Apr - Jun 1969

Project Corona Harvest
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PROJECT CORONA HARVEST
DO NOT DESTROY
NO: 227268

1 April 1969 thru 30 June 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 July 1969 through 30 September 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 23 85 0 108
Authorized 28 94 0 122
Attached 9 0 0 9

 

SECTION V - EQUIPMENT
A. AIRCRAFT
21 F-100's Assigned
18 F-100's Possessed (1 F-100F on loan from Tuy Hoa)
3 F-100's 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) The 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Buzzards of Bien Hoa," flew 1773 combat sorties against the Communist Viet Cong and those insurgents engaged in aggressive actions in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 April 1969 through 30 June 1969. The attachments to this report contain a summary of sorties flown, ordinance delivered, battle damage assessments, awards received, and personnel turnover.

(C) Bien Hoa Air Base sustained 11 light rocket attacks during the quarter, but did not come under ground attack. These attacks caused no damage to property or injury to personnel of the 510th TFS.

(U) As of 31 June 1969, all pilots assigned to the 510th TFS were operationally ready and only two recent arrivals who weren't day and night alert qualified.

(U) The pilot turnover for this quarter has shown a net loss of four pilots with nine new pilots arriving and 13 departing. Of these 13 departing pilots, two were assigned to 7th Air Force Headquarters at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, and the other 11 returned home to their families and new assignments.  The last pilot to be assigned to the 510th TFS, 1st Lt. John C. Donham, PG3169616, was a member of the Missouri Air National Guard.  He was one of the first group of National Guard pilots to be sent to Vietnam for a four month voluntary TDY tour.  Lt Donham had over 500 hours of F-100 experience and certainly added much to the squadron.

(U) With the large turnover in pilots came significant changes in the staff of the 510th TFS.  Lt Col David P. Proctor Jr., FR45168, continued as Squadron Commander.  Major Ronald M. Clements, FR54425, replaced Major Harrell M. Moore, FR3025760, as Operations Officer.  Major Bennett Stone, FV3039979, replaced Major Craig H. Humphrey, FR3004696, as Assistant Operations Officer and Captain Gerald E. Reddick, FV3118741, replaced Major James G. McCoin, FR71683, as Maintenance Officer.  Even with so many changes, the squadron has continued to function smoothly and at a high rate of efficiency.

(U)  Another significant change in squadron organization occurred 15 April 1969, when munitions personnel were removed from the squadron level.  Munitions personnel were assigned to a centralized organization to make more efficient use of supervisors and load crews.  Although the load crews lost the identity of the squadrons they had been members of, they continued to give excellent quality service.

(U) Maintenance has continued outstanding work of supplying the squadron with operationally ready aircraft.  As a result, the 510th TFS has once again flown more sorties during this quarter than either of the other two F-100 squadrons in the 3rd Tactical Wing.  With this continued high sortie number and the reduction of assigned pilots, the sortie rate per pilot has gone up to 25 sorties per month.  This certainly contributed to the high morale displayed among the pilots of the 510th TFS.

(U)  The experience level of the pilots of the 510th TFS has decreased this quarter with more experienced pilots finishing their tours and returning home.  The replacement pilots have been primarily lieutenants with no prior operational experience.  However, this has not decreased the overall effectiveness of the squadron any since all new pilots are thoroughly trained by squadron IP's in proper techniques and procedures.  The professionalism and competence of all the pilots was again shown by another quarter of accident free flying.

(C)  The "Buzzards" did not lose any aircraft to ground fire this quarter although there were 23 cases of battle damage sustained.  Three aircraft were landed with severe fuel leaks at Bihn Thuy and Tan Son Nhut, saving them from probably loss.  This high number of cases of battle damage was probably due to the use of more high drag bombs and napalm.  With low cloud ceilings being common in the target areas, the high drab bombs became more frequent.  The pilots of the 510th TFS have done an excellent job, flying many missions in the marginal weather of the monsoon season.  With the increasing use of high drag bombs, supervisors of the 510th TFS put extra emphasis on evasive actions and delivery techniques that would make ground gunners less effective.

(U)  The "Buzzard" maintenance section continued outstanding performance as the best in the 3rd TFW.  During the months of April and May there was only one air abort and one ground abort each month due to maintenance.  This was only a 0.35 percent abort rate and was the lowest in the 3rd TFW.  The pilots grew to have extreme confidence in maintenance and this certainly was one of the main factors for the high morale displayed by all squadron personnel.  Major McCoin did a truly outstanding job as Maintenance Officer and Captain Reddick has continued in the same manner.

(C)  As of 30 June 1969, the 510th TFS had 21 aircraft assigned and 16 possessed.  All were center wing box modified and 13 were modified for dropping all bombs singly.  Three aircraft were at Tainan, Taiwan undergoing IRAN modification.

(U) The On The Job Training (OJT) has also continued outstanding work under the direction of Major Eugene F. Miller, FR65146. During this quarter, the 510th TFS was the first squadron in the 3rd TFW to become 100 percent qualified under the Maintenance Standardization Evaluation Program (PACAF Manual 66-1).  Through the efforts of the OJT personnel, seven personnel were upgraded - one to the seven level and six to the five level.  This reduced the number of personnel in upgrade training to the five level to zero.  As a result, the 510th TFS was the only squadron in the 3rd TFW to be so well qualified in skill levels.  But, the high quality of maintenance performed by the personnel of the 510th TFS is the best indication of the effectiveness of the OJT program.

(U)  The "Buzzards of Bien Hoa," as in past quarters, remains the best of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing and each man is proud to say he is a "Buzzard."

//SIGNED//
HAROLD R. SOCOLOFSY ***, 1Lt, USAF
Historian

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

 

Attachment 1
COMBAT MISSION BREAKDOWN
1 July 1969 - 30 September 1969
Total Sorties: 1713

I Corps 0
II Corps 26
III Corps 826
IV Corps 921

 

Fragged 1122
Day Scrambled 470
Night Scrambled 181
Combat Sky Spot 100
Air Interdiction Support 796
Close Air Support 977

 

Ordnance Expended

Weapon April May June Total Duds Tons Cost
MK82 (HD) 384 780 951 2115 110 590.6 $816,984.95
MK82 (LD) 490 104 24 618 19 163.7 $175,747.85
M-117 (HD) 447 100 2 549 10 241.5 $344,444.15
M-117 (LD) 226 539 400 1165 22 481.5 $466,952.65
BLU-27 (NAP) 663 683 746 2092 76 903.3 $458,390.40
CBU-2 79 4 0 83 0 34.6 $201,011.20
CBU-12 82 24 0 106 0 45.9 $186,560.00
CBU-24 56 12 28 96 13 5.8 $291,072.00
CBU-30 4 0 0 4 0 1.7 $7,040.00
CBU-42 0 20 0 20 0 8.5 $37,315.00
CBU-46 0 0 22 22 0 8.8 $40,205.75
LAU-3 (RK-PD) 22 49 28 99 2 26.1 $109,834.35
20MM HEI 144,600 143,000 113,000 400,800 - 200.4 $981,015.00

Totals

2712.4

$4,116,573.30

 

Mission Results

 

April

May

June
Target Destryd Damgd Destryd Damgd Destryd Damgd
Structures 514 370 410 344 261 206
Sampans 74 57 54 19 32 10
Bunkers 513 197 471 115 479 137
Bridges 3 2 2 1 1 1
Automatic Weapons Positions 10 0 3 0 9 3
NBA (Confirmed) 72 0 80 0 134 0
NBA (Probable) 170 0 129 0 82 0
Secondary Explosions 60 0 39 0 48 0
Secondary Fires 44 0 10 0 12 0
Meters of Trenches 1145 450 1950 160 505 585
Tunnels/Caves 11 2 8 9 4 17
Fighting Positions 106 5 132 4 121 29
Road Cuts 7 0 0 0 1 0