Memory Joggers From Tom Helbing


Tom was in the POL section, mobile refueling during his time at Takhli.  He was there for a long tour, from Jun '67 to Oct '68, having extended to finish his enlistment.  Tom's photos cover the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Parade (he must have been standing in almost the same spot as I in a couple), the 1967 Bob Hope show, the "downtown" Charn's restaurant and some great flightline shots.  Here, thanks to Tom....

  A loaded F-105 on the line.  Parachute drying tower off the left wing in the photo.  The exhaust blast wall behind the Thud was made of bomb crate ends.

F-105D Tail RU-522.  A "stick" or pylon of six 750 lb general purpose iron bombs hung and ready for the trip north.


The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Parade.  This float represented a direct hit on Snoopy's Doghouse.  From the Peanuts comics, Snoopy became the unofficial mascot of many of the flying units.  One unit went so far as to have a cigarette lighter created with him & his doghouse flying through flak.  The image of him playing the Red Baron, flying his doghouse through the skies suited many of our pilots.

Another shot of a local lady with the pilots of the 333rd.  The "Swaying Bamboo Mother" bridge sign in the background is a joking reference to some of the less fruitful targets for which we were expected to risk lives and hardware. 


Another float in the River Rats Parade.  Here we see some "Yankee Air Pirates" preparing to refuel with PBR and Carling cannisters.

And a couple of River Rats riding in - naturally - an F-105 Rat!

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