Summer Friends' Journal 2011

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A complete sample of the Air Force Museum Foundation's quarterly Friends' Journal.

Text of Summer Friends' Journal 2011

  • Classic F-105D

    Southeast Asia War Issue

    SAR in Southeast Asia

    Summer 2011 Vol. 4 No. 2


    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


    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!