Southeast Asia War Issue
SAR in Southeast Asia
Summer 2011 Vol. 4 No. 2
THE AIR FORCE MUSEUM FOUNDATION, INC. BOARD OF MANAGERS
Mr. Charles J. Faruki - ChairmanLt. Gen. (Ret.) Richard V. Reynolds - PresidentMr. Patrick L. McGohan - Vice PresidentMaj. Gen. (Ret.) C. S. Cooper III - SecretaryMr. Jon G. Hazelton - TreasurerThe Hon. Claude M. Bolton, Jr.Gen. (Ret.) William J. BegertCol. (Ret.) Mark N. BrownLt. Gen. (Ret.) Charles H. Coolidge Jr.Ms. Frances A. DuntzMr. David C. EvansLt. Gen. (Ret.) Lawrence P. Farrell Jr.Col. (Ret.) Michael B. GoetzMaj. Gen. (Ret.) E. Ann HarrellCol. (Ret.) William S. HarrellMr. Charles F. Kettering IIIMr. Gregory G. LockhartCol. (Ret.) Pamela A. MelroyGen. (Ret.) T. Michael MoseleyGen. (Ret.) Charles T. Robertson Jr.Mr. R. Daniel Sadlier Mr. C. Kevin Scarborough Col. (Ret.) James B. SchepleyMr. Scott J. SeymourMr. Gary G. StephensonMr. Harry W. (Wes) Stowers Jr.Mr. Robert J. Suttman II, CFACol. (Ret.) R. A. Johnson - Executive SecretaryMrs. Lin Erickson - Chief Development Officer
NATIONAL MUSEUMOF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) J. H. Hudson, DirectorTerrill Aitken, Senior Curator
FRIENDS JOURNALEditor - Maj. (Ret.) John B. KingArt Director - Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard BriceEditorial Assistants - Bill Hughes, Robert
Pinizzotto, Tom Thacker, Dave Menard, Herman Engle
Development Coordinator - Charlene WellsMembership Coordinator - Michele GieferEditorial Office: (937) 656-9622Membership Office: 1-877- 258-3910
On the Cover: NMUSAF RF-4C Phantom II 2011 Richard BriceThe Friends Journal is published quarterly by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and to the preservation of the history of the United States Air Force. Authors retain all rights to further publication or use. Authors views expressed in the Friends Journal do not necessarily represent those of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. or those of the United States Air Force. Printed in the USA. USPS Standard A rate postage paid at Dayton, OH. Subscription to the Friends Journal is included in the annual membership of the Friends of the Air Force Museum. All materials are Copyright 2010 and may not be reproduced without permission from the Air Force Museum Foundation. Submission of material for publication and correspondence concerning contents should be addressed to The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1903, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-1903, and marked in the corner of the envelope ATTN: Editor.
Berlin Airlift Veterans Association Dedicates First Memorial in New Section
On May 12, 2011, the Berlin Airlift Veterans Association dedicated its memorial in the new section of the Memorial Park adjacent to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. One hundred and seven attended the dedication and of those, there were 30 American and one British veteran of the Berlin Airlift.
The memorial is similar in design to the Airlift Memorial located at the site of Templehof Air Base in Berlin Germany. The inscription on the base of the memorial tells the story of the greatest humanitarian airlift in history and an event that is considered by some to be the first battle of the Cold War. The inscription reads:
The Berlin Airlift started on June 26, 1948 and ended September 30, 1949. During the Airlift aircraft flew 277,569 missions and delivered 2,325,509.6 tons of supplies. The names of the thirty one Americans who lost their lives during the Airlift are inscribed on the memorial.
Hoping to force the Allies to abandon West Berlin, the Soviet Union instituted a land and water blockade of the city. This was their effort to take control of Germany and the rest of Europe. President Harry Truman and General Lucius Clay deemed it vital that the Allies remained in Berlin. England, France, and the USA responded with the airlift to supply over 2 million Berliners with food, fuel, medicine, and the hope of remaining a free society. The Army, Navy, and Air Force united to make the first mission of the fledgling Air Force a suc-cess. The result of this massive airlift was stopping the spread of communism in Europe, Berlin remained free, NATO was spawned, and US foreign policy was set for years to come. Thirty-one Americans lost their lives during the Berlin Airlift in aircraft related accidents.
Dr. Earl Moore, President of the Berlin Airlift Veterans Association, speaks at the dedication on May 12, 2011, of the Berlin Airlift Memorial.
Summer 2011 Friends Journal 1
6 MiG Killer Wanna-Be by Col. Larry J. Bigham, USAF (Ret.) 9 A Flight Surgeon in Thailand by Col. Paul A. Stagg, USAF, MC, (Ret.)14 I Shouldnt Be Alive by Lt. Col. Henry Lew Smith, USAF (Ret.)16 Captain Smiths Fast Fifty by CMSgt. Tom Perry, USAF (Ret.)18 Drone Development by Wing Commander Gary Coleman, RAF22 R & R in Madrid by Lt. Col. James L. McAfee, USAF (Ret.)27 Republic F-105 Thunderchief by Richard Brice and John King31 Alaska, the Aleutians, and Russia
by Lt. Col. Peter Unitt, USAF, (Ret.)
36 Encounter With the Hanoi Taxi by Joe Ciavardone37 Southeast Asia War Gallery Photo Essay by Richard Brice and John King
DEPARTMENTS 2 Editors Update and Feedback 24 Directors Update by Lt. Gen. John L. Hudson, USAF (Ret.)43 New Exhibits44 Activities and Events46 Restoration Update47 Major Donations and Contributions49 Reunions
Summer 2011 Vol. 34, No. 2
37SEA Gallery OverviewPHOTO: The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats) memorial in the National Museum of the
USAF Memorial Park Brice
2 Friends Journal Summer 2011
As you might expect, we at the Air Force Museum Foundation are very disappointed that the National Museum of the United States Air Force was not selected as a site to receive one of NASAs Shuttles. It would have been a great addition to the Museums collection and a great tourist attraction for Dayton, Ohio. In a way though, it allows the Museum to more closely focus on its true mission of being the Keeper of their stories - the stories of heroic aircrews and dedicated support personnel that have made the United States Air Force and its predecessor services such an important arm of the nations Defense Department for over 100 years.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force continues to renovate the Southeast Asia War Gallery to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Air Forces participation in that war. Although the war created major controversies at the time, the Air Force dutifully did its part in a professional and heroic manner. The gallery features updated displays and story boards and many of the aircraft have been repositioned to provide a better experience for our visitors. An important addition to the gallery is the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter that was the main search and rescue aircraft during the war. The Museums B-57 has also been repainted to represent the medium bomber that replaced the aging A-26 Invader.
For this issue of the Journal, we are featuring several stories written by veterans of the Southeast Asia War. Col. Larry Bigham relates his experiences in the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing and his frustrated efforts to become a MiG Killer. Col. (Dr.) Paul Stagg provides a unique perspective on the war as he tells of his assignment as the hospital commander at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base from July 1969 to July 1970. Being rescued by a Jolly Green Giant helicopter after bailing out of a shot-up A-1E Skyraider is the subject of Lt. Col. Henry LewSmiths story. Whats very interesting about this story is that a picture taken right after his rescue is featured on one of the Southeast Asia storyboards. Our last story about the Southeast Asia War comes from Joe Ciavardone who had a ringside seat when the Hanoi Taxi arrived at Clark Air Base in March 1973 with the first contingent of Prisoners of War released by the North Vietnamese. Joe considers that the proudest day of his life. To showcase the newly renovated Southeast Asia War Gallery, we have included a six page photo essay with pictures of the aircraft currently in the gallery and a centerfold featuring the Museums F-105 Thunderchief.
Besides stories about the War in Southeast Asia, we have some other fine stories from other eras of Air Force history. CMSgt. Tom Perry offers a story about training for air-to-air refueling during the Cold War in his story entitled Captain Smiths Fast Fifty. We also have a story about the history of drones from Wing Commander (RAF) Gary Coleman. Many are familiar with the Predator, the Global Hawk, and the Reaper, but this article details the amazing evolution of the drone concept from the World War I period to the present day. Lt. Col. James McAfee has contributed a story about his experiences while on R&R in Spain during the week that President Kennedy was assassinated. Lt. Col. Peter Unitt has written a highly detailed story about a little known aspect of World War II. This is the story of the Alaskan Theater of Operations and the story of American aircrew that took refuge in Russia when they couldnt make it back to their bases after bombing Japans Kurile Islands. This article tells the story of how the internees in Russia were allowed to escape.
We hope you enjoy the stories we have selected for this Journal and we hope you can visit the Museum soon to see the Southeast Asia War Gallery. Summer is a great time for a visit to Dayton, Ohio. In addition to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, there are many other aviation related venues to enjoy such as the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and Carillon Historical Park. Come see us soon!
Summer 2011 Friends Journal 3
Forward Deployment of B-47sfrom Robert Scahill, New Middletown, OH.
In regard to Lt. Col. Maluccis impression (see Winter 2010/2011 Friends Journal) that the B-47 was not deployed out of the US except three at a time, I think he is mistaken. Starting in 1953, B-47s went at wing strength TDY for 90 days at a time, first to the United Kingdom, later to North Africa and the Far East. Wing strength was three squadrons (60 aircraft). I was in the 306th Bomb Wing and I went two times to North Africa. We were in North Africa in 1956 during the Suez Canal crisis. All the wings took part and one wing and all support per-sonnel were on station somewhere in the world all the time.
Air Force historians have a way of looking past the B-47. In the 1950s, when things were hot, the B-47 was the big boy on the block, not the B-52 (a good plane but very late in the 50s). The B-47 never was given the credit it deserved. In the 1950s, when you looked in the sky and saw contrails, it was a B-47.
Editors Note: We decided to get an opinion from the Museums Research staff about this subject and this is what they replied to us:
I have reviewed all the comments from Lt. Col. Maluc-ci and SSgt Scahill and have reviewed available sources. I have provided the following pertinent facts for your use.
The jet-powered Boeing B-47 was the Strategic Air Commands replacement for the rapidly aging Boeing B-50 medium bomber. The first rotational deployments of the B-47 outside the continental United States began in 1953 when the 306th Bomb Wing deployed temporarily to the United Kingdom. From 1953 to 1958, at least one B-47 Wing was constantly forward deployed to bases in the United Kingdom.
These early deployments later became part of a larger Strategic Air Command policy of Reflex Action; whereby, an entire SAC B-47 Wing would be forward deployed for 90-days to bases in the United Kingdom, Spain, Guam, Alaska, and Morocco. The last B-47 Reflex Actions ended in 1966.
Brett Stolle, Manuscript Curator National Museum of the US Air Force Research Division.
Meeting an Old Friendfrom Ken Machtoff, Louisville, KY.
During a recent visit to the National Muse-
FRIENDS FEEDBACKDue to space limitations, not all letters received can be used. Those that are, may be edited for brevity.
um of the United States Air Force in March 2011, while touring the presidential and research hangar, I thought I recognized an aircraft - C-45H serial number 210893 .
After returning home I got out my collection of Kentucky Air National Guard photos. To my sur-prise I found a photo of C-45H 210893 in Ken-tucky Air Guard markings. It was one of the 900 rebuilt by Beechcraft that came out of Beechcraft with new serial numbers. C-45H 52-10893 was de-livered to the USAF on October 13, 1954, and was assigned to the Kentucky Air Guards 165th Fighter Bomber Squadron. As a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard and a full time aircraft mainte-nance technician, I worked on and have flown in this very aircraft. The aircraft was assigned to the unit at Louisvilles Standiford Field from October 1954 to 1960.
During that time frame the Kentucky Air Guard at Louisville changed primary aircraft three times and changed names three times. In 1954, the unit was the 165th Fighter Bomber Squadron with F-51Ds. In 1956, it became the 165th Fighter Inter-ceptor Squadron with F-86As, and in 1958 it be-came the 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron with B-57Bs.
The Museums C-45 during its earlier life with the Kentucky Air National Guard.
Flying Tigersfrom Joe Ciavardone.
I just got my Spring Friends Journal and read the article Flying the Hump. In the article, the author mentions Dick Rossi. When I was furloughed by Eastern Airlines in the late 1950s, I took a job with Flying Tiger Airlines. While I was with them, I got to fly with just about all the original Tigers that founded the airline. It wasnt until years later that I realized they were all great heroes and they treated me just like all the other crew members. I got to hear a lot of war stories from those guys. I have
4 Friends Journal Summer 2011
great memories of those times and feel blessed to have been in great company.
Mustang Bail-Out Storyfrom Jeff Nash, Peterson Air and Space Museum, CO.
As a US Air Force museum professional, I always thoroughly enjoy the Friends Journal. And I found Mr. Roseberrys article in the Spring 2011 edition very interesting. But I also feel compelled to point out a small error in the article on page 19. Mr. Roseberry mentions that a month after his arrival with the 78th Fighter squadron, a second airfield was opened on Iwo Jima and occupied by the 21st Squadron. He goes on to say after the arrival of this new squadron they were attacked by 300 Japanese with many squadron members killed in their tents.
This unit was actually the 21st Fighter Group, consisting of the 46th, 72nd and 531st Fighter Squadrons. In the early morning of March 26th, 1945, elements of the 21st FG were attacked in their encampment by Japanese soldiers. Assisted by a patrol of US Marines, 21st personnel counter-attacked and in the tent-by-tent fighting killed 250 of the enemy. Fourteen group personne...