AC-119 Gunships Mail Call
  2006 Mail bag

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2006 Mail Bag

Happy Holidays to all
from Northern NJ:
Wishing everyone a merry Christmas time and a prosperous/healthy 2007.
Looking forward to being with you who can make it to Ft Walton in Oct.

Warm Regards
Mike Drzyzga

Looking for Lloyd Kilgore – Bill, you might remember me. I was one of ten gunners who took over mama sans room where they washed and ironed our clothes. we came into nkp together in spring of '71. I flew with morgans marauders, crew 6 at that time.
I'm trying to find Lloyd kilgore. Also, anyone who wants to contact me about then or now.
Bill, you will remember that we flew some together and I saw you do lots and lots of weird things when we were off duty. I remember you inspired Geno Caruso to do the comic book. hope you are well. you are not far from me.
more later.

ssgt robert(bobby) carwile
gerty ok

Looking for Info on Spooky 61 mission, 1969 – Good day, I was rutting around the internet trying to find the unit that flew Spooky gunships out of Nah Trang in about Feb1969, I recorded some air to ground traffic and some ambient sounds as well, gunships, mortars and Arty, some of it was concerning an incident about 4 miles north of Phan Thiet, Between Spooky-61 and Boron control, Hoping to find out who these voices belonged to. I am kind of feeling that the Air force assigned call signs to aircraft or missions as opposed to the pilots as the army did, but thought you might be able to point me in the right direction.

Thanks for your time S. Greneveld

Thank-you for saving all of us ground crews from Charlie's wrath I was assigned to the 361 TEWS EC-47s at Phu Cat AB from March1970 to 1971 and remember many nights watching you guys fly cover for us. I thank-you for saving all of us ground crews from Charlie's wrath. I especially want to tip my hat to your tireless engine troops who seemed to work 24/7 to keep Shadow incommsion. We were in the adjoining revetments and only wish we could have helped them more. I do remember making baloney and cheese sandwiches runs to Base Ops snack bar for them because they didn't have time to take a break and they were covered in oil. There was no safer feeling for us than to here Shadow lift off of Phu Cat's Runway at 0 dark thirty and then watch the light show.   

We also have an association called stop by and visit you might see some drinking buds in our yearbooks. Thanks again for you patriotism and God Bless you all.                       

482 MXS Transient Alert

Sep 25, 2006

Webweaver note: Your web weaver was assigned to the 360th TEWS from 67-68. They are a great bunch of guys who have an abundance of information on the "Electric Goons" on their web site.

A great get together and success – Gunship reunion VII  in Albuquerque New Mexico was a great get together and success. This year we were very fortunate to have an abundance of first time attendees. All of you got to enjoy our great weather here in New Mexico. So, let's spread the word. Beat the bushes. Let's round up some more of our Gunship brethren for next year's reunion at Fort Walton Beach Florida. My trip home from the reunion was great. It was down hill all the way home.
 Bob La Rosa
 Alamogordo New Mexico


Gunship brother needs assistance – "On August 11, 1972 just south of Da Nang a jammed mini-gun cooked off an unchambered 7.62mm round injuring two gunners. Frank Bartlett, lead gun, received powder burns to the eyes. I was hit in the right shoulder by a large fragment of the gun. If you were on this frag or have knowledge pertaining to this incident, please notify me at the following address."

Dan McDuffie
621 Elk Dr. Apt #9
Kokomo, IN 46902

"Thanks to all my brothers."


TO all of those wonderful hard core flyers with "SHADOW!!"

While idly thumbing through the July/August 2006 issue of the DAV magazine (I am a life member), it was as if I was struck with a BOLT OF LIGHTNING when I saw your advertisement for the reunion to be held September
29-October 1.!!!

As a Special Forces officer, I conducted unconventional warfare operations on the ground up and down the Cambodian border (and perhaps some points West) between Tay Ninh (Black Virgin Mountain) and the III Corps southern border (Parrot's Beak) areas before, during, and after the 'Cambodian "SHADOW!!", I cannot help but think my name would be up on a very black

Although we of course had assigned call signs from the current SOI (Signal Operating Instructions), my American nom de guerre was (Joe) "Lucky 13" (Erickson), and my Vietnamese name was "Dai Uy Xuan", or just XUAN!! At
most, I operated with only one other American, and in some cases (very riskily) all by myself with our indigenous mercenaries. (Must have been crazy, huh??).
In any event I was always the ranking American on the spot, so it was always my own (I'm told) very clear voice whose impassioned calls for help you heard on the radio in the depths of those very long and dark nights!! Because we were usually the furthest South operation in III Corps, we were characteristically 'suckin' hind titty' by the time you got down to us, as you were either low on or totally out of flares and/or certain types of ammunition by the time you arrived to save our ass! I recall one occasion where our operation was in imminent danger of totally being overrun, and even though virtually out of everything, your hard core flyers made 'low and slow' dummy runs which kept the Commies' heads down just long enough for us to run like hell - and keep on running!! Although having made a number of parachute jumps from the standard C-119 aircraft, it will never be the same as hearing the reassuring low growl of those powerful engines passing seemingly just a few feet over my head - which will be indelibly imprinted into my memory until the day I die!

Although over 35 years has passed, the whole thing is just as vivid to me as if it was happening right now! On many occasions, I have wished I could express my heartfelt gratitude, appreciation and admiration to those 'never say die' "SHADOW!!" boys who surely allowed me to 'live another day' - so I guess this is that opportunity. I would love to attend your reunion, if I would be allowed to do so, but if this doesn't come to pass would you please pass along my message and best regards to all the crews? I have attached a photo of me (In Beret) attending the annual Special Forces Association Convention (am a Life 'Decade' member) in June, just to let y'all know I'm still alive and kickin'....

Could it be that there may be any of your members still alive who might remember me personally and/or some of the 'problems' you helped me out of?? If so, I would be greatly honored to hear from them directly so I could
express my appreciation. You have my permission to reprint and/or distribute any of the information I have presented, including address, phone, etc. That "Lucky 13" moniker came about as a result of my habit of 'stepping into a bucket of shit' and coming out 'smelling like a rose' every time - but it never would have been possible if it weren't for those tough crews at "SHADOW!!.!!!

With Best Regards and a Tip of the Beret,


Joseph A "Lucky 13" Erickson
Box 40773
Raleigh, NC 27629-0773
(919) 395-4066 (Cell Phone)


On a sad note Ken Shedd (17th) had to cancel coming to Reunion VII due to the fact his home burned down last Thursday. We'll miss Ken being with us and wish him well during the recovery process. Anyone wishing to contact Ken can do so at:


A warning to all the gunshippers...I will be there with my wife and two daughters, possibly my son-in-law also. Time for the kids to meet the guys I got drunk with WAY too many times and the guys I occasionally
flew with. AND, I will have some photos to
share......hope y'all have thick skins. Or that your spouses do, lol.

Bob "de Debil" Frederick


Well, I see Pete Chamberlain is coming to New Mexico. I don't know whether to cancel or arrive earlier to prepare! Pete, do you still wear your shoes on the wrong feet??
This is going to be great!!!!!
Gary Willman


I served with the 18th SOS as an IO from 12/70 until 12/71, and am looking for info on Bill Pugh who was an FE. Ray Mandeville who was the IO on the NKP bailout mission, and Don Gibson who was a gunner on crew six "Morgans Marauders"  

Thank you all very much and I will see you at the ABQ reunion.
michael Davis


Looking for information re: Captain (in 1968-1969) William R. Peterson,
Navigator, Crew #22 (NHA). I invite correspondence with anyone who may have known him at that time, or may know him now. Sincerely appreciated.
Please email:


Like to Share a Room at the Reunion?

I was wondering if you have had any inquiries about anyone wanting to share a room/expenses during this event with just me, Don Radke.  You are welcome to give my email address and phone numbers or hopefully give me an address so that I can make my own arrangements.  I am interested in sharing on Fri/Sat/Sunday night.
Thanks, hope you can help.


Cleo Downs has a new e-mail address

BILL...The last time I wrote you I gave you my e-mail address wrong. It is ...I have had some inquires about the coming reunion. The bad news is my wife...the love of my scheduled for eye surgery on oct. 2, in Santa Rosa CA...that is cataract removal and a cornea replacement. I hate to miss seeing everyone, but as soon as this eye can heal the doc said the other one is overdue. Now for the good news, she is really looking forward to being able to read things again without a magnifying glass..thanks for getting the word out.  now back to the typing lessons.


I am looking for someone who would be interested in telling me about their experiences in Vietnam for a school project.

Hello! My name is Taryn Alves, I am currently a high school senior residing in Florida. I am looking for someone who would be interested in telling me about their experiences in Vietnam for a school project.  I attended the reunion in Florida a couple of years ago where I was introduced to a lot of wonderful, intriguing men and women who openly told me stories of my grandfather Major Moses L. Alves.  This association helped me to know a little about the grandfather I regretfully never got to meet and I am now hoping that this association will help me in my endeavor to learn more about the men and women who served in Vietnam. If you are willing to share your experience with me please let me know via e-mail,  Thank you to those men and women who opened their arms to me and my family at the reunion, it was a weekend that I will treasure and remember always.

Christian Science Monitor Article

   On March 10, 1971, the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) ran an article entitled "Night truck hunt over Laos".  It was not a "hero" story, but rather a reporter's account of a "typical" truck-hunting mission.  We asked CSM to allow us to display the article on the "Stories" page of the website, but they wanted $50 per year to do so because of copyright issues.  We told them that was way too much for an all-volunteer organization.  Still, if you would like to read the article, it is available by going to the "Archives" section of the CSM website and citing the headline above.  It will, however, cost $3.95 to have the article available to you in PDF format.  I am not shilling for CSM, I am only making this information available to those who may want to pursue it.  

Paul Robertson
FLIR Operator
Sep 70-Sep 71


Great stories & photos. I made my first jump from a C-119 in 1955, as a 16 year old paratrooper in the 11th Abn Div. at Ft Campbell, KY. I've always loved & feared that aircraft. In 1969, Sept 3rd, it saved my Special Forces Team at Bunard SF Camp, which came under a nite attack. I don't remember the call sign. I laid upon our bunker, wounded, & directed fire. I was the team sergeant, a young newly promoted E8, and it was my wedding anniversary. Thanks for the memories. SGM J.E. Nowlan, USSF (Ret)


Looking for Information on James R. McCullough

I am not a member, but I am interested in finding out about my late cousin's service in Vietnam.  He was Lt. Col. (possibly Major at the time) James R. McCullough. I believe he piloted an AC-119G Shadow, but I don't know what unit he was in or where he was stationed.  I would very much like to hear from anyone who knew or served with Jim.  He was my hero and role model while growing up, and he followed closely my four years as an airman in the Air Force.  
Please send E-mails to Thanks very much in advance for responding.  


Anyone remember Be Ho at MACV headquarters?

I was recently in contact with a co-worker in another state. Because of her last name I asked if she was Vietnamese. She said she is and her mother was a secretary at Danang.  She worked at White Elephant HQs and wanted to know if I knew James Schofield.  White Elephant HQ was MACV headquarters in the I-Corp, Northern South Vietnam.  Her name is Be Ho.  
Please contact me if anyone may have known her or James Schofield.  I will forward to Kathy.

George Carter, CMSgt (Ret)


Viet Nam Music Collection

I served as a gunner on AC119K from May 1972 through February 1973. I served in Bien Hoa in July and September 72 and Da Nang from November 72 till February 73. During my time in Vietnam I collected some music of a local Vietnamese singer who I liked. Lately I converted all of my old cassette tapes onto a CD. I have already sent copies to some of my Stinger friends and other veterans. If there are any Stingers out there who visited the MAC-V compounds and remember the singer from late 72/73 you know who I'm talking about. At the 2004 reunion I talked with a Vietnamese Stinger who wanted to hear some of the music, but I lost contact with him. Anyway, if anybody remember the singer and who would like to hear some of the songs give me a shout.

Major Tom H. USA (Ret)


Internet Special on Flights to Albuquerque

Just a word you might want to pass along to other members who have not booked their flight yet. Southwest Airlines has an internet special on all their flights. Just rebooked my previous reservation and saved $60/ticket. Hope to see everyone there in ABQ

Jerry Snyder


Let's Swap RMO's

I'll be attending the reunion and am still trying to locate keychain # 44. I have # 9 to trade with you.
44 is my Life Membership number and I would like to have a key chain that matches my RMO number.
See you in ABQ.

Howard Reid
Stinger Nav


Can you put any names to these? These were taken in the '70-'71 time frame at either Tuy Hoa or Phu Cat with the 17th SOS.

Any help would be appreciated.

John Martin
MMS & Accessories


Looking for friends of my Dad

I recently was going through some of my fathers things after he passed away, and found some patches that were form the 18th SOS squadron. One is blue with a scorpion and another is black with a scorpion. My father did not fly but he was in the Air Force for 25 years and he retired as a Chief Master Sergeant from Barksdale I believe in 1969. I know he was in Vietnam in the mid sixties. He was stationed at Keesler, Ladd, Perrin, and Barksdale. I believe he was friends with someone in the 18th SOS. My Dad worked in travel and played on numerous fast pitch softball teams at the different bases. It would be nice but a very long shot to find out who he was friends with. My father's name is Retired CMS Joe H Schaferkotter. If anyone in your organization should recognize him, please ask them to contact me.

Mark A Schaferkotter


Memories...Viet Nam seems like a life time ago but things from that period stay with you forever it seems. I was assigned to the 18th SOS FOL in Bien Hoa 1972. I was the Operations Clerk at that time and was working the morning Capt Terence Courtney and the crew of Stinger 41 flew their final mission. To this day, 36 years now I can still see his face and remember telling him to be safe and I'll see him when he returns. Who would ever figure that several hours later I would received the call letting us know a stinger went down and to then find out it was Captain Courtney. It was hard to comprehend and to not know the status of the crew. For those of us non-flyers it was still felt as though something tragetic had just struck part of our family. When we were notified that there was survivors it was an unbelieveable feeling. My joy was standing at the helicopter and seeing SSgt Yogi Bare, AlC's Craig Corbett & Dale Inman and the others return to Bien Hoa after being rescued. As time would have it I was stationed in Washington for the final 13 years of my career so I had the opportunity to to make a lot of visit to the Viet Nam memorial. There I located Capts Courtney, and Slagle, SSgt Brown and many other friends and family members. I didn't get the chance to tell them thank you in person so placed my hand on their names and just to thank them for the price they paid for our freedom.

Then: Sgt Terry Triplett 1972
Operations Clerk
FOL, 18th SOS, Bien Hoa, Viet Nam
Now: RetCMSgt Terry Triplett
2425 Acadia Ct
Kannapolis, NC 28083


Looking for
these people that were in Phu Cat 1970 -1971,
17 SOS A Flight

Thomas C. Green
John Barrientos
Greg Schuster

Any help or information would be truly appreciated.

John Martin
17 th SOS
Email –
Phone # 770-386-5772


Anyone remember Billy Norton?

I am writing this for my brother William C. ( Billy) Norton who is still alive but not in good health. If anyone reads this and knows my brother I would like to hear from you and he would also. We are planning on the reunion in ABQ.
My name is EOC Ronald T. Norton USN ret. ( SEABEE) SEA.
home 770 775 5472
cell 404 392 3368
cell 404 310 7466
I thank you for your time and hope to hear from some of you guys.

Ronald T. Norton


Initial Cadre Checking In


I'm Frank Emma and I was in the first AC-119G programs that began at Clinton, Co, then Lockbourne AFB, and finally Nha Trang Vietnam. We waited nearly six months after completing our training before the politicians decided that we should be sent to Vietnam.

I was part of the regular Air Force contingent that was added to the Reserve unit from Bakalar Indiana. The Reserve squadron commander was a LtCol. Pyle. After their 6 months in country, they returned to Bakalar, Indiana and LtCol. Richard E. Knie took over as commander of the unit. I was one of the navigators on Richard's crew.

I flew 100 combat missions in the AC-119G. MY co-pilot, Maj. Tommy Peterson and I briefed numerous army LZ's on our capabilities and how to effectively use us. This came about because I listened to an army unit under attack calling the DASC for a "Spookie". We were flying CAP less than 5 minutes from the unit, but when I notified the DASC of our availability, we were informed, "The army asked for a Spook and that's what they'll get." They wouldn't accept my argument that the army didn't know what a Shadow was, and we had far more capabilities.

Col.Gynn (Retired as a Lt.Gen.) approved our briefing and we flew all over Vietnam briefing Army LZs and members of the DASC.

I noticed there were no communications from 2006. Will they be put on the Mail Call at a later date?

I think the site is great. I'm delighted to see your efforts to get the people together and have a written history of what took place. I'll forward my input as soon as I finish it.

Thanks for what you're doing.

Frank J. Emma


From a Satisfied Shadow customer
I ran across your web site in the DAV magazine. Logged on and was pleased to actually find a picture of the crew of SHADOW 61.
July 30, 1969 I was AC of an Army Medevac chopper out of Nha Trang, call sign DUSTOFF 100. Late that night, we responded to a medevac request from US advisors in the village of Phan Rang. Charlie had kicked the good guys out of the' ville and the ensuing fight all happened just outside the main gate to P.R. AFB. The advisors held us overhead until they were ready for us. While waiting, we refueled once at Phan Rang, while SHADOW 61 hosed them down. The crew would expend all ammo, land, grab the next 119 and get back in the air. They did this about 3 or 4 times and managed to pretty much always stay in the traffic pattern of Phan Rang AFB. Were they the only crew? At last we were cleared into a rice paddy outside town, 61 lighting the way with flares. The crew of 61 timed the flares just right. The last one burned out as we landed. Then 61 lost sight of us on the ground. Worry,Worry. We loaded the wounded. Then we were gone. Charlie likely never knew we were there. Most excellent work!
A rather significant fight happened two days later on August 1,1969. A Ranger team (Team 25) of "C" Company, 75th Rangers made contact with a fresh NVA Main Force Battalion south west of Phan Rang. The Rangers were pinned down almost in the center of the NVA base. A small US force was inserted and linked up with the Rangers. Eventually I and my flight medic were both winged and my Huey was a write off. I met the survivors of Team 25 a few days later at the Field Hospital in Nha Trang. Frey, Leppleman and DeJesus. They told one hell of a story of how Shadow stayed overhead all night and kept the NVA back. They were putting fire on them just yards away. On August 2, a large force was inserted and the NVA were run off. Their target WAS to have been Phan Rang. One F-100 was lost here on August 2, but the pilot was hoisted out by another aircraft from my unit.

Your loyal, satisfied customer,

Bob Dingley



I am writing to say thanks. It may be a little late, but I want say thanks to the guys in the 18 SOS.
I was an F-4D crew chief (390th TFS) at DaNang in 1970-71. I rembember very vividly, one night when the Stingers went up for some action on the southend of the runway. For three hours they circled, spraying the area. I remember seeing the trajectories of the tracers and hearing the moaning of the guns. It haunts me to this day. You see I was one of the guys on the end of the runway for the "end of runway check" that we did on the F-4's. In other words, out in the open, not behind the revetments.
As I'm sure you know, Charlie would "walk" rockets across the base, and some times end of runway crews were in the path of the 122's launched from that area. On one occassion I got a call to get my crew "out of there NOW". We started running towards the revements. A pickup had been sent out to get us and we all crammed in the back. As I sat in the back I watched a 122 hit and explode.
So I'm glad you guys were there to retaliate. Thanks
Robert West USAF TSgt Ret

My heartfelt thanks go out to each of you
I didn’t serve in any branch of the military. I was an air force brat (My dad served from 1954-1959) for a little part of my life but that isn’t why I am writing today. I met a wonderful man last year who did serve in Viet Nam named Dan Thompson. He was with the AC-119 Shadow Squadron 17th SOS in Phu Cat and Phan Rang . He asked me to attend the reunion VI at FWB and I am so glad that I did. It was awesome to be a part of that gathering of men and women who put their lives on the line daily to help make sure our world stayed a free and safe place. It was fascinating to hear the stories from the guys all around us…and there were lots of stories. I know that it wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg and that most of the stories shared didn’t bring out the stark realities of what you guys went through while serving your country.

I am a little younger than most of you, even Bill Zito, (One of Dan’s buddies) who was one of the younger guys at 17 to have joined the service. I didn’t graduate from High School until 1973. I am not sure if I would have had the courage or conviction to do what so many of you did for our country. I do remember the nightly reports on TV and all the talk that went with it, good and bad. At the time it was too far removed from me to make much of an impact. But listening to Dan and then to all the people at the FWB reunion, made all of that change. I feel an intense sense of empathy for the men and women who day in and day out went to task when I was out riding around in my car with my girlfriends with not a care in the world. I used to watch the Bob Hope USO shows with my folks and didn’t really get it…what they were trying to do, to give a little respite and relief to the folks in the front line. I sat and watched the reruns of those shows on the History Channel New Year’s day 2005 and it made me realize that here were people hundreds of miles from their homes and families, many for the first time who were taking care of business. My heartfelt thanks go out to each of you who gave up a part of your lives to make the world the place it was.

It was really neat to meet the people that Dan had been telling me about and get to know some of them. I look forward to seeing these people again in Albuquerque for Reunion VII.

Sandy Johnston
Chanute, Ks.

MG Lewis Letter: On the salute in civvies

I gathered some 16 of my old military friends who agreed to sponsor a movement for Veterans to salute rather than place their hands over their
heart when honoring the flag, fallen comrades, and/or the country. I have some from each of the four principal services. Three of them were
former Vice Chiefs or Assistant Commandants of their services, and several were former CINC's.

We refer to saluting when we do the pledge to the flag, when the National Colors pass or are presented, when the National Anthem or
honors are played, or when taps are played and firing squads or guns render honors. We got MOAA magazine to ask veterans what they preferred,
hand over the heart or saluting. When last I looked, some 583 veteran respondents had voted 81% in favor of the salute. In addition, my email
address was in the questionnaire and I've had about 150 responses, with all but a dozen or so in favor of the salute. Obviously an overwhelming
majority of the veterans want to salute.

There are no regulations telling us veterans what we can and can't do in this matter. If we decide we want to salute, who will dare to tell us

It is a matter of personal choice. We've earned the right to render a salute. Now the challenge is to get the word out. I believe the unit and branch associations are the best way. The commanders of the American Legion and VFW never answered my emails, presuming they even got them.
If we can get this started it will take on a life of its own. Those who object can continue the hand over the heart thing. Gradually the custom will change, as well it should.

Just imagine thousands of fans saluting at NFL, MBA, and Major League Baseball games when the National Anthem is played. It will telegraph a
message to all others of how many have served this country in the Armed Forces–it will be a positive and patriotic message.

You can help by putting the word out in your organizations, which are
made up of patriots like you and me. Thanks, my friend.

Passed on by Gus S. Sounds good to the web weaver

Pictorial History for Lockbourne AFB

I am working to assemble a first-ever pictorial history of Lockbourne/Rickenbacker AFB/ANGB in Columbus, OH. I have lived in Columbus since 1982 and have always been intrigued by the historical significance of this base. Two years ago I attempted to locate a book about the base history for purchase and could not find one. I talked with several individuals locally who were well versed on the history of the base and they informed me that to their recollection no book had ever been done. I decided to pick up this challenge and run with it last April 2005.

I located a retired fighter jet crew chief from the 121st Tactical Fighter Wing (Ohio Air Guard). Don Porter spent 20 years at the base (1965-1985) and considers himself a resident historian when it comes to Rickenbacker and aircraft history. Don is the lead adviser for the project. The Ohio Air National Guard is custodian to many base photographs including the base newspaper. They have graciously agreed to assist us on this project when and where they can.

We are putting together a complete pictorial history for the base from 1942 until today (2006). The book is a pictorial history. It will be first-rate!! We have planned a "coffee table" caliber piece that will be 8 1/2 by 11", be hardback with a jacket and be landscape in form. It will feature 160 pages with many full page pictures. The book will be full color where available. The book will likely sell for 30 or 35 dollars. We hope and I say hope to have it ready by fall of this year. It will feature the glider pilots, B-17 training, WASP pilots, Tuskegee Airmen. SAC B-47 jet bombers, Ohio Air Guard activations for Korea twice and Etaine, France 1962. It will also feature the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing with the C-130. AC-119 gunship training. The 302nd Tactical Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve). And it will include the Navy Seebees, Naval Air Reserve, 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and the Voodoo supersonic jet fighter.

The base history lives on today. The US Army Reserve, US Marine Reserve, US Naval Reserve, Ohio Army and Air National Guard units are all involved in the war on terrorism. We will feature their commitment as well.

For this project, we are in need of information and photos relating to activity at Lockbourne and or on deployment from Lockbourne. We have no photos pertaining to AC-119 activity including gunship training. We welcome photos from the base and those with any connection to the base such as Southeast Asia. We're also looking for a basic understanding of what took place in the training program here and abroad. We welcome your stories and accounts.

I can tell you that we already have requests from libraries and institutions around the country for this book when it is completed including the Smithsonian Institute and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. It will preserve the history of this base. As you may be aware only a few buildings remain from the 1970s. Your help is greatly needed.


Rob Stroup
Author, Crossroads of Liberty
Columbus, OH
(614) 286-5723


You guys have a wonderful site which covers a lot of the good and bad that I missed out on. I was at Hurlburt in class 73-4K in Oct 1972 when the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam. My first trip through Hurlburt was in 65 at A-1E school. As I recall there were 43 members of class 73-4K including all crew positions. What a bunch of gung-ho troops! The previous two years I had spent in an elite and comfortable position as a flight engineer on C-141 aircraft. I was not one that was really happy about an assignment where I could possibly be shot at on a daily basis. I mention this only because I was one of two non-volunteers within my class. Even today, after spending 21 years in the Air Force it makes me proud to know there are so many who are willing to march off to war so willingly and with such dedication to duty. I salute all air-commandos of that era and the ones still serving today.

Donald Kinzie
Lake Havasu City, Arizona

AC-119s In The News Again

VIETNAM magazine has published Tank Busters Over Laos in their April 2006 issue. The featured article tells the story of Alpha Flight's Stinger 04 destroying eight enemy tanks on 28 February 1971 during Operation Lam Son 719.

Thanks to Stinger 04 IO (Illuminator Operator) MSgt. Bill Petrie locating a copy of the mission tapes, actual intercom and radio communications are stated within the article. Yes, we know Bill was a SSgt then. He takes promotions anyway he can get them.

WARNING: Some Stingers may be disappointed with the magazine cover picture of the AC-119 gunship. The gunship is a G-model with a 20mm cannon protruding out the port side. The picture is taken from a beautiful painting, "Shadow in the Highlands" by Jack Fellows. I didn't know the painting existed until I saw it on the magazine cover. VIETNAM magazine certainly knew about the painting but they don't know the difference between G and K models.

Real AC-119K Stinger gunship pictures are shown within the article along with pictures of the Stinger patch, Tank Buster patch, Major Glass, MSgt. Petrie, non-crewmember A1C Hugh Langley (an IO from 1969?), and the famous time-lapse firing circle photograph. There was no picture of the entire Stinger 04 crew to use with the article.

The April 2006 issue of VIETNAM should be available at magazine outlets Any Time now at Any Place.

Larry Elton Fletcher

Webmasters note: Great! job Larry rewriting the original story and getting the AC-119s additional exposure. It all helps tell our story.

What a Great Website!

I read Craig Corbett's article "The Shootdown of Stinger 41: a Survivors Story". It brings back memories of when I was an airman at Nellis Air Force Base along with Craig. We went to Tech School together and were on the same weapons loading crew at Nellis Air Force Base and as I remember it I went down to volunteer for gunships and had told Craig. He immediately said he was going to do the same thing and so he did. A day or two later I "came to my senses" and decided I was going to pull my volunteer statement back and I tried to talk Craig into doing the same thing, but he was determined to go forward. I soon got my orders to go to RAF Upper Heyford and Craig got his orders for gunships.

My family was from Seattle so on Craigs way to survival school in Eastern Washington he stopped at my parents house. I can't remember if I was there at that time or not. So either at that time or when we were at Nellis in late 1971 must have been the last time I saw Craig. I lost track of Craig until my friends from RAF Upper Heyford went TDY and ran into Craig. They brought me word back that they had run into Craig and of his being shot down over Vietnam. Wow, to read about it now just gives me the chills.

Soon afterward Craig decided he was going to make his next Air Force stop in England and so he went to, I think, RAF Bentwaters. We were supposed to get together one weekend, but he had to delay his trip one week and I was unavailable the next week and soon I was headed back to the States and civilian life, never to see Craig again. I have been searching for him for about 10 or 15 years now and to find him on this website just means so much to me.

Craig feel free to drop me a line I would really like to know how you are doing, whether you still drink your cola with a bag of peanuts dumped in it and if you still love that sauce from Artic Circle. Wow and to retire a CMSgt. Take care.

Mike Luse
Renton, WA

A smiley for you all:

Jake Jordan, grandson of Andy Anderson, Nav/NOS on Shadow 78, wrestles for the Kyrene Middle School Scorpions. "Feel The Sting". The 18th SOS hat is a big hit.

Tim Jordan

Wow! What a great sight to come across 35 years later. The memories of the 17th and 18th all seem like yesterday. I was at Nha Trang on Shadow and then moved to Phan Rang on the stinger. The smell and the sound of those 3350's Many a night remembering the red glow of the cockpit. You guys are commended for keeping the memories alive.

Please include me on your e mail list.


Clayton Green


All previously available chromed license plate frames are sold out. There have NOT been enough new orders to justify ordering 100 more frames (the number needed to get the best price). Some plastic license plate frames will be available at the next reunion.

Therefore, until further notice, the chromed license plate frames will have to be ordered, individually, by anyone desiring a frame. For information, and the manufacturer's e-mail address, contact me at either of the following e-mail addresses or call me at 805-448-7351.

Lee Kyser


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