MAG-12, HMS-12 Outlaws
Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
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Col. John Caldas, USMC Ret.
Col. Tom Elser, USMC Ret.
Harry S. Gann
Barbara Layton Scheibel
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1965 - 1971: - WA
22 November 1957 - - - - - Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk *
20 April 1959- - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
7 September 1961 - - - - - Douglas A-4C Skyhawk *
1 May 1965 - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4E Skyhawk *
7 September 1967 - - - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-1 designation changed to A-4A
The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C
The A4D-5 designation changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
1965 - 1970: DaNang
1964: Colonel John D. Noble
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March 1965: First Marine Division mud Marines waded ashore at Da Nang to protect the allied airfield from the Viet Cong. The mud Marines were soon in the midst of heavy combat and were requesting air support of their own. The Marine landing coincided with a need for a new coastal air base needed to reduce flight time to targets in Quang Tin province and adjacent districts.
June 1, 1965: Colonel John D. Noble, MAG-12 Commanding Officer, lead Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Baker, VMA-225 Commanding Officer, and three other VMA-225 "Vagabond" A-4C Skyhawks (tail code CE) into the new Chu Lai air base (June 1, 1965 - October 1965).
June 2, 1965: Early in the morning Colonel John D. Noble, MAG-12 Commanding Officer, lead four VMA-225 "Fighting Eagle" aircraft to bomb and strafe Viet Cong forces near the base.
June 16, 1965: All twenty VMA-311 A-4E Skyhawks had arrived at Chu Lai to begin an intensive period of combat operation.
June 23, 1965: The United States Air Force 2nd Air Division, which directed air strikes in South Vietnam, cited VMA-311 for "the finest close air support we have ever seen!"
June 28, 1965: The VMA-214 "Black Sheep" (tail code WE) arrived bringing twenty A-4C Skyhawks to Chu Lai (June 28, 1965 - February 1966; April 1966 - March 1967).
August 1965: During Operation Starlite North Vietnamese forces tried to attack Chu Lai but were driven off by mud Marines on land and in Skyhawks in the air.
August 24, 1965: LCPL Harold J. Brazen, MABS-12, LCPL Ronald C. Runkel, MABS-12 & LCPL William K. Shoup, MABS-12 were killed in C-130 crash out of country.
October 15, 1965: The VMA-211 "Wake Island Avengers" (tail code CF) arrived bringing twenty A-4E Skyhawks to Chu Lai. (October 15, 1965 - July 1966; November 1966 - September 1967; December 1967 - February 1970; May 1972 - February 1973).
October 1965: MAG-12 now started to rotate Skyhawk squadrons to Japan. VMA-224 "Bengals" (tail code WK) arrived bringing twenty A-4E and VMA-225 "Fighting Eagles" were rotated to Japan.
November 17, 1965: PVT Donald A. Barnes, MABS-12 was killed in ground accident.
December 1965: The VMA-223 "Bulldogs" (tail code WP) arrived bringing twenty A-4E Skyhawks to Chu Lai. (December 1965 - December 1966; March 1967 - December 1967; April 1968 - January 1970).
December 29, 1965: First Lieutenant Thomas F. Eldridge, United States Marine Corps VMA-211 "Wake Island Avengers" was Killed in Action. Lieutenant Eldridge's A-4E Skyhawk was hit by .50-caliber fire as he rolled in on enemy positions during a helicopter escort. Despite a leg wound, Lieutenant Eldridge was able to drop his load of napalm and turn for base. His crippled craft crashed 13 miles from Chu Lai and killing Lieutenant Eldridge.
February 1966: The VMA-311 "Tomcats" arrived with twenty A-4E Skyhawks (tail code WL) to Chu Lai. (June 1, 1965 - October 1965; February 1966 - March 1967; June 1967 - February 1970; May 1972 - January 1973).
March 19, 1966: First Lieutenant Augusto "Gus" M. Xavier, United States Marine Corps VMA-311 "Tomcats" was Killed in Action. Lieutenant Xavier was attacking targets in mountainous terrain in predawn darkness and failed to pull out of a strafing run.
April 1966: VMA-214 Black Sheep arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam.
May 14, 1966: Chu Lai's aircraft carrier type mobile catapult system became operational. The aircraft catapult was able to launch Skyhawks on either north or south runway headings.
June 20, 1966: H&MS-12 A-4E BuNo 151201 destroyed in the ensuing fire when a refueling hose ruptured.
July 1966: VMA-224 Bengals arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam. VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers were rotated to Japan.
September 6, 1966: First Lieutenant Thomas H. Hawking, United States Marine Corps VMA-311 "Wake Island Avengers" was Killed in Action. Lieutenant Hawking had successfully ejected from his Skyhawk after hitting a tree during a bombing run. Lieutenant Hawking grabbed a line trailed by a passing Huey, but as the helicopter climbed Hawking lost his grip and fell to his death.
September 21, 1966: The Viet Cong attacked Chu Lai with mortars, wounding some VMA-223 "Bulldog" personnel.
October 1966: Chu Lai West, a 10,000-foot concrete runway with aircraft hardstands and taxiways, was completed.
October 3, 1966: CPL John M. Hens, MABS-12 was KIA guarding ground medical assistance mission.
November 1966: VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam.
December 1966: The VMA-121 "Green Knights" (tail code VK) arrived bringing twenty A-4C Skyhawks to Chu Lai, (December 1966 - October 1968). They were the seventh Marine Skyhawk unit to fly Vietnam combat missions from Chu Lai. Earlier, in 1962, the "Green Knights" deployed with Skyhawks to Ubon, Thailand, to help prevent a coup. VMA-121 had returned home without firing a shot.
1967: Tropical weather in Vietnam provided much low cloud and rain to cover the Viet Cong. The Marines used ground controlled precision radar to allow bombing through clouds and at night. The pilot would put the Skyhawk on autopilot and couple to the ground precision radar controller when headed toward the target. The computerized system initiated directional changes and released ordnance at the correct altitude and time via radio signals received by the Skyhawk's computer.
January 7, 1967: SSGT Alan F. Schaefer, MABS-12 was killed - cause unknown.
February 3, 1967: The VMA-223 Bulldogs set a one-day, 59-sortie record for the Skyhawk, during which the squadron flew a mix of A-4Cs and A-4Es. Along with the other A-4 squadrons, VMA-223 also flew close air support sorties during Operation Double Eagle in February and Operation Utah in March. The Bulldog pilots were rapidly becoming veterans, and their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Robert B. Sinclair, was congratulated for flying the squadron's 10,000th accident-free hour.
February 12, 1967: PFC Kevin J. Carroll, MABS-12, died of accidental weapon discharge.
March 1967: VMA-223 Bulldogs arrived Chu Lai, Vietnam.
April 19, 1967: In the afternoon two A-4Es from VMA-121 flown by Captain Robert C. Blackington (flight lead) and his wingman, 1st Lt. Samuel B. Vaughan, had twice struck targets adjacent to rice paddies about 21 miles south of Chu Lai. The FAC (forward air controller) called them in again. "After the spotter told us of the Viet Cong activity," Blackington recalled, "I immediately made a run, dropping two 250-pound bombs. Vaughan followed about a mile behind me, dropping identical ordnance." Vaughan was of the opinion that the fires the Skyhawks had started indicated a hidden ammunition dump, but the forward air controller remained skeptical that the target had been totally destroyed. On his target assessment overflight, the Air Force pilot noted more enemy troops and called for another pass from both Skyhawks. More bombs were dropped, and on his final run Blackington fired 200 rounds of 20mm ammunition. Once more the Cessna O-1E flew over the target. This time the Bird Dog pilot commented, "You guys do excellent work."
May 1967: Skyhawk squadrons initiated "hot pad" alerts at Chu Lai, during which a section of armed aircraft awaited a scramble call with pilots in their cockpits and engines turning over.
June 1967: VMA-311 Tomcats arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam.
July 6, 1967: VMA-311 Tomcat Major Ralph E. Brubaker was south of the Demilitarized Zone when his A-4E Skyhawk BuNo.151032 was struck by a SA-2 SAM (surface-to-air missile). Major Brubaker's Skyhawk became uncontrollable and the Major successfully punched out. Safely on the ground Brubaker was rescued by helicopter and suffered only a dislocated knee in the action.
September 1967: VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers rotated to Japan.
September 29, 1967: Maj. Cullen G. Starnes was killed and co-pilot Capt. Michael Pool was injured after ejecting from H&MS-12 TA-4F BuNo 153499 at Chu Lai east field. Landed short which ripped off the landing gear when they returned from a training hop.
December 1967: VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam.
December 3, 1967: LCPL Louis Z. Silverii, MABS-12, died of burns due to fuel spill accident.
March 23, 2002 By: David A Prendergast.
During January, MABS-12 aircraft expended the following ordinance:
In Feb., 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Desoto; Prairie II; Prairie III;
March 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Desoto, Prairie II, Prairie III, Chinook, Chinook II, Early and Beacon Hill. MAG‑12 flew 2,764 combat sorties and expended 2,533 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 85 tons per day. On March 6, 1967 MAG‑12 was mortared by 60 rounds of 82mm mortar fire, the majority of which landed in the MABS-12 Enlisted living areas. Eight Purple Hearts were awarded. There were 2,276 enlisted men and 232 officers in MAG‑12. On March 15th, one A-4E fighter aircraft was shot down, pilot rescued. On March 17th, one A-4C fighter aircraft was lost during combat operations. Captain R.B. Beale was killed. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 121 “VK”, VMA 211 CF, VMA 224 WK, VMA 214 “WE” and VMA 311 “WL” rotated to Japan during March. On March 31, 1967, the first A-6 Squadron, VMA(AW) 533 “ED” Hawks arrived at MAG-12. VMA-211 “CF” departed Chu Lai Air Base on March 31, 1967 commencing its trans-pacific flight to the Continental United States. Marine aircraft on station at Chu Lai Air Base consisted of 3 Marine Attack Squadrons (57 A-4); 1 Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron (12 A-6A); 3 Marine Fighter/Attack Squadrons (42 F-4); and, 3 Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons (4 TF-9J)
The amount of fuel (JP-4) dispensed in March was 2,333,539 gallons. Four more 10,000 gallon fuel tanks were put in at the tank farm #1 complex. This increased the fuel storage capacity by 100, 000 gallons. Repair of the Crosswind Runway in the vicinity of CE-1-3 Catapult dolly system commenced.
April 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Prairie III, Prairie IV, Desoto, Boone, Big Horn, Shawne, Union Humboldt and Canyon. MAG‑12 flew 2,682 combat sorties and expended 3,498 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 116 tons per day. There were 2,403 enlisted men and 224 officers in MAG‑12. On April 12, 1967, 30 to 40 rounds of mortar fire were launched against Chu Lai, with mortar rounds landing in the aircraft areas, killing two Marines and wounding 45. On April 12, 1967 Captain W. Clayton III was killed, when his A-4E received enemy fire, exploded, and crashed. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 121 “VK”, VMA 224 “WK”. The A-6 Squadron, VMA(AW) 533 “ED”, flew their first mission on April 1, 1967. On April 27, 1967 the U. S. Army Task Force “Oregon” established their Headquarters at Chu Lai to begin the preparation and transition for arrival of the “American Division”, which will, by September 1967, assume primary responsibility for the Chu Lai “Tactical Area of Responsibility” (TAOR); including 1 U.S. Army Aviation Company (28 helicopters) deployed at the Chu Lai Air Base, East Runway.
The amount of fuel (JP-4) dispensed for April was 2,615,559 gallons. Ten (10) additional 10,000 gallon fuel tanks were installed. Group Guard assumed the defensive positions at the Southern edge of the MAG-12, Chu Lai Complex V. There were 62 MABS-12 marines assigned to build and man 21 bunkers, 6 listening posts, and 1 tower. Guard provided security for Sector IV along the beach, and northern perimeter. Guard personnel provided security for Med Cap runs to Tam Ky and Bihn Son. Guard personnel built and manned 9 bunkers alone the northern perimeter of Sector IV. Guard provided security personnel to man Tower 41 on the northern perimeter (Next to the Catapult). MAG-12 Guard personnel stood a total of 61,752 hours in the defense of the MAG-12 Chu Lai complex, manning a total of 39 bunkers, 3 towers, 2 roadblocks, and 6 listening posts. Repair of the Crosswind Runway in the vicinity of the CE-1-3 Catapult Dolly System has been completed. Repaired 40 feet of the East Runway at the 3,200' marker. Certification of the CE-1-3 Catapult continues.
Launch and Recovery: The Catapult continues to remain inoperative during April. The installation is 100% complete and the Catapult is currently being prepared for operation and certification. Two sets of M-2 arresting gear are being maintained on the East Runway. One set of M-21 arresting gear has been re-installed on the East End of the Crosswind Runway to be used as abort gear for Catapult operations.
Launch and Recovery personnel departing Chu Lai MABS-12 in April were: Robert H. Bohnke (04/26/67); Robert S. Boileau (04/26/67); Richard M. Cripps (04/25/67) William A. Davis (02/25/67); Joseph C. Dearing (04/30/67); James E. Dwyer (04/25/67); Walter T. Egger (04/28/67); Stanley J. Gluza (04/26/67); Robert L. Gschwind (04/24/67); Danny W. Harrington (04/26/67); Dennis W. Harrington (04/26/67); Charles W. Johnson (04/25/67); David Miller (04/25/67); John J. Miller (04/26/67); Alan H. Noll (04/25/67); Charles R. Riggle (04/25/67); Robert A. Scherer (04/26/67); Richard T. Smith (04/25/67); David E. Tilford (04/26/67); Robert D. Westenberger (04/31/67); and, Gary D. Wolfe (04/26/67).
May 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Prairie IV; Khe Sahn Area; Shawnee; Union; Hickory; Crockett; Beaver Cage; Beacon Hill; and, Choctaw. MAG-12 flew 3,741 combat sorties and expended 6,016 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 194 tons per day. There were 2,254 enlisted men and 207 offices in MAG‑12. On May 10, 1967 Major R.L. Snyder was killed when his A-4E fighter aircraft was shot down by a Soviet Missile. On May 30, 1967 1st Lt. M.W. Thoennes was shot down, pilot not recovered, MIA. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: Squadrons VMA 121 “VK”, VMA 223 “WP” and VMA 224 “WK”. A-6 Squadron VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. The Skyhawk Squadrons initiated “Hot Pad” alerts at Chu Lai, during which rotating sections of armed aircraft awaited scramble calls with pilots in their cockpits and engines turning over.
A comparison of the April and May enemy force totals shows an increase of 900 enemy personnel and other minor order of battle adjustments in the estimated strength of the units. The May total reflects the addition of the 120th and 48th Battalions which are now considered to be within the Chu Lai 25-mile perimeter radius.
MABS-12 Commanding Officer was LtCol. Ralph D. Wallace, replaced by Major Forest G. Dawson, Executive Officer was Major Forest G. Dawson, replaced by Major Harold L. Jackson. Major Robert B. Booher was the Base Operations Officer. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch & Recovery Officer. There were 763 enlisted and 26 officer marines in MABS-12.
The amount of fuel (JP-4) dispensed for May was 2,995,633 gallons. One 10,000 lb. fuel tank was installed at the ordinance napalm assembly area. U.S. Army assumed control of the south TAFDS fuel tank farm. Group Guard stood 61,380 hours of watch in defense of Sectors IV, V, and VI. Provided security for Chaplain trips to Tam Ky. Provided security escorts for EOD teams to bomb disposal areas off base. Provided security guards for Tower 41 on the northern perimeter of Sub-Sector IV. All bunkers in the vicinity of S-3 were inspected and repaired, with one additional bunker being constructed. Protective bunkers were constructed at the Crash Crew area. Helicopter pads on the East Field Runway area were completed. Functional checkout of the CE-1-3 was completed.
Launch and Recovery: Five Dolly Launches were accomplished on the CE-1-3 Catapult. Functional checkout of the CE-1-3 Catapult was completed. Catapult launches are expected to commence upon arrival of the Certification Team from NAEL (SI) Philadelphia, PA.
June 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Arizona; Choctaw; Cimmeron; Union II; Adair; Calhoun; and, Beacon Torch. MAG‑12 flew 2,664 combat sorties and expended 4,549 ton or ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 151 tons per day. There were 2,190 enlisted men and 202 officers in MAG‑12. On June 24, MAG‑12 launched a strike against an anti‑aircraft complex (SPINNER) launching 30 fighter aircraft in 2 1/2 minutes. On June 21, Captain W.L. McClesky crashed in his A-4E fighter aircraft, he was rescued alive. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 223 “WP”, VMA 224 “WK”, and VMA 311 “WL” returned from Japan. VMA 121 “VK” arrived from Japan on June 3rd. A-6 Squadron VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. A comparison of May and June order of battle shows a decrease of 400 enemy personnel. This difference reflects the relocation of the 2nd NVA Division forward Headquarters and the GK 33 Battalion to a position outside of the Chu Lai 25 mile perimeter radius. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, remained unchanged from May. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was Major Forest G. Dawson, Executive Officer was Major Harold L. Jackson. Major Robert B. Booher was the Base Operations Officer. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch & Recovery Section Officer. There were 713 enlisted and 25 officer marines in MABS-12. The 1st Sentry Dog Platoon, 3rd Military Police Battalion arrived at Chu Lai. Twenty MABS-12 Marines extended their overseas tours during June. One Hundred Thirty Four (134) Guard personnel received training with the XM16E1 rifle. Guard escorted three (3) EOD convoys to dispose of ordinance off base. Guard escorted the Chaplain to Bihn Son and Tam Ky. MABS-12 Guard personnel stood a total of 65,910 hours of watch in defense of the MAG-12 complex.
Launch and Recovery: Training was commenced with Catapult hook-up practice of A-4 type aircraft and five (5) MAG-13 7011s and one F-4 aircraft furnished to the Catapult Section for training purposes for 60 days TAD. A-4 and F-4 type aircraft Catapult hook-up training was conduced on a daily basis. The Catapult Instrumentation Team arrived from CONUS and Catapult Instrumentation and Certification is expected to commence July 3, 1967. The Catapult has become functionally checked out and is now considered to be in an operational status. Two sets of M-2 Mobile Arresting Gear are being maintained at the 1,500 foot mark of each end of the East Runway. Two sets of M-21 Arresting Gear Cable Sweep Pads are being installed on the Crosswind Runway and one set of M-2 arresting gear on the North end, East Runway.
Launch and Recovery personnel departing Chu Lai MABS-12 in June were: Robert C. Gray (06/04/67); Bruce A. Moyer (06/05/67); George W. Owings (06/12/67); Daniel P. Rogers (06/03/67); Richard A. Sweet (06/09/67);
July 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Ardmore, Beacon Guide, Bear Chain, Bolder, Buffalo, Cimmaron, Crockett, Cumberland, Dragon Head, Fremont, Hickory II, Hickory III, Kingfisher, Pecos and Sheridan. MAG‑12 flew 3,304 combat sorties and expended 5,469 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 176 tons per day. There were 2,149 enlisted and 190 officers in MAG‑12. On July 24, Captain J. G. Burns ejected from his A-4E fighter aircraft during "launch" due to engine failure. The aircraft crashed at the end of the West End of the Crosswind Runway. The pilot ejected successfully, and landed on the runway. There were 8,646 helicopter operations from the East Runway Helicopter Pads at Chu Lai Marine Air Base in July. On July 4th there was a "friendly" fire event in the MABS‑12 enlisted living area involving marines firing live ammunition between the living huts. The situation was resolved when non-involved marines were sent in to "take custody" of those marines firing their weapons at each other. Skyhawks Squadrons on station were: VMA 121. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 2 Regimental Headquarters; 12 Infantry Battalions; and, 1 Support Battalion, for a total strength of 6,940 enemy personnel. “VK”, VMA 223 “WP”, VMA 224 “WK” and VMA 311 “WL”. The A-6 Squadron VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. On July 6, 1967 VMA 311 “WL” pilot, Major Ralph E. Brubaker’s A-4 was shot down by a SA-2 SAM missile near the DMZ. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 2 Regimental Headquarters; 12 Infantry Battalions; and, 1 Support Battalion, for a total strength of 6,940 enemy personnel. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was Major Forest G. Dawson, Executive Officer was Major Harold L. Jackson. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch & Recovery Section Officer. There were 666 enlisted and 24 officer marines in MABS-12. Guard personnel escorted three (3) EOD convoys to destroy munitions off base, one escort to Bihn Son and one escort to Tam Ky. Guard was augmented with 64 MABS-12 personnel. Guard personnel stood approximately 65,000 hours of watch in defense of the MAG-12 containment and aircraft operations.
The amount of fuel (JP-4) dispensed during July was 1,932,380 gallons.
Since July 15, the CE-1-3 Catapult, newly positioned on the Cross Wind Runway at Chu Lai, has launched 66 A-4E Skyhawks, 56 of these at gross weights of 22,000 pounds. Use of the CE-1-3, coupled with the M-21 arresting gear, will ensure that there is no degradation of launch or recovery operations during the monsoon season. The CE-1-3, powered by two modified J-79 jet engines, enables a fully combat loaded A-4 to become airborne within 1,000 feet, without ordinance load restrictions. With a well trained crew, aircraft can be launched every 90 seconds, and only two minutes are required to clear the runway for the recovery of aircraft.
August 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Ardmore, Cumberland, Dragon Head IV, Fremont, Hickory III, Hood River, Kingfisher and Pike. MAG‑12 flew 2,631 combat sorties and expended 4,676 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 150 tons per day. There were 2,148 enlisted men and 185 officers in MAG‑12. On Aug. 8th, 1967 a CIA aircraft crashed during takeoff and crashed into a trailer near the runway, killing Eugen Kerigan. On August 13th, Captain W.R. Penegar was killed when his A-4E fighter aircraft crashed and burned. In steering his aircraft way from populated areas, Captain Penegar did not eject and was killed upon impact. The crash was within sight of the airfield. On Aug. 27th, two A-6 bomber aircraft pilots from VMA(AW) 533, LtCol. V.H. Bacik and Captain R.G. Boggs, were killed when their aircraft went down during an attack run in North Vietnam. Pilots not recovered. On Aug. 28th, Major C.F Wallace was shot down in his A-4E fighter aircraft during a bombing run. On Aug. 11th, 1st Lt. K.H. Berube was killed when his A-4E fighter aircraft crashed due to enemy fire, and disintegrated upon impact. There were 13,716 helicopter operations from the East Runway Helicopter Pads at Chu Lai Marine Air Base in August 1967. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 211 “CF,; VMA 223 “WP” and VMA 311 “WL”. The A-6 Squadron VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 2 Regimental Headquarters; 15 Infantry Battalions; 4 Support Battalions; and, the newly confirmed 10th NVA Anti-Aircraft Battalion located near Ba To, for a total strength of 9,357 enemy personnel. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was Major Forest G. Dawson, Executive Officer was Major Harold L. Jackson. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch and Recovery Section Officer. There were 667 enlisted and 22 officer marines in MABS-12. Group Guard commenced the rebuilding of all perimeter defensive bunkers. Guard escorted EOD convoy to ordinance disposal area off base, and escorted MedCap trips to Ly Tyn and Tam Ky. Guard responded to, and provided security for, the crash site in Sam Kai Village on August 13, 1967 for Captain Penegar’s A-4E. MABS-12 Guard personnel stood a total of approximately 60,000 hours of watch in defense of the MAG-12 complex. Fifteen permanent Guard personnel were transferred to Marine Corps Division Units.
September 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Ardmore, Ballistic Charge, Beautiful Plum, Belt Drive, Benton, Cook, Cumberland, Dragon Fire, Fremont, Kingfisher, Samuri II, Shelby, Swift, Ashau and Wheeler. MAG‑12 flew 2,761 combat sorties and expended 4,972 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 160 tons per day. There were 1,910 enlisted and 197 officers in MAG‑12. On May 30, 1st Lt. M.W. Thoennes was shot down and killed by hostile fire. On September 12, 1967 the remains of 1stLt. Thoennes were located and recovered at the aircraft crash scene. On Sept. 29, 1967 Major C.G. Starnes and Captain M.L. Pool ejected from their TA4F fighter aircraft as their fighter aircraft crashed onto the runway while returning from a mission. Major Starnes was killed. This incident happened in front many of us who were on duty at the time. There were 9,566 helicopter operations from East Runway Helicopter Pads at the Chu Lai Marine Air Base in September 1967. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 121 “VK”, VMA 223 “WP” and VMA 224 “WK”. Skyhawk Squadron VMA 211 “CF” rotated to Japan. The A-6 Squadron VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 2 Regimental Headquarters; 15 Infantry Battalions; and, 4 Support Battalions, for a total strength of 8,060 enemy personnel. The 2nd VC Regimental Headquarters and its 95th Battalion (720 men) moved to northern Binh Dinh province in II Corps. MABS-12 Commanding Officer LtCol. Leo J. LeBlanc, Executive Officer Major Harold L. Jackson. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch & Recovery Section Officer. There were 558 enlisted and 25 officer marines in MABS-12. Guard escorted EOD convoy to dispose of ordinance off base. Guard commenced rebuilding all perimeter defensive bunkers, and all bunkers in the MABS-12 living area. Guard responded to TA-4F aircraft crash on September 29, 1967 on MABS-12 East Runway. Guard personnel stood approximately 60,000 hours of watch in defense of MAG-12 complex.
November 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Badger Hunt, Dragon Fire, Dragon Tail, Essex, Foster/Badger Hunt, Granite, Kentucky, Knox, Neosho, New Ton, Op Plan 112‑67, Osceola, Samauri II, Scotland, Wallowa Wheeler, and Wheeler/Wallowa. MAG‑12 flew 2,326 combat sorties and expended 4,390 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 146 tons per day. There were 1,807 enlisted and 209 officers in MAG‑12. November 28, 1967 MAG-12 received 14 rounds of 82 millimeter mortar fire from the southern perimeter of the Chu Lai Air Base over a 4 hour period. There were 15,284 helicopter operations from East Helicopter Pads at the Chu Lai Marine Air Base in November, 1967. On Nov. 22, Lance Corporal L.Z. Silverii was burned over 70% of his body when fuel was accidently spilled on him and then caught fire. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 223 “WP”, VMA 224 “WK”, and VMA 311 “WL”. The A-6 Squadron, VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 11 Infantry Battalions; and, 4 Support Battalions, for a total strength of 6,532 enemy personnel. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was LtCol. Leo J. LeBlanc, Jr., Executive Officer was Major Charles F. Moser. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch & Recovery Officer, and WO Frank L. Thompson was the Assistant Launch and Recovery Officer. There were 542 enlisted and 23 officer marines in MABS-12. MABS-12 Command dismantled all home-made hot water shower units in the MABS-12 living area. Guard personnel stood approximately 54,000 hours of watch in the defense of the MAG-12 containment and aircraft areas. Guard escorted MedCap runs to Tam Ky.
December 1967, MAG-12 participated in operations Auburn, Badger Tooth, Citrus, Dragon Trail, Foster/Badger Hunt, Kentucky, Lancaster, Napoleon, Osceola Pitt Scotland and Wheeler. MAG‑12 flew 2,647 combat sorties and expended 5,066 tons or ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 163 tons per day. In December, 1967 there were two mortar attacks, one sapper attack, and three sniper incidents. There were 1,801 enlisted and 226 officers in MAG‑12. On Dec. 3, 1967 Lance Corporal Silverii died as result of his burn injuries on Nov. 22, 1967. There were 14,571 helicopter operations from East Runway Helicopter Pads at the Chu Lai Marine Air Base in December, 1967. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 211 “CF”, VMA 223 “WP”, VMA 224 “WK” and VMA 311 “WL”. VMA 121 “VK” rotated to Japan. The A-6 Squadron, VMA(AW) 533 ‘ED” remained on station. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was LtCol. Leo J. LeBlanc, Jr., Executive Officer was Major Charles F. Moser. Captain Michael J. Vipperman was the Launch and Recovery Officer, and was detached and returned to CONUS. WO Frank L. Thompson was the Launch and Recovery Officer. There were 522 enlisted and 23 officer marines in MABS-12. Guard personnel stood approximately 54,000 hours of watch in the defense of the MAG-12 containment and aircraft operating areas.
January 1968, MAG-12 participated in operations Badger Tooth, Kentucky, Lancaster, Napoleon, Neosho, Niagara, Osceola, Scotland, Wheeler and A.I.S. MAG‑12 flew 3,575 combat sorties and expended 6,471 tons of ordinance against enemy forces, an average of 208 tons per day. On January 17, three enlisted marines were injured when a 20mm munition exploded and they were struck with shrapnel. On January 31, 1968, at 0410 hours Chu Lai Airbase came under heavy enemy attack and received 48 rounds of 122mm Soviet Rocket fire and significant but unknown number of incoming mortars causing severe damage to all MAG‑12 hangers and support facilities. Base defense Condition Red was implemented. The Force Logistic Command Bomb Dump next to the runway took direct hits from the rocket fire during the attack and exploded, causing extensive damage. The force of the explosions, as well as flying metal and shrapnel, damaged nearly ever aircraft at the base, and injured many service personnel. Reported damage assessments included the loss of three aircraft, one hangar, four buildings, and the ammunition dump. Over pressure from the ammunition explosion caused considerable damage to aircraft electronic repair facilities and other base facilities and aircraft. A total of 26 aircraft were damaged on January 31, 1968. MAG-12 casualties included Cpl. R.C. Jones; Cpl. D.M. Colbert; Cpl. W.R. Thomas; Cpl. K.J. Smith; Cpl. R.D. Holloway; L Cpl. E.M. Flores; There were 1,700 enlisted men and 218 officers in MAG‑12. Two A-4E fighter aircraft were shot down during Jan., with both pilots being rescued, on Jan. 21st and Jan. 23rd, 1967 near Khe Sanh. In addition, pilots listed as MIA were Captain P.P. Murray on Jan. 19; Major H.M.Wallace, Jr. on Jan. 19th; and Captain J.D. Mills, on Jan. 29th. There were 16,097 helicopter operations from the East Runway Helicopter Pads at the Chu Lai Marine Air Base in January, 1968. Skyhawk Squadrons on station were: VMA 121 “VK”, VMA 211 “CF”, VMA 224 “WK” and VMA 311 “WL”. The A-6 Squadron, VMA(AW) 533 “ED” remained on station. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 8 Infantry Battalions; and, 3 Support Battalions for a total strength of 5,160 enemy personnel. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was LtCol. Leo J. LeBlanc, and Executive Officer was Major Charles F. Moser. Base Operations Officer was Major Richard L. Dennis. There were 472 enlisted and 23 officer marines in MABS-12. Group Guard stood approximately 70,000 hours of watch in the defense of the MAG-12 containment and aircraft operating areas. Guard provided security force for Chaplain=s run to Tam Ky. Group Guard responded to every mortar and rocket attack on the Chu Lai Air Base on January 31st. The Chu Lai Air Base perimeter was not penetrated by enemy forces.
February 1968, MAG-12 participated in operations Hue City, Jeb Stuart, Kentucky, Lancaster, Napoleon, Niagara, Scotland, Wheeler and A.I.S. Missions. MAG-12 aircraft flew 3,420 combat sorties and expended 7,004.9 tons of ordnance against enemy forces, an average of 241.5 tons per day. The 7, 005 tons of aerial delivered ordinance was the highest monthly total attained by any fixed wing Marine Air Group aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. There were 1,683 enlisted and 212 officers in MAG-12. Working extra long hours under maximum defense conditions, with limited maintenance facilities, the men of MAG-12 provided the best aircraft availability since July, 1967. On Feb. 23rd, Capt. L. E. Pabin and 1st Lt. R. V. Smith were involved in a mid-air collision over Danang Air Base. Capt. Pabin was treated and returned to duty. 1st Lt. Smith was hospitalized at NSA Danang. On Feb., 24th, Major J. W. Marvel and Capt. L. V. Friese were reported missing in action while flying their A-6A on a Rolling Thunder mission deep into North Vietnam. On Feb., 25th, Major V. P. Hart, Jr. was forced to eject from his A-4 aircraft after receiving numerous small arms fire, seven miles south of Danang. Major Hart was evacuated to NSA Danang for treatment and further evacuated to Yokohama Japan on Feb. 28th. Twenty Four A-4’s sustained hits during Feb. On February 14th Chu Lai Air Base received 6 140mm Rocket rounds, two of which were duds. Although there were no reports of any significant damage, one Marine was wounded. The Marine Corps estimate of enemy forces within the Chu Lai TAOR, defined as being located within a 25 mile radius of the base facility, consisted of 8 Infantry Battalions; and, 5 Support Battalions., for a total strength of 3,075. MABS-12 Commanding Officer was Lt.Col. Leo J. LeBlanc, Jr. until Feb., 25th, and was replaced by Lt.Col. John H. Miller on Feb., 25th. The Executive Officer was Major Donald A. Schaefer. There were 468 enlisted and 23 officer marines in MABS-12. VMA 121 “VK”; VMA 211 “CF”; VMA 311 “WL”; and VMA 533 “ED” were on station at Chu Lai Air Base, East Runway facility.
Crash Crew responded to the following significant emergencies: (1) Wash Downs = 129; Hot Refuels = 92; (3) MedEvacs = 30; (4) Blown Tire = 20; (5) Battle D amage = 3; (6) Bombs/Rockets on Runway = 4; (7) Rockets Fired on Runway = 4; (8) Aircraft Shutdown in Arr. Gear = 3 (9) Fire at Bomb Dump = 1
Launch and Recovery: All spare parts were moved from the East Runway to the Catapult site at the Crosswind Runway. Catapult launches 6 A-4E aircraft. On February 19th an A-4E pilot did not rotate at end of power stroke and the aircraft remained on the deck. As the A-4E was slowly rotated, the port wing dipped and rose causing the port landing gear to strike the dolly aft of the outrigger. The A-4E right wing then dropped, leveled off and slowly proceeded to climb-out. The aircraft rotated just prior to or upon contacting the dolly arresting ropes at the East End of the Crosswind Runway. The decision was made to suspend all Catapult operations until such time as pilots could be thoroughly re-briefed in Catapult procedures. The operations remained suspended due personnel shortages and the tempo of combat operations. There were 3 arrestments on the East Runway and none on the Crosswind Runway.
January 1968: The North Vietnamese Tet Offensive began in January 1968, a focal point of the North Vietnamese attack was the Marine outpost at Khe Sanh. Having been isolated by the loss of the A Shau Valley area in 1966, the 26th Marines stationed there were hardly surprised when the attack began.
April 1968: VMA-223 Bulldogs arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam.
May 8, 1968: CPL James E. Lott, MATCU-67 was killed in rocket attack on Chu Lai AB.
October 1968: VMA-121 Green Knights departed Chu Lai, Vietnam to Japan.
December 17, 1968: SGT Mancol R. Clifton, MABS-12 was killed in C-123 crash taking off from Chu Lai.
April 1969: On April 4, 1969 First Lieutenant Ronald D. Layton, flying a VMA-211 A-4 Skyhawk against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam, was shot down and killed by enemy ground fire. His actions during this mission earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS posthumously to
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 211, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy of the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the afternoon of 4 April 1969, First Lieutenant Layton launched as Section Leader of a flight of two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to destroy an enemy staging area seventeen miles southwest of DaNang in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated area, he found that visibility was extremely poor due to a heavy ground haze and that friendly units were within 300 meters of the target. Effectively coordinating with the Ground Forward Air Controller, he skillfully maneuvered his aircraft on the initial pass against the hostile position and delivered his ordnance with pinpoint accuracy, causing numerous fires. Undaunted by the threat of enemy fire and the smoke and haze which nearly obliterated the target, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly maneuvered his Skyhawk into the hazardous area a second time and released his rockets with devastating effectiveness against the hostile position. As his A-4 began its climb out of the dangerous area, it came under intense hostile ground fire and sustained severe battle damage, forcing the aircraft to crash and fatally injuring First Lieutenant Layton. First Lieutenant Laytons courage, resolute determination and unfaltering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."
FOR THE PRESIDENT, H. W. BUSE, JR.
June 10, 1968: LCPL Lawrence J. Buynoski, H&MS-12 was killed - cause unknown.
January 1970: VMA-223 Bulldogs departed Chu Lai, Vietnam to Japan.
February 1970: MAG-12 departed Chu Lai, Vietnam and relocated in Japan.
September 3, 1970: Marine Base Chu Lai was transfered to the United States Army; the last Marine (VMA-311 Tomcat) sorties were flown from Chu Lai on September 11, 1970.
May 17, 1971: Two Marine Skyhawk squadrons, VMA-311 and VMA-211, arrived from Japan at the recently reactivated base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. These units concentrated air strikes against enemy troops surrounding An Loc and responded to calls from counterattacking SVN forces attempting to gain ground in adjacent areas.
March 30, 1972: The North Vietnamese invaded South Vietnam. MAG-12 comprised of H&MS-12 Outlaws, VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers & VMA-311 Tomcats flew into Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam (near Saigon) from Iwakuni, Japan.
May 1, 1972: VMA-311 flew sorties into Cambodian border regions.
August 29, 1972: First Lieutenant Charles G. Reed flew VMA-311's 50,000th sortie. The Tomcats went on to fly a total of 54,625 sorties by the war's end.
December 21, 1972: CPL Michael C. Smartt, MABS-12, died of accidental GSW Bien Hoa AB.
January 26, 27, 28, 1973: VMA-311 ground personnel hung what they thought were the last bombs (the last bomb was painted red, white and blue and daubed with slogans for the occasion) on the Tomcat Skyhawks and strapped in the last duty Tomcat pilots. Colonel Dean Macho, commander of MAG-12, led the mission, a strike into the Mekong Delta region. Da Nang's ground troops waited anxiously for the Skyhawks to return. They all did. Photograph from Mike Shelton.
January 26, 1973: PFC Mark J. Miller, MABS-12was killed in rocket attack on Bien Hoa AB
January 27, 1973: The war officially ended January 27, 1973 - the U.S. agreed to end hostilities around 11:45 A.M. local RVN time. THE LAST BOMB. Colonel John Caldas, Commanding Officer of VMA 311, just before he led the last combat sortie of the Viet Nam war on January 27, 1973 --armistace day from Bien Hoa. The bomb rack was configured such that the painted bomb in the picture was the last one released from the compliment on the A-4E Skyhawk; and that Skyhawk was the last plane in his flight to drop bombs just minutes before the end of hostilities at 11:45 local RVN time. The target was an old, former French rubber plantation north of Bien Hoa where there was reported enemy activity. The bomb painted by troops in the squadron says: THE LAST BOMB, 9,738.38 tons dropped VMA-311, Bien Hoa, RVN 17 May 72 - 27 Jan 73. Photograph from Steve Caldas.
Webmaster's Note: It appears Colonel John Caldas of VMA-311 dropped the last bomb of the war. Colonel Dean Macho, Commander of MAG-12, was reported dropping last bombs on January 26, 27 and 28th. Source documents do not agree on the date or time for Colonel Macho's drop(s).
February 1, 1973: Mag-12 Outlaws with VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers and VMA-311 Tomcats departed Vietnam for Iwakuni, Japan on January 30 and 31, 1973.
February 25, 1975: Col. G.H. Barlow was killed and Maj. Roy J. Stocking, Jr. ejected safely when their H&MS-12 TA-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 153487) crashed into the inland sea Tuesday at about 2:10 p.m. while on a on a pilot qualification mission. The crash site is about one mile from Iwakuni and Maj. Stocking was picked up by a Marine helicopter shortly after the crash. Pacific Stars and Stripes, Thursday, February 27, 1975. On 25 February 1975 a TA-4F belonging to H&MS-12 and piloted by Major R. J. Stocking and Colonel G. H. Barlow sustained ALPHA damage when the pilot encountered control problems. Colonel Barlow sustained fatal injuries after ejecting from the aircraft. From 1st MAW Command Chronology for Jan-Jun 1975.
June 25, 1980: LCol. Rodney H. Alley Jr., 42, (MAG-12 CO) was killed and Maj. Robert K. Lange, 36, was injured when their H&MS-12 TA-4F Skyhawk (BuNo 153491) ran off the runway and overturned while landing at MCAS Iwakuni Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m. They were returning from Okinawa after a routine training mission. Pacific Stars and Stripes, Saturday, June 28, 1980. 153491 was moved to FS FAWPRA Atsugi for repairs which took just over 2 years. MAG-12 TA-4F BuNo 153491 severity damage A at Iwakuni when aircraft departed side of wet runway and flipped inverted, 25 June 1980. 1 fatal. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester. 153491 was moved to FS FAWPRA,NAS Atsugi, Japan, repaired and returned to service with H&MS-24.
Cake Cutting After The Marines Land Their Skyhawks at Chu Lai - June 1, 1965. In a ceremony in front of A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147779 -- side number CE 6, the Commanding Officer of MAG 12, Colonel John Noble eats a piece of cake after landing at Chu Lai on June 1 1965. To Colonel Noble's left is the pilot of the second aircraft Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Baker the Commanding Officer of VMA 225. To Lieutenant Colonel Baker's left is the pilot of third aircraft Major Donald E. Gillum the Executive Officer of VMA 225; And to Major Gillum's left is the pilot of fourth aircraft Major David Teichmann the Officer-In-Charge of VMA 225 S1. The VMA-225 "Fighting Eagle" A-4C Skyhawks (tail code CE) were at Chu Lai air base from June 1, 1965 to October 1965. As you can see, the matting is not yet finished and it had rained just before the landing. God only knows where they got the cake; as at this time the troops were in fox-holes about a mile south eating C rations. Photograph by John Keane and from Martin Halpin.
Chu Lai: Skyhawk BuNo. 152002 at Chu Lai. Photo from Doug Axberg.
1966-67: MAG-12 Skyhawk takes off from Chu Lai, So. Vietnam.
Chu Lai Photos from Doug Axberg, Michigan Marine.
MAY74: BuNo 154340, WA-06, TA-4J parked with intake covers on. Gary Verver Collection.
11APR76: BuNo 153499, WA-07, with the gear and flaps down and the speed brakes out as they approach Yokata AB. Gary Verver Collection.
Date unknown: BuNo 153506, WA-04, as she taxis by the photographer. Photographer unknown, Don Scott collection.
13JUL76: TA-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 153488. H&MS-12 WA 00 approaching a landing at Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
Date and location unknown: BuNo 153488, WA-00, in-flight. Gary Verver Collection.
24SEP78: H&MS-12 TA-4F BuNo 153489, WA-167, at Kadena. Photo M. Wada, Verver Collection.
Date unknown: H&MS-12 154339 on the ramp. G.B. Rhodes.
Date unknown: BuNo 154339, WA-05, on the ramp ready for pre-flight. Gary Verver Collection.
15JUL77: TA-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154325. H&MS-12 WA 08 and 154340 completing the pretakeoff check before taking the runway at NAS Atsugi, Japan. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
1978: BuNo 153491, WA-175, on display at an open house. Gary Verver Collection.
02AUG79: H&MS-12, MAG-12 Outlaws TA-4F BuNo. 154325 side number WA 176, is pictured during a landing approach to Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa. In 1979, H&MS-12 used side numbers 166 to 176 (excepting 168 and 169) --- the Commanding Officer's bird was side number WA 176. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa, Webmaster of the Jet Intake Website.
03OCT81: OA-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 154333 - 1981 H&MS-12 WA 2 approaching a landing at NAS Atsugi, Japan. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan. www.ne.jp/asahi/gonavy/atsugi/gonavy4 Takafumi Hiroe's website index to his USN aircraft pictures.
MAR83: BuNo 154339 as she taxies by the photographer. Gary Verver Collection.
1983: BuNo 154333, WA-2, parked with canopy up. Gary Verver Colleciton.
APR83: MAG-12 (H&MS-12) OA-4M BuNo 154333, WA-2, with wing drop tanks, taken Apr 1983 at Iwakuni. Photo copyright John Freeman, used with his permission.
JUN83: MAG-12 (H&MS-12) OA-4M BuNo 154340, WA-3, with wing drop tanks, taken Jun 1983 at Iwakuni. Photo copyright John Freeman, used with his permission.
29 OCT 1983: A 500-lb. bomb explodes in the impact area at Nightmare Range as A-4 Skyhawk aircraft from Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) provide air support for a live-fire exercise during Operation BEAR HUNT `84. U.S. Navy photo by CPL S. T. Quade.
11AUG84: OA-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 154638. H&MS-12 WA 01 with WA 02 in the lead takeoff from Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, August 11, 1984. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
28AUG85: OA-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 154638. H&MS-12 WA 01, the wheels retracting, just after liftoff from Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, August 28, 1985. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan. www.ne.jp/asahi/gonavy/atsugi/gonavy4 Takafumi Hiroe's website index to his USN aircraft pictures.
01 Sept 1984BuNo 154638, WA-01, parked on the ramp, possibly during an open house. Photo by T. Toda via S. Van Aken.
06 JUN 1985: H&MS-12 OA-4M BuNo 154633, WA-04, 06 JUN 1985 at NAS Agana. B. Trombecky photo, Verver Collection.
1985: BuNo 154638, WA-01, taxi with two aboard. Gary Verver Collection.
27JAN85: Commanding Officer of H&MS-12 of MAG-12 Outlaw OA-4M BuNo. 152856, side number WA 00 is photographed running-up before takeoff at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan. H&MS-12 upgraded their TA-4F Skyhawks to OA-4M Skyhawks in April 1981. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa
MAY85: BuNo 154651, WA-07, parked on the ramp with a pair of drop tanks. Gary Verver Collection.
JAN86: BuNo 152874, WA-05, with the gear down. Photo by T. Toda via Scott Van Aken.
SEP86: HMS-12 BuNo 154645, WA-06, parked on the Yokota AFB, Japan ramp. Photo by T. Toda via Scott Van Aken.
01SEP89: OA-4M Skyhawk, BuNo 154638, from Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) taxis on the Utapao Air Base, Thailandflight-line during the combined Thai/U.S. joint Exercise Thalay Thai Sept. 89. U.S. Navy photo, PH1 Flynn.
01SEP89: Outlaws Skyhawk BuNo 154333, WA-2, and Checkertails Skyhawk BuNo 158454, UE-15, sit in a hangar while undergoing maintenance during the combined Thai/U.S. joint Exercise Thalay Thai `89. U.S. Navy photo, PH1 Flynn.
01SEP89: An OA-4M Skyhawk (BuNo 154638, WA-01) aircraft from Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) taxis on the flight-line during the combined Thai/U.S. joint Exercise Thalay Thai `89. Photo by PH1 Mike Flynn.
OCT00: Our old warrior OA-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 154638, WA - 01 of H&MS-12 has evaded the recyclers and now rests guarding the front gate at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Hideroh Tanaka of Osaka, Japan took this picture in October 2000.
JAN71-APR72: BuNo 154325, WA-08, as she taxis by the photographer probably MCAS Iwakuni. Photographer unknown
March 23, 2002
During the last three years, I have had the great pleasure of contacting and talking to each of the located members of MABS-12, Launch & Recovery Section. On many occasions, I have been asked why I undertook this task, and endeavored to locate all of my Marine Corps brothers from Vietnam. Although there is no simple answer to this question, I can only offer my reflections and thoughts contemplating the question: "Why?" Following my return to the United States at the end of my tour in Vietnam, in early February 1968, I lost contact with all of the Marines with whom I served in Vietnam. As is the case for each of us, life went on. I finished my tour in the Marine Corps at the Marine Barracks located at the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego, California. I was released from active duty in August 1969. I went on to attend college, law school, and entered my profession and raised my family. Over the years I have often thought about those with whom I served in Vietnam, and frequently wondered where they were and what they might be doing. There was always a feeling of a personal void in my life from the loss of the relationships and friendships that were formed during the often arduous and difficult times we all experienced in Vietnam. There were also the good times, the camaraderie, the practical jokes, and many an occasion in which we simply enjoyed one another when those moments were available. Though difficult to put into words, I have often been reminded of the frequently used phrase which best describes every one of those Marines with whom I served in Vietnam.
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
In doing the research which provides the basis for the information set forth in this paper, I ran across a statement made by Lt. Gen. Phillip J. Ford, Eighth Air Force Commander, wherein he said:
It is with great respect for each member of Marine Air Base Squadron-12, Launch and Recovery Section, and their faithful service during Vietnam, that I am frequently reminded of "Honor, Duty, Country." I invite each of you to read, ponder, and enjoy the material which I have accumulated, and present to you in this summary of the Marine Corps records that I have mentioned above.
Email 06AUG18 Sgt. Thomas M. Dunne, USMC.
The current CO of MALS-12, Cjol John Fallon, USMC sent me this picture of his daughters and a friend standing in front of OA-4M, 154638, at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit: