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6 Jan 99
June 69-June 70 Went to school on F105's, but on arrival in country they asked for volunteer crew chiefs for B-66's. Was in the 42nd TEWS as a crew chief. Worked in base hobby center for several months shortly before returning home to Charlotte, Michigan.
Love the site on the net. I was also stationed at Takhli AFB ..From June of 1968 through June of 1969...I was AGE 355th FMS...I do have some pictures I am willing to scan and install at the site...I have some additional info regarding a EB66 Crash that I witnessed while having coffee and a hamburger right at the flightline..I cannot remember which month during My time there.
I also was present during the USO tour that is pictured in one place where a singer is singing to one of the Airmen...I was seated just to his right..I cannot be seen because the airman and the singer are blocking Me..But, I know why everyone is laughing....She was singing a love song and went out to the crowd of airman and selected one to sing to...then..at some point, she began to unbutton his fatique shirt...and as she began to rub her hand against his chest...she began to laugh...and opened his shirt wider and had him turn around..and everyone then saw that he had a very large hole in a very dirty tee-shirt. *smile* [note - check out Tom's photo via Jack Gurner's Photo Gallery or via the Message Board - dw]
Would love to hear from anyone who might rememeber me or who worked in AGE...let me know where I can send the pictures.
Tom C. Lenard
8 Jan 99
When I came upon the website it brought back many great memories. The photos are great. We have a color printer on our lan here and I am printing out the shots of the 105's and 66's. I worked at the Base communications center which was located right down the street from where the chapel was.
The hootch I lived in was on the main street heading out towards the Airmen's /Nco club and base theatre. I remember meeting a lot of pilots. There trailers were located right next to the comm center and they used to come up the the fence (barbed wire) to shoot the bull with us while were were out in the back on burn detail. (Destroying all the classifed material we handled.) They were a bunch of great guys.
A1C Bernie Ouellette (Vet)
1980th Comm Sq.
My name is Robert P. Morrone and I served a TDY at Takhli as a Weapons Technician with the 474th MMS out of Nellis AFB in 1973.
You can see some of my photos at http://rob.morrone.com/takhli.
Robert P. Morrone
Developer - Integrity Data Systems, Inc.
16 Jan 99
I was stationed at Takhli for Nov-67 to Nov-68. It was one of the true highlights of my life and I can actually say that I have a lot of pleasant memories of that assignment. Would be interested in hearing from anyone who was over there especially during that period and would welcome all e-mail and photos.
3 Jan 99
I was stationed at Takhli from September 1968 to September 1969. I was a crew chief with the 333rd and crewed the aircraft 59-1734, which belonged to Col Jim Howerton, the name of the aircraft was Mona B 2. I found this site only yesterday, nice job on it.
I Was In Takhli From Sept 67 Until Sept 68. I Was A Weapons Specialist. I Was In The 357th. I Was The Number 2 Man On A Bomb Loading Crew.
Takhli for me was Jul 70 to the phase-out in 71. I have spent over 3 hours tonight linking between some special sites. What a time it was.
Ssgt USAF 355th. CSG
I'm glad you have gotten this list together. So far I haven't recognized anyone's name, but it has been a long time.
I spent my duty time in the gun shop. Where I repaired the M-61 "Vulcan" 20mm Cannon. I also assisted in removing & replacing the gun as well as loading it. It's a year, I'll never forget. I made a lot of good friends, and had a lot of good times. I spent the next two years at McConnell, AFB in Wichita, Ks. This duty was also on the F-105. Would like to here from some of the people I new there too. Thanks again.
I was assigned to the 355 mms. I worked in the bomb dump unloading, storing, building, delivering to the flight line all the ordinance flown by our aircraft. My rank was Sgt. i received the Air Force Commendation Medal. I have seen some of the pictures and they are great. I look forward to finding more.
salisbury, mo - not far from you
4 Jan 99
I was stationed at Tahkli from Jan 1968 to Jan 1969. I was in the AGE shop on swing shift. My speciality was MJ-1 and MJ-1A bomb lifts.
Years later, like now, I work for a Swedish Company. On my last trip there the fellow who was assigned to me had a Thai wife. I mentioned I was stationed there during 1968. Make a long story short, I got invited for dinner. First time in 20yrs she had heard any Thai spoken. Big hero, especially when pouring my second cup of tea and hit her with "nit-nuy". Couldn't use some of the expressions, but got by. She showed me maps of where she lived and had vivid memories of "The American Airman", some bad, but mostly good.
Anyway, though I'd run that by you. See you at "The Diamond" or the Frontier bar.
30 Jan 99
I was at Takli from May 1969 until May 1970. Was with 355th combat support group, worked as a supply Sgt. at the main mess hall. Sent to Bangkok TDY for 3 months to work with the Army. The Air Force put the wrong APO on my order and I was in Nam for a few days before going to Thailand, then was sent to the wrong base in Thailand ! Was told that I was AWOL when I reported in, all the boarding passes I had kept me out of trouble. I used to be able to speck a little Thai, have forgotten most of it.
30 Jan 99
My full name is Thomas Charles MacArthur dob 10-27-44 , AF16764616 discharged Oakland Ca. July 6th 1967 as E-4 Airman First (buck Sgt.) I joined July 6th 1963 right after graduation from Arthur Hill High school in Saginaw, MI . Went to Lackland for basic. I was sent to Greenville AFB MISSISSIPPI to take basic medical courses. From there I was sent to Gunter AFB AL to do 16 weeks of Laboratory technician school. Was there when Kennedy died.
After graduation I was sent to Chanute AFB IL for OJT as a lab technician. and A2C. I worked in the lab and the ER. My parents passed away during this period and it effected me badly. (not an excuse just a fact) I washed out of MEDICAL training and was sent to Whiteman AFB MO as a Recreation Specialist. BINGO, CARDS, SERVICE CLUBS, THEATER ETC., I requested SEA duty with friend Denver Huffman and was sent to Tahkli in Oct. of 66. I worked the base theater most of the time but was tagged a few times by my CO to fly with some special service sorts as a medic. All we did was pick up wounded and drop them off at Ubon or Korat. The hardest part was doing the triage. I was only 20 and I always had a captain or above. In the stateside ERs do that. I guess we all do what we have to. All Tahkli had was a small dispensary in the headquarters building.
I kept pretty busy just staying high most of the time I was there. The tour did not sit good with me at all. I had a gal downtown named Jabah that took care of me when I staggered from the Drifters bar. I remember liking the lime juice in the mess hall, Running Deer whiskey, Dan rummell, A GI sitting on a bunk playing "your cheatin heart", The Bob Hope USO show with Joey Hetherton Vic Damone, Hugh O'brien, Phyliss Diller, Anita Bryant and ms. world. The Thai px, The 1 baht bus, the smelly clong, Two thais left hanging on the fence after they were killed stealing lumber. did they ever smell, two beautiful puyeengs that worked in the base library. I never read just watched them.
Sneaking a carton of Salems off base for a $20.00 bill, seeing Clint eastwood movie and him speaking thai, My dear john letter after two months in country, I remember tossing out the white armband with the red cross on it I was given to wear DUH? , The monsoons and watching a Lt. on his moped disappear into the drainage ditch with only his helmet floating on top. FUNNY!!! Bobby dickerson and louie moore from New York, Watching the lady bite the head off a beetle and suck the guts out., The awful stench that hit me in the face when we walked out of the 747 in Bangkok, Remembering how I thought these people were so ugly and a few months later the women were real pretty. Watching the officers swim in the pool while we sweltered, The day a pilot did his fifty mission roll and kicked on his afterburners right over the officers club. Broke every glass in the building. Making deals with base supply and or the chow hall.
You could always get almost anything if you had something to swap. I had penicillin. & morphine syrettes. I was GOD. Buying Sapphires for $5.00 or a gold ring with Ruby and sapphire for $25.00. Watching the twin 30's on the back of a jeep push that sucker backwards. Seeing a step and 1/2 and runnin like hell. Watching my two puchies behead a cobra and make a hat band for my bush hat. I remember getting smacked in the face by another GI in the Airman's Club because he said I looked like his wife's x husband, I laughed it off and played the slots. Remember the round hamburgers.? I remember the puchis trying to hold hands all the time. they were good workers but Comeon!
After the military I joined the city Of Saginaw Fire Dept. And married my first wife Jackie, I was asked by a recruiter to ride in the memorial day parade as a Vietnam vet for the Air force. I did not want to do it but he talked me in to it. I got half way through and jumped out of the convertible. because I could not take the jeers and boos. I ran and hid in the back of a bar and stayed until the crowd left. I did not mention SEA for over 20 years.
We had two Beautiful Children. Laurie is now 30 and Jason is now 28. We were divorced in 1978 and I left the Fire Dept. to go full time in sales. I have been self employed ever since. I married Yvonne in 1984 and we have no children together neither does she. We do however have 3 Grandchildren . Two girls and a boy. I am a recovering Alcoholic addict with 16 years clean time and the blessing of GOD.
I joined VVA 250 in 1989 and came out of the closet. It felt great!! Joined the TLC brotherhood last month. I run a small financial business . web site is http://www.concentric.net/~tommymac.
Life is good. Sawadee Brothers and sisters welcome home!! with love & brotherhood
American Legion #22
1 Feb 99
Found you page through my son who is now a Captain in the Air Force and TDY at Korat as I write this. He met Jim Traywick and sent on the info to me. Spent all day yesterday looking at pictures and remembering the good and the bad about that time in my life.
I was there from September 68 to November 69 and was in the 1980th Comm Squadron and when I wasn't TDY to "nam" or working with those guys who used to have that hangar away from everyone else, I spent my time on Hill 360. That was the large comm site on the hill next to Takhli.
Remember an EB-66 crash at the end of the runway. They just made it over the hiway and cleared the houses on the other side. Remember it so well cause we were on our way to the hill and were the first at the scene.
Remember the day they tried to clear the base and get everyone inside cause one of the Blackbirds was coming home in the daylight and they didn't want anyone to see it. I was in the GCA van at the time with some buddies from the comm squadron.
Ran with a group of other comm guys and we called ourselves the dirty sixpack. Don't know why cause we never stopped at a sixpack.
Good times were had but then we sometimes did that to forget where we were. Still have trouble explaining to folks in mixed company what the Gecko Lizards sounded like. My first night there I almost decked some airmen for what the Gecko's were saying.
Was there when the new NCO club was finished and they closed the 19th hole. Remeber being mad cause when the pilots had a 100 mission party, they destroyed the officers club and then they came and got our new furniture.
Keep me informed about any reunions and would love to hear from any of the other comm guys from that era. I will dig out some pictures and get them e-mailed in the near future.
Senior Project Engineer
3 Feb 99
It's been so long I will have to dig way deep, but here goes:
I was assigned as an EB-66B crew chief at Takhli from May 1966 through May 1967. I had gone through RB-66 school at Shaw AFB in South Carolina in April of 1966 in preparation for the Takhli assignment. I do not remember the squadron I was assigned to. At that time the base had the wing of F-105's, our EB-66B squadron and the EB-66C squadron. There was also a SAC KC-135 detachment assigned to the base.
I remember the very first day that I reported in at the flight shack, talking to the line chief I noted that his attention was diverted to something behind me. When I turned around I saw an EB-66B skidding down the runway on its nose. The nose landing gear had collapsed! Sparks were aflyin and as the aircraft slowed down to the upper hatches came off and the crew exited the aircraft (with it still in motion). I figured this was going to be an interesting year.
The EB-66's had come out of France, that was around the time that the French government lost it sense of humor. I don't think that they had been in Thailand very long before I arrived. The aircraft originally arrived in country unpainted. They were camouflaged later.
I remember one bad crash that occurred with an EB-66C. The aircraft lost one engine after take-off, the pilot ordered the two guy's with him on the flight deck to eject. He then rolled the aircraft to allow the 4 guy's in the bomb bay to eject. Just before he got the aircraft back upright it crashed killing him, but the others got out OK.
Hope this helps.
and from a later note of 3 Nov 99 Tony writes:
I routinely get back to Thailand and several years ago (about 3) I was able to make it up to Takhli. The base in still in good shape, and Thai F-16's were being operatated there. The town is still as small as we all remember. Made it up to the radar site atop the mountain, it was completely deserted. If you recall at the Thai gate there were a couple of aircraft, two bearcats. They have been removed and were brought down to the Thai Air Force Museum near Don Muang. One of the two was completely restored. All of the bars we remember were closed, and in serious disrepair.
Take Care All,
2 Feb 99
My name is Rayburn H. "Woody" Wood. I was at Takhli from October 1967 to October 1968 as an F-105 Crew Chief (AFSC F43171C) assigned to the 357th TFS. My email address is rwood@NSsurfsouth.com.
At the time of my assignment to the 357th "Lickin' Dragons",(or, as we maintenance pukes called ourselves, the "Dragin' Dragons") I was a 26 year old buck Sergeant (SSgt selectee), with almost 8 years TAFMS, 5 of those years crewing "THUDS".
At my first roll call I was informed that I was now the Crew Chief on 60-522,..... and, oh by the way, She's sitting down in the barrier after a "slab lock" malfunction caused a high speed (146knot), high gross weight (46000lbs+) ABORT. The Pilot DIDN'T jettison any enternal stores (i.e. a MER with 6x750lb GP's on the C/L , 2x450gal fuel tanks on the inbd W/S's, 1xMK84 and a ALQ pod on the otbd W/S's), because he didn't want them following him into the barrier..... I ,personally, considered that to be a wise decision.
After a long and varied career in Aircraft Mainterance, I retired on 1 July 1989 from the 347th TFW at Moody AFB, Georgia as a CMSgt. Of all the places I've been assigned, and of all the duties I've performed, nothing comes close to the feelings I had as a "THUD" Crew Chief. And of my time at Takhli with those I worked with, and around, and especially, of what we accomplished. I know this sounds corny, but maybe, for many of us, "that was our finest hour"!
Let's all go down to "Susie's" and hoist a few cool ones in memory of those days.......
18 Feb 99
Ernie Coleman - Dates:May 72-Jun72
Outfit:49 TFW/AMS & 35 TFS Duty: F-4D/WCS-32251P
Sgt. 1970-1974.Career/AFSC:Weapons Control Systems Mechanic,32251P. Assignments: 1970-1971 Holloman,AFB., New Mexico. 1971-1972 Kunsan AFB., Korea. Tdy to Clark AFB.,Philipines. April 1,1972 to Takhli AFB., Thailand from Kunsan. Came back to Holloman,was there two weeks and went back over to Takhli, came back to Holloman in June. Went Tdy to Bergstrom,Texas , Eglin,Florida and Bitburg, Germany.
If memory serves me correctly the TET began on April 1st of 1972. I was at Kunsan AFB,Korea when the siren went off. Three deployments left Kunsan, one went to Danang, one to Clark and I think the other one went to Takhli but not sure. I have a copy of the orders but they say Destination: classified. We weren't told until the C-130's were in the air. I ended up going to Clark AFB. I came back to state side a month later to Holloman AFB only to get back on a C-141 to go back over; this time to Takhli AFB.
I can remember how high the grass was and how there was no plumbing.I think we used water from 55 gallon drums to bathe. How about those rice bugs hitting the lightalls at night on the flightline!! I did get a chance to visit Bangkok while I was there. Remember the beer Singhi and Amarit.
Enjoyed my time in service,would like to look up old friends: William L. Brown, Roger Best, Dave Higby, Gary Ecklund, Bob Gragido, Wayne Turner, Fred Jestead, Gerry Worsham, Roger Savoy, Maurice D. Slack, Jean Demears, Tom Youl and the rest that my failing memory won't let me recall. Would like to touch base with you guys or anyone else that were at the same time. Somebody out there must remember me!!
12 Feb 99
Enjoyed the Takhli page very much. I didn't know it existed. I will pass the word.
I was stationed at Takhli from Jul, 68 to Jul, 69. I was a member of the 42nd TEWS and was a crewmember on EB-66's. I was there when they first brought in the first F-111's. It was supposedly the second best assignment in SEAsia after Korat. I enjoyed my tour and am still thinking about going back for a visit. Enjoyed one of my greatest experiences when I visited Chiang Mai for a week.
John "Lou" Muntean
12 Feb 99
Hello, Sawa Dee Kup
I am writing to inform you that i was stationed at Takhli AFB. from Oct. 66, through Sept. 67. My name is Harvey F. Bell, Sgt. E-4. AF12768687. I was with the 355th Civil Eng. Squardron and my duties was repairing and operation of the emergency diesel electrical power units for the whole base.
I enjoyed my stay there very much..My hangouts were the, Takhli Hut, Starlite, Suzy's and Charns Steak House-lol...I was also a bass player in a GI band there. We played in the Airmans club MANY times...
I wish i could find some of my friends again....We worked hard
and played hard!!
Mok Mok Sway Pooyings!! lol.. I hope you enjoy my letter. You may write me if you wish, or post my name.. Kup coon mok!!
11 Feb 99
I was an EWO on the RB-66C at Takhli from May of 1965 through Feb. when the 9th TRS deployed from Shaw AFB for the first time to Takhli. I completed approximately 125 missions. I was also the assistant wing EWO for the F-111s at Takhli.
Attached are 2 more RB-66 photos. As you can see from the second, we also had some art for a short time (The wing commander disapproved) Check out the RB-66 and Monte H photos.
11 Feb 99
My name is Paul Thibault and i was stationed at Takhli from aug 66 thru aug 67.
I was with the 1980 comm sq. and worked mars radio. i enjoyed the duty and met many good friends there, would like to hear from anyone who remembers me. the first barracks that i lived in was right over the nco & airmens club.
2 Feb 99
Hi - I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB from Sept 1969 to Sept 1970. I was with the 1980th communications sq my job was NCOIC Base Comm Center. I love Thailand had chance to go back in 1972.
It was great to find your site it brought back some good memories keep up the good work. Have a Nice Day
Ran across your web-page courtesy of TLC...
I was assigned TDY to Takhli from Sep 70-Dec 70 from Det 17 601st Photo Flt at Korat RTAFB. My asignment was to photograph USAF buildings/resources being transferred to Thai Air Force during the base closing. I was an Aerial Combat Photographer, and was able to get in a few missions with the RTAF on their border patrol missions and on T-33's. Thanks for the opportunity to sign in.
My name is Humberto A. Serna. I was stationed at Takhli from 9/67 to 9/68. My unit was the 355th MMS. I worked in the bomb dump as a Munitions Handler in both storage and build up.
Made a lot of friends, both military and civilian, and truly enjoyed my stay at Takhli.
Things I remember most from my year there are the Red River Rats Assoc. meeting and celebration, the long hours of work setting up for missions over Viet Nam during the Tet Offensive and the Bob Hope USO show that came to the base Christmas of 1967. It had, besides Bob Hope, Raquel Welch, Barbara Macnair, one of Bing Crosby's sons and of course Les Brown and his Band of Renown.
Wish I could go back to visit.
Also served a tour with the 435th MMS in Phang Rang SVN 2/70 to 1/71. Do you know any web sites that may have some info for service there?
Humberto A. Serna
TSGT USAFR Ret.
I was at Takhli jan.66 to jan.67 in the 333TFS. in the summer of 1967, we had a 105 hit by sam, however she made it back to base with extensive damage. I escorted a stars and stripes reporter to the flightline to film the damage. That segment of the film can be seen on the program"Wings".
I arrived at Takhli RTAFB in July 1968 and left in May 1969. I was assigned as a Wild Weasel bear to the 333rd TFS (The "Lancers"). My nose gunner was Major Robert J. "Silver Tongued Bob" Beck, a Command Bar-Stooler and sierra hotel dive bomber. My other information is contained in my signature block.
The photo of the captured AAA piece on the concrete pedestal in front of 355th TFW headquarters is mis-labeled. The weapon was a 35 mm anti-aircraft artillery piece. It is NOT a ZSU-23 which has four 23mm barrels and fires at a much higher rate of fire but is only effective to a much lower altitude. The 35mm weapon was probably the single most widely deployed AAA weapon used against us in the war. I wish I had a nickel for ever one of those red glowing golf balls (that's what the shells looked like as they came at you) that went zipping past my canopy.
General Vang Pao was the commander of the Hmong tribesmen in the Plaine du Jarres in northern Laos. They were the ground troops in the CIA run operation to oppose the Pathet Lao and NVA in Laos.
The occasion for the presentation was after the 355th had caught a NVA unit (possibly a full brigade - at least a regiment or two) in a valley in Laos and in the course of three days virtually annihilated them. This was in late 1968 or early 1969 as best I recall. When Vang Pao's troops moved into the valley, they found nothing but Vietnamese dead in large numbers and a large amount of destroyed or damaged equipment. The particular gun he presented to us had seen much hard service. The recoil mechanism had literally been mended with bamboo and bailing wire and the elevation pointer's seat had a 20mm hole though it! Sounds like some Thud driver got in a pissing contest with that gun and put it out of action at least temporarily.
After glancing through your online photo collection, I decided to send along a scan of a black and white print I shot and printed in the photo hobby shop at Takhli. I was just beginning to learn about and enjoy photography, but the results weren't too bad for a beginner. Check out the TAKHLI Street Scene.
You might be interested in a series of novels written by a former Takhli jock by the name of Tom "Bear" Wilson. They are a good read and heavily based on his experiences there. The nickname "Bear" would suggest that Tom was a Wild Weasel backseater, but I don't know that for a fact. He clearly has flown the Thud from Takhli though. The three novels are "Termite Hill," "Lucky's Bridge" and "Tango Uniform." These novels were published in paperback by Bantam in the early nineties. You would probably have to visit your friendly local used book shop to find copies.
Robert W. King
I'm an ingenieur, NOT a bloody locomotive driver!
SnailNet: 19023 TV Tower Rd, Winslow, Arkansas 72959
25 Feb 99
My name is Bob Forbus. I was a Weapons Load Crew Chief with the 357 TFS from Oct. 1967 to Oct. 1968.
I enjoyed your site. I saw a program last night on the History Channel called "Suicide Missions". they had an interview with Billy Sparks and Leo Thorsness, among other pilots. I remembered the name Sparks and even have a photo of him drinking a beer at a shop party. Anyway, I searched on Tahkli looking for him and found your site. Thanks for the site. I hope others enjoyed it as much as I did.
I can`t give you all the particulars, but Constant Guard 5 was about the deployment of the F111A`s to Takhli. My TDY was from March 73 to August 15th 73. I was out of Mt. Home 366th OMS. Several of us Crew chiefs,and support personnel from Mt. Home which, had the F111F model went to Nellis to get familiar with the A model,we then were deployed with the 474th out of Nellis to Takhli,I believe we were the second TDY deployment, but could have been the third.
Most Missions while I was there were to Cambodia, and a few missions to Laos, Load outs were mostly 24 500lb loads,or 4 2000lb, or some CBU loads.We were flying around 50 missions during a 24hr. period. The 474th lost only one aircraft while I was there, a midair collision with another F111 over Cambodia, the crew egressed successfully the other returned safely to Takhli with 4 foot missing from on of its wings. Tail Number of the aircraft was 111.
Wish I could give you more, but a crew chief only has limited knowledge of what truly was going on, I hope you can get more information about Constant Guard Five, And Linebacker information on the first deployment of the F111A to Southeast Asia.
F-105 pilot, October 66 - May 15, 1967 - 100th mission north. Wrote 100 Missions North.
James A. Hammond, 333TFW F-105 Maintence. Arrived in early 1966 and left 25 Dec. 1966. I was part of the big build-up of personnel in 66, with no FTD training before going to Takhli. Learned the F-105 the hard way. Sure enjoyed that Bird.
I spent most of my time at the Hobby Shop building and flying control line model aircraft and the photo hobby shop. Thanks
Did a lot of battle damage inspections on THUDS also phase and normal spotchecks on F-105 and EB-66.
Hello, I have heard from John Evans that you would like to hear from me about what I did at Takhli for a year and what I am doing now. Well, I was a photographer, and I flew combat missions in both EB66 Destroyers and Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs. I earned my permanent Air Crew member Badge (Wings) after my 10 combat missions and later was awarded The Air Medal.
Many of my photos and stories were printed in the 7th Air Force News, Takhli Times, Stars and Stripes and civilian papers, which did not attribute their sources to individuals. They simply stated, "U.S Air Force Photograph". I was assigned for about 2 months to the Information Office, where I was afforded the opportunity to write as well as shoot. I was promoted to Sergeant while at Takhli. I compiled a vast quantity of personal off base photographs and slides. I also have some unique Super 8 footage was at Takhli from June 1969 until June 1970.
After Takhli, I flew with the 7th Special Operations based at Otis Air Force Base, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I met my wife Yvette and we were married in 1971. Like John, I completed college on the VA at Ohio State. Before I entered the service I had earned a diploma from The New York Institute of Photography, and actually completed the last requirements of that by mail while on active duty. I taught photography and was certified by the State of Ohio for 5 years. I sold cameras and managed stores in Massachusetts, Atlanta, GA., and Columbus, Ohio. I joined the Ohio Air National Guard in 1976. I served 18 years, and retired with over 22 years, including active duty as a Master Sergeant. I helped coordinate 13 air shows at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.
I have photographed King Hussein of Jordan; the King of Thailand and Queen and Prime Minister, Presidents Nixon and Carter, Generals Brown, Edmundson, Doolitltle, etc.; Capt. Eaddie Rickenbacker; Col. Paul Tibbets, who dropped the first nuclear bomb;Lester Maddox, Geargia's George Wallace; and I had the first Ohio Air National story to be published in The Congressional Record of the United States.
I still shoot weddings and bore the hell out of my three sons and two daughters-in-law with my slides from around the world. We travel extensively, and I own my own Insurance and Annuity business, so we pick up and go often. We have stayed at the beautiful military hotel in Hawaii. I have found five from my military past on the net. I know of another Takhli person here in Columbus, but I must check with him to see if he wants to participate.
Steven A. Wilson, LUTCF
Landed June 74 after aircraft and ground support equipment was gone. Was to work in the PMEL lab AMS. Stayed 3weeks and loaded on a bus and went to Korat for the rest of my tour.
10 Mar 99
I was a Weapons Control Systems Mechanic (AFSC 32251N) with the 355Th Avionics Squadron from December 7, 1965 until Novenber of 1970 with a short break during 1968 to Yokotal AFB and a TDY to Osan AFB, Korea during the 'Pueblo incedent', damn near froze my posterior off.
Just found the page and would like to participate in anything that is happening. I should be returning to Thailand shortly. I remained there after discharge until January 0f 1981 with a short sojourn to Singapore with my Thai wife. We have been married for 27 years now and are returning soon.
Robert W. (Bob) Walker
A1C, then Buck Sergeant (ain't title changes great. This one allowed me
to become an NCO overnight and watch the old guys get loaded)
I was TDY to Takhli two or three times also was TDY to Don Muang and Ban-Utapao from Kadena on Okinawa during 65- 66. (A1C FMS Powered Ground Power). Larry Randolph mentions an incident in which a 105 had a SAM go right through it's wing. The hole was as large as a big man's waste. The pilot stated he watched the missile go right through and was happy to have the opportunity to clean his britches.
During one of my TDY's to Takhli a 105 right wing gear collapsed on landing (3- 500# bombs still attached to the same wing) he skidded along the runway and eventually got off on the grass, he was OK until he got to the point where the road crossed at the center of the runway. He went briefly airborne again and came down with a tremendous explosion across the road. Dust and debris flew everywhere. We all stopped (frozen in time) in our race toward the plane. I was sure the pilot was gone.... To all's amazement and joy a second later the pilot charged from the engulfing smoke and debris reaching for all he was worth in giant steps. The pilot was mostly uninjured. The wing tank had apparently exploded and not the bombs. Would enjoy hearing from any of the guys there at that time esp. those associated with 4252 FMS
My name is Vance Willsey I was at Takhli from Oct 1967 to Oct 1968. Assigned to the 357TFS. I was a Crew Chief on a F-105D serial number 62-4347. Please add me to the roster.
DATES-72-73, OUTFIT- 474TH TFW , INCLUDES THE 428TH, 429TH, 430TH,SQDRONS,
EGRESS SYSTEMS TECH. SGT RANK, ALSO I WAS TDY FROM NELLIS AFB.
EUGENE SMITH JR
I was sent from mcconnell afb in april of 65 to tahkli ab with the 563rd tfs, we were on classified orders. we returned to mcconnel in sept. 65 there wasn't much there when we arrived except another squadron from yakota. do you have any other people from mcconnel who have contacted you?
note: Charles is looking for any information on this April 1965 Deployment and needs some help in documenting his service records. If you were part of the deployement or can point Charles to someone who way please contact Charles directly -- thanks Dick Williams / Takhli website
I was an Airman second class with the 363RD TAC RECON WING out of Shaw AFB, S.C. we arrived at Takhli in late 1964 or early 1965 with four RB-66C model aircraft. They were ECM birds, the same time the 105`s out of McConnell Kansas. I think we should be mentioned in the history of the base
John Kaiser MSGT (Retired) USAF
Thank you very much for your email and birthday greeting! [March 19th]
It is always nice to hear from fellow F-111'ers. The roster sounds interesting - please tell me what info you need. Keep in touch!
Ike Dethman Lt. Col USAF Ret.
note: Col Dethman was Commanding Officer of the Combat Lancer/Harvest Reaper deployment to Taklhi in 1968 and the first combat use of the F-111 Aardvarks. Vist the F-111 Website to view a tribute to Col. Dethman's Takhli Days with the 474th TFW. Col Dethman was 80 years of age in 1999.
I found the Takhli Web Site thru the TLCB. I think it is great, it sure brought back many memories. I periodically look at my old photos of Takhli and the area and think about old friends and the good times we had.
I was with the 1980th Comm Sqdn Jul 68 to Jul 69 and was the mid-shift supervisor in the Base Comm Center
Frank Wilkins, MSGT RET.
I was at Takhli during the Monsoon season when the wooden walkways would float in the overflowing rain water that drowned out the radios with their noise on the hooch roof. During my tenure, the open-sided hooches (cooled by the "flow-through" breezes) were replaced with the window-less airconditioned "dorms". I well recall the "dead-bug" drinking bouts by the crews that sought to forget the carnage of the days' looses of F-105s. Too frequently the "Thud" lived up to its name.
I went on to two tours in Europe and two tours at the Pentagon (retiring from the latter). Takhli was the start of a crew-oriented carrier into the TENCAP program (from 1975 to 1987) that still remembers the needs of the warfighter.
I would like to be added to the roster of Takhli vets. In Oct 1965 I was part of Prime Beef team #1, We were the first Prime Beef Team formed and was supposed to be like the Navys Cbees. We were all civil engineer type people, electricians, linemen, plumbers, carpenters, and roads & grounds. Half of us came from Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio and the other half from New Mexico, I think Almagordo ?
There were 15 of us from Wright Pat and we had blanket orders for four months TDY southeast Asia. We went to Calif. and went thru a week of training and then flew commercial via Okinawa to Viet-Nam. We landed there and after several hours delay they sent us on the same plane to Bangkok Thailand. Then they flew us to Takhli where we met up with the people from New Mexico.
While there from Oct. 1965 until Feb. 1966 we built a barracks complex of 40 ten man NCO barracks complete with electricity, water, bath facilities, and sewage. We hired lacal labor and at one time had over 100 Thais working for us. The barracks we built were of a modular design and some was prefabed by local people before delivery to the site. I was told our design for the barracks ( hootches) was adapted for the standard for the Air Force in south east Asia. I hope I didn't include too much info.
At the time I was in Thailand I was A1C Donald E. Ainsworth and my job was Electrician. I have pictures and if I can find time would like to get them scanned in to share with others.
My name is Harold Kerby. I was stationed at Takhli from Feb.67 thru Feb. 68. I was a Ssgt in the Civil Engineers and I worked in the Operations and Maint. Office and the Service Call section.
I have really enjoyed visiting this page and plan to spend more time
reading through it in the future.
Thank you very much for setting it up.
11 Apr 99
Please enter my name on the Takhli Roster. I came there as a Crew Chief with the 421TFS Black Widows in 1972. The 366 Gunfighters moved there PCS from Danang, Vietnam. I served as an F-4E Crew Chief( 67-302 Ridge Runner). Looking forward to hearing from old friends!
Came across your site while surfing the net. I was assigned to Takhli
from Jul'72 to Sep'72. with the 417th TFS, 49th TFW. I had just returned
stateside from Danang and 2 months later I was back to SEA. Flew 35 missions
with 10 to Hanoi
as part of Linebaker II.
This is a great opportunity for all of us to re-connect. I'll download the photos and stories and take them with me to the River Rats Reunion next weekend at Las Veags.
Hello, My name is Leon Vogt. I came to Takhli in January 1968 from Udorn. I worked on the engines used in the EB and RB-66s. I worked in the shop across the street from the 105 engine shop. Leon vogt
[note - Ervin's story is so interesting I'm including it here among the other Takhli Bios - he's a Takhli Vet under Special Orders of the Webmaster. --d.w.]
I was not at Takhli but I served your birds at Udorn.
I arrived on secret orders to an Air Commando unit code named "Water Pump" but since we supported the secret Lao Air Force T-28 that couldn't fly against targets that were fog covered or in rain, so our section got 'picked' to create the first three Emergency Recovery Teams, in which we were trained to dearm / download battle damaged aircraft.
We frequently chased smoke bellowing F-105s down the Runway or parelled them on the Flightline to get them when they stopped or even still on a rool, so we could down load anyway possable anything that goes 'BOOM'.
F-105s came back so blown to Hell that more costly F-4's even a 10th as damaged would NEVER make it home ! If a bird was on fire my crew (worked alone 24 on and 16 off) had 'our own rules' that I influenced into creation, as frankly the importance was removing explosives NOT following Air Force regulations, so 'no sweat' we'd chase the bird (USAF, Army, Marine, Navy) then jerk stuff (bombs, missiles, rockets etc) free , hussel-hussel-hussel to lay it in the grass beside the runway , or rool it or skoot it there, then run back to get more, so the Fire Department could finish up and the crane pick up the damaged bird to haul it away so the runway was free for the next bird to land,.... as many piled up waiting to land when a crash occured..... many with LOW fuel,.... sometimes blasting by us on EMPTY before the mess was cleared !!! We use to get evil looks from the Chief of Maintence , Wing and Base Commanders , and shocked looks from Pilots seeing us lay or skoot bombs etc into the grass like speed deamons,.... but our Crew was the FASTEST and BESTEST and everyone was always amazed and always had compliments about our unbelieveable speed, and complaints about our ILLEGAL munitions handling procedures, .....but mostly, after most folks saw us in action a few times no one said much and when they did we knew they HAD TO to cover themselves and didn't really mean it, ........... and if thast wasn't enough to get us catching Hell all the time, there we were freaking out the Control Tower Jocks as we dodged landing aircraft for the next couple hours after the birds were removed, as we'd still be hanging around with an MJ-1 and chains hauling bombs and missiles from the grassy sides of the runway, de-fuzing, etc etc etc. (Lifers hates us !)
I've seen many of those battle damaged bird sights, .....and it seemed most FREQUENT that an F-105 would land blowing a tire eating half the metal wheel away while skooting blowing sparks down the runway, or sliding into the grass at 100 MPH or so ....... I'll never forget that one even landed BLIND with oil covering its windshield after being shot in the front section and taking a direct hit in the front canopy glass,.......but one of the strangest memories was when an F-105 landed with a Missile stuck into its tail !!! YES, you read correctly, this F-105 came in boiling black smoke , the rear side of the engine area with flames and so hot several FEET were eaten away by fire,................. and that damned missile WEDGED in between the engine afterburner and the skin of the bird,..... normally maybe a three inch gap now swelled around seven inches in diameter.
Someday I hope to finish a book about it all, (and alot more) and show photographs like none others I've ever seen yet published..... but thats another story.
Here is my war site address : "My War : My Secret" : http://www.angelfire.com/in/Laos/war.html Take care of yourself,...... and I'll see you in the next war ! ...
Stationed at Takhli Dec 69-Nov 70. I lived in a hootch directly across from the small USO building. I can remember several snake shows , some put on by American GI's the show I will always remember, the mongoose and the cobra if I remember right the mongoose always won. I know we had one truck assigned to QC and when it was your turn to cover Emergencies , Battle Damage, etc. it used to get very hectic.
Have a lot of good memories of Takhli, the Thai BX, the Baht Bus, Thai
bus drivers sitting sideways facing a small statue of
Buddah and driving like he was trying to meet him, the Takhli Hut, Takhli Villa and Winnie's.
Just ran on to your Takhli web site. Really brought back memories.
I was at Takhli From March thru Oct 1966 in KC-135s supporting the F-105s of the 355th. Might be able to come up with some pictues if I dig deep enough. I was a Navigator on the tankers.
28 Apr 99
My name Is Joseph Gagnon. I was stationed at Takhli From Feb 1966 To Feb 1967. I was in the 355th TFW 355 FMS (Fuel Systems Mechanic) F-105/RB-66. I found your web-page accidently but what memorys it brings back .
I was stationed at Taklhi from August 1967 to August 1968. I came from McConnell as an A1C to the 355AMS Nav shop on F105's . I quickly learned about EB-66 Radar and during the last three months I flew B66 functional check flights in the navigator position.
I retired from the Air Force in 1988 as a SMS I was lucky enough to bring the F16 into the Air Force in the late 70's the other great single engine fighter.
Thanks great web page
6 May 99
Was there many times @NS det-3 air america kicker. Time frame 1965 thru 1973.
Great place, great times.
10 May 99
Please add my name to your Takhli roster, since I was also assigned to Takhli RTAFB late in 1965 (TDY), and then from June 1966 to June 1967 as a PCS assignment to the 355 A&E (later AMS) squadron.
My name is Menko D. Christoph, and I was an Automatic Flight Control Systems (AFSC 325X0) specialist, better known as "Auto Pilot Weenie", maintaining the General Electric - XK1 - Auto Pilot systems of the F-105D/F model aircraft.
I first arrived at Takhli in November 1965, flying as a cargo courier on a Douglas C-133 Cargomaster aircraft from Yokota AB in Japan, and I was part of the 4 TFW out of Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. My unit relieved the F-105 maintenance personnel (not the aircraft) from McConnell AFB, in Kansas, who had been in Takhli since early to mid 1965, and who in turn relieved F-100's out of Cannon AFB, NM. I returned to NC in December of 1965, only to find out that I had already PCS orders back to Takhli waiting for me, with a reporting date of June 1966.
The 1965 fligtline photograph includes the A&E/AMS building I worked out of on the extreme left margin, or the "8:30 position." It also clearly shows that the majority of the "Thuds" were not yet camouflaged, and most had their plain aluminum/silver clad look, without the empenage venting scoops on both sides!
In addition, I do remember seeing F-105 aircraft arriving from all over the world at Takhli. The AFTO Form 781's showed aircraft with prior assignments at Yokota, Itazuke and Kadena AB's in Japan, Seymour Johnson, George, McConnell & Nellis AFB's in the US, and Bitburg and Spangdahlem AB's in Germany. Most of these aircraft were newly modified and upgraded and then send to combat duty with the 355 TFW in Takhli, or the 388 TFW at Korat, both in Thailand.
When I first arrived TDY in Nov 1965 I was living in a hootch across from the Officers Club and (later) the swimming pool; only a two (2) minute walk to "Building 1" which contained the Chow Hall, Dispensary, Mail Room, CBPO, and a very small library. Behind Bldg. 1 was the movie theatre, NCO Club, and eventually the Thai BX who did most of all the troops laundry. The so called "board walk" originated also at Bldg. 1 near the dispensary end, and went through thick jungle growth and wet lands to the flight line.
Some of the people I remember well are: A2C Tom Wiggin, A2C Kirk Brown, A3C Rodstrom, TSgt Dean Stockton, Major Herman Hawkins (Mustang) - temporary AMS/CC, SMSgt Charlie Morphies, Lt. Col. Zalonka (AMS/CC), A1C (Buck Sgt) Crump, MSgt Gunderson, 1Lt. Sereno R. Tait Jr. (Mustang), A1C (Buck Sgt) Wayne Daniels, TSgt Fred Moseley, and many others.
My career took me eventually from Thailand, on a consecutive overseas tour (COT), to Bitburg in Germany, to Luke AFB in Arizona, where I was involuntarily retrained into the Doppler RADAR Inertial Navigation career field (AFSC 328X4), to the 57 FIS (first F-4's in ADC - later ADCOM) in Iceland, and finally to the very secretive SR-71 and U2 program at Beale AFB in California. I retired as a MSgt at Beale in December 1983.
In closing, I must say it was a very memorable and austere time I spent at Takhli and I will never forget this part of my life. Also, I visited Thailand in December 1997 and I made a side trip to Takhli, just to see what it looks like today. Unfortunately, the Royal Thai Air Force gate guard would not permit me to go on base, and the Thai AF officer called to the gate made only excuses as to why I was not allowed to set foot on the base. (Perhaps I should have offered a bribe???) However, I took some video pictures showing the main gate area, the now pretty good road coming from Chainat and going downtown to Takhli, and an old F-86 sitting on a pedestal over the gate guard shack. As far as I know, the base now hosts RTAF F-5 and F-16's.
Dick, thanks for keeping this web site up and helping me to remember that long forgotten part of my life. I invite any old Takhli veteran or acquaintance to contact me anytime at (314) 447-8539, or via e-mail at: mchrist1@NSmail.win.org.
By the way there was an excellent book written about the F-105 combat operations in Thailand, with many high quality photographs - most from Takhli. The book is named "THUD" - by Lou Drendl - and published by Squadron Signal Publications, Inc., at 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrolton, TX, 75011-5010. The ISBN is: 0-89747-171-7. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print, but, may still be available through other sources. Or perhaps, if enough people request the book there may a reprint.
Menko D. Christoph MSgt, USAF (ret.)
12 May 99
I received info from my long time friend Menko Christoph re: your site and it just blew me away. thank you so much for your outstanding efforts.
I was an auto pilot "weenie" in the 355 AMS from September 66 to sptember 67. I will never forget this amazing experience, it was a seminal moment in my life and made me yearn for more foreign adventures. I went COT to Ramstein Germany where I spent over 4 years and rubbed elbows with Menko again. I returned to CONUS to Luke where Menko and I served together again until he was dragged off to cross train into Doppler/INS. After two years I returned to Thailand to find orders for the PI due to base closure.
During two years at Clark I was sent back to Satahip TDY with the 130's from Clark. We were trying to prop up lon nol (sp?) in Cambodia and once a week we flew to Thon Son Nhut to fly deleagates to Hanoi for peace talks. Two weeks after I left Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City.
I left the Air force to go to school at the University of Michigan and to serve in the 191 MANG. Upon graduation from Dental School I was commissioned as a Dental Officer in the U. S. Navy. I qualified for retirement in 10 years and retired as a Lieutenant Commander and I am now in private practice in San Diego.
Next fall Menko and I will gather with a group of old acquantences from our active duty days in Tuscon. It seems like a million years ago and yet it seems like yesterday. I remember loving to hate Takhli but the times ther are among the most vivid memories of my life.
My name is Robert Goode and I was TDY to Takhli from March thru August 1973 to Support Constant Guard V. My home station was at Eglin,AFB Florida with the 33rd CAMSq. (F-4's) .
At Takhli I was with the 474th TFS and to work on F-111's for the first time was exciting. I had previously been TDY to Udorn RTAFB for 6 months in 1972. After returning to Eglin AFB from my Takhli TDY I put in for a Worldwide assignment and wouldnt you know it, I received orders to Nakhon Phanom (NKP) RTAFB , (Jan 1974 to Oct 1975).
My days on the flight line and nights downtown will always be a part of me. I did a lot of growing up then and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience such a rich culture. I currently work for United Airlines at the Oakland Maintenance Facility as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician.
J. T. Browder
15 May 99
I was at Takhli from Jan. 1966 to Dec 1966. I was with the 355th HQ SQN. I was NCOIC of aircraft and engines records. The time went by very slow setting inside a office, but that's the job I had and somebody had to do it.
We lost about 65 aircraft while I was there, five in one day. Now I can look back and say it was just a dark spot in my life, but something I will never forget. After being in a war I can the pilots did one hell of a good job, being in that cockpit for sometimes sometimes over 8 hours was hard to take. Take it from one old sgt. You all did a good job and you can hold your head high
J. T. Browder
17 May 99
Takhli July 1966 to July 1967 F105 crew chief/expiditer. My address is 1577 Hickory Lane, Niceville Fl 32578. I do not have EMAIL . If you want to get in touch you can send your EMAIL to Rick Woelf at Rickwoelf @NSaol.com.
email via Rickwoelf @NSaol.com
I was an air traffic controller in the RAPCON from 14 Apr. 1968--2 May 1969.
Have already left messages on the board.
MSgt Ben H. Snoddy, Ret.
29 May 99
My name is Alan Bramhall & I was Stationed in Takhli from Sept 67- Sept 69. I worked in the Photo Intelligence section of the 8th TAC Fighter Wing as a photo interpreter. I used to fly at least once a week with Covey Fac and Blind Bat Missions and flew one time with Spectre, the AC-130 gunship. I used to sing in the bars down town & still have a picture of the entrance to the 8th with the stars depicting the downed Migs, and a lot of the local girls from Takhli.
1 Jun 99
Hi there, found your web page by accident and boy did it bring back memories...... Stationed in Takhli from Jun 70 until Dec 70 when we closed the base down, again. I was a flight chief (431) with the 357th TFS, during the closure I helped set up the "Weasel's" in Korat and once we were going well there I returned to Takhli for more close down chores and finished up my SEA tour with the 25th TFS at Ubon. I have to find where those old pics are and if there is any worth sending, I will.
I was reading some of the comments and "Winnies" wow, I'd give a bunch just to have some of those egg rolls. I still, on occasion, wear my hat from the 25th TFS, still in good shape after all these years.
Thanks for the page...... I really enjoyed it and if there is any additional info you need from me let me know.
I was stationed with the 355th at Takhli from Dec. 1965 to Sept. 1966 as an F-105 Auto Pilot/Flight Controls mechanic. I also returned for a brief TDY in 1974 with the F-111's from Nellis AFB. Would enjoy hearing from anyone else who was there.
12 Jun 99
I was stationed at Takhli from Jan 69 to Jan 70. I was assigned to the 355 AMS, EB-66 EWS Field Shop, I was a EWS Repairman, my AFSC was T30173. I worked for a SSgt Manuel Joaqiun for first part of my tour and a SSgt David Schollian for the remainder of my tour. There was a Major Vincent over our shop. I had a good buddy named Stanley Blackstock that also work in the EWS shop.
Would really like to find some of the old gang. Anyone out there?
I am Jack Norden and I was a Navigator in the 9th TRS and was at Takhli from May '65 until Sep '65. We brought the first RB-66C models to Takhli from Shaw AFB, via George, Hickam, Clark and Tan Son Nhut. Our primary job was to provide electronic coverage for the Thuds, but later did quite a bit of reconnaissance after we found and reported the location of the first two SAM sites.
I returned to the states with most of the crew (Vern Johnson was our pilot) as we were the high crew in number of missions and experienced folks were needed at Shaw to get the pipeline going. By that time the 42nd TRS had joined us, coming in from France and most of the remaining "C" models had come in from Shaw.
I left Shaw shortly after to go to pilot school. After a short stint in B-52s, I returned to SEA flying OV-10s with the Army on the Cambodian border north of Saigon. At Bein Hoa, I ran into Fr. McMullen who had been our chaplain at Takhli.
Seems the padre, who flew numerous missions up north in the 66s (sitting in the gunner's seat, as the guns had been replaced by chaff) was put in for an Air medal by Dick Wilson our flight commander. As the story goes, the Chief of Chaplains was so livid that a chaplain would receive a combat medal he had McMullen sent to Harmon. McMullen corroborated the story -- he had just finished four years at Harmon Newfoundland and had volunteered to go back to SEA.
C. G. Brown
14 Jun 99
I was Chief, Personal Affairs including Awards & Decorations and Casualty Reporting /Casualty Services.
I was the Casualty Officer providing services to Mrs. James B. White, 23 Nov 69. I believe her name was Sharon . She lived in Bangkok, behind the Amercan Embassy.
I served at Takhli from 1 Dec 69 to 30 Nov 70. From Takhli, I went to Kadena AB, Okinawa. Only served at Kadena till 1 Jul (then start of new Fiscal Year) then was transferred to Misawa AB,located in northern Honshu, Japan.
I was Chief, Personal Affairs for two years then on to Offutt AFB, Nebraska. I was promoted to MSgt while at Kadena on 1 Jun 70. Retired after 21 years to Japan (5 years) then moved to Clark AB, Philippines. I worked five years in Civilian Personnel and six years at Mercchandise Control (alledgedly preventing and detecting Black Marketing) . After the Mt Pinatubo volcano and the Philippine governments shameless "vote", Clark AB closed Nov 9l but I I remained in Angeles City until 15 Jun 95.
I now reside in Tampa FL and organze, sell and conduct tours to Bangkok, Thailand and Angeles City Philippines. (Its the R&R Scene revisited. My next group tour is departing on or about 22 Sep 99.)
I was born in Zion Grove, North Union Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. 19th of June 1925.
Went into the Army in July 1944. Trained as a Machine gunner at Camp Wheeler, Ga. Combat Infantry Badge. Bronze Star. (ETO with 3 stars.) Battle of the Bulge, (Officially called Ardennes for Battle Stars.) Rhineland, (Early Remagen Crossing) and Central Germany. Came out May 1966.
Entered the Air Force 3 January 1950. I was stationed at Tahkli from Early July 1965 till mid July 1966 with Det 12 10th Weather Sqdn. For a period of time in early 1966 I was the only Weather Forecaster on the base doing all of the forecasts and briefings for a large number of 20 plus hour days. Not a complaint but a statement of fact.
After being an Infantry Heavy Machine Gunner in WW II this was not the worst days of my life. So far as I know I was the last USAF Weather Forecaster with a CBI Badge. And I wore it. My last commander at Tahkli was a Lt Ghiorsi and I left there about May of 66.
New Braunfels, TX USAF TSgt. Ret
Stumbled into your Takhli site today and have spent the better part of the afternoon reminiscing. As a support guy (personnel) in the 355 FTW during my time at Takhli (1968-1969) I don't remember much except the price of set ups at the local bars, how shocked I was to learn that cobras can swim...and that I had been selected for TSgt with 6 years service.
Thanks for the memories!
CMSgt, USAF, Retired
Hello my name is Larry C. Delph I was stationed with the 556th CES RED HORSE detachment from 1968 to1969. Please add this name and address to your roster.
A great site and brings back a lot of memories. My name is Robert C. Bigford (Bob) MSgt ret. I was at Taklhi Aug 69- Aug 70. Asst flt/flt chief B Flt 333rd TFS, F-105's. Was on duty the day we lost Capt Jim White. One of the saddest days of my life. I worked for Jim's brother Ed in 61-62 and met their father many times when he was CO of ATC. I was an instructor at Sheppard AFB 66-69. After leaving Takhli I spent nearly 4yrs at Shaw AFB as APB instructor on the EB-66 then to Udorn Apr 74-Apr 75. 75-77 I was at Selfridge ANGB as senior enlisted advisor. In 1977 I made the mistake of my life, "retired". Managed a grocery store for 11 years. The past 4 years I have been working for the Dept of the Navy as a DOD police officer and loving it. Back with military people who speak our language.
Will always miss each of you that I might have came in contact with. Wish each of you the best from life and if you have a minute, say hay. My home address is 14636 Bray Rd, Orlando FL. 32832..
12 Sep 99
Can't say how proud I am to do a search on Takhli and find that there is a website for those of us that were there, both air crews and support people. I was there from October 67 to October 68 assigned to the 601st. Photo Squadron. Wasn't too happy about going to a fighter wing since my training was on RF-101 and RF-4c's, but I would not trade my experiences there for anything. Thank you very much for making this site possible.
49th ABG. Worked in Base Personnel. I managed the reports that tracked who was at Takhli, which units/individuals were TDY from Takhli and where, and dependents in country and where they were located. I also was in charge of meeting all flights of incoming personnel to Takhli and processing out those going home out at the Aerial Port. (Yes, I was the SOB with the bull horn!) I also worked in the base library in the evenings. At the time I was a Staff Sergeant, retired as a Master Sergeant in 1980. While in the AF, earned my degree in education, and as soon as I retired, took the time for a master's in education and became a school teacher. I am currently Deputy Comptroller with the Ohio Department of Education.
I remember arriving in Thailand - I came in on a USO flight with the Miss America Pageant of 1971! Yeh, eat your hearts out. My flight was overbooked at Travis, and I hung around the terminal and caught the USO flight. Traveled to Alaska, Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Clark, Anderson, Tan Son Nhut and finally Bangkok. Charlie had heard the flight was coming in, and we took small arms fire in Vietnam when we landed. My first experience in SEA was diving under a blue goose, rolling to the other side, and sprinting into the terminal. I thought I had seen confusion and disorder before, but nothing like my arrival in Bangkok. We were taken into a briefing room where an Army medic gave us this big lecture about VD, and then were told to take a bus to a hotel, but not to let anyone take our luggage for us. I ended up in the wrong bus, wrong hotel. I remember that a garbage dump was being burned, and the smell was so bad, we were trying not to breathe! After three days, I caught the Klong and did the round-robin through the various AF bases in Thailand, U-Tapao, Korat, NKP, Udorn and finally Takhli. I was housed in one of the hootches across from the NCO club.
Memories: The Pearl of Hong Kong - a private bar in one of the hootches. Remember how we used to lounge in the hammocks on the porches, drink pop and just B.S.? I had a pet dog that had pups under my hootch, but the M.P.'s shot her and the pups died. A good friend was robbed in Takhli and shot because he wouldn't give up his watch. He died at Clark AB. Remember the cockroaches that most of us managed to accidently ship back home in our luggage? We used to take a can of aircraft insecticide and spray them. They would do circle-eight patterns, flop over and then we would sweep them through the cracks in the floor - great entertainment!
Other memories are of the one-bhat busses. We actually took one all the way to Chiang Mai and back. Used to love to ride around the countryside in one of those bicycle rickshaws - were they called samlars? Visited a lot of wats and met some interesting people. Remember Thai coffee, the consistency of syrup, and Singhi beer? In the village of Takhli, the kids begging, pigs on leashes, festival of lights, the orphanage with so many Thai-American children. It was run by the base chaplain, don't remember his name, but he was Irish-American. Also the dried squid, the rice bugs on grills (gross!), and all the things made with bananas. Did you every fight with the flys for your piece of banana pie? Good memories. A group of us sitting on the porch with our guitars singing CCR songs and drinking Gypsy Rose. The Thai kids coming around with their buckets of pop, and sending them over to the Thai outdoor restaurant for a plate of Khow Phat. My favorite meal, Khow Phat and Pepsi! The armed forces radio station and all the good music. Great prices on movies, food, and beer.
Military memories - the night the F-111 crashed on the runway, caught fire and the two MP's who drove the half-track into the flaming wreckage to rescue the pilot and WSO. Great parties behind the CBPO. The morning I couldn't get in the door because of the cobra guarding it. Does anyone remember the morning in the mess hall when one of the Thai cooks popped open a loaf of bread, and a whole group of recent arrivals from Vietnam dove under the tables as someone yelled "Incoming!" MP's riding around on the back of jeeps, shooting stray dogs because of the high incidence of rabies. One of my friends got bit coming back from the base theater one night. Had to get shots in the stomach and right in the middle of the series, had to go home on emergency leave. One night, driving my jeep to the port to meet a plane at 2:00 a.m., a huge python blocked the road and I had to wait for it to cross. It was so big around, it would have wrecked my jeep if I had hit it. At the port with my bullhorn "Welcome to sunny Thailand. The time is 2:00 a.m., the temperature is 104, humidity 100%. You must ride the bus to the processing center. We know some of you have buddies here, but you are not permitted to accept rides with them." Then going home - bullhorn again "You officers that just came from the club. You have go get into regulation uniform. MAC will not let you go home in a party suit!" The time Burmese sappers set up mortars on the backside of the hill and one of our planes spotted them before they could hit us. The time that the sappers crashed the gate, killing the Thai guards and were blown apart by the machine guns on the way to the flight line.
Other memories - Our base drug-relations officer who used to run around in Takhli wearing a Count Dracula cape - black with a red lining. Jess Case, my roommate who could carry two cases of Old Milwaukee at once and who once tried to shoot me because I put a stuffed cobra next to his bed and said in a hushed voice "Don't move Jess!" The beer machine outside of my door that kept me awake. Mama Sans in the showers' massages in Takhli, Super Thai - the dancer; working on the railroad; French Food (Hot dogs and wine); 30-day PCD before coming home; three-steppers; Singhi beer on an empty stomach; brothers dapping on the base bus; checking the mail; enough starch in fatigues from the laundry that they could stand on their own; blister bugs, re-up frogs, FU lizards, geckos, Hootches with a hole in the floor for a toilet, klongs, monsoon floods, bananas, durien, dang mo, litches, coconuts, mama sans carrying rice in little metal containers, Thai recruits marching by our hootches, don't pat little kids on the heads - that's taboo. Don't step on a coin, it has the king's image, little spirit houses in front of Thai homes, pretty girls, water buffalo, 100 missions on a one-bhat bus, aussie hats, jungle fatigues, pirated tapes in Thai stores, and the Thai country and western band. "Is anybody going to San Antone, or Phoenix Elizona."
So many memories, so many long-forgotten friends. Sah Wah Dee!
Bob Vaughn finally got in touch with me to have me take a look at his web site and suggested I take a look at yours. Very nice what you have going there. I was stationed at Takhli with Bob from April 1967 to April 1968 and we got in lots of trouble together. Retired as CMSgt in Feb 1991 and moved to Thorn Hill Tennessee. Keep up the good work.
Det 12, 10th Weather Squadron
Apr '67 to Apr 68 Weather Observer
3 Jul 99
I saw the Takhli roster and one person that i worked with. i was their from oct. 68 to oct. 69 in the 357th tfs. I was crew chief on the 105. if you could please add my name to takhli roster. I work at federal express in hgrs. 11 & 12. my internet address is tlbrasenell@NSfedex.com. thanks.
I was deployed TDY to Takhli in March 73. I was with a group of crew chiefs and other support personnel that had been sent to Nellis from Mountain Home. We were sent from Nellis to Takhli and were assigned to the 366 OMS, and attached to the 474 TFW.
I was assigned to crew 67-113 from March to the end of April 73. I worked in the phased inspection section in May, and June 73. In June or July of 73 I was the crew chief assigned to the end of runway final inspection and arming crew. I was also assigned to crew 67-100, and was her crew chief until we went home in Aug. 73.
I was proud to work with another guy from Oregon, Mike
Sampson during some particularly heavy stints of night missions. I can recall
Mike and I running from reventment to reventment, launching, repairing, fueling,
loading, recovering, and launching again.
Note: 67-113 did indeed fly the last mission both into Vietnam and Cambodia, 67-100 Flew the last mission with her as a chase plane and the photos taken of those missions were probably taken from 67-100s cockpit as I recall a photo guy was allowed to sit in the right seat.
I was recently in Las Vegas and was really happy to see my old bird, 67-100 is the gate guard.
Sgt. Mike Pond Crew Chief F-111A
Found this page about two months ago and enjoy it - have
touched base with a couple folks in the 33rd and at Takhli at same time I was -
good to hear form them. Have sent some photos which Dick will soon be
displaying. Great memories include hootches at end of runway and acquiring
ability to sleep through early flights. One of my additional duties was to prep
of Tour Celebrations by mounting the flares and smoke grenades on the Sq PU and leading the plane into its revetment, providing the champagne and other beverage, etc. I've posted some other memories on the message board so I
won't duplicate - but many memories of many good people.
note: Tim's sent me a great sequence of photos -- punchout from a Thud and I'll work those into a webpage off the Photos. d.w.
After joining the Air Force in Oct 70, Takhli was my first overseas assignment from Feb-Sep 73 during Takhli's second opening...F-111's were based there then...absolutely great tour to include the off-base activities...so challenging was the duty and so good was the tour that after my 6 month TDY to Takhli (out of Langley AFB) that I just had to get back to Thailand...got a PCS assignment in March 74 to Ubon (F-4's and AC-130 Spectre Gunships based there then) which we closed down about six months later...transferred down to Utapao (B-52's, KC-135's, and U-2's based there then) for a year...ended up leaving Utapao in Sep 75. Yeap, Takhli was a great tour (Ubon and Utapao were pretty durn good tours also) but Takhli was the best in my opinion.
Aloha from Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Phil Nester CMSgt. Ret
Paul Roche Oct.67-Oct.68 354TFS F105D Crew Chief c/o gizmo@NSttlc.net
I arrived at Takhli in Oct 67 and was assigned to the 354TFS. During my entire tour I was on the midnight shift. My original flightchief was TSgt. King and his assistant was SSgt. Bump. When they left a TSgt.Leuw took over and continued for the rest of my tour. As newly promoted Sgt. I was assigned as assistant crew chief to SSgt. Charlie Blair. When he left I was made primary crew chief on F105D 60-234. It had taken a SAM through the right wing and spent many months on the ground as a CANN bird. Once we got it back together it was a flying son of a gun. I remember my tour at Takhli as probably my best. No matter how hard we worked to put the jet together to make the morning sortie, I never got tired of watching the blue flame shoot out the tail as it took off into the sunrise headin' north! Although I remained in the Air Force until April 86 I never felt the same job satisfaction as I did then. I still wonder sometimes, " Does the Frontier Bar still have a band from noon til 5:00 PM?"
email c/o gizmo21@NSttlc.net
I wrote three novels about F-105 folks at Takhli. Bantam Books published them in 1990 thru 1992. They are now out of print, but I received a lot of thanks from the guys, plus it got met started as a novelist. I now do adventure stuff for Signet Books, a div. of Penguin-Putnam.
1. Termite Hill (1991 & 1992)
2. Lucky's Bridge (1993)
3. Tango Uniform (1994)
Wild Weasel EWO, 1966 & 1967, Takhli RTAFB, Thailand
My name is John R. Linton. I was an A1C when I volunteered for a classified TDY in May 1972. I remember starting out from Forbes AFB, Kansas going to Hollowman , New Mexico and then on to Takhli. We landed at 6:30 in the morning and it was already 86 degrees and getting hotter. I was assigned to the 313th Security Police Squadron in Kansas and of course that is what I was the eight years and three months that I was in.
I spent just under 89 days at Takhli AB and loved every minute of it. I can remember arriving at Holloman AFB, New Mexico and then flying on in an chartered aircraft. I sat by two old timers and as we were crossing the international date line I was trying to look out the window from the aisle seat. The two seargents laughed and said something to the effect that they new this was my first trip so they let me set by the window so I could look out with excitement and awe. I loved it. I can remember arriving around 6:30 a.m. And it was already 86 degrees . Two weeks after I got there I had what the hospital personnel called second degree burns on my arms from the sun and the heat from the f-4 engines as they taxied in and out of the parking area. The day after I went to the hospital the security police squadron commander pulled me out of ranks during guardmount and asked me what had happened.
I was then assigned to the Entry Control Point (ECP) just down the road from the armory/ops/csc, ect for the rest of my tdy tour. There seemed to be some type of conflict between the security police and the KC-135 squadron commander. I heard that it was because he didn't want our posting bus going in his area so we stopped his busses from taking his flight crews to the aircraft. I guess they came to an understanding because I did not stop the busses from going into the area. I worked the day watch until I left Takhli on July 31, 1972 . It took the Air Force 24 and a half hours to get us to Takhli and five days to get us back.
I went back to Thailand in october of 1972 . I was the third to volunteered for Constant Guard VI. The only reason I was third because there was two guys closer to the seargent that was taking names. We went to Korat AB and was there just under 179 days. To me "Thailand" was the best kept secret in the Air Force. Oh Takhli, the days of sleeping on air mattresses, shower water being turned on at certain times of the day, eating in a "field kitchen", c-rats, and drinking hot brakish water from the big bag hanging in the middle of the hootches. Was that called the water buffalo? And yes the two snakes that we had as our mascots. Golpher and lifer. I can still see the chicken that died from exhaustion because he could not get any rest . The snakes did not bother him but they sure chowed down on the rats that were fed to them. It was a great time and I enjoyed it all. Thank you for helping me remember the little things that made the three months the greatest ever.
I was at Takhli from May 7, to July 31, 1972. I looked at the roster of names and unfortunately I did not recognize any of the them. I got out of the Air Force in Dec. 1979 and now I am a Corrections Officer at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. This job is exciting because I don't know what will happen when I walk through the doors, but Takhli still has this job beat by a mile.
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your Takhli RTAFB website a lot. I see you were a weather guy there.
I spent 20 years in the USAF - 13 in Wx, and had the pleasure of spending 2 TDY's at Takhli RTAFB on exercise Cobra Gold in 1989 and 1990. The base, of course, is old and worn down...the Thais are flying mostly vintage F4 Phantoms and C123 Providers (I'm sure these aircraft were not considered vintage when you were there!).
We worked out of the Thai Wx Station in Base Operations. The DetCo insisted that we use his office to prepare our forecasts and briefings. They were all so gracious about the whole thing. Had a fun time.
It was really cool to walk around and look at all the old buildings, hangars, flightline, etc. And now, I can compare this ghost of the past to your photos - to see how vibrant and active the base was when you were there.
Good job...take care.
Kirk Berry MSgt, USAF (Ret)
former weather weenie
3 Aug 99
Hope all you Thud and -66 drivers slept well, you earned it. Your rody-grody dog men were proud to be out there, dodging snakes all night and keeping you safe enough to fight for Democracy again each morning.
We got moved out next-to-last when the base closed (for a while) at the end of 1970, flying out with our dogs in crates in an old C-47 on Christmas Day. A bunch of us went to NKP to finish our tours - not quite as friendly a home as Takhli, but not as many FU lizards, either. Nice website, I hope you find lots of us old vets
I was a "Thud" ("D" model) driver in the 333rd TFS under the command of Lt. Col. Lou Braun in 1967-68 at Takhli. The wing was the 355th TFW under the command of Col. John Giuardo (sp?). The squadron ops officer was Maj. Jim Gormley (sp?) and later a man named Johndal (sp? rank?) I am now suffering from a brain infection so my memory is faulty. I was heavily involved in the Vietnam conflict first in C-130A's out of Tachikawa AB, Japan which was mostly "trash hauling" into SVN but did include one short TDY tour to Pleiku as "Blindbat", dropping flares and night time forward air contolling interdiction fighters over the HoChiMinh trail.
If I had been allowed to do that on a full time basis I would not have volunteered for F-105's and eventually flying 100 missions over NVN. Alas that did not conclude my involvement in that sad war. (I guess all wars are sad to some degree but I think this one was more so.) I had been essentially "SACimsized" during my years in SAC, after graduating from pilot training in 1959; through 1965. (I had been a navigator and electronic warfare officer before going to pilot training.) I was a part of the old "Aviation Cadet" program of the early and mid 1950's, graduating first as a 2/Lt. and with an aero rating of navigator from Harlingen AB, TX in May 1955. I went directly to Keesler AB, Miss. and received my second aero. rating as an Eletronic Countermeasures Officer (ECM), later changed to Electonic Warfare Officer (EWO).
From there I went to Japan. First it was a small base near Osaka-Kobe called Itami. This was in the time very shorty after the Korean war. We were flying RB-26's with the 67th Tactical Recon. Wing. My squadon, the 11th TRS was involved in weather and ECM recon. Unfortunately, while the WX mission had some credibility the ECM had none. The equipment was archaic and poorly maintained. That all changed in early 1957 when the wing was reassigned to Yokota AB, Japan which was near Tokyo. We were assigned brand new RB-66C's. We created quite a stir among the Soviets, the Chicoms, and the N. Koreans the first time we flew our recon missions off of their coasts but still over international waters. They had become accustomed to our mission being performed by the 6091st Recon. Sqdn. flying RB-50's. The flight profiles were considerably different.
Let me know if I can be of any further help to you. My sqdn. CO as I said before was Lou Braun and I would really like to communicate with him if you have any address at all. I thought the world of him!
Charles "Pat" Vittitow
Proud to see your web page and proud to sign in. My name is Bill Monger and served at Takhli from Dec. '67 thru Nov. '68 assigned to 355th A&E Squadron as an F-105 Fire Control Tech. E-Mail address is monger@NSismi.net
Thanks for putting together this web page. I have a great picture of a 105 jockey being fished out of the base swimming pool following his 100th mission celebration. I'll try to get it scanned and posted. I'd love to know his name and I'm sure he'd love to have the pic ! I took it probably summer '68.
Dates: Oct 69 - May 70
Outfit: 44th TFS
Duty: Flight Line Maint Officer
Went from Takhli to Nakhon Phanom and the 606 SOS.
Imagine, F-105s to C-123Ks in one tour - talk about culture shock! Numerous
"earthy" memories at Takhli and environs: the flight line snack bar, loaded
C-135s on TDY getting airborne (barely) on hot days; jogging around the parade
field with one eye cocked for cobras and kraits; doing belly landings in the
O-Club bar; a UFO incident one night that was never explained; and an F-105 (not
ours) crash landing with exploding ammo one night on the runway (the crew
Spent most of my time on night shift since that was when the birds got fixed and loaded. Besides, they had plenty of brass to do the launch and recovery opertations during the day. My boss - Lt Col Harley Wills - and I had differing opinions over this, but our operational readiness rate spoke for itself. The night folks - all of them - got the job done!
Left the military after NKP and entered grad school (Utah) and then marriage. I'm now an attorney in Tempe, AZ.
26 Aug 99
Stationed at Takhli AFB: Feb.69 to Jan 70 357 TFS / F105 Crew Chief
I often think of the guys that I was stationed with at
Takhli, wondering where they are and how they are. Wondered how to contact
them...this site has brought back memories of days gone by...anybody know how to
find Col.Coville,commander of the 357th while I was there. anybody remember "the
Max Beak"??? MY PLANE, awesome machine.
Capt.. Jim White, I called BOB White,.he went down in one of the aircraft I helped crew. The last three tail #,s were 060. I was the one who launched him. I haven`t located my photos yet, but I think the tail # on my assigned aircraft was #176. I remember the launch of #060 like it were yesterday. The other crewchief`s name was sgt Tutchstone. He was working 2nd. shift, and I worked 3rd. As I came on duty, he had just finished working in the hell hole,this was a compartment just forward the bombay, after talking awhile we walked to the gang box where the aircraft forms were, there beside the forms lay a piece of the aircraft from where he had been working. He started to sign off the job when i stopped him. He made the remark that it was unemportant. I told him i was going to take every thing out and do the job right, and I did. If I had not, I could not have lived with myself and neither could he. He never mentioned it, and neither did I. I knew that the job was done right. I launched #060 at the end of my shift.
The MAXBEAK ,also had an eagle setting on a bomb with PATIENCE MY ASS written above him. This bird took high flying Two or three months in a row. I can`t take all the credit, there were two more crewchief`s who worked as hard as I . I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THANKS TO ALL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO SHARE PHOTOS AND INFO. AS WELL. TO ALL MANY THANKS.
Talk at you later.
29 Aug 99
I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB, from nov. 1968 to may 1969. I came over from the 469thTFS at Korat ,when they moved the THUDS,to make ready for the F4's. I was a weapons mechanic (46250),and I like to think, the best "Jammer" driver and Rice bug killer in south east asia at the time. I was assigned to the 357th TFS, under Col Broussard,I believe, and worked with Mark Hagadorn,aka Cleveland Hag, who I also noticed signed this roster.
This a great site and brings back many great memories.
I was TDY from the 25th TRW Chamblee AB France from Oct 65 to Mar 66 and returned to Takhli to finish my tour from Jun 66 to Dec66. I worked in the EB66 ECM flight line section.I also worked the same section from Jun 67 to Jun 68. In late 1970 Takhli closed down but I returned to reopen it with the 49th TFW in Mar 72. At that time I worked the F4 ECM flightline. Those were some of the most memorable years of my life.
I retired a SMS in 1986 and now work for US Customs.
My name is Richard R. Crist T/Sgt. Retired. I was in Takhli from 66 through 69 was a Crew Chief on KC-135A aircraft out of Fairchild A. F. B. was TDY under Code Name Young Tiger. Also flew missions out of Dong Muang in Bangkok. Later Utapao. Was the first tanker to shoot a touch and go at UT to test runway. Tail Number of my bird was 56-3646
I was in the 357th TFS at Takhli from Oct. 1967 to Nov.
1968. I rotated back to the states in Nov. of 1968, but I
returned to Takhli in Dec. 1969, and I was again assigned to the 357th TFS. I extended my tour the week I got back. I was a Crew Chief on the F105 on both tours. On my second tour I stayed until Sept. 1970, and then I went with the 12 F105Gs to Korat RTAFB to form the Wild Weasel squadron. I finished that tour in Dec. 1971.
By the way, the aircraft that appears on your cover was assigned to the revetment right next to mine. I worked 504 many a day. I also went and saw it in the U.S.A.F. museum E- mail me back and I will respond. I have some flight pictures of F-105Gs that I took on my SA-Wa-dee ride when I left Korat
Saw the web page on Takhli. I was munitions branch chief with the 366mms at danang in 1972. we moved to Takhli in May or June 1972 and shared the base with the 49th TFW and later , the 474th from Nellis. I rotated in Nov. 1972 after the 366th was deactivated and the F-4s were sent to Udorn.
Tthanks for the reminders of times past.
I was a member of the 11ARS from Altus AFB, We were deployed as a TDY unit to the Takhli in April of 1972. We reopened the USAF portion of the base and the FB111s came in several months later. The Thai F-86 sqdn was the only thing there when we arrived. We had an above ground bladder fuel farm waiting for us, put in I believe, by a Red Horse unit, We had to reequip the buildings with utilties and build desks, chairs etc to operate with.
We started flying sorties the day after we arrived and although we expected to be there only weeks, we returned to Altus 6 months later. Although I was a KC-135 pilot in the past, I was a Lt Col at the time and was the director of maintenance for the unit at Takhli. Our maintenance and flight crews set many records for on time refuelings while there and I was very proud to be a part of the unit. I retired in 1980 Keep up the good work, it's great!
C.W. "Jack" Reeves
Col. USAF Retired
6460 TRS, EWO, assigned at Takhli from Jan - Aug 67. Maj, Retired, living in Santa Clarita, CA. I was one of the first group of EWs that replaced the gunners in the left seat (beside Nav, behind pilot) in the EB-66Bs. The idea was that we would get the converted D's during our tour and we were all trained with that ECM equipment at Mather. But, they never arrived during my tour, so I flew my 'hunderd' in the "B".
It was my first ops assignment right out of Mather, so when we use to hit the overrun taking off during the hot days, I was too dumb to scared, thought that normal. Anyhow, if anyone else recognizes me, please respond.
June 68 to June 69. 41st TEWS. EB-66C, 55-386 crew chief. Greg McDaniel (Mac). My buddy, Phil Tysinger, crewed 55-389; another C model. I was from Sacramento, Ca and he was from, I believe, North Carolina. Good times, those....I went to Korat in August of 70 for a year on the same aircraft. Then, to Ubon from March 72 to 73. Lots of TDY's to Viet Nam. I wish my memory was clear as I cannot remember hardly anyone's names back then.
I was stationed at Takhli from August of 1967 to August
of 1968. I worked in the 355th Wing Intelligence Section. The Intell
Section was located in the Operations building I believe. It was the building where Wing Commander Giraudo had his office and where the flight crews got their mission briefings. I have fond memories of the people that I knew there.
My friends and I used to like to get away from the base and the village on our days off. We took several trips to Chainat and occasionaly rented a boat and traveled the canals. My favorite place was a village called Wat Sing. My barracks was about 3 or 4 buildings away from the main BX.
Hello, I would just like to let you know that I was stationed at Takhli in the 355th Civil Engineering Squardron from Oct. 1966 to Sept. 1967. My job was emergency generator electrical power for the whole base. My shop was called "The power Pad"
My name is Harvey F. Bell. I DO remember the Takhli Hut well !!! LOL. Good luck and Sawa Dee Kup.
Sgt. Harvey Bell
I was stationed at TRTAFB from Oct.66 to Nov 67, I was
attached to the 354TFS and was an assistant Crew Chief on the F-105 both D, F
& G models.
My Crew chief and I had 6 of our aircraft shot down during our tour. We also crewed LT.Col.Gast's aircraft, the Commander of the 354th when he completed his 100th mission. I would like to say more but can't.
There were good times and bad times, thank God some of us made it home. Never forget the fallen warriors.
Jerry Harms 354 TFS 66/67
It is a pleasure to find the Takhli Web Site. This is a great instrument for those who served there to locate old friends and working buddies. My first assignment was briefly with the 355th Maintenance Squadron at McGee Tyson, Tennessee in 1956, never thinking I would be assigned to the 355th at Takhli.During 1966/67. I was with the 355AEMS maintaining the Electronic Countermeasures equipment on the 105s and EB-66s. We had the F105 fighter bomber and the F105 Wild Weasel whose job was to seek and destroy SAM sites. The F105 F/B was really a horse. When they hung a 2000 pound bomb under each wing it was difficult to get airborne in the extreme heat of the day. There were two configurations with the 66's. One analysed received signals, and the other had jamming equipment, used while orbiting Hanoi.
My tenure at Takhli was of work, work, and more work. I must say the sun shined the brightest and the temperature the hottest of anyplace I have been, except for Barksdale, Louisiana. The monsoon rains, and rice bugs were attention getters also. The NCOs didn't have a mess hall, only the NCO club where the food was served on paper plates with plastic silverware. To cut a piece of meat and use the fork was quite a task. Several of us would go in to Takhli village where there was an approved restaurant and eat water buffalo cooked over charcoal, smothered with peppers, onions, and soy sauce. After the scrumptious meal we would go across the street and watch kick boxing. I never had a chance to associate with many Thai's, but of those that I got to know were great people and were very accommodating.
My Air Force career came to a close 28 years ago. I am proud of having served with the fine young officers and enlisted men. Even though it was a war which was was destined to never be a winnable war, not because we couldn't do it, but because we weren't allowed to. We all gave our very best. I have counted the empty aircraft parking spaces after the planes returned, knowing that several had paid the ultimate price. This bothers me to this day. I do feel that if asked to do it over, we would. We all should work hard not to let our country become complacent and forget the men who answered the call. There is no greater honor than to god and country.
16 Oct 99
Assigned to 1980 comm sq., 68 to 69, as Wire Maint
Supt/Chief. Followed the 42nd TEWS around somewhat. Was
stationed at RAF Chelveston 1959 to 1962, supporting the then 42nd TRS, (RB-66,s), with certain Base Comm features.
My boss at Takhli was a Capt Clifford Williams. To the 42nd - yes we flew the RB-66 of two (2) versions. One (1) a three man crew (Pilot, Nav., and Flt Engineer), the other a seven man crew (Pilot, Nav, Flt Engineer along with four Electronic-Photo type Officers.
The 42nd TRS was one (1) of four Squadrons assigned to the 10th Tac Reconn Wing. The 10th with two Squadrons were based at RAF Alconbury, one (1) at RAF Burningthorpe and of course the 42nd at RAF Chelveston. The 10th tansferred from Germany to England during the ouster of our AF Fighter Bombers from France in 1958/59. I think the 42nd between Chelveston and Takhli may have been at Shaw AFB, not sure.
Jimmy W. Barbee, AF-Ret.
I served with the US Army STRATCOM, with my headquarters in Bangkok, however I was assigned to the Takhli Communications center, located on the hill with the antennas, that overlooked the village of Takhli. I was there from Jan 1973, through Dec 1973. I lived in the bungalow compound owned by Ms Winnie, where most of the American Civillians lived also.
I was what the US Army called a Thai-Guard Supervisor. We scheduled the Guards, and paid them monthly. They were mostly comprised of the Thai Reserves. My Thai Supervisor was Maj Cholli (not sure on the spelling). He was in charge of the Nakanswain Province Security.
This site was one of 10, located in Thailand to provide telecommunications from Vietnam, to the "World". I doubt it closed when Takhli AFB did, due to the improtance of communications. It was operated by civillians, mostly Americans, and the last civillian commander was named Robert Becker. He was by the way a very tempermental Golfer. Ha Ha.. On the site I had access to all the ticker-tape news agencies, and enjoyed getting the news first hand.
While in country, I joined a Band, as Lead Guitar player. We played on Friday and Saturday nights at the Takhli Gardens (owned by an American's wife), and on Sunday at Noon, we played for 4 hours at the base NCO Club. We were called "The Nashville Rejects", the other band members were; Charlie Waggoner/Rythum Guitar & Vocals; Joe Burger/Bass & Vocals; and Bob ? who played drums. They were all in the AF, and Joe Burger worked the "Pedro" rescue chopper as a crewman. He took me up with him on a Training Mission, and flew me around for about 4 hours. I got lots of good shots on that trip, but lost most of them in a move in 1976. Needless to say we all had a great time playing music, and getting drunk.
I have several pics of the site from atop, and looking down from the site, and around Winnie's compound. As soon as I can scan them, I'll send them to you.
I was known as SGT Alan Williams, during my tour there, and drove from the village to the base in an Army Jeep, with a "Military Police" sign on the front of it. I was able to enter and exit the base without being checked, and often carried booze off base for friends, for special parties. I never took any "tips" for this service, but always had cold beer in my bungalo..
Like I said in my post on the message board , I contacted the Clap, and had the normal shots, and then the medic applied the purple dye to my penis, saying it was needed to kill some virus. Its all on my medical records, I think. I'm not having any trouble with my penis, nor have I had since 1973. I was just curious to see if I was the only one with the [permanent] purple dye. If it was not necessary for treatment, then I guess I was the brunt of a sick joke, played by the medic. I don't know.
I have other stories to tell, and when I get time I will post it to the message board.
Alan S. Williams
20 Oct 99
I was in the 1980th Comm Sq. from early 70 to early 71. I worked in the Outside Plant, Cable dept. Tsgt. Dunham was my supervisor until he left then it was SSGT (later TSGT)George Jones. I had to train two RTAF nco's to splice & test telephone cable before I could go home, early out. Somewhere I have some slides to go thru and see what pics I have from there. I remember the boxing matches, night softball games where if there was a home run you got another ball due to the cobra's. The NCO club, where my boss (SGT Jones) played lowball poker with a few other guys every payday until one of them won all the money.
I'm trying to remember the Airman's name who went to sign back in from a three day pass when a cobra struck at his pants while entering the orderly room. The snake went between his legs and into the orderly room! I witnessed this as approaching the building in the commo truck. The airman (Adamson I think was his name) wasn't hurt. The guy on duty was on the counter. Guess he jumped straight up there! They found the snake in the broom closet. The airman killed it and had the skin turned into a belt. The snake was over 6' long.
Another recolletion...the big base party that was mandatory to attend except bomb loaders & pilots. They passed the Generals C*** hat around several times before we got about 3,000 dollars for the local Thai orphanage. There were pallets of steaks, rows of pallets of beer. I was working on a splice near a hooch when the AP's came and got me and forced me to attend! It was theatening rain and I needed to get the cable covered but they wouldn't let me finish! You could pay to have someone thrown in the 'jail' to help raise money. That was one hell of a base party.
I was also in V.N. TDY in 68. 5 months in Nha Trang, one month in Ben Hoa. TDY to Udorn Thailand last part of 68'. Both of those TDY's were with the 2862nd GEEIA SQ. from Patrick AFB FL. Great group of guys. Also PCS to Sembach Germany in 69', 2nd MOB. before going back to Tahkli.... my best assignment. Major Burkett our Sq. Co was great. I went TDY from there to Chang Mai a few times working on their telephone cables. A great place to go see.
I had a reel to reel tape of the Ventures and one of the guys working in the Microwave radio heard it playing and borrowed it. One of the guy's at AFTN heard it and had him patch it thru and they played Ventures all day. We used to play vollyball every Tuesday, Maj. Burkett's orders. I was wondering if you got involved with any of those games? I was a SGT then and made SSGT around Nov. 70'
Takhli was my best time in the service. I would have re-upped if the base wasn't closing down. Out of about 5,500 guys I was one of the last 500. That's a lot of going away parties... I left in Jan 71. Discharged on the 21st at Travis. My records were lost. They evidently followed one of the Squadrons to Arizona. It took eight months to get paid!
Thanks for the memories,
Glad to add my name to your roster. I as in the 357 from Oct. '66 to April '67, when I was shot down on my 93rd Wild Weasel mission; then six years in Hanoi. But my cholesterol was sure low when I got home!
Keep your six clear -- cheers,
I am Clint Lynch. I was TDY to Takhli from Japan in 1965. I was a Jet Engine Mechanic on the F-105. I still think of the snakes on the base. We were staying in old Japanese barracks with the boardwalk down to the flight line. We also worked on the trim pad where we "trimmed" the engine for absolute power. It was a favorite place for the snakes to crawl up on the hot cement. We would always do snake checks when working there. The process was work in Engine bay, look down and shine flashlight around you for the snake check, then back to Engine bay. This process was repeated often.
At the time I was there they were also dropping unused bombs across the runway from us. One day the bombs separated from the bomb rack and exploded on impact. This caused a lot of pants to require changing. They then found another place to dispose of the ordinance.
I was at Takhli from Oct 1968-Oct 1969. left there for Fairchild AFB, then Volkel AB, Netherlands, then Bolling and out. Went to school, then Kaman Corporation, school, ITT Corporation.
Retired now and spend most of my time hot-air ballooning.
1 Nov 99
I was stationed at TAKHLI R.TA.F.B. FRON 27 JAN 1968 TO 27 JAN 1969.. I was a Sgt. in 355 T.F.G. SUPPORT SQ. AND SERVED AS ASSISTANT N.C.O. of rations and food supply to the dining halls.. I also worked as a shift leader in dining hall #6 ( to the P.X. side of the base)
Robert W. Lott
Just discovered your site and roster. Amazed that there aren't many of us AFTN guys checking in. I was at AFTN-Takhli from January to December 1969. Was there when we launched AFTN TV and broadcast the Walk on the moon via a complicated satellite TV hook-up. It was amazing technology at the time. Feel free to list my name on your roster.
I hosted a couple different radio shows and did general duty in the TV trailer, too. I have tons of photos to share and will be adding them to my web site in the next few weeks. I have a short aircheck of one of my radio shows up and in RealAudio right now at http://www.jerryreed.com/samples.html
Jerry E. Reed
I was stationed at Takhli from February 1966 to February 1967 with the 354th TFS. My MOS was 46250. I was #4 man, jammer driver. My other crew members were Richard Jones, Bob Ryan and "Jake" (Jacobsen). Can't remember his first name.
Our CO was a Col. Gast at the time. I have all kinds of pictures from then. One of the pilot's I remember from then was a Major Kessler. A great guy. He was shot down and ended up in the Hilton but was released in 1973. I have never been able to locate any of the guys I served with other than Col. Gast who I met by complete accident in Washington DC several years ago. He retired a Lt. General. Another great guy.
We lived in the "hootches" then and had paper thin 2 story cots with mosquito nets. I recall that the hootches were supposed to be big enough for 18 people and we had almost 42 in ours. Remember the shifts from days to nights. Got burnt to heck and then nights and then days and burnt again. The nights bring back memories of the light banks and the bugs all over everything, including you.
The smell is one thing I'll never forget, the fires from Takhli, the board walks over the mud in monsoon, the bars and the "ladies". I was 20 years old when there. Thought I knew everything. Didn't we all? Looking back from time to time I wonder how we all ever lived through that mess. I remember going up to Yakota to load train for 42 days of hot showers, TV's with John Wayne speaking in a high Japanese voice and then having to go back in again.
I got one R&R while there and we hitched a ride on one of those garbaged up Shell oil trucks with all the fancy junk on them. Remember those things? Went to Bangkok. What a mistake that was, but we won't go there.
I remember how the bombs were delivered to us on trucks in crates open for everyone to see. Crazy! Remember going out to chase the snakes from the runway before takeoff in the morning. Remember how blasted hot it got on that flightline in the day with all those engines running. I use to try to catch some short naps at night on a napalm loading tray which had a rubber liner on it. Anybody remember the guys that use to go out behind a tug and try to water ski on chocks in the rain. How about when we tied ropes from one plane to another in the monsoon and those damn lung fish came out and were all over the place? Anybody remember trying to snip the breathing tube of a rice bug off with a pair of dikes when they were in the water? One Baht, rice bug number one!! God, so many memories come and go.
There was a girl who worked in the chow hall when I was there and she was a beauty. We all called her "hollywood".....anyone recall her? You could go in town on a truck with benches in the back for a nickel. Dirt road all the way...........Our load team ended up as the Load Standardization Team for the squadron while I was there. Hated the anti-withdrawal fuses. Feared the napalm. They use to bring the M23 A-1 igniters to us in buckets of water because of the white phosperous and all. We called 750 lb. bombs "usuals", 500 lb bombs "slim Jims" and I forget what we called the 2,000 lb bombs. I remember the 3,000 lb bombs we loaded on the thud. One on each side. The jammer could barely lift the bomb up to the rack. Part of my job was running the bomb wire and fusing and putting on the clips. In the rain I remember how beat up our hands use to get.
Well, I could go on and on but I guess it's been fun to reminiss with all of you. Hope that someday I will find someone that actually remembers me. "Those were the days",
5 Nov 99
I was a tech-rep working for Sanders Associates stationed in Takhli from Jan.through Dec. 1973. I worked at the 474th AMS on the ALQ-94 electronic countermeasures for the F-111.
There were five of us there living downtown at Winnie's compound. I have a lot of fond memories of those days and would like to communicate with people that were there during the same time frame.
Was with the 44TFS F105s. Started at Korat in 69 Moved
with the unit to Tahkli until 70. Crew Chief F105D #361
Prior to that Moody AFB T-38, after SEA Malmstrom AFB, F-106 with the 71FIS.
-- I asked Mike for a little follow up info comparing the Thud to the F-106 -- here's his reply. -- dw
The 106 was about to leave the active Air Force inventory in 72 when I got out. It then went to serve with the Air Guard units for a period of time, mostly replaced by F-16s. There where very little similarities between the aircraft as far as most systems. The exception was the engine which they both shared. The 106 was built to be a bomber interceptor, fast at high altitudes. A delta wing aircraft made by Convair it had as I recall a very temperamental and bothersome fuel system. The F-105 made to deliver a nuclear bomb at low level high speeds had some unique features. In addition to a bomb bay, which we used as a fuel tank in SEA, it was to my knowledge the only production fighter to use water injection for added thrust on take off.
Since I have left the Airforce I learned to fly airplanes and have let my hobby carry me to some exotic type flying. I currently operate a F-86 Sabre Jet from the Korean era in a mock ariel dogfight with its adversary MIG-15 at airshows in the U.S.. My appreciation for the busy single seat fighter pilots environment has been greatly enhanced. I had no idea, when I was a kid crewing those model aircraft,what a tough job that was. Add to that people shooting at you!
Good to have a place where some old memories can come back.
I was PCS at Takhli Jul 1974 to Oct 1974. Second time base closed. Spent rest of tour in Kunsan Korea. My name is Larry W. Thomas. Also PCS June 68 to Jun 69 at Da Nang AB S. Viet Nam. 366 TFW. Pneudraulic shop.
Larry W. Thomas
8 Nov 99
April 68 april 69 355 trans sq Special purpose veh tech
Great site brings back some memories where is the american club?
saw wa dee
16 Nov 99
I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB from June 1967 to June 1968. Assigned to the 42nd TEWS EB-66B aircraft. Crew chief on aircraft 54-438. It was a great tour. We really had it made, our flight worked 8 hours a day, 6 days a week and the shifts rotated every 60 days so we worked all the shifts My day off was every Saturaday which was better duty than I had state side.
I was there when two B-66's crashed at the end of the runway and saw the one that crashed late in the morning which only two of the seven got out of it. I remember the fuel blatters that caught fire behind the KC-135's. I watched that mess from the back side of the barracks. I was also there when the first six F-111's came in and they lost three the first month.
After coming back to the States I worked the RF-4C at Mountain AFB, Idaho until they were shipped out and the F-111-F's started coming in from the factory. After a tour in Germany I came back to Mountain Home AFB and worked the F-111 A's that had been at Takhli. A proto type of the F-111 is on display inside the main gate and was given the tail number 66-022 which is suppose to be the first F-111 lost from Takhli.
Retired from the Air Force 1 Aug 1986 and still living in Mountain Home, Idaho. Would love to hear from any of the folks that were stationed at Takhli. I am looking for Randy Henderson that was there when I was and a very good friend but have lost track of him since leaving Takhli.
MSgt USAF Retired
Mountain Home, Idaho
Frank Venters ( 3 stripe A/1C at the time). Takhli 29 Oct 65 - 31 Oct 66. 355th CES Base Fire Department
Looking for other Fire Fighters from that time period and does anybody remember the F-105 crash on 20 Jan 1966, with the low order detonation of a 750lb bomb. Enjoyed the tour there very much, I was sober part of the time, and those pesky F-105's kept us humping all the time, but besides the B-58 Hustler, The Thud was the aircraft of the century.
Sawadee Poochies. & 3's... Nom King # 2.
I just found your web site while "messing around" on the internet! It's terrific and is bringing back a lot of memories (mostly all good).
I was a 1st Lt. Weather Officer with Detachment 12, 10th Weather Sqaudron from September 1965 through August 1966. For a short while during July 1966 I served as Detachment Commander, after the departure of Maj. George McClelland and prior to the arrival of Maj. Avinger.
I look forward to hearing from and about any vets from Takhli. I am currently a television meteorologist in Providence, RI (and have been since 1968). Please add me to your roster.
My name is Wayne Lowrance stationed at Takhli in 69-70 with the 1980 comm sq on hill 260. If more info is needed please e-mail to me. So glad to hear of this site, i have a lot to contribute
I am Frank Shultz, Thud driver in 333rd, 10/67--7/68.
I attended the first reunion that was held in Dayton, Ohio.
Maj. USAF Retired
Takhli from June 1966 to January 1967. Was crew chief 105 in the 333TFS. Sounds like I did most of the same things Bios. said you did. Had great times there and good memories now. Great to relive, keep up good work.
I will bookmark and refer back every once in awhile. If anyone remembers me it was probably by nickname "Huck".
Captain Phillip E. Payne, 334thTFS, TDY out of Seymour-Johnson AFB, arrived Takhli late August 1965, departed March 1966.
Squadron was at Homestead AFB because home base runway was being replaced. Was sent to McConnell AFB to acquire a complete complement of 18 F-105Ds. Flew F-105s from McConnell AFB to Hickam AFB, next day to Guam, next day to Takhli. Hooch for quarters was under construction, took baggage to Hooch floor and attended E&E Briefing. Flew first mission to Mugia Pass the next morning.
Mess hall and enlisted quarters were in an old two-story Japanese built Headquarters building. Most severe problem was overflow of toilets on early morning missions.
Phillip Payne USAF Retired
Jim Rhodes, F-105D Pilot, Apr 65 - Aug 65, 563rd TFS, Flight Leader, Mission Commander. My first airplane was 59-0818, the high-time F-105D in the Air Force. My second plane was 61-0159, which sported a large "Ace of Spades" on the tail, with a "famous salute to the NVN commies - a large third finger raised upward to the sky." 159 is now on the pedestal outside the Main Gate at DM in Tucson.
Mission Commander for the first raid on Dien Bien Phu, NVN, on Bastille Day (14 Jul), 1965. The F-4 bombing was terrible - Thud bombs were "shacks."
I will always raise my hat and my glass to the wonderful maintainers, loaders and other pseudo "fighter pilots" that worked such long hours to keep me in the air and land as planned (with a few LARGE holes at times)!!!
B/Gen, USAF (Ret)
President, Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (RIVER RATS) 1992 - 1995
VP, RIVER RATS 1990 - 1991, 1975 - 1977
Ex Officio, RIVER RATS 1996 -1997
Sgt At Arms, RIVER RATS, 1973 - 1974
I'll own up to having been there! Landed in August 1965, tdy from France (Chambley) in a B66. Left in February 1966, back to France. I think it was the day John Kodlick (nav) & others in a C model got downed by a SAM.
Many "MASH-type" memories.
I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB from July 1973 to July 1974. I worked in the control tower as an advisor to the RTAF controllers. What a year! Lots and lots of memories. I was there with Dave Green, John Box, Steve Sullivan (wild and crazy man), John Rapp, Jerry Bell, MSgt Boyce, MSgt Hopkins, MSgt "Speed" Blankenbecker, Tom Birdsong, Capt Gene Jordan, Wayne Derr, our First Sergeant was Dewey Cagle (really cool guy) and lots of other great people I can't recall.
I had the opportunity to go back in April 1989 and visit the control tower again. Had a great visit and "party" with Major Pisan, RTAF (he was a MSgt when I was first stationed there). Also ran into Winnie, she had aged a little but was still the same beautiful person.
All of the old "night-life" establishments were all gone, but I fondly remember a few of them like the Chicago Bar, Doll House, Takhli Hut, Crown, F-4, Takhli Villa, and more. Enjoyed you web page a lot, brought back many memories.
Ron Allison, CMSgt, USAF, ret.
Takhli Main Page
You are now on Bios 1999
Takhli RTAFB Det 12, 10th Weather Squadron rjw@NSkcsky.net
7 mar 01