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Archived Guestbook #4

 

These entries have been copied from the guestbooks in the order they were made and range from 16 March 2012 until present time. 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

 

Friday 03/16/2012 2:29:59pm
Name: Philip J. Morneault
Homepage:
E-Mail: philmorneault@gmail.com
Referred By: Just Surfed In
City/Country: Tolland, CT

I've have had a hard time keeping the events of March 16, 1970 at Danang out of my mind this week and especially today. So, it must be time for me to tell of my experiences that day.

No, I was not one of the rescuers.

However, I would like to think that what I did kept the situation from getting worse. I was on the flight line that morning at the time of the crash. I saw the airplane attempt to get back in the air and the turn it took that led to the crash. It was turning and coming it the direction towards where I was. I could see that it was not going to make it.

At the time, I was driving a tractor hauling a trailer load of AIM 7 and Aim 9 missiles. When I saw the plane coming towards me I made a quick turn and accelerated to get out of the way just as the tip of the wing hit the revetment between the flight line and the taxi way. I barely got out of the way as the plane exploded on impact.

I saw people rushing to the plane to rescue personnel on board. To this day, I ask myself if I made the right decision to drive away with the explosives rather than stop and go help with rescue efforts. What if I had been able to save just one person? Would I have been able to make a difference? Did my actions of getting the explosives away from the crash site keep the situation from getting worse? There are no answers to these questions. Just more questions.

Maybe I will get the answers when I join them in the spirit world.

May they all RIP!!

Philip J. Morneault
former Staff Sergeant
366 Munitions Maintenance Squadron (366 MMS)
366 Tactical Fighter Wing, USAF
Danang, South Vietnam
From Sept. 1969 to Nov. 1971

 


Entry in Guestbook: 16 August 2012

by Ray Wasilewski

I was a BT1 and worked at POL fuel . I was driving around checking fuel valves for leaks with another 1st class. I remember we got to the baseball field when the plane hit the hanger, there was fire everywhere, We ran and got to the back of the plane that was not burning and with the help of others got the door opened and helped a navy chief out of the plane. then helped put some of the guys who passed on streachers. To this very day I have dreams of this crash, I week later an Air America passenger crashed a 100 yards from me and crashed , it had clipped it's wing off with an F4 landing. It was full of Vietnamese who all perished . I'll never forget these events. I still pray for all those guys. 40 some years later I got out of the navy and became a pilot?????

 

Entry in Guestbook: 7 September 2012

by Gary Wheeling

I was a crew chief in the crash/rescue fire dept USAF .this crash was the worst crash I have ever responded too.it's been over 40 years and I can visualize every second of this crash.as a footnote several of us were told that we would receive the bronze star.this did not happen.after I returned to the states I mentioned this to my fire chief .he checked the status of this and he was told that danang had no records of me being there.I advised my chief to tell whoever to shove it

 

Entry in Guestbook: 2 December 2012

by Gary Wheeling

I was a crew chief in the air force fire dept.to this day I still remember responding to this crash.we had a lot action there,but by for this was the worst crash I had worked.

 

Guestbook entry: 17 March 2013

by Albert Litzow

I was attached to the 9 th SOS for most all of 1970 although I was officially with the Army 7th Psyops Battalion . I virtually never went to lunch but that day was meeting an old friend at the NCO club. I had just stepped onto the baseball field when I heard radial engines going full throttle ( I had Commercial, instrument and multi engine ratings in civilian life) I looked up and there was a C121 headed virtually right at me. It was still relatively wings level and nose down as I turned and ran I heard it hit and looked around. I saw the fireball but more than that I saw the tail section virtually right over my head. I've never figured out if this was true but it appeared hundreds of feet up slowly flipping. It hit about 20 yds to the north of me. The next thing I saw was a young airman running full tilt towards the rear door, he starts pulling on the door handle, I started forward and was about yell "the fuselage is busted open",when the door opened from the inside and this bent over airman dropped into the arms of the the runner. I also recall a middle section of the aircraft had come over the retaining wall and was resting on a tanker truck. We heard eleven had lived but I never found out if that was true at least for a little while. The response from rescue personnel was very quick.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 26 March 2013

by Norman L. Sparling

Served with VQ-1 1968 & 1969

 

Entry in Guestbook: 19 May 2013
imn

by Ken Stephens

I was stationed in VQ-1 from 7/68 to 7/70. Flew as an enlisted crewman in A-3s. I was a close personal friend of Barry Searby. It has been 43 years and I still miss him. Sometimes I feel his presence. It sounds weird, but it is actually very comforting when that happens.


 

Entry in Guestbook: 11 October 2013

by Norman Roberts

I was a good friend of Barry's and shared a room with him in the NCO barracks in Atsugi, Japan. We also rented a small house together in Yamato, just outside the base. I didn't fly like Barry did, but took care of the aircraft communication systems on the ground crew. Barry and I hung out together quite a bit and he taught me a lot about photography, one of his passions. My memories of our friendship and time spent together will always be with me. Thanks to all who contribute to this site to keep those memories in our hearts.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 29 November 2013

by John Augustynowicz

I was on PR 24 when 26 crashed. They were our replacements. As I remember we were either in P.I. or Tiwan? We were told to go back to Da Nang. Lost a few good friends and I thing about them every year on Nov. 11th when I am in DC at the Wall.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 05 February 2014

by George Bletsch

You can find pictures of the actual crash happening ,under patrick wiggins at bottom of page 366th gunfighters site PICTURES OF DENANG NO57 ETC. LOOK FOR PATRICK WIGGINS NEAR BOTTOM

 

Entry in Guestbook: 03 March 2014

Richard Kirby

spray used to clean rails at hangers in Atsugi Japan VQ1 1967

I was stationed with VQ1 in 1967 was just an E3 at the time and cleaned the weeds from the rails that the hanger doors slid on with a herb-aside I believe it was agent orange brought in off manifest and we would spray it then scrap it the next day. I now have type 2 diabetes and and am applying for va benefits anyone that can confirm please write. Thank you.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 15 March 2014

AUGIE

As I sit in the central time zone at 2230 03/15/14 it is about the very min. PR 26 went down 44 years ago. May we never forget.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 05 April 2014

by Joe Ortega

I was an AK2 in maintance control when the plane went down. At first there was confusing over which squadrons plane it was, because VW1 was also due in. I helped unload the planes engines so they could be inspected. We all had friends and coworkers onboard. Guy Denton was my next door neighbor in Atsugi, may he RIP and pray his family is well.


 

Entry in Guestbook: 10 January 2015

by Anita Bingham

My husband, Charles Bingham, was one of the survivors. He can be reached at cbingham@hrtc.net, should anyone like to contact him.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 11 March 2015

by David Altman

This week i turned 66. I referenced my 21st. birthday, celebrated in DaNang, RVN.

Forty-five years ago...On March 16th. 1970 a typical steamy hot sunny day in Viet Nam. A bunch of us had just come out of the squadron shack, just off of the flight line after hearing our det relief aircraft, PR 26 was on final approach. We joined the oddly uniformed crowd forming on the flight line already waiting to greet our squadron mates with beer and cold drinks icing in barrels eager to greet our friends and get our mail

In the crowd we jockeyed for position, watching as our EC-121 banked in final approach to the runway. In an instant it began to roll to the right clipped its wing.. and cart-wheeled over two revetted F-4 phantoms and broke up into three pieces in a ball of fire.

In moments the crowd fragmented in all directions i and others rushing to the crash site. I remember standing there helpless as the fire crews worked heroically to extinguish the inferno and save who could be saved. Going through the wreckage i was crying I thought of home and Lakewood and how far away it all was and how alone and frightened i was and mostly how happy i was to still be alive.

In the blink of an eye.. we lost 23 of the 31 aboard. Fine men the crew of PR-26.

I am still so very happy to be alive and will always remember them, and hope to be worthy of this life.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 2 September 2015

by George Bletsch

cj under links go to top one 366th tfw then index of pictures gunfighters scroll down to Patrick wiggins 6 frames of a film found in hobby shop he apologizes for quality of pics. the frames show pr26 moments before crash put them in pictyure gallery? cj under links go to top one 366th tfw then index of pictures gunfighters scroll down to Patrick wiggins 6 frames of a film found in hobby shop he apologizes for quality of pics. the frames show pr26 moments before crash put them in pictyure gallery?

 

Entry in Guestbook: 2 September 2015

by George Bletsch

the actual site index of pictures of denang #57 Patrick wiggins

 

Entry in Guestbook: 27 September 2015

by Steve Sauer

I joined VAP-61 July 1970. Plane Captain on the RA-3B, fourth man on a 3 man crew. Detachments in Cubi Point and UTapao Thailand. Returned to Guam from Thailand and we were part of VQ-1. Within a week or so I was sent to the VQ-1 detachment at DaNang, June 1971 as flight line ground crew. I have found chute rigger 3rd class Bill Wallace on line within the last month or 2. Another Vapper we were buddies in DaNang with VQ-1 summer of 1971. He is still as beaucoup dinky dao as ever! Any body remembers us let me know.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 17 March 2016

by Larry Coy

I was a pilot on the first Connie to arrive in Danang two days after the Tonkin Gulf "Incident" and continued six week deployments from Atsugi until leaving the Navy in November 1966. No facilities on base but slept in Tourane near the waterfront in original French house. Interesting times.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 17 March 2016

by Max J Booe CTTCM (RET)

After all these years did not know this Webb site existed.I spent two tours in both VQ1 and VQ2..one tour was From 69-73 in VQ-1.Stationed at Atsugi and made the move to Guam..That was my crew and believe that it was crew 6 that crashed in danang. I and my wife can remember we had one on my friends over for dinner before he went on deployment and can not remember his last name we always called him Tex and he Parrish in the crash.Had allot of good memories with that crew..

 

Entry in Guestbook: 20 March 2016

by Richard Haver

I was in DaNang on March 16, 1970, watched PR-26 approach the south end of the runway on my way to the VQ-1 Det Bravo Admin Building to greet the crew. The hangers obscured my view of the final approach, then I saw everyone running toward the runway and a large black cloud emerge on the Air Force side of the base. I ran into the Building and hit the squadron radio calling for Deep Sea 26 to respond. Nothing heard except Deep Sea 32 heard the call and responded wanting to know what was going on. 31 was on track at the time. The Det Duty officer got in the squadron jeep and drove to the crash site. I took over as Det Duty Officer and went to the Spook Shack and got on the TTY to Kamie reporting that it appeared 26 had crashed. They patched it over to Building 181 in Atsugi and the NavSecGru Office in Charge took over the task of passing updates to Atsugi. My next task was to go to the crash site. The fire was out, my shipmates had been taken away by then, but the crypto and classified material on the plane had not been recovered. My task was to get this accomplished with the Det Bravo personnel in the area. Gathering Jim Masters' and Red Martin's things was both an honor and moment of great sadness. In the back of my mind I guess I knew that the "Blue Crew" was gone and nothing in VQ-1 would ever be the same again. We all went to the hospital that night to see who we could. I visited Del Young. He was awake, but not lucid. His head was a big as a pumpkin and badly battered. Sat with him for about and hour. Doctors said he would make a full recovery, but it would take some time. Flew a mission the next day in PR-25, the Det OinC reminded us the war was still going on and we had our job to do.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 20 March 2016

by H.E.Gillins (ABH-2)

I was stationed at Midway Island & a lot of these Birds came through there as they were winding down there service to the Nation. It may be for all I know this bird passed through Midway enroute to DaNang? Midway was a hub of activity for Willy Victors in late 58 through the 60's while flying the DEW Line. We lost a WV Checkpool 16 on 1-22-61 in a crash that killed 9 folks. Thanks to a fellow Midway Vet we have found this site to help support the existing Willy Victor site. My respects to the crew of PR-26. It's good to keep the memories of these planes & crews alive.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 22 March 2016

by William B. Leppert

Thanks for posting this site. I flew with VQ-1 in 1967 as a CT in Det Bravo from NCSP, San Miguel, P.I. I was there at the time of the rocket attack on July 15. I flew 38 missions. Some of my shipmates, including LCDR James Overstreet, were part of the fateful crew that perished ove the Sea of Japan when they were shot down by the N. Koreans in 1969. Although it has been 49 years since my time at DaNang, the memories remain fresh in my mind and I think of it often. I recommend the reading of a newly published book by authors, Richard Mobley and Edward Marolda, Knowing the Enemy, Naval Intelligence in Southeast Asia. There is reference to VQ-1 and the role it played during the Vietnam war. My e-mail is memphis@stjoelive.com, if anyone wishes to contact me.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 14 April 2016

by George Bletsch

Hello sister, if you go to links to other sites,then first one ,366th combat support group,then on links page right collum ,index pictures of denang, then ,five from bottom -Patrick Wiggins photos -pictures of it happening. you can see six frames of our big brother Billy Pete, before he and his shipmates died and as they died. My how I love computers,Love George

 

Entry in Guestbook: 6 June 2016

by William Taylor

I was in VQ-1 from April of '69 to April of '71. I was an enlisted crewman in A-3s. and did one det south in one of the P-3s. I was in Atsugi when PR-26 crashed, but knew several of the guys on board well. Joe Saukaitis wasn't even "real" Navy, but a reservist doing his active stretch. Scott Purdom, Thurle Case, Floyd Andrus were all friends. Charlie Bingham was, too. He survived the crash.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 11 July 2016

by ANDREW J. SVETLECIC

i worked in the missile shop with s sgt morneault and other guys.
i was sgt svetlecic, da nang july 71-aug 72 & takli rafb, thialand, aug 72-sept 72
where are you missile guys?

Andrew J. Svetlecic
former Sergeant
Missile Shop
366 Munitions Maintenance Squadron (366 MMS)
366 Tactical Fighter Wing, USAF
Danang, South Vietnam
From July. 1971 to Aug. 1972
Takli RAFB, Thialand
From Aug. 1972- Sept. 1972

 

Entry in Guestbook: 25 September 2016

by Terence L Neville

HI. My name is Terence Neville. My Dad was Thomas A Neville and was stationed in Atsugi. I'm looking for information about anything you can tell me about families living on the base. He retire CWO-5 in 1978. In 2009 he was diagnosed with Asbestosis. And for 3 long years he suffered until he passed on June 4, 2012. I was never able to picture him the way he was for those 3 years. I had a very vivid profile of him being as big as he always looked in uniform. But I'm pretty sure I visited him in his new home. It was a very immense 3 story mansion. It had marble balconies all the way up to the third floor. There were horses and other things carved out of the marble frontage. There were a lot of different sized doors and windows. And many rooms. In the horseshoe layout at both wings were different shops and musicians playing like you'd see on cruiseships. He and Mom took many cruises. Over 100! Then I was in the very elaborate Dining Hall where my family and I were sitting at a table. I was telling them Dad was here. They were laughing at me. Then Dad put his hand out. On his finger was a diamond encrusted ring. When I pulled it off his finger everyone saw the ring appear. Then I was in the back yard. There was a virtual life like movie going on. And I was walking on the battlefield where romans on chariots were at war. Not sure what movie it was. He liked Ben Hur alot though. Then I woke up with the image of him standing tall and saluting. He was my Pawtnah (partner). He was from Springfield, Mass.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 12 December 2016

by George Bletsch

Nice seeing yall ,glad to know you got to pictures of billy's plane before crash,showing it turning to the dead eng. Side if not for the 45mph wind dave told us about (the pilot would have turned to the #3,4 eng side,no crash he nearly made it anyway small dent in hgr. Dave said hell of pilot 2 ft. Of wing tip hit hgr) an airplane will not turn into dead eng. Normally .george

 

Entry in Guestbook: 9 February 2017

by Aron Cook

I volunteered for TAD at Detachment BRAVO at DaNang from 2/68-6/68 as part of BIG LOOK. I was a CTA from San Miguel, Philippines. I got there just in time for the TET Offensive and did fly on the ECM-121 a few times while at Det BRAVO. My main job was being the administrative person for the Detachment while I was there. I was able to take a lot of pictures of various planes at the airbase. I'll always remember flying on the 121's.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 12 March 2017

by Sgt. Stephen Rexrode

Please accept my sincere gratefulness for the Navy personnel aboard the aircraft. I was in the weapons shop just a couple hundred feet from the crash and ran to the crash but the flames were so intense that we couldn't do anything for the servicemen onboard. It was a helpless feeling on our part not to be able to help our brothers. I was a Weapons Specialist in the US Air Force. I had a good friend that flew in the ECM-121 but wasn't on that one, at the time I thought he was on that flight because he had contacted earlier and told me he would be at Danang. Please accept my condolences for all the lives that gave of themselves in defense of our country that day.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 16 March 2017

by Bo Abernethy

R.I.P. crew of PR-26.

I was a CTR at NCSP San Miguel, The Philippines. In November 1967 I went to low pressure school at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, then continued on NCSP Det. Bravo in Da Nang for six months of TAD. I was 19 when I got to the P.I., and turned 21 in Viet Nam.

I flew 93 missions on several EC-121Ms (PR-21, PR-22, PR-23, PR-24 and PR-25) and one EA-3B (PR-10). I don’t think PR-26 was in Da Nang during my time there, and I didn’t know any of her crew. Although I remember my time there well, I cannot recall any names. I often think of PR-21 (April 15, 1969) and PR-26.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 16 March 2017

by Dave Branks

Another year has past however the hollow feeling still burns in my heart for all those lives lost in the PR-26 incident. My prayers are still with all those who passed and survived 47 years ago today. I write not for myself but for al those families who lost a loved one. I pray that God continues to watch over you all.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 21 March 2017

by George Bletsch

connie, I really miss billy pete,i just wish I hadent wen't delayed entry a guy told me at bergstrom a.f.b. ,that they had been back from denang for two months if you had been in 702tass two months ago it was 20th tactical air support squadron denang Vietnam.my dream sheet was Germany/England/Vietnam.because I knew they wouldn't send 4 yr. enlistee to the first two choices .I wanted to go there and find out what happened to our big brother ,I would have been able to tell mom&dad&grampa the truth they lied all the time a guy at Lockheed saw me at computer staring at Vietnam web wall and it said acft. crash non hostile.we looked up his buddy- hostile ground fire no- rooky co-pilot picked up machine gun and cut his buddy in half he got to go home alright but in two pieces. tina Vietnamese told me quang nam three small villiages on top look south Vietnamese not north Vietnamese cross border from Hanoi- bad communist ho chi min no get bomed south Vietnam,you go there- you no come back you mia big village on bottom ,well you know the rest i'm looking at picture of pr-26 about to crash in my mind but found on your web site Patrick wiggins 366th tactical fighter wing dave branks squadron.found them in hobby shop trash,apparently filming documentary.george Bletsch remembering billy pete my brother my buddy love you bill/sis/henry/haroldmom/dad/grampa pete.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 18 May 2017

by Bob Churetta

Looking for William Bletsch's sister Connie. I believe I was Bills room mate in the barracks for a very short time. Only knew him for a few short months or weeks. Hardly ever saw each other. Any questions, please e-mail me.
Bob

 


Entry in Guestbook: 5 July 2017

by Joe Ortega

Guy Denton was my neighbor in Atsugi Japan.
I was TAD to Danang, when PR26 went down, i helped in clean up. Guy survive the crash, pass away later due to his burns. He was very fine man and pinnacle player!

2nd Post same day

I was stationed with VQ-1 from 68-72 as an AK2, supply support tech: tad to Danang, when PR26 went down. I was in maintenance crtl. when we heard that Willy Victor had gone down at the end of the runway. We also knew that a VW plane was due at the same time. so there was some confusion, as to who's plane went down. But then we got the bad news is was PR26. RIP

 


Entry in Guestbook: 7 July 2017

by Richard Schwingle

I was with VQ-1 in 1969 and 1970, I was in Da Nang when PR26 crashed. I was out side of the hanger watching it come in when it crashed, I was to far away to be of any help it was a sad day for every one.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 8 November 2017

by Alan Cady

I was part of VQ1 from 1966 to 1969 left for college on January 23 . I almost stayed because I loved the flying as a radioman. I also wanted to stay with LCDR James Overstreet he was a very fine pilot.

 


Entry in Guestbook: 25 December 2017

by Charlie Bingham

I have a new email address. I can be reached at cmbingam48@mail.com phone 317 459 3869

 

Entry in Guestbook: 26 December 2017

by Gordon Nagle

I was assigned to the 366th Civil Engineering Squadron 1968- 1969.

 

Entry in Guestbook: 06 March 2018

by Steven Hogue

I was a roommate of Scott Purdum at atsugi, Charlie Bingham, Scott and I combined our bunks and lockers and made one large room. When Scott and Charlie were on the flight I had just returned from Da Nang. He was a great kid and I miss him

 

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