552aew&c Wing - Cetf

E-3, E-3, E-737, E-767, EC-121, etc.
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boss hawg
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Post by boss hawg » Sat Aug 03, 2002 8:52 am

I have been trying to remember College Eye days during the period 1968 - 1970 wrt the number of crews deployed, duration of deployments, flying schedule, etc. I cannot remember the total number of crews or the flying schedule, but I do remember we deployed to Tainan, where we received some briefings and crew rest before flying to Korat for 21-days - flying every other day as best as I recall. We then rotated back to Tainan where we had 5-days R&R before flying to Itazuke for a 10-day rotation, then back to Tainan for 5-days - back to Korat for 21 days, etc. I believe we had 146 day rotations. I corresponded with Fred Synder who provided the followingt info:
QUOTE: Your memory is pretty close to mine.

Our Main Operating Base (MOB) was Tainan, Taiwan. I recall that we had 10 maybe 11 aircrews. Big Eye started at Ton Sun Nut (Spelling) VietNam but moved to Ubon after a mortar attack injured some of our people. I was not there ever, but talked with a radar NCO who was awarded the Purple Heart. My first TDY in 1967 was to Ubon, my second to Udorn in 69, and my third to Korat in 70. We changed from Big Eye to College Eye while I was at Ubon as I recall. I have both patches. We had Alpha and Bravo Track (low and high) in the Gulf and Charlie Track inland. I flew in support of Rolling Thunder and Barrel Roll. I never flew the Cambodian mission but did conduct training for it at the Training School at McClellan ( We still shop there).

Itazuke was a rather short term operation. I was there for a week just after the shoot down of the Navay's WV-2 Connie with 31 on board. (About a year ago I found their web page and it had a very convincing and sad story to tell.. That's when it started. How long it lasted or how many aircrews were there at a time, I do not remember. Maybe later. At least two. could have been three, cannot recall. Colonel James McColl was the College Eye CC that year.

For Rolling Thunder we flew all three tracks for day time operations. A and B were early gos and late returns with a refueling at DaNang and a swap of Tracks. The low track was very low and hard on the pilots and hot for us.

For Barrel Roll we settled into the 3 a days you mention with 8 hours on Charlie Track which was moved a bit South of it Rolling Tunder position. Mission length was 10 to 10 plus 30 as you recall. Maintenance, and Aircrews in support, worked to achieve 100 on-time takeoffs and we hit that mark at least once while I was there and maybe a few time more when I was not. On station we worked with Alley Cat and Moon Beam ABCCC. Further south was Cricket and Hillsborough.

My first crew in April to Sept 67 was "Number 10" crew and we were part of the increase to 10 or 11 aircrews at that time. I cannot remember the number of crews at Korat nor if we kept the 10 to 11 crews over there after Rolling Thunder. I do remember we were strictly limited to 150 flying hours a month because they would actually stand down individual crewmembers so that no one exceeded 150.0. In those days the limit was 125 hours a month or 330 in a quarter, but we were waivered to 150 and that was the limit. As I recall we flew the 10 hour sorties every other day. And with a rest at MOB, few hit the 150. That happened when someone had to fill in and skip the MOB rest week. I remember I exceeded 125 a couple of months. About 140 was my high month, but I'd have to dig out a record to be sure. In comparison, at McClellan a crewdawg typically flew about 80 hours a month on 12 to 14 hour missions usually with some cancellations and some early aborts. In comparison we kept station in SEA a couple of times on 3 engines if it seemed right to do so. END QUOTE

Can anyone else contribute or clarify? Thx in advance!
Boss Hawg
:unsure:

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Chief Redbird
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Post by Chief Redbird » Sat Oct 19, 2002 8:18 pm

Hi!

I remember my first deployment was 135 days in March 1968. I think it was down to 120 days when I deployed as a crewmember in 1969. We did the deployments as you listed, but we only flew three times a week in Korat.

They had seven crews at Korat all the time with a new crew rotating in every week and one leaving. Missions were ten hours long with 8 hours on station. Three flights a day provided 24 hour station coverage. Each crew flew one hour to get to station and one to get home. A typical week would be like this.

Sunday - Show time 0001, T/O 0200, On Sta 0300, Off Sta 1100, Land at noon. Monday - Off. Tuesday - Show 0800, T/O 1000, On Sta 1100, Off Sta 1900, Land 2000. Wed - Detail day. Thur Show 1600, T/O 1800, On Sta 1900, Off Sta 0300 (on Fri) Land 0400. Sat- Off. Then it started over again on Sunday. Each of the seven crews started had three flights one of each of the T/O times each week. 46 hours on the ground between flights and three ten hour flights. It was a good schedule and although you did build hours flying 30 hours a week, it wasn't exhausting - or it wasn't for me.

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boss hawg
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Post by boss hawg » Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:34 am

Jim,

Thanks for the info.

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kenwitkin
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AEW Units: 964th AEW&C Sq, NATO Flying Saqudron One
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Post by kenwitkin » Fri Jul 23, 2004 5:04 pm

I was TDY on a classified deployment to Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam from the 964th AEW&C Squadron from January to May 1965. While stationed at Tan Son Nhut, I flew on C-47s and C-54s.

I saw the first Big Eye EC-121D land at Tan Son Nhut. I think that it was during April 1965. I met the crew with a crew bus and transported them to base ops and then to their quarters on the base.

The aircraft commander was my 964th reporting official but for the life of me, I can't remember his name.

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