This eFLYER was developed in HTML for viewing with Microsoft Internet Explorer while connected to the Internet: View Online.
To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add to your address book or list of approved senders.
Barnstormers Logo

ISSUE 171 - May 2011
Over 9,000 Total Ads Listed
1,000+ NEW Ads Per Week

  Home     Browse All Classifieds     eFLYERs     Events     Testimonials     Post Ad     Search Ads  
BARNSTORMERS eFLYER... a collective effort of the aviation community.
YOUR photos, videos, comments, reports, stories, and more...
Click to Subscribe
A Stabilizing Truth

By David Rose, Contributing Editor
San Diego, California

I remember when we got the news. A pair of MIG’s had attacked the strike force of Thuds coming out of North Vietnam.

As part of the Air Force’s dedicated air superiority wing, my 476th TFS was headed for DaNang. We were to deploy our 104’s and provide top cover for all the strike missions up north. We’d be leaving in two days.

And I remember the talk among the guys in the flight shack.

“We're always ready to go. Why wait two days?”

“We’re stopping in Kung Kuan? For how long? Christ, it’ll be a week before we get to DaNang”

“Our luck the North Vietnamese’ll cash it in and the war’ll be over before we get there”.

We took off at the appointed hour on the first leg, a 2500 mile jaunt to Hickam AFB, Hawaii. We got to spent half the night downtown Honolulu having a great time, then, too early the next morning, launched on the 3900 mile leg to Guam. We were flight planned for 9 hours and would be accompanied by two KC 135 tankers. As it turned out a typhoon in our path had to be circumnavigated and my log book shows the flight took over 11 hours. God knows how many hook ups we made for fuel, and with no autopilot in the 104, the go pills Bones had provided were eagerly consumed. With the typhoon closing in on the island we arrived over Andersen AFB with a 50 knot wind blowing right down the runway. As we taxied in to the revetments the ground crews were waiting and chained the birds down. Turned out the Q’s at Anderson were underground, and although the storm raged overhead, we spent two days getting caught up on our sleep.

Next leg were the 2000 miles to Taichung, Taiwan, and the Kung Kuan Air Base. We were to establish a maintenance base there supported by the Chi Nat’s own wing of 104’s which they flew regularly over the Straights of Formosa, harassing the ChiComps with relish.

Everywhere we gathered the chatter continued;

“I heard the North Vietnamese contacted us about a cease fire”.

“The way things are going it won’t last another week”.

“How LONG are we gunna be stuck here?”

The guys just couldn’t wait to get to into it.

After another week, our four ship launched for the 1300 miles to Vietnam. There would be yet another delay as we had to stop at Clark AFB in the Philippines. ‘Seems the Duck Butt wasn’t on station and you didn’t cross the South China Sea without the little SA-16 being out there to rescue errant airmen floating down in their chutes. So, another day passed with us stuck at the Clark ‘O’ club.


“Will we EVER get there?"

“ You watch – they’ll start talking and we’ll spend months in Kung Kuan”

But we did finally launch for DaNang, arriving there at two in the afternoon and flying our first four hour “cap” mission the next morning. We flew another one that afternoon and many, many more throughout 1965.

It turned out the war wasn’t over after all. We had gotten there in plenty of time. From President Truman’s having provided military and economic aid to the French effort against the Viet Min in 1950, ‘till the capitulation of the South in 1975, the war lasted 35 years. We needn’t have worried; it had another 11 years to run after we’d arrived.

So, for me, was this my “Grand Adventure”? Had I pined away those days; worried the whole thing might have been over before we got there?

No. Certainly I viewed it all as a great adventure, and I enjoyed the journey; but mostly I wondered about what lay ahead. I understood the inane eagerness of young men to “get into it”; but my zeal for the adventure was tempered by the fact that somewhere, in my journey to combat, I had learned a stabilizing truth about war; that, always, always, when old men speak of their wars, they cry.

On this Memorial day, in this wonderful, free country, honor those who’s sacrifices have made our lives so rich.

Lexington - Saratoga - Yorktown – Lake Erie – New Orleans – Monteray – Vera Cruz _ Bull Run – Shilo – Antietam – Chansellorsville – Gettysburg – Santiago – Manila – Belleau Woods – Meuse- Argonne – Midway – Guadalcanal – Anzio – Normandy – Ardennes – Alsace – Iwo Jima – Pusan – Inchon – Seoul – Gulf of Tonkin – Rolling Thunder – Dak To – Khe Sanh – Vien – Grenada – Panama – Iraq – Bosnia – Somalia – Kosovo – Tora Bora – Kandahar – Fallujah – Sadr City – Bastra

By David Rose, Contributing Editor

Return to eFLYER

Visit - post an ad to be viewed by over 1,000,000 visitors per month.
Over 15 years bringing more online buyers and sellers together than any other aviation marketplace.
Don't just advertise. Get RESULTS with Check out the Testimonials
Copyright © 2007-2011 All rights reserved.
UNSUBSCRIBE INSTRUCTIONS: If you no longer wish to receive this eFLYER, unsubscribe here or mail a written request to the attention of: eFLYER Editor BARNSTORMERS, INC. 312 West Fourth Street, Carson City, NV 89703. NOTE: If you registered for one or more hangar accounts on, you must opt out of all of them so the eFLYER mailings will be fully discontinued.