flying into an attack on Saigon, vietnam, tan son nhut airbase

Chuck Morris experience in VietNam, 1966 – 1968.
This book illustrates at the beginning a scary moment when our flight crew was returning from a long patrol over the South China Sea, where we were to locate enemy shipments of a wide variety of boats that could be found amongst the thousands of other boats that navigate the coastal waters there.
We were on final approach to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, located in Saigon, VietNam, this flight started in the afternoon of December 3, 1966, and we were just about to touch down on the runway surface, when I could hear explosions through the skin of our aircraft. Just then, I could hear the air traffic controller saying in my headsets in my flight helmet, “ wave off, wave off, the base is under attack”.
We somehow flew right towards the attacking force, climbing out, did not receive any damage, and we stayed up above for a while, got low on fuel and we were diverted to a nearby air base at Bien Hoa, about 15 miles northeast. We landed there, it was very late at night, probably near 2:00AM in the morning by then.
We waited for a few hours, to well after sunrise, and when our base over in Saigon was clear to come back, we did the 20 minute flight back there. In this book, you will see my flight hours log, noting the dates of Dec. 3, 1966, and Dec. 4.
We did our post flight duties, got to see a little of what happened, and it was maybe the next day that I was able to take a couple of pictures of the planes in our squadron that were damaged. I have recently talked to some of our guys, ( 2016 - 2017 ), and heard their stories of this night of terror, and received some pictures from my Friend, Steve Clark, who lives in Virginia, USA.
We had no weapons for self defense, however, the United States Air Force had a large security force there, and so, those troops did the defensive fighting. Still, a bunch of aircraft and equipment were damaged and personnel were killed and injured.
My book contains pictures by myself and those of a friend, Steve Clark, who was working that night, in the dark on an aircraft when this attack started. Steve survived by hiding behind some large aircraft tires and wheels while the battle was raging. There is a picture, showing a Quonset hut, some large tires leaning up against, that is where Steve hid that night.
I have found on the Internet, the stories and documentation by the US Air Force personnel, and found a lot of information which I have printed and sorted into several different folders in this book.
Also, I have put in pictures from around the city of Saigon, and pictures of the living quarters where we stayed in our off hours. Our crews flew a rigorous schedule; fly for 8 hours, return and clean up, post flight, go to rest for 8 hours, and, return for another typical 8 hour flight, doing this for 12 days, and go back to the Philippines for 12 days of normal schedule and training and more maintenance.
The other pictures I have put in a separate section of this book, showing the various US Air Force and some Army aircraft and helicopters that were also in very close proximity to our parking spots.
Tan Son Nhut Air Base was one of the busiest air fields in the world at this time period of the VietNam War. I saw lots of activity, and some crashes and equipment failures.
I have printed many different articles /stories by different air force personnel, telling their experience during this event in 1966.
I have found that the air force had done a lot of documentation, and also, the different veteran groups and associations have brought their stories forward, and amazing collection of history during the period of 1959, until 1975, when hostilities were ended.
Later in the book is pictures of our activities and aircraft at other bases, including Cam Ranh Bay, VietNam, Subic Bay in the Philippines at Cubi Point Naval Air Station where we operated temporarily and were right alongside the aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, and had opportunity to go aboard and look around. Also there at Cubi Point, you see me standing next to an aircraft engine which blew up the day before, and that one scared me big time, although, I had previous scares like this, this one really shook me. Our ‘rear operating base during this 1966 – 1968 period was at Sangley Point Naval Air Station, Philippines, across Manila Bay from the big city of Manila.
I did get over to Manila a couple of times, what a busy and lively city. Also, while our short stay in Subic Bay, I was able to see the town of Olongapo, and get one day over to White Beach, which was a like a dream in paradise, with the nice water, and little grass thatch huts and picnic tables, that is a good memory. Another memory; at the ‘chow hall in the Philippines, the milk was reconstituted, powder milk, which doesn’t go to well, but, at Cam Ranh Bay, fresh milk, good milk, was flown in from Hawaii every day, and the air force chow hall was very close to our operations area, we ate good when we could get over there, and whats more, our flights were different, there we were loaded up with C-Rations, which you could survive on, but not like the air force chow, by a long shot.
You will see strange aircraft at Cam Ranh Bay, where even the US Army had some of our type of planes, and modified for special reconnaissance, some US Navy planes that were a trial, and very successful trial in new weapon systems for night time operations. And, even another variant of our planes, the Lockheed P2 Neptune, that was to do another ‘listening mission over inland combat areas. Those planes were painted OD green.
Also, pictures of USAF fighter jets on the ramp and runway at Cam Ranh Bay.
There are a couple pictures, including my friend Steve Clark, I think this picture was from our base in Iwakuni, Japan. Another picture of myself and my fellow crew mate, Carl Agen, at a tourist site near Iwakuni, Japan..

please see this website for details on the the US air force report on the 1966 attack:

- Charles M.

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