|The B-52 bomber was the
mainstay of the The nuclear capable aircraft was modified to
a conventional bomber in the Vietnam War carrying approximately one
hundred 500 and 750 pound iron freefall bombs. A B-52 raid was called
"Arc light" and for good reason, as their bombs lit the horizon at night
and shook the ground for miles. The VC and NVA were said to call it the
"silent death" as the bombers, flying at tens of thousands of feet were
unseen and unheard: the first warning of their presence being the
photo USAF Museum)
A USAF Rescue and Recovery H-53 "Super
Jolly Green" outbound over the north perimeter of DaNang.
These units extracted downed pilots, often under fire while hovering
above the jungle, and were armed with three 7.62 caliber mini-guns, with
M-60 machineguns for backup.
If I recall correctly this was during the
"Linebacker II" operations in 1972 and a B-52, heavily damaged by SAM's
on it's ride "Downtown [Hanoi]," is off picture to the right.
A USAF Security Alert Team (SAT) on duty
at the off-base bomb dump (ASP) at DaNang Air Base in 1972. The vehicle
is the M-715 Weapons Carrier, used when more capacity was needed than
could be provided by the M-151 "Jeeps." This has an M-60 Machinegun
mounted on a pedestal mount.
SAT's provided the immediate response
to any threat to USAF resources; in this case for the bomb dump and in
support of the bunker and tower line that surrounded it. The team also
carried an M-16 per member; the team leader's was equipped with an
XM-148 Grenade Launcher, a forerunner of the M-203. Airman
Liddell (standing) is wearing the traditional steel pot, and flak vest
that was haute couture that year.
Airman Liddell and Team Leader SSgt
Sergeant Liddell (reclining) propping
up his helmet, which is propping up his rucksack at the ASP-1 the entry
control point after pulling the bunker line sentries in the pre-dawn
At DaNang machine gunners carried the
MG and a rifle rather than a sidearm. There is a spare barrel attached
to the ruck, along with a couple hundred ready rounds. A 1500
round can was always in the bunker so ammo was plentiful on post.
I still have that coffee cup attached
to the rucksack, as I "liberated" it from the chow hall.
The morning ride on the "Duce and a Half"
from ASP, the off base bomb dump, back to the main base at DaNang.
The Vietnamese running after the truck
are scrambling to get the C-Rats (cans of food) that some of the guys on
the truck have tossed out as we drove through "dogpatch;" which was the
name for the village of shacks on the west perimeter.
The paranoid one with the rifle is me.
|SSgt McCarroll (don't look
so happy Mac) and I as the ASP SAT. He replaced SSgt Sullivan when
Sully went to QRF leader. My M-16 is sitting magazine up. On
Mac's you can see the muzzle of the XM-148 grenade launcher a forerunner
of the M203.
The strip of black tape was my way
to mark a magazine with tracer rounds versus one that's all ball ammo.
Security Police M-16 doctrine was to fire aimed three round bursts when
in full-auto. With a 1 in 3 tracer to ball ratio, that meant
each burst contained one tracer round.
Yummy! Yummy! Everybody's
favorite food: C-Rations!!! From the looks of "Dutch"
Cassidy's face he must have gotten something other than the "Green Eggs
On the sandbags are an M-60, and
standing on it's butt is a "CAR-15" which is what the USAF called the
This was a cut down version of the M16
and was used by K-9 handlers, QRT members and some supervisors. Today
that would be an M-4.
|Security Police Bunkered
Tower Post Alpha-3. Located in Alpha Area on the South West sector
of the base. Spot light on roof. Heavy reinforced walls and
floors: sheet steel roof.
|Security Police Bunker Post
Bravo-12 in pre-dawn light from back of Tiger Flight relief truck.
This was the bomb delivery entrance on the South
end of the flight line. It was sand filled plywood, tin roof, with
no overhead cover. Yuuck.
Concrete revetments for alert CAP aircraft are seen in
There were two F-106's in there in '72.
I experienced my first rocket attack while manning