July 01, 1970
7th Air Force Newspaper Banner
Vol. 6, No. 26      Headquarters Seventh Air Force     July 01, 1970

Risk Lives for VNAF Pilot
4 Mechanics Win Airman's Medals

TAN SON NHUT --- Risking their lives to save the life of another has earned four Air Force mechanics assigned to the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing here the Airman's Medal.

Sergeants Lenny K. Mackie and Dock F. Fogers Jr., and A1C John A. Oliver, all of the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, along with A1C James A. Galambos of the 460th Field Maintenance Squadron, received the awards in a ceremony conducted by the 460th commander, Col. H. M. Chapman, who has since been reassigned to the Pentagon.

On Feb. 21, 1970, A Republic of Vietnam Air Force A-1 Skyraider crash-landed here.  The four mechanics, who were in the immediate area, voluntarily risked their lives to save the pilot.

With complete disregard for their own safety and despite the fact live bombs had broken loose from the aircraft, plus the dangers of fire and explosion, the airmen approached the stricken aircraft and continued their efforts to aid the trapped Vietnamese pilot unitl they succeeded in helping him to safety.

General Buckner Takes Ops Post

TAN SON NHUT --- Maj. Gen. John H. Buckner recently assumed duties as deputy chief of staff for operations at Headquarters, Seventh Air Force, here.

He came to Southeast Asia from Bergstrom AFB, Tex., where he was vice commander of Twelfth Air Force, and replaces Maj. Gen Ernest C. Hardin Jr., who has since assumed duties as vice commander of 7th AF.

Promoted to his present grade May 1, General Buckner was commander of U.S. Forces Azores before bing reassigned to Bergstrom.  In April he was awarded the first oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit for his Service in the Azores.

A native of Cleburne, Tex., the general attended John Tarleton College and Texas A&M University at College Station before entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.  He earned his pilot's wings while at West Point and was graduated in January 1943.

During the remainder of World War II he served in Europe as a fighter pilot, fighter squadron commander and fighter-bomber group commander.

General Buckner returned to West Point in 1946 and served in the physical education department until 1950.  During those four years he also earned his master of science degree in education from Springfield College, Mass.

Other assignments took him to Korea in 1953-54, to Germany from 1960 to 1964 and to Maxwell AFB, Ala., where he was commandant of the Air University's Squadron Officer School until being assigned to the Azores in 1967.

Among the general's military decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 20 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with two oak leaf clusters, French Croix de Guerre and Portuguse Medal of Military Merit.

SAC Unit Cited for Heroism

TAN SON NHUT --- The Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism was recently awarded to Detachment 15 of the Strategic Air Commands's 1st Combat Evaluation Group.

Gen. George S. Brown, Seventh Air Force Commander, presented the PUC streamer in a ceremony here to Lt. Col. G. S. Scott, detachment commander, who accepted on behalf of personnel who served with the unit from June 2, 1967, through March 31, 1969.

The detachment was cited for accomplishing its assigned missions under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions while operating from many different locations.

Operating as the controlling agency in conjucntion with forward air controllers, direct air support centers and the strike aircraft, the detachment uses mobile, computer-linked radar to insure precision bombing despite rain, fog, clouds or darkness.

This all-weather radar bombing system has controlled virtually all types of U.S. aircraft performing tactical bombardment in the Republic of Vietnam.  The system makes it possible to track strike aircraft to a known position where they are then directed to the target.  The computer linked to the radar needs only a few seconds to consider target coordinates and ballistic data, with the result being extremely accurate weapon delivery.

HH-53 Plucks Men
From Enemy Hands

TAN SON NHUT --- The first newly arrived HH-53 "Buff" helicopter from the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Da Nang Airfield recently rescued two RF-4 Phantom crewmembers from enemy territory in Thua Thien Provience.

Lt. Col. Donald A. Kellum, navigator, and Maj. Richard E. Moffit, aircraft commander, from the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing here, had to eject from their battle damaged aircraft.  They landed in dense, enemy infested jungle.

The crewmen had been flying a tactical reconnaissance mission in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley when they received heavy anti-aircraft ground fire.

"The events which followed our bail out were just tremendous," commented Major Moffit.  "I made contact with some aircraft in the area, and I gave them our approximate positions.  I could not contact Colonel Kellum because his radio was out.  About one and a half hours later I spotted and made contact with several AH-1 Skyraiders in the area.  I coud hear enemy ground fire as the helicopters neared our positions, and I must say it was very close.

"Providing cover for the rescue helicopter, the gunships and the A-1's continued to make passes at the enemy positions until they were silenced.  The rescue took place about two hours after we went down, but it seemed much longer.

Colonel Kellum added, "The weather was bad, the terrain was rough, and the cramped conditions for the number of aircraft involved in the rescue worked against us.  The heavy anti-aircraft fire didn't help matters either.  I will say, and I know Major Moffitt agrees, that those involved in the rescue displayed the highest degree of airmanship possible.  Through their efforts, Major Moffitt and I were surely plucked from the hands of the enemy."

ATCO Boarding Pass

Processes 50,000 People
Each Month -- Tri-Service ATCO
Everybody's Ticket Home

TAN SON NHUT --- "It's Our Job To Get You Home" could very well be the motto of Tri-Service Air Traffic Coordinating Office  -- a small section here charged with a big task.

Everyone in the Republic of Vietnam get his seat home on a sleek airliner from the Tri-Service ATCO, Capt. Stevan R. Callegos chief of the section explained.  We coordinate air transportation for all personnel departing Vietnam, based on the individual seating requirements between the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

"Aircraft are assigned from the 22d Air Force at Travis AFB, Calif., about 40 days prior to each month of travel," he continued.

"About 10 days after the aircraft are assigned we obtain the user requirements from the services concerned for that particular month, then we allocate seats according to the requirements.  These go out approximately 25 days prior to the month of travel, giving the passenger that amount of time as minimum notification," the captain related.

The section is the only multi-service ATCO in the Republic and each month processes an average of 50,000 departing personnel scheduling them on nearly 260 flights.  These are routed via the five MAC channels out of country:  Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa Air Bases to Travis; Bien Hoa AB to McGuire AFB, N.J.; Cam Ranh Bay AB to McChord AFB, Wash.; and Da Nang AB to Norton AFB, Calif.

In addition, everyone leaving Vietnam for Japan, Korea, Guam, Okinawa, the Republic of the Philippines and Taiwan is processed on a flight by Tri-Service ATCO, Captain Callegos pointed out.

"For those going on TDY or emergency leave from other than Saigon," he added, "the local ATCO at each channel has control of the aircraft seats.  All U.S. Department of Defense contractor civilians must leave Vietnam out of Saigon exclusively."

Since each seat on a MAC charter flight from Saigon to Travis AFB costs an average of $165, the section's complex job of insuring every seat on every departing flight is filled is made even more important.  Tri-Service ATCO accomplishes this job with high accuracy and efficiency, averaging 98 per cent of full utilization of all the seats that are available each month.

Combat Airlift

Combat Airlift

TAN SON NHUT --- During the recent allied operations inside Cambodia, men and aircraft from the 834th Air Division, headquartered here, have been called upon to perfom an ever-increasing role in keeping units supplied with food and amunition.

On one of these missions, C-130 Hercules and C-7 Caribou airdropped 90,000 pounds of munitions to elements of the Army's 1st Air Cavalry Division at Fire Base David.

Combat control team members from the 8th Aerial Port Squadron were on hand to talk in the aircraft during the air-drop operations.  Col. William Pisaruck, director of operations for the 834th AD, commanded the air-drop operation.

The air-drop method of resupplying fire bases in Cambodia and the Republic of Vietnam has proven to be one of the most effective ways of keeping allied units supplied.

Purdue's Angels
Spark Friendship
With TSN Men

TAN SON NHUT --- A group of young ladies at Purdue University in Indiana recently lived up to their unit's title of Angel Flight when they began sending treats such as cookies, candies and valentines to the men of the 377th Transportation Squadron here.

The men have reciprocated, sending a plaque to the girls of the auxillary unit of Purdue's Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  The plaque reads simply, "Thanks for Everything."