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Bill 'Moon' Mullen
Old 10-06-2019, 04:15 AM   #190
JOHN JONES
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Default Bill 'Moon' Mullen

"The aircraft were flown to Pusan, then loaded onto the USNS heavy cargo ship “PRIVATE LEONARD C. B RONSTROM” while she was docked in Pusan Harbor, Republic of Korea, on May 15, 1963 for the trip to Viet Nam. The BRONSTROM was a railroad locomotive and railcar transport ship. When they were loading the CH- 37’s onboard the ship, they found that by lining up one of the main rotor blades over the center of the cockpit, and then removing the two side blades, the aircraft were narrow enough to be loaded side by side below decks on the ship.The unit deployed under the command of Capt. Charles P.Callaway. Capt. Calloway had a long association with the CH- 37, taking delivery of the second production aircraft from the Sikorsky plant, introducing the aircraft to combat in Viet Nam, and piloting the last active duty CH- 37 on its final flight to demilitarization in 1971.“We averaged over 100 hours per month per aircraft, prowling around Viet Nam supporting air operations from the Delta in the south to the northern border. In her own right she was truly an unheralded heroine in every sense of the word. Just ask any pilot or crewman.”Upon arriving in Viet Nam A Flight was attached to the 611th Transportation Company (DS) for rations and quarters. The 611th TC didn’t have adequate quarters for their own men, so the twenty four (24) men of A Flight subsisted on the local economy, finding quarters in downtown Vung Tau at the local hotels.
[On December 12, 1963, a US Army CH- 37B “Mojave” heavy- lift helicopter tail number 0627 flown by pilots and crew of A Flight 19th Transportation Company assigned to the 611th Transportation Company was attempting to recover a downed US Army fixed wing aircraft when it was hit by enemy ground fire causing the aircraft to crash and burn.]
Some additional information stated that there was a rope attached to the sling load and leading up through the hell hole on the CH-37 to help stabilize the load in flight. Some thought is that SP/5 Angell was pulled down through the hell hole by that rope when the pilot cut the load before crashing. I have searched with no result for more information on this fatal crash and the use of the rope to stabilize the sling load under the CH- 37. All I can say is that in all of the recovery missions that I was involved with, to my knowledge we never had any type of rope or strap leading from the sling load up through the hell hole into the CH- 37. First of all I don’t see how that could help stabilize the load as the hell hole is directly over the CH- 37’s cargo hook, which is supporting the load below at its balance point. I just don’t see how a rope or strap going up through the hell hole would do anything to stabilize a load carried below the helicopter. Plus, the concern of the flight crew would be that rope or strap may interfere with the load falling free should the pilot need to jettison the load in flight. And that would be a bad thing.
(Scott) Moon continued:
“After we lost that aircraft, we pretty much buddied up a high hour pilot with a low hour pilot. I buddied up with Bill Roundy who had come from Germany. He could make that CH- 37 square dance. He was a superb pilot. I remember visiting him several times in Alabama after the war until he passed away. I firmly believe I’m here today because of Bill”.
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