Choose: Normal Print / Large Print

Past Issues

Volume 11, Number 4 - 4th Quarter 2013

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available
 

Return to Tchepone

A hard working LTV A-7 Corsair II, aboard the USS Coral Sea - 1980. Photo: US Navy A hard working LTV A-7 Corsair II, aboard the USS Coral Sea - 1980. Photo: US Navy
Tchepone, Laos...Vietnam Fighter Jocks Feared It.
40 years later...One who was shot down there went back for a visit...

During the Vietnam War it was a town in central Laos of 1,500 inhabitants with a small airport near-by and positioned about 50 miles west of Khe Sanh, and 100 miles south east of the Thailand Royal Air Force Base at Nakon Phanom (NKP).
Ask any jet jock from Vietnam War days to name the most likely place to be shot down outside of North Vietnam and you’ll probably hear, without hesitation….Tchepone. Ask any pilot who bombed there and the hair on his arms will likely bristle as he excitedly tells you why. Night or day, a pilot could expect heavy AntiAir Artillery (AAA) in a 10 mile diameter circle centered where Route 9 crosses the Xe Banghiang River, about 4 miles east of the abandoned airstrip at Tchepone.
Commander Kenny Wayne Fields USN (Retired) tells of his return to the place where he was shot down

Also, please log on to: www.kennywaynefields.com
 

The Phantom and The Elephant

A McDonnell F-4E Phantom II, assigned to the 81st TFS. Photo: DOD/USAF A McDonnell F-4E Phantom II, assigned to the 81st TFS. Photo: DOD/USAF
My first combat mission in the Phantom took place in late summer of 1972. It was a few months before the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing – The Gunfighters – deactivated at Takhli and my squadron, the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), moved a few hundred miles up the road to Udorn Royal Thai Air Base. This war was my third tour. I am not a war lover, but it was worth the long wait, a tour that most fighter pilots can only dream about. Every mission was different, whether day or night, in clear or marginal weather; a different county - North Vietnam, Laos or South Vietnam, a different type mission and a different type of ordnance.
It would be the first time in my military career that I would be authorized by war orders to drop bombs that would destroy enemy forces. Against an enemy that started the killing and had learned in the past seven years to shoot back with some success. The best part of my combat tour was the grand final. I flew many of the combat missions during our proudest moment of the war, Linebacker II; the eleven night air war over Red River Valley from December of 1972 to January 1973.
Neil Cosentino tells the story of his first wartime mission in the Phantom.
 

Flying the North Atlanitc AEW Barrier

The Lockheed WV also did hurricane duty - a WV-3 is seen here. Photo: US Navy The Lockheed WV also did hurricane duty - a WV-3 is seen here. Photo: US Navy
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Distant Early Warning Line, the DEW Line, was our country’s first line of defense against potential over-the-pole attacking Soviet bombers. Under the command of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), this land-based radar coverage extended west of the Aleutians, across northern Canada, and as far east as Greenland. Each end of the DEW line was extended over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by U.S. Navy aircraft and ships. An integral part of that DEW Line was the airborne early warning (AEW) seaward extension from Cape Race, Newfoundland, to the Azores. This Atlantic Barrier was manned 24/7 by four U.S. Navy Lockheed WV-2 Warning Star – the Willy Victor – radar aircraft. The surface component of this extension was covered by four Destroyer Escort Radar (DER) picket ships.
LCdr Robert Shaver USN (Retired) flew these missions for a tour, and relates his time on the AEW Barrier.