Air Commando Short Stories from e-mail
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 22:35:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Fairer
Dear Gene, sorry I didn't mention to you the fact that Capt. Barbara Owens,
(deceased), wife of Commando pilot Frank Owens, was first woman Air Commando
in history. She was personnel officer at hurlburt when commandos reformed
then as "Jungle Jim" in 1961. the commandos wound up "absorbing" her and her
staff. She therefore became first female commando in history. She and Frank
retired in FWB area. Sadly, Barb passed away last year. I attended her
memorial ceremony at Hurlburt Chapel.
Also, Reitred First Sergeant SMSGT Kay Howard became first female first
sergeant of a AF Combat Unit when she became "first skirt" of a commando
flying squadron at Hurlburt. She retired a number of years ago. Her
husband, Clyde, is retired NCOIC of Hurlburt Commando Combat Control Team.
they live in FWB area.
Charlie Jones, President
Air Commando Association
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 21:43:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Remembering Charlie Day
I am sad to hear of the passing of one of my heroes, Charlie Day.
Mr. Can Do Easy! He and I had both done our things in Vietnam and Laos when
I met him in late 1974. I was with nine former Ravens, now called Chmaba
FACs, who were training Khmer Air Force FACs at Udorn. We were short of
training aircraft due to combat requirements in Cambodia, so Jack Drummond
arranged to 'borrow' some O-1s from the Thais. I went to Sattahip with a
number three cylinder for the hangar queen the RTAF was loaning us. I rode a
C-47, which stopped in Bangkok to pick up Charlie, who worked for General
Aderholt there at MACTHAI. We hit it off instantly. What a neat guy!
Charlie was an E-8, and supervised the cylinder change for about 30 seconds
before he was up to both elbows in grease and piston rings. He had that
thing humming in about 20 minutes. We took off for Bangkok and Charlie told
me he had never actually flown an aircraft. Of course I folded my arms and
told him to wake me at Don Muang Airport. I remember watching the sun
descend and turn red in the haze over endless rice paddies in the west as
Charlie did a few lazy eights, laughing like a kid, and then carefully
followed the coast north to Bangkok.
By December of 1974, Charlie and I were in Phnom Penh, replacing Briggs
Diuguid and Jim Cherry on the Military Equipment Delivery Team-Cambodia. He
was everywhere, identifying and fixing problems. His empathy for the troops
was unshakable. He was not afraid to do things the hard way, if it was the
right way. Charlie was a one-man Mobile Training Team for the Khmer Air
I remember a mandatory party there- neither Charlie nor I were much for
formality- which we reluctantly attended. I brought a bottle of 'lau-lau"
(sent from the Royal Lao Air Force detachment at Udorn) and we sat off to the
side and finished the nasty liquid. Actually, it finished us. Charlie spoke
of his family, but there was so much that needed doing in Cambodia.
Our nation owes a great debt to Charlie Day-- husband, father, unsung hero.
He epitomized the quiet warrior, the Air Commando. Somewhere, I am sure he
is smiling that smile. God keep you, Charlie.
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 22:36:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fwd: B-29s and the 582nd;
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jack Ashley)
Date: 97-09-19 13:34:23 EDT
The 580th, the 581st, and the 582nd Air Resupply Gps. were organized
and trained at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho in the early 50s. Their aircraft
were B-29s, C-119s and SA-16s. They were listed as part of Air Rescue
command but their mission was Special Ops. The three Gps are mentioned in
the Air Commando Book. Their mission was classified then and may still be.
The reason that I remember this one particular B-29 is because it was the only one with
nose art. It was of an old swayback plug horse with over large feet. Under it was the name "Hoof Hearted". All of the guns had been removed and there was a long Fiberglass boom extending from the tail,almost like a refueling boom. This boom was lowered in flight and on the end was a hook
attached to a nylon rope. The other end was attached to a tow reel in the aft section of the aircraft. A specialy trained crew brought the aircraft to Florida to test the concept of picking a person off the ground by flying low over two pylons on which a loop was suspended similar to the the C-130s do it today. That aircraft did not deploy to England with us. I understand that it went to the boneyard. That is about all I remember. After all,it was 45 years ago and my first AF assignment. ###
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 11:21:13 -0700
From: David Grierson <email@example.com>
Organization: Melbourne PC User Group, Australia
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Your 22 Sep 97
> Thanks for signing the Air commando Association home page. Your message
> was greatly appreciated. If you don't belong to the Air Commando
> Association(ACA) you are eligible. You can download an application at
> http://home.earthlink.net/~aircommando1/ or we will send you one.
Do you have a facility for Credit Card payment, it is not obvious from
the application form?
> Ron Workman, who is an Australian and whose e-mail address is in the To block
> also flew with your group and is a ACA member.
Ron and I have been in touch about the medals issue. In addition to
information sent to Ron (and which I presume he has sent to you), I have
received a response from the Archives Division, DoD, Department of the
Air Force at Maxwell AFB giving the Lineage and Honours history of the
315th Operations Group. This document states that the Group exercised
control over a RAAF detachment 1965-66. It also states that two Air
Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device were made to the
Group in April and July of 1965.
> We have had a number of Australians who signed our home page and some had
> some of the same interest you have. You are the second RAAF vet who has
> mentioned about medical info on Vietnam-the American VA has put out a lot
> of info on the subject particularly agent orange. If you really want more
> I will write to the VA and ask them to send what they have but will need
> your address.
Thank you for the offer, but don't do anything right now. I have had a
developing problem over tha last ten years or so, which seems to be an
allergy to sunshine. I have plenty of research to do here, and will
work through our own organisations at the moment.
> There is a project that Ron Workman and I have been working on for about a
> year and that is to get some American medals for the Australians who flew
> with us (edit)
I haven't any orders relating to the operation, but there should not be
a problem getting details if the right person can be found. In a book
written by a previous RAAF historian, George Odgers, called Mission
Vietnam, he states that from arrival in country (8 Aug 64) until it
ceased to exist (being renamed No 35 Squadron) on 1 Jun 66, RAAF
Transport Flight Vietnam was:
"...was fully integrated operationally into the US Air Force airlift
system. Operational Control was given to the Commander, Military
Assistance Command (General Westmoreland) and further delegated to the
US Air Force. The USAF controlled the Flight through the 2nd Air
Division's 315th Air Commando Wing.....etc"
The Wing of course existed under the 315th AC Group for the period up to
8 Mar 66, when the Group was made inactive. I was presented with a
plaque for Outstanding Service by Col George L Hannah, Commanding the
Group in December 1965.
No 35 Squadron continued under USAF control for some time therafter, but
later in the war I think it reverted to Australian control when the
Australian Forces increased in size.
> I have went to just about everyone in the US trying to get data on
> the RAAF Sq who flew with us and the men in the Sq. I can't find orders
> etc to establish this-I do have Time Magazine mention of it, members of the
> ACA are aware of it, the RAAF history office has never responded to me, I
> have been to the USAF Air University with no luck etc. Who is the RAAF historian?
I don't know who is now, but will find out for you.
As far as I know, all three commanders of RTFV are still with us. Maybe
Ron has put you in touch with one or more.
Cheers for now
,-._|\ David Grierson
/ Oz \ firstname.lastname@example.org Member, Melbourne PC User Group.
\_,--.x/ 61 3 9857 9875 Fax61 3 9816 3652
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 00:13:35 -0500
From: vcub <email@example.com>
Subject: father's rescue
I was very excited to receive a positive reply from you. I'll give
you all the information I can now and as I get more I'll let you know.
I have the names of the pilot and co-pilot on the jolly green, as
reported in the March 31, 1971 edition of the Air Force News (vol 7, no
13). The pilot was Maj Donald L Jensen, Co-pilot was Capt Glen W
Walder. My father is Robert L Cubberly, and he was the backseater in
the F-4. The pilot was Major Robert D. Priest. They were shot down on
March 22, 1971 and picked up the next day. I also have a certificate my
dad received form the crew of the helicopter. It lists flight mechanic
TSgt McKinney, Pararescue Specialist Ratliff/ TSgt Kirk, and A1C
Best I can find, they were shot down near coastal Dong Hoi, about 50
miles north of the demilitarized zone. They were members of the 13th
tactical Fighter Squadron.
From what I have been told there were 3 Jolly Greens and 10 Sandy's
involved in the rescue. I would be very interested in locating any and
all of the people involved in the successful rescue of my father, as I
owe all of them a debt that cannot be repayed.
Yes my father is still alive, and I also believe Col Priest
(retired) is still alive. I do not have any official military reports
on the incident, but I have many newspaper clippings and copies of after
action reports done by my father and Col Priest.
I will do my best to get the leader numbers off the film and get
them to you as soon as possible. Also, if it will help, I can give you
at least a few of the call signs used by the aircraft in the rescue by
reading through the articles again.
Thank you again for responding so promptly, and I very much look
forward to hearing from you soon.
Troy A Cubberly
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 97 08:36:48 -0600
Subject: AFSOC Biography
Here is a copy of Maj. Gen. Holland's biography in Word Perfect 5.0.
Also attached as a jpg is an image of Maj. Gen. Holland in digital
form. I hope these things will help you with putting the bio on the
As the Public Affairs office at HQ AFSOC, we can help ACA members with
their questions about AFSOC. You can use my e-mail address as a contact
point, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our community relations person,
AFSOC Public Affairs, Internal
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 13:48:42 -0400
From: Lou Plummer <email@example.com>
Subject: Vietnam Question
I saw your Air Commando page on the internet while looking for information
about the war in Vietnam. Your email address was provided and I would like
to respond. I am the 32 year old son of a veteran. My Father's service in
Vietnam continues to play a part in our relationship today and I would like
to hear from other vets and their children. I am starting an online forum
about the war. It is my hope that the children of veterans and indeed
veterans themselves will contribute to a dialog started there for all who
wish to discuss "life with (or without) Dad" after the war.Feel free to
email me with your response.
Phan Thi Kim Phuc, was photographed by Nick Ut, near the village of
Trang Bang, South Vietnam, 1972. Arguably, this is the image most
associated with the American involvement in Vietnam. A burned and
terrified child screams in pain. You've seen this picture, we all have.
I don't know what you think when you see it. When I come across it, I
think of my father. He ordered the napalm attack on Trang Bang. In 1996,
on Veterans Day, he met Kim Phuc face to face for the first time.
Please visit my site at http://www.wonderfulmonds.com/
and follow the link at the bottom of the page (A Veterans Son). If you
like, you may send an email to the link provided. Please recount anything
you would like about your service in Vietnam and how that service has
impacted on your family since you came home. I am especially interested in
your relationship with your children. (Have you talked to them about the
war? How did it go? etc.) Please indicate if I may post your story on the
internet (with or without your email address). If you would like your story
posted I will furnish you with the URL so that you may view it in your
browser and share it with whomever you wish. You may include any
photographs you wish, and I will attempt to post them as well. If you
maintain an internet page yourself, I will provide a link to your site in
return for a link to mine. Please share this information with any Vietnam
Veteran or their family members who may wish to participate.
Thank you very much,
From: "White, Gerald (Pentagon, AF/REL)" <Gerald.White@re.hq.af.mil>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Subject: Request for Info
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 15:30:01 -0400
In researching the 1st Combat Cargo Squadron, I have come across a fair
amount of film and photos of C-47's with exclamation points or question
marks on the tail. I understand those are Troop Carrier units assigned
to Air Commando groups. Can someone provide with definitive info or
point me at a accurate reference source? Thanks.
MSgt Gerald White
Comments: Authenticated sender is <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Raphael Rues" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 23:51:31 +0000
Subject: Query on Faichild AU-23A (Pilatus Porter PC-6)
Dear Mr. Rossel,
I am a Swiss history student researching the role of the Swiss
aircraft Pilatus Porter PC-6 (aka Fairchild AU-23A) during the
My aim is to portray an obective and comprehensive story of the use
made by the US of this Swiss airplane. I understand that this machine
was used by Air America, as well as in the Project Credible Chase.
I wonder if through your person it is possible to have more
informations, either bibliographical or maybe if it could be
possible to interview someone who flew or knew the Porter.
Thanks in advance for your reply,
Tel./Fax:0041-56-222 45 87
Check out the site or send an e-mail in order to get the press-release
for the ultimate guide on how get the most informations out of Internet
Visita il sito o scrivi per ricevere il press-release
del manuale su come ottenere il massimo delle informazioni
usando da Internet usando e-mail
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 12:57:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 311th acs vietnam
i was in the 311th from 67 to 68 . i've been told that the 311th was awarded
the presidential unit citation award for support of khea shan during tet of
68 . where can i find out if this is true or not. thank you very much.
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 01:23:58 -0400 (EDT)
Searching for photos, lithos, artwork reference SO aviation aircraft.
Not currently subscription member...easily remedied.
Active duty Major assigned to 58 SOW at Kirtland AFB.
Attempting to decorate newly acquired simulator building (MC-130P/MC-130H)
desire SOF folklore to adorn walls.
Can you help?
Your assistance is greatly appreciated...
Maj Matthew S. McGuire
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 08:35:13 -0500
From: Herb Ascherman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Raven FACs
I'm currently looking for veterans or military personnel who would like
to collaborate on a comic book. Through discussions with veterans, I've
noticed that there is often a great differance between common
perceptions of military life and the reality of it. If you have any
personal anecdotes you'd like to share, I think that the comic book
medium is a good way to communicate them. Please check out my web page
to get an idea of what I can do. (address listed below).
Thank you for your time,
"Lead, Follow or Get The Hell Out of the Way."
Herb Ascherman Bloomberg L.P.
(212) 318-2932 Video Graphics Dept.
499 Park Ave. 16th FLR
New York, New York 10022
SPECIAL FORCES COMICS
From: "Ron Workman" <RON_WORKMAN_AIRCOM@onaustralia.com.au>
Subject: U.S. Air Medal criteria S.E. Asia.
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 20:31:43 +1000
Good Evening Gene!
Acknowledge your comments and appreciate anything you can do to assist.To
start with could you possibly make available the criteria-guidelines as was
defined and in place during the South East Asia conflict for the U.S. Air
Medal.We wish to submit a formal application to our Minister of Defence on
behalf of the Aircrew who participated in Vietnam whilst under the
Operational Command of the 315th.
take care, Ron Workman.
From: "Ron Workman" <RON_WORKMAN_AIRCOM@onaustralia.com.au>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 22:18:53 +1000
Eugene D Rossel,
Just a short message from AUSTRALIA to now advise you of my email address,
although a little loud, not my fault. Hope to rectify asap.Our regards to
the wife and trust both are in good health.
As previously discussed I would certainly would appreciate whatever
assistance you can give in any research on any entitlements the Royal
Australian Air Force Transport Flight _ 35 Squadron Vietnam may have been
considered for whilst under the Operational Command of the 315th. Air
Commando Group, commanded by Colonel George J. Hannah Jr. U.S.A.F.
Our mission statement was identical to the 315th. which was standard for
Assault Transports during that period, throughout 1965.
On 15th. December 1965 , at the request of the RVN Government, the
Commanders of the 2nd AD and MACV had recommended the 315th.TCG for the
Cross of Gallantry, Such an award, had it been made as intended would have
included the RAAF Squadron, in the same way that 2 Squadron ( Canberra
aircraft ) was included when the same decoration was subsequently bestowed
on the USAF's 35th. TFW. There does appear to be an unknown grey area which
again is disappointing and any assistance and or support would certainly be
The Australian Government has now sanctioned the the wearing of Unit and or
Squadron Citations and decorations under which they served whilst on duty
I know and appreciate that this request could well be a time consuming task
and fully understand the complexities, if at all however I can be off
assistance with further documentary evidence, please advise. In closing, it
was dissapointing to see in the Aircom Newsletter that someone was
harrasing you from "down under", I would like to know his name?
Kind Regards, Ron Workman.
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 20:10:47 -0900
From: "Hendon, Chuck & Prudy" <email@example.com>
Subject: Walter Miles Davis or Miles Walter Davis
Hello, I am hoping that you can help me. I am and have been for many
years looking for a step brother I once had for a few years in the 60's.
When I was 13 he joined the Air Force right out of high school. My
father and his mother soon divorced and I have not seen him since.
His name I believe (it has been 27+ yrs ago, so my memory is a little
vague) is Miles Davis. But he had a first or middle name of Walter. I
have searched to no end for him and have had no luck.
I believe he entered the air force in 1968 or 69, but I am not sure, and
it would have probably have been Coos Bay Oregon where he would have
enlisted, as we were living in Powers Oregon at the time.
Can you help me head in the right direction for my search? Any help you
could provide me would be much appreciated. thank you in advance.
Prudy Lucas Hendon