Jan - Mar 1969

Project Corona Harvest
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PROJECT CORONA HARVEST
DO NOT DESTROY
NO: 226601

1 January 1969 thru 31 March 1969

- Group 4 -
Downgrade at 3 year intervals.
Declassified after 12 years.

Air Force Form 7

Section I - ASSIGNMENT
Major Air Command Numbered Air Force Air Division Wing Group
PACAF 7th Air Force N/A 3rd Tac Ftr Wg N/A

 

SECTION II - SUBORDINATE UNITS
None

 

SECTION III - MISSION
The mission of the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron during the period 1 January 1969 through 31 March 1969 has been to supply combat ready aircrews to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing. The latest mission of the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron in support of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing has been to conduct combat operations against the Communist Viet Cong and/or Democratic Republic of Vietnam insurgents as directed by Headquarters 7th Air Force, and to assist and cooperate with the VNAF units assigned at Bien Hoa Air Base toward this end.

 

SECTION IV - PERSONNEL
  Officers Airmen Civilian Total
Assigned 29 137 0 166
Authorized 29 122 0 151
Attached 5 0 0 5

 

SECTION V - EQUIPMENT
A. AIRCRAFT
21 F-100's Assigned
19 F-100's Possessed
3 IRAN
B. WEAPONS (INCLUDING MISSILES)
N/A
C. ELECTRONICS
N/A
D. OTHER
N/A
Group 4 - Downgrade at 3 year Intervals:
Declassified after 12 years

Section VI - Narrative
(U) "Buzzards of Bien Hoa", the gold-plated squadron for the United States Air Force, flew 1817 combat sorties against the Communist Viet Cong and those insurgents presently engaged in aggressive actions in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 January 1969 to 31 March 1969.  Squadron achievements indicated continued high levels of morale and teamwork among operations and maintenance personnel. The attachments to this report contain a summary of sorties flown, ordinance delivered, battle damage assessments, awards received, and personnel turnover.

(C) Viet Cong activity throughout III and IV Corps was once again characterized by surges in intensity.  The Viet Cong's erratic offensives were primarily caused by large losses in supplies and crucial cuts in communication lines, which were apparent in this year's TET offensives.  During this period Bien Hoa Air Base came under 4 separate rocket and mortar attacks plus a few small enemy ground assaults.  The largest enemy ballistic attack occurred on 23 February 1969, when Bien Hoa was hit by 54 rockets and mortars.  Fortunately, 510th TFS personnel only suffered common bunker bruises and most of our equipment was spared any damage except for our expeditor truck.  It now has a couple of busted windows from small arms ricochets.

(U)  Buzzard Operations continued to prove they are the best organized staff in the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing.  It is getting to be a common occurrence that new pilots are operationally ready fourteen days after arrival.  As of 31 March 1969, all squadron pilots are operationally ready and only two recent arrivals are not day and night alert qualified.

(U)  The professionalism of the Buzzard Operations staff, both past and present, is exemplified by the excellent flying supervision over the last two years.  The 510th TFS have been recommended for an flying safety award for the period 1 January 1967 to 31 December 1968 where over 18,000 combat hours and over 14,000 sorties were flown without an accident.

(U) The pilot turnover for this quarter has shown five new pilots assigned and ten departing for a net loss of five pilots.  Only five pilots departed for assignments outside Vietnam as shown in attachment 9.  Of those five, 1lt Andrew R. Fornal, FV3195040, left suddenly with a shattered knee cap caused by his motorcycle sliding in loose gravel.  Of the other five, two are presently Misty FAC's at Phy Cat, two are assigned to 7th Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base and Major Arthur E. Huhn, FR53227, was reassigned to the 90th TFS as Squadron Commander.

(U) There were notable staff changes in the 510th TFS this quarter.  Lt Col David P. Proctor Jr., FR45168, assumed command of the 510th TFS from Lt Col Robert H. McIntosh, FR22267, 1 February 1969.  Lt Col McIntosh departed for an assignment as Assistant Deputy of Operations at Wheelus AFB, Libyia.  Major Harrell M. Moore, FR3025760, replaced Major Huhn as Operations Officer; Major Craig E. Humphrey, FR3004696, replaced Major Moore as Assistant Operations Officer and Captain Leonard H. Moon, FR75694, replaced Captain Leslie R. Drane Jr., FR61851, as Flight Line Maintenance Officer.

(U) Operations and Maintenance continued their excellent teamwork.  Maintenance presented Operations with an average of ten operational ready birds each day and Operations was flexible with an excellent ration of 14 qualified lead pilots and seven wingman.  This resulted in a high level of morale among pilots who averaged 23 missions per man per month.

(U) The excellent morale of the Buzzards and their traditional aggressiveness was apparent by the way squadron commitments were accomplished.  Although enemy activity during this period was generally light, the weather was not.  Quite often haze and smoke was a greater problem than enemy groundfire, but the Buzzards were most capable and willing to strike under any circumstances.  As a result, BDA counts were high and it was only appropriate that a Buzzard should win the first "Top Gun" award in the 3rd TFW.  When the envelope was opened, SFDD, Captain Lawrence K. Irving, FR71824, was a Top Gun.  Other Buzzards also showed their aggressiveness in combat with a large number of awards and decorations being recorded for both assigned and attached pilots.  A summary of all awards submitted and received during the quarter may be found in attachment 10.

(C)  There were no aircraft lost to enemy groundfire, but 7 aircraft sustained significant battle damage for the lowest percentage in the Wing.  In all cases, the damage was a result of hostile fire and supervisors are continually trying to reduce the number of hits with emphasis on proper tactics.  Emphasis is on using ten degree deliveries rather than level in all cases other than CBU runs.

(C)  As of 21 January 1969, the 510th TFS completed a 42 day period for six store configurations with un-astonishing results.  BDA counts did not increase as our range was limited to relatively bombed out areas of III and northern IV Corp.  The Mango refueling track was tried, for greater distance capability but flights with full onloads got to targets with about the same fuel they would have had without refueling.  Nearly all targets were closer to Bien Hoa than to the Mango refueling track.

(C)  The FAC's were happy to hear six bombs per aircraft, but the ground commanders and other target controlling agencies did not understand the fuel consumption of an F-100.  Thanks to VFR, weather that bingo fuel could be pushed to help out the troops in contact.  Anyway the tanks are reinstalled for distant targets and for loiter time in RAPCON was saturated during IFR weather.

(U) Buzzard maintenance and munitions has continued as one of the squadron's finest assets in accomplishing our commitments.  Under the direction of Major James C. McCoin, FR71683, Captain Leslie R. Drane Jr., FR61851, and Captain Ben D. Booker, FV3126275, maintenance and munitions teamed up for the highest effective sortie rate in the 3rd TFW.  The 510th has the highest reliability rate in Wing history for March 1969.  Only two ground aborts and no air aborts.

(U) The 510th TFS has consistently had the best turnaround rate on alert aircraft ever since Major McCoin assumed command of our Maintenance Section.  Also the 510th TFS has generated and flown 80 percent of the 3rd TFW's squadron alerts.

(C) Munition loading crews were faced with Munitions Standardization evaluation team visits during this period.  From a MSET visit in January, the 3rd TFW was found unsatisfactory, but by February all 510th load crews were recertified for loading operations under new PACAF standards.  All following visits and inspections results were satisfactory.  In March, 510th TFS munitions had certain individuals certified to arm and dearming transient aircraft.

(C) At the end of the quarter the 510th TFS had 2 1 aircraft assigned with 19 possessed.  All aircraft are center Wing Box modified and several are being modified for dropping all bombs singlely (Mod 1032).  Presently two aircraft are at IRAN at Tainan, Taiwan.

(U) The OJT program directed by Major Eugene F. Miller, FR65146, has grown from a satisfactory program to one of the best in the Wing.  The overall SKT passing rate has risen from 50% to over 80%, which is above the Air Force Standard of 65%.  The increased passing rate is largely a result of classroom instruction instituted for our aircraft mechanics (43X career field).  Also supervised study periods are used for our weapons mechanics (46X career field).

(U) A total of 22 people have been upgraded to 3 and 5 skill levels during this period compared to 13 last period.  Such an increase maybe due to an air conditioned classroom installed in January.

(U) Compared to past history reports, this period was just as productive even though enemy activity has slackened.  In some ways this period was kind of dull as we continued to excel in everything as the best of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, the "Buzzards of Bien Hoa".

//SIGNED//
HARVEY L. THOMPSON, 1Lt, USAF
Historian

//SIGNED//
DAVID P. PROCTOR JR., Lt Col, USAF
Commander

 

Attachment 1
COMBAT MISSION BREAKDOWN
1 January 1969 - 31 March 1969
Total Sorties: 1817

I Corps 0
II Corps 38
III Corps 861
IV Corps 918

 

Fragged 1115
Day Scrambled 530
Night Scrambled 172
Combat Sky Spot 106
Air Interdiction Support 734
Close Air Support 1079

 

Ordnance Expended

Weapon Jan Feb Mar Total Duds Tons Cost
MK82 (HD) 510 448 76 1,034 29 289.5 401,463.22
MK82 (LD) 440 250 364 1,054 10 279.3 299,911.70
M-117 (HD) 316 62 510 888 35 390.7 57,353.20
M-117 (LD) 1,156 726 664 2,546 59 1,056.2 1,024,019.60
BLU-27 (NAP) 818 536 816 1,972 63 857.8 432,440.00
CBU-2 14 38 12 64 4 26.6 154,624.00
CBU-12 0 0 4 4 0 1.7 7,040.00
CBU-24 6 22 20 48 7 2.9 145,536.00
LAU-3 (RK-PD) 10 62 66 138 0 36.4 153,186.00
20MM HEI 119,700 133,200 166,900 419,800 - 209.9 1,028,515.00

Totals

3,151.0

4,204,082.72

 

Mission Results

 

January

February

March
Target Destryd Damgd Destryd Damgd Destryd Damgd
Structures 206 176 241 224 382 329
Sampans 45 22 42 20 71 38
Bunkers 530 226 497 198 591 165
Bridges 0 0 1 1 1 1
Automatic Weapons Positions 0 0 7 2 27 3
Rocket Launch Sites 0 0 3 1 0 0
KBA 86 14 139 57 206 54
Secondary Explosions 27 0 50 0 59 0
Secondary Fires 35 0 9 0 43 0
Meters of Trenches 920 50 775 272 1150 330
Tunnels/Caves 2 0 9 12 12 18
Foxholes/ Fighting Positions 5 2 151 36 93 21
Road Cuts 0 0 1 0 2 0
Supply Caches 2 0 1 0 6 0
Spider Holes 0 0 0 0 0 0
US Helicopters 0 0 0 0 0 0
Trunks 0 0 0 2 0 0