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40 years ago

Started by pizzaman242, December 18, 2012, 09:36:21 AM

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40 years ago we had just finished Operation Linebacker. Which was a year long battle of endless days, no sleep, and so badly overworked that we were beyond emotion, we were automatons. we were so badly exhausted that it was a miracle that no one was killed or injured on the flight line, we were literally stumbling over each other, and they announced that the operation was over and we could start going back to a more humane schedule of 6 day weeks 12 hour workdays. No sooner t
han we got settled in the less demanding life. Than they announced that Hanoi still won't come back to the tables and Linebacker II was launched. Back were the ass busting no sleep days. As one of 3 run qualified Techs on the island I spent more time sleeping on the side of the flight line in the grass with my shirt as my pillow than I did in my bed. You see I was not part of any B-52 Squadron. I was permanent party with the 605th Military Airlift Squadron. Prior to this massive build up of bombers we were just a little fuel stop for planes heading into the middle east. We were seldom the destination. So all we needed in our tech area of the squadron was 18 men from all branches of different specialties, I was a Jet Engine tech, hence the run qualification. But the announcement of Operation Linebacker changed all that, suddenly we were the destination of hundreds of cargo planes bringing in all sorts of supplies including armament and personnel to service all the incoming B-52's. Sadly we were not so lucky as to get extra personnel to augment our ranks, so as the workload increased the demand on our services increased till we were just a bunch of Zombies going through the paces. We were so lucky that no one was hurt during this time. Yes there were a few close calls, Like the hapless young man who walked under the intake of a engine running at full power, If I hadn't grabbed him by the belt, he would of been sucked in. The operation itself was short lived but the build up and follow up were not so short lived, then they announced that the North Vietnamese were not serious about returning to the tables, they just wanted us to stop, so Nixon said bomb them back to hell until they beg for peace. So we were on again. Thank god my replacement came shortly after that and I was rotated back to the States. They never got the Idea that we were overworked, I do not know how they could have missed it, I mean on a clear day you could look up and see the planes circling waiting their turn to land like a pack of gulls, there were so many. I may not have set foot in Viet Nam hence no Viet Nam campaign ribbon, but I certainly did my part as did all my fellow techs of The 605th Military Airlift Support Squadron To help bring an end to the Viet Nam war. This is what occupies my mind this holiday season.
The future has many names: for the fearful it's the unknown, for
the reckless it's the adventure, for the pessimists it's the
unattainable. For the brave, it is opportunity


Brady, it is sad that even 40 years later this still occupies your mind at this time of year but it is good that you can talk about it. I do hope that you are at peace with what you experienced even if you still relive those memories.


That experience confirms how much a person can work thru and the big brass knows it.  Sounds like it gave you solid prep to handle the business of living.  Must have been nice to be able to sleep in once your body released all that hyped up intensities.
Not my will, but Thy will be done

Imagine - John Lennon

Groundhog Day - the movie

Where the mind goes, the body will follow


i think we were both on Guam at the same time just on opposite ends of the island
The navy minesweep task force (Task Force 78) pulled into Guam in early Jan 1973 and pulled out for the PI in about a week later.

I think that the mining of  Haiphong did more to the NVs then the bombing as they were unable to bring in replacement SA-2s and other war materiel on soviet ships. 
Wooden Ships and Rusty Crusty Old Iron Men
USS Enhance MSO437
Sanity is for Nuts!


War is hell no matter how long ago it happened.  At this point in your life, talking about it will still bring up the bad memories, but it also eases the weight felt in your heart. 

Things like this will never leave your mind, but no matter how much you remember, there is always going to be something good that you can also remember.  It is kind of like having don't know what it was really like unless you were there.

To those who served then and now, our hearts should go out to each and every one.

The original post that was made and the article that was attached brings tears to the eye by instilling in us just how much was done by shear willpower during those terrible months.

Hats off to all of us that served.

Thanks Brady for putting into words what so many of us can not imagine what truly went on behind the lines.

AND MOST FOOLS DO.   'Benjamin Franklin'


Wow.. my hat is off to you gents.  I will likely never see a battle first hand.. I owe a lot of that to you gents.  Thank you for your service. 

Where God leads, His hand always provides keep Calm and code on....



Thank you all who bravely served and sacrificed in a way that no one can understand who hasn't done it.  No matter if you were front lines or support, it's all the same.

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