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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

EC-121 Warning Star - Part 3

From about 1966 until 1971, my father was in the service of our country in the USAF during the Vietnam War.  He was in combat flying over the war and spotting enemy planes for the war (police action) in the air over South East Asia.

I asked him once if he was looking for enemy planes so that they could be avoided.  He indicated quite the contrary. They were spotting planes using radar screens and driving the U.S. forces toward the enemy planes to engage them.  The goal of their plane (EC-121 Warning Star) was to stay clear of the fight that would ensue.

Looking back on that conversation with my father, I realized that I never really asked much more.  Fighting and war are a tough subject.  That brief description always made me wonder how they all survived.  War is far from my favorite topic and yet it is a reality.

I had hoped the box that I was looking through at my mom's house would tell me more.  While there was not much written down, there were plenty of military patches, pins, and other uniform bits and pieces.

I did go look up "College Eye" and do know now that my father was in the 965th AEWCS.  My mom thinks he might have started in the 963th AEWCS at a Lt. but was moved shortly after that.  Maybe because he made captain or maybe because they needed more people.  I'm just not sure.  There were three squadrons out of McClellan AFB at the time.

Now, my father would go on TDY to Korat RTAFB, Thailand.  He was stationed in Sacramento at McClellan but was also assigned to Korat.  Now that I know more, I could ask so many questions of someone "in the know".  I do know that he was part of the College Eye Task Force of the 552d Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing.  The USAF used the Royal Thai Air Force Base in Korat as their overseas base.  My father indicated that he was sent there on a number of occasions.  My mom said that right after they were married he was gone for 6 months to Korat.

It would be interesting to have contact with someone who was involved in this particular air command during Vietnam.  My father is no longer around to answer questions.

I've done my best to honor his service in this post.  There is so much more information that I could share about my father, including photos.  For now, this is what I feel comfortable sharing.

Rest In Peace
Brian E. McGuire

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