Testimonial from a Mission Support Specialist

My name is David Jackson and in the Spring of 1969, I provided the 71st SOS with Intelligence Support as a part of my duties with the 460th TRW at Tan Son Nhut AB. I was a 1st Lieutenant at the time. I also flew a few missions with your people until my boss found out and grounded me. I think the pilot's name was Lt. Col. Donald Beyl and I believe the NOS operator was a Capt. William Joyce. It's good to see that someone is documenting the fine work you folks did back then. When my boss yelled at me for flying with you guys, Col. Beyl gave me two of your 'Deny Him The Dark' hat badges as a souvenir and I still have them. I also have a few photos I took of one of your aircraft (#53-3189) in its revetment and a few more I took in the air at night over the "Angel's Wing" area of South Vietnam.

It was a privilege flying with you.

Former Captain David Jackson

These are the two hat badges given to me by Lt. Col. Donald F. Beyl because we flew with him in his aircraft in support of their mission several times and we were shot at during some of these missions. He said, "We don't give these out to just anybody. You have to fly with us to get these."

71st SOS aircraft #53-3189 shown parked in a revetment at Tan Son Nhut AB during the daytime. The aircraft was a night stalker and thus the black paint.

The flare launcher is located in the starboard side of the aft end of the cargo compartment. The crew ladder is from Acft #927 however it is being used on Acft #189.

Cockpit of Aircraft #53-3189.

The four 7.62mm miniguns of Aircraft #53-3189.

This photo was taken during a mission over the western part of I Corps or II Corps. Red lights were used to preserve night vision.

This photo was taken earlier in the mission as evidenced by the number of flares still remaining in the launcher (left of center).

This photo shows outgoing tracer fire from one of Shadow's guns taken from the port side waist door. We were exchanging fire with a VC/NVA 12.7mm antiaircraft gun (not shown) at the time. The latter part of the tracer fire was distorted due to the maneuvering of the aircraft during our attack. I know it doesn't show anything but the tracers, but at $25.00 per second, the 71st never fired their guns at anything but enemy positions or equipment while I was flying with them.
David Jackson

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