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Date:

06/14/2020

Guest:

1 (Reference ID: 2223692)

Name:

Richard Draper

Email Address:

rldd178@aol.com

Location:

Lincoln ne

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-7

Duties?:

TD-2 ran flight simulator

Dates in MATS?:

'58--'61

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

N/A

Comments:

I joined VR-7 in the middle of 1958. We got in the Connie simulator, and with the help of Tech Reps we put it together. It was in fact an early vacuum tube analog computer. It was great duty since I was a 2nd class Petty Officer two of the 4 years I was in the Navy. I got flight pay and pro pay, so along with the 2nd class pay I saved a lot of money for the time. Great duty, and some life long friends.

I would welcome e-mails from anyone that was in during the time I was.

 

 

 

Date:

03/12/2020

Guest:

2 (Reference ID: 2222605)

Name:

Joe Smith

Email Address:

darevia-navymats@yahoo.com

Location:

New Mexico

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-6

Duties?:

Janitor, Legal Yeoman striker, Disbursing Clerk striker

Dates in MATS?:

1960

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

First duty station. Knew how to do nothing. Boatswain's Mate got me working on GED; then he discovered that I could type. Got me to Legal Office typing. Then moved to Disbursing, passed GED, and learned bookkeeping via correspondence course. When I was transferred to USS Hank, I had learned enough to be the disbursing clerk there. Was able to MATS fly once to Frankfurt, Germany. Terrific barracks at McGuire. At 17 years old, I loved the beer hall and was awestruck by the "older" sailors that I met. 1959 Boot Camp Company 450 Commander, Benjamin S Gill, EMC started squaring me away and the sailors of VR6 made sure I kept getting better.

 

 

 

Date:

01/29/2020

Guest:

3 (Reference ID: 2222167)

Name:

Bill Stevenson

Email Address:

stwe88@aol.com

Location:

Kenmore, WA

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

NATWP VR-7 (my brother LTJGCOS Jr)

Duties?:

Pilot MOS 1310

Dates in MATS?:

October 1965- June 17, 1966

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

I am the brother of LTJG Clement Olin Stevenson Jr who served in VR-7 from late 1965 until his death on 17 June 1966 in the crash offshore Cape Varella, South Vietnam of MAC/VR-7 C-130E Hercules tail number 63-7785, along with seven other VR-7 shipmates and eight USAF passengers.
Naval Air Transport Wing Pacific Squadron VR-7 aircrew:
LCDR Ralph B. Cobbs, Pilot
LTJG Donald E. Siegwarth, Copilot
LTJG Clement O Stevenson, Copilot (partial remains recovered)
LTJG Edward L. Romig, Navigator
ADJ2 Curtis D. Collette (partial remains recovered)
YN2 Jack I. Dempsey
ADR2 Stanley J. Freng (partial remains recovered)
AN M.J. Savoy

US Airf Force 12th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) passengers:
Capt Connie M. Gravitte, USAF, 391st TFS
1stLt Claiborne P McCall, USAF, 391st TFS (remains recovered)
SSgt Robert A. Cairns, USAF, 51st Fld Maint Sqd
SSgt Gene K. Hess, USAF, 51st Fld Maint Sqd
SSgt Oley N. Adams, USAF, 12th A&E Maint Sqd
A2c Larry E. Washburn, USAF, 51st Fld Maint Sqd

The flight was en route in a N/NE direction from Cam Ranh Bay AB to Kadena AB Okinawa, departed at 1:20 am local; radar and radio contact was lost 15 minutes later , and the A/C was observed by two Navy ships to have exploded 5 minutes later (20 minutes after takeoff) about 2.5 miles offshore Cape Varella. Two Navy ships, PCF-46 (Swift boat) and the USS Fortify (minesweeper) observed both the explosion at altitude and a second explosion as the A/C hit the water. PCF-46 arrived at the crash site within 5 minutes and was joined by PCF-54 and the Fortify. Their SAR retrieved one body and other partial remains, plus wreckage; there were no survivors. Remains were sent to USAF Mortuary unit at Tan Son Nhut AB-Saigon; body was IDed as 1stLt Claiborne P McCall, USAF; partial remains were IDed as LTJG Clement O Stevenson, ADJ2 Curtis D. Collette and ADR2 Stanley J. Freng. Claiborne P McCall was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on July 1, 1966. The next of kin (NoK) of Stevenson, Collette and Freng were never informed by the Navy of the recovery and identification of their partial remains. An accident investigation board (AIB) from MAC's 22nd AF, which owned the A/C, arrived on scene from Travis AFB the very same day, and issued its report in September 1966. According to the command history report (CHRs) of the 22nd AF and MAC for the 1966-67 period, the AIBR determined that the A/C was most probably lost to enemy action, and that the loss was not chargeable to the 22nd AF flying accident rate. The finding was independently endorsed by the Directorate of Aerospace Safety, HQ, USAF based at Norton AFB. Based upon the AIBR's finding of direct enemy action as the cause of their deaths, the Navy and Air Force made posthumous awards of the Purple Heart to the fourteen lost airmen in March 1967, and the Air Force also awarded the Air Medal to the eight Navy crew members. The NoK of the airmen were never informed of the AIBR's existence or findings, which were the basis of the PH awards.

The above information comes as the result of a 15-year search for the Navy and AF documentation relevant to understanding what caused the crash of #63-7785. In June 2019, I obtained a redacted copy of the AIBR from the Naval Heritage and History Command, and will post here a link to it as soon as possible as well as the relevant AF CHRs. The AIBR ruled out mechanical or crew failure as the cause of the crash, and established that the most probably cause of crash was enemy action, either sabotage or ground fire; it does not appear that it rendered a final judgment as between these two enemy actions.

However, the report points out that most of the area north of Nha Trang to Tuy Hoa (about 80% of the A/C's flight path over land before the explosion) was in enemy hands, and the point in the flight where radar and radio contact was lost (Vung Ro Bay area), was heavily defended by large caliber AA weaponry. Also, because of delays in receiving IFR clearance from Saigon Center, the A/C was observed by the Navy eyewitnesses aboard ship to be flying at only 1,000-5,000 feet altitude with a wing on fire just before it exploded. Also, that the color of the wing fire at altitude and that of the fire on the water among the debris at the crash site was the same, indicating aviation fuel as the source of both fires.

I am seeking contact with any VR-7 C-130 pilots whose experience included flights from Cam Ranh Bay AB to Kadena AB during 1966. I would be greatly appreciative if they would read the AIBR and share with me privately their own opinion as to the most probable causes of the crash.

 

 

 

Date:

01/29/2020

Guest:

4 (Reference ID: 2222162)

Name:

Dave Trojan

Email Address:

davidtrojan@earthlink.net

Location:

California

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

N/A

Duties?:

Historian

Dates in MATS?:

N/A

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

I have fully documented the VR-3, R6D-1 which crashed into a mountain peak in Hawaii on 22 March 1955, killing all 66 people on board. I'm willing to share all info I have about the acident and I'm looking for more info if anyone has anything. I'm an Aviation Historian based at Travis AFB California and I'm working with the Moffett Museum to document this event. I have recovered artifacts from the crash site now on display at Moffett.

 

 

 

Date:

01/17/2020

Guest:

5 (Reference ID: 2222064)

Name:

allan pochop

Email Address:

apochop@aol.com

Location:

None

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-8

Duties?:

Power Plants

Dates in MATS?:

10/62-9-66

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

Arrived out of AEWBARRONPAC-MIDET, Air Force Connies were headed to the Wyoming Air Guard........received A/F C-130's.....working with the A/F, 1501, which is now known as the 60 MAW. Military Air Wing.

 

 

 

Date:

01/12/2020

Guest:

6 (Reference ID: 2222018)

Name:

James Ashby

Email Address:

j.ashby@sbcglobal.net

Location:

Springfield, MO 65802

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-8

Duties?:

Workload Control

Dates in MATS?:

1962 Nov.- July 1966

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

11/14/2019

Guest:

7 (Reference ID: 2221435)

Name:

Kevin Tryon

Email Address:

VP50@outlook.com

Location:

reno, nv

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-3

Duties?:

Son of AT1 Ritchie Tryon

Dates in MATS?:

1950-1960

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

I am the son of AT1 Ritchie Tryon. I was born in base housing NAS Moffett Field. I wore his dress blues while flying with VP-50 and others.

 

 

 

Date:

07/29/2019

Guest:

8 (Reference ID: 2220245)

Name:

William forgie

Email Address:

Wcforgie@gmail.com

Location:

Pueblo, co.

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-8

Duties?:

Radio operator

Dates in MATS?:

1953, 1954

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

07/03/2019

Guest:

9 (Reference ID: 2219887)

Name:

Robert Wilson

Email Address:

helgasgardener@gmail.com

Location:

So. Portland, ME

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-6

Duties?:

AT2 Electronic Shop

Dates in MATS?:

1958-1960

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

07/03/2019

Guest:

10 (Reference ID: 2219884)

Name:

Kenneth Volpe

Email Address:

kjvolpe1@gmail.com

Location:

Moffett Field

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

Air Transport 8

Duties?:

detached from CVA-19 Hancock

Dates in MATS?:

approx 12/66. - June 1967

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

05/15/2019

Guest:

11 (Reference ID: 2219233)

Name:

Darrell Seegraves

Email Address:

ddsvr1931@hotmail.com

Location:

palm bay fl

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

vr 6

Duties?:

ad 2 mech.

Dates in MATS?:

1951 1955

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

yes

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

05/13/2019

Guest:

12 (Reference ID: 2219189)

Name:

Von_L

Email Address:

mach1crow@msn.com

Location:

SD

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

none

Duties?:

USAF vet

Dates in MATS?:

none

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

Looking for verification that Navy R5D (nee C-54 Skymaster) BuNo. 56511 flew with VR-6 (or VR-8) or other unit, esp. during the Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles), 1948-49. This aircraft is currently on display at South Dakota Air & Space Museum.

Request that VR vets with service in these venues scan your flight logs, photos and/or other deployment records at hand, to help place her service. We do know that 56511 started as Admiral Ingersoll's personal transport in WESTPAC, c.1945 and later served a long, successful Navy career in VR aviation, through the 1960s. Her 'colorful' post-military service included various civil owners and and even a trip to the brig, courtesy of US Customs Service, before restoration as a museum bird.

Please respond to mach1crow(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Thanx for any help here!

Von_L

 

 

 

Date:

05/09/2019

Guest:

13 (Reference ID: 2219134)

Name:

jack williams

Email Address:

1451jp@comcast.net

Location:

Md.

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR7

Duties?:

Navigator

Dates in MATS?:

1962-5

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

Ron--were we roommates in Don Nelson's house?

 

 

 

Date:

03/31/2019

Guest:

14 (Reference ID: 2218622)

Name:

TERRY L WARD

Email Address:

neva1944@att.et

Location:

HERMANN MO

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-22

Duties?:

OPERATIONS YEOMAN

Dates in MATS?:

1962, 1963

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

NO

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

02/17/2019

Guest:

15 (Reference ID: 2217982)

Name:

Thomas kelley

Email Address:

tttttkelley@aol.com

Location:

San Diego

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR 8

Duties?:

He was a mechanic

Dates in MATS?:

1949

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No, looking for my dad.

Comments:

Looking for a contact asci have question as my dad served in VR 8

 

 

 

Date:

12/12/2018

Guest:

16 (Reference ID: 2217281)

Name:

Merle Giles

Email Address:

navyretired76@aol.com

Location:

San Jose CA

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

N/A

Duties?:

N/A

Dates in MATS?:

N/A

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

NO

Comments:

Seeking Information:
I was stationed at Moffett Field from 1966-1976. During that time I spent a four years with VP-31 in Hanger #1 (70-74). Sometime after VR-7 and VR-8 were decommissioned there was a Memorial Plaque commemorating the dates of commission/decommission of both squadrons. The Plaque was placed on the grounds outside the VP-31 Duty Office, on the East side of Hangar #1. I recently saw a picture of Hanger #1 on one my Facebook Groups and it brought back many memories. I was curious if anyone in your group might have any knowledge of this or where the Plaque may be now. If no one has any information, I will continue to look further. Made one flight with VR-7 1967 R5D. (Not C-54). Moffett&rt;Barbers&rt;Wake&rt; Naha

 

 

 

Date:

11/10/2018

Guest:

17 (Reference ID: 2216980)

Name:

Craig Horner

Email Address:

gtsmustang@msn.com

Location:

Desoto Texas

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

N/A

Duties?:

N/A

Dates in MATS?:

N/A

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

Next year marks 10 years since I lost my dad to Cancer. He loved the Navy and serving his Country. This Sunday is Veterans Day. I would like to wish all Veterans a Happy Veterans Day.

 

 

 

Date:

11/09/2018

Guest:

18 (Reference ID: 2216977)

Name:

Wayne McDonald (Mac)

Email Address:

wmcd1020@yahoo.com

Location:

Cairo,Ga.

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-8

Duties?:

AK3 Aviation Storekeeper

Dates in MATS?:

1962-63

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

None

 

 

 

Date:

10/29/2018

Guest:

19 (Reference ID: 2216902)

Name:

Jack Hodson

Email Address:

jmhodson@aol.com

Location:

None

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-7

Duties?:

Navigator

Dates in MATS?:

Jan 64 - Dec 1966

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

Yes

Comments:

If you were in VR-7 during the period from January 1964 through December 1966 (my time in VR-7) and you are looking for documentation for the VA regarding visits made to Vietnam, for the purpose of verifying exposure to Agent Orange, perhaps I can help. We may have been on some of the same air crews.

Of the 51 missions I flew on while in VR-7, twenty five 25 landed at various Vietnamese airbases. I kept a copy of all but one of the crew duty orders for the 51 missions I flew on

Of those 25 trips to Vietnam only 5 went to the Vietnam destination listed on the crew orders. Many crew orders simply listed “As Directed” for the destination. The actual destinations for all 25 missions I have extracted from my Aviators Flight Log Book. Three other missions went to various Royal Thai Air Force Bases but I believe the VA’s rules regarding exposure to Agent Orange do not apply to Thailand.

I have compiled a list of the names of every crew member, officer and enlisted, with whom I flew on trips that actually went to Vietnam. The list contains 142 unique names and I will e-mail you a PDF copy of the list and the pertinent crew orders listing your name if you will e-mail me a request to do so.

The VA has accepted my submission of crew duty orders and my Aviators Flight Log Book as proof of service in Vietnam and my claim for exposure to Agent Orange resulting in Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy has been granted.

A moral for this story could be, don’t throw away all that old Navy stuff about which your wife says: “Why will you ever need this, throw it away!”

I can be reached at jmhodson@aol.com or my cell phone 216-381-4180

 

 

 

Date:

08/20/2018

Guest:

20 (Reference ID: 2213892)

Name:

Russell C.(Chris) Bingley

Email Address:

geochrisb@aol.com

Location:

Cody Wyoming

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR8

Duties?:

AT2 rdio operator and then ground mtce.

Dates in MATS?:

Janurary 1957- Sept 11, 1959

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

no

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

08/19/2018

Guest:

21 (Reference ID: 2213809)

Name:

Ronald Mowrer

Email Address:

ronmow@rkymtn.com

Location:

Thermopolis, WY

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR7

Duties?:

Navigator

Dates in MATS?:

'63-'67

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

N201808

Comments:

Hope to locate a few that I haven't kept track of over the years.

 

 

 

Date:

08/13/2018

Guest:

22 (Reference ID: 2212775)

Name:

Michael liechty son of Morris Dean liechty

Email Address:

Michaelscottliechty@gmail.com

Location:

Oramge county ca

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

Vr8

Duties?:

Loadmaster

Dates in MATS?:

60-64

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

N/A

Comments:

Found my dads log book was hoping to find more info on his time at moffett

 

 

 

Date:

06/30/2018

Guest:

23 (Reference ID: 2206424)

Name:

Leo John Costigan

Email Address:

nagitsoc@comcast.net

Location:

Santa Clara, California, 95051

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR8

Duties?:

Electronic Maintaince

Dates in MATS?:

1964-1967

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

05/07/2018

Guest:

24 (Reference ID: 2198374)

Name:

John Howe

Email Address:

jmhwa01@comcast.net

Location:

Washington, State

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR 7

Duties?:

Office staff

Dates in MATS?:

1955-1956

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No?

Comments:

It has been so many years since I served in VR7. The recent eruptions in Kiluea brought to mind my stay at KMC and our hike across the volcano floor and looking down into the hale mau mau fire pit. A group of us from VR7 and VR 8 made the trip in a C47 from Hickam Air Force Base to Hilo. Hawaii was a true paradise then. I still have many fond memories of VR7 and would enjoy chatting with anyone that is still around from back then.

 

 

 

Date:

04/19/2018

Guest:

25 (Reference ID: 2195918)

Name:

James Knabb

Email Address:

RKnabb@yahoo.com

Location:

Belle, WV

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR7 & VR8

Duties?:

N/A

Dates in MATS?:

61-63

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

N

Comments:

Flew on C121 Tachikawa, Vietnam, New Delhi. Looking for anyone who can help with Vietnam flights. Lots of records missing from file. Need help with Agent Orange claim. Must prove boots on ground.

 

 

 

Date:

03/05/2018

Guest:

26 (Reference ID: 2189545)

Name:

Will Carter

Email Address:

wilyard@hotmail.com

Location:

Mercedes, Texas

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR-6

Duties?:

Aviation machinest Mate

Dates in MATS?:

1959 - 1962

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

I have searched for info on line a few times before, but never found anything until now. Apparently I never did a proper search.

 

 

 

Date:

02/26/2018

Guest:

27 (Reference ID: 2188734)

Name:

Ralph D Edwards

Email Address:

ralph.e@hotmail.com

Location:

Pleasanton, CA

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR3

Duties?:

Loadmaster

Dates in MATS?:

1966-67

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

Date:

01/05/2018

Guest:

28 (Reference ID: 2182016)

Name:

Dean Dunaway

Email Address:

twidgit5357@comcast.net

Location:

Woodstock, GA

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR 8

Duties?:

AT 3 Radio operator

Dates in MATS?:

3/54 - 3/56

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

N/A

Comments:

Would like to hear from anyone who was in Navy VR 8 at same time.

 

 

 

Date:

12/31/2017

Guest:

29 (Reference ID: 2181294)

Name:

Daniel Hayes

Email Address:

Gabbyhadit@yahoo.com

Location:

Lawton,Okla.73505

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

VR7-Det.alpha

Duties?:

ADRAN flight line mech,

Dates in MATS?:

Feb 62-Dec63

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

No

Comments:

Just wanted to update my e-mail add. All the other info in my previous posts are the same. Would love to hear from any of my old ship mates. Morris Keck, Rick Myers., And my room mate Gerald Karnigh. Probly spelled that wrong tho. To many years under the bridg. I do get text from Luther Bracken. Didn’t hang with him but did have flights to and from Nam. But never did make any runs with him into town. I use to hang out in the Club NewYorker across the street from main gate. My old buddy keck I think married one of the Josans from that club. I think her name was Fumico. I was hanging with a woman almost twice my age named was Naomi. My regular payment was some $ and a carton of cigs. That was back when the ¥en was 365 to one dollar. A good night on liberty cost around $10-20 with change left over. My cell# is 580-583-7754 if anyone would like to talk and reminisce.

 

 

 

Date:

12/18/2017

Guest:

30 (Reference ID: 2179653)

Name:

Darrell Seegraves

Email Address:

ddsvr1931@hotmail.com

Location:

Palm Bay Fla.

MATS Squadron/s served in?:

vr 6

Duties?:

ad 2

Dates in MATS?:

may 5i may 55

Are you a reunion member? Yes / No Member #::

yes

Comments:

NO COMMENTS ENTERED

 

 

 

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