5th Direct Air Support Flight
405th Fighter Wing
A close-air support
flight attached to the
U. S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, this unit
was under the 13th Air Force at Clark
AFB, Philippine Islands
Well, first of all, at the time I served, the 5th
DASF was headquartered at Clark AFB in the Philippines. I had been
serving with the 1617th Comm. Sq. with the 8th Air Force at Westover AFB
when I got orders to the P.I. I recall listening to President Johnson
give his speech in which he said he would not stand for re-election the
night before leaving.
Upon arrival at Clark I never left the airfield.
the 1st Sarge arrived and said I was going to Osan because they had
taken the Pueblo. My first job was to help set-up microwave antennas to
bounce signal through the gaps and passes on the road to Seoul.
Training was strictly OJT, figure it out or ask
someone who's been doing this longer than you. I remember Camp
Casey and Camp Long. I worked aircraft at Nightmare Range as part of the
sabre rattling as they worked to secure the release of the crew of the
Pueblo. I bounced back and forth between Clark, Osan, and Mactan quite a
bit. And there were other shorter TDY's
There were very few of us around at any given time
because we were always TDYing. I recall the strength of the unit as
being 7 FAC teams (the terminology we used) and a CO. We had MRC 107
jeeps as I recall with the turbine generator on the trailer. We were to
always have a packed duffel bag and our weapons (green M-16 and Colt .38
revolver) handy in order to be able to be in the air within minutes (two
hours max). We enlisted men were very independent. The pilots came and
went, but we kept it all together.
One very interesting assignment was to walk about
20 yards behind Gen. Creighton Abrams as he toured Manila with President
Marcos. I had the little American Tourister case with "the phone".
As I recall, I was told that the 5th had been at
both Kadena and Naha, and was moved to the P.I. to be more central and
serve as the quick reaction backup for the other DASF's. In 1969 there
was another re-organization and consolidation. We came under the
umbrella of 5th TAC. Although we stayed together as a group, we were
actually split in two. I was assigned to the 608th TCS, and some of the
guys were assigned to the 609th TCS (I believe)- but we stayed together
in one building and under one acting CO and 1st Sarge. By then I was
Director of Training (!). In mid-summer of '69 I was granted emergency
leave to the U.S., and they mustered me out at Edwards.
Hope this helps with your history.
Are there any boards or forums to chat with others
from the DASF's of those times? I found something called ROMAD locator
which I gather is what we would be called today. I had a couple of
names- chilly Glance, and Gleeful Prophet. I signed up on the ROMAD
forum as Gleeful Prophet.
Sgt. Rogelio Fernandez-Rojo, 5th DASF, USAF
Yea, I checked it out and the site looks good.
The 5 DASF was at Clark PI. Johnson's first name was Edward. We called
him Ed Johnson. Andy Anderson was the Vehicle Maint. guy. I went to
the PACAF Jungle Survival School Nov 65, Class 66U. That unit Brandan
mentioned in Saigon I believe was the 21 TASS called the ROAD RUNNERS.
I know there were some guys with cameras and hopefully they will see
your site and send in some pictures and info. Site looks good. Keep up
the good work.
Here are the only pictures I could find at
The First one (above) is a picture of the 5th
DASF patch you requested.
The second (above) is a picture taken at the
2nd home of the 5th DASF in the PI called the Jade Room.
From right to left is A1c Ron Holder, A1c Larry Growth, A2c J. R.
Richard, A1c Bill Best, SSgt Russel Jones, TSgt Richard Wallington,
A1c Tom Cox, A1c John (Andy) Anderson, Unknown, and A1c Perry
Keyser. This picture was taken sometime in February or March of 66.
The last picture (above) was me while with the
173rd in the Iron Triangle in the fall of 65.
I'm working on a complete roster of the roll
call of the 5th DASF in 65 - 66. I'll send when I complete it.