DiDia, Frank – CT
Frank served our country as follows;
1966 – 1968, Forbes AFB, Topeka, KS., CH-3C’s, had missions to Bogota Columbia for material support to mountain tops in Columbia where drop offs were made.
Left Topeka for UH-1F maintenance school in Wichita Falls, TX. Upon completion of school I reported to Nha Trang Vietnam to 20th SOS “Green Hornets” where I was assigned to flight crew as a door gunner. 1968 – 1969. CH-3C’s and Huey’s.
Because of shortage of personnel at Udorn with the 20th “Green Hornets”, I was sent TDY to Udorn because of my CH-3C’s experience where I finished out my first tour.
1969 – 1970 stationed at Udorn, Thailand with 20th SOS “Pony Express” where I flew with Air America operations in support of the CIA that had missions in northern Laos and North Vietnam. Gunner again. CH-3C’s.
1971 – 1972, after 1970 they let me come home for a few months and then off again to report to the 21st SOS “Dust Devils”. Those missions were again with Air America in support of the CIA. We also transported military personnel to various locations in Laos and North Vietnam and were involved in relocating thousands of Cambodian civilians to safe locations South due to the Viet Cong murdering civilians. CH-3C’s.
1973 – 1974, assigned to the 350th SRS Recon Squadron, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. as a flight engineer. I was sent to Da Nang Vietnam TDY to support our mission for drone recovery. These drones were used to map North Vietnam and this information was used for the next day’s bombing attacks. These drones were midair retrievals at 10,000 feet over the South China Sea.
1974 – 6 month TDY to NKP, Thailand, assigned to the 99th SRS Buffalo Hunters. Flight engineer crew member to retrieve drones. CH-3’Cs. (350th SRS Davis Monthan AFB, AZ.)
1975 – 1976, Osan AFB, Korea, Det. 37th ARRS “Jolly Green”. Non Flying assigned to quality control. Due to personnel shift appointed detachment supervisor responsible for HH-3C’s to support rescue missions.
1976 – 1978, Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX. 4502nd CAMS non flying. NCOIC helicopter section. HH-53s. In this position until retirement in 1978.
When stationed at Davis Monthan AFB in AZ. the Washington State Forestry Service purchased 4 HH-43B/F Husky helicopters from the “bone yard” at DM AFB. They contacted me and I was asked to pick my own crew to refurbish these aircraft and have in operational order within 30 days for an FCF. These Aircraft were then flown to Olympia Washington to be used in the State Forestry Service for firefighting.