Phuoc Vinh August 19
I arrived in Vietnam to get my checkout as an aircraft
commander. I'd been in-country for 19 days but unable to get in
any short field landings. On my 20th day I finally
got a frag with some short fields--to Phuoc
Vinh and Song Be
The weather was pretty grim for the first leg to Phuoc Vinh
and Phuoc Vinh was calling a
broken ceiling at 400'. I couldn't find a hole down through the
overcast so I got a radar approach (GCA). My first short-field
landing wasn't great, but we delivered the goods--a mobile ALCE
About 15 GI's needed rides to TSN but the Phuoc Vinh aerial port
representative refused to put them on the manifest unless they
surrendered their only copy of their orders! When we said we
could take them without their being manifested, the aerial port guy
call the AP's and tell them there were stowaways aboard! We took
some of them to TSN anyway.
At TSN our squadron
Perbetsky, hopped on for the second
trip to Phuoc Vinh. The winds were 20 knots gusting to 30 so I
had my hands full, but my landing was better than the first one.
Colonel P flew the leg back to TSN.
Song Be August 19
We were scheduled to fly to Tonle Cham but the weather there was
below landing minimums. So we loaded up fifty 55-gallon drums of
motor fuel bound
for Song Be
to take to
the Song Be ALCE folks. My landing at Song
wasn't too bad and
I delivered the beer to ALCE. The sarge gave me a case of
C-rations in return.
So on my 20th day in country I got some short field landings and
felt I was moving forward toward completing my checkout.
An Khe, August 20
- An Khe
it (it's his
main tool) but as long as we stay out of the soup there's no
problem. We had to do some gyrating to stay clear of clouds the
but we did stay clear. My landing
at An Khe was not too
astonishingly smooth, but that's nothing new for An Khe. Or me!
An Khe I gave the baggage tug driver a message to give to Bob
Hodson. John Bernat wanted him to come down to TSN on his next
trip. Later on our return to An Khe we had the distinction (?) of
using their new aluminum ramp--the first C-130 there.
An Khe, September 4
first stop was An Khe, my nemesis. However, for the first time I
made a pretty darn good landing there. I dropped off the manual
there that Bob Hodson had asked me about (AFM 71-4, Packaging and
Handling of Dangerous Material for Transportation by Military
I sat out the
Chu Lai and Danang since they're both long fields and the IP, Major
wanted to give the copilot some practice.
At Danang I tried to find out
something for Mike Self about the intel unit he is being assigned to
there, but I couldn't even
it in the phone book. I don't think it's THAT secret.
I flew the
leg to An Khe and made another good landing there. I believe I've
finally got that place figured out. Major Shannon said he's going
to put Pete and me up for our checks on September 11. That'll
allow several days more of flying and a few days after in case the
schedule gets messed up.