Takhli RTAFB

Bios and More  from Takhli Vets - 1998 part 2

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Dave Neville
30 Aug 98

Hi My name is Dave Neville and I was stationed at Takhli for about 15 months from the spring of 1968 until summer 1969.  Haven't checked on exact dates - it's been a long time. I worked on the ECM pods for the F105's.  I am proud of my service there and had many great times and met many friends I would like to meet again someday.  Great site!  Keep up the good work. Dave Neville

Dave Neville

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Mark Hagedorn
30 Aug 98

I was was a 46250 Weapons Mechanic stationed at TRTAFB from Nov 68 to May 69 working on the F-105.  They moved us from Korat to Takhli in 68 as F-4's were stationed at Korat.

I do recall being awarded Load Crew of the quarter and the four of us went to the base commanders office to receive the award. Being "shortimers" our hair was too long and our fatigues were too wrinkled. A very high ranking officer asked us to leave his office!! We got cleaned up right after that!!!!. I still have a photo with the bird Col. and the plaque after all these years. One last item... I recall working under Msgt. Payne....One great man.....

Mark Hagedorn
Proud to be USAF 1966-70
Attached with 333 TFS Weapons Mech 46250
Avon Lake, Oh 44012

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Joe Wallace
8 Sep 98

Assigned 15 Sep 70, 355th Combat Support Group, Intelligence Operations
Transferred to NKP RTAFB, Task Force Alpha, Nov 70.
Joseph J. Wallace, Jr.

Joe Wallace

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Garry Kastning
18 Sep 98

I was in charge of keeping track of all the Form 5 flight records for sorties by the 434th TFS crews at that time.  I also was a crew truck driver. I lived on tent row for about 3 weeks, until a hooch came available.  The things I remember most was the heat, rain and bugs.  oh yeah a few cobras. Also my first taste of dog. I was tdy from july-sept 72.

Garry Kastning

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Rick Shadforth
15 Sep 98

 I was a Sergeant stationed at Takhli from March 1969 to March 1970. I was assigned to the 355 AMS Avionics/Instrument Shop as an Avionics Instrument Specialist, and spent the majority of my duty hours in the AMS "Red Ball" truck. The Red Ball trucks covered any last minute problems that a pilot might encounter prior to takeoff. Typically, we had 5 minutes to fix the problem, or take the pilot to the spare Thud. Unfortunately, I can only remember the names of two to the regulars on the truck; they are "Ski", a Tech Sgt. who was the driver/ECM specialist, and Mike Frost from the Nav Shop. In addition there were specialists from the Comm, and Autopilot shops on board our step van. When not covering launches, I worked on the F105 and EB66 flight lines.

Looking back, some not-so-good memories of Takhli included watching helplessly as a Thud¹s engine failed on take off, and self-destructed as it slid down the runway (The sound of that engine still haunts me to this day). I understand that the pilot died a few days later. On the lighter side, I was at the USO watching Neal Armstrong on TV as he stepped down from the LEM onto the surface of the moon (I remember the "PEPSI" billboards that were super-imposed onto the lunar background by the Thai TV network). There was the Takhli Hut, the Viking, and other similar establishments. There are also more than a few blurry memories of drinking a little too much Singhi, and  chasing the pooyings. Occasionally we¹d take a day trip to the monkey temple at Lob Buri. At night there was the ever present cry of the "f*** you" lizards. Last but not least, there was the Bald Eagle, Col. Bottomly. The brass may not have seen eye to eye with him, but from our perspective, he tried more than anyone else to boost the morale of the enlisted troops.

Over the years there have been a few flashes from the past: There is the Wings episode featuring the F105. In particular was the shot of the F105 that returned from a mission after a SAM punched a hole through the wing (I was somewhere in the crowd of on lookers). I am an engineer at Raytheon, Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, and in my office I have a couple of worn photos of F105¹s EB66¹s (Sooies). A couple of years ago, one of the program managers strolls by, notices the photos, and mentions that he flew 66¹s. As it turned out we were at Takhli at the same time. His name is Lee Tessmer, and he was a Captain back then. Lee and I would occasionally spend our lunch hours talking and laughing about life at Takhli.

Thank you for setting up this web site Dick, it has been a real pleasure to read and reminisce about things I haven¹t thought about in almost years. You have done a fine job of putting it all together, and I plan on checking in on a regular basis.

Rick Shadforth (Camarillo, CA)
Takhli RTAFB 69-70

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Tim Chell
16 Sep 98

I was stationed at Takhli late 1973 to close in late summer of 1974 in 347th Tactical Fighter Wing PIO. I was the base newspaper editor and published the last issue of the "Cobra" the base newspaper. Sent back to States about four weeks before final closure. Only a couple of hundred people left when I departed, down from a couple thousand..almost like a ghost town. What ever happened to Hunters?

Tim Chell

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Len Farwell
24 Sep 98

Currently flying an '81 Mooney "201" and having the time of my life. Taking it to the Mooney "Homecoming" in Kerrville, TX, 7-11 Oct 98.  Anyone enroute that I know?  I'm about 50 east of Cincinnati, OH.

Loren C. Farwell
6636 Rte. 753, Hillsboro, OH  45133

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Jeff Olmstead
25 Sep 98

I was stationed at Tahkli from Mar '68 to Mar '69.  A weapons mechanic assiged to the 354th TFS, I was the #4 man (jammer driver) on a load crew consisting of myself, Bill Doerr, Lou Johnson and Dick Bowen.  After leaving Tahkli I spent six months stateside at Castle AFB in California and then returned to Utapao RTAFB for my last year in the service.

I have many fond memories of my year at Takhli, especially the guys I lived and worked with.  I arrived on base a rather young 19 and left a much more mature 20.

Some of my memories include the arrival of the F-111's, the U2 flights, the brief visit by the SR-71, the night we were all called back to base to load the Thuds with AIM-9's because of the threat of enemy fighters (they never did show up) and all the day to day activities that were part of work and play at Takhli.

Many people have asked me that if I had it to do all over again, would I change anything. I have always answered; "NO".

Jeff Olmstead Bethel, CT

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Jerry M. Blanchette
4 Oct 98

I was at Takhli from April 1972-Dec 1972, with the 366th Hq.Sq and worked as the Wing Training NCO. I had been stationed at NKP and my wife became pregnant and I had to take an extension until after my Son was born. My replacement had already arrived at NKP so I was sent to Takhli to assist in reopening the base to support the F-111's that were coming in.

I love thailand and visit there often, we are going to Mukdahan in November of this year, It was great to find your site, it brought back some good memories of some great times, keep up the good work!!!

Jerry Blanchette

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Bob Huntley
6 Sep 98

I was at Tahkli form June 67-Feb 68.  Flew 100 Wild Weasel Missions as Pilot,  was in the 354th TFS   F105F.  My EWO was Ralph Stearman.

Bob Huntley

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Stanley Lambert
13 Oct 98

hi, i worked in the control tower 69-70 also. did you work there or else where? while there i met an observer named charlie haust who lived 20 miles from my hometown in ny. there was another i think we called sparky but the thais called him "sgt. talung" meaning nasty. he was one crazy
guy!!! this is great, the first mess. on board was from another controller mike koehler ive got to mail him.

stanley lambert

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Bill Brown
20 Oct 98

Thanks for the web site. Brings back a lot of good memories. I was stationed at Takhli from Sep. 68 - Sep. 69 with the 355 AMS, working on F-105 doppler radar.

My most memorable event was celebrating my 21st birthday downtown, catered by local "friends", followed by 5 days in the hospital with food posioning!

Bill Brown's Photo Gallery

Bill Brown Las Vegas

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Ron Harvey
28 Oct 98

I was assigned to Takhli from July 1969 to July 1970 in the 355th Supply Squadron where I was the Stock Control Officer in Base Supply.  Please add me to the E-mail address list.  You have a great web site.

The one event I remember well concerning the weather ops was the day at Standup where the weather guy, perhaps it was you, stated that the weather radar had picked up a severe thunderstorm approaching Takhli and then dramatically stated that "it would reach the base just about now", and within a few seconds we all could hear the rain and hail on the roof of the building.  It was very impressive.

I also remember when we lost Bob White.  He had just a few days before came to the Supply Squadron and gave a little speech to our enlisted guys about how important they were to the overall mission.  I also remember right around Christmas day of 1969 when we lost (I think it was three birds in one day, two of which collided coming off a tanker).

I also remember when the Wing King led a huge group back up North again for the first time in several years. I retired from the Air Force in Feb 1991, where I was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.  While I was on terminal leave, I started work as a NATO Civilian (very similar to US Civil Service) in Capellen, Luxembourg.  I have almost completed eight years now working for NATO (the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency).

In a lot of respects, I just traded a blue uniform for a civilian suit because I am still in the aircraft support business as well as a lot of Army and a few Navy systems.  Prior to my assignment to SHAPE, I was the Supply Squadron Commander at RAF Mildenhall, England.  I've been in Europe since 1985, but usually make two or three trips to the States a year for various reasons. Will close for now, it was great to hear from you.

Ron Harvey
Lt Col, USAF (Ret)

[note: the Takhli website guy will plead guilty to the incident Ron  mentioned above -- must be my most famous weather briefing if it's still remembered almost 30 years after the fact.  Ask me and I'll tell you the "rest of the story"  --  dick williams rjw@NSsky.net ]

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John Evans
31 Oct 98

What a small world.  I'm surfing around type, Takhli into the search engine and bang here I am back in time!!!  Nice job on the site by the way, it looks great.

Best of all I see a number of old friends I lost track of over the years Jack Gurner and Dave Snow.  (I'm the SSgt Evans who Dave remembers in his bio.) I was stationed at Takhli from January 18, 1969, to October 25, 1970.  I was assigned to Det 2 601st Photo Flight.  We ran the Base photo lab, had a combat documentation team assigned and maintained, loaded and processed all of the gun and strike camera footage.  The best part of it was that some of the photo weenies could actually fly combat missions in the F-105 F & G and the EB-66C. We also got to hang around with the Pilots, the Bears and the Ravens.  WOW, we even got to wear Yankee Air Pirate Patches. At any one time there were 5 or 6 of us on flying status.  Needless to say it was exciting.

I felt at that time and still do that I had the best enlisted job in the Air Force. I remember a lot of the people who worked at the 601st.  Its easier for us because someone was always walking around with a camera and the number of photos I'm sure each one of us kept was extensive.  I remember SSgt John Mannings, SSgt John Gibson, Sgt. Steve Wilson, SSgt Stu Hurd, SSgt Tom Mathias, SSgt Gary Cheatham, Sgt. Charlie Moen, Sgt. Hank Lipka, A1C Dennis Coll, TSgt Drapac and 1st Lt. Mike Shirley who was the Commander.  He was a really good guy who led by example and was a mustang 1st Lt. He flew a lot of missions with us.

 I spent 8 1/2 years in the Air Force and was discharged on Mar 5 1973 as a TSgt. Started college at age 27 graduated and went the University of Wisconsin Law School and for the past 18 years have been a Trial Lawyer in Green Bay Wisconsin. In some respects those were the best of times and the worst of times.  I went to Southeast Asia in 1965 as a young wild kid and left Ubon in 1971 as a pretty street wise 25 year old TSgt who'd seen it all.  I guess in some respects the experience had the most impact on my life of anything I have ever done.  I look forward to finding old friends and sharing old experiences of a unique place with a lot of new ones. Please feel free to ask for more pictures I'm sure that Jack Gurner and Dave Snow have only posted a few of thousands.  I'm sure that more of the scroungy photo troops will show up. I even remember the "snow report" photo that Gurner shot. Again Dick thanks for the time and effort in putting up the site I'm sure more will help you keep It going

John A. Evans

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Michael A. Koehler
27 Nov 98

I worked in the control tower at Takhli from Aug 69 to Aug 70. I came from a MAC/SAM base, so the fast moving fighter traffic was a real eye opener. But, got the hang of it, and loved it! It was easy and fun, working with some of the best airplane drivers the AF owned. I still remember coming to work, must have been around June or July 70, and everything that had wings had been launched earlier that morning. I worked their recovery. Had about 50-55 aircraft in the air at one time, talked almost non-stop for about 90 minutes. And about 4 of those had emergencies. Made me feel good, when the dust settled, and the SOF gave me a nice "atta-boy". Best ATC workout I ever had, still to this day.

Seems like the controllers, and others from the 1980th Comm Sq, mostly hung out at the "Paradise". Great burgers...still wonder what they were made of. Maybe don't want to know. How about those guys at Det 3 ( in the compound across the road from the flight line)?! Ever wonder why all their commanders had the same name?

After returning to the states, I got out of the AF for a while. Several years later found out the Mo Air Guard had an ATC unit. So I joined the 239th Combat Comm Sq, based at Lambert Field, St. Louis. A couple of years ago, the ATCALS section separated from the 239th, moved to Rosecrans Airport in St. Joseph, Mo and became the 241 ATCS (Air Traffic Control Sq). We share the base with the 139 AW (C-130 unit).

Spent about 20 years in the haircutting/hairstyling business. Now work at Trans States Airlines, in St. Louis. (aka Trans World Express). Have 16 years in the MoANG. My 16 year old son loves to look at my Takhli pictures. He loves to hear about, and still can't imagine, that we lived with snakes, F...U lizards, blister bugs (one got me on the arm), shaking out our boots each morning, and on and on. How many of you remember (Capt) Doug Welch, the C-47 driver.? Now there was a character! I know he
went to Luke AFB after Takhli.

Enjoy reading all of your memories.  Thanks for letting me share a few of mine. And a BIG "atta-boy" to Dick Williams for this great site.

Mike Koehler

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Gregory Benjamin
11 Nov 98

While I did not serve at Tahlki during the Viet Nam era, I have accumulated well over 60 days at Takhli RTAFB proper, with numerous trips in and out of the base spanning nearly two years (96 - 98).  The majority of my time was spent there during Cobra Gold 97 with the 353 Special  Operations Group (AFSOC) , Kadena AB, Japan

Gregory A. R. Benjamin

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David Cloud
15 Nov 98

Memories of Takhli.  SSgt. David L. Cloud 311-52-2143 Original Serial Number# 68038093 DATE OF SEA SERVICE 5/14/72 TO 7/24/72 (CODE NAME "CRAZYDOG")

I had spent 2 years in Japan as a Telecommunications Systems Control Specialist/Shift Supervisor. When I was to return to CONUS I was told no jobs available in states so if I wanted to go I would have to Cross-train. Missing the roundeyes I said OK and ended up as an Orderly room clerk with the 11th Air Refueling Squadron in Altus OK. One day the Bird Col took us out on the flightline and got on top of a pickup and announced a Top Secret Briefing. He said in five days about half of us were taking 13 KC-135's to an undisclosed location in SEA. I was tired of creased fatigues and saluting so I volunteered to go.

Busy five days packing everything we could into the birds because we were told there would be no resupply for a while. Men were even told to take camping equipment from home if they had any. After lots of shots and forced to sign a last will and testament, we took off and flew non-stop to Takhli. I was a Staff Sargent in the USAF and served with 11th Air Refueling Squadron. It was later changed to 4101st Air Refueling(Provisional) I was assigned as the Chief Clerk for the squadron and was also United States Postmaster for the Squadron.

When I got there they were out of jeeps and assigned me a Fire engine red Datsun Pickup. It might as well have had a bullseye painted on it. It didn't take me long to get it covered with the red road dust and it turned almost invisible. I also made runs to The Bomb dump to gather used bomb crates for the Enlisted and Officers to use to make furniture in the hooch's and tents. The whole mission must have been well planned. The Marines secured the abandoned base early a.m. and we came in around 10:00am. As I climbed off the KC-135 into the 110+ degree heat, at the bottom of the stairs, The full bird Commander (Col John Moore) reached into 55 gallon drum of ice-water and as I stood there saluting he handed me an ice cold can of beer and said "Welcome to the War".

The base had been closed for a few years. There was no plumbing or electric. The elephant grass was about Five feet tall and we had some Thai Mamasans cut it Down with hand scythes. They killed hundreds of King Cobras. This is why we later became know as the King Cobra Squadron. We ate field mess style using out mess kits and boiling them before and after meals in boiling 55 gallon drums and carrying them with us at all times because you never knew when you got to eat. Ice was brought in daily to cool water and beer. When Someone got killed the ice was used to cool the body Until it could be taken out. This is one of the regrets I have, that I used to bitch that the dead caused me to drink hot beer. Seems sick now, but at the time it seemed reasonable.

I also helped part-time as a driver to the flightline and Part-time in intelligence unit since I had a Top Secret/Crypto Access Clearance and part time in communications. I remember the F*** You lizards. And all the little lizards That would hang on the inside of the tent and fall off on you in the middle of the night.. The next few days were a blur as we secured our outfit and got setup and started deploying the KC's on sorties. As a 20 year old it was a scary time. Middle of the night and white flares going off so the perimeter guards to see if noises they heard was Charlie in the bush. You got used to the white flares, but occasionally there were red flares that signified Charlie had been spotted outside the wire. Sometimes you would here a few shots a ways off. You never knew if it was a kill or some scared kid shooting into the weeds at a pig or dog or monkey. After a red flare you didn't get much sleep. And if you did get to sleep, a squadron of F-4 Phantoms would take off on full afterburner and then when you finally fell asleep again a KC-135 would blast off.

Also, one day the Commander was just happy as shit. He let us know that the base had been redesigned as a FIRE-BASE (Forward Intense Reactionary Element). Whoopee. We didn't get a raise but I'll bet that would help him get his first Star or something good. Politics even in the bush. Since we were new at this game of war we made a few mistakes. We hung our lister bag for water from a tree in our area. It had spigots around the bottom to fill our canteens. Daily, we would dump 5 gal GI cans of water in it and add our little allotment of ice, and put the canvas lid back over it. After about a month one of the guys thought we should take it down and make sure it was cleaned out. When we took it down we were quite surprised to find about thirty dead lizards in there. We had been filling our canteens daily out of it. Oh well. I guess while I was over there I consumed some things worse than lizard water. Ha!

I still don't remember very much of the trips down to village or my in country R&R to the big city BANGKOK. Five days of heaven on earth. Someone was building the tent city for the Nam guys they were pulling out of the "WAR". About 10 thousand tents as I recall. When they got here, they were whining and growling and bitching and moaning because we were in tents and had field mess and no electric or running water. Some of them wanted to go back to Nam. They had air conditioning and TV and hot and cold running girls. Seemed funny to me. I thought I was a REMF and didn't deserve to feel like a vet, but after that I knew I was in the war. I knew they wouldn't have made it without our missions. I knew they wouldn't have got out without our base was providing a quick place to evacuate.

Thanks to the TLC Brotherhood, I can put a lot of guilt behind me and pride in front of me. I came back home. Worked 5 years in a glass factory. 25 years with General Motors as an electrician and as a communication specialist maintaining the computer networks. The last 10 opening the Saturn Plant in Tennessee. Retired on disability with bad lungs. I had a few visits with a shrink to work on anxiety panic attacks when I couldn't get my breath. During those visits I dredged up some memories or parts of memories of time in SEA. She said it wasn't important to remember it all or even to try to. They are suppressed memories I don't need anymore. Just get on with life. I have felt better ever since.

It is now hard to remember how young and fragile we were and just hoping we would last long enough to make it home. Thanks for having this site. I hope some of the guys I served with will respond. Thanks to all of you who served with me that I didn't know. You are all Heros. Just the VSM and feeling better for the rest of my life. If you were a pilot or a mechanic or whatever, you served in the war and men and women did not die because of your efforts. We will remember those that died, but we also remember those that lived because of us.

Dave Cloud

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Richard Janey
15 Nov 98

I will send a brief writeup--actually the EB-66s consisted of the 41st and 42 Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (TEWS) and as an intelligence officer we served both squadrons which were assigned to the 355th. We would brief the aircrews on the location of AAA and SAMs and give them Escape and Evasion support. EB-66s supported the Steel Tiger and Rolling Thunder operations of all USAF and Navy  Missions . Some EB-66s actively jammed search and firecontrol radar of the AAA and SAMs and some were assigned an intelligence gathering function to locate and analyze the radar signals so it could be better jammed. After the aircraft launches we would brief the brass on the same stuff.

Col Giraudo was the commander during my tour.  BAT 21 is a book and video of rescue operation of a downed EB-66 crew member but that happened after my tour of duty. The movie is Hollywood fiction but the book appears to be the real thing.

Richard Janey

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Dennis Moody
4 Dec 98

73-74-75-76 E Flight C-130 IFE
Flew the unmarked 130's out of the ranch several times 67-68 flew trash haulers (Green lizards) and klonghoppers thruout the country. 16 bases/fields US/RTAF/USMC/AA & a couple that today are unknown as to who was the prime operational controling unit. Was never there when another plane was on the ground at the same time. One base we only operated in/out of only at night, don't know or want to know what was going on there.

A job is a job, we always followed orders to insure the mission got done.

Dennis Moody  (DK  aka  moonbeam)

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Jack Hanson
11 Dec 98

My name is Jack W. Hanson, Sr. Retired USAF SSgt.  I was assigned to the 49th Secuirty Police Squadron at Holloman when we went TDY to an unnamed place.  We were always going to Germany so we ended up as the only USAFE assigned Sqd in South East Asia.  I remember sleeping and wakeing up to the sound of "Coke GI".  I also remember an Airman named Mark Blood I think he was from McDill but not real sure.  Those were the days.

After Takhli I was assigned to Holloman and got married in 1973. We got reassigned to RAF Lakenheath for three  years and came back to Hill AFB  Ut.  Went to Izmire Turkey for one year and then to Fairchild AFB Wa where I retired in 1986.  I am now living in Wenatchee Wa.  Working at Denny's., as a waiter.  Take care.

Long live the military.

Jack Hanson

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Lynn Parsons
13 Dec 98

I was with the 21st TCS at Naha AFB, Okinawa.  We went TDY to Takhli with a half dozen C-130As in 1960. As far as I know we were the first USAF folks to fly missions from there.

It's been a long time and I'm still not sure if anything is still classified. Check out these two addresses. WWW.sky.net/~rjw/takhli/tibet.htm and WWW.tibet.ca/wtnarchive/1997/1/29_2.html.  I think all of these things should be declassified by now.  I am interested in anything connected to these missions so let me know if you find any associated information or people involved.

Lynn Parsons
Loadmaster USAF Retired

[note - Lynn was involved in some very interesting missions and we hope to hear more about that work a bit later. Leigh, airambrat@NSaol.com,  offers another web article on the Tibetan work of the CIA via this link: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mjanson/tibet.html      dw] 

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Rod Shirley
14 Dec 98

I was stationed at Takhli twice..Jan -  Dec 68 and again Jun 69 - Sep 70.  Worked in the 355th FMS Structural Repair Shop (Sheetmetal).  It was the first time I had worked on an aircraft smaller than a B-52 or KC-135.  I thought fighters were suppose to be easier.  How wrong I was!  Fit and repaired/replaced many F-105 fiberglass wing tips, splitter ducts, RAM Air ducts, Ventral fins, ailerons, leading edge flaps, canopys, side panels, gear doors, gun blast panels, and every other piece of metal, fiberglass or plastic you can think of on those Thuds.  The B-66s were fun too.

I will always remember Takhli because my wife's parents lived there and it is where I got married (still married too).  Heck, I even built a house downtown.   Can still remember the smell of the diesel fuel from old Big Red (bus) as I would get off it everyday going back and forth to work.  Lived off the alley that went down the side of Charns and the Blue Danube.  Will never forget the night when we had a Red Alert and the Security Police (or were they still called Air Police then) Town Patrol made all the GIs in the bars report to base. Good thing nobody got shot that night, as I am sure SOME of the M-16 armed augmentees were having problems just standing up :-). Wonder what it must look like now in the town of Takhli.  I heard it has changed quite a bit.

Much of my time was in the nose docks (F-105 and B-66).  Worked the flightline also.  As a matter of fact, my first week at Takhli introduced me to the Thud as I pulled a low pack from one aircraft to the next doing TCTOs on the drag chute doors so that the connection for the chutes could be verified easier.  God it was so hot climbing on those Thuds. I remember the heat burning through  my jungle boots as I stood on top of the speed brake doors and drilled the inspection holes.

One of the last times I saw a Thud was in '92 at George AFB, here in Victorville CA where I live now.  The F-4s were flown out and all that remained were a few F-105 D/Gs which were airlifted out later by helicopters.  Now that was a sight.  Another old Nickel base CLOSED.  A tear ran down my cheek as they flew off with the last Nickel.  What a sad day.

I saw Col Heath Bottomly at a prayer breakfast at George AFB before it closed. He shared a story of the days he worked in Washington DC in the Kennedy Administration along with now Ret. Gen David C. Jones.  Wow, what a story.

NOW...A retired Chief Master Sergeant. I retired after 30 years (from Edwards AFB) in '96. Reside in Victorville CA...currently a Web Designer (Desert Recluse Web Site Design)

Thanks for building a site so that many old vets of Takhli can swap war stories and remember when :-).

Rod Shirley

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Lance Gunderson
17 Dec 98

Lance Gunderson, Takhli  July 1966-July 1967
355 MMS, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team

I remember many things about my year at Takhli. The afterburner "alarm clock". The transition from dusty gravel roads on base to paved roads (which seemed to be frequently dug up to put cable or pipes accross). The constant drone of the diesel generators which seemed to be on every block throughout the base. Then, the transition from those individual generators to the quiet central power plant. The panic the base got in when "Hanoi Hannah" told us that we were going to be hit on Christmas Day 1966.(Nothing happened, but she succeeded in ruining Christmas for many folks who had to remain on a higher state of readiness.)

As a matter of interest, Jack Smith, who is presently State Commander of the New York VFW was at Takhli in the EOD shop with me in 1966.

There are several Thuds left in the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. They can be donated for display to appropriate civic or veterans groups. Let's not let the government cut them up for scrap. Please folks, if you know of anyone willing to "Adopt a Thud" be sure to contact the AMARC. The AMARC www site shows all the aircraft there including the F-105's.

One of my greatest thrills was to be stationed at Hill AFB during the great F-105 fly-by in 1983 where Takhli Medal of Honor winner Leo Thorsness was able to "complete" that one last F-105 mission which had been cut short by the North Vietnamese in 1967. I had tears falling like rain when that great air armada of 24 Thunderchiefs made their fly-by. The folks there on the flight line were surely wondering why I was crying. Guess you'd have to be a Takhli/Korat vet to understand. That "vast" amount of 24 was less than 1/2 the amount of Thuds that were downed during my year at Takhli. GBU GBA

Lance Gunderson

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John Nerdrum
20 Dec  98

Remember AC# 504, The Memphis Belle,  she was a good flyer.  Many thumbs up signals from returning pilots. Remember my plane #522 with Sgt. Nerdrum written on right side canopy being shot down, pilot making it back and giving me a case of Bud and a jug of Crown Royal for "MY" trouble.

It amazes me today, to think back to those days, and realize the responsibilities we had as mere kids. Finding your great website is giving me some proper closure on that chapter of my life.  I deeply appreciate your efforts.

John Nerdrum

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Bob Hammerele
26 Dec 98

I was stationed at takhli Nov 66 - July 67 as a thud driver .  Quickly became a flight commander and then a force commander .  Completed 100 missions in the 354TFS

Bob Hammerle

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Dennis Maldonado
25 Dec 98

I was there from Mar 70 until we moved to Korat Sep 70. I was in the 42TEWS as pilot on EB-66.
I have added a link to your site on my personal web page.

Dennis Maldonado

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Don Williams
24 Dec 98

I was stationed at Tahkli from September to November 1966, TDY from Clark, which was a TDY from England AFB, LA. We left EAFB about  8 Sept 66 with our F100's for Clark. After a couple of weeks at Clark we took about 6 airplanes and support personnel to Tahkli for  6 or 7 weeks.

It was good duty; the buildup hadn't yet started and the food was good. The most excitement was hunting snakes and watching the U-2's. I was one of two Fire Control people, the other being SSGT Dave Davenport.

I'll not ever forget Takhli; it was early enough it the Vietnam war I was able to get a ride in the backseat of an F100F as an Airman 2nd. Still have pictures of that (I can still almost make out the green color of my face) and have a pix of the signpost in front of the barracks as well. Thanks for the website,

Don Williams

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Dick Williams
15 Jun 09