Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Aircraft at Danang

The F-4 Phantom

The C123 "Ranch Hand" aircraft that sprayed the Agent Orange defoliant

A1E Sky Raiders

B57 Canberra

AC47 Spooky or Puff (the Magic Dragon)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Attack of July 15, 1967 on the Danang Airbase

Of the many attacks on the Danang airbase, the artillery attack on the morning of July 15, 1967 was the most devastating. A total of 83 NVA 122mm and 140mm rockets hit the base in the early hours before dawn. We suffered 8 killed, 175 wounded, 10 aircraft destroyed and 49 aircraft damaged.

I was working the grave shift in the 366th AEMS shop at the south end of the base. The NVA artillery unit working south of Danang began a sustained attack that morning. One of the first rounds hit the building we had vacated the week before. Had we not vacated the building I, and many other AEMS personnel, would probably have been killed as the shop took at least one direct hit:

The APO mail distribution directly across the road from the old shop caught the blast and shrapnel:

Our new shop compound, where I was during this attack, took several very close rounds. Both of our buildings, just beyond the photo recon trailer, had shrapnel damage:

The 140mm Russian-made rocket (Katyusha) is a contact shell meant to hit anything above ground level with shrapnel (see the mail building above):

This crater shows that the 122mm Chinese-made rocket is a penatrator for cratering:

Remains of AC130:

In all, we had over 60 aircraft destroyed or damaged. In addition to the 83 NVA artillery shells that hit, our own bombs on aircraft at the south end of the field cooked off. We probably sustained more damage on the flight line due to our own ordinance:

The south cantonment area across the road from the flight line was heavily damaged by rocket fire:

The crew of this crash truck were killed when a 250 pound bomb on an F4 cooked off while they were fighting the fire. Three of the crew were the morning bartenders at the compound snake pit (beer garden). We lost some fine friends:

Damage to the old French revetments is testimony to the force of the bombs on our armed aircraft going off. The pictures were taken after the F4 wreckage was removed:

 As I noted earlier, these pictures were collected across the 'net. My personal pictures of my tours in Vietnam were destroyed. However, many were nearly identical to these.