Phan Rang AF
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Scan299.jpg (49838 bytes)  Several AF comments below the thumbnails....

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My last pay jump in VN on Nov 21, 1965, was into the area the AF was clearing for runways.

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Huge piles of thorny brush were piled around rock-hard clay ground, so that some of us got a laugh, but most of us got a lot of bruises. Soon after we got word that we didn't have to make the every-month jumps to qualify for jump pay.

 

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SGT Johnson and SP4 Robb preparing to load on a C-130

 

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Oops!

... I arrived at Phan Rang in early January of '66. After having been in the Air Force for two and a half years it was interesting to see some real air planes. The radar site I was at in Minnesota didn't have anything but snow and grass.
 
       What got me the most about the photos you have is the one with the F-4's and the AM2 matting. I was assigned to the generator gang, power production they called it. Didn't install or maintain the runway but, for some reason we got to replace the rubber "doughnuts" that held the arresting cable off the ground. This was the same type of equipment used on aircraft carriers, and was only used by incoming aircraft with questionable breaking ability.
 
       Thanks for all of your beautiful work. Will look for more.
 
        Now, about the generator you took from us.....??
 
Marvin Ribbing     August 2003

 


John
Your pictures brought back many memories of Phan Rang in the late 1965
through 1966 time period. You and I were there at the same time and I remember the 101st airborne area very well. Your pictures of the AM-2 aluminum runway and ramp area reflect a period in Phan Rang's history that later Air Force personnel assigned there haven't seen. Namely the aluminum matted runway, the Phantom F-4's, the old Busson air cargo area, tents and hooches, and the rock crushing plant. Subsequently assigned Air Force troops remember the F-100's, B-57's, C-123's, and the "Shadow" AC-119 gun ships. Most did not realize that F-4's operated from there first. I think many of your pictures of the F-4's were taken on the day those birds arrived in country after their transpacific flight from Holloman AFB, New Mexico, or shortly there after.

I arrived at Phan Rang in early December 1965 and left there on Thanksgiving Day 1966. I was the Air Force accountable supply officer for all of the base's air-munitions and ammunition assets. The area behind Nui Dat where the bomb dump was located was my domain. I remember your howitzer 's would fire almost daily over our bomb dump on a mountain just Northwest of the base near where the ROK marines had set up their base camp. We would hear the projectiles wheeze overhead and the pow from the guns, then see smoke on the side of the mountain followed by the sound of the rounds exploding. We traded with the 101st for things we both had or didn't have. I remember when a group of we lieutenants traded a truckload of plywood with a captain from the 101st for a Jeep. We caught hell from our commander afterwards but then we lieutenants had a car to get around in. Those were the days and I can vividly remember my tour there after all these years. I look forward to getting copies of your books and reading them. Mike and I have talked about me possibly setting up a website about early Phan Rang or its "Gray Eagle" period (Air Force bare base package of equipment and 1100 personnel). I would like to use some of your pictures and/or link to your site with your permission. I would credit you in all respects. Besides Air Force troops being at Phan Rang, there were a lot of Army units also there -especially in the initial early years when we depended upon their support...

Don Taylor (message from Chuck Adkins on 1/3/12 - Don passed away from cancer a couple of years ago)


Comments from Chuck Adkins:

I recognize some of your Phan Rang photos. I was with the 1882nd Comm. Squadron (USAF) from 2-66 to 2-67 at Phan Rang, then went to Da Lat about 10-66 for my last four months before discharge. I worked in the Comm Center and sometimes delivered to the 101st when their Center was down. The F4C's got to Phan Rang about a month after I did and were flying combat support the next day. I think some of your photos were taken from the dirt road at the end of the runway as they became airborne.

If I remember right the house on the hill belonged to the 101st CO, but its been a long time. PSP runways, no aircraft on base, tents then hooches. The base sure grew between 2-66 and 10-66, plus the 105's of you guys shooting all night long. And the constant dirt from construction.

later....

Here is a web address, interesting for Phan Rang alum. If it doesn't work do a search for 315 CAMS PHAN RANG PRAB.

It is a web site run by a Mike Vogel who was at Phan Rang. I stumbled across the web site a few months ago.

Plenty of pictures of PRAB from different guys over the life of the base. Click on the pictures from Lt. Don Taylor, the base munitions officer from 1-66 to 1-67. I have some of the same pictures, as if we were standing in the same spot, even though I didn't know the guy. One of his pictures is of my CO in the 1882nd.

 

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