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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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Scott.J.Drew 56th Transportation Co. (DS) Vietnam
Old 08-04-2017, 03:28 PM   #1
JOHN JONES
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Default Scott.J.Drew 56th Transportation Co. (DS) Vietnam

Through a veteran friend, I was recently connected up with a Vietnam era veteran of an early war period, Aviation DS company. Scott has been very generous with his archive, which provides some valuable recollections of this units operations and some superb photographic evidence, of early aircraft markings and cloth insignia. I will release this in a measured way in the coming weeks, but 1st the story of how Scott made it to Vietnam, in his own words.
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"I graduated from Fort Bragg High School in June of 1963 and enlisted in the Army a week later. I was only 17 at the time so needed a permission slip from my parents…Can’t do that any longer, need to be at least 18 now. I went to basic training at Ft. Ord, California, then around the end of August that year went to my helicopter maintenance school in Ft. Eustis, VA. I think the school was about 9 or 10 months long. Upon graduation they kept the top ten out of the class, and turned us into instructors there at the school. Viet Nam was just starting to pick up and they knew that they would need a lot of mechanics and crew chiefs so were building up their training cadre.It was fun for a while, learning how to write lesson plans, doing overhead viewgraphs for your visuals, writing tests. But after a few times teaching the turbine engine portion of the training I was getting bored. And still had about two years to go on my first enlistment. I asked a recruiter how a guy could get out of that teaching job, he said “Well son, you either finish our your enlistment, die, or you can re-enlist and pick either a duty station or an MOS change…” So after being in the Army for a year I re-enlisted for another three years and picked Viet Nam as my duty station. After all that’s where all of the helicopter action was starting to be and I wanted to be part of that. Found out that there was a maintenance company getting ready to leave for Viet Nam. So in late August I drove across Country and reported in to the 56th Transportation Company (Aircraft Direct Support) at Ft. Lewis, WA."
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File Type: jpg Scott and the boys in the engine shop 1966-67.jpg (92.2 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg EBAY.jpg (124.6 KB, 193 views)
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Recovery Aircraft. (DS)
Old 08-06-2017, 12:09 PM   #2
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Default Recovery Aircraft. (DS)

More great recollections and Images from Scott. (In italics)

"The Company was preparing to head out to Viet Nam, so I helped pack up all of our stuff and on 14 October, 1964 the entire company flew out of McChord Air Force Base on three (3) then new C-141 Starlifter aircraft. A fuel stop in Hawaii, then landing at the Bien Hoa Airbase in the Republic of Viet Nam. That was the check in location at that time in the war. After some indoctrination on how to take care of ourselves in the war zone, the offices selected about 1/3 of the Company personnel to stay with the Company, and the rest were farmed out to other similar companies so that our rotation dates home would all be different.

Scott stayed with the company and set up shop at Tan Son Nhut Airport. The 56th was one of 3 units fitted out with CH37's, the others being the 611th and 339th.

"The helicopter is a Sikorsky S-56 that the Army labeled the CH-37, A,B, and C models were built and flown by both the Army & the Marines. Our 3 tail numbers were. (57-1658 (Cherry boy /Wooly Booger, 57-1659 Slave Driver, and 58-1004 Bad News) Here an early shot of 57-1658 “Cherry Boy” slinging a UH-1 hulk down to Vung Tau. The Old Man didn’t like that nose art so it was changed to “Wooly Booger” a bit later"
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File Type: jpg 57 1658 Cherry Boy later Wooly Booger slinging UH 1 hulk #2.jpg (104.3 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg nose art WB.jpg (42.9 KB, 179 views)
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'Wooly Booger'
Old 08-10-2017, 03:40 AM   #3
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Default 'Wooly Booger'

As mentioned in the previous posting, 'Cherry boy' had to go, so the search for a new nickname began. The lineage for 'Slave Driver' and 'Bad News' are known and I will relate those shortly, but 'Wooly Booger' is lost to time. Scotts 1st thoughts were:
"Not sure where the name “Wooly Booger” came from, but there was a popular song going around from the group “Sam The Sham and The Pharos” that were singing a song called“Wooly Bully”. Some of the bars down on Tu Do Street in Saigon would play the latest music to get the guys into their bars, and that album was quite popular at the time."(1965)

But because the name is an obscure reference to a sort of taxidermy, it could be a
crew member who was a hunter had the song going around in his head and certainly the, artwork seems to match. Via Google:
At some point in the history of Taxidermy a taxidermist was mounting deer heads and realized that he was throwing away way to many deer butts. This theoretical situation gave birth to what is commonly known in Taxidermy circles as the "Wooly Booger", also known as the "Assquatch". The Assquatch is what is created when a Taxidermist uses the ass end of an animal in order to create a human-like monster face. Pictured is 57-1658, with a new flat matt OD paint scheme, to replace the previous high visability markings. Also featured, this ships Crew Chief
John Druchala.
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File Type: jpg ZULU11.jpg (63.9 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg 57 1658 WOOLY BOOGER nose art 1965 2.jpg (75.4 KB, 167 views)
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'Wooly Booger'
Old 08-10-2017, 03:47 AM   #4
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Default 'Wooly Booger'

Image Comparison.
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File Type: jpg WOOLEY.jpg (35.3 KB, 168 views)
File Type: jpg 57 1658 WOOLY BOOGER nose art 1965.jpg (19.2 KB, 168 views)
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339th Transportation Company
Old 08-12-2017, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default 339th Transportation Company

Scott Drew Is in recovery after a hip operation, we wish him well. Scott put me in touch with members of the other Transport Companies, that used the CH37 for ADS operations. Special thanks to Frank Ferry, who kindly gave permission to use his photographs. The stories told, illustrate how Aircraft recovery, was a dangerous job in a combat zone. Technically it could be risky and the VC/NVA, were quick to challange recoveries in a very agressive way.
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File Type: jpg FF2.jpg (130.6 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg FF3.jpg (139.2 KB, 148 views)
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339th Transportation Company
Old 08-12-2017, 11:45 AM   #6
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Default 339th Transportation Company

"I was assigned to CH37B tail ending with 998, Wayne's Workhorse (CO Name Wayne Barker)Other CH37B tails 636 Johnny Reb, and of course Egor's Numba One 995." Frank Ferry.
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File Type: jpg 339silk.jpg (149.6 KB, 148 views)
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339th Transportation Company
Old 08-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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Default 339th Transportation Company

A tragic accident: Maybe some of the experts on Aircraft numbers, can tie down
which units these losses belonged to via the visable tail number, Circa 1963.64?
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File Type: jpg FF6.jpg (98.0 KB, 146 views)
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339th Transportation Company
Old 08-12-2017, 11:57 AM   #8
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Default 339th Transportation Company

"Tail 636 down in elephant grass and river. no injures. Flew it out 8 hrs later. replaced tail rotor blades. Photos are me with my machete, crew members of 998 and 636 and CO SGT MJR." Frank Ferry
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File Type: jpg FF7A.jpg (46.7 KB, 149 views)
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611th Transportation Co.
Old 08-17-2017, 04:51 AM   #9
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Default 611th Transportation Co.

Although local ground forces and escorts ships, managed to restrict the bad guys to
pot shots. They only had to get lucky once, to cause a a major loss of life. The
highest of the war for CH37's, is quoted below from remembrances and the official report at the time.

"As far as I know, 3 CH-37s were lost.. 1 in 1963 assigned to 611th. After recovering a downed Mohawk, it was apparently hit in the cockpit and the aircraft crashed. One of the surviving gunners said he saw white smoke pouring from the cockpit. There were 3 fatalities; AC, P and CC. The first part was told to me when I was assigned to the 611th before being re-assigned to the 339th. The second 37 was blown up by VC sappers at Da Lat in the middle of the night. I don't remember where I got that one. Or which unit or when. The 3rd 37 was 611" Ray Semora

On December 12, 1963, a U.S. Army heavy-lift helicopter CH-37B Mojave (tail number 55-00627) from the 611st Transportation Company was attempting to recover a downed U.S. helicopter when it was hit by enemy ground fire causing the aircraft to crash and burn. The ground fire hit the cockpit area as the crew was attempting to sling load the downed helicopter in the Mekong River delta in Tuong Dinh Province, South Vietnam. Four crewmen were killed in the attack. They included aircraft commander CW2 William E. Flowers, pilot 1LT Ronny L. Woodmansee, flight engineer SP5 Marshall J. Angell, and gunner PFC Newman R. Nesmith. The crew chief, E4 CS Albro, survived with injuries. The other crewmen’s remains were recovered except for Angell. A thorough search of the aircraft and surrounding area was conducted. It was ultimately surmised by those conducting the search that Angell was either consumed by the fire on board the aircraft or that he sank into the marshy ground surrounding the crash site. This was the only operational loss of a CH-37 during the Vietnam War.
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File Type: jpg 1.JPG (49.7 KB, 117 views)
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Flight Line early 1965
Old 08-17-2017, 08:10 AM   #10
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Default Flight Line early 1965

'Slave Driver' in the foreground.
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Flight Line early 1965
Old 08-17-2017, 08:15 AM   #11
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Default Flight Line early 1965

Reverse Shot, 'Bad news' in the back ground
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Flight Line early 1965
Old 08-17-2017, 08:20 AM   #12
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Default Flight Line early 1965

" 'Bad News' is depicted by the pregnant young gal…but really named for the condition of that aircraft when we got it. The tail boom was tweaked and had to be replaced. How that happened I don’t know, maybe in transit to Viet Nam on the ship. We had a hard time locating one and finally found one that the Marine Corps had somewhere. So “Bad News”, which was tail number 58-1004 was not flyable for quite a long time.
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File Type: jpg ZULU21.jpg (130.2 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg 58 1004 BAD NEWS nose art #1 1965z.jpg (55.3 KB, 119 views)
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Mid Air collision.
Old 08-17-2017, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Mid Air collision.

Frank Ferry send a follow up picture to Post 7.
The 2 ill fated escorts on the ground, unit indentified as the 119th AHC.
Thankfully no KIA'S.
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:19 AM   #14
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Default

Great and interesting photos. Thanks for taking the time to post them on the forum.
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Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did. Quote - Sophie Scholl - White Rose resistance group
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Aircraft Art.
Old 08-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #15
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Default Aircraft Art.

“Slave Driver” was aptly named after both its normal pilot a CWO 3 Royce Raley (RIP) who hailed from Texas and resembled Clark Gable. He was a hard man to please. And the Flight Engineer on “Slave Driver” was SP/6 Carter. He was a task master and drove that entire company of CH-37 folks very hard to perform up to the task. So “Slave Driver” was named because of those two men, probably mostly Carter.
A special thank you to Willard Honjiyo, the last crew chief of 'Slave driver', for
presenting 2 very nice pictures, of his aircrafts markings.
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File Type: jpg slave.jpg (94.6 KB, 95 views)
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