Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
James J. Clouse, TSgt., USAF (Fallen)March 11, 1935 – December 06, 1970
Making the Family Proud…
Originally from Eddyville, Nebraska – James Clouse, a devout Catholic, was a husband and father to seven children. He enlisted in the Air Force in July of 1952. He had served in the Air Force nearly 18 years to that point, and served two tours in Southeast Asia – one in Vietnam, and the other in Thailand.
Responding to the scene of a fire near his air base in Thailand, in January of 1969, the pilot of a Special Operations CH-3E helicopter (tail number #63-09689, and call sign ‘Dusty 689’), that Clouse was flight engineer aboard, suffered vertigo as it crashed in the jungle.
Clouse received the Airman’s Medal for, after exiting the burning helicopter, rushing back into the craft to rescue two other crewmembers, despite burns to himself, and the risk of the aircraft’s fuel exploding.
A month later, in late February of 1969, Clouse again displayed heroism when, near the South Vietnam DMZ, he penetrated intense hostile fire to rescue five crewmembers from certain death who had been shot down by enemy forces. For his actions, Clouse was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
James Clouse was buried at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery near Eddyville, Nebraska, in Lot #13 of the cemetery’s western half.
Check-Six.comLast of the Giants…Near Palisade, NebraskaFebruary 6th, 1970Global Reach…
Powered by four Pratt & Whitney T34-P-9W turboprop engines, each producing 7,500 horsepower, the Douglas C-133B ‘Cargomaster’ could carry up to 110,000 pounds of cargo. The airframe, and its 179 feet wingspan, and 157 feet of length, was even massive enough to transport the Atlas, Titan and Minuteman families of ballistic missile, and could fly at a speed of over 300 knots for a range of up to 3,560 miles.
The C-133 was for many years the only aircraft capable of hauling very large or very heavy cargo. Despite the C-124 Globemaster’s capabilities, there was much cargo that it could not carry because of its configuration with a cargo deck 13 feet off the ground and its lower, though substantial, engine power. The Air Force purchased fifty of the airborne behemoths as the backbone of their Military Air Transport Service.
A Transcontinental ‘Milk Run’…
The mission that Thursday night was a sortie from Travis AFB, California, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to transport several Lycoming T-53 and T-55 engines in sealed transport containers, and one Boeing CH-47B Chinook (possibly 67-8487), all bound for the US Army Depot in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
The flight crew, part of the 1501st Air Transport Wing at Travis AFB, consisted of: Pilot and aircraft commander Major Harold W. Tabor, 44, and a native of Grand Junction, Colorado. His co-pilot, 1st Lt. Duane D. Burdette, 24, was from Gahanna, Ohio. The flight loadmaster was Staff Sgt. Ira E. Bowers, 38, of Plymouth, New York, and the two flight engineers aboard were Master Sgt. Joseph P. Tierney, 34, Fairfield, California, and Tech. Sergeant James J. Clouse of Vacaville, California.