USAF ROTORHEAD Members
My history as best as I recall at age 82…
After a tour at Goose Bay flying support to Atlantic coastal Radar Units with the 22nd Helicopter Squadron (H-21), I was assigned to Vance AFB, OK where I was transferred from ATC to MAC (ARRS)
1958 – Ferried 1 of 2 HH-43A for the LBR mission until HH-43B became available.
1964 – Transferred to 13th AF JSARC as a SAR controller. Area of responsibility covered over half the earth’s surface. Duty included deployments to Singapore and Perth for Gemini Space missions and to Vietnam beginning 1964 in advance of arrival of ARS rescue assets. Duty included TDYs to Saigon, Da Nang and Udorn where we were responsible for coordinating all SAR activity outside South Vietnam. Was subsequently transferred back to HH-43B duty with the 31st ARRS also at Clark.
1967 – 1968 Assigned to HH-43B unit at Phu Cat AB, RVN after trip back to U.S. for AF Survival then Jungle Survival enroute to SEA.
1968 – Back to HH-43B at Vance AFB as Detachment Commander.
1971 – Assigned to HH-3E (finally) with 58th ARRS at Wheelus AFB, Libya. However, I was pulled off the flight enroute at Frankfort to be diverted to RAF Woodbridge, England as lead element to establish the 67th ARRS there. All our flights were filed IFR except flagpole flying…with an interesting variety of missions to Germany to the East, Greece to the South and Norway to the North. However, 2 years later the 3’s were replaced with the ’53…and all ’43 jocks were reassigned back to HH-43B units in Europe.
1973 – ….so after ferrying our HH-3s to Iceland with 4 aerial refeulings enroute I went to Zaragoza, Spain. There we received a command request for a Detachment Commander for a 90 day TDY at the HH-43B unit at RTAFB Tahkli, Thailand…which I grabbed. Then back to Zaragoza where I volunteered for duty outside ARRS.
I retired in 1975…another story which I’ll pass on for now.
I loved ARRS but like many old time ’43 drivers wanted a crack at Heavy Lift. I was one of the very 1st ’43 pilots to reach a 1000 hours then 2000. As I’ve said I loved the Rescue mission…So many great guys crossed paths with me over the years and General Brooks was such an awesome Commander