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Archived Guestbook #1

From Beginning to May, 2002


These entries have been copied from the guestbook in the order they were made. Updates to the entries have been made following the original entry.  If you wish to make an update or add information, please contact me. Current guestbook

Entry 1:
Name - Delivan (Del) Young    Email - deltyoung (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Rochester, NY

 I was one of the 8 survivors from the PR-26 crash at Danang. I was a Lt. and an evaluator at the time. I was quite badley beat up and spent about 3 mos. recovering. Couldn't wait to get back on flight status and spent a little over 5 additional years on active duty. I don't know who pulled me out of the aircraft. would like to thank that individual who ever it may be.

Entry 2:
 Name - Gerald W. Martin (Jerry)    Email - gerald.w.martin (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Seattle, WA

 Was in VQ-1 from 69 to 71 and was standing at the north end of the runway when PR-26 crashed. Got there late to be of much good but lost good friends.

Entry 3:
 Name - Robert K. Ishler ATCS(Ret)    Email - Bobishler (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Rochester, WA

 I was one of the survivors of the PR-26 crash in Danang. I was probably the luckiest one on the crew because I was the only one that didn't have to go the hospital. I was the senior enlisted man in the back end and remember walking through the aircraft on approach and wondering if I should get my movie camera out and film the landing. I thought that I'd wait until sometime during the det. I then thought about taking the radar seat because the guy sitting there was a trainee (AT2 John Birch) and wouldn't know what to do if the pilot called for a practice radar approach. My next thought was he'd let me know if he wants too. Lucky for me, I decided to go to aft ditching station rather than moving everyone around. I can remember just before the crash seeing an orange glow out the aft port hole above the head. I presume it was when the wing hit the top of the hangar. I must have sensed something was wrong because I remember yelling to Don Holder to "hang on, I think we're in trouble." The next thing I remember is opening the door asking Don if he was OK; he said "yeah" and I jumped out. Someone on the ground asked me if anyone was in there and I said there was and he went in to help Don who really wasn't OK.

Entry 4:
 Name - george bletschDate --     From - paradise

 nice one jewell , found it while looking for tail # 145927 pr26 thanks,augustus remember Billy Pete

Entry 5:
 Name - Skip Klaas    Email - skip (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - King George, VA

 I served in VQ-2 from 1966-1969. I was the flight electrician on crew 26 before I left Atsugi to go back to college in the USA. AE2 floyd Andrus was my replacement on the crew. Had I not gotten really mad about 4 months before at something that happened to me in the squadron (had to move some LCDRs furniture at his house while the off base duty driver), I was going to ship over and stay with the crew for another tour.

 I was in college living in Bettendorf, IA when I heard about the accident. Needless to say I just thought about how close that came to my name being on the list instead of Floyd's. God was watching over me.

Entry 6:
 Name - Skip Klaas    Email - skip (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - King George, VA

 On my previous post , I was in VQ-1 from 66-69. I later served in VQ-2 from 1973 to 1977.

Entry 7:
 Name - Charles M. Shryock, III (AT-2)     Email - shryock (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Lanham-Seabrook, MD

 I was a member of VQ-1 from late 67 until early '70, that counts the time I spent coming and going from VQ-1 in Japan with Orders. I worked with many fine men and together we did a great job as a team. I have a lot of stories about the travels to the many countries we "visited" and especially the PI. Do you remember the trips from Atsugi to Tainan, to Bankok, to DaNang, to Korat, to Danang, to PI (to wash the plane) and back to DaNang and then back to Tainan and return to Atsugi? Well, I did that quite a few times and have a number of Air Medals, etc. I would love to hear from you and discuss things if you want. Chuck Temple, Mr. Cristman, LTV (I worked with Mr. White), and and Special Projects were a big part of my participation. I never had lobster until we had all you could eat in DaNang when a shipment was mis-delivered and had to be eaten before it perished. Well, best wishes, keep in touch, Remember the Q - see you at a reunion

 Entry 8:
 Name - Ken Stephens    Email - kenstep (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Sacramento

 I was an AT2 flying whales out of VQ-1 when PR-26 crashed. Lost some good friends and co-workers. Barry Searby was a close friend and I will always remember him. I'm grateful to Connie for creating this Memorial. I think she is super (Super-connie, to all of you old 121 flyers.)

Entry 9:
 Name - Paul A. Bennett    Email - deepsea29 (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Las Vegas, NV

 I was in VQ-1 three seperate times. 1960-64, 1966-69 and 1973-76. One of the crewmen on PR-26, Barry Searby, was my "sea-son". I had taken him under my wing and was trying to steer him in the right direction. I got out of the Navy in Dec.69'. I had written Barry several times but the letters kept comming back. They did not say he was killed. I heard through the grapevine that a WV had crashed at Danang. Knowing this AC had been especially equiped by SPODE I put two and two together. I made my one and only trip to "The Wall" and found Barry's name on it. That was my last trip.
 Upon coming back into the Navy I took a different outlook on the Navy and VQ-1. I stayed in the Navy, advanced to AVCM and decided to go for Warrant Officer and as a result retired in March of1994 as a CWO-4. As a Master Chief, I was in charge of AIMD Rota, Spain. This gave me the opportunity to deal with VQ-2 on a daily basis. I still think of Barry and every one in VQ-1/2 all the time. I basically "grew-up" in VQ-1. Although I flew most of my 12,000+ hours in A3s, I still started out in WVs and later was an AES in P3s. I used to think of all my dets to Danang/Cubi Pt./Tainan/Bangkok/Osan/Shemiya/Austrailia/Singapore/Sangley Pt./Johnson Island/Wake Island/Barbar's Pt/Midway Island/and a few others and ask myself, "Would I do it again"? I sure would!! I can also remember all the long hours we put in. I remember working six months straight without a day off. Later in my career I was asigned to Helicopters, every one around me would always complain about the "long hours". I would just sit back and chuckle to myself. Then I would say, "This is nothing" try a tour in VQ-1 0r VQ-2. I try to keep in touch with as many VQers as I can, so if anyone reads this and wants to "chat" feel free to e-mail me. Also, if anyone knows how to get in touch with the "Super Crab", Chuck Christman, please let me know.

Entry 10:

 Name - Dave Branks    Email - dbranks (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Melbourne, Fl

 To all the survivors and families, and those families who lost a loved one in the PR-26 accident,

 For over 31 years mine and my wife's prayers have been with you even if we didn't know your names. All of  you are the true Hero’s who fought to survive and went on through life after a devastating crash March 16th 1970 11:25am at DaNang VietNam.

 I thank Connie so very much for the web site she has constructed. My deepest feelings for you all cannot be explained. I struggle within myself for not doing more for you, and I ask God why he put me in the position. But I know he never gives us more than we can handle.

 There is not enough room here to explain why to this day I feel a guilt for living. The pictures are  imprinted forever in my mind. I tried to put the names with the 8  faces. The man who what appeared to have a broken jaw, and broken limbs, or the man with a deep gash in his head. Some burned, others who were badly injured.

 I was afraid of hurting them more but there was no time or options. The fire had already burned off the soles of my sneakers and by this time I had no shirt and was covered in hot tar from the truck the EC-121 struck in the road.

 Perhaps one day we shall meet. I think I would like very much. God Bless you all and watch over you  always for you are the true hero's of that fateful day.

Entry 11:
 Name - JIMMY EMERTDate --     From - GREENWOOD,SC

 I WAS IN VQ-2 1971 TO 1974.

Entry 12:
 Name - George A. Bletsch     Email - 363C.R. 3386
 Date --     From - Paradise, Texas 76073

 Because of Dave's heriosm that day 8 people live and they had hopefully full productive lives. Dave has given me and the rest of my remaining family much information and the truth about what happened that day.  I will be FOREVER grateful to Dave and can only hope and pray to meet this wonderfull man someday perhaps when he visits the old THUNDERBIRD in FT. Worth .! my work phone is 817-763-3907 at Lockheed Ft. Worth , 972-425-3055 American Airlines DFW Airport Tx.,940-433-2947 home in Paradise.

Entry 13:
 Name - DeWitt P Harris    Email - bobwyte (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - TN.

 i was in VQ-1 from 63-67 remember a few names on that list .GOD bless them all.

Entry 14:
 Date --     From - CLIFTON,NJ.

 I flew into Da Nang with VW-1 crew 7 on that Saturday March 21,1970.They had put the tail section,behind our revetment at FASU.I still have the Stars & Stripes articles & slides.I always ditched on the deck by the aft crew door.The seven survivers were lucky to have been pulled out by that airmen.

Entry 15:
 Name - sharon stolz    Email - stolz603 (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - tx

 my brother was arthur d simmons. if anyone has any information about him please let me know. thanks

Entry 16:
 Name - John Cooper    Email - john (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Ipswich, England

 I had a ducking on the equator in 1960 in a RAF transport Hastings aircraft in the Indian Ocean. Anyone interested in the story you can read it on

Entry 17:
 Name - Lex Williams (AZ3)    Email - lexman01 (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Kennesaw, Georgia

 I was in VQ-1 1970 - 1972, originally in VAP-61, NAS Agana, Guam which merged with VW-1 & VQ-1. Spent two detachments in DaNang - late 1971 and March - June 1972, during the Easter Offensive - saw alot of rockets. From VQ-1 I got orders to VF-96,  CVW-9, at NAS Miramar. Spent my last year in the Navy on the USS Constellation, on a WESTPAC cruise.

Entry 18:
 Name - Bob Schmidt    Email - bschmidt (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Hania, Crete, Greece

 Really great to find this site. I was the Asst. Safety Officer for VQ-1 and was on the accident investigation team for the accident. There was a Combat Photo team film taken of the crash. It was quite graphic in that it started only a few minutes after the impact and documented all the rescue efforts. It shows the crash crew vehicles arriving along with the survivors being loaded into the ambulance's. Last time I saw it was in early 1971. The CO. of the squadron had it in his personal possition. Maybe some like Capt. J.D. Meir would know more about its eventual disposal.

Entry 19:
 Name - Morris Waxler    Email - mowax44 (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - Johnson City, TX

 I was in an AE in VQ-1 in 1969-'71. Flight electrician, AE2 Floyd Andrus, was my buddy. I was in DaNang the day of the tragedy. God bless them all! Sorry I didn't know William Bletsch.   I have been searching for AE Charles Bingham,  suvivor of the crash, and other AEs from the VQ-1 Electric Shop,1969-'71. Connie, Thanks a million for this site!

Entry 20:
Name - jack black    Email - maddjack21 (AT symbol)
Date --     From - Northern Ca

Looking for shipmates that were stationed a Camp Tien Shaw 1970

Entry 21:
 Name - ClaudetteDate --     From - Maine USA
 Hello what a moving site this is to revisit! Thanks for caring and I would be honored to give you my patriotic award of honor..if you would like to accept it please email me along with this site's address and I will rush it right over also let's remember our soldiers! Don't Let Us Fall -- God Bless!

Entry 22:
 Name - weyman d. garmany    Email - weymar2001 (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - alabama

 I served with the 366 security police sq, but was attached to the 620th tcs at Dong Ha from june 1967 to about april 1968. There were approximately 36 security police there and it was a vol assignment. After 10 months at Dong Ha I was sent to monkey mountain since that was the safest place around Danang. It would be a better web site if other out stations were listed. We were attached to the 3rd Marine division and had to patrol with them. While I was there we were hit over two hundred times. How about including some of us on the web site too? We were all Gun Fighters.

Entry 23:

 Name - Walter Schminky    Email - walter.schminky (AT symbol)
Date --     From - Tampa, Florida

 I flew with VQ-1 as a VN linguist from 1969 to early 1970 outof Da Nang. Flew the Willies then the P-3s. Flew with the crew that later was later shot down over Korea. Is there a site for that group?

**Note from Webmaster:  I have located some sites that contain information about the EC 121 shot down over North Korea. For more information you can go to: - Stars and Stripes Article, Crew list, Washington Post Articles (2). Information  from Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association newsletter CRYPTOLOG - TIME, April 25, 1969 Vol. 93, No. 17 - TIME, April 25, 1969

Entry 24:
Name - ted andrus    Email - cavist (AT symbol)
 Date --     From - staunton, va
Our brother was Buddy Andrus. Our son sent me this web address and I have been reading it with some emotion. The site is filling in a good number of blanks. God bless you all.

Entry 25:
Name - Dick Frantz    Email - frantz_64029 (AT symbol)
Date --     From - GrainValley,Mo.

I was in VQ-1 from 1962-1965 and flew in crew 23. Darren Leatherman and Dee Harris was my flight enginers.I knew Chief Risse that was on PR-26.Would like to here from anyone from that era. Remember Cdr Holt. Thanks for this website. Don't forget the VQ Reunions we have.My phone# is  816 587 8657 or 573 374 5233 and maybe I can give info. Thanks Dick Frantz

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