African-American Pilots in Korea and Vietnam

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 03 Nov 2005 19:57

http://www.africanamericans.com/FrederickGregory.htm

Frederick Gregory:

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1964, Gregory entered pilot training and attended undergraduate helicopter training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. He received his wings in 1965 and was assigned as an H-43 helicopter rescue pilot at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, from October 1965 until May 1966. In June 1966, he was assigned as an H-43 combat rescue pilot at Danang AB, Vietnam.


Gregory has logged more than 6,976 hours flying time in over 50 types of aircraft -- including 550 combat missions in Vietnam.


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David

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 04 Nov 2005 05:41

mars wrote:Jesse Brown,VF-31, USS Leyte, he was the first African-American to fly for US Navy, on Dec 4 1950, when he was strafting Chinese positin, his F4U was hit by ground fire, and he had to crash landing on the way back to the aircraft carrier, sadly he broke both of his legs in this process, and was trapped in the aircraft, his teamate Thomas Hudner bravely landed his own plane, and tried to save him, but failed to free him, afraid of a chinese patrol could appeared at any time, Jesse demanded his comrad to leave and save himself, next morning, an us helicopter found Jesse's crash ground, but he was already frozen to death.


There is a very good article covering this episode in some detail in the current (December) issue of Flight Journal.

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 04 Nov 2005 05:51

Say Grease Spot, do you know what model Corsair Jesse Brown flew?

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David

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 05 Nov 2005 02:45

Hi Folks, look, I just checked the date of the original post on this thread--Feb 15, 2004!!!!!! 8O So this Thread has lingered for nearly TWO YEARS!!! Okay guys, I know the topic is obscure and that information is hard to find, but PLEASE CONTRIBUTE anything you have to help. Some of you are heavy into the Korean War, others are experten on the Vietnam War--surely you've run across something that will help this Thread?

I again thank those contributors who have posted on this Thread--you have my deepest gratitude.

By Christmas I will personally reward the member who has contirbuted the most to this Thread as a token of my gratitude.

Best,
~D, the EviL

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 05 Nov 2005 08:33

David C. Clarke wrote:Say Grease Spot, do you know what model Corsair Jesse Brown flew?


Sorry, David, I didn't see your post until just now.

All the photos of Corsairs that accompany the article are captioned F4U-4. As far as I can recall (not always the best of gauges) -4s were all that were in frontline service during Korea.

BTW, there are two pictures of Ensign Brown in the article, one of him sitting in the cockpit of his plane.

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Post by Zygmunt » 05 Nov 2005 16:41

I've just been able to confirm another name from that Zahn book I cited in my previous post here. Zahn says (p.105) "Maj. Turner L. Nelson assumed command of Charlie Troop [1st of the 9th Cavalry] on July 3, 1970". Now, as far as I can tell from Zahn's account, Nelson did no flying in that role, so I wasn't sure if he was a qualified pilot, but I just found this online:

http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/Vietnam/7-ff/Ch2.htm

It describes an 11th Cavalry action in November 1966 in which a "Capt. Turner L. Nelson" was flying a Huey Gunship (that's the "C" model, right?). So Nelson had been a combat pilot in an earlier tour.

Judson Dukes is a probable. Zahn mentions him on p. 206 as the XO of Charlie Troop, 1st of the 9th Cavalry, with the rank of Captain (and the nickname of "Pappy"). No mention of the guy flying in that role, but a quick websearch has him listed on a helicopter-veterans site, so is it reasonable to assume he was a pilot? That he had flown combat missions during a previous tour? There's a recent photo of him there, complete with Cavalry hat:

http://www.heli-vets.net/dukesjudson.html

Thinking about it, that heli-vets site may be worth looking at systematically.

While I was playing with google I thought I'd see what I could find on an earlier suggestion that Tiger Woods' father had flown in Vietnam: The results I got indicate that Earl Woods did two tours in Vietnam with the US Army as a Green Beret. Very impressive, but outside the scope of this thread.

A separate search for one of the names I put up previously did find this page though:

http://bravotroop.my100megs.com/roster_7073.html

There's an entry on there for a "Robert McNeal". It's definitely the same guy, as Zahn's book not only gives McNeal's hometown as Las Vegas, but also that he had been in Bravo Troop. Granted, there isn't any additional infomation about him on that page, but it's good to get some independent confirmation that the guy existed!

Zygmunt

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 05 Nov 2005 18:24

Excellent, Excellent work Zygmunt!!!! :D :D :D

I agree that the helicopter pilots should be looked at systematically--now, if I could only pull my Chopper books out of the attic....... :)

I really appreciate your help Zygmunt, very good stuff and extremely useful!!! Thanks much my friend!!!! :D

Grease_Spot, thank you!!! You've always been very helpful so I figured it was only a matter of time before you saw the post and had no doubt that you would answer it!!! :D :D :D

You guys are SUBERB!!!!

Very Best Regards,
David (P.S., Congratulations especially Zygmunt on finding information on the 9th Cavalry in Vietnam. That unit is really poorly covered in the literature on the war, IMHO.)

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Re: African-American Pilots in Korea and Vietnam

Post by fac_son » 09 Feb 2018 02:27

Sorry to be EXTREMELY late to this. I got some of my Dad's 8mm films from Vietnam scanned last week. He was a FAC flying O-1's. Been working a little to put names to some of the faces that appear here and there in the film.

0:30 sec mark. Dad said his name is "Sims" The google results on that name along with "pilot", "vietnam", etc are disasterous...

This would be in Summer 1970, Hon Quan (An Loc) or thereabouts. My dad supported SF teams in that general area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_J733watRw&t=6s

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