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  #21  
Old 11-07-2008, 11:02 AM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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I originally posted this in another thread on this subject but believe it is more appropriate here.

Of note on a couple of misconceptions in this thread

A: They were not "advisor's" they were probably the first "combatants" in Vietnam
B: Col Ky was the commander. They did according to my dad have a ranking American, but he reported to Col Ky as they were actually assigned to the VNAF.

Dave Son of
I too am the son of a Dirty Thirty pilot. My dad Maj Carl R. Erickson USAF retired is now 82.
Let me tell you what I know and have found out primarily through my dad and some "googled" info.
My dad was in the first 30, April of 62. I always thought that he was there as an adviser but from new discussions and other info it appears they were temporarily assigned by (MAAG) military assistance group to bring the VNAF 1st transportion group to full strength under the command of Nguyen Cao Ky. Yes Col. Ky was the commander.

So from what I have found they were actually "on loan" from the USAF to the VNAF. Which means they were not adviser's at all the were probably the first "combatants" of the Vietnam war.

I do remember visiting th AF musem in 68 when we were stationed at Chanute AFB and the had a small display of the Dirty Thirty.

Here is the info I found and my dad confirms.
"The Dirty Thirty
South Vietnamese Air Force DC-3 being flown by USAF "Dirty Thirty" pilots - 1962
South Vietnamese Air Force DC-3 being flown by USAF "Dirty Thirty" pilots - 1962

Additional USAF personnel arrived at Tan Son Nhut in early 1962 after the VNAF transferred two dozen seasoned pilots from the 1st Transportation Group at Tan Son Nhut to provide aircrews for the newly activated 2nd Fighter Squadron then undergoing training at Bien Hoa Air Base. This sudden loss of qualified C-47 pilots brought the 1st Transportation Group's airlift capability dangerously low.

In order to alleviate the problem, United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, on the recommendation of the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Vietnam, ordered thirty USAF pilots temporarily assigned to the VNAF to serve as C-47 co-pilots. This influx of U.S. personnel quickly returned the 1st TG to full strength.

The Americans arrived at Tan Son Nhut during March and April 1962 and immediately began flying with Vietnamese crews. Unfortunately, problems arose between the Americans and Vietnamese and by August the situation had so deteriorated that the 1st Transportation Group commander. Nguyen Cao Ky urgently appealed for closer cooperation and understanding between the two groups. The situation seemed to gradually improve and although there were still problems, the two groups developed a closer working relationship.

Unlike the USAF Farm Gate personnel at Bien Hoa Air Base, the C-47 co-pilots actually became part of the VNAF operational structure - though still under U.S. control. Because of their rather unusual situation, these pilots soon adopted the very unofficial nickname, The Dirty Thirty.

In a sense they were the first U.S. airmen actually committed to combat in Vietnam, rather than being assigned as advisors or support personnel.

The USAF 315th Troop Carrier Group (Combat Cargo) and 8th Aerial Port Squadron were activated on 8 December 1962, replacing the provisional transport units. The 315th Group had a strength of twenty-seven officers and twenty-one airmen, all of whom were on permanent assignment to Tan Son Nhut.

Although the 315th Group was an element of the 315th Air Division, the group's responsibilities included developing tactics and techniques and providing technical advice on airlift matters. Operational command of the group rested with the Commander, MACV, who in theory exercised control through his Air Force component command, the 2d Air Division.

The original Dirty Thirty pilots eventually rotated home during early 1963 and were replaced by a second contingent of American pilots. This detachment remained with the VNAF until December 1963 when they were withdrawn from Vietnam. "

regards
Dave

Last edited by eriksale; 11-07-2008 at 12:14 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2008, 10:35 PM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son-Of-Pilot View Post
Well ... lets try this:

The patch the guys wore on their flight suits was round .... the top half was blue and the bottom half was red. There was a black ram's head in the center with a yellow lightning bolt behind the ram's head. There was a red ring near the edge of the circle with the words "BA MUOI LAM" on the top and the words "THE DIRTY THIRTY" on the bottom.

I hope this helps ....

Todd
Todd
I asked my dad if he knew what the Vietnamese translation was and he believes it is "Dirty Thirty". However he remebers they made a spare tire cover with the insignia and every time they went into Saigon with the jeep they would get "snickers" from the Vietnames as they went by.

He wasn't sure if this was the look of the patch or "BA MUOI LAM"
Dave
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:45 PM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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To all on this thread
Forgot to tell everyone that Todd gave me his dad's number and I my dad's number.

I'm happy to report that my dad called Todd's and they talked for over 2 hours.

This was probably the first time they had talked with each other since 1963.

I just have to say what a GREAT site this is that after all these years how to ole pilot's could get togeather, reminisce and just see how each other was doing !!
Thank you "Patriotfiles.com"

Dave
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:40 AM
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Default Wow...

What a great story! We are proud of what David has done here. So glad this worked out. How cool!

Pack
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:33 PM
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What Packo said. Sweet!
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2008, 09:15 PM
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Default amazing,..

...

...That the world of computers does so much,...

...cogratulations on helping bring these two together to fly again,...

... bring um to the mtn,...

...
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2008, 10:07 PM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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Guy's thank you for the kind words I have always loved history and it is much more fun when you are so close to the source.

I have searched over the last 8 or so years on info, much as Todd has trying to find out more info on my dad’s squadron, much to no avail or very limited info.

I too tried the AF museum, as I remember visiting when we were at Chanute and went over to Wright – Pat and they at that time had a small display of the “Dirty Thirty”

I did at one time find info that my dad totally disputes and that is in the origin of the name “The Dirty Thirty”

According to AF museum it was said they never changed their uniforms often so they were “Dirty Pilots” According to my dad when they first got together someone in the squadron remembered a college football team known as the “Dirty Thirty” and that is how they came up with the name. Probably at the officer’s club over to many scotch’s (remember the Army only drinks beer <☺ ) the Air Force drink’s scotch!!!

You can imagine at 14 or 15 in approx 67 – 68, the profound pride in seeing your dad’s picture along with 29 others, 1 KIA, in the AF museum !! It really felt like looking at 30 of the finest pilot’s in the world!

I hope to ad much more to this thread. It’s also in my spare time !!! Inspired me to maybe write an article “ Air Force Brat, even worse an officer’s Brat at that”

Dave
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  #28  
Old 11-18-2008, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksale View Post
To all on this thread
Forgot to tell everyone that Todd gave me his dad's number and I my dad's number.

I'm happy to report that my dad called Todd's and they talked for over 2 hours.

This was probably the first time they had talked with each other since 1963.

I just have to say what a GREAT site this is that after all these years how to ole pilot's could get togeather, reminisce and just see how each other was doing !!
Thank you "Patriotfiles.com"

Dave
I can't say enough about this site!!!! I was beginning to think I wasn't going to find a darned thing about the Dirty Thirty. At least now things are starting to come together. I am realy proud of my dad and the 29 other guys who were there before most everyone else. It's truely amazing that after more than 40 years a pair of comrades-in-arms can reach out and rekindle their friendship.

I am an Air Force brat, an airline brat, the son of a pilot and the son of an officer. I am damned proud of it all ..... but most especially my dad.

Here's to them .... those who left .... and those who still remain!

Todd
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  #29  
Old 11-23-2008, 11:48 PM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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Hello everyone

I’m watching all of the accolades for John F. Kennedy on the anniversary of his assignation.

Since this is a history site I need to give my prospective on history, from the first person prospective.

I'm a military brat from a time where we were very much apart of our fathers lifestyle.

We lived breathed "packed boxes" every three years

I would like to give all of you the perspective of a child of 8 years old who’s father that was sent to a place called “Vietnam”

My dad was one of the first combatant’s sent to Vietnam under Kennedy after succumbing to the advise of Gen. Maxwell Taylor. This A-Hole was so depressed that DOD money was going to the AF and Navy he needed to “Create” a new war!!!!

Was John Kennedy a great President? His Inauguration speech will absolutely is something to go down as one of the great inaugration speeche's of all times!

However!

Was he a great President? Absolutely not!!!
Bay of Pigs!
Missile crisis?

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam War. Johnson took to the next level and beyond!

In the eyes of this 8 year old in 1962, John F. Kennedy was a mediocre President at best.

I know there are those that feel that JFK was wonderful President, but I ask are your feelings because of his of his accomplishments? Or solely based on his assignation?


FYI my dad Maj Carl R. Erickson is not doing well and I will update you on his condition after tomorrow.

I love you Dad

Dave
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  #30  
Old 11-24-2008, 12:28 AM
eriksale eriksale is offline
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Simply acts of kindness

While at Travis AFB hospital, my dad (the Major) had a medical assistant Stephani from NJ. She is a vegitarian and my dad teased her that he left some "sausage for her" but she was so kind to my dad. So I could see that she was a 2 stripper, and is that airman !st class?

So she mentioned she just bought a new Digital camera, red of course and needed a case, so being the Nor Cal rep for Tamrac, I went to my car grabbed the appropriate case for her camera.

Brought it back up and the smiles and grins were priceless when I gave her the case and said "Thank you for your service, and especially being so Kind to my dad" she smiled back and said "your Dad is easy" !!

I will probably wil never see her again but it sure felt, "GREAT"

I'll give you more examples of how my dad ALWAYS treated the enlisted!

I'm sorry for rambling but my dad is in bad shape. I believe I have found a family that understand's here, though I'm not one of you in battle but feel apart of the whole process. if I'm wrong tell me to go away and it's ok!!!!!

This is a hard time watching my dad, hero etc fade away<)


Dave
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