Air-Ground in Vietnam

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.
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Snake-1

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Unread post13 Aug 2006, 21:44

Rhinophan99

The first was a test detachment of 4 birds out of Nellis at Ubon for some super secret stuff they were working on. The second was the 34th. out of Korat.

How about you??

Snake
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rhinophan99

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Unread post13 Aug 2006, 22:02

Snake ..

Ah yes Det 1 414th FWS... the WZ coded D's from Vegas ...

I was in the SPS at Tonopah in 91/92 .. with the 37th FW ... :) To young for SEA but grew up with hanging around with a bunch of the MA ANG pilot's who had tours in SEA .. Really enjoyed there stories and everything that they were about ! ! !

RJ
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Snake-1

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Unread post13 Aug 2006, 22:33

Talking about Fast Facs with 99 brings back memories of working the trails with those guys who really had a tough mission. They'd log a good 5 or 6 hours in the seat at low altitude, high speed, jinking and using High "G" manuvering the WHOLE TIME. They're only rest was going to the tanker four or five times between trips down the trail. When they finally landed they looked like a couple of really beat puppies. I lost a good friend who went through pilot training with me while he was Fast Fac'ing as Laredo (Steve Cuthbert) -- remember him 99??

But equally terrifying was the guys who flew the old-slow 0-1s, 2s, and 10s in the south. These guys had to improvise every day to keep the bad guys from either shooting him out of the sky or figuring out his tactics.

One such mission in the A-37 was to western four Corp for a pre-planned mud moving exercise.

After getting airborne in the early AM listening to "Up, Up, and Away" (AFN's sign on song in the morning) we headed for the rendezvous area and started setting up for the mission at hand.

About 30 miles out we changed to the FAC frequency and immediately heard an excited FAC trying to call us. Once we got him calmed down he told us to hold at about 20 grand and he would get back to us shortly. Twenty minutes later he was back with us still a little excited but a lot more professional.

He said that for the last hour he had been watching several small smoke columns coming from fires on the ground and was trying to figure out what they were without giving away his interest in that area. So he would take a look, go to another area, fool around there for a couple of minutes showing some concern in a non-existent target and then fly back over the ground fires but not show any real interest. Each time he did this the people on the ground seem to multiply watching this stupid FAC going back and forth but doing nothing. On his last pass he said he saw about 50 to 100 VC at the now suspected camp site with a train of bikes loaded with crates, etc. He also thought that the group on the ground had just completed a long nights march and were starting to bed down for the day in the safety of a tree line before they started out again.

The FAC briefed us wanting to use the element of surprise to get as much damage as possible. So in his target briefing he asked if we saw a very pronounced U bend in the river off to his left and the treeline about 150-200 meters back from the inverted crown of the "U" in the river. We acknowledged the sighting and he went on to say that that was our new target and we should position ourselves near the south end of the north south treeline and stay at 20 grand. He went on to say that he was going to fly to a nearby decoy target (nothing there) where he would drop a smoke -- our signal to arm them up (2 cans CBUs, 2 Mk82s, and two 250 pounders each. This smoke would be followed by a Willy Pete which would be our signal to roll in. So there he goes playing "Here. Kitty, Kitty"; down goes the smoke can and on go the switches for the CBU first. In goes the WP and us down the chuteat a five seconds interval with the engines at idle but spooling up nicely in the dive. I dropped the first can at about 8000 and the second about a quarter a way up the treeline followed by my trusty wingman who hit the half way mark and near the end of the line scattering hundreds of little baseballs all along the line.

By now the FAC was overhead and directing the remainder of the drop. By the time we were finished the treeline was non-existent and there was little if any movement on the ground. During the BDA briefing the FAC told us there was so much smoke that we'd have to wait for an accurate count but we were to report "A whole lot of KBA and a bunch of secondaries".

It was a great feeling going home that day knowing that we really hurt Charlie bad and worked with a great FAC who had his SH$$ together and rememberd where he put it.

I can't imagine in my wildest dreams them FAC'ing that way today.

Snake
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rhinophan99

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Unread post13 Aug 2006, 23:03

Snake ... I do indeed know of Steve ... He and his backseater Marion Marshall were downed during a July 72 Laredo sorite, marking a target ( fuel complex ) in the North .. They were both 13th TFS crew .. Steve was listed as MIA till 1990 when his remains were returned and Marshall was captured and repatriated in March 73 ..

I believe I saw where they may have taken a 57m round in the empty centerline bag ...

RJ
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Gums

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Unread post15 Aug 2006, 04:50

Salute Rhino-breath!

(you too, Snake-man)

During the '72-'73 A-7 tour I heard the Laredo's on the radio, as well as the Wolf FACs. Never was controlled by them.

A Wolf was the dude that led Sandy 1 to the crash site of Bobbin 0-5, the first successful SAR pick-up by the SLUF after it took over from the A-1 troops. Damn CO only let Sandy 1 and 2 go out to locate the Bobbin crew and I had to stay behind as deputy dog (I was Sandy 3 that morning). The rescue was the next morning and I couldn't go as I had been holding down the fort all the day before and didn't have crew rest. Sigh...

On a sidebar, the A-37 was tested as a "half-fast" FAC during Combat Dragon. It was over the Trail, and all of us that were up there for that part of the test program were "FAC-qualified" using fast-movers, but not qualified for in-country CAS missions. Funniest war story was a troop that had run outta rockets and used a 500-pounder to mark the truck park (or whatever). The fast-mover asked what the Dragon had used to mark the tgt. After finding out it was a big egg he asked the Dragon, "What the hell do you need me for?". Heh heh.


I hear that the Viper has a secondary mission these days as a fast FAC. I tried it back in the early days and thot it would be great, especially with nothing but the RX pods and a centerline tank.

later,

Gums sends...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Snake-1

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Unread post15 Aug 2006, 18:16

Hey Gummo!!!

Good to see you back.

With ref. to your comment about enjoying the Fast Fac role in the 16. I don't know about that.

My roommate (Tiger 1) alternated between mission commander for PAC 6 missions and Fast Fac'ing the next day. He use to come back from the Fast Fac'ing stuff absolutely beat out of his mind after five to six hours of 5 to 6 "G's" maneuvering. He said it was a real pleasure to go North in the Hunter-Killer and Mission Commander role cause he could rest his weary body for the next day Fac'ing the trails.

And you know the Viper is much more responsive with a much quicker G onset then the old double ugly. That would really have to hurt some.

But--- what the Hell!!!!!!

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rhinophan99

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Unread post16 Aug 2006, 00:05

Hey Gums .. what is the deepest you flew into NVN in the Sluf ?

Snakey .. Do you remeber did the Tiger's have the tiger striped scraf's and name tags ? I have 2 different Tiger patches ...

I believe at one time NM ANG had a FAC(A) role when they had the block 40's at least ... The FAC school for the Viper is run by the 310th FS at Luke ..

RJ
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Snake-1

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Unread post16 Aug 2006, 01:10

99

In trying to think back, I think that they did have patches but I really don't remember scrafs (as it was to damn hot to wear the things). He!!, we had our bag zippers at half mast trying to keep cool.

OBTW--- did you get my PM of a couple of days ago????

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rhinophan99

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Unread post16 Aug 2006, 04:00

Snake ... No PM can you please resend ?

Yeah I bet it was pretty hot there at Ft Apache ! Did you see Rosco ?

RJ
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Gums

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Unread post16 Aug 2006, 05:46

Horrido!

For Snake, yeah, been BZ up in the hills of Colorado trying to complete a fishin' cabin. Hoping to save enuf $$$ for next year's reunion.

For Rhino ...

- Flew the SLUF on three downtown missions during the Christmas blitz. First one was really neat, as WX was clear and we rolled in from 20K and hit a railyard in the middle of Hanoi. Snake had a TDY to HHQ, seems to me, or he would have provided MIGCAP for me.

- I was present for Roscoe's burial in 1975. Saluted him as they played taps. Buried him just outside the O-Club. Interestingly, he was in his regular chair that spring when the 388th Wing flew the last combat missions of the war (Koh Tang Island fiasco). That old dog KNEW when something was up. Strangely, we got our orders to close the base soon afterwards. So Roscoe's passing should have given us a clue that the whole thing was finally over.

Gums sends ...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Snake-1

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Unread post16 Aug 2006, 15:41

AAAAHHHH!!!!!! Roscoe

He was the only dog I know of that had complete run of the base. And Gums is right ---- he knew all. If he fell asleep in his chair during the pre-dawn briefing it was going to be an easy one. If he sat in his chair and watched everything going on it would be a nut buster. After the briefing he make his rounds to each of the squadrons while we suited up and then once in a while you'd see him sitting near the runway watching the takeoffs. In the club he wouldn't beg for food but knew he could get three squares just by coming through the doors. In the bar he'd sit and watch the strippers the same as the rest of us. He is still toasted at River Rats get togethers as a he!! of a mascot. One other interesting thing is I never heard him bark ---- not even once.

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Unread post17 Aug 2006, 14:04

Amazing, how the "soul and character" of a pet can change many of us. I too believe they know more then they can let out but as you guys learned, if you pay attention to the signs, you might be able to see what is happening.

Sounds like a wonderful dog at time he was much needed to keep you sain and find comfort (some cheer) among the insane acts of that era and part of the world.

You guys lucked out, I would have given a years pay to have witnessed such an animal and amazing spirit back then. Maybe the little guy was a gift from above, who knows but I can see he had many friends....how cool is that!

Good on him - Salute
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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rhinophan99

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Unread post17 Aug 2006, 19:15

Hey Snake.... Did you ever happen to fly a Rhino at Korat with the name of " Arnold The Pig " ? I guess so named because it had a belly lnading once or twice and tender to always fly in a slew after that ...

Gums... Pretty neat on the NVN sortie ... I take it you always carried Aim-9's on those missions up into and around the North ...

Robert

:)
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Snake-1

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Unread post17 Aug 2006, 19:25

99

Never heard of a bird called the Pig and not to many of them had the nose art that some of the THud F's and G's carried. He!! we were lucky just to keep the Tiger Teeth on our birds that no one else had in 72-73 (see my earlier story on this). THe Double ugly E tail flashes were JJ for the 34th. and JV for the 469th. I forget what the D's from the 35th were (Busch would know).

Snake
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Unread post17 Aug 2006, 20:26

I spent all of 70 at Korat in the 469th.We had some very good pilots to work with.After a softball game one night,Capt Mitch Sadler (great stick and glove)said he had to ck out early(no beers)because he was on his first Tiger Flt. in the AM.We were stunned.We knew he was a short timer and his wife was pregnant.He answered our question WHY with this response.ITS WHAT FIGHTER PILOTS DO.Some of us got up early.To watch him and his GIB,Gorden Hill,launch in 0279at about 0400.They never came back.The CC on 279 and I went to ops for info and Rosco sat between us for a hour or so and never moved but to nuzzled us from time to time.30/06/70 Very sad.
I lost my jet 67-0295Paper Tiger on 9 July 70 with Capt Ron Clingaman and GIB Capt Carey(BOMBS)Ripple.GS Escort.Again I went to ops and Rosco was close to the door and that dog did not leave me for one second while I was there.I saw that dog almost every day for a year and I agree with you SNAKE He never barked.
I made contact with both of my crew in June of this year,after 36 years.
What a Hoot.
Our Mascot at Takali in 65 was a Gibbon Ape named Henry .Does anyone recall?
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