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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Hey guys and gals! Here's a new way you can get some cool artwork and help support the restoration of Special Kay at the same time!

Get a pair of signed prints. They are approximately 22x19". Come as a pair.

Proceeds will benefit the aircraft restoration.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302021317622

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Last edited by hawkeyepoole on Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:14 pm 
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I have three new videos from "K Day" on the 9th of July.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_7VV9JkBKY
We didn't go into North Vietnam....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdTZSkRQ6Ss
Tim Black speaks about the importance to his group of the A-26 restoration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwLcziGzAM8
Jack Mezzo and Maury Bourne discuss some interesting events from Farm Gate, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:23 am 
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Hawkeye is helping to raise money for Kay with the A-26 prints that he is featuring on EBay. They are signed by the artist who was on A-26's out of NKP. All proceeds go to the restoration effort. Please click the link to his EBay site to have a look.
We also want to send our heartfelt sympathies to Tim and the rest of the Silver Dragon crew who had a nose gear failure and subsequent return for emergency landing at Oshkosh this week. Glad everybody made it out ok. The crew did a great job in minimizing the damage. We will share whatever parts we have that they might need to make it ferriable back to John Lane's shop. They had just put a freshly overhauled engine on the left side. It only had test time and flight time from Santa Fe to OSH so this really is a double whammy. The Silver Dragon is on the cover of the July issue of "Warbirds" magazine.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:30 am 
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So they knew the nose gear was not locked down? I suppose that would be gutting knowing the result would be damaged engines props and fuselage. And probably caused by some smallish part too. Ah well you yanks bounce back after shocks like this. Money time and lots of spanner turning and she'll be back flying again. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:09 pm 
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According to the reports just after the accident, they heard a pop when extending the gear and were told it wasn't down prior to landing so they went around to try and troubleshoot but ended up having to land "as is". I'm sure that Tim will let everyone know what happened in due time.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:00 pm 
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Our right engine, "Lisa" is expected to arrive in Idaho tomorrow about noon. It may take a day or two to tear it down and find what the problem is. Two of our guys volunteered to haul her up and they have made very good time considering it is 1800 miles or so. They spent the first night in Pueblo, CO and then discovered the "pleasures" of Denver traffic this morning. Chuck and Big Ed are really humping to get her there and will probably help in the teardown. We are anxious to know if it is a quick fix or a start over overhaul. Or maybe something in between.... We very much appreciate their willingness to tackle this task. This may set our first flight back several months, but it is what it is. We'll deal with the cards played and make the best of it. Everybody on the team is trying just that much harder to get other things done so we will be ready when "Lisa" comes back home! Be sure to drop by the Vintage Flying Museum hangar on weekends to see the all volunteer team in action. You never know what else you might see at Meacham. A few weeks ago, the flying eye surgical clinic dropped in for some paint at Leading Edge's shop. Ck this out on their website: www.orbis.org
Don't forget to look at our FB public page for the latest pics. www.facebook.com/a26specialkay


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:56 pm 
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Here's one of my many NIMROD interviews. This is Tim Black and Gus Gustafson.

https://youtu.be/L0dwJOC-N7o

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:17 am 
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Hawkeye Poole... Thank you very much for your videos. I enjoy them all and I especially enjoyed the one with Gus Gustafson and Tim Black.

And thank you Tim and Gus for sharing. Although I never really knew you guys at the time, I know I humped bombs on your A/C and talked with you at de-arm after your missions.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Bob, we always appreciate your remarks and input. Would you settle one other question we had on our Facebook page, please? When you returned to NKP, was there any evidence of PSP on the ramp or runway? I seem to recall there wasn't, but someone was looking at a Google Earth picture and thought there was. Thanks, JR


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:45 pm 
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Saturday was a hot 103 degrees with a humidity factor that was off the charts. The team labored away despite the conditions. Much progress was made on finishing up the control cables for the flight controls and lubing the engine control cables. The tail cone was remounted since it had to be removed to make the final adjustments. Some repairs were made to the left nacelle that were left over from a left gear collapse many years ago while taxiing. On another note, our right engine was found to have a failed bearing in the supercharger counter balance. The supercharger is driven by the crankshaft so when the bearing came apart, it jammed everything up. We were just lucky the engine was not running at the time. Ed and Chuck delivered the engine and since it will take some time to get it fixed, they came home arriving yesterday afternoon. Along the way, they had some adventures with some bad diesel fuel and the truck protested making much progress for the last half, but we are glad they are safely home and appreciate their willingness to make the 3600 mile round trip. Today, more work continued with buttoning up the leading edge of the wings where the control cable runs are located.
We mentioned that Meacham had a special visitor a few weeks ago, the Orbis MD-11 flying eye surgery hospital that flies internationally helping people with vision problems. Here is a short clip that was made about the visit to Kay by one of the staff: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VKdgUK-4n ... e=youtu.be


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:46 am 
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A26 Special K wrote:
... When you returned to NKP, was there any evidence of PSP on the ramp or runway? Thanks, JR


Yes, there is "evidence" of there having been PSP at NKP. But it sorta depends of what you mean by "evidence". None of the metal PSP remains. In fact, there is not a bit of metal left anywhere in the base except for the commercial airport buildings that remain. Every bit of other metal was "salvaged". (Even the steel drainage pipes that ran under the roads were salvaged. The cement over the culverts was busted up to get to the steel.) Except for the parts of the base that are part of the commercial airport, there is virtually no evidence that the Americans ever had a base there. It's all torn down/salvaged and the jungle is reclaiming all of it.

As far as evidence of the PSP ramp goes: The SeaBees that built the flightline put down and compacted a base before laying the PSP on top of the ground. In fact, they spent more time preparing the base for the PSP than the actual laying of the PSP. This base is hard and black. So even though the PSP is gone, you can still see the black flat "pads" where all the PSP was. For the most part, the black pads are still intact, because it was compacted so much. But... even in those pads are starting to get the jungle growing back through.

You can read all about my trip back to NKP (with pics) here: http://www.kokomoman.com/wordpress1/?p=176
(That's the link to the beginning of the whole story. This is the link to just the visit to NKP and the base: http://www.kokomoman.com/wordpress1/?p=212

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609th Nimrod, Bomb loader, Gun Plumber, '68 - '69


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:53 pm 
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I just got back from another trip to Maxwell AFB and the Air Force Historical Research Agency. I scanned about 3,000 pages of reports from 1967-1969. Here is a (long) and beautiful tidbit from one of the reports at the deactivation of the 609th and the A-26s from SEA:
=========================================
December, 1969
609th Special Operations Squadron:

This quarter marked the end of one of the 56th Special Operations Wing's most active tactical squadrons and the end of another era for a USAF aircraft, the A-26. On 1 December the 6o9th Special Operations Squadron was deactivated after more than two years of active service with the wing. It was activated in August 1967.

The A-26s tour of duty with the 56th Special Operations Wing began nearly a year earlier as eight B-26s (as the A-26s were formerly known) were deployed TDY to Nakhon Phanom RTAFB under operation "BIG EAGLE". The B-26s were then redesignated A-26s.

Their operations proved so successful that they were kept on a permanent basis. In January 1967, the A-26s were merged with the 606th Air Commando Squadron (now Special
Operations Squadron). As their mission grew, the Nimrods gradually acquired more crews and aircraft. By December 1968, the 609th had a total of 18 aircraft.

In the slightly more than two years of its existence, the 609th flew 7,159 combat sorties for a total of 19,762.7 combat flying hours. During this period, the Nimrods were credited with destroying 4,268 trucks and damaging 696 more. The Nimrods also destroyed 201 enemy
gun positions and silenced an additional 696. This extremely high truck kill record, averaged slightly better than one truck destroyed or damaged for each one and one-half sortie flown. This was significantly higher than any other weapon system currently in use in the Southeast Asian Theater.

The 609th was first commanded by Lt. Col. Howard L. Farmer, who was followed in this capacity by Lieutenant Colonels Allen F. Learmonth, Robert E. Brumm, John J. Shippey, Atlee R. Ellis, Robert L. Schultz, Robert w. Stout and Jackie R. Douglas.

The primary mission of the 609th Special Operations Squadron in their association with the 56th Special Operations Wing was to conduct combat operations as directed. They were also fragged to fly armed reconnaissance, flare support, and FAC missions to disrupt and harass enemy lines of communications and supply by attacking or directing attacks on pre-selected targets and targets of opportunity in BARREL ROLL, STEEL TIGER NORTH, and STEEL TIGERSOUTH areas of Laos.

During October of this quarter, activity increased for the Nimrods with a 700 per cent increase in strikes against trucks. Most of this truck activity was in the STEEL TIGER portion of Laos. Consequently, an ever increasing number of the squadrons sorties were flown in this area.

The Nimrods continued to lend support to the friendly ground forces in Laos, with 18 per cent of their missions being utilized for this purpose. The use of Nimrods for this close air support posed somewhat of a problem as a squadron policy dictated that new crews (those with less than 30 missions) could not be used for close air support. This policy was instituted to allow the new crews to become accustomed to striking in combat situations, and thereby lessen the possibility of a short round.
There were no new problems encountered during the month; however, some recurrent problems reappeared. On 23October, Nimrod 22 and 23 were sent by MOONBEAM to 130/62/93
against troops in contact. Knowing that this area was in BARREL ROLL west, and hence, not validated for napalm, the Nimrods advised MOONBEAM that 22 was carrying six napalm and only two hard bombs. MOONBEAM told them to go anyway, drop the two hards and then come back out over the trail to get rid of his napalm.

A similar incident occurred on 25 October. As Nimrod 32 and 33 climbed out enroute to BARREL ROLL they were called by a Candlestick and advised that another Candle had spotted 15 trucks in STEEL TIGER NORTH, but was unable to get any ordnance.

The Nimrods contacted ALLCCAT with their request for diversion to the Candle, but their request was turned down, as they were "really needed" in the BARREL. Once in the BARREL, they were first held for 20 minutes, and then sent to a BLIND BAlT FAC., who didn't have any active targets, but would put them in on their secondary target.

Enroute to BLINDBAT, the Nimrods heard that LULU, one of the FACs., was in trouble and needed help. Again, the Nimrods volunteered., but again their request was denied, as "napalm was not allowed on troops in contact”. Since this was contrary to the briefed Rules of Engagement, the Nimrods questioned this statement, but to no avail.

Finally, just as they were about to strike their fragged secondary target, ALLEYCAT called to say that they couldn't. strike that target either, as it wasn't validated for napalm. By this time the Nimrods were low on fuel so BLINDBAT found a 'truck' on the road so that they could get rid of their ordnance and go home.

One of the most frustrating problems that the Nimrods encountered was to be working a target, especially trucks, and then be pulled off so that some flights of jets that were bingo fuel could come in and strike. This proved to be the case on 25 October for Nimrods 22 and 23 after they had trapped 25 trucks by interdicting the road on both ends of the convoy, they were pulled off the target three times for fast mover flights.

Another problem was caused by the high traffic density in the strike areas. On 18 October Nimrods 34 and 35 were in the BARREL ROLL. ETHAN, the airborne radar control for that area had the Nimrods and another flight at the same location and altitude, passing head on. ETHAN gave no warning to either flight.

On 19 October, Nimrod 37 almost shot down a fastmover with his rockets, as he rolled in on a target. TheF-4 flew through the strike area twice.

The top BDA for the month was recorded by Nimrod 30piloted by Maj. Charles Bate and Nimrod 31, piloted by Major Keller. On 21 October they destroyed 15 military structures and damaged 20. Major Koyn, in Nimrod 22, destroyed four trucks on 30 October.

During October, due to an extreme shortage ofM-1A4 fragmentation bombs, or the lack of a suitable substitute, Nimrod aircraft were loaded with one-half full, or even empty bomb bays for the last ten days of the month. The long awaited M-35-36 incendiary weapons arrived during this period; unfortunately, they were not certified for use on the A-26 aircraft.

In November, the wing received instructions from CINCPACAF directing them that 14 A-26 aircraft would be maintained in flyable storage at Clark AB, PI to await further disposition instructions. CINCPACAF also informed the wing that a spares kit for the 14 aircraft would also be required. Truck activity increased sharply in STEEL TIGER during the first nine days of November. The squadron struck at only three less trucks than during the entire month of October.

The squadron truck kill was identical with the October results, with 29 trucks destroyed and five trucks damaged. The 609th ceased combat operations on 10 November. Many of the same problems of the previous month remained with the squadron to the end. A problem has always existed with dud ordnance, but this problem reached a new high on 5 November when Nimrod 24 dropped eight dud napalms This high-dud rate was highly frustrating to the crews.

On 3 November, Nimrods 30,31,32, and 33 were all launched to missions to STEEL TIGER. Once in the area, each flight of Nimrods was held for more than two hours before being given a target to strike, hurried through the strike, and then hustled out of the way so that there wouldn’t be any A-26s in the way of the fast movers and AC-130gunships. This appeared to be a great waste of ordnance, especially considering the statistically superior strike efficiency of the A-26.

On 4 November, Nimrod 20, piloted by Major Bates was involved in a highly dangerous situation with a Night Owl F-4. During their strike against trucks, the Nimrods were shot at by an enemy anti-aircraft gun position. The Night Owl reacted to the gun without first determining if there were other aircraft already in the area. Consequently, the Night Owl started dropping flares directly through the Nimrod strike pattern.

Major Koyn, piloting Nimrod 20, had the best BDA results for the month. On 9 November, Major Koyn destroyed four trucks and silenced one 37mm gun position. Ground fire directed at the squadron's aircraft increased markedly during the month of November. There was a 250 per cent increase over the totals for the month of October, and the squadron new only nine days in November.

Upon deactivation of the 609th Special Operations Squadron, Lt. Gen. Francis c. Gideon, Thirteenth Air Force commander, sent the following message to Col Samuel E. Crosby Jr., 56th Special Operations Wing commander; and Lt. Col. Jackie R. Douglas, 609th commander:

The inactivation of the 609th Special Operations Squadron ends another significant chapter in the history of the 56th Special Operations Wing. Major contributions to our combat efforts in Southeast Asia were made through the dedication of every man in this fine organization. All of them - aircrew members and support personnel alike-share in the successful accomplishment of their important and difficult mission. Daily their professionalism and devotion to duty raised to ever higher levels those standards of excellence which have gained deserved recognition for this unit. Please convey my personal appreciation to the officers and men of the 609th Special Operations Squadron for the superior job they have done.

A similar message was sent by Brig. Gen Wendell L. Bevan Jr., Seventh Air Force Director of Combat Operations, who stated:

The day rapidly approaches when the 56th Special Operations Wing will lose one of the finest combat squadrons in SEA - the 609th SOS "Nimrods" - "A one of a kind" outfit- produced BDA under conditions where our more sophisticated weapons systems were stymied. Their loss, through deactivation on 10 November 1969, signals the end of an era for the grand old A-26 and the crews who flew it. The 609th can be justly proud of its participation in what history could well term "The Most Crucial Campaign in SEA'-" - that of our STEEL TIGER interdiction program. They literally "wrote the book" on how to kill trucks at night and in the most hostile AAA environment we have encountered. BDA statistics are of interest to everyone sitting in judgement of concepts, tactics, units, aircraft types, etc. The cumulative totals from May 68 thru October69 reflect 2,053 trucks destroyed, 304 trucks damaged,28 guns destroyed, 3,521 troops KBA, 6,655 secondary fires, and 7,145 secondary explosions from A-26 strikes. I consider these figures a true measure of the dedication and skill of the famed Nimrods.

Please convey to the 609th SOS my personal regrets over the deactivation of such a proud and professional organization. Their contributions to the goals and objectives of the USAF in SEA will be long remembered On 19 December, the wing was informed by CINCPACAF that the requirement to hold the A-26 aircraft for Indonesia no longer existed. Therefore, all fourteen A-26 aircraft which were temporarily assigned to Clark AB after being shuttled from NKP, would be returned to the CONUS and delivered171 to MASDC for reclamation.

The wing received another message from. Langley AFB, Va., the same day stating that ferry tanks would be required for the return trip to the CONUS. Because of the limited communications/navigation capability of the A-26 aircraft and the number of aircraft being delivered, they requested PACAF to provide an enroute support/escort aircraft, support kit and team to assist in delivery of the aircraft. The wing was in turn fragged for the job of ferrying the aircraft back to the states by providing nine crews, consisting of pilot, navigator and crew chief.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:01 am 
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For those following our progress here's the latest on our No. 2 "Lisa" at Anderson Airmotive. Everything is cleaned, in line for assembly. The oil cooler arrived Friday in Idaho for flush. The aircraft is just awaiting the return of the engine and cooler. Everything in the lubrication system has been flushed and cleaned. Oil tank, Oil cooler control, lines, feathering pump, firewall shut off, and prop dome. The dome is at Byam's awaiting pick up. Last will be the prop itself. Its on FIFI's stand (thanks Rick) and we will flush it just before we hang it.

In the interim, the crew has been working off lots of the little open items. Flight controls are all rigged and closed up. We are going through the AIP and completing all the inspections, lube, and checks required before we fly. We still have to install the Halon 1301 bottles and the emergency air bottle plus all their associated connections. The fire bottles and check valves are installed in the aft end of the left nacelle. The emergency air bottle is in the inboard side of the right nacelle.

The landing gear needs final adjusting and checks but will have to wait until we install the engine. The maintenance manual doesn't specify if you can jack without the engine installed, so I defer to caution. We have a tail jack under Kay just to be safe.

Larry has been working a lot of little interphone issues. Has anyone ever tried to decipher the David Clark mystery of what plug works with a particular headset? No its not easy. While I had him pinned down, we spent several hours completing the 337's for all the Nav-Comm mods. The job's not done until the paperwork is finished!

Yes we have lots of photos of all these activities. However, I haven't cracked the code on how to upload to this site.

All we lack is finishing up.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Great update JR, thanks! :drink3: I can't offer any headset plug info or other assistance, just my best wishes and crossed fingers for all to continue well!

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"It's his plane, he spent the money to restore it, he can do with it what he wants. I will never understand what's hard to comprehend about this." - kalamazookid


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:40 pm 
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I worked at David Clark for 10 years. Give them a call, excellent customer service.

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Phil

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