Ssgt. James Boudreau
Rate/Rank = Ssgt.USAF
20Th.TASSg Da Nang 69-70
Det.1 56 SOW Udorn 70-71
RLAF, Vientiane, Laos 72
Information received via internet:
Interested in contacting survivors of EC-121 crash 16 Mar 70 Da Nang.
I was a witness to the crash, I turned the moment I heard the engine noise stop. I was about 100 yards away and ran over and helped pull some of the men away from the fire and cover them with pieces of the engine cowling. I helped the survivor who was able to stand up light a cigarette as his hands were shaking to much to do so. He said over and over that he's never ever going to fly again and he's going home by boat.
I was wearing only underpants. Might help the few other guys who didn't run like hell and were among the first on the crash site to remember me. As I recall there were only a couple of us in close to the fire dragging men away from the intense heat, exploding ordinance and fire and covering them with sections of the engine cowling to protect them from the dust picked up from the strong wind the fire created in it's need for oxygen. Going back to drag men away who looked to be in one piece but, were to incapacitated, in shock or unconscious to move themselves. It didn't take to long as it was very clear the main section of the aircraft was in a huge fireball. The guys who survived were lucky to be thrown out or in the tail section. The rest of the men on board died instantly, I hope it make you feel better to know that your brother didn't suffer. By the time fire trucks came ( which wasn't very long) there was no chance any one else was alive.
I went back to my barracks got dressed, grabbed my camera walked back and took some pictures. Unfortunately they were borrowed years later and never returned. They were taken sooner after the crash than any I have seen yet. Mp's were taking cameras away from men taking pictures and pulling the film out of the camera's and telling the guys not to take any more pictures. I had already taken my pictures and put my camera back in my barracks and was on my third trip to the crash site. The plane crashed very close to me. The firemen were all there by now and I was just another spectator to war and the death that it brings.
jaysauto (AT symbol) teche.net
The information above was taken from emails from Mr. James Boudreau
Thank you to Earles McCaul, original webmaster for The WILLIE VICTOR
Roster, for forwarding me information that enabled me to contact Mr.
Boudreau. The roster is now on The Willy Victor Group website: http://www.willyvictor.com/