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

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18th CAC. Can Tho Vietnam. 1972/1973
Old 02-26-2017, 11:37 AM   #1
JOHN JONES
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Default 18th CAC. Can Tho Vietnam. 1972/1973

Whilst conducting my research into the items I have for M.Sgt Joseph.A.White. I was
lucky enough to make contact with Joes last wartime commander, Jerry W. Childers
Colonel, U.S.Army (Retired). Colonel Childers served multiple tours in Vietnam and
contributed greatly to the refinement of tactics and weapons systems, in respect of
Army aviation in Vietnam. His personal archive is destined for major museums in the
USA, but he shares with the collecting community, the historical details of a unique
item from his last command in Vietnam. As a result of my enquiries into one of the unit insignia unkown to me, Colonel Childers was able to provide direct contact with
the patch designer and thus, this unqiue history can also be recorded.

"Attached is a photo of my airfield flag that I was required to fly on the back of my jeep when I drove it onto the runway at Can Tho airfield (a safety procedure). The CH-47 Platoon had some stuff sewn on it and presented it to me upon our stand-down. Note the green delta with the green 6 in the middle. Green Delta Six was my radio call sign. The patches are from the various elements of the company and were worn on the member's pockets. "
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File Type: jpg green delta3A.jpg (234.5 KB, 606 views)
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:41 AM   #2
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Shortly after Jerry tagged me to follow Ron Zec as the Platoon Leader of the Maintenance Platoon, I made 1LT Dale Wells my assistant platoon leader. The Platoon call sign had been “Short Shaft” but we felt that was demeaning. We primarily had “H” Model Hueys which had a beefed up engine with an improved short shaft (this connected the drive train from the engine to the main rotor). The improved short shaft was renamed “Super Shaft” thus we took that as our call sign. The patch idea was stolen from Arm & Hammer Baking Soda which depicted a muscular arm holding a hammer. We had the arm holding a Super Shaft and dressed it up a bit we took the sketch downtown to one of the local seamstress shops and they fashioned our new platoon patch!
A photo of me with what was left of my 40 man Maintenance Platoon (most everyone had gone back to "the World" by then) just prior to departing Can Tho in late March 1973. Note the wheel cover on the jeep, you may remember that we had designed our own platoon patch; we took the old theme of the arm and hammer baking soda and fashioned the arm holding a "super shaft" thus our platoon call sign became "super shaft".
We had the tire cover made in downtown Can Tho; wish I had thought about bringing it home! We did wear the patch over our left pocket though in the photo with the jeep none of us are sporting the Super Shaft Patch. BTW, that photo was taken shortly before we left Can Tho; the six of us were all that was left of a 40 man maintenance platoon since it was a steady stream of folks going home each day after the “peace” treaty was signed. The six of us went out on day 59, just one day short of the deadline.
Steven E. Blanton. 18th CAC, Aug '72-Mar '73
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Last edited by JOHN JONES; 02-26-2017 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Vet courtesy
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #3
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Apologies for the picture edit, I promised courtesy noted picture.

Regars,
John
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File Type: jpg SUPER SHAFT.jpg (148.0 KB, 612 views)
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #4
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Nice photos and GREAT flag! Thanks for posting!
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Some more neat information and pictures, have been submitted by unit members.
Special thanks to:Jerry Childers. Steve Blanton . John Harris.
Col.Childers with Capt Ron Zec.(Maint Platoon Commander)
Capt Zec wears the Super Shaft patch. Col Childers also wears the 164th Group
patch, the only man in the unit to do so. Note the added shoulder straps on the late war nomex shirts, the leadership tabs are sun faded to beige and feature a 164th DI.
Col Childers retained his and shares with us. Note the plastic covers, Col Childers said the beercans had no pins attached and were secured in place by the plastic.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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Steve Blanton, who took over the maint platoon from Capt Zec, getting part of
his '5 a day' from outside his hootch. He also wears a converted Nomex top with the
faded leadership tabs. The unit 1st Sgt Joseph.A.White also wears leadership tabs on
his class A shirt. His 'dress' pair, as they are full green and with no plastic covers.
Joe is in transit through Camp ALPHA, as he prepares to leave his last combat
assignment before retirement.
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File Type: jpg Joe White A.jpg (91.2 KB, 542 views)
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:45 AM   #7
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More great photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #8
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Colonel Childers, presents the Air medal to a 2nd flight Platoon crew Chief.
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File Type: jpg 18 cac photos 1A.jpg (13.8 KB, 511 views)
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:19 PM   #9
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Steve Blanton outside the 18th CAC ops building, late 1972.
With him is W.O. Thomas Blanton, (no relation) they recently made contact
again after 40 years.

Pic 2.
Steve Blanton again outside the Ops building in early 1973, this time with 1st Lt
Dale Wells. Both now sport the newly designed 'Super Shaft ' pocket patch, as Steve
had recently taken over command of the Maint Plt.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:25 PM   #10
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Col. Childers, kindly took an individual photo of the 'Super shaft' patch, as it appears
on his presentation flag. This was used as the basis for a 'reunion' type copy.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #11
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Very neat thanks for posting. B
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:40 PM   #12
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Great post John with patch history and remembrances from the actuals.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:00 AM   #13
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CanTho 1972/73
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:02 AM   #14
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Can Tho 1972/73
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File Type: jpg Can Tho 2.jpg (45.9 KB, 426 views)
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:16 AM   #15
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Can Tho base 1972 /73
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File Type: jpg Can Tho AAF Main Gate.JPG (52.9 KB, 424 views)
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