I start this post by referring the reader to the above link which is an account by an eyewitness to a tragedy that haunts my memory. You see, I was a lowly 0-3 in the 366th CSG which was in support of the 366th TFW on the east-side of Da Nang AB in the ’67-’68 time frame. My duties were to develop plans and procedures to protect the base and its resources from hazards caused by disasters of whatever type from enemy attacks to major accidents and natural disasters. I had one assistant, an E-6 who helped me in my duties. An excerpt from my “OER” for that period stated that I was performing my duties at the most “disaster-active airbase” in Vietnam. At that time we were called :”Disaster Control,” later called “Disaster Preparedness” probably because we couldn’t “control” anything and had to depend on EOD, the Fire Dept, Security Police, and Crash Recovery crews to accomplish anything. Civil Engineering also helped enormously in providing materials and crews to build bunkers, revetments and aircraft shelters.
Getting back to the matter at hand, however, I must ask why the B-52D which had two engines out, no flaps and both electrical and hydraulic failures was instructed by “whomever” to attempt to land on a 10.000 ft runway when they couldn’t get the wheels to touch until the 5.000 ft marker and, get this, they tried once and had to go-around a 2nd time because the heavy bird just wouldn’t land on such short space. And so, that morning as I tip-toed around the wreckage, I was confronted with the sight of two of my buddies still in their seats, blackened corpses ready for the morgue. You think I just might have what they call PTSD over that incident? Al Whatley, the tail-gunner and only survivor and I shall have these memories forever. Forgive me but this is the only way I can put these memories to rest for even a short time. God bless you for your prayers and concern.