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Date Posted: Fri, January 30 2015, 9:03:44
Author: Joy Litchfield
Author Host/IP: 188.8.131.52
Subject: Help Needed to Prove In Country Vietnam 62-63
I have been searching for the last 4 years for "proof" that my dad was in Vietnam so he can get the long overdue recognition and disability approval he has deserved and needed since 1981. My dad have 5 massive heart attacks before age 45 that were directly correlated to Vietnam. He has been permanently disabled since. I didn't know he was in Vietnam until I was an adult. He never said much until the last few years. He said most all of his pictures that were in albums were stole after he got back, as well as his uniforms and much of his military jacket. Crazy???
Dad has had more cancer than I care to write about. Every year it comes back somewhere else and more times than the previous year. He will be 79 in May. The doctors have told us time is not on his side. His medical bills are more than his rent each month. With all that said I would like him to know that We, Us, Our Country, appreciates his service, what he did, his time in Vietnam.
I am asking everyone to look at these pictures that he took in Country and write letters supporting the location, and/or if you knew him or anyone else in the pictures, or where they are now. I'm not sure how many I can post here so I may post more messages. I hope that's ok.
His tour information:
Orders: TDY POPE AFB to TON SON HNUT
arrived POPE 1 OCT 62
Arrived back at 305th 22 MAR 63
oddly he was TDY OCT 61 until.....TDY as well - anyone else have this?
He served in the 6220th TDY as “MAAG” outfit – under the CIA –(Prior to that he was from the 305th bomb sq - SAC). We only found out he was under CIA orders in the last 6 months or so. Dad was an excellent recip/jet engine mechanic. So I assume that’s why they chose him for TDY. His job was Acft recip field maintenance. (He worked out of a Hanger where they stored loaded small arms). He mostly kept the C-123's running and flew into bases as needed then walked through jungle to their location and either cannibalized or repair and retrieve downed aircraft. He told us that when they flew him back to Hawaii they had the guys spread to different planes and change clothes before they taxied all the way in, told them routine keep your mouth shut or… and let them off the plane.
1 more vital thing that may help - He and a fellow soldier and friend, Elmo Baruker, were working on a C-123outside the hanger on Ton Son Nhut; removing markings on the aircraft with paint remover that was stored on a 55 gallon barrel. Elmo opened it and the paint remover exploded and burned both of them pretty bad. James had 2nd degree burns to his stomach going up his neck, left arm and legs. Elmo’s burns were worse as he remembers. They both went to the base hospital which then was 2 tents, one next to the other. James stayed 2-3 nights and Elmo stayed an additional 2 or 3 more. He also remembers that they put oil soaked gauze over burns and gave him pain medicine. As his memory serves this incident took place in early December 1962 as he said it was before Christmas.
He was stationed at Ton Son Nhut but went to Da Nang, Tan Can, Soc Trang, Nha-Trang, Bien Hoa, Kon Tum, Doc To.
We do have a few pictures, only because they weren’t developed until years later.
I can't figure out how to post pictures here. If someone can help with that I would appreciate it.
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