African-American Pilots in Korea and Vietnam

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David C. Clarke
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African-American Pilots in Korea and Vietnam

Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Feb 2004 05:17

Well Folks, I became interested in African-American pilots who flew in combat after World War II, so I put together a very unofficial and incomplete list, for your entertainment. Here goes.

Three Tuskegee Airmen flew combat missions as fighter pilots in WW II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War: Charles Cooper; Hannibal Cox, and; Charles McGee. Three others flew combat in Vietnam in other type aircraft and retired as Lt. Colonels, USAF. They are: John ““Mr. Death”” Whitehead; Bill Holloman, and; George Hardy.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN PILOTS IN KOREA AND VIETNAM

1.)Colonel Fred Vann Cherry
Korea--51 missions in F-84G
Vietnam– 35th TFS–52 Missions-F-105 (Captured)

2.)Charles Edward McGee
Korea–67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron–100 missions-P-51
Vietnam–16th Tactical Air Command Reconnaissance–172 missions

3.)Lee A. “Buddy” Archer
Korea–

4.)Daniel “Chappie” James
Korea–12th Fighter-Bomber Squadron–101 missions–P-51 and F-80 (50-51)
Vietnam–78 Missions–F-4C

5.)Willian A. “Wild Bill” Campbell
Korea–51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Suwon–F-86
Vietnam–USAF Advisory Group, MACV, Tan Son Nhut, 40 missions in A-1 Skyraiders of South Vietnamese Air Force. (His son Steve flew F-15s)

6.)James E. P. Randall
Korea–75 missions–F-51
Vietnam–F-105-Shot down and rescued 51st mission (tested F-111s)

7.)Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton
Vietnam–F-4--269 missions–79 over North Vietnam, flew out of Da Nang

8.)Guion S. Bluford Jr.
Vietnam–F-4C–66-67 Cam Ranh Bay–144 missions–65 over North Vietnam

9)Frederick D. Gregory
Vietnam–Helicopter–Rescue Crew Commander

10.)Charles F. Bolden Jr.
Vietnam–A-6A--100 missions–Nam Phong, Thailand

11.)William E. Brown
Korea-F-86(?)
Vietnam–?) Flew 225 combat missions total, Korea and Vietnam

12.)John L “Doctor Death” Whitehead
Korea–104 missions (type unknown)
Vietnam–56th Special Operating Wing–C-47

13.)George E. Hardy
Korea–45 missions–B-29
Vietnam–70 missions–AC-119K Gunship (1970)

14.)Woodrow W. Crockett
Korea-- 45 missions–P-80 Shooting Star with the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing staff at Suwon. Also flew Starfighters in Germany 1967

15.)Dayton William Ragland
Korea–F-86--captured
Vietnam–F-4C (KIA)

16.)Lieutenant General Frank Petersen, Marine Corps
Korea-Corsair
Vietnam–F-4

17.) Commissar Davidov, the EviL
Korea--56 missions--Mig-15
Vietnam--101 missions--Mig-21

As you can see, this list is woefully inadequate and any additions anyone would care to make would be appreciated.

Best Regards, David
Last edited by David C. Clarke on 15 Feb 2004 05:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Leibstandarte_reenactor
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Post by Leibstandarte_reenactor » 15 Feb 2004 05:19

4.)Daniel “Chappie” James
Korea–12th Fighter-Bomber Squadron–101 missions–P-51 and F-80 (50-51)
Vietnam–78 Missions–F-4C

Chappie was an original "tuskegee" airman i was the 1st 4 star black general in the USAF

Lobscouse
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Post by Lobscouse » 15 Feb 2004 06:00

Sooo. You have a 101 mission crush in that cap?

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Feb 2004 06:15

Heh Heh, Just wanted to make sure you guys were reading the list.... :lol:

Best Regards, David

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Von_Mannteufel
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Post by Von_Mannteufel » 15 Feb 2004 07:08

Wasn't Davidov a tanker?

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Feb 2004 07:22

Ah yes, he was a tanker, but after the war he had a minor disagreement with Stalin, (He made a joke about how many Communists it took to administer East Germany--answer; "Only one, but two tank armies sure help".) who promptly assigned him to the budding (and crash-prone) Russian jet program. The Russians were experimenting with captured ME-263s at the time. When that job failed to dispose of him, he was "volunteered" to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as an instructor. The rest, as they say, is history.

Best Regards, David

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 15 Feb 2004 12:19

Could you provide me some informations about a black pilot from the film "Bat ???" (I don't remember the number :( ). This story was true.
The title was Bat 21. Thanks to Dave Moffitt :D

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USAF1986
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Post by USAF1986 » 15 Feb 2004 17:41

1st Lieutenant Robert J. Thomas, a B-52 copilot, lost his life in action over North Vietnam during the opening night of LINEBACKER II. A regular member of the 97th Bombardment Wing’s 340th Bombardment Squadron based at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas Thomas was on temporary duty with the 43d Strategic Wing at Andersen AFB, Guam at the time. He lost his life on night one of the offensive, 18-19 December 1972, when two SAMs struck his B-52G bomber, call sign CHARCOAL-01, just shy of its release point over the Yen Vien railroad yards. Three of the six crewmembers bailed out and were captured. His son, the late Derrick Thomas, played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Regards,
Shawn

http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/t/t067.htm

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Feb 2004 18:00

Thanks much for the information Shawn, that's exactly what I was looking for.

Best Regards, David

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Post by USAF1986 » 15 Feb 2004 18:23

As many of the actual events in that otherwise excellent movie, BAT-21, are very compressed, I’m not certain of the identity of the Danny Glover character. I hope to be corrected, but be might be a composite character representative of all the FAC pilots who took part in the longest sustained rescue operation of the Vietnam War. Of note, 1st Lieutenant Mark Clark, grandson of the WWII general, was the navigator of the OV-10 FAC aircraft shot down in an early attempt to rescue Lt Col Iceal Hambleton (played by Gene Hackman). Like Hambleton, Clark managed to escape and evade until his rescue.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/ ... res13a.htm

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/aircrew1.htm

http://www.jollygreen.org/Stories/JG67.htm

Regards,
Shawn

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Post by Chadwick » 15 Feb 2004 19:02

BAT-21
In one of the most bizarre rescues of the Vietnam War, Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton was recovered from enemy territory in northern South Vietnam after 11 1/2 days on the ground. This was the largest rescue operation in USAF History. On Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, Col. Hambleton was flying as navigator in an EB-66 electronic counter-measures aircraft (callsign Bat-21). When the aircraft was struck by a surface-to-air missile (SAM), he was the only man to eject safely, landing near a busy highway junction on a Communist supply route. Intelligence sources reported the area contained 30,000 enemy troops. (While initially awaiting rescue, Hambleton directed USAF aircraft which destroyed many enemy vehicles on the highways.) Intense ground fire prevented the first attempts to rescue him. A plan was devised to direct him by radio contact with a forward air controller (FAC) aircraft to a safer pick-up point. USAF reconnaissance aircraft photographed the area and photo analysts laid out a course for him to follow to a river two miles away. Hambleton, an avid golfer, remembered in great detail various golf courses where he had played. To guide him safely past enemy camps, gun emplacements, and unfriendly villages and then downstream to a rescue point, specific holes at certain courses were used to establish distance and direction of travel for each segment of his journey.

Traveling only at night, he reached the tenth day, exhausted and with nothing to eat or drink since bailout except several ears of corn and rainwater. Floating downstream, at the last "hole" he was met by a Navy SEAL (SEa-Air-Land) Lt. Thomas R. Norris and a Vietnamese Ranger who had stolen a boat. Despite several enemy ambushes, they delivered Hambleton to a waiting USAF helicopter which took off under enemy fire. Hambleton's experience was the basis for a book and a movie, but neither portrayed the complexity of the operation, the exotic technology or number of people involved in the rescue. 234 medals were awarded to individuals for this rescue and Lt. Norris received the Medal of Honor for his role in this and a related rescue.

Displayed on the mannequin (in the Museum's actual rescue gallery) are the baseball cap, monocular, and glasses which Col. Hambleton had with him when rescued. His original flight suit was taken from him in the hospital for laundering, but he was transferred before it was returned. The URC-64 survival radio was his most important survival item. He was enthusiastic about how well it worked despite submersion in water and other hardships. The framed photomontage was composed of reconnaissance photos and was used to plan the escape route, since there were no usable maps of the area. The plaque was given to him by the commander, 42nd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron in memory of the EB-66 crew members who died.
(Donated by Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton, USAF (Ret), Tucson, Arizona)

See also, the RB-66B Destroyer in the Modern Flight Hangar


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Pararescue Jumper
USAF Rescue main page

I got this info from : http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/ ... res13a.htm

also didn't Tiger Wood's father fly Sandy's during the Vietnam War?

chadwick

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USAF1986
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Post by USAF1986 » 15 Feb 2004 19:04

Although not a pilot, but just as crucial to the USAF mission, crew chief Sergeant Reggie Taylor (second from left) shares in an historic moment: Captain Richard S. Ritchie (foreground with back to camera) becomes the first USAF ace of the Vietnam War and celebrates with a red star on the F-4D flown on the mission. Sergeant Taylor was the crew chief of the F-4D in question. Ritchie bagged his fifth MiG-21 on 28 August 1972 with an AIM-7 missile. For his "guy in back," Captain Charles B. DeBellevue (far left), it was his fourth kill. DeBellevue eventually racked up six kills during the war. Sergeant Ronald W. Buttrey, the aircraft's night crew chief, is on the far right.

Ritchie later paid homage to the hard-working ground crews: “There’s no way we could have done it without them [the ground crews]. In fact, I got my first and fifth MIG in the same plane. Crew Chief Sergeant Reggie Taylor was the first one up the ladder when the plane landed and you just couldn’t believe how happy he was. I think he was more excited than I.”

Regards,
Shawn

SOURCE: R. Frank Futrell, et al., Aces & Aerial Victories: The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia, 1965-1973, The Albert R. Simpson Historical Research Center, Air University & Office of Air Force History, Headquarters USAF, 1976.
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Chadwick
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Post by Chadwick » 15 Feb 2004 19:07

sorry USAirforce I just realized you also got the information from the same web site.
Next time i need to pay more attention to what I read b/f posting. :)

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Post by mars » 15 Feb 2004 19:35

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.

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 15 Feb 2004 19:39

Thomas Hudner received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his attempted rescue, an award he richly deserved.

http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/s ... udner.html

Thanks Mars!!

Best Regards, David

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