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.


Jim Roper



Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 22:36:17 -0400 (EDT)


Subject: Fwd: B-29s and the 582nd;


Forwarded message:

From: (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 <>


Organization: Melbourne PC User Group, Australia

To: "" <>


Subject: Re: Your 22 Sep 97

Hi Gene, wrote:


> 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

> 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 \ Member, Melbourne PC User Group.

\_,--.x/ 61 3 9857 9875 Fax61 3 9816 3652

v /////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\///////////\\\\\\\\\\\////////////

Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 00:13:35 -0500

From: vcub <>



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

Han .

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

To: <>

Subject: AFSOC Biography

Mr. Rossel:

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

web page.

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,, or our community relations person,

Donald Illich

AFSOC Public Affairs, Internal


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 13:48:42 -0400


From: Lou Plummer <>

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

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,

Lou Plummer

From: "White, Gerald (Pentagon, AF/REL)" <>

To: "''" <>

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 <>

From: "Raphael Rues" <>


Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 23:51:31 +0000

Subject: Query on Faichild AU-23A (Pilatus Porter PC-6)

Priority: normal

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

Vietnam conflict.

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,

best regards

Raphael Rues


CH-5400 Baden


Tel./Fax:0041-56-222 45 87


Check out the site or send an e-mail in order to get the press-release

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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)


Subject: RFI

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 <>



Subject: Raven FACs

Dear Gene,

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,

Herb Ascherman



"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


From: "Ron Workman" <>

To: <>

Subject: U.S. Air Medal criteria S.E. Asia.

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 20:31:43 +1000

X-MSMail-Priority: Normal

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" <>

To: <>


Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 22:18:53 +1000

X-MSMail-Priority: Normal

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

in Vietnam.

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" <>


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