4028th

STRATEGIC RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON 

4025.jpg (14455 bytes)
4028th SRS   4025th SRS
The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 2nd September 1959
First Oak Leaf Cluster 1963
VIETNAM.
War Beckons the 4080th SRW
4028th SRS/ 4025th SRS
 
On December 31st 1963 President  Johnson issued the order for the 4080th SRW to support the RF-101 Voodoo reconnaissance effort in South Vietnam and by 5th March 1964 they had moved a detachment of 3 U-2E aircraft ( 347, 370 & 374) to Bien Hoa AB near Saigon.

The HASP program had been terminated as an agreement had been reached where above ground nuclear testing was stopped, so all WU-2A aircraft had the HASP air sampling equipment removed and were refitted with photo and electronic (PHOTINT & ELINT) collection gear.

 

The 4080th SRW had been Laughlin AFB, Texas and then transferred to Davis-Monthan AFB and during this move they had a small group of people assigned/attached to the 4028th SRS, a group who had been working on the classified programme "Lightning Bug" which were photo reconnaissance drones.
 
They had been at Davis Monthan for less than a year when ordered to deploy both its U-2 and DC-130 / Drone operations to South Vietnam. They moved Bien Hoa Operating Location-20 (OL-20), under the code names "Lucky Dragon" for the 4028th SRS's,  U-2E Dragon Lady, and for the  DC-130 / Ryan AQM-34 drone detachment operation the name "Blue Springs" was used. The DC-130 / Drone operation originally deployed to Kadena AB on Okinawa before being re-positioned at Bien Hoa AB.

In July 1965 this drone detachment of the 4028th SRS became the 4025th RS as the squadron number was reactivated. The 4025th originally being the RB-57D unit.

The 4025th RS still used the "Black Knights" emblem from their previous role with the RB-57D although officially they were not supposed to.

Lucky Dragon later changed to Trojan Horse and then Giant Dragon for the U-2 operations with the DC-130/Ryan drone changing to  Lightning Bug, Bumble Bug and Buffalo Hunter.

 

Initially the three U-2E's (347,370 and 374, deployed to Vietnam on the 11th of February 1964 flying to  Hickam AFB and then on to Clark AB ( pilots Chuck Stratton, Jerry Mcllmoyle and Steve Heyser flying the Hickham to Clark Leg) in the Philippines on the 12th Feb. The stay here was short due to politics reasons with only one mission being flown (14th or15th Feb?) and the unit made a quick moonlight flit to Anderson AFB in Guam, and finally after some weeks of inactivity to Bien Hoa as OL-20 on the 5th March with operations starting also most immediately. These flights were to start with restrictions in the areas of operations as there was still a C.I.A bird in the theatre of operation. The C.I.A was covering the flights over China, Laos north of Paksane and North Vietnam from Thailand and  these could be still classed as a civilian flight if one was downed. The Americans were still at the time only "Advisors" at this point in the conflict.

 The SAC bird's covered South Vietnam, North Vietnam within 30 miles of the coast line. Laos south of Paksane and Cambodia within 30 mile of South Vietnam.

This changed and SAC took on the role left by the CIA's Detachment G at Takhli who withdrew their aircraft and operations on April 24th.

 

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LUCKY DRAGON 

VIET-NAM 1964

I HAVE IT
   
4080th Photolab  

A photograph aboe of the Lucky Dragon Photo Lab and Photographic Interpretation and support personnel that were hurriedly rounded up in early 1964 and shipped to Clark Air Force Base, Philippines. In 24 hours after thier arrival, they made a roll film processing laboratory out of an abandoned mess hall and processed their first U-2 film.

The patch above is to commemorate all the personnel that made the S.A.R.P.F. work

Designed and Donated by Hobie Statzer

Thanks Hobie
I HAVE IT
 
 
 
The personnel came from the numbered Recon Techs, 15th Technical Reconnaissance Squadron, March Air Force Base, California, the 8th Technical Reconnaissance Squadron, Westover Air Force Base, the 12th Technical Reconnaissance Squadron, Barksdale, Louisiana, the 4080th SRW which was still at Del Rio, Texas and the 544th Reconnaissance Group, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
The U-2 was also at Clark but only for a short time. The story  was that the President was not told of the U-2 coming to The Philippines and was so disturbed that he gave the US, 72 hours to get the "Spy Plane" out of the country. Shortly thereafter, the U-2's went on its way to Guam

 About 3 weeks later all of the crew at Clark went on over to Nam and the processing was done at the 12th Reconnaissance Intelligence Technical Squadron (  RITS ) at Ton Son Nhut. SIGNET tapes were sent to the 544th ARTW at Offutt for analysis and reporting.
 

A mission was planned at SAC Recon Centre and it was sent and received overnight at Bien Hoa AB in Vietnam.  The Squadron Navigation officer then worked on the flight details and Photo requirements and a pre-brief was held  with the Operating Location Commander, mission pilot,  back-up pilot and the mobile control officer. There was one mission planned for each day although bad weather did have an impact on these being actually performed.

 

These flights Photo monitored the roads and trails from North Vietnam that were being used  to send both weapons and personnel into South Vietnam and the surrounding states of Laos and Cambodia. They also supplied target data for the forthcoming deployment of the B-57 to Vietnam.
U-2 DRAGON LADY 66680

 Fitted with "Rams Horn"

either side of the rear fuselage.

 

 

As the war progressed  the U-2's had to move to operating at higher altitudes as first the Mig 17 and then Mig 21's were introduced making flights at medium altitude a risky business. Also the introduction of SAM 2's missiles by the North Vietnamese necessitated the careful planning of flight routes to bypass these hot spots. 

4080th SRW went to war with  Dragon Lady printed in Air Force grey and there were some concern over this making the aircraft being too easily spotted, both on the ground and in the air and this was changed to the black velvet scheme that the C.I.A had been using for sometime.

U-2 Pilot Survival Kit: including Machete, hunting knife w/ scabbard, sharpening stone, pliers, file, monocular, insect repellent, compass, whistle, signal mirror, water purification tablets, survival manual, dye marker, shark repellent, lip balm, sun screen, sun goggles, fishing kit, water bag, desalinization kit, radio and battery. 
   
   
 
Even the Bad times were Good

Well not to sure how they sounded though !!

  BBB's 

 Bevacqua, Brown and Baughn at the Club

 

   
 
 
       
 
TROJAN HORSE

OL-20

TROJAN HORSE

REPRO

TROJAN HORSE

 

 

WANTED

 

I HAVE IT

Thanks to Alec Fushi.

WANTED

 
july03origld.jpg (19264 bytes)
ORIGINAL LUCKY DRAGON 

VIET-NAM 1964

 

"KAUFFMANS RAIDERS"

OPERATIONAL OR FRIDAY PATCH?

INFORMATION REQUIRED

 

LUCKY DRAGON 

VIET-NAM 1964

 

LUCKY DRAGON 

VIET-NAM 1964

 

I HAVE IT

( Thanks Harry McGil)

 

WANTED

 

WANTED

 

I HAVE IT

Thanks to Alec Fushi.

 

 
OL-20

GIANT DRAGON

 

4028TH  SRWS

 

CHINESE 

WILLIAM TELL 

Drone operation

4025th SRS

 

 

Thanks to Alec Fushi.

WANTED

 

J COOK

WANTED

J COOK

WANTED

 
 
GOTCHA

Gulf Of Tonkin Charlie Hunt Aircraft?

12 hour night missions

 

GOTCHA

Gulf Of Tonkin Charlie Hunt Aircraft?

12 hour night missions

Red scarf

  HIGH FLYER

 

Doug & Charlene Barnard
TROUTDALE AERODROME

WANTED

WANTED

 

  I HAVE IT

 

There was an "Operation Golden Flow" which was Drugs testing of troops etc in 1970-1972 where Urine samples were taken.

People who failed the test were sent to a detoxification centre. If an individual tested positive twice in a row, they were processed for discharge.

   
       
       
       

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