Ritchie-Debellvue press photo, stars outlined in white so they show up better in the photo
Loran equipped F-4D from Udorn with MK-82 500lb bombs 1972 OC tail designation denotes 13TFS Aircraft fromerly at Korat
555TFS Hquarters at Udorn, Thailand 1972--Largest distributor of MiG parts in Southeast Asia
432 Tac Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn (7/13 AF Hickam) APO San Francisco 96237--note front of mission sign
Here's the back of the same “Our Mission” sign at the 432 TRW Hq. There were 36 MiG kills from Udorn during the period 17 Dec 1967-8 January 1973
555TFS MiG Kill Board. Total 555TFS MiG kills in SEA (Including Ubon and Udorn) were 40 -- I'm not sure about that number, perhaps someone can verify
This mural was located in the 555 TFS lounge. Note the Red River and Thud Ridge depicted on the ground. Everyone flying north of the Red River is a “River Rat.” The Mural shows at least 3 x 105s and 5 x F-4s with what looks like 4 x MiG-21s
Taking the BlueBird bus to work in the morning. Quarters were on the W. side of the base, ops on the E.
My good friend Captain Billy Graham in the flight line truck enroute to his assigned aircraft for a combat mission
Capt Bill Graham. His holding his helmet by the chin strap. His fight bag is at his left foot. One nomex glove on, and one off, parachute harness, survival vest, including .38 cal S&W Revolver with extra rounds, 2 x UHF hand held radios, sea marker dye, escape and evasion maps, compass, flares, and two pints of water frozen and placed in the g suit pockets. Oh yes, he also has a survival knife strapped to his leg someplace. Boarding weights for pilots were probably his weight plus 45 lbs. We did not carry cynaide pills--only U2 drivers did that as far as I know.
Capt John Dubler poses at the boarding ladder before a mission
Billy Graham posing at the boarding ladder. The aircraft is equipped with 12 MK-82s
Standard MK-82 fuses on 500lb dumb bombs
Major Harry McKee my front seater for our MiG 21 Kill, poses with fuse extended MK-82's Udorn, 1972
Major Harry McKee and our crew chief at Udorn
Major Harry McKee--preflighting an F4-D with 12 MK-82 bombs
F-4D radome opened up revealing the APQ-100 I/J Band Radar, far superior to the C model and even better than the “improved” solid state E-model radar which had a shorter range and required extensive vibration dampening equipment because of the 20MM gatling gun mounted just below the radome.
ECM equipment could be carried in the forward Sparrow missile wells. We usually carried the AN/ALQ-101 ECM pods on the lower station of the inboard pylon so we could use the Sparrow wells for their intended purpose. This F4-E is loaded with 6 x MK 82's with “daisy cutter” fuse extenders on each inboard TER and 6 x MK 82s on the centerline MER. The aircraft was transferred to Udorn from Luke AFB as the LA tail designator indicates.
Revetments at Udorn were excellent--making it difficult for sappers to destroy aircraft on the ground
A river from Laos joins the Muddy Mekong near NKP (Looking NE into Laos
The Mekong River dividing Thailand from Laos--looking NW into Laos
Rice fields in Laos
A F4-D in tactical formation, 3,000 feet from our element as we leave Laos and enter Vietnam (The high karst formations and low clouds mark the border)
Scattered clouds above the rugged karst formations of Laos
An F4-E assigned to the 432nd from Luke AFB refuels behind a Boeing KC-135 Tanker, while a 4-ship of F4-Ds from Udorn's 555 TFS (OY) wait on the left wing
Refueling with the boom “in the green”
Armament Check by the wingman before proceeding to the target
A straight and level loran guided drop of MK-82s above overcast conditions
This photo of an F4-E is actually reversed
Downtown Udon Thani with Udorn Airfield, Channel 31 on your TACAN, in the upper left corner. Udorn also hosted Air America's CIA operations
Downtown Udon Tani was polluted to the max
A polluted “stream”in Udon Tani
Left to Right: Harry McKee, John Dubler (List 01), Kim Rhine and Jim Ogilvie (List 02) Dec 28, 1972 after our MiG kill--the last of the 555 TFS at Udorn and the second to last of the Vietnam War.
List Flight 28 December 1972
Each aircraft launched 2 x Aim-7 Sparrow missiles, List 1 firing first. All 4 Sparrows appeared to guide. The fireball was seen by our Squadron Commander, Lt. Col Jim Brunson, who was refueling over Laos at the time and listening in on strike frequency with Red Crown
Left to Right: ?, ? Harry McKee, John Dubler, ? and ?
Our “Sawadee” flight with the 13 TFS Wolfpack. We celebrated with champagne
Harry McKee hands his POW braclet to ? before getting dunked in the green slime.
Crewchief performs a post-flight check of his F-4 D
Udorn had a sapper attack near Christmas. Our 555 TFS building sustained light damage
Major Stan Pickett, 1/LT John Dubler and my crewed front seater and very good friend, Capt Nick Noland at a 555 TFS Sawadee Party. Nick was later killed in an F-15 training accident
Lt/Col Wayne Frye (Cinc Nickel) and 432 Deputy Wing CC, Col Schrecengost
Jim Ogilvie and John Dubler pose in front of one of the new E-models just received at Udorn. The aircraft boasted the lighter and more compact AN/APQ-120 solid-state radar which actually was not as crisp as the D model AN/APQ-109. It had more powerful engines (J19-GE-17s wiht 17,900lbs thrust) and above all, the M-61 A-1 Gatling Gun with 639 rounds of linkless ammo. Spent casings were returned to the drum.
John Dubler poses in front of the new E models just before his end of tour.
Laundry drys on the handrail next to our “hooches”
L to R: Bill Daleckey, Marty Cavato, John Laugerman, Gary Sholders, and Terry Murphy. The squadron was celebrating the downing of a MiG--Officer's Club at Udorn
Marty Cavato and Penny ?
Jim Ogilvie shows off his green parrott to our maids
Our maids having lunch. Maid service was not provided by the Air Force. We had a squadron fund that we all contributed to which paid for maids and other unofficial necessities.
The maids gathered each day for lunch while doing our laundry and cleaning rooms.
Polluted stream in Udon Tani
555TFS Aces Chuck DeBellvue (six kills) and Steve Ritche (five kills)
Debellvue and Ritchie
Olds Flight 9 Sept 1972. 2 x MiG-19, 1 x MiG-21. Top Row: Dwight D. Cook, (not on Olds Flt) Mike Francisco, Bill Dalecky, John Madden shaking hands with Terry Murphy, Marty Cavato (my frontseater for this mission) Chuck DeBellvue, Bryan Tibbett (KIA), Bud Hargrove (KIA), Billy Graham. I am not in this photo, standing just to the right of Marty Cavato.
Chevy Flight 16 Sept 1972. 1 x MiG-21 Front Row L to R. Mike “Cisco” Francisco, Bill Daleckey, Billy Graham, John Laugerman, John Dubler. Back Row: Mike Hilliard, John Madden, Bryan Tibbets, Col Scott Smith, 432 Wing CC, Crew Chief, Bud Hargrove, Gary Sholders. 555TFS MiG Killers.
Chevy Flight 16 September 1972 1 x MiG-21. Front Row L to R: Billy Graham, Mike “Cisco” Francisco, John Dubler, John Laugerman, Gary Sholders. Back Row L to R: Mike Hilliard, John Madden, Bryan Tibbett, Bud Hargrove, Bill Dalecky.
Olds flight fly-by at Udorn, 9 Sept 1972, John Madden, Flight Lead with Chuck DeBellvue in his back seat shot down 2 x MiG 19s. at Phuc Yen Airfield. Bryan Tibbet with Bud Hargrove (Olds 3 with the E model) shot down a MiG 21 with the 20 mm gun after Olds 1 fired 2 Sparrows in boresight mode; both missed. The flight was low on fuel and Bill Dalecky with Terry Murphy in his back seat (Olds 4) flamed out south of the Red River. Marty Cavato and I were in Olds 5 airborne spare, holding at the Fishes' Mouth. Just before Dalecky and Murphy ejected, Terry called his Inertial Nav coordinates to me. I plugged them into our intertial nav and we headed for the area. As we approached the spot Marty took up a left orbit. Just below our left wing I spotted a parachute. We orbited high, calling in the Jolly Greens. It was a pleasure to welcome Dalecky and Murphy back to Udorn later in the day--without their F-4.
555 TFS Maintenance Personnel