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CEF Honors All Who Served

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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  Dave P. on Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:50 am

If you guys spend any time listening to the radio, you should check out Michael Berry. He's on KTRH AM740 in Houston from 8AM to 11AM central time and again in the afternoons from 5PM to 7 central time, available on IHeart Radio at KTRH740. He also does podcasts available on IHeart too. A real redneck's redneck, he founded the Redneck Country Club so he could meet famous country musicians. Guarantee you'll get a kick out the show.
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:20 pm

Dave P

I wonder if you have any memory of some of our officers and WOs on my side...227th

Capt Troy Lovett
LT Eisler

MY Co, Maj John D Davinport

Sadly I can't recall the several WOs we had...all were prior NCOs that went Maint WO program in the late 70s early 80s

WO3 Frank Murtagh was the guy who had to have me front seat in a snake to do test flights...

Later as I thought of going to flight school, Frank taught me how to fly a UH-1H Huey and allowed be to fly a Mod S Snake through final and to hover landing then to hot gas....heavily shadowing the controls...grin.... I could feel his nudging me to success....

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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  GallopingGhostler on Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:18 pm

Don't know how true, but I heard stories of pilots teaching their crew chiefs how to fly the birds. Reason being that if one, or the other or both get shot up, the crew chief could fill in as needed, even bring them safely home if need be. There's a reason for those quick release latches from the back of the front seats.

I had the experience of a lifetime. Back in the early 1980's, rode in the co-pilot's seat of a UH-1H under circled Red-X conditions (one time approved flight). One fuel boost pump went bad at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas during annual training with the 374th Med Detachment, Helicopter Ambulance. This was the minimal crew for such conditions, a mechanic and a pilot.

Once at altitude, about 5,000 feet up, the pilot allowed me to take control of the stick for about 30 minutes, giving instruction. I was amazed how sensitive the controls of a helicopter are, you basically feel it in the direction you want it to move.

On one flight, I asked them how they navigated as we traveled from Little Rock Airport to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The pilot told me, IFR - I Follow Roads. After crossing the Catskill mountains, after refueling at Aida, there was a 2 lane highway they followed, straight as an arrow. When the reached a Catholic Convent, they veered 8 degrees, ahead lay Fort Sill.
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  fredvon4 on Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:03 pm

George, yes sir we flew a lot of IFR and i remember a lot of time in the back the map spinning LT up front was totally FUBAR so the PIC zoomed down to road level and asked me and guys in the back to try and read the road signs to get us BACK on the MAP

Fun dayz....I re-enlisted out of Field Arty into Aircraft Armament in '79 as a promotable E-5, and was pinned E-6 on at the school house for 68J at Ft Eustice...10 month AIT

Army has actually had Enlisted Pilots a few time in last 30 years...most notably the Kiowa Warrior program (OH-58s)

Absolutely forbidden is to let a non school trained and certified soldier, of any rank, handle controls of the aircraft.... but almost every Viet Nam pilot I ever crewed for was of the mind that if you sat in a front seat you really needed to know how to get these vibrating 10,000 lbs back to earth safely

MY last 17 years of my career was aviation. I estimate ( not a pilot so no log book) I have about 30 flight hours...

That is a LOT for a E-7/E-8 and most came during Maintenance Test flights...

UH-1 Huey's and AH-1 Cobra's... I have a few minuets in a UH-60 Black Hawk, and maybe 90 minuets in an OH-58 , and about 30 minuets in the MH-6 ( really were OH-6A) when I supported the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) for several missions.

The 30 min crossing water at 500 ASL was so PIC could figure out how to find our barge...... That night sucked because my /our Bird got wrong programmed location data for the Barge. (or the barge drifted too far from general location)

So when we got to site...barge blacked out...low fuel, our NVGs were not seeing the barge
we had to break radio silence.

The 30 min with the controls flying a short leg box pattern was so my PIC could cull through the SOI and find a usable frequency

He Used a squad radio frequency and not the BN aircraft calls. Got a platoon sergeant to understand our cryptic way of saying we were lost.

Send some one top side to light the deck with the NVG sensitive IR chem illumination stik...3 minuets later there way off to port... we landed, secured the bird and went below for the final mission brief...well the WO did, I stayed top side. My team and I loaded and un safed the armament systems on the "little Birds"

I was only flying that night out to the barge and did not fly the Mission

I was never assigned to the 160th but within the 18th airborne Corps I was one of very few E-7s that was trained on and did unit team training for EVERY Army and One Air Force weapons systems

Those days we had a lot of Joint Air Attack Team Operations (JAAT) training with A-10 WartHogs. So I asked for and we got approve to cross train my Helicopter Armament guys with the AF equivalents....they learned out 20 MM on the FMC Cobra and we learned the Gau 8, 30 mm gun
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  GallopingGhostler on Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:55 pm

fredvon4 wrote:George, yes sir we flew a lot of IFR and i remember a lot of time in the back the map spinning LT up front was totally FUBAR so the PIC zoomed down to road level and asked me and guys in the back to try and read the road signs to get us BACK on the MAP

Don't know any FUBAR officers, except a 2LT during BCT in Fall 1972 took our company on a forced march on a back way from the range and got us lost. At Fort Ord, we marched along a way that was nothing but sand, like beach sand, really tough to continue to move in.

Fun dayz....I re-enlisted out of Field Arty into Aircraft Armament in '79 as a promotable E-5, and was pinned E-6 on at the school house for 68J at Ft Eustice...10 month AIT

Back in the early 1970's, rank was fairly fast in the Army to even include the band, from E-1 made it to E-5 in 22 months. Didn't get E-6 until the 300th Army Band (reserve) 14 years later. Retired out at that rank in 2001. Collecting now retirement at age 60 four years ago, same benefits as active duty but less money, called "Non-Regular Retirement".

Army has actually had Enlisted Pilots a few time in last 30 years...most notably the Kiowa Warrior program (OH-58s). Absolutely forbidden is to let a non school trained and certified soldier, of any rank, handle controls of the aircraft.... but almost every Viet Nam pilot I ever crewed for was of the mind that if you sat in a front seat you really needed to know how to get these vibrating 10,000 lbs back to earth safely

Back 50 years ago, attitudes were different. When I enlisted, we were still wearing the WW2 OD fatigues and black polished boots, except rank was subdued and on the collar (sewn or blackened brass) instead of the shoulder sleeves. Things changed around 1974. NCO's were surprised that an Article 15 they had received some 10 years prior, which according to the rules at the time was forgiven after so many years and would no longer showed up in records, began showing up in the records again. Back when I enlisted, often local law enforcement would give a legal age kid a choice of joining one of the services or go to jail for a crime. More often than not, the Army's discipline would set someone straight, some would make it a career. Some of these made the best soldiers when they were given a new chance, but not any more. Nowadays you have to be squeaky clean to enlist.

When I went to the 67N10 UH-1H Helicopter Repair Course in 1980, the school NCO's were still decent NCO's, I have no complaints about them. Even though I was a Spec-5 Guardsman, they treated me as though I was active, even got to march 200 students to class 1.5 miles away. Was told to organize students waiting between phases for a police call of grassed area on one hangar end used for break. Told 60 some students to bend down and pick it up. They didn't pick up a thing. Called them back, relined them up. Then I told them, "Since you didn't pick anything up, we're gonna do it again. I want to see nothing but a**holes and elbows!" This time I had a different result.

One kid didn't pick a thing up. I asked him what his problem was. He told me he didn't want to get his hands dirty. I turned him into the between phases instructor. The kid then demanded to talk to the company first sergeant. Then the instructor handed him the phone, it was our training company commander, the captain. That kid was immediately withdrawn from the warrant officer candidate school list.

He had taken the FAST test, the aviation pilot candidate test and passed it. If he kept his mouth shut, they would have withdrawn him from the school soon and sent him to WOC school, then pilot school after that. That one stupid act costed him.

BTW, the single engine UH-1H weighs 4,000 lbs. unloaded, carries 209 gallons of JP-4 (then), has a T53-L-13 Lycoming turboshaft engine generating 1,500 shaft horsepower. Has a useful hauling capacity of 4,000 lbs.

MY last 17 years of my career was aviation. I estimate ( not a pilot so no log book) I have about 30 flight hours... That is a LOT for a E-7/E-8 and most came during Maintenance Test flights...

UH-1 Huey's and AH-1 Cobra's... I have a few minuets in a UH-60 Black Hawk, and maybe 90 minuets in an OH-58 , and about 30 minuets in the MH-6 ( really were OH-6A) when I supported the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) for several missions.

Being a Reservist and having multiple MOS's depended on where I lived at the time and what slots were available, have done Chaparral crew member (withdrawn in mid 1990's as obsolete), ADA MANPADS, truck driver, supply, UH-1H mechanic, band. I certainly enjoyed active duty over reserve duty. Most problems were related to them not keeping up with my retirement points and I having to submit my leave and earnings statements to get credit. I had about 95% of my LES, am missing a few awards, should be getting a little more pay, but at this point I'm just glad to be out of the system.

The 30 min with the controls flying a short leg box pattern was so my PIC could cull through the SOI and find a usable frequency. He Used a squad radio frequency and not the BN aircraft calls. Got a platoon sergeant to understand our cryptic way of saying we were lost.

Send some one top side to light the deck with the NVG sensitive IR chem illumination stik...3 minuets later there way off to port... we landed, secured the bird and went below for the final mission brief...well the WO did, I stayed top side. My team and I loaded and un-safed the armament systems on the "little Birds".

I was only flying that night out to the barge and did not fly the Mission. I was never assigned to the 160th but within the 18th airborne Corps I was one of very few E-7s that was trained on and did unit team training for EVERY Army and One Air Force weapons systems

Those days we had a lot of Joint Air Attack Team Operations (JAAT) training with A-10 WartHogs. So I asked for and we got approve to cross train my Helicopter Armament guys with the AF equivalents....they learned out 20 MM on the FMC Cobra and we learned the Gau 8, 30 mm gun

NCO's are a necessity. I helped get a 2nd LT out of hawk by repairing the ceiling grid system. On the way back from annual training, one of the full time staff misplaced the office key, so a soldier scaled the wall into the offices from the hall in the armory and busted up the ceiling system so they could get inside. Later I brought my tools, a few replacement ceiling panels from the local hardware store, came back, hammered straight, pop riveted and sprayed the T-grid so it looked halfway decent, cut panels to length. Battalion command staff walked through armory, didn't notice a thing.
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  Dave P. on Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:44 pm

As long as Fred brought it up, of all the things I saw and did while serving in in the Army, JAAT was the most impressive.  It was all classified back then but thirty some years later, I think it's ok to talk about it.

Three hunter/killer teams of two scouts and two Cobras with three teams of A-10s. One team on station, one refueling/rearming and one enroute.  

The scouts on station would find the bad guys, pass them off to us.  When the Warthogs called IP (Initial Point, 30 seconds out inbound) we'd hop out of concealment.  One Cobra would lay down suppressive fire, the other would mark the target with a couple pairs of Willy Pete (white phosphorus rockets).

When the Hogs called "target aquired" we'd drop down to cover and reposition to a new firing position.  They'd unload and call clear.  We'd pop back up and cover their egress.  

Three reps of this, when we'd all be out of ammo, the next team was calling IP.  We'd head for the barn for rearm and refuel.  They'd keep it up until team three called IP. The second team would head to the FARRP (forward area rearm refuel point), and get there just as we were ready to head back.  

All the while, Puff the Magic Dragon (a C-130 with a 20mm Vulcan and a 105 Howitzer) was orbiting at altitude making sure nobody escaped.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  We could, and did, keep it up for hours.

Firepower like that wasn't just impressive, it was downright frightening.  Be glad they're on our side.  If anyone is curious, do a Google search for the Road to Basra to see how it all ends up.
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  fredvon4 on Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:14 pm

8th Bat 101 at log base Echo during Desert Storm 90~91

did a lot of stuff for my short 7 months in country as a Aviation Master Sergeants

Most disturbing was a recovery mission (downed aircraft out of fuel) that had us fly at 300 AGL over the "Road to Basra" I saw the massive destruction and death on the way to get to our lonely bird and crew

All the JAAT missions I did were in Germany with a A-10 unit from Mindenhal England and we used Wildflicken as the target area

One year the Mindenhal A-10 unit was from NY Air Nat Guard..their birds all had..."The Boys From Syracuse Go Ugly Early" stenciled on

I was always annoyed or ticked off that during my career we were not allowed nose art or neat saying on any of our aircraft

As a reward for our excellent support at the FAARP, my commander rotated each of my armament guys into a UH60 command bird to go watch ----every one of my Joe's, including me, got a turn...real thrilling cuz we had head sets and got to listen as well as see an intense scenario .....

We all had seen what 7..62 Mini gun can do, or 2.75 rockets, or 40mm Granade launcger, or 20MM 3 barrel cannon...but the shear power, sight, sound, and smell of the Gau 8 30MM was just plain awesome!
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

Post  GallopingGhostler on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:16 pm

Dave and Fred, you both saw action that I never saw, I being garrison the whole time. During Desert Storm I volunteered, but at the time they were only looking for Army Reservists who were water purification or medical (and I think may be intelligence in eastern European languages), there was no interest in bandsmen or aircraft mechanics.

Then again when Bosnia was going on, I volunteered again. There was no need for the above or air defense Chaparral (armored personnel carrier chassis with sidewinder missile turret mounted atop). Then next 2 years, we transitioned to Stinger MANPADS. After that, we again transitioned to wheeled vehicle transportation. I was transferred to retired reserve. A year or two later, my unit was sent to Afghanistan but I was out, no longer a member.

I mentioned that to my civilian Army Corps of Engineers supervisor, who as a reservist lieutenant colonel was deployed in Bosnia conflict, told me to count my blessings.

They say hindsight is 20-20, often I had wished I stayed active in the band field, retiring out after 20. I thoroughly enjoyed that field and even though busy at times, was a lot less stressful than aerospace and the government contracting world. However it is what it is. Now I do music at nursing homes once a week as a volunteer and the Sunday music at the Salvation Army Corps chapel.
Those I thoroughly enjoy, and my engineering background takes a back seat. lol!
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Re: CEF Honors All Who Served

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