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62-1787 at YIP

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  • SamBlu82@aol.com
    If anyone is in the Detroit area, you might want to go out to the Yankee Air Force on July 18-19 to see C-130E 62-1787, which will be on static display. In
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1 10:15 AM
      If anyone is in the Detroit area, you might want to go out to the Yankee Air Force on July 18-19 to see C-130E 62-1787, which will be on static display. In April 1972 1787 was flown by Captain Bill Caldwell's crew on the Spare 617 mission on an airdrop over An Loc in the Republic of Vietnam. As they approached the drop zone, a burst of automatic weapons fire struck the airplane, killing the engineer (TSgt Jon Sanders, who had formerly been in the 3rd MAS at CHS), wounding the copilot, navigator and loadmasters and causing major damage to the airplane. In spite of their wounds, the loadmasters, SSgt Charles L. Shaub and Sgt David McAleece, managed to jettison the load. Shaub grabbed a fire bottle and put fires that had been started by hot bleed air pouring into the cargo compartment, then supervised McAleece as he cranked down the landing gear. Caldwell, who retired as a colonel, landed the airplane by himself. For their efforts, Caldwell and Shaub were both awarded the Air Force Cross. Consequently, 787 is the most highly decorated airplane still in the Air Force inventory. It was recently identified as the airplane that was used on the Spare 617 mission through the efforts of members of the Arkansas Air National Guard, to which it is now assigned. The airplane has been earmarked for the Air Force Museum upon its retirement from active service.
       
      Charlie Shaub formerly served at Charleston before his assignment to CCK. He was a flight attendant on C-121s then became a loadmaster when the Connies were replaced by C-130Es. Charlie served multiple tours at CCK, then went back to Charleston for a few months before returning to CCK as a volunteer. Jon Shaub was also a long-time C-130 and C-141 engineer at Charleston and had volunteered for the C-5 program and was a member of the C-5 Lead The Force Crew. He was assigned to CCK when the Air Force started pulling C-130 engineers out of other assignments due to the frequent assignments of engineer in the C-130 force.  Of the three enlisted men, only Dave McAleece is still living. He lives in California and is a professional photographer.
       
      If you're on Facebook, look for the Spare 617 group.
       
      Sam McGowan
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