Reed, Ralph – TX
Took basic training in Amarillo TX. in 1966, sent to Chanute, IL. for tech school.
My 1st assignment was at Wethersfield AB, UK from 1967 to 1969. Here I spent my time directly with the crash rescue on the trucks.
Then assigned to Randolph AFB, TX. in 1969. An opening came open for the HH-43B and I was selected for it. Went to Sheppard AFB, TX. for HH-43 fire training.
My 1st assignment with the HH-43 was at Randolph AFB, TX.
After completing 3 years of service, went ahead and re-enlisted dropping my 4th year of my 1st enlistment, starting a new 4 years.
Volunteered for Vietnam, no problem there, had records for Phan Rang AB, RVN in no time.
Was sent to Fairchild AFB, Washington for Global Survival (a real hell hole). Completed that, then on to the Philippines for Jungle Survival, completed that and on to Sea Survival in Okinawa, completed that one then on to Vietnam. I arrived in country Jan 1970.
On my 24 hrs. off, I would go to the Army side and put in flight time flying with “Dustoffs” on the UH-1’s. Many dangerous times with these guys.
Made it through the year and left Phan Rang in Jan 1971, assigned to Bergstrom AFB, TX. Here I tested for and passed to flight examiner and also flight instructor.
In May on 1972, our entire Det. including both HH-43’s was airlifted to Takhli RTAFB, Thailand for Operation Constant Guard III. I remember landing in what looked like a ghost town, hardly anyone was there yet, slept on cots outside covered with mosquito nets listening to them nasty lizards all night.
Made it back to Bergstrom and decided to get out in 1973.