Welcome to the new 434th/71st SOS Guestbook.
Updated January 8, 2019
What ever happened to the three C-141A Starlifters that brought the 71st reservists home on 6 June 1969?
Three Lockheed C-141A Starlifters of the 438th Military Airlift Wing(McGuire AFB, NJ) transported about 250 71st SOS reservists from Nha Trang, South Vietnam to Columbus, Indiana on 6 June 1969. The tail numbers of those C-141s were #64-0647(confirmed), #67-0013(confirmed), and #65-0221(confirmed). After some research, I was able to determine the fate of the three aircraft. Aircraft #64-0647 was destroyed in a training accident at Charleston, SC on 18 September 1979. Aircraft #67-0013, the only survivor of the three, is currently on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona (http://www.pimaair.org/aircraft-by-name/item/lockheed-c-141b-starlifter). The third aircraft, #65-0221 was last known at the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, and has been scrapped by now. Virtually all C-141A models were converted to B models by stretching the fuselage 23.3 feet and the addition of in-flight refueling. All C-141s are now out of service, having been replaced by the very capable C-17 Globemaster III.
January 9, 2016
I am extremely sad on hearing of the death of Dale Stickles. In all my 13 years as 1st Sgt of the 71st Squadron, 1955-1968, I considered "Stick" as a Friend and the best Flight Engineer I ever saw in the Air Force. He was well liked by everyone, Enlisted Men and Officers alike. Also he could fly that C-119 as well as any pilot. My heart and sincere sympathy goes to his family. The world has lost a great guy. Rest in Peace my friend, you certainly earned it.
M/Sgt R L (Bob) Tate, Evansville, In
April 15, 2009
January 23, 2009
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 (#927?) in its revetment and a few more I took in the air at night over the "Angel's Wing" area of South Vietnam.
To Whom It May Concern:
It was with great sadness I received word from Col Borey Chaleff and Bart Dye, on the death of Col Jim Pyle. I knew Jim quite well. For 13 years Jim and Capt George Lutz would periodically go up early for the weekend training and would fly back down to Evansville to pick me and others up to fly us to Bakalar for training.
Jim was Commander of the 72nd until the activation in '68 when he took command of the 71st SOS. He was always an upbeat guy and a d--n fine commander, and I counted him amongst my friends. If they have airplanes in the next life, you can bet Jim will be flying them.
Hello 71st SOS neighboring unit at Nha Trang Airbase. I transferred into the 21st Signal Group's Aviation Detachment on December 29, 1968, just about the same time that your unit arrived. The 21st Signal Group Aviation was a small unit with 3 airplanes (1 Otter and 2 Beavers, and six Hueys). We operated out of the same NW quadrant of the Nha Trang Airbase that you occupied in 1969. I was our unit's Aviation Parts Supply SGT. By the time I went home in August of 1969, we had 8 Hueys and 4 Bell Rangers after "trading in" our fixed wings to become an all helicopter unit. Our mission was to ferry supplies, equipment and men to all the mountaintop Signal Corp cites in the II Corp area, from Hon Tre Island to Tropo Hill Pleiku, from Qui Nhon to Pang Rang. You're welcome to visit our website at www.21signal.org/.
Bill Comrey of Harrisburg, PA
Message from M/Sgt R L (Bob) Tate, former 71st First Sergeant:
I go back 52 years with the 71st, but I guess most of the guys I served with are now gone.
March 13, 2007
To all 434th TCG Veterans,
Thank you. In honor of all of our WWII veterans I have made a video that showcases WWII Museums and Memorials throughout the Southeast, set to some WWII era songs and music. I do not accept money for this video as it is in tribute to all WWII veterans. I would like to hear from any 434th TCG, or any other WWII veteran, that would like a free copy. I would ask if you have ever written your experience down to please send me a signed copy as I do collect personal stories written by WWII veterans. Thank you.
To all AC-119'ers,
My wife sent me the updated link from the website and I just want to say again how much fun I had. I guess the camera does add a few pounds! They say 10 but looked more like 15 in my case....Probably had something to do with Col. Mac making sure I had a good plate of food and a tasty cold beverage in my hand when we were at the Hooch....LOL. Thanks againand looking forward to the next reunion.