7th Direct Air Support Flight
No Patch for the 7th DASF at this time.
Direct Air Support Squadron was activated on
15 September 1968 at Wheeler AFB, Hawaii;
receiving most of its personnel from the
7th Direct Air Support Flight that was
Deactivated September 15, 1968.
The 604th DASS deployed Direct Air
Support Center and Tactical Air Control
Elements of the Tactical Air Control System as directed by CINC-PACAF.
Some Members of the 7 DASF
Ssgt. Gary Hauge
Tsgt. Herman Daggett
A2C. Roger Medlock
A1c. Jack Jenkins
Ssgt. Robert Weaver (not sure about that name)
Ssgt. Bob Crawford
Ssgt. Bob Taylor
Tsgt. Robert Sullivan
Ssgt. Everett Winkler
A1c. Thomas Stear
A little history of the 7th DASF
and conversion to the 604th DASS.
I am retired from the AF in 1979. I have a little history and some memories of the 7 DASF at Wheeler AB , Hawaii.
I was stationed there in 1966 thu 1969. The commander was Ltc. Douglas D. Stewart and his assistant was Ltc. William I. MacLachlan. There were three other officers; two Captains and Major which I don't recall the names. The 7th mainly supported the US Army 25th Division and later the 11th Brigade which went to RVN in 1968 assigned to the Americal Division at Chu Lie.
Other training was accomplished alongside with a group of security police part of project Safe Side. I later ran into some of them at Pleiku AB on my second trip to beautiful RVN. We also supported the Hawaiian Air National Guard and the Ohio Air National Guard in route to Viet Nam.
There were 27 members of that unit 5 officers and 22 enlisted. We had MRC 108's, PRC 71, PRC 25, and PRC 41 for radio gear and the memorable M141A1 jeep. Much of our training was done on the Big Island and on the north shore of Oahu.
I remember one time I was sent out to support one company on the north shore and the rain was a mess. The roads were like ice in that red clay. My jeep ran off the road into a ditch and I was stuck. I radioed for assistance and out of the jungle came a group of men and they literally picked up the jeep and put me back on the road. The commander was a young captain by the name of Schwarzkopf (later became a 4 Star General). I never put the two together until years later.
LT. Col. MacLachlan , Ssgt. Robert Sullivan, Ssgt. Everett Winkler, A1c. Thomas Stear and I went to Duc Pho arriving on the first night of TET 1968. We were supposed to land at Da Nang but were diverted to Cam Rahn Bay due to the fireworks all over Viet Nam. The next morning two of us went to Da Nang, myself and I can't remember who went with me to Duc Pho on my C-130. We made a what was called a combat assault landing which seemed to me to be more like a touch and go anyway, some place in between we were exited, jeep, trailer and all onto the runway. (I will put that against any roller coaster ride in the US) The C-130 never slowed down or looked back. The other two folks traveled by road from Da Nang arriving several days later.
Another occasion while supporting the 11th Bde in Duc Pho. I was on radio watch one night and the hot line to Chu Lie (we tried to stay off the radio as Charlie was listening), The Major on the other end said that Puff The Magic Dragon was on his way to support us. I questioned that request as it was very quiet and I was told that an immediate request for a gun ship was made due to a mortar attack. I checked with the TOC and was told no request was made from the 11 or any of it units. I called the major back and cancelled the request and he said that someone had put a note on his desk that we were under heavy mortar fire. I said nope. And hung up. I took two steps from the phone and all hell broke loose. I called him back and said to send the gun ship which he did. We took over 115 rounds that night the first 18 rounds got our first 17 new helicopters in the revetments.
Our first trip to Viet Nam was cut short by the Navy when North Korea captured the USS Pueblo. Some of us were sent to Korea and I spent 96 days north of the Freedom Bridge across the Im Jin River with one of the Army units. After that I went back to Viet Nam and was part of Det. 2620th TCS.
Years later I saw Col. MacLachlan when he was the Commander of Kelly AFB, in San Antonio. I sat in his office for nearly an hour and we talked over old times. I found out that Ltc. Douglas D. Stewart finally got his wish to go back to a University in charge of the ROTC unit. That he did and shortly after he was given a choice to retire or face some charges. He retired.
That's about all I can recall at the moment but maybe it will stir up someone's memory to add to the above.
As an added note: I was working with the Air Force Special Operations Command a few years ago and I was able to talk to one of the Historians for the TACP training squadron. These new guys get a lot more training and are all volunteers now.
They are a sharp hard fighting group. The historian told me that the original DASF units were to original foundation for the modern day TACP's. AFSOC is now responsible for all TACP training.
SSgt Gary Hauge
I don't really have much info for you, but I was in the 7th DASF out of Wheeler AFB, Hawaii. I think Leroy Shepherd was there also, the name is very familiar but I'm not certain. I don't really know much more, but I'd be interested to hear anything you know about the old outfit. I transferred out in 1965 to 507 DASS, Shaw AFB.
I just had a chance to read all of your site. Previously I was looking at the output of a search engine that had much less info.
I was part of the Yokota AFB 1 SHORAN from late 1962 until it was disbanded and we formed the DASF's in 1963 or 1964. I recall being offered the option of Clarke or Hawaii so apparently there was a DASF in Clarke. I took Hawaii and was among the startup group at Wheeler AFB. I was a B30454T A2c at the time. (I wouldn't have remembered that except on your site someone mentioned the old designator which rang a bell.)
I recall there was a LTCol. in charge, but I don't seem to remember any of the names. Wait, there was a SSgt. Kerry who was probably the senior enlisted man. He was the only married one anyway. I don't remember too many details about our missions, partly by choice. We were assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, the 1st Air Cavalry and at one point the 1st Armored. We often worked with a marine similar type unit called I believe 1st ANGLICO or something similar.
After being discharged in 1966, I went back into the navy in 1973 (NAVAIR) and retired in 1989. I held a security clearance for all those years, and for different reasons later until 2004. For that reason I always found it best to forget most of the Viet Nam years.
I do have a photo somewhere of me with a MRC 108 which I will scan and send to you. I'm very interested in any info you turn up about my old group.
I stumbled on this website reminiscing about my early AF experiences. I do remember Gerry Geddings. The 7th originally started out with 4 radio maint personnel, 3 came from Japan (SSgt Donald Kerry, SSgt Alcala, A1c ??? or was it A2c Geddings). I myself came from Mt. Hebo AFS, Oregon. We had a Col. Fowler who got in about a month after we did, and then we all got assigned to Wheeler AFB. Our mission were to support the 25 Inf. Div. with close air support (training in the Kahuku's, and Pohakuloa training areas). Our TACP consisted of 1 FAC, 1 Radio Operator, and 1 Radio Maintenance personnel. During Vietnam, I got deployed (4 TACP teams) to Pleiku with the 3rd Brigade, 25th ID from Dec 1965 to June 1966. The rest of the unit got deployed to Chu Chi from Feb 1966 to ???. I got discharged in Aug 1966 and lost all contacts with the 7th personnel. I enlisted in the Hawaii Air National Guard in 1982 and I was surprised to see that they had the MRC-108, which they were using as a backup for their mobile control tower. I retired in 2004 as a CMSgt. Why I stayed so long I don't know.
That picture that Gerry posted, the bottom right is of A2c Johnny Tolbert, power production. I don't know if I have any pictures but will check (got to dig it out) and send it to you.
A Note from John Weaver:
From: John Weaver
I was one of the first airmen stationed with the 7Th DASF arriving in Hawaii in late September of 1964. The 7Th was officially created by Special Order AB-583 Dated 17 November 1964 which stated roughly that the following personnel are relieved from assignment 326Th Air Div. APO 915 and assigned 7Th Direct Air Support Flight, PACAF, APO 915. With EDCSA: 8 October 64. The Air Force personnel listed below were on the Special Order. The Issuing Headquarters of the Special Order was 6486Th Air Base Wing (PACAF). The Order was signed by S. V. Kruschwitz 1St Lt, USAF. Asst. Dir. Admin Services.
LTC THOMAS R FOWLER
I believe that some of the names on the list you have currently on your web site for the 7Th DASF are actually the names of Airmen listed above. Capt. Herron was not with us very long. There was a Capt. Kemplin C. Belt that was with us for a while and I believe he might have been re-assigned to another DASF after training with us. Col. Fowler was promoted to full Col. Sometime in mid 1965 and so could no longer command the flight. He was re-assigned and Lt. Col. Douglas D. Stewart was assigned as commander in his place. Most all of the officers in the list above were promoted to Maj. Before we made our first deployment to Vietnam. Airman Robert Taylor was promoted to SSgt. early in 1965. Airman Geddings left some time in late 1965 or 1966. Other Airman were added to our unit in 1965; The following names were taken from a list on Special Order G-34 dated 10 August 1965 which awarded the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon to members of the 7Th DASF. Some of them I remember and others I donít:
SSGT. RAYMOND L RILEY
A2C CARL R. JULIG was also add to our unit in the early part of 1965 and trained with us before deployment to SEA. Sorry I cant remember all of the people, but I was deployed for a second 159 days DTY to SEA in 1966 and into 1967, and was also sent TDY to Japan For 30 days to attend NCO Leadership School in 1966. A few months after returning from my second TDY to Vietnam, I completed my 3 year tour of duty and departed for my next assignment. While I was on TDY other personnel arrived at our unit whose names I can not remember. I do remember that some of the new airmen were jump qualified and at that time the 7Th started the groundwork of integrating jump qualification into our units mission.
Our primary mission was to providing close air support to the 25Th Inf. Div. in support of combat operations and training for combat by participating in field exercises and deployments with units of the Division; To gain expertise and to develop practices, duties and procedures for the operation of the Direct Air Support Center (DASC); Establish duties and procedures for providing Air Liaison between the Army and Forward Air Control units by coordination between the ALO and Army S-2 and S-3 personnel; To establish practices, procedures and secure communications methods for transmitting and receiving both preplanned and immediate air strike request on enemy positions; Establish duties and procedures for Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) personnel; To train and deploy with the Army units, and to provide close air support coordination and communications between the Army unit, Forward Air Controller and fighter bomber aircraft in directing air strikes against enemy positions.
Our other mission was to establish and conduct the PACAF Orientation Course for DASF personnel.
This included providing orientation and training in Forward Air Control procedures to Air National Guard Fighter Squadrons and other Air Force personnel deploying to SEA, specifically in the tactics involved in working with Forward Air Controllers in support of Army units in Vietnam. They got a taste of what it is like to be directed into a target by the FACís both from the ground and from O1E aircraft. We also trained future FAC pilots in the procedures of directing aircraft on to a target and coordinating both pre-planned and immediate air strikes with their Army counterparts. We also provided orientation to personnel from allied forces and Officers from the Tieland Air Force (Col. Paitoon Teboonmee, deputy director of Air Operations for the Thailand Air Force). Also airmen and officers on there way to assignments with other DASF units.
I was the NCIOC of the Radio Operations Section. Our section was responsible for operating the MRC-108, PRC-47 HF SSB, PRC-41 UHF, PRC-125 VHF FM and the PRC-71?? VHF Transceivers. We were also of course responsible for training the Radio Maintenance personnel in radio operating procedures. Our section submitted request for and obtained Radio Frequency assignments and Call Sign assignments, we also assisted in the development of FOI.s and lesson plans for the orientation program. Some of our assigned Call signs were CAP ROCK, ROUND TABLE, I believe SNUFFY and probably some others but my memory fails me there. We developed forms for use in requesting and transmitting immediate and preplanned air strike request. We developed our own code for use in transmitting these requests over the air. We discovered that the Tiger Code which the army used was to cumbersome for our needs.
Our Flight was located in an old warehouse at one end of Wheeler AB, closest to the 25Th Infantry Division Post at Schoefield Barracks. I remember that Airman Crawford was good at construction so he was the (Boss) in charge of building a latrine and a training room for the outfit. For that day and age we had a very elaborate and state of the art visual aids setup in our training room for use in the orientation program. We also had some space in a Quonset hut at the Armyís base camp at Pohakuloa training area. Joe led us in fixing up that place too. He told us all what to do and really did a good job. We didnít loose any time in starting our training with the 25Th Div. We participated in training exercises both in the Kahuku mountains on Oahu and the Armyís Pohakuloa training area on the Big Island Of Hawaii.
Our first deployment to SEA was with the 3 Rd Brigade,25Th Inf. Div. to Pleiku Vietnam in December of 1965. I remember saying good-by to My Wife and 3 year old daughter on Christmas eve. We were part of Operation BLUE LIGHT which was (at that time) historyís largest airlift of troops and equipment into a combat zone. From December 27, 1965 to January 22 1966, more than 4,600 tons of equipment and over 3,000 troops of the Armyís 3d Infantry Brigade had flown from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, to Pleiku, South Vietnam. The 3Rd Brigade was a detached brigade with the remainder of the 25Th Div. deploying to Cu Chi Vietnam later on in the early part of 66. We were deployed to Vietnam on TDY TB-1552 dated 21 Dec 1965The following 7Th DASF enlisted personnel were deployed under these orders:
SSgt. John A Weaver
The Order was issued by the 326 Air Div (PACAF) APO San Francisco 96515, and signed by Lt Col John H. Mork.
The FAC Pilots that deployed with the team were:
MAJ. JOSEPH A BOCANEGRA
MAJ. ALLAN D HAYEK JR. (FAC)
MAJ. ALLAN D HAYEK JR. (FAC)
One other officer was assigned to our DASF and trained with us and deployed with us but I can not recall his name. The name Capt. Or Maj. Jenkins ring a bell with me but I am not sure. I cant find his name in any of my records however he was a great FAC and a very nice down to earth man. He gave the impression of plain old country and he was a great pilot. I flew in the back seat with him in the O1E in Vietnam as an observer on several occasions and he really knew what he was doing. I remember he smoked a pipe and had a deep southern drawl.
I remember one occasion that I came under fire while serving in Vietnam. I was flying as Forward Observer with Maj. Hayek in an O1E aircraft in the Central Highlands during one of the operations with the 25 Inf. Div. Our mission was to prep the LZ and then to hang around until all of the HU1E choppers
Had deployed the army units. We had used Navy fighter-bombers for the LZ prep and they were holding for us out of sight and sound. Capt. Hayek was flying a pass along a ridge line to the north east of the LZ when we picked up enemy fire coming from the ridge. We werenít hit but we could hear the faint pop corn like sound of automatic weapons over the drone of the aircraft. We called in the Navy sorties from their holding area and they laid napalm along the ridge and we had no further fire from that area and the mission was completed successfully.
Many of our Units officers and airmen returning from SEA were awarded medals for their actions while serving in combat. I have photos of some of the award ceremonies that were held after our return. I donít have the names of everyone. I also have Hickam Air Base news paper articles about the awards. Also I have a news paper clipping describing one of our training exercises on the Big Island.
In November of 1968 the 7Th DASF was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service in support of military operations during the period 1 October 1965 to 30 September 1967. The award was under Department of the Air Force, Washington Special Order GB-557, dated 1 November 1968, by order of the Secretary of the Air Force and Signed by Air Force Chief of Staff, General, J. P. McConnell. Col. Steward was kind enough to notify me by letter of the 7Th being discontinued in a letter dated 16 May 1969, In the letter he included a copy of the order and of the citation that accompanied the award.
Thatís all for nowÖÖ