], phone 804-453-3188
   535th     Mike Messner [535, 70], phone 321-453-0816
                                                        in lead squadron in high group.               We saw two bodies fly out. It
   536th     Dana Kelly [536, 70], phone 407-656-4536
                                                        Pathfinder mission. Briefed at             spun down and one chute finally
   536th     Chuck Harris [536, 68], phone 325-465-8096 0230. Took off at 0630 in the              got out. The other plane tore its
   537th     George Harmon [537, 69], phone 951-695-0630dark and had to climb through              wing off and went down. Didn’t
   483rd     Gary Miller [483, 68], phone 262-634-4117  clouds and assemble at 18,000              see any chutes. A while later a
   4449th    Bill Buesking [535, 70], phone 210-403-2635ft. Left England at 0900. Got to           Fort pulled out a little and one
   18th AP   Bill Buesking [535, 70], phone 210-403-2635I.P. and we threw out the carpet           chute came out. It struggled along
  Members are encouraged to communicate with the Ed- (aluminum filings to throw off                 and finally came back. Couldn’t
  itor of the Newsletter. Send change of address, phone the radar), dropped bombs using            figure it out. P-47’s finally arrived.
  number, or e-mail address to:                         the pathfinder and pretty sure we           Got back to England at 1330. Let
     Pat Hanavan                                        hit the city. Got past before they         down through the clouds on our
     12402 Winding Branch                               could get the flak up.                      Splasher.
     San Antonio, TX 78230-2770                            Were attacked by at least 100              We lost 3 planes from our
                                                        German fighters from target on              squadron. German fighters sure
     210-479-0226 (home), 210-861-9353 (cell)
                                                        for about one hour. No escort              looked new and all painted up red
  $10.00 dues are payable each January. Send your       showed up. A Me-109 hit head               and black. Came straight through
  check to                                              on with a Fort over target. Fighter        the groups also.
     Mike Murphy                                        blew up and Fort went down. 5
     2036 Trailcrest Ln Apt 2r                          min. Later Bostwick went down.
     Kirkwood, MO 63122-2263                            5 chutes opened. 10 min. later a                              Fort broke apart. A few min. later
                                                        a Fort went over on his back and
April 2011                                         C-7A Caribou Association                                         Page 3

                                                                                       F-4 “Phantom.” Commercially, many
        Cavanaugh                                  Frontiers of                        of our airlines ended the war flying
      Flight Museum                               Flight Museum                        DC-3’s which carried 21 passengers
                                                                                       at 165 mph. Twenty-six years later,
   Trace the steps of a century of flight      Embark on a memorable aviation           we were spanning the Atlantic Ocean
during Reunion 2011. Walk past wood         journey – a tour of the Frontiers of       in the “Concorde” at 1,450 mph. The
and fabric aircraft from the World War      Flight Museum. During your experi-         full range of the airliner development
I era. Pass by significant aircraft of the   ence, you will bridge several lifetimes    is presented vividly though large-scale
1930’s and World War II periods. Stop       starting with the pioneers who realized    cutaway models, airline posters, and
and study the early jet planes of the       their earliest dreams of flying; identi-    other memorabilia.
1950’s. Walk on and look with amaze-        fying with the aviators of the 20’s and       Your tour concludes with a close-up
ment as newer, faster, more efficient        30’s, known as the “Golden Age of          look at the challenges of space and our
aircraft technologies continue to be        Flight”; understanding the sacrifices of    first step toward the stars with the most
developed. In the process, you will see     the fliers of World War II; and progress-   complex aircraft ever assembled, the
how much aviation affects our lives.        ing to the jet and rocket age of today.    reusable “Space Shuttle” Orbiter. Its
   The collection includes: Fokker Dr.1,    You will see, hear, and touch some of      weight is equal to akmost two Boeing
Fokker D.V, Sopwith Camel, A-26C            the rare artifacts that have contributed   737 jets. It is thrust into orbit 100 miles
Invader, TBM-3E Avenger, PV-2D Har-         to this exciting history. On display is    above the earth at 17,000 mph. All of
poon, B-24 Liberator, B-25J Mitchell,       a World War I Sopwith “Pup” biplane        this has occurred in less than 80 years
P-40N Warhawk, FG-1D Corsair, FM-           along with hundreds of models, uni-        since the Wright brothers first flew their
2 Wildcat, Me-109, P-51D Mustang,           forms, decorations, engines, and pro-      biplane.
P-47N Thunderbolt, Spitfire Mk VIII,         pellers. You will long remember your          Aircraft and missiles on display in-
Yak-3M, N2S-4 Kaydet, PT-13B, Ti-           “Flight Thru Time.”                        clude: Culver Dart, Regulus II, PT-22,
ger Moth, PT-19, AT-6, PT-22, BT-13,          You will see displayed more than 200     T-33A, Tiger Moth, Thorp T-18, Lear-
C-47, Piper L-4J, Aeronca L-3B, F9F-        aircraft models representing nations       jet 24D, XQM-93A, Pitts S-2B, Piper
2B Panther, S2F-1 Tracker, F-104A,          involved in WW II along with the uni-      Pacer, Christen Eagle II, Lear Fan 2100,
MiG-15, F-86, T-28B, AD-5 Skyraider,        forms of the men and women who flew         Beech “Staggerwing,” F-86L, Apollo 7
UH-34D, HU-16D Albatross, OV-1D             them. A special exhibit commemorates       Command Module, RF-8G Crusader,
Mohawk, F-4C, MiG-17, F-105, UH-            the RAF No. 1 British Flying Training      A-7 Corsair II, and F-16B.
1B, AH-1J Sea Cobra, Pitts Special, J-3     School in Terrell, Texas, where 2,000         Reunion Schedule
Cub, and L-1329 JetStar II.                 British fighter pilots were trained. Dal-
   There is also a small museum store in    las Love Field was the base for the 5th    Wednesday, 21 Sep.
the complex of hangars and ramps.           Ferrying Wing, including the 601st         1400-2100 Reunion Registration
   Flights in the museum’s Caribou are      Women’s Army Service Pilots (WASP).        1800-2000 Welcome reception
being arranged. Cost is from $200-250       These gallant women flew all types of       Thursday, 22 Sep.
per person, depending on a final deter-      aircraft including the B-24 “Liberator,”   1300-1600 buses for guided tours of
mination by the FAA about how many          manufactured at Consolidated’s Fort        Frontiers of Flight Museum
passengers can be carried on this special   Worth plant, the P-51 “Mustang” manu-      1900-2100 (optional) dinner at hotel
occasion. The museum has committed          factured at the North American plant at    Friday, 23 Sep.
to providing the flights at their operat-    Grand Prairie, and the P-38 “Lightning”    0800 buses depart for Cavanaugh Flight
ing cost of $3,000 per hour. Details will   which was modified at Dallas Love           Museum (Bou flights and museum)
be in the reunion flyer which should be      Field’s Lockheed Mod Center.               1100-1700 buses return to hotel
in your hands in early June.                  American air power emerged from          1200-1600 Northcenter Park Mall
   So far 64 individuals have expressed     World War II as a dominant force,          1800 buses to Texas BBQ dinner
interest in taking one of these nostal-     both militarily and commercially. We       Saturday, 24 Sep.
gic, historic (about 40 minute) “Bou        ended the war flying the P-51 “Mus-         1000-1130 Business Meeting
Flights.” If you haven’t indicated your     tang” aircraft at a maximum speed of       1000-1200 cooking demo for Ladies
interest in riding in the Bou one more      450 mph. Barely 15 years later, our        1200-1300 Lunch for Ladies/guests
time, send an e-mail to pathanavan@         SR-71 “Blackbird” was cruising at          1700 Group pictures with the number of seats you        2,100 mph. You will be witness to the      1900 Banquet at hotel
will need. Takeoffs and landings will       dramatic progression through artifacts     Sunday, 25 Sep.
be made at Addison airport and an           including an early jet engine and a        Depart for home
auxiliary field.                             rocket powered ejection seat from the      Note: buses provided by Association.
 Page 4                                           C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

                                              knife. Faster that you can say “what’s
            Pig Roast                         next” someone opened the door on the                Bou Heroes at
   by Tom Snodgrass [457, 70]                 crate and out popped the pig’s head.                  Duc Lap
   Vietnam was an education for me in         Immediately, one of the guys hit this             7th AF Silver Star Citation
so many ways. As with most 21 year            pig square between the eyes with that            S.O. G-4044, 27 Dec 1968
olds, I figured I knew pretty much all I       ball peen hammer. It was a tremendous
needed to know, but I wasn’t prepared         blow. All four of the pig’s legs went out      Sergeant Fred G. Carr distinguished
for the many lessons in store for me. For     from under him and he was motionless         himself by gallantry in connection with
sure, hooch life for this kid resulted in     for the millisecond it took for another      military operations against an opposing
exposure to, and participation in a lot of    guy to drive the butcher knife deep into     armed force as a C-7A Flight Engineer
goofy stuff. This included, but was not       the pig’s neck severing what I assumed       near Duc Lap, Republic of Vietnam on
limited to, staying up late, telling lies,    to be his jugular. This city boy stood       25 August 1968. On that date, Sergeant
and drinking ourselves silly – all made       their with his mouth gaping open and         Carr was flying a Tactical Emergency
possible simply because we were guys          in a state of shock as he watched at least   Airdrop mission delivering critically
who had no adult supervision.                 a gallon of blood shoot 2-3 feet from        needed ammunition through vicious
   While I would never confuse my             the pig’s throat as he squealed his last.    concentrations of antiaircraft and
home town in southern Ohio with a             The only thing I could say was, “What        automatic weapons fire in which his
large city, I think it’s safe to say that I   the hell just happened here?”                aircraft sustained severe battle damage,
was a city boy and not a country boy.            After the pig expired, two guys pulled    disabling it. Only through his perse-
That fact was driven home in a big way        him from the crate and poured scalding       verance during an additional pass in a
at Cam Ranh Bay when I learned where          water all over the pig. They followed        new aircraft, through the same hostile
pork comes from.                              this by using the blade of the butcher       environment which had destroyed five
   Someone was collecting money to            knife to scrape the hair off of the pig      other aircraft, was this vital resupply
purchase a live pig for a good old coun-      and then hung it on the meat hooks for       mission accomplished. By his gallantry
try pig roast right in our hooch party        the next phase of pig prep. An incision      and devotion to duty, Sergeant Carr has
area. Figuring that this fool and his         was made vertically in the pig’s belly       reflected great credit upon himself and
money have been parted before, why            and someone who allegedly knew what          the United States Air Force.
not invest in this venture? After all, the    he was doing surgically removed items
concept involved three of my favorite         from the pig’s abdominal cavity. I’m
pastimes: eating, drinking, and acting a      not sure what the items were, but as I
fool. As the day approached to purchase       recall they would poison the meat if not
a pig at Nha Trang to be air-freighted        removed. Imagine that, all this time, I             7th AF DFC Citation
via Caribou to V-192, I was curious to        thought that anything we ate at the feast        S.O. G-3712 28, Nov 1968
see just what kind of pig would arrive.       would be reduced to benign status once
For all I knew, it would be a stuffed         WE were properly pickled.                      Lieutenant Colonel Elbert L. Mott
pig, a jar of pickled pigs feet, or just a       After the prep work was completed,        distinguished himself by heroism in
picture of a pig and we would all have        they put an apple in his mouth, mounted      connection with military operations
a hoot laughing about how we were             him horizontally on some sort of shaft       against an opposing armed force at Duc
scammed. Much to my surprise, when            and hoisted him over a huge barbeque         Lap, Republic of Vietnam on 25 August
the crate arrived it contained a live 88      pit where he roasted for the next 30-35      1968. On that date, Colonel Mott flew
pound pig complete with squealing and         hours. A huge crowd gathered in our          an emergency resupply airdrop mission
pooping. I watched with interest as a         outdoor party area as the pig reached        to beleaguered Special Forces person-
few of the country boys prepared an           perfection and the feast began. For rea-     nel who were critically low on supplies
area in the sand between two hootches         sons I will never admit to, my memory        and in imminent danger of being over-
for the pig to meet his maker and be          is fuzzy on the details of what happened     run. With complete disregard for his
prepared for our little soiree.               after we ate, but I know it involved a       personal safety, Colonel Mott flew his
   As I recall, they dug a hole in the        lot of sophomoric revelry and many           aircraft through intensive hostile fire at
sand to use as a fire pit, suspended           participants taking a plunge in an ice       low altitude to deliver his cargo with
a caldron of water over the fire, and          water bath. In the end, even though the      pinpoint accuracy. The outstanding
brought the water to a boil. Then they        pig was consumed in its entirety, it still   heroism and selfless devotion to duty
fashioned a makeshift meat hook on            fared better than most of us. But a good     displayed by Colonel Mott reflect great
one of the hootches and produced a            time was had by all.                         credit upon himself and the United
ball peen hammer and a large butcher             Oh … to be young again!                   States Air Force.
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                         Page 5

                                             the camp’s immediate headquarters at         sions.
     Caribou Pipeline                        Ban Me Thuot, starting point for sorties       At night, those who aren’t on watch
       to Duc Lap                            to and from Duc Lap. The Caribou pilot       descend like moles into underground
                                             can and does act as bus driver between       sleeping quarters lit by glaring light
   The Duc Lap Civilian Irregular De-        the two points by occasionally adding        bulbs.
fense Group camp lives on the end of         passengers to his load.                        As Caribou crews fly back to Cam
a U.S. Air Force C-7 Caribou pipeline.          Cronlum said that about 95 per cent       Ranh Bay Air Base after a day of sup-
Caribou crews from the 483rd Tactical        of the camp’s personnel are Montag-          plying Duc Lap, they are quite aware
Airlift Wing almost daily shuttle food,      nards. “Now that they are better armed,      that Duc Lap lives. They make it so.
ammunition, lumber, concertina wire          they can stand up to Viet Cong and NVA
and a variety of other supplies into this    intimidation. All they had before were
camp of CIDG troops with dependents          crossbows which really are no match            Enlisted Milestones
and U.S. Special Forces advisers.            for automatic weapons,” he went on.                 in History
   That predominantly Montagnard                The noticeable serenity of the area
camp near the Cambodian border is but        was quite a contrast to the times that         3 Oct 1993: TSgt Timothy Wilkin-
one of many locations that rely on the       the camp has been under heavy attack         son, MSgt Scott Fales and SSgt Jeffrey
Caribou “pipeline.”                          – times when the C-7s kept bringing          Bray, members Task Force Ranger
   “We just couldn’t live without ’em,”      in supplies.                                 in Mogadishu, Somalia, respond to a
said 1st Lt. John Cronlum, Duc Lap              Most of the working and living            firefight. Wilkinson earns the Air Force
advisory team executive officer. “It’s        areas of the Camp are buried under           Cross for extraordinary heroism – the
pretty difficult to get a convoy into here,   clay, timber, and cement to withstand        first since Vietnam; Fales and Bray earn
so we have to rely on the C-7s.”             attacks. There is a project going on to      Silver Stars for gallantry.
   Coming into Duc Lap, the Caribou          cap sandbag bunkers with cement that           25 Jun 1996: Khobar Towers Dhah-
had to circle the field three times until     is brought in by Caribou.                    ran, Saudia Arabia, nineteen Air Force
a U.S. Army helicopter had cleared the          A maze of tunnels leads to the tactical   personnel killed in the terrorist bomb-
landing area.                                operations center, the heart of the camp,    ing.
   Cronlum said that, independent of         where a radio operator keeps in touch
the camp itself, the area is often used      with landing Caribous.
as a staging zone for U.S. and ARVN             The camp dispensary is also under-        Third Offensive: 1968
operations which are also supported          ground and is run by Sgt. Charles Bick-                  Excerpted from
by Caribous.                                 enheuser, a medical technician qualified              Special Forces at War
   Time and time again the C-7s had          to perform minor surgery. Bickenheuser                by Shelby L. Stanton
visited the two red clay hills known as      refers to his dispensary as a “hospital”       The pace of the war in 1968 intensi-
Duc Lap. Tree tops in the camp area          with its clean, well-equipped operating      fied again when the long-anticipated
are dotted with what looks like white        room and medical laboratory which is         communist Third Offensive began on
hankies. “Those are parachutes from          equipped to provide most of the ser-         August 18 in Tay Ninh Province and
illumination flares fired from mortars.        vices of a large hospital lab.               then spread to other regions of the
Your C-7s bring in the flares, as well           There is a second underground dis-        country. The most significant battle of
as all our other ammunition.” That in-       pensary at another part of the camp that     this offensive occurred in the Central
cludes the rocket launchers, recoilless      is used as a back-up. Medical supplies       Highlands at Camp Duc Lap. From
rifles, grenade launchers, and countless      are Caribou delivered.                       August 23 to 29 three North Vietnam-
small arms.                                     One of the Montagnard women at            ese Army regiments (66th, 95C, 320th)
   “The mission of the camp is to survey     the camp is a trained nurse and assists      attempted to destroy the Civilian Ir-
the area for enemy troop movements,”         Bickenheuser, who sometimes doubles          regular Defense Group (CIDG) camp
Cronlum said. “We have two types of          as veterinarian for camp pets.               as well as nearby South Vietnamese
teams. One on perimeter defense four            The advisory team spends much of          district headquarters. Camp Duc Lap
clicks (kilometers) around the camp.         its time in the “team” room, an above        was partially overrun, but the camp
The other goes on regular operations to      ground structure that serves as a din-       defenders eventually regained all fallen
halt infiltration,” he continued.             ing hall by day and movie theater by         positions with the help of counterat-
   The first Caribou run of that day in-      night. Their refrigerator is stocked with    tacking elements from both 2nd and
cluded food as well as gas for the jeep      refreshments brought in by Caribou.          5th Mobile Strike Force Commands.
and truck that greeted the aircraft upon        They also use the building for group      The North Vietnamese were forced to
landing. Requests for goods are made to      discussions and problem solving ses-         retreat.
Page 6                                 C-7A Caribou Association                                      April 2011

                                            Growing Old

                Your kids are becoming you                        You used to say,
                 ... and you don’t like them            “I hope my kids GET married...
          ... but your grandchildren are perfect!     Now it’s, “I hope they STAY married!”

                   Going out is good.               You miss the days when everything worked
                 Coming home is better!                  with just an “ON-OFF” switch.

           When people say you look “Great”           When Google, iPod, e-mail, modem ...
             ... they add “for your age!”                were unheard of, and a mouse
                                                          made you climb on a table.
           When you needed the discount,
                 you paid full price.                 You used to use more 4 letter words ...
         Now you get discounts on everything...            “what?” ... ”when?” ... ???
                movies, hotels, flights,
           but you’re too tired to use them.                  Now that you can afford
                                                                 expensive jewelry,
            You forget names ... but it’s OK,            it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
              because other people forgot
                they even knew you!!!                       Your husband has a night out
                                                     with the guys, but he’s home by 9:00 P.M.
             The 5 pounds you wanted to lose               Next week it will be 8:30 P.M.
         is now 15 and you have a better chance
         of losing your keys than the 15 pounds.          You read 100 pages into a book
                                                         before you realize you’ve read it.
             You realize you’re never going
              to be really good at anything                 Notice everything they sell
                    ... especially golf.                    in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!

              Your spouse is counting on you                 What used to be freckles
         to remember things you don’t remember.               are now liver spots.

            The things you used to care to do,                 Everybody whispers.
                you no longer care to do,
             but you really do care that you           Now that your husband has retired ...
             don’t care to do them anymore.           you’d give anything if he’d find a job!

             Your husband sleeps better on a        You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet ...
            lounge chair with the TV blaring             2 of which you will never wear.
                   than he does in bed.
               It’s called his “pre-sleep”.              But old is good in some things:
                                                                    old songs,
          Remember when your mother said,                          old movies,
          “Wear clean underwear in case you             And best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!
                GET in an accident”?
         Now you bring clean underwear in case
               you HAVE an accident!
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                          Page 7

                                                I tell you, DJ, Air Combat Command       pronounce the names of the NAVAIDs
       I Want To Be A                        airlift is where it’s at! Where else is     in France, and it’s much easier to ignore
         Fighter Pilot                       it legal to throw tanks, HUMVs, and         them and to go where you want to any-
   Sir:                                      other crap out the back of an airplane,     way. As a rule of thumb: waiters and
   I am D. J. Baker and I would ap-          and not even worry about it when the        bellhops in France are always called
preciate it if you could tell me what it     chute doesn’t open and it torpedoes         “Pierre,” in Spain it’s “Hey, Pedro” and
takes to be an F-22 fighter pilot in the      the General’s staff car! Nowhere else       in Italy, of course, it’s “Mario.” These
USAF. What classes should I take in          can you land on a 3,000 foot dirt strip,    terms of address also serve in other
high school to help the career I want to     kick a bunch of ammo and stuff out          countries interchangeably, depending
take later in life? What could I do to get   on the ramp without stopping, then          on the level of awareness of the ad-
into the Air Force Academy?                  takeoff again before range control can      dressee.
   Sincerely,                                call to tell you that you’ve landed on        5. A study of geography is para-
   DJ Baker                                  the wrong LZ! And talk about exotic         mount. You will need to know the basic
******************************               travel – when C-130’s go somewhere,         location of all the places you’ve been
   From: xxx, Lt Col, HQ AETC                they GO somewhere (usually for 3            when you get back from your TDY and
   Anybody in our outfit want to help         months, unfortunately). This gives you      are ready to stick those little pins in
this poor kid from Cyberspace?               the opportunity to immerse yourself in      that huge world map you’ve got taped
******************************               the local culture long enough to give       to your living room wall, right next to
   A worldly and jaded C-130 pilot,          the locals a bad taste in their mouths      the giant wooden giraffe statue and beer
Major xxx, rises to the task of answer-      regarding the USAF and Americans            stein collection.
ing the young man’s letter.                  in general, not something those C-17          Well, DJ, I hope this little note in-
******************************               Globemaster III pilots can do from their    spires you. And by the way, forget about
   Dear DJ,                                  airport hotel rooms!                        the Academy thing. All airlifters know
   Obviously, through no fault of your          As far as recommendations for your       that there are waaay too few women
own, your young and impressionable           course of study, I offer these:             and too little alcohol there to provide
brain has been poisoned by the super-           1. Take a lot of math courses. You’ll    a well-balanced education. A nice, big
fluous, hyped-up, “Top Gun” media             need all the math skills you can muster     state college or the Naval Academy
portrayal of fighter pilots.                  to enable you to calculate per diem rates   would be a much better choice.
   Unfortunately, this portrayal could       around the world, and when trying to          xxx,
not be further from the truth. In my         split up the crew’s bar tab so that the       Major, USAF
experience, I’ve found most fighter pi-       copilot really believes he owes 85%
lots pompous, backstabbing, momma’s          of the whole thing and the navigator                  Short Timer
boys with inferiority complexes, as well     believes he owes the other 20%.                  by Kenny Bryant [458, 71]
as being extremely over-rated aeronau-          2. Health sciences are important, too.     At Phu Cat, we didn’t have a BX, so
tically. However, rather than dash your      You need a thorough knowledge of            twice a week we took a duce and a half
budding dreams of becoming a USAF            biology to make educated guesses of         to Qui Nhon for “supplies,” taking turns
pilot, I offer the following alternative:    how much longer you can drink beer          riding “Shotgun.” Once, my roommate
   What you really want to aspire to is      before the G.I.s catch up to you from       (named Pavilok) took my place – I’d
the exciting, challenging and reward-        that meal you ate at the place that had     pulled a double shift and didn’t remem-
ing world of TACTICAL AIRLIFT.               the really good belly dancers in some       ber that I’d volunteered.
And this, young DJ, means one thing,         God-forsaken foreign country whose            On the way back, they got caught in a
the venerable workhorse, the C-130! I        name you can’t even pronounce.              cross fire and the VC blew a half pallet
can guarantee no fighter pilot can brag          3. Social studies are also beneficial.    of beer off the truck, so they retreated to
that he has led a 12-ship formation          It is important for a good airlifter to     an Army fire base. That night, the Army
down a valley at 300 feet above the          have the cultural knowledge to be able      guys confiscated the rest of the beer.
ground, with the navigator leading the       to ascertain the exact location of the        I don’t think he ever forgave me for
way and trying to interpret an alter-        nearest topless bar in any country in the   getting him to take my place. I think
nate route to the drop zone, avoiding        world, then be able to convince the lo-     he only had a couple of weeks left in
pop-up threats, and coordinating with        cal authorities to release the loadmaster   country and you KNOW how skittish
AWACS, all while eating a box lunch          after he offends every sensibility of the   you get when you start getting short.
with the engineer in the back relieving      local religion and culture.                 We’d always say, “What a shame it
himself, and the loadmaster puking in           4. A foreign language is helpful but     would be to not make it home with only
his trash can!                               not required. You will never be able to     a week or two left.”
 Page 8                                             C-7A Caribou Association                               April 2011

                                                                          Parts Needed by the Museum of Aviation
        Museum of Aviation                                                      for C-7A 62-9756 restoration
                                                               Location              T. O.: 1C-7A-4 Part Number    Qty
         C-7A S/N 62-9756
   The Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB, GA is                 Cockpit
considering a major rework of its historic “Caribou.”          Clock                              A13A or AN5743    2
Your recent reunion made us more aware of its less             Cockpit Panel assy, LH             C4F1528-49        1
than stellar condition. As a result we plan to move it         Cockpit Panel assy, center         C4F1528-51/57     1
up in the repainting queue to either late this year or         Cockpit Panel assy, RH             C4F1528-9         1
sometime next year. While we can give her a good               Windows
paint job we are still in need of other various items          LH window Slider Assy              C4B1137-1         1
that will be needed for the serious restoration we             LH Slider Glass                    C4B1133-3         1
plan before it goes into a future hangar.                      RH window Slider Assy              C4B1137-2         1
   As I mentioned when I talked to your association,           LH Rear                            C4B1139-3         1
it is very high on list to be sheltered either in the next     RH Rear                            C4B1139-4         1
hangar or, if I can figure out how to squeeze it in the         LH Eyebrow                         C4B1140-3         1
back of our new hangar now.                                    RH Eyebrow                         C4B1140-4         1
   With all that in mind, we could sure use some help          RH Aft Overhead                    C4B1141-5         1
acquiring some of the parts we need for the complete           LH Aft Overhead                    C4B1142-3         1
restoration before it goes inside for the last time.           LH Windshield                      C4B10215-1        1
Granted we’re not sure exactly when that will be               RH Windshield                      C4B10215-2        1
but some of the parts are getting scarce. I can only           Hatch, assembly                    C4B1144-5         1
outline our requirements and if corporately or indi-           Panel assy, roof hatch             C4B1143-5         1
vidually your members would like to help us we will            RH Slider Glass                    C4B1133-4         1
always be appreciative. Attached is a short slide              Ramp
show showing some of the parts we need and it                  Coupling                           8-031             2
will be pretty obvious why. Also attached is a list            Adapter                            C4B1885-1         1
that reference the parts book to clearly identify              Shaft Assy, drive                  C4B1884-1         1
what we need.                                                  Shaft Assy                         C4B1667-3         2
   We would sincerely appreciate any help y’all could          Gear assy, bevel                   AR300             1
provide. You know we are committed to preserving               Gear assy, bevel                   AR320             1
this bird and as I briefed, it will be here for at least       Gear bevel, RH                     C4B1650-1         1
100 or 200 years. We just need a little help to make           Gear bevel, LH                     C4B1650-3         1
it the best possible example for posterity.                    Mechanism assy                     C4B1671-1         1
                                                               Actuator                           R6116-11          1
  Ken Emery, Museum of Aviation Director                       Misc.
  Robins AFB, GA 31098 478-926-5796                            Top Fuselage access Spring         C5P155-1          4
                                                               Panel assy, hinged                 C4B1712-5         4
                                                               Spring                             CSP155-1          4
                                                               Panel assy, hinged                 C4B1712-3         4
                                                               Amplifier, elec control             AM6108ARN-97      1
                                                               Converter, RMI                     CV1275/ARN        1
                                                               Panel, switch, IFF antenna         796-8663-001      1
                                                               Flap Seal, Fwd                     C4W1861-7 or      2
                                                               Flap Seal, Trailing edge           C4W1861-9 or      2
                                                               Engine Cover assy, latch, LH       C4P1098-35        1
                                                               Engine Cover assy, latch, LH       C4P1098-41        1
                                                               Engine Cover assy, latch, LH       C4P1098-43        1
                                                               Engine Cover assy, latch, RH       C4P1098-44        1
                                                               Gear Cover L&R                     C4U1050-5 or      2
April 2011                                         C-7A Caribou Association                                           Page 9

                                                                                            If you pick up a starving dog and
      KC-46A –                               Travis AFB Museum                           make him prosperous, he will not bite
   New USAF Tanker                            C-7A S/N 60-3767                           you; that is the principal difference be-
                                                                                         tween a dog and a man – Mark Twain
  The Boeing Company has received              The Travis AFB Museum will soon              One reason a dog can be such a com-
a contract from the U.S. Air Force to       change its name to the Jimmie Doolittle      fort when you’re feeling blue is that he
build the next-generation aerial refuel-    Air & Space Museum. On 1 January             doesn’t try to find out why. – Author
ing tanker aircraft that will replace 179   2011, a fund raising effort was kicked       Unknown
of the service’s 400 KC-135 tankers.        off to build a new museum on 11 acres           A man may smile and bid you hail,
  Boeing will design, develop, manu-        at the Travis Air Force Base Heritage        yet wish you to the devil; but when a
facture, and deliver 18 initial combat-     Center. This $12.5 million dollar capital    good dog wags his tail, you know he’s
ready tankers by 2017.                      project is for all who have a passion        on the level. – Author Unknown
  The Air Force chose an American-          for aviation, for history, and a love of        There is no psychiatrist in the world
built, multi-mission tanker based on        our country.                                 like a puppy licking your face. – Ben
the proven Boeing 767 commercial               The Museum will tell the story and        Williams
airplane and meets all requirements         honor those that have made the ultimate         Scratch a dog and you’ll find a per-
at the lowest risk for the warfighter        sacrifice for our freedom! Help is so-        manent job. – Franklin P. Jones
and the best value for taxpayers. The       licited to create a place of learning that      Don’t accept your dog’s admiration
integrated “One Boeing” team is from        inspires and educates.                       as conclusive evidence that you are
various sites across the company,              The primary goal at the new museum        wonderful. – Ann Landers
including employees from the Com-           is to educate the public on the history         Anybody who doesn’t know what
mercial Airplanes; Defense, Space &         of Jimmy Doolittle, our war history, the     soap tastes like never washed a dog.
Security; and Engineering, Operations       Berlin Airlift, the return of POWs from      – Franklin P. Jones
& Technology organizations.                 Vietnam, and why so many hundreds               If I have any beliefs about immortal-
  The KC-46A tankers will be built us-      of thousands of people have sacrificed        ity, it is that certain dogs I have known
ing a low-risk approach to manufactur-      and died to keep our country and the         will go to heaven – and very, very few
ing by a trained and experienced U.S.       world free!                                  persons. – James Thurber
work force at existing Boeing facilities.      Located an hour from San Francisco           If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting
The KC-46A tanker also will fuel the        or Sacramento, the Travis Air Museum         enough exercise.
economy, supporting about 50,000 total      has one of the largest collections of           My goal in life is to be as good a per-
U.S. jobs with Boeing and more than         military aircraft and artifacts on the       son as my dog already thinks I am.
800 suppliers in more than 40 states.       West Coast. Established in 1982 and             Dogs love their friends and bite their
  The KC-46A Tanker is a wide body,         opened in 1987, the collection contains      enemies, quite unlike people, who are
multi-mission aircraft updated with the     35 aircraft, including a C-7A Caribou,       incapable of pure love and always
latest and most advanced technology         plus several hundred other artifacts.        have to mix love and hate – Sigmund
and capable of meeting or exceeding         The current museum is in a 45,000 sq.        Freud
the Air Force’s needs for transport of      ft. former commissary building.                 Dogs are not our whole life, but they
fuel, cargo, passengers and patients.          Construction will begin in the spring     make our lives whole. – Roger Caras
It includes state-of-the-art systems        of 2012 with the grand opening in the           The most affectionate creature in the
to meet the demanding mission re-           fall of 2013.                                world is a wet dog. – Ambrose Bierce
quirements of the future, including a          This is a possible location for one of       Properly trained, a Man can be Dog’s
digital flight deck featuring Boeing 787     our memorial benches and a reunion           best friend. – Corey Ford
Dreamliner electronic displays and a        some time after 2013.                           The reason a dog has so many friends
flight control design philosophy that                                                     is that he wags his tail instead of his
places aircrews in command rather than                                                   tongue.
allowing computer software to limit                  About Dogs                             Women and cats will do as they
combat maneuverability.                                                                  please, and men and dogs should relax
  The KC-46A features an advanced                    and People                          and get used to the idea. – Robert A.
KC-10 boom with an expanded refuel-           If there are no dogs in Heaven, then       Heinlein
ing envelope, increased fuel off-load       when I die I want to go where they              My dog is worried about the economy
rate and fly-by-wire control system.         went. – Will Rogers                          because Alpo is up to $3 a can. That’s
The KC-46A burns 24 percent less fuel         The average dog is a nicer person than     almost $21 in dog money. – Joe Wein-
than EADS’ proposed A330 tanker.            the average person. – Andy Rooney            stein
 Page 10                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

                                            riot act and said that I wanted that tape    took off running to the nearest cover I
           Duct Tape                        back right away. After several days,         could find, which I thought was a duce
    by Dave Kowalski [908, 75]              it still hadn’t shown up so I figured         and half truck.
   The 908th Tactical Air Group (Re-        someone had taken it for a home proj-          I slid underneath the truck and was
serve) had the C-7A since 1971 and          ect. We needed the tape, so I ordered        hugging the rear axle for protection.
most of the maintenance troops learned      another roll and the missing tape was        No sooner had I settled under the truck
how to work on them by October 1974.        written off.                                 when I noticed there were two guys
This was before Complete Tool Kits             Fast forward to a windy spring morn-      over in the ditch yelling for me to come
(CTKs) and everyone carried their own       ing in April of 1975. The dogwood            over there. I knew the ditch ran between
toolbox to the job site. We also carried    trees were in bloom and everything was       the Caribou parking ramp and the fire
our own goodie bag of spare bench           beautiful. We had just blocked out our       station road and was always full of
stock items: nuts, bolts, gaskets, etc. I   first four morning flights. Three of the       water, so there was no way I was going
was flight chief at the time and carried     birds took off on time. The last one sat     to get wet and muddy.
some of the big stuff like duct tape,       on the takeoff row working his flight           After about 6 to 10 mortars, the attack
All Purpose Glue (APG), and rolls of        controls. The pilot on this aircraft was     stopped. That’s when I found out these
Velcro tape in the flight line expediter     Lt. Col. C.B. (the same guy who was          Army guys were the truck driver and
truck. None of it was accountable. The      mission commander when we brought            his spotter. The real kicker is that when
guys just used the stuff as needed.         the Caribous back from Thailand). That       I crawled out from under the truck, to
   The flight crews want to get the heat-    tale was in the July 2005 newsletter.        my surprise, I found that this truck was
ers in the Bou working. Pilots can’t fly     Lt. Col. C.B. always checked all of          loaded with 105 mm charges that were
if their feet are cold. Some crew chiefs    his flight controls one last time before      to be loaded on the aircraft as soon I
learned that the main malfunction of the    releasing the brakes. Aircraft #4 came       finished with the refueling.
cockpit heater was the football valve       taxing back to the spot. During the            I felt like a real fool that day, but I
that controlled the differential pres-      debriefing Lt. Col. C.B. said there was       knew that someone was definitely look-
sure operating the fuel control for the     something wrong with the elevators ─         ing out for me. From that day on, I was
heater. It was located under the seam of    big time. The crew chief confirmed it.        going to get in the ditch or run to the
the nose access hatch, right in front of    When the nose access hatch was opened        bunker, a Connex container, we built
the cockpit windows. The vent for the       ─ yep, you guessed it! The missing           behind the 8th Aerial Port building.
football valve was also located directly    roll of duct tape (six months missing)
under the seam of the nose access hatch.    was wedged behind the elevator con-                   Extractions
When it rained, the seal leaked, the        trol bracket. Every time the control           by Cary Stephenson [458, 67]
valve filled with water, and the valve       was moved, it got wedged tighter and           The original mission on 27 Sep 1968
became inoperative.                         tighter. Lt. Col. C.B. said he thought he    was a routine Med-Evac. We had a busy
   While the crew chiefs had the hatch      felt a slight bump when he checked his       day with 12 sorties, finishing up at Nha
open and were fixing this problem, they      flight controls. That roll of duct tape lay   Trang. We refueled and headed home at
also fixed any broken or cracked heater      on a little shelf angle above the elevator   dusk to Cam Ranh Bay. Enroute to CRB
ducts. The ducts were fiberglass and         control bracket through dozens of take       we got an emergency call from ALCE
the quickest way to repair them was         offs and landings and had not dropped        telling us to proceed to a staging area
with duct tape. If you ever had the nose    off until that spring morning.               west of Ban Me Thuot City and pick up
hatch open on a C-7, you know it is one        This could easily have been one of        a 25 man Special Forces team and take
of the most crowded compartments on         those “unexplained” aircraft accidents.      them to Nha Trang. They reportedly
the aircraft; with heaters and ducts,       FOD kills!                                   needed immediate extraction as they
pulleys, gimbals, and brackets. Most                                                     had engaged NVA regulars, were low
of the heaters got fixed and the pilots        Mortars at Can Tho                         on food, water and ammo, plus some
were happy and they could keep their               by Rich Coca [536, 67]                may be wounded. It was dark when we
little footsies warm.                          In March 1968 at Can Tho, sometime        arrived over Ban Me Thuot. We made
   Sometime that fall season I discov-      around lunch time, the pilots were over      contact with the team and easily located
ered that my large roll of 3” duct tape     at the Special Forces chow hall get-         them on the short grass strip which was
was missing from the truck. The crew        ting some lunch and I was on top of          flooded with moonlight. I elected to
chiefs had a tendency to pass the tape      the wing refueling a 536th yellow tail       make a lights-out landing and planned
from one person to another as required.     when a mortar round hit down by the          to keep the engines running.
Duct tape can be used for many things       fire station. I immediately let go of the       Once on the ground, the troops (all
to repair a Caribou! I read everyone the    fueling hose, slid down the flap and                       Continued on Page 11
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                        Page 11

                                                Once airborne, I contacted Tuy Hoa,     load, which we did to the accompani-
Extractions (from Page 10)
                                             declared an emergency, described our       ment of mortar shell explosions. When
U.S. Army) quickly boarded. The              onboard wounded needing urgent atten-      the flight engineer called “Load clear,”
leader was in a big hurry to get airborne    tion, and requested that doctors meet      I shoved the throttles full forward and
as he felt that the NVA had been tailing     the aircraft. The medical help was there   did a dance off the ramp and between
them. I remember how exhausted the           waiting when we landed. I obtained         the holes to take off. With holes in the
troops looked, some were shaking all         contact information for a doctor so that   aluminum and c**p in our pants I just
over (malaria maybe) and it was obvi-        I could check on the wounded later. We     headed back to Bien Hoa.
ous the men went through one hell of an      dropped the rest of the troops at Nha         As usual, the “Queens of the Fleet”
ordeal on these interdiction missions. I     Trang and went home. Our crew day          – the Herky Birds – got the front row
believe we picked up 26 troops; don’t        had been over 18 hours when we closed      seats and we were parked in the Out-
recall the extent of the wounded. They       out the mission.                           back. The Capt was continuing a “dis-
wanted to take all of their weapons             A follow-up late the next day made      cussion” he had begun about my undis-
and equipment. I could see an over           my day. The doctor I called told me        ciplined manner. Just as I was about to
gross weight take-off in the making,         the two most seriously wounded were        jump off the ramp, he “helped” me. As a
but agreed to take everything. The           stable and would survive, but likely       courteous 1/Lt, I immediately “helped”
over grossed condition didn’t bother         would have died had they not received      him off, too. Two torn flight suits later
me as much as being able to clear the        medical attention when they did.           we were in front of the crusty Maj in
tall trees at the end of the short grass        Note: Major Stephenson and his          the ALCE. He feigned not noticing our
field. I made the take-off, brushing the      crew received the DFC for this mis-        bruised faces and torn cotton grays as
tops of the trees at the end of the strip.   sion. Other crew members were prob-        he received our report, in writing.
At Nha Trang, I inspected the aircraft       ably Lt Castner R. Waddell and TSgt           After I returned to the U.S., the Lt Col
and found several small nicks in the         Lawrence F. Snyder, based on 7th AF        squadron commander at the USAFA
propeller blades and a few scratches         Special Orders.                            caught me as I was headed out the door
under the fuselage.                                                                     at the end of the day (T-41 Squadron)
  As we taxied out for take-off to CRB,             DFC at Katum                        at Peterson Field. With an enigmatic
ALCE called and told us to go back and             by Jan Gerstner [458, 70]            smile he said, in what was probably a
pick up another 25 man team working            There was a Tactical Emergency           mock stern voice, “Gerstner, wear your
their way to the staging area. They also     or Emergency Resupply at Katum, I          Class A’s tomorrow and be here at 0700
needed immediate extraction as they          don’t remember which, staged out of        sharp.” Gulp.
were virtually out of everything and         Bien Hoa. We got tapped to fly ammo            All night I tried to think of what I
had seriously wounded troops among           to Katum and the copilot (from CRB)        had done and what he was going to do
them. Upon arrival we did not see the        was replaced with a wing safety Capt.      to me. I showed as ordered, to find the
troops, had no radio contact, and were       Don’t know why.                            squadron in formation and a two-star
unsure if the area was secure. We were         Upon arrival at Katum, we were put       standing beside him. It looked like a
prepared to wait them out if necessary.      in a hold while the “much more im-         firing squad. Figured I was doomed.
Again, I made a lights-out landing. The      portant” Herky Birds did some aerial          The Lt Col called the squadron to
troops came out of the shadows and           deliveries. LAPES or airdrops, don’t       attention and ordered me to stand be-
started boarding. The team leader was        remember which. Fighters and gun-          side him. He did a quick intro and the
anxious to get airborne, he was also         ships were tilling the countryside.        two-star proceeded to read the citation
worried that the NVA was tailing them          Our turn came. On final approach          and pin the DFC on me. I’ve always
and were not far behind.                     we saw artillery or mortar fire pitch       wondered if the other guys got DFCs.
  A medic came up front and told me          dirt and a Herky Bird sent rubber into     Still can’t figure out why I did.
two of his wounded could not make it         the air. There were already holes in the      Years later, I got what may be a par-
over the mountains to Nha Trang – one        runway and I planned a full-flap ap-        tial explanation of the possible confu-
was shot through the neck, struggling        proach. The Capt was less than happy       sion about the date (8 Nov 70). Turned
to breathe; another with a hand blown        that I continued and the flight engineer    out it was the Army commander at Ka-
off who had lost a lot of blood. I sug-      reported hearing the tinkle of ground      tum who put me (us?) in for the DFC.
gested we fly around the mountains and        fire modifying the tail.                    An E-6 in Personnel at Reese AFB said
he readily agreed. Then, I remembered          A 40o flap landing was, ahem, firm.        the Air Force probably didn’t like the
that we would come close to Tuy Hoa          Full reverse and braking let us taxi       wording and changed the citation to
and could get immediate help for the         directly onto the ramp. The flight en-      reflect what they wanted. Don’t know
seriously wounded.                           gineer and I had set up for a speed off    if that’s true.
 Page 12                                       C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

    Special Forces in                      the Bo Duc district headquarters while       professional skill and airmanship dis-
                                           pinning nearby Camp Bu Dop under             played by Capt DeLawter reflect great
     Vietnam: 1967                         intense mortar and rocket barrages.          credit upon himself and the United
            Excerpted from                   In the western Central Highlands,          States Air Force.”
        Special Forces at War              heavy fighting erupted around Camp
        by Shelby L. Stanton               Dak To in Kontum Province on Novem-                 Bou Heroes at
  The escalation of the Vietnam conflict    ber 5, 1967. Camp and Mobile Strike
during 1967 involved Special Forces in     Force reconnaissance units became                     Loc Ninh
greatly expanded combat operations.        embroiled in combat, and this action                      Adapted from
During the year, more camps were           developed into one of the longest and              7th AF Silver Star Citation
opened in the midst of traditional Viet    hardest-fought engagements of the              Major Robert S. Hopkins II [and his
Cong base areas or North Vietnamese        Second Indochina War.                        crew: 1/Lt George C. Patrick, Jr and
border strongholds. Camp Con Thien           On November 15 and 16, Camp                TSgt Allan E. Gustafson] distinguished
was constructed next to the DMZ sepa-      Dak To was hit by several mortar vol-        himself by gallantry in connection with
rating North and South Vietnam. This       leys that caused serous damage and           military operations against an oppos-
placement was immediately challenged       smashed three Air Force cargo planes         ing armed force as a C-7A Aircraft
by two NVA battalions that attempted to    on the runway [see C-130 Losses at           Commander near Loc Ninh, Republic
overrun the compound on 8 May.             Dak To on next page]. Another Special        of Vietnam on 2 November 1967. On
  Another ill-fated northern camp,         Forces camp, Ben Het was subjected           that date, Major Hopkins was flying a
Lang Vei, suffered a ground attack         to daily concentrations of mortar and        Tactical Emergency Airlift mission car-
aided by inside Viet Cong infiltrators      rocket fire.                                  rying a Combat Control Team to Loc
on May 4. These actions underscored                                                     Ninh, scene of a fierce battle which had
the increased tempo of fighting along              Bou Heroes at                         begun two days before. The airstrip was
the northern border. By year’s end sev-             Bu Dop                              under hostile fire and Major Hopkins’
eral North Vietnamese divisions were             7th AF Air Medal Citation              aircraft came under automatic weapons
located inside Quang Tri Province.                                                      fire throughout the approach. Less than
  Camps Prek Lok and Tong Le Chon            Lt Col Robert J. Wann, Maj Bobby H.        five hundred feet of the dirt airstrip
were established in War Zone C north-      Haverland, Capt Richard H. Solem, and        was useable due to craters from hostile
west of Saigon. Both forts came under      SSgt William P. Murphy, all of the 458th     artillery, and even this short stretch
heavy enemy attack, and Tong Le Chon       TAS, received the DFC for actions at         of dirt was covered with unexploded
was reduced to shambles by a major         Bu Dop on 24 or 25 Mar 1967. Details         mortar shells. Major Hopkins made
North Vietnamese infantry assault on       are probably similar to those described      a successful landing, delivering the
August 7.                                  in the citation for the Air Medal award-     Combat Control Team, the first step in
  Camp Loc Ninh [see Bou Heroes at         ed to Capt Wayne E. DeLawter (7th AF         opening the field for the airlift vital to
Loc Ninh on this page], another War        SO G-1572, 3 Oct 1967).                      the forces at Loc Ninh. By his gallantry
Zone C bastion, was close-assaulted          “Capt Wayne E. DeLawter dis-               and devotion to duty, Major Hopkins
several times between October 29 and       tinguished himself by meritorious            has reflected great credit upon himself
November 2. During these encounters        achievement while participating in           and the United States Air Force.
Detachment A-331 repulsed repeated         aerial flight near Bu Dop, Republic
attacks by the 9th Viet Cong Division’s    Of Vietnam on 24 March 1967. On                 CRB Troop Center
272nd and 273rd regiments. The enemy       that date, Capt DeLawter was flying a            Stars and Stripes, 19 Feb 67
sustained grievous casualties and failed   Tactical Emergency mission in support          The first 707 jet ferrying American
to reach the outer parapets of the cita-   of besieged friendly ground forces.          servicemen directly to Cam Ranh Bay
del.                                       During the course of this mission Capt       from the United States has touched
  Following this defeat, North Viet-       DeLawter flew his reinforcement laden         down at the new airstrip here, officially
namese and Viet Cong forces withdrew       aircraft through extremely adverse           marking the opening of the U.S. Army’s
closer to the Cambodian border – with-     weather conditions at night, into a short    22nd Replacement Battalion.
in easy proximity of their main refitting   dirt strip lit only by smudge pots and         The unit will process all Army per-
and supply centers – and reconcentrated    an occasional flare, and coming under         sonnel arriving at or departing from
efforts against traditional targets like   sporadic ground fire from hostile forces      the I and II Corps tactical zones in the
Camp Bu Dop [see Bou Heroes at Bu          below. The besieged camp, using the          Republic of Vietnam. Previously, all
Dop in the next column].                   airlifted reinforcements, was able to        USARV personnel were flown in or out
  On November 29 the enemy stormed         repel the attack by the hostile force. The   of country through Saigon.
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                           Page 13

                                             us he was ready to go, I looked back            “I have one stripe, it is 2:30 in the
   C-130 Losses at                           down the fuselage.                            morning, the temperature is 40 degrees
 Dak To (15 Nov 1967)                          It was teeming humanity – both the          below zero, and my job here is to pump
             Excerpted from                  IP and I did the mental arithmetic and        s**t out of an aircraft. Now, just exactly
           Vietnam Air Losses                decided the flight was doable. And it          what form of punishment did you have
            by Chris Hobson                  was. I figured we had a record in the          in mind?”
   One of the bloodiest battles of the       making and asked the flight engineer
war was fought in the Central High-          to count heads after landing (many
lands near Dak To between 3 and 22           children and old adults).                     Ben Het: Jun-Jul 1969
November 1967. After three weeks of            My memory is not exact, but the                  MACV History, 1969, Vol. II
heavy fighting the US 4th Infantry Di-        number he gave was around 70, count-             The Common Service Airlift System
vision and the 173rd Airborne Brigade        ing the crew. Later on I related all this     (CSAS) emergency airlift procedures as
forced the NVA to retire, leaving many       to the senior flight engineer. He told         implemented by the 834th Air Div were
casualties on both sides. Having noted       me our (pretty young) flight engineer          used with considerable success when
the pattern of early morning arrivals of     that day had been afraid to tell us that      the enemy attempted to overrun the Ben
C-130’s at Dak To, the North Vietnam-        he had counted about a 100.                   Het CIDG camp in late May (see Chap-
ese waited until three Hercules were                                                       ter V, Ground Operations). Enemy ac-
sitting on the parking ramp before firing     Honey Bucket Humor                            tivity intensified to the point where the
10 rockets into the area. Two Hercules         A C-141 was scheduled to leave              CIDG camp was completely dependent
(62-1865 and 63-7827 of the 776th TAS        Thule Air Base, Greenland at midnight         upon aerial resupply. During this period
at CCK) were hit and soon engulfed in        during a winter month. During the             of increased enemy activity, C-7A air-
flames. A third aircraft was backed out       pilot’s preflight check, he discovers          craft were operating into Ben Het. By
of the way of the inferno by Capt J. H.      that the latrine holding tank is still full   1 Jun intense enemy mortar attacks and
Glenn and his crew during a lull in the      from the last flight. So a message is sent     deteriorating runway conditions forced
attack and a fourth aircraft, which had      to the base and an airman who was off         the suspension of air-landed operations.
landed moments before the first rounds        duty is called out to take care of it.        Air drops of ammunition and supplies
exploded, took off again rapidly. The          The young man finally gets to the air        began on 3 Jun and continued through
attack also destroyed 17,000 gallons         base and makes his way to the aircraft        10 Jun with FAC and helicopter gun-
of fuel and over 1,300 tons of ordnance      only to find that the latrine pump-truck       ship support. However, the ground fire
when the ammunition dump was hit by          has been left outdoors and is frozen          threat continued to increase. By 12 Jun
artillery. The airfield was closed for two    solid, so he must find another one in the      the C-7A’s were experiencing intense
days and when it re-opened only one          hangar, which takes even more time.           ground fire in their runs over the drop
C-130 was permitted on the ground at           He returns to the aircraft and is less      zone. On 13 Jun, in spite of TAC fighter
a time.                                      than enthusiastic about what he has to        and helicopter gunship support, two of
                                             do. Nevertheless, he goes about the           four C-7A’s on the drop mission were
 Pax From Hon Quan                           pumping job deliberately and carefully        hit; three crewmen were wounded. As
     by Mike Lavelle [535, 68]               (and slowly) so as not to risk criticism      the situation became more untenable,
   I was upgrading to AC, parked on the      later.                                        new procedures were employed to
ramp at Hon Quan, chatting with the IP         As he’s leaving the plane, the pilot        minimize the ground fire threat. These
in the right seat (do not recall his name)   stops him and says, “Son, your attitude       tactics included the use of TAC fight-
and our young flight engineer was load-       and performance has caused this flight         ers to provide suppression fire, A-lE
ing villagers to ferry to Tonle Cham         to be late and I’m going to personally        escort during the drop, close in-trail
(there had been a BIG party).                see to it that you are not just repri-        formation for the C-7A, and a smoke
   We had been at this all day and it was    manded but punished.”                         screen laid down by A-1 aircraft. The
getting dark. This was to be our last          Shivering in the cold, his task fin-         airfield became insecure and all drops
trip to Tonle Cham. The Special Forces       ished, the airman takes a deep breath,        were made inside the camp. With this
guys asked us to take as many villagers      stands tall and says, “Sir, with all due      change in tactics, the C-7A’s sustained
as possible, because they had to pro-        respect, I’m not your son. I’m an Air-        only one hit through the remainder
vide security for those that remained        man in the United States Air Force.           of the operation. In summary, during
overnight at Hon Quan. We told the           I’ve been in Thule, Greenland, for 11         the period 3 Jun-3 Jul, 98 airdrop sor-
flight engineer to board as many of the       months without any leave, and reindeer        ties were flown in support of Ben Het
villagers as he could tie down. When         are beginning to look pretty good to          CIDG camp, delivering over 200 tons
he tapped me on the shoulder and told        me.                                           of ammunition.
 Page 14                                         C-7A Caribou Association                                           April 2011

                                             majority of our flying consisted of sup-      first landing until the last airdrop, this
           Con Thien                         porting U. S. Army Special Forces in         Special Forces camp always presented
    by Ron Alexander [459, 66]               the I Corps area along with several U.       some sort of challenge for the aircrews
   I served in Viet Nam from November        S. Marine Corps units. We had a small,       supplying it. Usually it was a very ac-
1966 through November 1967. I was            tight knit group of pilots and mechan-       tive area with the North Vietnamese
trained on the C-7 Caribou by the U.S.       ics. We worked well together, with a         being very active. They would sit a few
Army at Ft. Benning, GA prior to be-         few airplanes. At one time we had 5          miles away in the DMZ and lob rockets
ing deployed to Southeast Asia. When         Caribous assigned to Da Nang.                and artillery rounds into this small base.
I arrived in country, I was immediately         I recall several memorable experienc-     They would regularly fire at the aircraft
sent to Qui Nhon and assigned to the         es during my year in Viet Nam. I will        flying into Con Thien. The few times
92nd Aviation Company. It was quite an       recount of couple of them. I am sure         we landed, we were warned not to stay
experience flying with the Army pilots.       you have all seen the picture of the C-7     parked for too long because they would
They were very cooperative and helped        coming apart in the air after being hit      try to hit the airplane with a rocket or a
us learn where to go and where not to        by an artillery round. The crew flying        mortar. Our Caribou crews based out of
go. They also showed us many flying           that airplane was out of our Da Nang         Da Nang became very well acquainted
techniques that they learned through         detachment. I was supposed to fly that        with this outpost.
experience on combat missions. We            mission, but Captain Alan Hendrickson           Normally, we would end up air drop-
flew mostly north of Qui Nhon in the          asked me that morning if I would swap        ping into the camp because of the risk
I Corps area. Several of our missions        the duty officer position with him. He        of landing. However, on one occasion
took us into Da Nang where we were           said he would take my flights that day        we flew up to deliver a load of 155 mm
expected to land the Caribou on the          if I would take his missions the next        shells, along with drinking water. The
overrun of the 10,000 ft. runway. We         day. He needed to be off the following       camp commander said he thought we
would turn off at the beginning of the       day for some reason.                         could land to off-load. He told us the
actual runway and get out of the way            Captain Hendrickson and the entire        North Vietnamese had just finished a
of the faster aircraft. This was not a big   crew lost their lives during that mission.   major offensive and things were quiet
problem since the overrun was 1,000          As they turned base leg to final at the       for the moment. We landed and off-
ft. in length. It actually provided good     Special Forces camp a 155 mm round           loaded our cargo. We went inside to
practice for the smaller fields we went       was fired and went through the aft por-       visit with the Special Forces troops and
into in the I Corps area.                    tion of the fuselage. The safety spotter     when we got ready to leave I noticed
   In January 1967, the U.S. Air Force       for the artillery piece did not see the      four Hueys pop up over the hill and land
took over operation of the Caribou. I        airplane turning into the field. The air-     at the camp, right on the runway. There
was assigned to the 459th Troop Carrier      plane separated at the aft section of the    were two gunships and two “slicks.”
Squadron and our detachment was sent         fuselage and the entire remains fell into    One of the slicks landed in front of our
to Da Nang. We were given a jeep and a       a small pile on the field. For a long time    Caribou. I walked out to ask the pilot
pickup truck and sent to downtown Da         I felt somewhat responsible for Alan’s       if he would move so we could depart
Nang to live in an old French hotel. We      death, but I knew that it could not have     and as I approached the helicopter I
had a lot of security at the hotel – one     been prevented by anything I might           noticed a tall, gray haired man put his
Marine guard. We never had any prob-         have done. I simply honored his request      cap on to exit the helicopter. Upon
lems however and we would often go           that day to swap trips. My crew was          closer inspection I noticed four stars
to the top of the hotel and watch rocket     with him. All were killed immediately.       on his cap. It was no less than General
attacks the Viet Cong were launching         Later, I had the duty of sorting through     Westmoreland dropping in for a quick
on the Da Nang Air Base.                     Alan’s personal belongings and sending       visit with the Special Forces troops. In
   After the Air Force took over the         them to his wife. That is when I came        the other slick was General Walt, the
operation, one of the first directives that   across the poem he had written prior to      U. S. Marine Corps Commander in Viet
came down from Wing Headquarters             his death. You may have read it before       Nam. They said hello to all of us, asked
was that we were no longer to land           in the November 2008 newsletter.             the Special Forces Captain how things
on the overrun of the runways at Da             During May 1967, a small outpost          were going and within 10 minutes
Nang. They did not consider this a safe      about 1 mile south of the DMZ was            they left the area. To say the least, as a
operation. This really threw a curve at      home for a Special Forces unit. As a         young 1st Lieutenant, I was impressed.
the controllers who didn’t know how          matter of fact, when you landed to-          I was impressed that these two leaders
to sequence a 70 knot airplane for           ward the south at this outpost you were      chose to visit the hottest base in South
landing along with fighters who were          over the DMZ on base leg. The base           Vietnam. It was a big morale booster for
flying final approach at 150+ kts. The         was named Con Thien. From the very                         Continued on Page 15
April 2011                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                           Page 15

Con Thien (from Page 14)                   to Da Nang. That was the last mission         Many Different Jobs
                                           to Con Thien by a Caribou, as far as I         by Harry H. Weaver [483, 66]
the Special Forces troops. The generals    know. I was always curious as to the
let the troops know that they were not     fate of the Special Forces people that        I was initially assigned as a SSgt
leading from Saigon – rather they were     we had so closely worked with and           crew chief, when most of the other crew
in the thick of the battle.                one day later in the year, I ran into the   chiefs were E-4’s. It didn’t take them
   Within a few days, we were airdrop-     camp Commander, a Captain. He told          very long to see that being a crew chief
ping to the troops at Con Thien because    me that they came under siege while         was going to be too easy for me. We
of the enemy activity. I think myself      defending their base and in the battle he   were having so many engine problems
and my crew flew the last airplane into     lost a number of his men. He said they      and delays during launch that they let
and out of the base, to my knowledge       were unable to hold the base, so a large    me pick a few more guys to come in
(helicopters later went in). The North     contingent of Marines was brought in        with me after midnight to hot preflight
Vietnamese made a major offensive to       to beat the enemy back. In July 1967,       “run-up” every Bou on the next day’s
take over the camp. For a period of a      the Special Forces commander and his        flying schedule, to include the backup
couple of weeks we were airdropping        surviving team were withdrawn from          and spare.
food, water, ammunition, etc. to the       the camp.                                     Later, I was selected to drive the
troops. Often, we would come under           I know we were all relieved when          maintenance metro van around every
fairly heavy fire to the point that on      we no longer had to fly into this base.      morning during launch to try and
more than one flight we would have to       During the time I spent in Vietnam the      help get the flight crews to block-out
follow F-100’s into the drop zone after    flights to Con Thien, along with the         a couple of minutes early. I was also
they tried to take out enemy gun posi-     flights into Khe Sanh, were usually the      lucky enough to go out with Captain
tions. We took a number of hits on each    most hazardous. You could count on          Bunting and a couple of other very fine
mission and the area became more and       some sort of action on just about every     pilots on a few of our (“You’re going
more active. Major Beardsley and 1st Lt.   flight into either of these bases.           to land this thing where?????”) more
Ray Valentine, along with Sgts. Karnes       Later, when I was a pilot with Delta      exciting missions.
and Shedd, distinguished themselves        Air Lines, I was flying a DC-9 trip            The fickle finger of fate landed on my
on one of these airdrop missions over      from Atlanta to Charleston, SC. In          name again and I spent a month or so as
Con Thien. Major Beardsley and his         those days people boarded via the front     NCOIC of the Pleiku mission site – af-
crew were awarded the Silver Star for      stairs that came out of the airplane so     ter it was determined that the officers
their action.                              the pilots had a bird’s eye view of the     were no longer needed at the site.
   During the last days of our resupply    people boarding. One evening I noticed
efforts, every flight to Con Thien was a    a familiar figure walking up the stairs.          Bou on YouTube
major event. You got up in the morning     It was General Westmoreland. After           h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m /
knowing you were going to face heavy       he was seated, I went back to greet         watch?v=8PtXS-zSnYU
fire one more day as we normally would      him. I recounted the time we had met
fly 2-3 missions per day into the area.     at Con Thien and he graciously said             Where Are We???
Finally, my crew was given an assign-      he remembered it, although I doubt he          by Serge Molohosky [459, 66]
ment to drop 105 mm ammunition into        did. I am quite sure that he made much        My most memorable flight with Ron
the camp. We were told the camp had        more of an impression on me than I did      Lester was also on a day when we were
been under heavy attack and the Special    on him. No matter, I will never forget      trying to get to Khe Sanh. It was another
Forces unit was on the verge of losing     General Westmoreland and General            exercise in dodging numerous thunder
the base. When we contacted the camp       Walt visiting Con Thien on that day         bumpers. After a long time trying to
on FM radio just prior to reaching the     and risking their lives to talk to their    find a way through with no success,
area. The response from the ground was     men. It was certainly a day that I will     we headed back to the coast with no
“Who are you and what do you want?”        always remember.                            idea where we really where. When we
I replied by telling them about the load                                               finally broke out over land, nothing
we had and the voice on the other end                                                  looked familiar and we figured we were
of the radio said “Sorry, we don’t need                                                north of the DMZ. We dropped down as
your supplies – the Marines have taken                   Help!!!                       low as we could over the beaches as we
over the base and the Special Forces are     Check your email address on our web       headed south. We were skimming the
gone. We are being resupplied by our       site,          beaches so low that the flight engineer
own helicopters.”                          Send any change to:                         said the props were making rooster tails
   With a sense of relief, we returned                     in the sand!!!
 Page 16                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                        April 2011

                                            elevator cables and blew a large hole in       Bou Drops Cargo
 Heroes at Con Thien                        the roof, spraying fragments throughout
     459th TCS History (1967)               the cargo compartment, again narrowly          2 Miles from DMZ
  Maj Clarence J. Beardsley, 1/Lt           missing the two flight mechanics.                 Caribou Courier, Jun 1967
Raymond Valentine, SSgt Kenneth                An armor piercing bullet entered the      Con Thien Special Forces Camp is lo-
K. Karnes, and SSgt Lewis D. Shedd          bottom of the aircraft, ripped only feet   cated only two miles from the DMZ. If
distinguished themselves by gallantry       behind both pilots, cut both mixture       you happen to land there you can expect
in connection with military operations      control cables attached to the aircraft    small arms and automatic weapons fire
against an opposing force as crew           roof, damaged the flap actuator rod and     on any approach. After landing you can
members, C-7A, at Con Thien Special         sprayed out through the roof.              expect a few rounds of 81 mm mortar
Forces Camp, Republic of Vietnam on            Despite the intense, accurate hostile   or a couple of 105 mm howitzer rounds
12 May 1967.                                fire, and with insurmountable courage       – anyway it’s somewhat “hot.”
  On that date, Maj Beardsley, 1/Lt         and heroism under extreme threat of          On 2 May [sic], 1967, Major Clar-
Valentine, SSgt Karnes, and SSgt            loss of life and immaculate knowledge      ence Beardsley, 1st Lt Raymond Val-
Shedd volunteered to participate on an      of all emergency and routine flight pro-    entine and SSgt Lewis Shedd, 459
emergency air resupply of desperately       cedures, the crew displayed teamwork       TCS, departed Danang AB loaded with
needed 105 mm ammunition to Con             and devotion above the call of duty in     ammo for Con Thien. They were to
Thien. Con Thien had been under con-        continuing the drop approach.              airdrop the load. They arrived at Con
stant attack for days and heavy fire was        When release of the load was at-        Thien and established drop configura-
continually racking the camp.               tempted, a failure caused by hostile       tion and altitude. Now flying a drop
  Maj Beardsley, acting as instructor       fire caused the load to hang up in the      pattern at 50 feet sometimes invites
pilot, briefed 1/Lt Valentine on drop       aircraft; thereby making it necessary      problems. It did.
procedures as they proceeded to ex-         to return over the drop zone. Special        On the first pass two .50 caliber
ecute their first pass over the narrow       Forces personnel had managed to            rounds with explosive heads hit the rear
drop zone from only 500 feet. Hostile       silence some hostile fire allowing the      section of the aircraft – one round tear-
forces were so intent on stopping this      C-7A to complete the drop encounter-       ing a hole approximately eight inches
resupply that they fired mortar rounds       ing only small arms fire.                   wide on top of the fuselage. The other
at the defenseless C-7A as it started          Departing the drop area, Maj Beard-     round creased the exterior skin of the
the drop.                                   sley realized it would be impossible to    tail section. Sgt Shedd said, “I moved
  Camp personnel warned the crew            return the aircraft to Danang Air Base.    closer to the front of the aircraft.” In
that mortar rounds were exploding           The courage and professional skill         addition, the load hung up so another
immediately below the aircraft as they      displayed by the entire crew enabled       pass was required.
continued the emergency drop, and           them to successfully complete an emer-       On pass two, “Charlie” improved.
small arms fire cluttered the area.          gency air drop under countless adverse     One round came in behind the cockpit,
  As the crew, with complete disregard      conditions.                                one round blasted another hole on top
for their personal safety, turned to           First Lieutenant Valentine’s coolness   of the fuselage, cutting both mixture
complete the last drop, they saw tracer     and flying skill released Maj Beardsley     cables and missing the control cables
rounds closing on their aircraft. Ground    from the task of continually flying the     by inches. The drop was successful and
troops immediately notified the crew         C-7A and allowed him to supervise and      the crew turned their ventilated “Bou”
that they were being hit by .50 caliber     direct the entire mission.                 toward home.
machine gun rounds. The pilots were            Staff Sergeants Karnes and Shedd,         Because of required maintenance,
unable to avoid hits and continued their    working together with incredible speed     the Bou was returned to Phu Cat. The
drop approach.                              and efficiency while under extreme         crew jumped out, looked casually at
  One tracer hit the right flap. A tracer    threat of hostile fire, and numerous        an occasional hole here and there, pre-
and an armor piercing bullet hit the        near misses, repositioned the load for     flighted another aircraft and departed
right side of the Caribou, entered the      the re-drop in less than half the normal   for Danang. “Another day, another
cargo compartment, narrowly missed          time required.                             118 piasters” called one of the crew-
both flight mechanics who were at-              By their gallantry and devotion to      members.
tempting to ready the ammunition for        duty, Maj Beardsley, 1/Lt Valentine,         Note: This piece was first printed in
the drop, and nearly hit the ammunition     SSgt Karnes, and SSgt Shedd have           the August 2002 newsletter.
before exiting out the roof.                reflected great credit upon themselves
  An explosive bullet hit just behind the   and the United States Air Force.
rear ammunition pallet, skimmed the
April 2011                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                            Page 17

        Med-evacs at                       rated weather conditions at LZ English,       – there’s more than a Division of NVA
                                           but successfully completed the land-          in the area and the ARVN [Army of the
         LZ English                        ing, take-off, and climb out without          Republic of Vietnam] killed almost 500
      537th TCS History (1967)             incident. The weather at Qui Nhon had         yesterday alone.
   On the night of 14 Feb 1967, LZ         improved, making an ADF approach                Some of the C-7A crews have gone
English sustained an attack. The 537       possible at that location. Capt Howells       in there 5 & 6 times – it’s an absolute
TCS med-evac crew, Capt William H.         and each crew member who took part            crime that they’re not using C-123’s
Grosse, Harry W. Howells, and Army         in those two flights experienced a deep        and C-130’s – they have the power
SP4 Anthony Mockunas, was alerted at       sense of pride and achievement, know-         to climb out of there after the drop
1900 Local and airborne at 1930 Local.     ing that their courage and determination      – which is where the worst of the hits
They were briefed that the five hundred     saved many American lives.                    are occurring. It makes you sick. They
foot ceiling and heavy rain showers at       Note: Captains Grosse and Howells           say the 123’s haven’t dropped in six
LZ English had prevented the med-evac      received the DFC for these two night          months so the last two days they’ve
helicopters from performing this vital     med-evac flights.                              made some hurried practice airdrops
mission.                                     Capt Grosse was presented his               to qualify crews – but haven’t used
   After the hand-off from Phu Cat         DFC by Gen John D. Ryan, the new              them at Dak Seang yet – the 130’s say
GCA to Tiger GCA, Capt Grosse was          PACAF Commander. Capt Howells                 the DZ is too small – 500 ft by 500 ft?
informed that the ceiling now was be-      was honored by Col Paul J. Mascot,            BALONEY!
low 400 feet and that only 1,000 feet of   Commander of the 483 TAW, for his               So in the meantime we keep losing
the runway was usable due to a recent      achievement at a squadron dining-in           C-7A’s and crews and the poor guys in
mortar attack. Med-evac Bravo was          on 30 June.                                   the camp – yesterday they were running
contacted – some of the wounded had                                                      out of food & water & ammo – and no
to be moved to Qui Nhon for opera-                  Letter Home                          relief element could break through to
                                                  by Jim Luntzel [536, 69]
tions if they were to live. In complete                                                  them.
disregard for their own safety, which                                                      It’s murder. That’s why they’ve kept
was impaired doubly by the poor flying                   Wednesday, 8 Apr 1970            the news clamps on – it’s that bad.
conditions and ground fire reported by        Dear Lora Lee & Kids,                         So, 17 days to go. I’m too short for
helicopters to be within a quarter mile                                                  that stuff – plus I’ve been ordered not
of the end of the runway, they decided       Fancy stationery, huh? Don’t have a         to go up there again – but it’s really
to attempt a landing.                      letter to answer – will check the mail        frustrating sitting down here in Saigon
   They elected to kept their lights on,   again later on.                               when that’s going on – when you know
increasing their vulnerability, because      Sent cards and a small box to Jim           you can do the job. I’m not that much
of the heavy gunship activity in the       & Jeff today so hope they get them in         of a nut though – not really.
area. They successfully completed the      time – in any case, Happy 15th & 18th           Looks like we will get a pay raise
landing and the patients were loaded.      Birthdays to both!!                           before getting out – that will help
So that further injury to the wounded        Lora Lee, I’m sorry I said I enjoyed        – originally, it wasn’t going to be until
might not be incurred, they made a         that airdrop – I didn’t really mean it that   1 Jan 71 – but the Post Office thing ac-
black-out takeoff while Tiger GCA          way – I did enjoy (for lack of a better       celerated it (see clipping).
provided a radar monitored climb.          word) the chance to do a job under              Well, Sweetie, by the time you get
   The crew contacted Qui Nhon ap-         difficult circumstances – and get out.         this only about 2 weeks – Gads, one,
proach and were told that Qui Nhon         We’ve lost three aircraft & crews in 5        two weeks! TO GO!! Will let you know
was below minimums and that the GCA        days [at Dak Seang] – plus one which          the arrival time at Travis later – I’ll just
was out. They decided on the alterna-      was disabled to the point he couldn’t         catch a ride over to Hamilton – or No-
tive of getting a radar descent by Phu     get home. I knew all the guys on the          voto. Tell the Boys Happy Birthday!
Cat GCA to VFR conditions. With Qui        lost crew from Cam Ranh – in fact the           Note: Recent research indicates that
Nhon still reporting below minimum         last time I flew up there – in Feb – I had     the DZ footprint at Dak Seang, drop
conditions, they flew low level through     the co-pilot & engineer on the mission.       altitude and airspeed made the Caribou
the valley, made a visual landing at Qui   We – they – are dropping at night now         the preferred drop aircraft over the C-
Nhon, and delivered their wounded          & no casualties yesterday. They’ve            123 and the C-130. Nevertheless, the
safely to the hospital.                    kept the whole thing quiet – no news          Caribou crews paid a heavy price in
   On the next alert launch at 0045        at all until last Monday – see enclosed       providing critically needed supplies to
Local, Capt Howells was the Aircraft       clippings – and it’s probably the big-        the camp. SIERRA HOTEL to all the
Commander. He met further deterio-         gest battle since I don’t know when           crew and maintenance personnel!
 Page 18                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

                                               The next day my aircraft commander
    Ben Het Recalled
     by Curt Fischer [457, 68]
                                            was Lt Col Edgar Thielen. He later
                                            became 457th squadron commander.
                                                                                            Time Is
  I thought I would sit down and dredge
up a few mostly forgotten memories
                                            He was a good pilot who treated his
                                            copilots well. When it was time to
                                                                                         Running Out!!
about the 20 June 1969 Ben Het resup-       operate the radios, he would put on his        Check the mailing label on this
ply mission. It was a long time ago and     reading glasses to dial in the different     newsletter. If it does not show “2011”
I don’t trust my memory about much          frequencies. Then he would take them         or later, then it is TIME TO PAY your
of anything that happened during my         off and fly the airplane.                     Caribou Tax or this will be the last
thirteen months in-country. However,           For the Ben Het mission, we flew           newsletter you will receive.
that mission was different.                 to Phu Cat and briefed in one of their         If you aren’t up to date, you may
  In June of 69, I was mid way through      buildings. There were to be three or         have:
my tour with the 457th TAS squadron at      four C-7’s making the drop. We briefed       1. changed your address and the last
Cam Rahn Bay. I was probably getting        the mission then sat around waiting              newsletter went to an old address
ready to upgrade to aircraft commander.     for the departure time. I remember the       2. just sent in your check
I lived in a three bedroom “hootch”         horseplay that went on as a couple of        3. forgotten to send your check
with six roommates and all of us were       the copilots wound up wrestling on the                    DO IT TODAY.
first lieutenants. Most likely we all       floor. We waited while the pallets were       Write your $10 check to the C-7A Car-
had similar thoughts that the Wing          loaded onto the planes, then we left.        ibou Association and send it to:
“weenies” didn’t know what they were           The actual drop went off well enough.          Mike Murphy
doing half of the time. We flew when         We orbited the area and then were                2036 Trailcrest Ln Apt #2
the schedule was posted and generally       called in by the ground forces. Memory           Kirkwood, MO .63122-2263
coped with our somewhat comfortable         is now vague. We started in on our run
surroundings. We had a great squadron       and an A-lE flew ahead of us trying to              Laws of the
bar/club in the 457th, the “hootches”       draw fire. There was another A-1E fly-
were air conditioned, and we had TV. I      ing behind us. I remember noting that            Natural Universe
missed being away from home, but life       there were red “flares” coming between          Variation Law: If you change lines
was satisfactory.                           the lead A-1E and our plane. I thought       (or traffic lanes), the one you were in
  The mission to Ben Het was sup-           they were from the camp. I didn’t learn      will start to move faster than the one
ported by the two squadrons based           until after we had finished our run that      you are in now (works every time).
at Phu Cat. Ben Het was located in II       the flares were tracers and there were          Murphy’s Law of Lockers: If there
Corps (46 miles from Pleiku on the 335o     13 or so bullets between the red tracers.    are only two people in a locker room,
radial) and was not in our usual delivery   I was rather naive at this time.             they will have adjacent lockers.
area. I speak only for myself, but my          We dropped our load, left the area          Law of Rugs/Carpets: The chances
impression was that my roommates and        without difficulty or holes in the aircraft   of an open-faced jelly sandwich land-
I were happy to leave it that way.          and flew back toward Cam Rahn and III         ing face down on a floor covering are
  As I recall, the Wing brought the         Corps to finish the day’s mission. That       directly correlated to the newness and
mission to Cam Rahn Bay for at least        night, back at the “hootch,” we had a        cost of the carpet/rug.
a week. This was to allow Wing per-         celebratory beer as I collected back all       Law of Location: No matter where
sonnel to fly the mission. I think they      of my worldly possessions.                   you go, there you are.
scheduled a daily mission to fly to Phu         The missions continued. No one from
Cat and stage out of that base and make     Cam Rahn was hurt and life went on. I
the air drop into Ben Het.                  received the DFC when I was stationed
  My name showed up on the schedule         at McGuire AFB sometime in 1970.
during the middle of the week. I remem-     It was a nice surprise. No heroics, no
ber sitting around the living room of our   outstanding feats of airmanship. We
                                                                                                 Older Crowd
“hootch” having a beer and laughing         did our jobs.                                             Some people
while my erstwhile roommates divided           Note: For missions during the siege         Try to turn back their odometers.
up all my worldly possessions in case       of Ben Het in 1969, members of the                          Not me!
I didn’t return from the mission. They      537th TAS were awarded:                          I want people to know ‘why’
claimed my stereo, paintings, TV, and          2 Silver Stars                                       I look this way.
whatever else. I thought it quite funny        22 Distinguished Flying Crosses                 I’ve traveled a long way,
at the time.                                    7 Air Medals (for single missions)       And some of the roads weren’t paved.
April 2011                                        C-7A Caribou Association                                       Page 19

                                                                                      aircraft and flew to Clark AB, Andersen
                      Missions to Ben Het                                             AB, Wake Island, Midway, Hickham
       Name         10-30    2-3 Third            Name          10-30   2-3 Third     AFB, Mc Clellan AFB, Davis Monthan
                      Jun    Jul Pilot                            Jun   Jul Pilot     AFB, and Maxwell AFB. The flight
Allison, Max L          3     1            MacFarren, Donald J      7    1            from Hawaii to California was 18.3
Berta, William C        2                  Maki, Dennis A           4    1            hours, mostly at night in the weather
Black, John W           4     1            Marshall, Lyle B         1                 with lightning and St Elmo’s fire. This
Brethouwer, Richard L 5                    Marvin, George C         6                 is the flight that the Caribou ditched and
Broussard, Emile P      9     1            Mellert, John D          3                 the pilot was pulled out the top hatch by
Brownfield, Donald L     2                  Miles, David A                      1      a PJ. We arrived at Maxwell the night
Chasteen, Ralph E       3     1            Monroe, Kent M           5    1            of December 21 (88 hours total flying
Cope, Jesse M           6                  Murphy, Michael          5                 time). The TAC Commander arranged
Crafton, Stuart B       2     1            Obermiller, Terry L      2    2            for a C-131 to take crews to anywhere
Croach, Robert E        4          1       Overcash, Hugh M         2    1            they wanted east of the Mississippi
Davenhall, Kenneth L 6                     Owen, Billy P            3                 (similar deal with C-130 for crews
Davis, James H          4          1       Poland, Robert F         5                 west of the Mississippi). I arrived at
Donovan, Steven R       4          1       Prescott, Calgen A       1    1            the Pittsburgh airport on December 22.
Dugan, Robert H         2                  Quarles, Jown W          4                 Best Christmas I ever had!!
Evalenko, William A     6     1            Quinn, William F         4    1               After Vietnam, I spent 4 years as a
Fletchall, Albert E     8     1            Riess, Michael T         3    1            T-37 IP at Sheppard (mainly teaching
Furchak, Edward         6                  Rodda, Allen J           2                 Vietnamese to fly – so the end of the
Girod, Allan L          2                  Ryland, William K        1    1            Vietnam War in 1975 was especially
Greinke, Neil N         2                  Selbe, George G          8                 painful for me), AFIT MBA at the
Grigg, Dale             4     1            Shepherd, William L      2                 University of Tennessee, and a rated
Grimsley, Joe W         1                  Smolinski, Jerome P      1                 supplement in SAC as a Transporta-
Hammond, Charles K Jr 3                    Spurger, George A             1            tion Officer at Pease AFB. By three
Harmon, George L        2                  Taylor, Charles C Jr          1     2      consecutive miracles I received an F-4
Havins, Felton H        3     1            Taylor, Robert. H             2            assignment (RTU at MacDill, F-4E’s at
Hayes, Maurice C        3                  Thomas, John L           1          1      Seymour Johnson, F-4E/Gs for 5 years
Hill, Robert E          3                  Vanness, Charles R       3                 at Clark AB where I was a squadron
Holdener, Irwin K       4                  White, John E Jr         2    1            commander) then TAC staff, Air At-
Houghtling, Donald H 3        1            Wigington, John H        6                 tache to Italy, and Inspector General at
Ketring, Charles E      5     1            Wilhelm, Frederick       1    1            Davis Monthan. I retired as a Colonel
Koshko, Kent D          2                  Wilson, Clyde M          3                 in 1998 and have worked in the defense
Lockwood, Delbert D     8                  Wohrer, James F          4    2            industry since.
                                                                                         I have to say flying the C-7 was a
 Ferry Mission to U.S.                     program. By this time, I had already       great experience and great assign-
    by Bucks Walters [458, 71]             received my next assignment (T-37 IP       ment.
                                           at Sheppard AFB) and due to being a           I look forward to the 2011 reunion.
  I was a member of the 458th TAS          “stupid First Lieutenant,” I declined to
from March 1971 until December 1971.       upgrade ( a decision I always regret-        Bucks Walters
The C-7 was my first assignment out         ted).                                        28 October 2010
of UPT.                                      I went on R&R to Hawaii in late
  My first flight at Dyess AFB was on        November and when I returned, I found        Note: Two weeks after sending this
January 19, 1971 and the last flight was    out we were ferrying 12 Caribous to        story by e-mail to the editor, Bucks
on February 10. My first flight at Cam       the US. I was selected to fly in the lead   passed away on 14 November 2010.
Rahn Bay was March 26, 1971. I was         aircraft since I was the most experi-
in the copilot checkout program and        enced copilot in the Wing. The Aircraft
severely injured my ankle in early April   Commander was a Lieutenant Colonel
playing basketball. Due to the injury, I   that worked at Wing headquarters and
missed two months of flying.                rarely flew in-country.
  In November, my squadron com-              We departed CRB on December 11
mander offered to put me in the upgrade    with three large fuel bladders in the
 Page 20                                       C-7A Caribou Association                                        April 2011

       Gorgon Stare
   Aviation Week, Nov 3, 2010
   The U.S. Air Force’s new Gorgon
Stare Wide Area Airborne Surveillance
System, described as a revolutionary
intelligence, surveillance, and recon-
naissance (ISR) technology, made its
combat debut, flying over undisclosed
locations in Afghanistan on board MQ-
9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles
   Gorgon Stare was conceived, de-
signed and developed in less than
three years by prime contractor Sierra
Nevada Corp. and USAF’s 645th Aero-
nautical Systems Group, a rapid acqui-
sition arm also known as Big Safari. It
offers an exponential expansion in the
scope, amount, quality, and distribution   Data Link and Tactical Common Data         process the images from all its cameras
of video provided to ground troops,        Link antennas, plus radio frequency        in flight, quilting them into a mosaic
manned aircraft crews, ISR processing      equipment.                                 for a single wide-area view. That im-
centers and others, then-Lt. Gen. David       Gorgon Stare is operated indepen-       age can be streamed to tactical opera-
Deptula, Air Force deputy chief of staff   dently, but in coordination with the       tions centers or Air Force Distributed
for ISR, said prior to his retirement on   Reaper’s crew by a two-member team         Common Ground System intelligence
Sept. 30.                                  working from a dedicated ground            facilities by the Gorgon Stare ground
   Gorgon Stare’s payload is contained     station, which fits on the back of a        station via line-of-sight data link.
in two pods slightly larger than, but      Humvee. A second Humvee carries a          The ground station team, which will
about the same total weight as the two     generator and spare parts. A separate,     control the system’s sensors, can also
500-lb. GBU-12 laser-guided bombs          forward-deployed processing, exploita-     transmit the relatively low-resolution
the Reaper carries. The pods attach to     tion and dissemination team co-located     wide-area view to recipients in-theater
the inside weapon racks under the wing.    with the Gorgon Stare ground station       or elsewhere via other wide-band com-
One pod carries a sensor ball produced     coordinates with commanders in-the-        munication devices, plus chip-out an
by subcontractor ITT Defense that          ater, directing the system’s sensors and   additional 50-60 views and forward
protrudes from the pod’s bottom. The       exploiting their imagery in real time.     them as needed.
ball contains five electro-optical (EO)        The result is a system that offers a       Gorgon Stare’s coverage area is clas-
cameras for daytime and four infrared      “many orders of magnitude” leap be-        sified but, as stated, considerably bigger
(IR) cameras for nighttime ISR, posi-      yond the “soda straw” view provided by     than that provided by a single EO/IR
tioned at different angles for maximum     the single EO/IR camera carried by an      camera. Instead of looking at a truck or
ground coverage.                           MQ-1 Predator or a conventional Reap-      a house, you can look at an entire vil-
   The pod also houses a computer          er UAV, D. The video taken by Gorgon       lage or a small city. Moreover, Gorgon
processor. The cameras shoot motion        Stare’s cameras can be “chipped out”       Stare’s computers will store all imagery
video at 2 frames/sec., as opposed to      into 10 individual views and streamed      its cameras capture on a single mission,
full motion video at 30 frames/sec.        to that many recipients or more via the    allowing the data to be transferred for
The five EO cameras each shoot two          Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL).          exploitation after landing. “You can
16-megapixel frames/sec., which are        Any ground or airborne unit within         review it and accomplish forensic study
stitched together by the computer to       range of Gorgon Stare’s TCDL and           of the area by looking at movement and
create an 80-megapixel image. The four     equipped with a Remote Operations          tracing activity,” Deptula said. “If you
IR cameras combined shoot the equiva-      Video Enhanced Receiver, One System        know where an improvised explosive
lent of two 32-megapixel frames/sec.       Remote Video Terminal, or the Marine       device went off, you can ‘rewind the
The second Gorgon Stare pod contains       Corps Video Scout handheld receiver        tapes’ and see where the activity was
a computer to process and store images,    can view one of the chip-outs.             and what led to it.”
data-link modem, two pairs of Common          At the same time, Gorgon Stare will                  Continued on Page 21
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                           Page 21

Gorgon Stare (from Page 20)                                                               make visual landings.”
                                              7th AF News Release                            Anything from small arms to a large
   Gorgon Stare operates independently                  Vung Tau, 1971                    slingshot is waiting for the Caribou
of the Reaper’s sensor ball, which MQ-          They aren’t really pretty to watch.       crews when they land at some of the
9 operators will continue to control         They have a fat nose and bent wings,         remote sites. “We don’t stay on the
from U.S. ground control stations.           and when they come in for a landing,         ground longer than a few minutes
Bandwidth limitations will prevent           they look like a staggering seagull.         because we make good targets for the
Reaper operators from viewing Gorgon            To American and Republic of Viet-         enemy’s mortars,” the Major said.
Stare’s imagery as they fly the MQ-9.         nam forces at fire support and Special           Most of the time the off-loading pro-
They will be in contact with the team        Forces bases in the southern part of the     cess is a hurry up job for the Caribou
in the forward-deployed Gorgon Stare         Republic of Vietnam, the C-7 transports      crews. The heavy cargo is untied and
ground station, however, to coordinate       of the 535th and 536th Tactical Airlift      left on rollers on the floor of the aircraft.
requests to slew the sensor ball over a      Squadrons are the most beautiful sight       The pilot revs the engines; the aircraft
target, or for other purposes.               in the world.                                jerks forward. The cargo breaks loose
   Big Safari gave Gorgon Stare its             Despite having a smaller load-carry-      and races down the rollers and out the
nickname, taking it from the gorgons         ing capability than its big brothers, the    rear door.
of Greek mythology, Medusa and her           C-123 Provider and the C-130 Hercu-             “Once the load hits the ground, we
sisters, whose gaze turned those who         les, the C-7 is a tough, reliable aircraft   don’t waste any time getting out of
looked into it to stone. “Since the          that can land and take off from short,       there,” Maj Crooks said. “We fly zig
gorgon sisters had unblinking eyes,          unimproved airstrips which couldn’t          zag patterns going out as well as com-
and their images wound up on ancient         handle the larger aircraft.                  ing in to give the enemy trouble sight-
Greek beer mugs to ward off evil, Gor-          “The C-7 Caribou is built for rough       ing in on us.”
gon Stare seemed like a good name,” a        handling and it gets it,” said Maj Ken-         The majority of pilots assigned to
Big Safari official replied in response       neth E. Crooks of Morrisville, PA,           both squadrons are serving in the Re-
to e-mailed questions. Advances in           operations officer for the 535th TAS.         public on their first assignment. In the
sensor capability, particularly focal        “It stands up well under the constant        536th, 66 per cent of the pilots are recent
plane arrays, and in image-processing        grind of war. These planes are in the        pilot school graduates. In fact, most
capacity are the key technologies that       air from sunrise until sundown every         pilots assigned to the squadrons don’t
make Gorgon Stare possible.                  day, and yet our on-time launch rate is      have much flying time in the Caribou
   The initial deployment, designated        nearly 100 per cent.”                        except what they received from Cari-
Quick Reaction Capability Increment             According to the Major, each Cari-        bou training school at Dyess Air Force
I, will consist of four sets of pods built   bou makes from 12 to 16 landings and         Base, TX, because the aircraft is used
at a cost of $17.5 million per set, ex-      take-offs per day, delivering anything       primarily in Southeast Asia.
cluding the cost of the ground control       from ducks to people, rice to ammuni-           Caribou pilots are trained and up-
station. The production cost per pod         tion, pigs to POL (petroleum-oils-lu-        graded to aircraft commander as soon as
set is expected to rise for a planned        bricants), or any other items needed in      possible, according to Lt Col Collings.
Increment II consisting of six pod sets,     outlying camps.                              Vietnam is one of the few assignments
Marlin says, but “costs will decrease           The 535th and 536th Tactical Airlift      where pilots coming out of flight school
with larger production runs.”                Squadrons are part of the 483rd Tactical     can get upgraded to aircraft commander
                                             Airlift Wing based at Cam Ranh Bay           in their first year.
       Reunion 2012                          Air Base.                                       “I am particularly impressed with
  Reunion 2012 will be 17-21 Oct. at            “Our mission is to provide effective      the quality of young men coming to us
the Holiday Inn, 561 N. Dupont High-         airlift support in the southern part of      from pilot training,” the Colonel said.
way, Dover, DE 19901. Visit AMC              the delta,” explained Lt Col Buford             “The pilots aren’t the only ones who
museum, Bombay Hook Natl. Wildlife           E. Collings, Jr of Virginia Beach, VA,       have a rough schedule,” Maj Crook
Refuge, dedicate memorial bench.             commander of the 536th. “We operate          added. “The aircrews and ground
                                             basically in support of the Army, taking     maintenance personnel put in a 12 hour
       Reunion 2013                          smaller loads into the smaller airfields      day, every day. We have additional du-
 Reunion 2013 will be 9-13 Sep. at the       and airstrips.                               ties to perform when we aren’t flying.
DoubleTree Hotel, 16500 Southcenter             “Weather is a big factor for us,” re-     After flying all day, I come back to the
Parkway, Seattle, WA 98188. Visit            marked Maj Crooks. “These airstrips          office and fight the paperwork war.
Boeing museum and plant, Fulton Fish         have no tower facilities, so we have         Let’s see, I had a day off in September
Market, wine tasting.                        to depend entirely on instruments and        I remember …”
 Page 22                                         C-7A Caribou Association                                         April 2011

                                             there were no runway lights and it was      from the mud and taxi, they starting
          FCF ... Plus                       a marginal dirt airfield with a “hump”       coming alive and started shooting and
      by Roger Tripp [458, 66]               in the middle and no overrun. Dodg-         lobbing in mortars again. Fortunately,
   I made a deal with my boss to abso-       ing mountains low level in the rain in      we were moving some before they got
lutely ensure that I had that day (18 Apr    the Central Highlands is not a great        the mortars zeroed in and we got air-
1967) off as I had big plans for the night   game plan. We also worried about how        borne about the time the show really
before with some Army officers from           muddy the airfield might be since it had     started up again. Sometimes you just
the Hawk Missile site just above Cam         been raining for a while at that point.     get lucky!
Rahn Bay where I was stationed. I knew       One of our questions was how were we           I got two things from that particular
it was going to get pretty rowdy and that    going to get out of that place once we      day. I got a really good “cure” from
overindulgence in booze was almost           landed, as we might get mired in mud        imbibing. I did not take another drink
a certainty. Well, sure enough, that is      and not be able to get turned around to     of alcohol for the rest of my tour over
what happened and I finally got to bed        get out of there if we sunk into the mud.   there. It is one thing to have a terrible
at least a little bit before the crack of    However, you do what you have to do         hangover in and of itself, but having
dawn, but not much before. Sometime          and we went for it.                         a hangover, flying an FCF and then a
very early that morning someone was            We found the runway and there             really long and challenging mission in
shaking my bunk and calling my name          seemed to be a lull in the shelling and     the weather low-leveling through the
telling me to wake up. I told them, in       small arms fire, so we tried to make sure    mountain passes in the rain and screw-
none too kindly of terms I’m sure, to        that the Special Forces were still the      ing around in the midst of a great fire-
leave me alone, but they wouldn’t.           landlords and made a really dicey ap-       works display was just more fun than
   It seems that we needed an aircraft       proach and landing . When we touched        I care to repeat ... and I got a DFC as a
critically and I was the only other          down we were slipping and sliding all       reminder not to do that again!
qualified Functional Check Flight            over the place in the mud and actually
(FCF) pilot available to accompany           turned the nose wheel in an attempt to
the one shaking me awake. I realized         “slide” the Caribou to a stop somewhat
that I didn’t have much of an option so      sideways as the trees off the end of the
I agreed to sit in the right seat with the   runway were approaching much faster
window open in case I needed to re-          than we wanted. Fortunately, we came
move the contents of my stomach from         to a stop before we hit anything and
the night before. It was for an engine       then we needed some help to dig some            Dak Seang – 1967
change, which meant we had to feather        of the mud out from around the nose                  7th AF DFC Citation
the prop and do a dive as part of the        gear and the landing gear so we could
checks – just what I needed, right?          get enough motion to taxi and get in           First Lieutenant Roger C. Tripp dis-
   Anyway, we had just finished the           position to get out of there.               tinguished himself by extraordinary
FCF and were on final approach when             We realized we were the proverbial        achievement while participating in
the tower called and told us to break        “sitting ducks,” exposed out there and      aerial flight as a C-7A co-pilot near Dak
out of the pattern and to contact the        not mobile. The Special Forces troops       Seang, Republic of Vietnam on 18 April
Wing Command Post. Upon doing so,            were not all that keen about exposing       1967. On that date, Lieutenant Tripp
we were told that we had a Combat            themselves while they helped us off-        was flying a Combat Essential airlift
Essential mission and they gave us           load the ammunition by hand. It was         mission in support of friendly forces.
our itinerary. I don’t remember many         too muddy to try a truck or jeep. If they   Forced by extremely adverse weather
details, other than we needed to pick up     got stuck, we might also be stuck, as we    to fly low level through mountainous
a new combat lead sergeant, at I think       might not be able to get around them to     terrain and rain showers, Lieutenant
it was Nha Trang, and a full load of         take off again.                             Tripp successfully navigated to Dak
munitions. Apparently, Dak Seang had           Fortunately, we got the ammunition        Seang as darkness was falling and de-
been under attack, their senior sergeant     pallets off-loaded and our landing          livered a cargo vital to the defense of
had been killed, and they were running       gear dug out and cleared enough for         the Special Forces Camp there which
critically short of ammunition. Unfor-       us to taxi with something close to full     came under heavy attack as he de-
tunately, it was raining pretty hard and     power. The Viet Cong must have been         parted from the field. The professional
it was going to be tough to get into         having supper or something, as about        competence, aerial skill, and devotion
that camp in heavy rains and weather.        the time we woke them up by apply-          to duty displayed by Lieutenant Tripp
If we didn’t get there before dark, we       ing all that power and making a heck        reflect great credit upon himself and the
couldn’t land at night in the weather as     of a racket trying to extricate our gear    United States Air Force.
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                        Page 23

                                             informing us that this is a PPR (prior      Brown was Executive Officer. Although
Return from Bangkok                          permission required) base. We didn’t        I was assigned to the Commander, I also
    by Larry LaVerne [457, 67]               have prior permission to land and he        supported the Vice Commander. Both
   In July 1967, Chuck Schmitz and I         could have all of us arrested according     the Commander and Vice Commander
were going to leave Bangkok (after a         to AF Regulation such and such.             preferred to fly the Caribou rather than
strenuous TDY) and go back to Cam              He ordered us confined to the BOQ.         their desks, so for the most part they
Ranh via Saigon. As we were pre-             (Hey General, we’re all on the same         alternated flying every other day.
flighting, we discovered the life rafts       side here). I asked him if we were al-
had been stolen the night before. As         lowed to go somewhere and eat. He                 You Might Be A
the route was over water, this was a         reluctantly agreed, but ONLY directly
concern. However, we still had life          to the Officers Club with a minimum                Maintainer If ...
jackets so we decided to press on. No        stay and directly back to the BOQ.            You can’t figure out why 2 wks. of ad-
sweat (yet).                                 Good deal.                                  vance per-diem is gone after 3 days.
   The battery was dead, so a new one          Maintenance discovered that 3 of            You can sleep anywhere, anytime.
was installed. The Aerial Port brought       our 4 magnetos were bad and replaced        But as soon as the engines shut down
out 12 passengers. A 483rd Wing weenie       them. We got life rafts. Only 4 of          you are wide awake.
(Colonel – nice guy) came out and            the original 12 passengers wanted to          Almost everyone thinks that all you
wanted to go too. He asked Chuck if          continue with us the next day. Off we       do is wave your arms in the air.
he could ride in the co-pilot’s seat for     went again for the uneventful “rest of        You have ever used a wheel chock,
“some combat time.” Of course, Chuck         the mission.”                               or tow bar for a pillow.
agreed.                                                                                    You have ever stood on wheel chocks
   After a successful engine run-up, off                                                 to keep your feet dry.
we went into the wild blue yonder. We          Operation Red Leaf                          You have ever used a pair of dykes
leveled off at about 10,000 ft after about         by Stan Bixler [483, 66]]             to trim a fingernail.
45 minutes and sat back to enjoy the 4          I arrived in South Vietnam during          You have ever pulled the gun switch
hr. over water flight. U-Tapao was off        September 1966. The 6252nd Opera-           while riding the brakes.
to the right about 40 or 50 miles, but       tions Squadron was formed to receive          You have ever started a jet inside the
we couldn’t see it.                          personnel being assigned to the soon-       hanger!
   Suddenly, the right engine started        to-be Air Force Caribou squadrons. The        You have ever wiped your hands on
backfiring. Bad. Chuck shut it down           existing aircraft and airfields were still   your pants.
and feathered it. As we were talking         in the hands of the Army.                     You have ever wiped leaks right be-
about it, the left engine started back-         I was assigned to Vung Tau and just      fore a crew show.
firing. Bad. Chuck retarded the left          prior to boarding a Caribou for Vung          You have ever worn someone else’s
engine throttle trying to find a setting      Tau, I was called back to the squadron      hat just to go to chow.
that the engine wouldn’t backfire, but        and informed that the Commander of            All you care about is the flying sched-
the engine backfired all the way to idle.     the soon to be 483rd Troop Carrier Wing     ule and your days off.
It got real quiet in the cockpit.            (Colonel Paul J. Mascot) had selected         You have ever had to defuel your jet
   We restarted the right engine and it      me to help form the new wing.               an hour after fueling it.
would run at about 14 inches without            My AFSC was 702 – Administration.          Everyone you know has some kind
backfiring. We let it run while the left      USAF Special Order AB-674 shows my          of nickname.
engine was shut down and feathered.          reassignment and also the other two           You have used the “Pull Chocks”
We declared an emergency and turned          NCO’s assigned to start the wing.           hand signal to tell your buddies it is
toward U-Tapao. With one engine                  MSgt Harry F. Biddle was Mainte-        time to leave.
feathered and the other one barely           nance NCO and MSgt Carl R. Tafoya             You have ever bled hydraulic fluid
running, the Bou wanted to go down.          was Supply NCO. The three of us were        into a Gatorade bottle or soda can be-
We hoped we could just make it to the        moved to Cam Ranh Bay to help form          cause you are too lazy to go get a hy-
shore.                                       the wing. When we arrived, we had a         draulic bucket and the Hazmat keys.
   Chuck did a beautiful job of making       headquarters building on the flight line       You hate that people who work at the
it to the end of the runway at U-Tapao,      and no furnishings.                         gym handing out towels get the same
just barely. As we were stopping on             My assignment for the year was           pay as you.
the runway, we were surrounded by at         Administrative Assistant to the Com-          You refer to ANY machine as
least 150 vehicles. Out of one emerged       mander. Our Vice Commander was Col          “she.”
a screaming SAC Wing Commander               Ralph E. Bullock and Major Ralph O.           You refer to QA as “the enemy.”
 Page 24                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

                                              survive in a hostile enemy environment       fore us and in back of us. In our instant
     My Most Embar-                           while trying to escape and evade, and        state of shock and total confusion, we
     rassing Moment                           attempting to find your way back to           were overwhelmed by “enemy” troops
    by Dave Hutchens [459, 69]                friendly territory. There was a lot of       and we instantly became POWs.
                                              very important instruction passed out in        After a lot of pushing and shoving
   USAF Survival School. Fairchild Air        this phase, but what I remember mostly       and threatening and a lot of very abu-
Force Base, Spokane, Washington. 27           now is we were shown how to conceal          sive language on the part of our captors,
November 1968.                                pemmican, or more appropriately, beef        we were divided into small groups of
   I thought this school was the E&E          jerky, in the lining of our field jackets     about a dozen guys each and then led
School. Escape and Evasion! When I            for later use if needed. We were told to     into small Quonset Huts where we were
was young and gung ho, I didn’t equate        be sure to have some Hershey candy           to be held captive. Guards were posted
escape and evasion with survival. Es-         bars or other survival food to sustain us    outside the doors.
caping and Evading was what it was all        during the E&E exercise that was going          Once we were secluded inside the
about, and I didn’t think I would be too      to take place the next day.                  buildings we immediately began to
much in need of that survival stuff.             The next day was filled with class-        organize our group and to lay plans
   Our class consisted of all strangers.      room lectures and briefings covering          on how to escape and survive. We had
I didn’t know a single person. Ranks          the upcoming E&E exercise that night.        just completed our formal training so
ranged from about Airman 2nd to               After dark we assembled to commence          we really knew how to do all of this
Light Colonels. About the only thing          our exercise and we received our final        very well! Someone appeared to be the
we had in common is that we were all          instructions. The briefers set the stage     ranking person among us so he became
Air Force, and we were all on shipping        – we had just found ourselves in an          the leader. We each took all of our loot,
orders to Vietnam. None of us were in-        evasion situation in enemy territory.        the jerky and Hershey bars, and put
terested in putting up with this training;    Our way to survival required us to cross     them into a kitty. We would hide the
it simply was one of the requirements         several hundred yards of open fields in       loot, and ration ourselves appropriately.
mandated in getting ready to ship to          front of us. If we accomplished that,        We developed plans on how we would
SEA. I was scheduled to complete this         we would find ourselves in friendly           survive and function, and started to plan
course before reporting to Sewart AFB         territory. That mission didn’t seem to       for our eventual escape. It is absolutely
for my C-7 Caribou training. At this          be that formidable. So, with a bit of        amazing how all of our thoughts about
point I didn’t even know what a C-7           enthusiasm, we all set about evading         just getting this exercise over with and
was; I hadn’t seen one or a picture of        the enemy and began to make our way          getting home to our families just dis-
one. But I did know that as soon as I         across the open expanse in front of us,      solved in thin air.
finished this stuff here in the state of       and to find our way to the safety of             We were in the small building prob-
Washington I was going home to my             friendly forces on the other side.           ably less than three or four hours when
wife and kids for Christmas. Then I              The weather was crisp in Washington       suddenly the door burst open and five or
would be reporting to Sewart AFB right        in November. We were dressed in our          six of the enemy rushed in, screaming
after the first of the year. So, like all of   fatigues, boots, and the field jackets        and hollering and shoving us around.
the other guys, my main thrust was to         that we had prepared for this exercise.      It didn’t take them long to find and
just get this over with.                      Our jacket linings were stuffed with         confiscate our loot of jerky and Hershey
   This event happened a long time ago        beef jerky and our pockets were full         bars. They threatened us with death
so the details might be a little rusty,       of Hershey bars that we had purchased        if we even attempted to carry out our
but I am not rusty on the outcome of          from the little BX at the school. I guess    plans of escape. We were completely
my training.                                  my thoughts were about the same as           dumbfounded as to how they learned
   Our training started off with class-       everyone else’s – let’s get this over with   of our booty and escape plans. Eventu-
room instruction on the hazards of            and we will get a good night’s sleep.        ally we learned that in our confusion of
being in a combat zone and the conse-         The course will be over tomorrow and         being captured and being placed in this
quences of becoming a POW. All of this        we will be on our happy way home.            small building, the enemy had planted a
stuff was pretty evident; after all, we          Yeah, right!                              spy among us and he reported all of our
were going to a war zone. The instruc-           Shortly after we started slithering       plans. Boy, we were really sunk.
tion was spiced up with a lot of show         across the open plains on our bellies           From here we were treated to some
and tells and a lot of pictures, and even     and hands and knees, the night sky was       personal discipline/punishment. After
some live eyewitness accounts of be-          lit up by the bursting of what seemed to     some initial, somewhat aggressive
coming a captive by a hostile enemy.          be hundreds of illumination flares. Land      interrogation, in which I only revealed
   The instruction turned to how to           mines were exploding immediately be-                      Continued on Page 25
April 2011                                          C-7A Caribou Association                                          Page 25

                                             U.S. Casualties - Southeast Asia
                               1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968                          1969     1970 1960-1970
 Deaths, hostile                        11     31    78 147 1,369 5,008 9,378 14,503                 9,414    4,225   44,638
         Republic of Vietnam             1     31    77 145 1,331 4,946 9,314 14,537                 9,361    4,176   43,919
               North Vietnam                                 1    34        43  44     24                6        7      159
                     subtotal            1     31    77 146 1,365 4,989 9,358 14,561                 9,367    4,183   44,441
                        Laos            10            1      1      4       19  20     31               47       38      171
                    Thailand                                                            1                         4        5
 Deaths, other causes                    4     29    47    56 383 1,101 1,737 2,021                  2,204    1,909    9,752
         Republic of Vietnam             2     18    36    48 359 1,043 1,537 1,899                  2,076    1,829    8,847
               North Vietnam                                                   142     18               34       12      206
                     subtotal            2     18    36    48 359 1,043 1,679 1,917                  2,110    1,841    8,291
                        Laos                    3                            2   1      2                3        3       14
                    Thailand             2      8    11      8    24        56  57    102               91       65      424
 Wounded, non-fatal
       Hospital care required            2     41 218 522 3,308 16,526 32,371 46,801               32,941    15,212     149,351
                     Vietnam             1     39 218 521 3,307 16,520 32,539 46,783               32,898    15,177     149,208
                        Laos             1      2            2      2        6  12     16              42        34         141
                    Thailand                                                            2               1         1           4
   Hospital care not required            1     37 193 517 2,806 13,567 29,654 46,022               37,276    15,432     146,530
                     Vietnam                   35 193 517 2,803 13,540 29,629 45,991               37,210    15,361     146,291
                        Laos             1      2                   3       27  25     30              66        71         238
                    Thailand                                                            1                                     1
 Some totals include data which could not be identified to a specific year.
 As reported by the Directorate of Information Operations, OSD Comptroller, 10 Mar 71
My Most... (from Page 24)
                                             and in the state of Washington. I was       to me that maybe they had possession
my name, rank, and serial number, I          not happy!                                  of my jacket for a short period, and that
was placed head first into a horizontal          After what seemed to be several          they might have planted some film or
box about five-foot-nine-inches long          hours of this lock up, I was taken for      canisters in it. After they accused me of
by twenty-inches square and about four       some more interrogation. There were         hiding the film in the lining of the field
feet off of the floor. I was six feet tall    three or four enemy guys in this room       jacket they took it and threw it on the
so I didn’t quite fit into the cubicle. It    and they all started yelling at me at       floor in front of me. They told me that I
was extremely tight all around. There        once and accusing me of mass murder         could prove that I didn’t have any film
was a door at the foot of the cubicle and    and drug smuggling and espionage and        if I stomped on the field jacket, which
the guards tried to close the door on my     whatever else they could think of. It       would crush any canisters if there were
feet, but it would not quite close.          was pretty easy to forget that you were     any there. I knew there was no film in
  The guards pushed on my feet to            in a training situation after having just   the jacket so I readily jumped up and
force me to draw them up into the cu-        gone through the isolation in the box. I    down on it. That seemed to satisfy them
bicle, but there wasn’t enough space for     guess I did take these guys pretty seri-    and they sort of wound up the inter-
me to bend my knees to draw up my            ously. Then one of them, who seemed         rogation and they escorted me back to
feet. You can get a sense of how I was       to be the senior, accused me of taking      the room where I was to spend the rest
resisting their ill treatment. After a few   photos of their installation and plan-      of the night.
vigorous whacks with their truncheons        ning to sell the photos to anyone who          The next morning flyers were placed
on the soles of my boots, I found that I     would pay me good money for them.           outside the doors of the prisoner’s
could draw them up so they could close       Of course I denied their accusations.       rooms. On the front of the flyer there
and lock the door.                           They insisted that I had canisters of 35    was an 8 X 10 inch picture of an air-
  I don’t know how many hours I was          mm film hidden on me or hidden in the        man jumping up and down on his field
kept in the lock up but I do remember        lining of my field jacket. I had the field    jacket. The caption read, “AMERICAN
that I figured these guys were getting        jacket with me so I knew that there was     AIRMAN DENOUNCES HIS COUN-
pretty serious. I don’t know what would      nothing in the lining except maybe a        TRY AND THE VIETNAM WAR BY
happen if you were claustrophobic. I         piece of beef jerky or a remnant of a       STOMPING HIS UNIFORM INTO
also didn’t panic completely because         Hershey bar. Besides that, I didn’t even    THE DIRT.” It was a pretty good pic-
I knew that I was still in the Air Force     have a camera. The thought did occur        ture … and it was of ME!
 Page 26                                         C-7A Caribou Association                                           April 2011

                                             miles to serve as the honor guard. As       and movies that have inspired a fresh
 A Noble Farewell For                        they talked with us, I realized that, to    interest in World War II, a just war that
 An American Soldier                         those men, my father was not simply an      may ultimately eclipse the anguish
   by Joan Caraganis Jakobson                elderly war veteran they had never met,     of Vietnam in the nation’s collective
                                             but a member of their military brother-     memory. I doubt I’ll ever fully accept
   I was an antiwar protester; my father     hood whose life and deeds were impor-       military ideology, but I understand
was a veteran loyal to the military. I       tant. I began to see the Army through       that the Army offered my father and
think I finally understand why.               my father’s eyes and to understand          members of his generation a recogni-
   Two days after my father died, as the     the camaraderie and connection that         tion of their commitment and courage.
visiting hours at the funeral home ended     sustained him. The following day at         It provided reassurance that they had
and we were putting on our coats, there      the funeral service, the soldiers draped    contributed a significant service to their
was one last visitor. He was a stooped,      the American flag over the coffin and         country and a bond among soldiers that
solitary man who walked slowly to the        accompanied it from the church to the       survives even death.
open coffin and gazed down at my fa-          cemetery. As we gathered at my father’s        Soon after we got home from the
ther, lying in his military dress uniform.   grave site under a light December rain,     funeral, my son called me into his
Suddenly, the visitor stood up straight      four members of the honor guard stood       room. Unbuttoning his shirt, he said,
and, still looking at his Army comrade,      at attention.                               “Mom, remember when Grandpa gave
gave the brisk salute of the spirited,          One soldier raised his rifle and fired     me his dog tags? I kept them on a shelf
young GI he must have been 55 years          three shots while the bugler played         with some of his medals, but when you
ago. Then he slowly lowered his arm          taps. The flag was removed from the          told me he’d died, I put them on.” He
and became an old man once more,             coffin and slowly and meticulously          paused, looking down at the metal tags
turning and shuffling out the door. His       folded into a triangular shape. After       hanging from his neck. “He wore them
gallant gesture has come to symbolize        one soldier inserted the empty cas-         all over Europe with General Patton,
a profound shift in my feelings toward       ings into the flag’s angled pocket, the      so I thought I should wear them until
the United States military.                  rest of the guard lined up in formation     the funeral was over. I think he would
   My father was a retired Brigadier         behind the highest-ranking officer,         have liked that.”
General, a World War II veteran of the       who approached my teenage son. The             I think so, too. And I think he would
Battle of the Bulge and the march on         officer, holding the folded flag on his       have been gratified to learn that his
Bastogne, who maintained an unfal-           outstretched palms and looking straight     grandson’s generation, those who grew
tering belief in the righteousness of        at my boy, said, “Please accept this flag    up after the glorious victories of World
the United States Army and any war           on behalf of a grateful nation.”            War II and the raging divisiveness of
it might choose to fight, including             And so it was, at the end, the United    the war in Vietnam, have achieved the
Vietnam. I spent the late 60’s and early     States Army that provided my family         equanimity that allows them to wear
70’s marching in and organizing anti-        and me with a noble conclusion to my        dog tags with nothing but pride.
war protests, including the Washington       father’s life. I began to realize that
and New York moratorium marches in           the military traditions I had once con-      Your Story or Stories
1969, and formed a women’s collec-           sidered unquestioningly rigid endure           Have you enjoyed the newsletter sto-
tive to raise money for a bombed-out         because they serve a purpose. Every         ries that our buddies have written up?
hospital in North Vietnam.                   morning, as long as he was able, my         Everyone says that they have. Now it’s
   I believed that the armed forces were     father raised the American flag on the       your turn. Think about the crazy situa-
an instrument for senseless destruction      pole outside his house, observed a mo-      tion you had in the air, on the flight line,
and imperialism. Visits home for family      ment of silence, then stood at attention    in some local joint, or in the hootches.
dinners meant arguments with my fa-          and saluted. I had always thought this      Write it up so other guys can read it
ther that ended with my storming away        exercise sweetly eccentric but meaning-     and say, “Oh, yeah, that’s the Vietnam
from the table. Although our conflicts        less – now I envy the ritual that I, as a   I knew” or “Something just like that
subsided as the war wound down, I            civilian, will never know.                  happened to me.”
couldn’t begin to solve the mystery of          The impassioned arguments that my           You don’t have to be a Pulitzer win-
my father’s boundless devotion to the        father and I had about the war in South-    ning journalist. Write up your tale or
Army. Until he died.                         east Asia echoed across the country and     tales and send them to:
   The day before his funeral, my            across the generations. Thirty years            or
husband, daughter, son, and I were           later, those tensions have been greatly        Pat Hanavan
introduced to six soldiers from the 10th     eased, in part because of the passage          12402 Winding Branch
Mountain Division who had driven 400         of time, but also because of the books         San Antonio, TX 78230-2770
April 2011   C-7A Caribou Association   Page 27
Page 28                                                C-7A Caribou Association                                          April 2011

                                                                                                                             Non Profit Org.
12402 Winding Branch                                                                                                        U.S. Postage Paid
                                                                                                                               Tulsa, OK
San Antonio, TX 78230-2770                                                                                                  Permit No. 1957

Address Service Requested

                                                MEMORABILIA ORDER FORM
                         Contact Jim Meyer at to check availability of items.
  Fill out this form and mail with a check to: C-7A Caribou Association, c/o Jim Meyer, 3019 Oneida, San Antonio, TX 78230.
  1. Polo Shirt*                        Size - Please Mark: M L XL XXL              Qty. _____ @ $18.00            Total: ____________
  2. Colored T Shirt                    Size - Please Mark: M L XL XXL              Qty. _____ @ $15.00            Total: ____________
  3. Round Engine (R-2000) T Shirt Size - Please Mark: M L XL XXL                   Qty. _____ @ $12.00            Total: ____________
  4. Denim Shirt                        Size - Please Mark: M L XL XXL              Qty. _____ @ $25.00            Total: ____________
  5. Denim Hat                          One size fits all                            Qty. _____ @ $13.00            Total: ____________
  6. Baseball (white) Hat               One size fits all                            Qty. _____ @ $13.00            Total: ____________
  7. 457th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
  8. 458th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
  9. 459th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 10. 535th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 11. 536th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 12. 537th Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 13. 483rd Replica Patch                                                            Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 14. Caribou Lapel Pin                                                              Qty. _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 15. Caribou Poster (12" x 18")                                                     Qty. _____ @ $5.00             Total: ____________
 16. Caribou Challenge Coin                                                         Qty. _____ @ $8.00             Total: ____________
 17. Caribou DVD – 1:10 long                                                        Qty: _____ @ $5.00             Total: ____________
 18. Caribou decal (outside)                                                        Qty: _____ @ $3.00             Total: ____________
 *Polo shirt colors: White, Gray, Yellow, Red, and Light Blue (please specify)                            Total:   _________________
  Note: Each amount above includes cost of purchasing item and domestic shipping. Any excess funds are a donation to the Association.
                  Photos of items can be seen on the web site:

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