Takhli RTAFB, Thailand 355th TFW Days

This Website Is Dedicated To The Men Who Flew North
& All Those Who Kept Them Flying 

Tactical Operations Center - 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW)


 
 
 
 
 


The Rolling Thunder missions flown from Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base were accomplished in spite of extremely difficult conditions for both the men and the planes.  At Takhli were pilots whose exploits earned them two "Congressional" Medals of Honor, countless Distinguished Flying Crosses and Air Medals.  They were assisted by thousands of airmen who worked around the clock to help them carry the war to the enemy.  It was great to be one who got to work with them on a daily basis. May this web page honor them all. And as you read this, I ask you to reflect on all the things you have done and seen in the last forty odd years - and remember that some who served with us at Takhli have missed it all.

Those efforts were made even more difficult by a bureaucracy which micromanaged many aspects of the bombing and left other important details to the daily, sometimes hourly, whims of planners thousands of miles away.  My experience level at that time hardly made me an expert on strategy, but this problem was evident to anyone who worked with the pilots and those working with the FRAG (target and ordnance) orders on a daily basis.  It was so pervasive that inside the Tactical Operations Center, where I was fortunate enough to work often, there hung on the wall a humorous attempt to represent this.  It was a wheel with an arrow in the center which could be spun, with various targets represented around its perimeter.  A very goodly portion of the wheel was dedicated to bombing Washington D.C. and the Pentagon, rather than Hanoi and Haiphong.  While that wheel was intended as a joke, it did portray the frustration many felt, and which has been well documented by many more knowledgeable than I – to include Jack Broughton in "Thud Ridge"and Gene Basel in "Pak Six".  This page is however, not intended to further discuss the impediments, but instead to remind those who read it of the dedication and teamwork that allowed the mission to work at all.  And to also serve as a gathering place to share memories of the place, planes, and times for those who served there.



My small contribution to the effort was as a weather weenie in Detachment 12, 10th Weather Squadron, Apr 67-68.  The sister page to this one (www.takhli.org/rjw/index.htm/) was created by Dick Williams, also from the same unit; he beginning his tour about a year after I returned to the land of the big BX.  We share the hope that other "Takhliites" will either join our efforts, or put up their own pages with their own real "war stories".  The more we share, the more we reminisce, the more we document - the longer Takhli and its role in the Vietnam Conflict will live.  Please join Dick and I – if you do not feel the literary urge, please contribute anecdotes, scanned photos or memorabilia.  We promise proper credit for all contributions in return.  Further, I have many photos myself, so if there is something you would like to see that I might have, please email me and I will try to accomodate.  I will try to rotate photos over time, so keep checking back!!  This site will be under construction for the foreseeable future, again another reason to return from time to time.


Flightline 1967 – F105s, EB-66s, KC-135s in background

Republic F-105 Thunderchief
From Takhli Tower

EB-66 Destroyer
On Taxiway

F-111 Combat Lancer
From Takhli Tower

 


I also have things I am searching for. I am particularly interested in photos of Takhli City, base buildings, and night life.  If you have some, but are unable to scan, let me know and we can work something together.  Missing coworkers include Dale Van Dyke and Richard "Jack" Armstrong - also weather weenies.  If you have any information on their whereabouts, please either contact me, or have them contact me if you feel that is more appropriate.


Finally, many thanks to those who helped me with this endeavor - Dick Williams who inspired me, and Robert Newingham who tutored me.  My results do not reflect the extent of their assistance, please bear with me as I learn.  Contributions, comments, and criticism accepted at bkkbob1@hotmail.com.

Links To Other Sites
 
The Takhli Photo Gallery
 
355th TFW Decorations Earned
A partial listing of Presidential Unit Citations (2) and Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards (2) which the 355th earned literally with blood and sweat. The page is designed to allow you to make readable copies of the ones shown. If you have awards for different periods, please forward to me if you would like to share them, and I will be happy to upload them.
 
This Week's "Takhli Times" Base Newspaper Excerpts
Selected portions of the "Takhli Times", sometimes the 7/13th AF bombing summaries, and an occasional paper from other Thailand airbases. I will try to post the one I have closest to the current time of the year. The base paper formats are too large to allow for posting the entire sheet, and too slow to load and cumbersome to paste together, so selected portions will be used. (Apologies, I have had to suspend this due to lack of time, it will resume eventually).
 
Jack Gurner's "Welcome To Takhli" Booklet
This booklet was given to all new troops arriving at Takhli to help them adjust to their new environment and Thai customs.  Several editions were published as the base grew over time.
 
Takhli Entertainment Establishments Interactive Map
The Takhli City Entertainment Establishment Interactive Map - Las Vegas has its "strip", so did Takhli City. While ours was a little less fancy, as GIs do everywhere, we made do. This map and section will grow over time, and attempt to show the part of Takhli that many went to for entertainment. At the present, the page shows it as it was in 1967-68, from my own photos primarily. That it was mostly bars is a simple fact. Entertainment of other kinds was very scarce off base during those years. It consisted almost totally of this area and one, later two, downtown theaters. We learned even John Wayne could speak Thai there (most of the movies were dubbed). For those who were at Takhli, it is hoped this section will bring back many memories, some good, some bad, some fond, some sad, but all a part of a tour of duty at Takhli.
 
Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base Interactive Map
"Takhli RTAF Base Interactive Map" will show the layout of the USAF operations area as it was during the Vietnam War. Very little remains of this area today. Live links on the map will present photos taken from that location.  This section will be under construction for some time to come, check back for updates.
 
"Survivors" - They Served and Now Sleep
"Survivors" will show warbirds that returned from the Vietnam War to serve on and then in many cases be retired and placed on display.
 
The 'Wild Weasels'
This section will present memories of the 'Wild Weasel' mission to destroy the enemies ability to use radar-controlled Surface-to-Air (SAM) missiles against our aircraft.  It has been referred to as a "suicide mission" by the History Channel.
 
In Memoriam - To Honor Those Men Who Served Alongside Us at Takhli and Are Now at Rest
"In Memoriam" will honor those who served with us at Takhli but are no longer with us to tell their stories and share their remembrances. If you know of Takhli veterans in this category, whether due to combat or not, please let us know if you would like for them to be honored here.

 

Now Available in the Takhli Photo Gallery - Various Contributor's Folio - This section will also grow over time. It is intended to show contributions by those who want to share, but do not have enough photos to warrant an entire page. However, don't pass these by, they are no less meaningul just because they are here! Check this one from time to time, as it will grow as new inputs are received.

Item of Interest - Mike Dunn has found a better solution to the overload experienced by some on the previous listbot. It allows for summary pages, rather than direct delivery if you prefer, also can be set for leaving the list temporarily for work or vacation. I have added the new address to subscribe to the Links Page.

Guestbook - Unfortunately AT & T decided that extras such as the guestbook and hit counter are no longer available. Please make entries for both Dick's and my websites on Dick's Takhli Message Board. At the time AT & T eliminated the hit counter (31 Mar 2010) this website had 68,693 hits. Thank you one and all for visiting.

"Guestbook Entries for 1999 & 2000" - Past entries in the Guestbook, a good place to look for lost friends and reminisce. (Guestbook entries from 2001-2005 will be posted here later, they have not been lost).

Grand Opening: Aug, 1999 - 1999 bkkbob@att.net & Contributors, all rights reserved. No part of these pages may be reproduced in any form without the prior written approval of bkkbob@att.net.

 

 

For those Takhli vets not in the chat group, give it a try, we are constantly growing and have a reunion coming soon with a great bunch of guys!!!