Tan Son Nhut Association Photo of the Month
TSNA Patch

1 Graphic courtesy of:

Jim Wade
8th Aerial Port Squadron
Tan Son Nhut Air Base and Pleiku Air Base
November 1965 - November 1966

Read his excellent story below.
2 Graphic courtesy of:  Jim Wade

Men of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron.
3 Graphic courtesy of:  Jim Wade

Men of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron.
4 Graphic courtesy of:  Jim Wade

Typical aircraft that we loaded and unloaded in Vietnam.
5 Graphic courtesy of:  Jim Wade

Typical Fire Support Base in Vietnam.
6 Graphic courtesy of:

Charles Penley
377th Security Police Squadron
Tan Son Nhut Air Base
Oct 1967 - Jul 1969

This zippo lighter was for sell on eBay and it sold for $199.00
7 Graphic courtesy of:  Charles Penley

This zippo lighter was for sell on eBay and it sold for $199.00

Hi guys, for the past couple of years I have been reading about all the sections that were stationed at Tan Son Nhut.

Some of the great things that were done before, during and after TET 1968 but there is one section that stands out to me ... that section is the one I was part of.

I arrived at TSN in November 1965.  Right after the "Battle of Ple M." in the central highlands.

After a long flight on a Continental Airlines 707.

I was assigned to the 8th Aerial Port Squadron.  At this time it had all of South Vietnam.  I was there for about three days before i decided to get out of there ... too many airplanes.

I was a 60531, Air Cargo Specialist.  I went to the detachment and asked if I could leave and go some where besides TSN.

I was told I could go to Pleiku Air Base, located in the Central Highlands.

I okayed that choice.

So i put in one year at Pleiku.  While I was assigned there, I got to go on mobilities all over the highlands.  One in particular was Dak To-2.  "Operation Hawthorne," with the 101st Air Borne Division.  It was not a fun place to be at, at the time

After my year was up, I was stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Illinosis for a year.

Then to 7th Aerial Port Squadron, Naha Air Base Air Base, Okinawa.  I had been there for about two weeks when the US Navy ship Pueblo, was taken by the North Koreans

So off I went again on mobility ... the 18 months that I was there, 9 months TDY away from there.
,br>Right after TET of 1968 I was also TDY to the 8th Aerial Port at Tan Son Nhut.  I worked line loading at night and mobility during the day.

About two weeks of this I told mobility I would rather work for them, instead of both.  So that is what happened for 60 days, all over III Corp Area.From Budop, to a few other places that were not good places to be.No hot food, no showers, and no beds to sleep in.Some times this was for a week to two.

After I spent 60 days there I went back to Naha.My four years was coming to an end.

Time to get out of the military, right.  I re-up and headed back to TSN.  This time I was assigned to 8th Aerial Port Sq.  Off i went, back to mobility for another year.  This time it was may 1969 - 1970.

There is one person who spent three years at TSN.  During TET of 1968 he was driving a tractor and trailer down "Charlie Row," all of sudden tracers rounds was coming at him.  These were the green rounds.  He laid down in the cab and kept going.  His name is Neil Brown.

The year I was assigned to mobility, we lost one person and lots were wounded.  Also "Bronze Stars" were given out for Budop and a few other places.

After I left in 1970, the section kept on going, it did not get any easier for the guys that were left behind and others who came later.  In fact 1971 - 1972 when most of the us fighting forces left, the section was supporting Koreans and ARVN's.

Like Cary Louderback, Steve Williams, and Gerald Bickford.

Just want to let all know that the mobiltiy section was all volunteers.  You just did not walk into the section and be accepted without going out with them.  We were out at fire bases and special forces bases.  We worked all the way from lower II Corp to the end of IV Corp.  Some okay places and a few not so good.

I say my time was at Bu Dop.  Webb Layton was killed, Doug Cave, Jim Greene, Lou Cox, Scott McCoy were wounded.  Our commander was Col Lisec, our OIC was Capt Rubel.

I guess i just want to let all know.  Now we were not the only ones who went on mobilities.  14th Aerial Port at Cam Ranh Bay and the 15th Aerial Port also.  Both were deployed to lots of not so friendly places.

Back to Neil Brown, he was also a member of Khe Shan.

Jim Wade
USAF, MSgt (Ret)

PS:  I guess I am bragging, my father put in twenty some years.  Flight engine on B-17's World War II.  He was also in Korea War and Vietnam War.

My twin sons both are MSgt and have been in for 15 years.  Third generation of men who have served our country, good times and bad

Thank you for listening to me.  I just want to let all know, not all air force guys were rear area.

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