Caribou Association

Caribou History

 

At the request of Steve Kelley, we are starting a Unit Histories section of the web site.  He has tracked down a list of the Wing Commanders of the 483rd, which is now posted.  We could use any and all information anyone has about the 483rd, the Caribou Squadrons in Vietnam, and the Reserve squadrons that received the Caribous returned from Southeast Asia.  We need bases, dates, commanding officers, and any other information you can supply.  Please send anything you have to the Webmaster.

 

From the standpoint of the USAF C-7A Caribou in Southeast Asia, the following organizational units were of the most significance.

7th Air Force

834th Air Division

483rd Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift/Composite Wing (name changes from 1966 to 1972)

457th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

458th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

459th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

535th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

536th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

537th Troop Carrier Squadron/Tactical Airlift Squadron

483rd Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

 
The First Three Volumes of Pat Hanavan's Comprehensive history of C-7A operations in Southeast Asia are now in print:
Volume 4 coming soon!

Caribou Airlines is a comprehensive history of USAF C-7A operations in Vietnam. It is about aircrews, crew chiefs, maintenance officers, line chiefs, maintainers, phase inspection personnel, specialty shop personnel, supply personnel, personal equipment specialists, administration and operations personnel, commanders, staff personnel, etc. They made it possible to deliver the troops, guns, ammunition, rations, beer, soda, equipment, animals, etc. to hundreds of bases on the battlefields of Vietnam. The 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing and its squadrons were not an airline, per se. They were tasked with supporting Army and Marine units and other customers with air landed and air dropped supplies using pre-defined, emergency, and opportune sorties to front line locations where the supplies were needed. The history of the Military Advisory Command, Vietnam (MACV); C-7A Caribou Association newsletters; and personal stories of those involved in C-7A operations provide the context for this book.

Signed copies of the book can be ordered from the author for $20:
Pat Hanavan
12402 Winding Branch
San Antonio, TX 78230-2770

You can also find the books on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=caribou%20airlines&sprefix=caribou+ai%2Caps
 

 

Awards and Decorations

This is a project to document significant individual awards and decorations.  All the data that has been compiled is now in the Roster database and can be searched at this new page:

 

Squadron Aircraft Assignments

Wayne (Kahuna) Buser has graciously agreed to share his list of squadron aircraft assignments with us.  Wayne maintains an excellent web site with extensive coverage of the Caribou in all its military roles at his web site: http://www.dhc4and5.org.  It is our combined hope that by posting this information, we will hear from people with corrections and updates.  Please send any corrections to your webmaster.

 

Aircraft Histories

This is the detailed information on every Caribou built by deHavilland that Wayne (Kahuna) Buser has graciously agreed to share with us.  Wayne maintains an excellent web site with extensive coverage of the Caribou in all its military roles at his web site: http://www.dhc4and5.org.  It is our combined hope that by posting this information, we will hear from people with corrections and updates.  Please send any corrections to your webmaster.

 

 

Aircraft Losses

Chris Hobson, a British historian, is writing a book about tactical airlift in Vietnam and has compiled a list of known C-7 losses.  He has generously agreed to share it with the C-7A Caribou Association in the hopes of getting more detailed information on many of them.  It will benefit both his effort and our attempt to compile our own history, for members to add information to this list.  As always, if you have anything to add, just drop an email to the webmaster.

 

In Memoriam

Although most of us remember our Caribou days with fondness, it should not be forgotten that a number of our Air Force brethren gave their lives while serving in the C-7A in Vietnam.  The Honor Roll lists those who sacrificed all.  Many thanks to James Davis, president of the Army Caribou - Otter Association for supplying this list.  It was obtained from the USAF Casualty Branch at the Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas.

On 24 May 2001, the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association dedicated a memorial to Captain Julius Patrick Jaeger, who was killed in action on 6 April 1970 during the siege of Dak Seang.  J. Patrick Garland (US Army, MI MACV, 68/69, Kontum) of AVVBA extended an invitation to all Caribou Association members to attend the dedication.  He was also kind enough to send a few photos of the ceremony for posting on our site.  The program and photos may be viewed here.

 

Airfields in South Vietnam 1967 — 1973

This is a new feature.  Here you will find both a Google Earth add-on and a complete searchable database.  As always, if you have anything to add, just drop an email to the webmaster.

 

The Bases

The Caribou squadrons were home-based at Cam Ranh Bay, Phu Cat, and Vung Tau.  Here are PDF reproductions of the Tactical Aerodrome Directory for those bases:

A brief military history of Cam Ranh by Joel Rosenbaum:

Cam Ranh Military History

Here is an interesting story about what is happening at Cam Ranh today.  Many people have expressed an interest in seeing Cam Ranh again, but for years it has been off-limits, first as a Russian military base and more recently as a Vietnamese base.  The times they are a-changin'.

Cam Ranh Today

 

The Vietnam Service Medal

Have you ever tried to find the exact dates of the 17 campaigns used to determine the number of campaign stars on a Vietnam Service Medal?  Well, I finally found a definitive list, along with the official guidelines.

 

The Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

Here is the official statement from the DoD on this award.

 

Memorabilia

There is just a lot of stuff that defies any organized method of classification, so here is a start.  This section will eventually contain a number of disparate items, but it has been started with a poem by Alan E. Hendrickson that was forwarded by Jerry York.  A memo on the wheels up landing of 62-4170 has been added.

 
Revised:
10 Sep 2014 01:22 PM

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