Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30, 1969......and a Global Warming Update!

The weather forecast is looking fine, if you are thinking October in West Central Ohio. 50% chance of rain today, and 40% tomorrow...71 today, and 65 predicted for tomorrow, July 1st. Global Warming my ass!

Cap and trade, the phony climate bill championed by the far left is being ramrodded through by our illegal Kenyan born Prez, and we are all getting bent over to receive the benefits of sky high utility bills...."Beautiful, just stinking beautiful"! Not to worry, Barry will have us all worshipping his sorry ass, and we should be thankful so he thinks.

In other News, Michael Jackson is still dead, so are Billy Mays, Farrah, and Ed.

Sam and I traveled to Van Wert to umpire an American Legion game last night...the host team taking on Troy, Ohio. In a 3 hour 15 minute marathon{with Sam behind the plate}, the visitors scored 6 runs late, and came across with a 10-6 victory. Tonight I'm back at Crestview for the double header which will decide the 2 Junior ACME teams moving on to Parkway for the District. Sam is with Garry at Van Wert for a second round ACME Sectional game.

June 30, 1969, Vietnam Send Off_____
40 years ago today____

I remember Monday June 30th in the summer of 69 as a cloudy, humid day....my flight out of the Dayton, Ohio, Airport, at Vandalia, Ohio, was scheduled for early afternoon. I had been in the Air Force for 53 weeks on the day of my flight over to the "conflict" zone called South Vietnam.

We arrived at the Airport, and back in the days before increased Airport Security, I had a chance to grab a early flight, or sit around for 2 1/2 hours looking at the faces of mom and dad, and their thoughts on me heading to Vietnam, just get this over I though, little time for tears and worry...I opted to grab the early fight, and the old man and I had to haul ass to get to the gate in time for me to get on the 707 to Chicago. I was 20 years old, not really mature in any stretch of the imagination, and here I was heading overseas to play Air Force Cop in a war zone.

As luck would have it, the flight from Dayton to O'Hare would fly right over Grand Lake, and low enough(since the Airport was only 60 miles from my house) so I could see our place sitting next to the Montezuma Airport...a view of the home, I would not live in again, by the time I returned, the folks would sell that house and move into Celina.

Changing planes in Chicago, we would fly west towards San Francisco...The thing I remember about that portion of the trip was that we hit a hard air turbulence over Colorado, just as the stewardess's were serving out the in-flight meals....not good! We hit a couple of big ones and several folks were wearing their meals...they stopped the meal service for a half hour of so, until the plane cleared the rough ride portion of the trip. The rest of the flight went without problems, and we arrived in San Fran early in the California Afternoon. I deplaned and took an Air Force Blue Bus(just like the yellow school buses, except dark Air Force Blue in color), to Travis AFB outside the city.

After arriving at Travis from an interesting ride that took us past Candlestick Ball Park and the Hearst Castle, I began the processing part of my journey to "Nam"... then with that done, I was hearded on a commercial flight towards Hawaii where we ran towards the setting sun before landing at the Honolulu International Airport while it was still daylight. I thought to myself.."My first trip to the 50th State", that seemed a little exciting, but within a couple hours, after a beer in the lounge, I climbed aboard my final plane of the trip....a orange 707 jet from upstart Braniff International Airlines. Now, the trip got interesting...we soon headed across the International Dateline and it was July 1, 1969.

One notable difference between the Air Force and rest of the services when it came to being sent overseas, unlike the other services, we were sent as individuals and joined up with other individuals to form Squadrons, Flights, etc....much of the movement in the Army and Marines were as groups...I always arrived alone at my different stations....From Amarillo to Lackland, Dover, Nha Trang, Tan Son Nhut, and finally Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York. And for most of my 4 year tour, I served the same way. I did it my way....getting more hard headed and insulate as the time passed.

On the next post we will continue across the Pacific towards Vietnam____

back later>>>>
photos-(1) June 30, 1969, me with mom in our front yard, as I was preparing to head for the Dayton, Ohio, Airport, on the first leg of my trip to Vietnam.(2)A view of the Hearst Castle outside San Francisco, the AF Bus passed this on the way to processing at Travis AFB.(3)Honolulu International Airport as it looked from the air in 1969(4)Orange was the color of my Braniff Airline plane that crossed the Pacific in the summer of 69...Braniff went under in 1984...but when it was in operation the made a name with their plane's loud colors, and the flight attendents bright outfits.


BRUNO said...

This is all kinda interesting! I mean, the "40-years-ago" redux.

Made THREE of my grey-hairs turn light-brown again, for just a few minutes! LOL!

And damned if you ain't EXACTLY forty-years to-the-date...!

Harry J said...

Pat my dates were December 6th 68 to December 5th 69,My itinerary to Nam sounds the same, keep it going I am sure you'll jog this vets memory....

FHB said...

My buddy Joe tells me that the Braniff flights to Nam earned the crews extra combat pay. He says that the older, more senior crews tended to pull that duty through seniority. So, the stewardess' started out young and pretty here in the states, but as you got closer to Nam they got old and wrinkly... by the standards of a 20 yr old.

He also told me about his trip East. Said the 707 broke down in Hawaii and they got to spend a few days and nights living it up on Braniff at the hotel. They found out early that if they charged their booze to their room, the Braniff room chit paid for it all.

That jog any memories loose.

Anonymous said...

i was born June 30 1969.I just curious what was it like,the day i was born.what was going on back then.now i`m a Grandmother.I want to be able to tell what I know.