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Memories of VQ, Da Nang and Atsugi

Aerial view of Da Nang
Picture sent by Dave Branks

 

Individual Memories | External Links

Individual Memories

Send memories of VQ to be added here by signing the guestbook, message board or sending e-mail. Memories included here may be fond memories, funny anecdotes or almost whatever memories you would like to add.


Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 7:

Name - Charles M. Shryock, III (AT-2)     Email - shryock (AT symbol) erols.com

Date --     From - Lanham-Seabrook, MD

I was a member of VQ-1 from late 67 until early '70, that counts the time I spent coming and  going from VQ-1 in Japan with Orders. I worked with many fine men and together we did a great job as a team. I have a lot of stories about the travels to the many countries we "visited" and especially the PI. Do you remember the trips from Atsugi to Tainan, to Bankok, to DaNang, to Korat, to Danang, to PI (to wash the plane) and back to DaNang and then back to Tainan and return to Atsugi? Well, I did that quite a few times and have a number of Air Medals, etc. I would love to hear from you and discuss things if you want. Chuck Temple, Mr. Cristman, LTV (I worked with Mr. White), and and Special Projects were a big part of my participation. I never had lobster until we had all you could eat in DaNang when a shipment was mis-delivered and had to be eaten before it perished. Well, best wishes, keep in touch, Remember the Q - see you at a reunion.


Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 9:

Name - Paul A. Bennett    Email - deepsea29 (AT symbol) lvcm.com

Date --     From - Las Vegas, NV

I was in VQ-1 three seperate times. 1960-64, 1966-69 and 1973-76. . . . . . . . . Upon coming back into the Navy I took a different outlook on the Navy and VQ-1. I stayed in the Navy, advanced to AVCM and decided to go for Warrant Officer and as a result retired in March of 1994 as a CWO-4.  As a Master Chief, I was in charge of AIMD Rota, Spain. This gave me the opportunity to deal with VQ-2 on a daily basis. I still think of Barry and every one in VQ-1/2 all the time. I basically "grew-up" in VQ-1.  Although I flew most of my 12,000+ hours in A3s, I still started out in WVs and later was an AES  in P3s. I used to think of all my dets to Danang/Cubi Pt./Tainan/Bangkok/Osan/Shemiya/Austrailia/Singapore/Sangley Pt./Johnson Island/Wake Island/Barbar's Pt/Midway Island/and a few others and ask myself, "Would I do it again"? I sure would!!

I can also remember all the long hours we put in. I remember working six months straight without a day off. Later in my career I was asigned to Helicopters, every one around me would always complain about the "long hours". I would just sit back and chuckle to myself. Then I would say, "This is nothing" try a tour in VQ-1 0r VQ-2.  I try to keep in touch with as many VQers as I can, so if anyone reads this and wants to "chat" feel free to e-mail me.  Also, if anyone knows how to get in touch with the "Super Crab", Chuck Christman, please let me know.


Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 17:

Name - Lex Williams (AZ3)    Email - lexman01 (AT symbol) msn.com

Date --     From - Kennesaw, Georgia

I was in VQ-1 1970 - 1972, originally in VAP-61, NAS Agana, Guam which merged with VW-1 & VQ-1. Spent two detachments in DaNang - late 1971 and March - June 1972, during the Easter Offensive - saw alot of rockets. From VQ-1 I got orders to VF-96,  CVW-9, at NAS Miramar. Spent my last year in the Navy on the USS Constellation, on a WESTPAC cruise.


Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 22:

Name - weyman d. garmany    Email - weymar2001 (AT symbol) aol.com

Date --     From - alabama

I served with the 366 security police sq, but was attached to the 620th tcs at Dong Ha from june 1967 to about april 1968. There were approximately 36 security police there and it was a vol assignment. After 10 months at Dong Ha I was sent to monkey mountain since that was the safest place around Danang. It would be a better web site if other out stations were listed. We were attached to the 3rd Marine division and had to patrol with them. While I was there we were hit over two hundred times. How about including some of us on the web site too? We were all GunFighters.


Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 23:

Name - Walter Schminky    Email - walter.schminky (AT symbol) dcaa.mil

Date --     From - Tampa, Florida

I flew with VQ-1 as a VN linguist from 1969 to early 1970 outof Da Nang. Flew the Willies then the P-3s. Flew with the crew that later was later shot down over Korea. Is there a site for that group?

**Note from Webmaster:  I have located some sites that contain information about the EC 121 shot down over Korea. For more information you can go to:

     http://www.willyvictor.com/History/Korean_Shootdown/Korea.html
     http://www.dean-boys.com/shootdown/shoot.htm
     http://www.dean-boys.com/shootdown/SPY_PLANES.htm

Archived Guestbook 1 - Entry 25:

Name - Dick Frantz    Email - frantz_64029 (AT symbol) yahoo.com

Date --     From - GrainValley,Mo.

I was in VQ-1 from 1962-1965 and flew in crew 23.Darren Leatherman and Dee Harris was my flight enginers.I knew Chief Risse that was on PR-26.Would like to here from anyone from that era.Remember Cdr Holt.Thanks for this website.Don't forget the VQ Reunions we have.My phone# is  816 587 8657 or 573 374 5233 and maybe I can give info. Thanks Dick Frantz


Archived Guestbook 2 - Entry 26:

Name - Vernon Poole    Email - vpoole (AT symbol) sbcglobal.net

Date --     From - Lemoore, California

I served in VQ-1 from December 1966 to December 1969. I got out of the Navy as an AE2 the same Month. I still have fond memories of the times I had, and the people I met while serving in the Navy in VQ-1. I still stay in touch with some of my old Navy buddies.


Archived Guestbook 2 - Entry 27:

Name - Robert Atkisson    Email - wildbob34 (AT symbol) aol.com

Date --     From - West Palm Beach, Fl.

I was a CIC officer in VW-2 and AEWTULANT 9/58 to 9/62, and in the latter command flew with LCDR Jim Overstreet. In fact his family were our neighbors in the MOQ at NAS Patuxent.Jim was the PPC on the VQ-1 plane shot down off Korea in the late '60s. I've been looking at the willie victor website, and remembering old buddies and linked into your site.It is very moving to explore your site regarding the VQ-1 loss at DaNang.The willie victor community was a tight bunch and we felt all our losses very deeply and carry them with us the rest of our lives. Thank you for creating your site.


Archived Guestbook 2 - Entry 28

 Date received: 7/3/2002    Time: 11:39 pm
 Url of your Website:   ----------
 Email:   djolley (AT symbol) infi.net
 Name:  Donald R. Jolley
 State, Country, etc.    Macon, Georgia
 Rank, Unit, Branch (If app.):  ATR 2, VQ-1
 Relationship to crew member or VQ:   EC 121 Radar Operator

 Comments:

 Was a member of VQ 1 from 1965 to 1968. Flew PR 21,23,26. Was many years after the crash that I learned about it. I loved my time in the "Q" and all my shipmates. May God Bless all lost and those that survived. Semper Fi !!!


Archived Guestbook 2 - Entry 35

Saturday 10/05/2002 1:31:33pm
Name:  Anthony J. Krueger
E-Mail: krutony (AT symbol) centurytel.net
Referred By: Just Surfed In
City/Country: Onalaska
Comments:

I just happened on this website while looking for pictures of EC-121s. I was in VQ-1 from 1966 thru 1969 and was an EC-121 pilot. I am now retired from American Airlines and greatly appreciate the fine work that has gone into this website. Anthony Krueger


Archived Guestbook 2 - Entry 42

Wednesday 01/15/2003 2:31:47pm
Name: Dennis Webb
E-Mail: wd5gnd (AT symbol) ev1.net
Referred By: Friend
City/Country: Mansfield Texas

Comments:

I was with VQ1 from Nov 69 until late 72. I was an AT2 and worked in electronic maintenance. I have a lot of pictures from Japan, Da Nang, and Guam that I have just recently started to sort out. I am planning to scan many of these.

I do know where a couple of the people that were with us during the same time frame are at.

I can be contacted at wd5gnd (AT symbol) ev1.net or dennis (AT symbol) american-comm.com



Email received:

Date:  Tue, 16 Sep 2003 13:08:06 -0400
From: "Lewis, Thomas B" - LewisTB (AT symbol) Corning.com

I had the great privilege, of flying with Lt. Dan Smith, during our Det. Charlie cruise, onboard the Carl Vinson, 1985 -86. The name of the Aircrewman in the 3rd seat of the 87 Miramar crash, was Herb Plath. He was in Miramar for workups  for a Det. Charlie cruise, his first one. Herb was from upstate New  York, and seemed very eager to fly Whales. I didn't know him well. At the  time of the crash, I was in Pensacola, processing out of the Navy. But I did get the impression that he would have made an excellent EWOP. I served in VQ-1 from 84 to 87, and had some great memories.Whales Rule,Props are for Kids!

Thanks for setting up such a grat website, Will be in touch.

Tom Lewis



Email received:

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 21:38:25 -0700
From:  Tom Hoover

Hi....

I am Foster T. Hoover I was in VQ-1 and PR26 was my Aircraft. I was the Flight engineer and normally would have made the deployment with  the crew and the Aircraft, but for this trip I had traded with ADRC William (Bill) Risse. Having Flown with these men for about a year, I knew them, Particularly the front end crew.

The aircraft was created for our mission by loading a four engined Airliner with electronic equipment. These were Super Constallations built by  Lockheed aircraft company for the Navy. They were 116ft 2in long, 123ft 6in wingspan and about 27ft high at the tail. they were Powered by four R3350-42, 18 cylinder twin row radial engines of 3400 brake horsepower each. Our max gross takeoff weight was 145,000lbs. We cruised at an indicated 210kts  which worked out to about 350kts at the altitude that we usually flew at.   Our missions usually lasted about16 hours, altho the aircraft was capable of 24hours of flight. I know this information is important to you, so I will try to answer all of your questions.  Just e.mail me at:   hooverft (AT symbol) yahoo.com  and I will try.

Tom



Email received:

Date:  Mon, 29 Sep 2003 22:51:54 -0400
From:  "Tom Kelly" <takadac (AT symbol) hotmail.com>

I was in VW-1 when PR-26 crashed.  VW-1 also flew SuperConnies, but without all the ELINT gear; we flew radar coverage up in the Gulf every night, and also tracked typhoons.  One of our planes had taken off from DaNang some time (maybe an hour) before PR-26 came in, and ground pounders watching the accident thought it was our plane returning.

The ironic thing is that we had experienced a similar incident the previous year:  one of our Connies lost an engine on the way up to Yankee Station, and lost another on the emergency approach into Danang.  The Danang tower had given a C-130 clearance to take off while our plane was on final approach.  The aircraft commander nursed the plane through the aborted landing, taking approximately 25 miles to turn around back to the approach, since turning would raise the stall speed, and the plane was already mushy on two engines.  Squadron legend has it that after safely touching down, he taxiied over to the tower, and cold cocked the controller (NOTE: controllers did fabulous work for us aircrews; this was during VietNamization, when we were declaring Victory and departing, so it may have been an "inexperienced" replacement controller who was still working on learning English.)

We shared the same bar in Sangley Pt. (in the P.I.), Marie-T's.  We had our crew 'plaques' all around the walls, about 15 from each squadron..  It was very sad to note that two of our sister squadron plaques were now memorials.  VQ-1 had suffered the loss of two Connie crews (the other to the N. Koreans), probably one of the highest casualty rates of any unit in the VietNam era.  I didn't know any of them personally, but once you go wheels in the well, you are all brothers.  Deepest sympathies to the friends and families of PR-26 and PR-21, over thirty years after the fact.


Email received: 2011 February 11

Danny Bales-CTR2- Titusville, Fla.
Hi
  I just saw your site. It was good see all the information on my unit. I was with Det Bravo VQ1 at Da Nang. I believe I was there from 1967-1968. I logged over 100 flights on the connies out of Da Nang. I flew on many different ones including PR 21. I remember reading the newspaper in 1969 that it was shot down. I was stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin on the USS Reeves when North Korea captured the Pueblo. I was on duty while it was happening. Hard to believe nothing was done about it.
  I remember flying one mission in Da Nang (I believe it was on PR 21- not sure).  We went into a spiral dive. Bells were going off. I was on the overhead from the centrifical force, but I finally made it to my ditching station. I heard prayers coming from the crew all over the aircraft. I figured we were goners for sure. Some how the Capt. pulled that plane out of that dive. We barely made it back to Da Nang. It sounded to me like when we touched down the power died. Still can't fly anymore, because of that. I'd like to thank that Captain wherever he is. I'm now 63 thanks to him.


Danny Bales with Connie in Da Nang (PR 21 I believe)
Danny Bales

 

External Links

The following are links to other sites that have information about Danang, RVN or Atsugi Japan.  If you have any comments, suggestions and/or pictures about what these places were like in the late 1960's and early 1970's you would like posted here, please contact me.


Danang, RVN 

Aerial photographs of Danang Air Base:

Atsugi, Japan


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