Takhli RTAFB

Bios and More - Year 2003 entries

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Ken Anderson
20 Oct 03

My name is Ken Anderson, nick named Andy. I was at Takhli from Sept. 67 to Oct. 68. I was a weapons load team crew chief, assigned to the 355th MMS Gun Services duty section.

The gun shop was arduous duty. We worked night and day most of the time after the bombing halt and Tet. From Feb- April. we had two days off and worked from 0700 to 2400 or longer. When we finally got a regular day off we still worked a minimum of 12 hours a day and most often it was still 0700 to 2400 or so.

One memorable day we finished up at about 0300. Midnight chow was closed, but a chow hall Sgt fixed our crew of 3 guys the best meal I had in the Air force. The place was empty except for us and the chow hall guys who were getting ready for the morning meal. So we got a few hours of sleep and went at it again, loading ammo and fixing gun malfunctions.

I had a new bunkmate for two months before we finally met on my day off. He was amazed and asked me where the heck I worked and how was it he hadn't seen me before. So I explained about the massive work load we had. We only had 13 people in the gun shop total when the bombing halt and Tet hit us. Including 5 NCO's. 7 young airmen handled 40 aircraft firing every day, including malfunctions.

The NCO's helped in the shop and where ever else they could. After a while we got a bunch of guys TDY from the fighter squadron weapons shops and new guys from state side, but the work load increased so we still wound up working the same hours. We broke rounds fired records every month and the shop got written up in the Takhli Times where my crew is repairing a gun jam and others are shown in the shop, including our NCOIC, Senior Master Sgt Liston.

I'm very proud to have served in the gun shop with a bunch of the hardest working and most dedicated people I've ever had the pleasure to have worked with. And I wish to thank the men who worked on my crews and gave me all the support they possibly could.

Thanks for the opportunity to give them some recognition. This is a great site.


Ken Anderson

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Wayne Anglin
26 Oct 03

I was stationed in Takhli Thailand 73 - 74 with the 347th AMS in the Avionics Repair Shop

I was also in Korat in '74 when we closed down Takhli and moved to Korat.

Thanks for the Website,

Wayne Anglin

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Steve Buehner
17 Apr 03

I was stationed at Tahkli from Feb 67 to Feb 68. I was assigned to the 355 FMS Sheet Metal Shop as a Repairman. We worked on anything that flew and was assigned to or passed through Tahkli. I rotated back to "The Land of the Big BX" in 68 and stuck with the Air Force Until 84. I retired in the wilds of Alaska and went to work teaching school.

One of my fonder memories was being a Security Police Augmentee. They gave us a helmet, 60 rounds of ammo and a night stick with which we had to patrol the salvage yard or base supply or what ever.

Steve Buehner

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Denver Bullard
5 Dec 2003

I was at Takhli from Sep 69 to Sep 70. I was in the K-9 unit, the 355 SPS. I remember the smell of incense or fire chip always burning.

I was also at Udorn from Oct 74 to 75. Sometimes I get my old pictures out and look at them.

Denver S. Bullard
Deltona, FL


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Mike Butler
23 Aug 03

Bomb loader or jammer driver from McConnell A.F.B.With a TDY sq. from the 323TFW. With the first wave that brought in the F-105's

Mike Butler

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Michael Carden
22 Apr 03

I was TDY at Takhli from May 72 thru Sep 72 as an Air Traffic Control Crew Chief (TSgt) in the Mobile RAPCON (2083rd Comm Sq). Had been pulled from ATC advisor duty at Suwon AB, Korea (2077th Comm Sq) to re-open ATC radar and support Linebacker I ops out of Takhli.

Arrived before the mobile RAPCON, before quarters had been located (and critters run out) for us, before phone lines were established to other ATC sites, but just in time to each lots of semi-hot meals from the now-famous Takhli field kitchen. Never will forget when the water first came back on to the part of the base that had been closed and taking showers where the water was so full of rust that it temporarily dyed our skin red. We didn't care, it was still good to get a shower.

The town was off-limits for the first couple of weeks after we arrived. When the restriction was finally lifted, my first off-base purchase was an electric fan!

Memories of some of my fellow ATCers from that time are MSgt Cal Chaney, TSgt "Stony" Burke, CMSgt Henry Witt (airevac'ed out before we got started good because of serious health problems), and SSgt Richard Joseph Cahoon, one of the most unique ATCers I ever met. We had 12 controllers (pulled from bases all over PACAF) to start with to run 24-hr ops so there wasn't a lot of off time to check out the town. We just busted our humps to do the best job we could to get the 49th and 366th F-4s and the KC-135s on the ground safely.

Mine was supposed to be a 30-day TDY but it turned into 123 days! Then had to go back to Osan AB, Korea and have surgery to repair hernia caused during construction of the Comm building (pre-fabbed 4x8 panels & insulation - Heavy!).

My only disappointment from that tour was the lack of recognition from our squadron, 49th/366th TFW, 13th AF, etc. The original 12 ATCers had only a few days to get that mobile RAPCON running, learn the local area topography, and start landing everything from C-5s to B-747s to C-47s plus our own aircraft as they arrived from the states. None of us got so much as thank you from out own Comm outfits or from any of the units that we supported.

One of these days I'm going to try to rectify that oversight. Nowadays, I wish I could go back to the excitement of those times.

Would enjoy hearing from others, especially from any of the original 12 ATCers on the re-opening crew.

Michael Carden

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Todd Cavan
8 Sep 03

Takhli Vet 1966/1967 and I would like to get on the roster. I was a EB-66 crew chief on a B-model. I just found this web site today and I really was surprised and glad to find it. Over the years I often thought about going to a reunion but I could never find one. I was a crew chief on the F-106 before Thailand. I was stationed at Duluth,Minn.

After Thailand I worked on T-37's at Laughlin Air Base in Del Reo Texas. Todd is my nick name,Theodore George Cavan is my full name.

Todd Cavan
North Wales, PA

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Harold Chapman
9 Apr 03

I was a SSgt assigned PCS to the CBPO Admin shop Aug 72-Jun 73. I remember the 49th going away party and the arrival of the 474th from Nellis.

Took a bunch of trips on the baht bus to town, but had to always make a stop at the F-4 and other local watering holes. Lived in the local "housing area" just across the railroad tracks. Saw a lot of TDY personnel guys rotate thru the PRU section at the CBPO. Had fun driving those Datsun pickups with the steering wheel on the wrong side. Was also a part of Chief Denmark's "Code 36" crew.

Harold (and Mary) Chapman

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Bill Clapp
30 Oct 03

I was at Tahkli from Dec 68 to Dec 69 in the 355 FMS electric shop. I worked the Thuds and the Sueys and what ever else needed fixed. We kept plenty busy trying to keep mission commitments but it was a worthy work and I made a lot of lifelong friends some of whom I have found or kept in touch with over the last 34 years.

It sure doesn't seem to have been that long since we were young and airman if I may use that phrase. I am so elated to run into this and other sites with info, stories, and pictures of Tahkli and it's inhabitants. Heath Bottomly (The Bald Eagle) was our wing commander during a lot of my stay and I think he had the undying respect and loyalty of most of us with the exception of the lifer that went to PACAF when the Col. decided to have a beard growing contest during one of his morale building activities.

Not long after I arrived they built an air conditioned electric shop and that made it a pleasure to go to work every evening knowing we would find relief from the heat and humidity and bugs, bugs, bugs. I worked nights almost the whole tour and we would get back to the hooch around 6:30 or 7:00 and either eat Kow Pad with my house boy, go to town to drink Singhai, or go to the bowling alley and drink somewhere between 12 to 20 Hamms Sandwiches and roll bowling balls at the poochi's that were trying to reset pins.

Some of the guys that I remember from Tahkli are, Ken Francis, Dale Arn, Harry Schwartzkopf, Bill Broshears, and the Old Man (Neal Fullmer). I have had contact with all of these in the last couple of years. Some others that I remember but don't know how to get ahold of them are Dave Pearson -Atlantic Iowa, Spence Akana- Hawaii, Jack Beard- Louisiana, Joe Fox the karate guy,SSGT Ralph ---- the B-66 expert from Shaw AFB, TSGT Tony Troiano, TSGT Moody a southern boy with a bluegrass heart, Phil Smet the original Born Loser the only guy I knew that had to go through a series of rabies shots after a dog bite downtown Tahkli then shortly after that had to get another series after a monkey in Lo Buri bit him on the hand. He was a really nice guy.

Then there was Crash the R&R guy in our hooch. Never did know his name cause he probably wanted it that way. Inspite of the Krait snake that I would have stepped on had it not been for Ken Francis, the F--- You lizards one of which attacked Ken, the rice bugs, Drug dealers downtown that wanted to pick a fight and ended up hollering for the AP's to save them from Dave Pearson the Golden Gloves kid, the Katoys working the yum yum tree downtown, the Running Deer(Romping Rudolph) whiskey, the green Singhai beer, the beautiful pooyings, and a three month PCOD due to an article 15 for whomping the drug dealer with Pearson, I did my year standing on my head had a decent time and did a PCS back to Travis AFB, a place I swore was the last place I wanted to go PCS.

I separated at Travis about 2 years later and went home to Idaho to be a cowboy again but decided that I could probably scrape by with my limited riding and roping skills but couldn't handle trying to live and raise kids on $400 a month so I became an electrician.

I look back on my time in Thailand with fond if dim memories. My hat is off to the pilots and crews of the 105's and the 66's.They are my heros and I was proud to fix their winged steed so they could kick the tires and lite the fires and save us from those Commie Bastards!!!

E-mail me If you are so inclined especially if you have any recollections close to mine. Good Luck and Sawadee Kup!!!!

Bill Clapp

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Thomas Clinton
26 Feb 05

I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB September 1968 to September 1969. My main job was down on the flight line. I was AGE servicing crew supervisor on the mid-night shift.

The AGE (Aerospace Ground Equipment) Branch was a sub-division of the Field Maintenance Squadron. We were responsible for ground equipment support for all assigned and transit Aircrafts and (Choppers) servicing equipment , such as AC/DC generator, air conditions, hydraulic test stands, Hi-Lo air compressors, cabin pressure testers. Ground heaters, jet engine starting units munitions loading equipment.

We also, maintain the FOD (forging object damage) unit. It was a go-car that was assigned to the flight line to look for FOD, rocks, nuts, bolts and other items that could be enter into the intake of a jet engine. This task was usually reserved for the personnel that had a problem on the job. They was supervised by everyone, including the Military Police, the Aircraft crew chiefs the flight line supervisors. etc.

Non-powered equipment, such as Aircraft jacks, stands, work ladders, rest room septic tank clean-out units, and we were responsible for dispatching equipment to and from the flight line, and completing the servicing of equipment with fuel, water and fluids. We had to check the units records for discrepancies entered by the end user (flight line personnel) You name it we did it.

I got started with the Air Force MARS station, (unlicensed), when there was an announcement in the base paper and on radio, that the MARS station was going to be closed because of under staffed. So stopped by one morning, the first question asked, was I a license ham radio operator, I said no. Just as I was going to leave the building (MARS station) I was approached by a USAF Captain, who as the Communication officer for the Com Sq. He said that I did not needed to have a license. Well from that day until the day I departed for the states, I was there every day helping to handle the MARS grams and radio-phone patches. We were handling about 1,500 patches a month.

There was a total of 16 volunteers keeping the station on the air. Our call sign was AI8AF. I was license as a Novice in 1977 while station at Larges Field Azores Portuguese. WD4RVX to N4DOH, and now KK4CD.

If you go to QRZ.com website and check under the call sign KK4CD you'll find a photo.

I retired from the USAF April 1979 with 22.5 years, and retired from the county school district as Transportation supervisor in February 1999 with over 12 years. At the present I am involved with the Army digital state wide radio system from my QTH. I am AAV4GQ on the Army Nets.


Thomas Clinton
KK4CD / AAV4GQ Army MARS Ex AI8AF Takhli RTAFB MARS station call sign

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Tom Colello
8 Sep 03

I was a member of Det 2, 6th Aerial Port Squadron in 1972/73. Came to Takhli in December 1972 from Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN. Went back to Tan Son Nhut, TDY in January 73 when the peace treaty was signed. Sent Back to Takhli in March 73. Finished tour in August 73 with an early out discharge to attend school.

Would be interested in knowing if anyone who was in the aerial port squadron at that time is a member of this web site

Tom Colello

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Jim Coyne
29 May 03

I served as USAF SSG from Feb 67 to Feb 68. Our unit was known as the 355th TAC Dispensary. We were located in the east end of the main building with the post office and enlisted mess hall.

Have many fond memories of the Takhli area. Have been trying to find the Thai male nurse Mr. Kasem Palisri. If anyone knows of him, please contact me at jwcjr286@NSyahoo.com or address below.

Now living in Southeastern Massachusetts, retired from US Army after serviing 8 years active with the USAF. From blue to green, go figu

Jim Coyne

Bill Day
20 Jul 03

I was TDY to Takhli with 474 FMS but from 347 FMS Mountain Home AFB, Idaho from January 1973 to September 1973. I came back to Mountain Home in June but after two weeks left for Takhli. It was approved by TAC.

This pissed off some officer in the squadron. Nothing he could do but pat me on the back when I got back. Got orders to Korat two days after I got back and boy was I was happy dude. Never regret it.

Bill Day
Tucson, AZ

Glenn Fahringer
6 Jun 03

Started crewing F105's at Nellis in 1969, Arrived Takhli in June 1970 from Nellis with a group of mechanics and pilots. Left with the remaining Wild Weasels to Korat, where we were designated as Det 1 of the 12TFS until we changed to the 6010WWS. Lost my Thud on the prison raid in Nov. of 70. Left Korat for Homestead to F-4's. Never heard another Real "Afterburner" after that! Went back to Udorn TDY from Hmstd in 72.

Still have the watch I bought at the Thai market, Still smell the place. Never will I forget being there nor the guys I worked with or the F-105's

Glenn Fahringer
USAF, 1968 / 1976

Jerry Felts
15 Jul 03

I noticed Mike McCuistion on your roster. In case anyone might be interested, I worked with Mike for 30 years in the jet aircraft charter business at two different companies in Dallas.

Mike was shot down in May of 1967 in an F-105 over North Vietnam and spent 6 years as POW. He just closed out his career as a corporate pilot about 9 months ago after flying Learjets, Gulfstreams and many other kinds of corporate jets and is retired in Colleyville Texas.

What a great guy, very laid back and quite an inspiration for and in spite of what he went through. One of the great honors of my life is to know him.

Jerry Felts

Eric Hachey
25 Jul 03

I was a weather observer with Det. 12, 10th Weather Squadron from August 1966 to August 1967. Major Avenger was our commander at that time.

While I was there the 355th Fighter wing was there along with some KC135's, RB66's and a black U-2 that belonged to the CIA in a secret compound.

During my tour the base went through some big transformations. We were first billeted in the old Japanese barracks above the Airmen's Club. The Weather Station was in a small building near the control tower ( the weather obs location was the floor below the control tower windows). Then they built the new barracks for the fighter wing and they moved us out of the old two story barracks into the hootches closer to the airfield. They also finished the new base operations compound and relocated the weather station in there right next to the War Room. We could now brief pilots directly with their mission briefings.

One of the Thais we worked with was Sgt. Somcharn, a RTAF weather observer. I relieved him on the first night I pulled duty in the tower and when I got upstairs to the obs floor, I turned on the light and got the surprise of my life! There was a big open jar on the desk with some huge bugs in it! I called the forecaster on duty and asked him what the hell was going on in here! He explained how Thais consider the rice bugs a great delicacy.Sgt. Somcharn came back and got his "candy" out of there.

I worried constantly about the pilots over there - the last six months was heavy with missions over North Vietnam ( day and night) and we were losing a lot of aircraft. It got so bad that I didn't want to know the names of the pilots, we were losing so many.

I salute all those men who sacrificed so much - and to this day I firmly believe there are still some being held prisoner in North Vietnam and Laos. To this day, I still pray for them, and hope they will some day come home.

Thanks for bringing me in contact with my Tahkli bretheren, I salute all of you who served there.

Eric Hachey,
A1C later Sgt, Det 12 10th Weather Squadron

Ralph Hammond
1 May 03

May 72 - Nov 72 49 TFW / MMS Weapons Loader

I was glad that Harold Chapman shared this web site with me. I was an A1C when the wing went TDY to open the base back up. This was my first overseas assignment and an experience of a life time. No water / no club / no beds or electricity when we first arrived. We put in a lot of long hot days on the flight line, but had a lot of fun doing it.

I went TDY to Viet Nam for MIG Cap operations that the 49TFW flew first out of Takhli and we turned the aircraft (F-4D) around for another visit to the north. Down town was another experience that we won't go to right now.

Thanks again for establishing this web site. Will sure pass it on.

Ralph Hammond

Chriss Hendon
3 Mar 03

I was stationed at Takhli AB in 1973 to 1974 with the 6280th SPS Squadron. There many memories and many friends I truly miss from those days.

Down at the Takhli Villa I sang and did a great impression of the Beatle's Back in the USSR and Don't Let Me Down.

I just found the site and I hope to see other people I was stationed with write in. It's All Too Much!

Sgt. Chriss Hendon
Bee Flight

Hal Hermes
24 Aug 03

F-105 pilot, 357th TFS, Dec 68 - Nov 69. Also TDY from Cannon AFB in F-100s, 62, 63, 64. Found site after reading G. I. Basel's excellent book, "Pak Six".

I was in Wing Combat Analysis for much of '69.

Re the early days, Cannon's 522nd TFS took over from the 429th in December '62 for a four month or so TDY. Subsequent TDYs got me there three times. The 429th had taken the commitment from Clark's 510th, I believe. We lived in the old firehouse and in a teak hootch behind. The control tower was also teak, built by the Japanese in WWII. I have a number of pictures of the old base. It wasn't bad living at all.

I was a 1/Lt and volunteered to be pay officer, which got me to Bangkok nearly every weekend. Volunteering, despite the conventional wisdom, can be a smart (or lucky move).

I continued to fly fighters as much as I could, but some staff assignments cramped that style badly. Retired after 32+ years in '92. Would do it all over in a heartbeat.

Hal Hermes

Ken Hintz
9 Jun 03

Was there June 69/June 70 with 42th TEWS as crew chief. Last aircraft I crew'd was 527 and others was 489. These where E' models when I first got there i crew'd the only B model left there not sure of the number but 486 wants to jump out at me. It went back to the states

Had a major break down in Hawaii - just happened to be where the pilot was from. Something about a screw driver falling in behind the circuit broad panel and power was put to the aircraft which caused major damage. Another crew chief named Holt I believe got to fly back with the aircraft reason giving was he had been there about a month or so longer than I had

Looking for some friends from that time/outfit.

Ken Hintz


David Hitchcock
20 July 03

June 1970-December 1970. I worked in Base Operations all the way at the end of the field. The best part was watching the thuds come and go.

I did a lot of maturing in the my Thai days. I salute all vets and present active duty people. Best wishes to you all and lets go Cobras.

David Hitchcock

Jerry Knapp
11 Mar 03

I was a member of the 354th TFS from 10-67 to 10- 68 day crew chief of acft # 8352 a F-105 F. I also worked in 780 equipment storage for four months shared the bldg. With the E.O.D. guys


Jerry Knapp

Jack Lynch
12 Oct 03

I was in the 333rd TFS from Aug 66/67 ,crewed Col. Bob Scotts aircraft 61-0105,we did not have the aircraft named at that time , The GCA reflector was painted in red ,yellow and blue for the three squadrons. the others being the 354th & 357th. I had also painted a 2" red stripe at the bottom of the inner gear door and the outer door so when it flew over you could see her coming.

Went to Nellis fighter weapons T&E ,67/68 and worked on the Weasles then on the first four F111s (prototypes]. Got bored with them, missed the Thuds and went back to the 333rd for a second tour in 68/69. When I first arrived they tried to put me in the 42nd /B66s ,I convinced them Wild Weasles would make better sense, I worked all the Weasles and the first Martin bird, 62-4416. Other aircraft I recall were F models 301 ,316,308? Ds 61-159 ,109 ,454 ,396.

Takhli had gone from Boardwalks and the old Hooches to Pacafs Pride in 3 short years .The new chicken coops with running water.

Left the active AF and Joined the NJ Guard and worked the old B models till we got F4C and later Ds, Went to C-141 flight engineer school and flew one of those into Takhli in 1972 ,never got off the ramp that day but I sure wanted to explore . I knew when we closed the base the Thais would strip it out but not as much as some of what I have been reading!!!

Left the C141s and went to F16s In Atlantic City . Retired on KC-135 Es in 1995 after active duty for Desert Shield/storm.

Where are all the 105 people , all I hear about is the F111s. Hell, when they first came to Takhli (428th John Blacks group] the would not even talk to us and I had worked for them at Nellis.

Jack Lynch

Dave Loving
21 Aug 03

A 1/C David Loving, May 1966 to May 1967 (E-4). 355th Combat Support Group 355th Civil Eng. Sq. And various other duties.

John P. May, Rudy ....uh...Bauer and I were assigned there in May 1966. We were 67151 AFSC, Accountants in Acct & Finance. Lt. Riley (Acct & Fin. officer) told us there was no accounting at Takhli, so we volunteered to go back to civilization. They put us in Military Pay. And CE.

Lt Col Crandall, Base Civil Engineer, told us he would use us to walk around to every building on base. We would write down the serial number of every piece of equipment we found. He said the govt had so much stuff scattered around over there...they had no idea where it all went.

We slept in the CE hootches, Msgt Carter was the 1st shirt. We arrived at Takhli with the RB-66 people from Chamblay, France.

I was discharged May 6, 1967 at Travis AFB, CA. I came back in as an officer on Dec. 17, 1971. Was in KC-135s and T-43s for 16 years, retired in Sacramento, Ca as a major in 1987. John Paul May went on to become a Chief Master Sgt. Rudy got out and I lost track of him.

John and I shared a bungalo in "Chainat, Thailand" for a few months. I have some of my USAF orders around here somewhere, and my "Class A" pass from Takhli.

"It was the best of times......it was the worst of times........."

Dave Loving

Ray McCleery
5 Apr 03

I was there from Jan 67 - Jan 68. 355th TAC Dispensary. That time was when Colonel Jack Broughton got court-martialed because 2 of his pilots shot at a Russian ship that shot at them over Haiphong Harbor! Absolute madness! But then the Whitehouse was running things and our "Generals" were political too.

Read his 2 books Thud Ridge, & Going Down Town, The War Against Hanoi & Washington. The last one tells it like it was. Should be required reading by everyone.

Good site. Thanks.

Ray McCleery
SMSgt retired


Frank McDonald
23 Feb 03

My name is Frank McDonald, SMS (Ret) USAF. I arrived at Takhli on my birthday, 1 Sep. 1969. Having been previously stationed in Saudi Arabia just 23 months earlier, I was curious to find any acquaintances. while the first sergeant was driving me to my hooch, I spotted TSgt Chuck Bolonis, my painter, from Saudi. He told me that he had been upgraded to being a Painter, and had been there several months already.

I was assigned to the 333rd as a Flight Chief (as a MSgt), replacing TSgt Ron Bradley. Soon I was moved to the phase dock as its boss, soon I finally got my choice assgt., that as Chief One, the expediter for the 333rd. My boss was SMS Benny Pribilski. We all worked for Col. "Bo" Bottomly, the famous (infamous ?) Bald Eagle. My A flight bunch was at the north end of the flight line, as was our headquarters for the squadron. I lived in hootch row over next to the "19 th hole". MSgt Ray Mack, the electric shop boss, rode our 49cc Honda Mopeds all over the base.

I would be interested in knowing details about the next scheduled reunion. Curiously, I retired from Sheppard AFB in 1993. We had just received several A-10's for our school and one of them sported the 333rd LANCERS logo. Our commander, at the the time just happened to have flown that particular airpland while stationed at DM.

I have a ton of experiences detailed in my autobiography that I recently completed and printed. If you would be interested in posting any part of it on this site, just gimmme a holler by return e-mail.

Sgt Mac

Frank McDonald
PO Box 223, Morgan Mill, Tx., 76465
Yes, that stands for OLD MCDONALD HAS A FARM, just as you suspected!

Mike McJunkin
25 Mar 03

I was in training at McConnel AFB for about 6 months or so. Hard to remember. then sent to Takhli in early 1968 through about May of 1969. One year of duty as a Jet Engine Mechanic 355th FMS for the F105.

I came back to the states in 69 stationed at Altus AFB Oklahoma, KC135 tankers and the great C5a's. almost one year then back to NKP or Nakhon Phanom (Thailand) jet engine work on choppers CH 3 & CH 53. My last year in Thailand with the Air force.

Did get to come back 10 years later to visit. It had changed a lot, but then you can never go back ! still have the memories.

When is the next reunion ? There is just to much to view in one evening. thanks

Mike McJunkin Hutchinson Kansas

Richard Maccione
7 Sep 03

354th Ops Section, May 69 till Nov 70, Ast NCOIC, E4

Went over in May of 69. Worked in Ops admin for 18 months. Wanted to stay longer when the unit was getting ready to go to Korat. Colonel (Dalton W.)Mac, wouldn't let me. Said I had been there long enough. He personally drove me to the aeroport to escort me out of there

Great times, lot of fun. Good memories. Got to know a lot of good people while I was there. Worked hard, played harder.

Richard Maccione

John Mann
20 Aug 03

Thanks for the web-site!

I was TDY to Takhli from April to July 72 from Holloman with the 49th TFW. I was a Staff Sergeant Aircraft Radio Tech and we 'reopened' the base after having been closed for over a year. Of course, the Thais had stripped the base of all copper wiring and anything else of value so we had no electricity or hot water. The toilets worked, cause the Thais didn't care about our toilets, preferring the bomb-sights they had in their hooches!

When we got to Takhli, it took about 4 days to get a status of forces agreement with the local police, so we were stuck on base for an unbearable time! I was on one of the first buses to town, and we got the bus to stop at what appeared to be a bar, and pounded on the (locked) front door. A couple of samlar drivers out front woke up, ran around back and got the owner to open up for us. He welcomed us with the biggest smile I had ever seen, gave us free Sing-Hai beer (that was so cold it had probably been in the cooler since the last GIs left) and a few girls seemed to appear out of the wood-work!

There were about 3 bars and 17 "registered" girls in town then. Less than 30 days later, there were about 40 bars (mostly built from the ground up) and 687 registered ladies of pleasure!

Is this a great country or what! Again, I really enjoyed Thailand, beautiful, gentle people, and good food! Served a second tour at Udorn Jan 73 - Jan 74

John Mann

Patrick Minoughan
11 May 03

I was stationed at Takhli from Sept 1969 to Sept 1970. I was with American Force Thailand Network (AFTN) as the Station Program Director. The 10th Weather Detachment provided us with our hourly weather reports for broadcast on the radio. I remember we used to just get the weather reports from you guys , read'em and give credit to guys like Sgt Bailey or whoever gave us the report. Then we decided to just record your guys and play it back on the air every hour. I worked with Jerry Reed, whose is listed on this site too.

I will never forget the day the CO from the RB-66 squadron and several others showed up at the radio station and presented me with the happy hour patch from Hooch 1224.

There were a lot of great folks that I meet at Takhli. F-105 Pilot Lt Colonel Ron Senac and Crazy Susan White who ran the USO. When they returned to the US they got married and settled in Albuquerque, NM. Sadly Susan passed away about 5 years ago.

Takhli was my best assignment in my military career. Great folks and a great assignment with AFTN. Thanks for the great web site.

from a later email. This photo of Capt. Jim White was taken just before his last flight over Laos. Jim was a Takhli F-105 pilot who killed in action in 1969.

Jim White and I had just finished a program on AFTN TV . The program was about his brother Ed being killed in the space capsule fire. NASA had provided him many videos (16mm film) of the incident and we showed them on the show that night. I was amazed how he was able to sit in from of the cameras and look at the videos and talk about his brother. He was a tuff little guy.

At that time we did not have video tape capabilities at the TV station but we did make a voice recording. I had the honor of delivering that tape recording to his parents home on Bayview Dr in St Petersburg. I was welcomed with open arms by his parents Major General and Mrs. Edwin White. I will never forget walking into the foyer of their home and seeing hanging on the wall, three very large oil painting with General White flanked on both sides by his two sons. Just absolutely blew my socks off. It was very impressive to see this proud military father with his sons at his side. We had a great visit. I still have the stamps he gave me of his sons space walk. He had a garage full of the stamps because the US Post Office failed to get the families permission to print the stamps. I am very proud to have known Jim and his terrific parents.

Thanks, I just thought you might want to use this photo.

Pat Minoughan and Capt. Jim White - Takhli AFTN Studios
Pat Minoghan and Capt. Jim White - AFTN Studio Takhli

Visit the Jack Gurner Gallery for another photo of Capt. White

Patrick Minoughan

James Mitchell
9 Mar 03

42 TEWS EWO PCS June '70 until close in Nov. '70 then to Korat with 42nd

Retired '88 from AFRES and currently Federal Administrative Law Judge with SSA in Stockton, Ca.

Would like to hear from anyone who might have had the misfortune to know me at that time and place.


James Mitchell

Jim Owens
17 Jul 03

I was stationed at Tahkli in May of 72. I was an A1C at the time and TDY from Homestead AFB, Florida, home of the 31st TAC Fighter Wing and was assigned to the 49th Supply Squadron, 64530, during what my orders called "Operation Constant Guard III", later to find out that it was "Operation Linebacker II".

Unfortunately, our TDY only lasted until July of that year when we were rotated back to the world. I no sooner got back to Homestead when orders were received that some of us were going back. Found out later that I was not going to Tahkli, but rather to Udorn, TDY again. I was assigned to a mobility team from Homestead in those days and we would pack up and go where ever the little green apples would fall.

If you hear from a guy by the name of Daniel J. Gravlin, tell him to send me an email. I have been looking for him for years and haven't come up with anything. Thanx! Great to reminisce again. I was just thinking about Tahkli the other day and was wondering how the old place looks since that time. There are some other stories I could tell, but that's for another time. Later!

Jim Owens
"Ghost Rider"

Terry Owens
16 Aug 03

I was stationed at Takhli Airbase August 1972 to August 1973. My job was POL ground refueling of aircraft (a supply company).

I do not remember too many names or unit designations. Maybe this can help me locate some of the guys that were TDY from Vegas and possibly my unit designation.

My current health situation is not going well. I would look forward to corresponding with friends from a time in my life that means something. Thanks in advance for your help.

Terry Owens, Sgt. USAF

Bill Parker
19 Apr 03

366 Supply Sq / 6280th Supply Sq EMO 72 to 73.

This was my first overseas assignment so I was a young kid over there. I was taken im by a lot of old veterans and shown the ropes. Some wild memories from good old Takhli that I will never forget. To all of the crew that I served there with and to all that were there.

One day I will never forget is when all bombing was halted in SEA. All the clubs were taken over by the Officers and I will admit, those pilots do know how to party

Bill Parker

Gene Patterson
5 Jun 03

I was at TKL from nov 68/nov 69...in 1980 Comm sq, AFCS, TALKED TO THEM BIRDS from takhli tower,,in fact ref fotos on maj davey/nylon letdown, I was talking to him from the gitgo; he was on a test hop, flamed out, no start, punched out..a lilsweat on the a/c's intent...had several a/c in arming area, awaiting takeoff on rwy 36...glad to see it prang before the rwy.

You were attached to 355th, as I was, being in afcs, were we included in any unit awards, and what vietnam awards, if any applied to us. I processed for retirement at travis, went home , 60 days leave, effective retirement, 1 feb 70. Know nothing about any unit presentations since my USAF association was terminated so abruptly, and on the west coast.

Greatest group of pilots I ever talked to. top of the line

Gene Patterson smsgt, usaf ret.

Joe Primwhere
4 Jul 03

I was stationed at Takhli Oct 67 to Oct 68 357TFS and SOS (ARRS). Acted as chief clerk, 357TFS.

Looking for old buddies: 1ST Sgt J. I. Saul, Mike Custy, Rich Grego, Sully and Bolka. Remember the demo of a 130 picking up a pilot? I lost the coin toss

Joe Primwhere

Larry Rectenwald
27 Feb 04

After tech school in 1962 assigned to 355th TFW at George AFB, no aircraft or pilots upon arrival. Got 3 mo. of pinochle instruction and war stories by older troops coming in from other bases.

First 105 arrived sure was pretty. Started OJT for 5 level, more acft and troops arriving. Got orders to 357TFS to do grunt work, preparing old building for arrival of pilots, then to 354th for same. Orders back to 355th OMS. Was assigned to be the assistant of the assistant to a crew chief. Passed 5 level test. More airplanes moved up a notch. No time for pinochle anymore, work, work, work.

Got orders for TDY to Turkey, hot, hot hot. ACFT grounded exploding in air, wtfo. On the alert pad, that's a what kind of weapon!!!! Pilots: What do mean there ain't enough fuel for round trip!!! Briefing Turks and Greeks arguing over some island, who gives a s--t. Turks block runway. 90 day TDY turns in to six mo.

Back to George airplane patch, where is everybody at? Wing moved to McConnel AFB while we were gone. Off to McConnel, why did you put tomato juice in my beer? Oct 1964 got orders for PCS to Japan, reported to 6441TFW at Yokota AFB. Assigned to 36th TFS. Why did you put a bar girl in my beer, sure better then tomato juice.

Three sq. the 35, 36, and 80th on a rotation to Osan AB Korea. Cold, Cold, COLD. Hunt pheasant between taxi and runway. Papasan delivers cheeseburgers to old wooden barracks on a bicycle in snow, that old man is tough and so are the Korean troops. What's my true love's picture doing on that board going out the gate to town!!! She's got what!!! How many shots!!! How can those stick jockeys play golf in 2 feet of snow? On an alert pad again, same weapons.

Back to Japan. First TDY to Takhli, in old 2 story cement building, cots with netting, latrine out back. Who put the dead snake on the path, scared the s--t out of me. Hey look what happens when you put a snake in the LOX overflow can!! Flight shack is a tent on a wooden frame with the sides rolled up. SMGT Barker is flight chief, Barkers Bastards is who we are, the sign says so. One garbage can of sodas another of pineapples. Keep a couple of birds loaded with missiles all the time for rescap, just in case. Damn that is a big bomb 1000 lbs. is says. Water injection pump doesn't work, have to have that with a full bomb load. Have to pull aft section off to change it, what a pain in the you know what. Why did they put it there. One bird comes back with hole in FF55, screwed up all the electronics. Parked at end of ramp, stop unauthorized parts removal. Probably still there. Working 12 on 12 off.

Going to town, don't go to the lumber yard, what's the lumber yard, I don't know lets go find out. I ain't going there again those guys were pissed, what's their problem, something about their women, wish I could speak Thai. First bar on the right going into town that's our bar, owned by a retired AF MSGT and his Thai wife. Good beer good times.

One more TDY to Korea 2 more to Takhli. 355th is here now. see some old friends, base is changing, wooden boardwalks, NCO club, no starch in shorts anymore. Martha Ray at club from USO. Some acft not coming back now, nobody tells us anything about anything. Capt. Cherry flying my bird today, nice friendly black guy, always has a smile. Pop him a class A salute and a thumbs up as he taxies out. Get the ladder, chocks and toolbox all lined up ready for recovery. Sitting on the edge of the taxiway with the other crewchiefs, smoking and telling war stories about last night in town. Here they come, good landings, good dragchute deployment, wait a minute ones missing, which one, which one. There's mine somebody says, there's mine somebody else says, mine, they say. I cant say it - mines not there.

Where's mine, what happened, did he land somewhere else, did he get out, was it a mechanical failure, did I f--k up? Nobody ever told me anything, nothing, pilots didn't want to talk about it.

Went back to Japan, enlistment's up, going home. Mar. 23, 1966 back in USA. Father is retired AF got some friends still in, Maj. Cherry was shot down and is a POW. Went to Travis AFB every time there were some POW's coming home, we yelled and cheered for every one of them. Don't know if Col. Cherry came through Travis I didn't see him if he did, I know he made it back though. 39 years later and I will never forget the day he didn't come back.

Larry Rectenwald
6441TFW, 36TFS
The Flying Fiends, Takhli

James Smith
9 July 03

Just found Takhli page, interesting. I was at Takhli probably in 63 or 64 don't remember for sure. Only for 2 or 3 wks. Went there to investigate a KB 50 crash.Not much activity there at the time. I Remember that there were four F100s that rotated in an out on missions from there.

One good thing came from my time there . I sat on a promotion board at PACAF later and we were selecting E-8's. Ten folders and one vacancy. The folders for all ten E6's showed them to be equally qualified. Nobody on the board knew anything about any of these men.

One man's folder showed that he had been the Mess Sgt. during my TDY. He did an excellent with what he had available. Guess who got the promotion. He will never know why he got promoted and the other nine will never know why they didn't make it. They all deserved the promotion.

James Smith

Bob Sneller
28 Mar 03


Bob Sneller

John Statt
29 Aug 03

After all these years I finally found out that someone else was at Takhli. I was stationed there TDY with the 49TFW during its sojourn there as the only NATO committed air wing in SEA.

Still remember the deployment and several of the seasoned guys stating we're going to Germany finally like the last deployment only to have one guy speak out "We're going to 'Nam" They just about beat that guy to a pulp.

We found out soon enough when we landed in Alaska that indeed we were going over the other pond. I remember vividly when the doors opened and the ramp went down the inrush of that smell of overseas and the humidity hit us. I wonder what happened to all of those parkas we packed in our mobility bags?

I was in munitions maintenance as a weapons loader. I was a number 2 man on a four man crew with Roger Heulet, as our crew chief, Mike Saylor, was our number three man and Jim Bishop as our number four man. We came from Holloman AFB on a deployment with the 49th TFW. Roger, Mike, and Jim were from the north west (Washington, Idaho, and Montana. I'm from Ohio. Sure would like to find those guys.)

Remember Sneaky Snake? and John Henry? Nose art with grease pencils that we had to remove? Now if I can only find some of those photos.

John Statt

Bill Torbert
16 Mar 03

I was stationed at Takhli from April 1967 to December 1969. I worked in the ECM shop for the EB-66's until my last year there when I was transferred to the Intell Branch where I had the task of keeping the Van up and running.

It was a great time and I made many friends, both on and off base. My wife and I and our two kids are heading back there in about 6 weeks for several months of playing tourist. I plan to take a train ride from Bangkok to Takhli and see just what is left.

William (Bill) Torbert
MSgt USAF Retired

Rich Tweedle
5 Jan 03

I joined the Air Force on the 23rd of September, 1963 and was sent to Lackland AFB where I spent 5 weeks in Basic. I was shipped to Lowry AFB, Denver Colorado, arriving October 31st, in the snow. Spent a few weeks in PATS and was sent to the 3419th School Squadron for F-4 Radar systems. Turned out to be a mistake so me and at least six others went back to PATS the same day for a couple of weeks and then went to the 3430th for F-105's.

In August I finished school and was sent to the 355th TFW A&E at McConnell AFB where I was assigned to the Integrated Docks at end of the runway. January, 1966 I was sent to Takhli and assigned to the flight line. There I worked on Radar, Sight system, Toss Bomb Computer and, eventually, the Wild Weasel systems.

I left Takhli at the end of January, 1967 and was discharged and sent home to be a civilian.

My assignments: Lowry AFB 10/63-8/64 - 3430th School Squadron, 355th TFW McConnell AFB 8/64-1-66 - A&E Weapons Control Integrated Docks, Takhli RTAFB 1/66-1/67 - A&E Weapons Control

Rich Tweedle
Clinton Township, Michigan

Francis Alan Wain
27 Mar 03

I was stationed Takhli RTAB from Jan 1969 to Feb 1970. I was with the 355 FMS as a Jet Engine Tech (43270) Worked primarily at the engine test cell located at the end of the runway.

I remember the trips into town for a "Koby Steak" don't remember the name of the restaurant. Also have fond memories of - "You want short time, GI?" Would love to hear from other engine people from that same time period.

Francis Alan Wain

R. D. Waldron
19 Nov 03

I was a Tsgt at the time and was in charge of the Life Support Section for the 41st and 42nd TEWS, Survival Equipment, Parachutes, Personal Equipment, Etc. Our First Sgt was Bill Weaver and CO. was LtCol. J.B. Williams. at my age and so much time past, its hard to remember the names of the vets I was with.

I was also assigned to the Base Life Support Section for awhile before being assigned to the 42nd and 41st Consolidation of the Life Support Sections. My OIC at Base was Maj. Davidson. The Operations Officer of the 355th Wing was, I believe was Col. White. I thank you for all the info you have provided and hope to hear from you again.

Roger Waldron

Michael Weldon
4 May 03

I was at Takhli twice. Once was 2 or 3 days TDY in support of the AFRS station (no orders, just grab tools, jump a plane and go), and once catching hops around Thailand heading from Korat to U-Tapao. The only flight to BKK was a little 2 seat plane with an LTC as pilot. His only comment was that I didn't talk very much. Me an A2C, talk with a COL........?

That first trip was in Dec 66 the second was jan 67. I seem to remember PSP taxiways and Japanese fighter bays.

Michael Weldon
Member, U-Tapao Alumni Assn
SFC CA ARNG retired

Stan Williams
3 Jan 03

I was stationed at Takhli RTAFB from March 1969 - March 1970. I was an E4 46250 jammer driver with the 333rd TFS and was a lead load team member with Ken Behounek, Fred Paige and Larry Hoover - sure would like to hear from those guys! My three email addresses so they can find me if I don't find them: (1) pdsland@NSbellsouth.net (2) stanpds@NShotmail.com and (3) stanpds@NSyahoo.com .

Stan Williams

Harold Wood
8 Jun 03

I was TDY to Takhli from 400th mms at Kadena Okinawa in 1970 or 71. We flew in and opened the base back up and started flying bombs out within 24 hours of the first plane hitting the runway. Had to sweep all the snakes out of the old dorms plus there were Thai families living in some of them that had to be moved out. The people who came after us wound up in tents.

Was supposed to be a top secret mission but the girls got there the day before we did. Was assigned to the 49th Munitions Maintenance squadron there at Takhli.

Harold Wood

Randy Worden
20 Dec 03

I was stationed at Takalie 67-68. I worked at the AFTN King Cob Radio Station. I was the technician and a had a rock show "Randy's Rock Shop". I also ran the lapidary hobby shop and taught a ton of guys how to cut star sapphires.

I am a Software Quality Engineer for a large company. If any of the old guys from AFTN Takalie -- Don Corimai, Jack Davis, TJ, Ray McCormick or Butters; drop me a note.

Randy Worden

John C. Wright
8 Jun 03

I was stationed at Takhli from Jan. 69 to Jan 70. Assigned, at first, to the 354th for a month then to the 357th as Ops.Officer. Held that position until the end.

Flew 140 missions with about 1/2 in 60-517 which was named "The Yellow Rose" with the Texas flag between the words yellow and rose. C/C SSgt Mc Bride and A1C R. Davis, both from Texas. Taped recorded most of my missions, mounted a 35mm camera next to the gun sight, and remoted a way to push the button. I had the best maintained gunsight in the fleet. I insisted that the bombing function was tweaked to perfection. I never had a problem hitting what I aimed at when flying 0517. Had all Texans taking care of "The Yellow Rose".

Have about 300-500 photos of about every thing on Takhli, Thailand and Laos. (Even a few in north VN where I was not supposed to be) Kept most of my gun camera film, strike photos, and aft tail camera film. Getting most of it transferred to CD"S, but this is a slow and costly process.

Still have parts of 517 before I left for home. Most of them are in a museum in Pigeon Forge military museum near Dollywood TN. Going to transfer it all to the military museum in Branson, Mo , as I think the TN one is going to close next year.

Promoted to Colonel, commanded a B-52 Squadron after leaving Takhli, then to Grand Forks to be the DO of the 319th BW. Later became the CincPacRep to the CC of the Pacific. How about that...An AF Colonel holding a navy star position...boy was the military in trouble!!! Did that until I retired, but kept my uniform on another 17 fears teaching the AFJROTC at Cooper HS, Abilene, TX.

Still flying with over 15,000 hours. Get to fly a T-33, L-39, and had 6 flights in the F-16. Ride my bicycle in excess of 2,500 miles a year to keep fit at 73 years young. I take photos of every Thud I find anywhere I visit.

God Bless all "Those who served"

John C. Wright Col. USAF

Takhli Main Page

You are now on Bios 2003

Flight of Four over Takhli

Flight of four F-105s over Takhli RTAFB during 1969 Red River reunion - photo courtesy Bob George

Dick Williams
email: webmaster@NStakhli.org

24 Nov 03