View Full Version : unsafe flying maneuver
Saw the post on AK's being ineffective and have to vent a personal shot. Nov '67 with HMM-263 [ H-34's] at Phu Bai. Pilots from the squadron relieving 263 had arrived [ HMM-264 I think] but their '46's were still enroute on a boat. 263's colors were going stateside to reform with '46's. Had just come back from a gaggle [supporting the Army] that dropped off people who didn't exist doing something that never happened from a place we put them 3 days earlier we never were. Landed at Phu Bai 28 minutes into the 30 minute low fuel light and taxied into the fuel pits. Mitch Gibbs [ crew chief EG-5] told me we also had a flat tailwheel. Asked him how long to get a tow tractor. At least an hour. How about air taxiing back so fuel pits weren't blocked for rest of gaggle? Tower says O K so we air taxi back to park it and crew can have more time for repair for next launch. Next morning at the all pilot's meeting [ 34's and 46's combined], the 46 CO stood up and says he saw the most dangerous, unsafe and unauthorized flight maneuver he ever saw the day before. An H-34 hovering down the taxi ramp. If he ever caught anyone doing that again he would take their wings and send them to be a FAC somewhere. Being a mere Lt., I took it and didn't have the brass to ask 1] should I have left the fuel pits closed for everyone else low fuel for an hour 2] If it was so unsafe, why was it taught at P'cola as a basic flight maneuver- remember the box patterns? 3] Has anyone sent a Notam to VMO? That's the only way Huey's moved- via air taxi [ no wheels]. 4] Tower said it was OK so that was authorization for me. Sorry, but getting old, cranky and just had to vent and let loose of that burr under my saddle.
some might say the post was "Hostile", I'd just say it was from Hostile. :)
I am sure you are not the only lieutenant who has had a beef with seniors.
In one case (of many), I kept telling the CO than if he continued a certain procedure he would crash. He did.
I never stayed around to see how I would act as a "heavy." I sometimes wonder: If I were a CO would I know everythingf?
And life goes on. War is not a simple matter. Nor is governing or mananaging any large organizatin a simple matter. Overall we did a good job and those who serve now are, I believe, doing even better.
So be it.
First, all field grade are lobotomized a _ _ holes.
Second, in the old corps, all FAC's had to be NA's on DIFOT orders.
Third, once upon a time, I was flying emergency medevacs out of Phu Bai in Sept 67. Had refueled, my gunship escort was already airborne, and the duty runaway was occupied by a VN civilian 2 engine Beech, Piper, Cessna, or whatever.
The tower gave me clearance to take off from the parallel taxiway and remain clear of the gook on the runway. I told the crewchief to aim the M-60 at the gook as he climbed out behind and beside me. If his left wing started to dip, send him to hell.
Well, Col Frank Wilson, MAG 36 CO, was trying to cross the runway as I took off, so he observed my heroic actions. Probably headed for the club and cocktails. When the day was done, I shutdown and was greeted by the 362 CO, LtCol Cline. He informed me that I was in deep doodoo with Wilson. I was grounded for a day. I was well into a hundred hour month by that time. So, I thanked them for the time off.
And, everyone knows what happened next, I was FACKED to 3/3/3 in November. But, nobody pulled my wings and nobody gave me an UNSAT fitness report.
The problem with field grades is that they do not know their place. War is a young man's game. All company grades must be full of piss and vinegar. It is the field grades place to recognize that as an asset and utilize it. Of course, the people who are promoted to field grade never had any piss and vinegar in them to begin with, that is why they got promoted.
Fighting Mad 1 - 4 Actual out
First, all field grade are lobotomized a _ _ holes.
I was only a Sergeant and never a field grade officer. I also never liked brown nosers but, some of the best field grade officers I’ve known were pretty fine individuals who genuinely cared for their Marines. Calling all of them a-holes is a pretty bold statement.
Look some of them up. Major D.E.P. Miller, Lt. Col. Warren Cretney, Major “Bud” Wildfang, Lt.Col. Leo Ihli, Lt. Col. Art “AlfaGolf6” Friend on this forum (a Sergeant when we served together in SAR, El Toro), and our very own Col. “Slick” Katz a L/Cpl. when he arrived in RVN.
We’ve all known NCO, SNCO, Company Grade, as well as, field Grade officers who were a-holes but, most were fine Marines.
I don’t want to get into a pissing contest but I have to disagree. Also, they were all Company Grade first.
Semper FI, my brother, Jim Wilkening
I was flying there 4 Years 1964/1968 never saw Gooks in that type A/C. I suspect they were Air America. Most of those were being flown by Marines that temporarily were detached to Air America. I found that there were good & less than good in all Grades Officer & Enlisted.
OMG Wayne, that was alittle over the edge. Will Rogers said it best when he said " I never met a Marine I didn't like." I assume when you left the Corps you might have been a Maj/LT, Lt/Lt, or maybe attained the rank of Gen/Lt. Is the CMC a field grade?
It was never said that YOU weren't a good driver, you never pranged YW-11, but we had a Field Grade or two that did...LOL! Lt.Col. Hagedorn got the ramp pretty badly landing on a stump (while I was directing him forward...) and Major Van Reed (no relation) got some blade tips while extracting a Recon team, but that was a "must do" to get those guys out....He was a good stick! All in all Field Grade officers didn't treat me any worse than Company Grade, and were usually more lenient than the younger folks.
Joe, I flew with Hagedorn when he was with Group... hoisting fuel blivets from the coast to Phu Bai. It was an interesting day. I left with orders back to Conus a month after he took command of HMM-165. I know of a 1stLt who whacked up 3 aft rotor blades hoisting a SOG group out of the jungle west of the Ashau. It happened the day after Group said it would be deep kimchi for any pilot whacking any rotor blades. After Fred Allega and I wrote our reports LtCol Romine told me to keep flying. Nothing more said.
Now this I know !! Richard Romine was a PFC in my Duty section 1948/1950 when I was a Staff NCO. I encouraged him to apply for Flight training which he did as a Cpl. He flew during the Korean War & had the Navy Cross in Vietnam. I will certify that he certainly was a good Field Grade. I knew him and his family from back at that time. SF
Joe, I flew with Hagedorn when he was with Group... hoisting fuel blivets from the coast to Phu Bai. It was an interesting day.
After Fred Allega and I wrote our reports LtCol Romine told me to keep flying. Nothing more said.
Fred was the very first to ever let me "drive" a CH-46...HMM-365 New River...a good stick in his own right...Nothing need be said about LtCol Romine...Thanks to Paul Moore for encouraging him way back when!!
This was the title of a chapter in the book written by "Stuffy" Dowding, who established and then commanded Fighter Command in the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain. It is said of him that he was the one man who could loose the Battle in an afternoon if he made a bad mistake. When he was head of RAF research in the early 30,s he was responsible for approving the money for Radar, which he did less than a month after he was told of it. The radar system without which the RAF could not possibly have won the Battle of Britain, was completed in late June 1940, the BoB was fought from July through September. He approved the Hurricane fighter and bootlegged the money for Vickers (Approx $60,000, what a bargain.) to start initial design work for the Spitfire. He alone invented and then implimented the CCC which used the data from radar, with other information, into a comprehensive decision making organisation which even today is the basis of modern command and control. Pearl Harbor showed that a radar alone didn't do you much good. The radar that was operational at Pearl was much more advanced than the Brits had in 1940 but the information that there was a very large formation of aircraft coming in from the north was known at least an hour before the Japs arrived was confined to 2 PFCs and a 1st Lt.. They had no way to communicate this information to anyone else and there was no way anyone could use it.
Dowding got his nickname as a schoolboy and it was thoroughly deserved, he was a most difficult man to get along with. Sir Lawrence Olivier played him to perfection in the movie Battle of Britain. There is a wonderful exchange between Dowding and some Air Ministry type who called him and said "I say, Dowding, we are having trouble with the American press, who are reporting that the Germans are saying that our figures for their losses are exaggerated". Dowding knew very well that the figures were much too high but he considered a waste of time to do the work necessary to correct them, especially since many of his pilots were killed before they could be interviewed. Just make sure you didn't delude yourself and start believing them. Anyway his reply was simple. "If the Germans are right, they'll be in London within 2 weeks. If we're right, they won't". Then he hung up the phone.
In his book he used his own mistakes to illustrate his point, emphasising how hard it was to admit mistakes and how difficult it was to get them corrected. So stupid decisions are not limited to Americans.
All Air Forces greatly exagerated their kill numbers,
1) The Luftwaffe were the most accurate. Kill/Actual about 1,75/1. They went to great efforts to confirm their kill numbers. One wonders what they did with them. I heard Gunther Rall give a talk where he discussed the kill numbers. He said that a lot depended on someone taking the trouble to follow up and make sure the kill was properly credited. Rank helped there too.
He was asked what was his favorite airplane and his reply was a surprise. He did not like the Me 109 much. He said it was a very good fighter and if flown aggressively by a good pilot it usually was successful. His comment was you never got the feeling that the airplane was on your side and you had to pay attention, especially when landing. He called the Spitfire "The baby's airplane", it was so easy to fly.
But his favorite airplane, by far, was the F104, Lockheed Starfighter which he flew in the 50s. "God made that airplane just for me". He said.
2) The long range USAF bomber escorts, Ratio kills/Actual 2/1.
3) RAF, escort, fighter sweeps, generally similar to USAF but closer to home. Ratio kills/Actual 2.25/1
4) Bomber, daylight. Ratio kills/Actual 5/1.
It is easy to understand why the bombers were so far off. An ME 109 closing at full throttle, engine running full rich, trailed smoke from the exhausts. Every gunner within range and many out of range was firing at the closing fighter. The fighter typically disengaged by bunting, that is he stuffed the nose down and pulled 3 g negative. This caused so much smoke from the exhausts that an inexperienced gunner (and they were mostly inexperienced) could easily convince himself that he and he alone had shot down the fighter, in spite of the 20 other gunners who were also shooting. Were you going to tell him he was mistaken. Not very likely.
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