There has been a schedule shift and the dates are now set for the Great Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride. We will hit the road in Laos on 30 March. We will leave from Vientiane and spend 14 days exploring. Our last day of riding will be 12 April and we will end up in Paske. We will depart from Paske on the morning of 13 April. Check out the map of our route. Continue reading
As mentioned elsewhere, this is not an absolute schedule. The only absolute dates will be the start (30 Mar) and end (12 Apr). The rest will be adjusted to suit our exploration and severity of our Monkey Butts. Continue reading
I became intimately familiar with SARs only ten days after I arrived at NKP. Although I didn’t directly work this SAR, it affected everyone at NKP. On Christmas Day, 1968, PJ A1C Charles King volunteered for the SAR mission to rescue a downed F-105 pilot. King was lowered to the ground to rescue the pilot, Major Charles Brownlee. It all went wrong. A1C King and Maj. Brownlee were ever seen again.
Over the next year, the SAR forces at NKP made many rescues. By rough count, there were over 100 SARs during my year… a little over half of them were successful. Unfortunately, during SARs we also lost four Sandy A-1s (602nd SOS), an HH-53 Jolly Green Giant (40th ARRS), an O-2 (23rd TASS) and an OV-10 (23rd TASS.) Of those SAR aircraft losses, there were three KIA.
My last SAR started on 5 Dec 68… just days before I got on the “Freedom Bird.” An F-4C out of Cam Ranh Bay, call sign Boxer-22*, was shot down in the Phanop Valley. Both the pilot, Capt. Ben Danielson (Boxer-22A) and the GIB**, 1Lt. Woody Bergeron (Boxer-22B), successfully ejected. Radio contact was made with both crew members. They were separated by the 50 foot wide Nam Ngo river, and both were in “good condition.”