Special Operations


"Black Killer Duck" at Nakhon Phanom (NKP) Thailand

It is 4 November 1972.  Lt Steve Mac Isaac is starting the number two engine of AC-119K, 53-7830.  This was NKP's last "Stinger" mission into Laos.  

Lt Mac Issac flew his first combat mission on 17 Feb 72 and complete his 171st and final combat mission on 13 Dec 72.  He did all this in less than 10 months!  During this time he was PCA'd four or five times and took two weeks R&R.  This averages out to more than 20 combat missions per month.

Note:  Photos courtesy of  Steve MacIsaac by way of Lee Kyser.  

Arrival at the aircraft.  The crew is busy doing preflight checks


In the photo at the top of the page the number #2 engine was started first.  Now number #1 is started.


Crewmember waves goodbye to NKP

The aircraft takes off from the runway a little early.  The Co-Pilot was doing a right seat takeoff and rotated the aircraft with a little less airspeed than he may of liked


Safely back on the ground

Note:  History of the unit in SEA only is given.


18th Special Operations Squadron, was constituted on 18 Jan 1969. Activated on 25 Jan 1969. Inactivated on 31 Dec 1972.


1st Special Operations Wing, 25 Jan 1969; 4410th Combat Crew Training Wing, 15 Jul 1969; 14th Special Operations Wing, 1 Oct 1969; 56th Special Operations Wing, 25 Aug 1971–31 Dec 1972.


Lockbourne AFB, OH, 25 Jan–1 Oct 1969; Phan Rang AB, South Vietnam, Oct 1969; Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, 25 Aug 1971–31 Dec 1972.


AC–119, 1969–1972


Combat in Southeast Asia, 13 Nov 1969–2 Nov 1972. 


Vietnam: Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII; Vietnam Ceasefire.

DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation: Southeast Asia, 1 Apr–31 Dec 1972. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards With Combat "V" Device: 1 Jul 1970–30 Jun 1971; 25 Aug–30 Nov 1971; 1 Dec 1971–29 Feb 1972; 8 Apr–13 May 1972. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: [Oct] 1969–31 Dec 1972.

Tail Code:  

Aircraft:  AC-119  

Vietnam Service:  12/69 - 12/72

Mig Kills:  0

Entrance to the flight line.  Operations was inside the old Jolly Green hangar in the background.  Take over by the 18th SOS after the Jollys left.
Attack on 27 Jan 73, the night before the cease fire.
Second photo of 831.  USAF photo 
FE MSgt Lee Kyser with student FE MSgt Tuan on the left.  The two on the right are Capt Son Nguyen, the VNAF Operations Officer talking to the VNAF I.O. MSgt Dinh Nguyen
Preflight training in the wheel well
FE MSgt Lee Kyser demonstrating the "incorrect" way of egressing with all gear at once to the student VNAF FE.
Maj. Bob Krueger, IP, watching over the VNAF Commander, Maj. Noui and the VNAF Operations Officer, Capt Son Nguyen who are in the pilot and co-pilot seats.  The VNAF student FE MSgt Tuan is in the foreground with his back to the camera. 
Christmas 72 at Da Nang
Sign in Gunfighter Village  Da Nang 72
Feb 73 Da Nang.    From L to R  L/C Roy Simon (A/C),  MSgt Lee Kyser (FE),  Sgt Joe Goryl (I.O.),  SSgt Frank Zemanick (Gunner),  Capt Norm Burger (Nav/FLIR/NOS)
No names for the VNAF.  The third from the left was the student pilot


Operations building used by the squadron before the move to the Jolly Green hangar. ca. Jan 73.
Stinger Enlisted Barracks at Da Nang - 1973
Stinger Enlisted Barracks at NKP 1972



MSgt Tuan was the first VNAF Flight Engineer (FE) to get checked out.  On his first solo flight, he had to bail out.  The date was 1 Mar 73.  The location was Da Nang.  The aircraft was T/N 839. The VNAF GCA operators had gone home due to Da Nang getting fogged in.

L/C Simon, the USAF Instructor Pilot, took over the controls from his student pilot in an effort to land.  He made two ILS approaches, the second one descending below 100 ft. He was never able to see any runway lights.  Subsequently, they had to bail-out over the S. China Sea.

Bailout of  Stinger #839

 - By Lt Col Roy A. (Tony) Simon, USAF Ret.

Read about the Bailout of Stinger #839 as written in Colonel Simon's own words. 




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The majority of the Information on this page is from the USAF Historical Research Agency: http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra/


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