This starts with an email I received from one of our Aussie mates, Ernie Newbold who never ceases to amaze me with the store of knowledge that he possesses.

"G’day Guys,

Now this item came out of the blue and I thought that you’d be interested.  I’m sure that you remember the aircraft, a C123, Fairchild Provider that used to fly low over Nui Dat and the Horseshoe spraying insecticide to reduce the mosquito problem.

Yesterday I came across a U.S. website for the 315th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron based at Phan Rang in SVN. Apparently that particular plane is claimed to be the most shot up plane from the war with over 1,000 hits by May 1969, nicknamed “Patches”. It now resides proudly at the USAF museum in Dayton Ohio.

I could identify the plane from it’s tail number 4362 from a photograph taken early one morning from the top of Nui Dat (see attachment) .


Use the link to go to the website of 315 CAMS. Click here.

Regards, Ernie."

Another of our Aussie mates, Bob Billiards then added this...

"Here is a better one from 31D where the number is very visible."

Ernie followed with...

"Thanks Bob,

Your photo shows the tail number much more clearly.  Use the following link to see what it looks like now. Click here.



Dan O'Brien (69-70 "A" Battery) added this.

"Patches relocated to Westover AFB MA. in the mid 1970's. I joined the USAF reserve in 1978 as an air cargo specialist. I loaded C-130's and C-123's The 439 airlift wing and 905th Aerial Port Flight was C-130's. The C-123's [including PATCHES] [901st Aerial Port Flight] was in the 337th airlift wing. Most of our loads were for parachute airdrops. I was in the aerial delivery section that packed chutes and rigged loads for airdrop.

About 1982, the C-123's were taken from the inventory and a Westover crew, all my friends, flew PATCHES to Wright Patterson AFB Museum in Dayton Ohio. The guys flew back to our base on a C-130. Some of them were vomiting and very sick on the trip to Dayton. CMS [E-9] Ron Plouff who was a loadmaster on Patches married MSG Karen Jablonski. Ron died of cancer [Agent Orange related] before he could retire from the USAF reserves. I served with both of them for many years. A former PATCHES pilot recently won a case against the Air Force on AO related symptoms.

There is a website on Westover's C-123's with a picture [attached] of all the nurses that served as Air Medical Evac. The USAF had denied any connection to Patches and the flight crews in the reserves. I visited Wright Patterson years later to see Patches all silver instead of the camo paint job. It is the only aircraft totally sealed for no entry during OPEN COCKPIT DAY. Attached picture is a C-130 airdrop looking off the ramp from inside. Another C-130 follows close behind. Our Aussie Mates can search some of these numbered units of USAF reserve and may find out more info. Hope this info helps.

905th APF Aerial Delivery Sect 78-86 C-130-C-123
208th HH transportation CH-54B Skycrane
G-104th AVN REGT CH-47 Chinook 86-96 [104th just returned from Afghanistan 4th tour"


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