Last Phantoms lost in Chu Lai
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  1. #1

    Last Phantoms lost in Chu Lai

    The last Phantoms (F-4B's) lost in MAG-13 at Chu Lai.

    It's probably worth mentioning the last two on record because of the different set of circumstances surrounding the crashes.

    11 June 1970
    BuNo 153022
    VMFA-314
    Hit by ground fire over the northern part of South Viet Nam. Crew ejected. The pilot, Capt. B. A. Rindt, was rescued by a ship and the RIO, 1stLt. R. C. Blakely, by a helicopter.

    19 June 1970
    BuNo 150653
    VMFA-122
    Crashed on landing at the Chu Lai Air Base. The pilot, 1stLt. F. Hall, tried to land with an asymmetric ordnance load. Both he and the RIO, 1st Lt. G. Mitchell, survived.

    The last three Phantom squadrons departed Chu Lai on the following dates:

    24 August 1970 VMFA-115 moved to Da Nang.
    08 September 1970 VMFA-122 left country for Kaneohe Bay
    12 September 1970 VMFA-314 left for El Toro.


  2. #2

    F4 crash

    In country 1968-69 Marble Mt MAG-16 ..my parents kept all letters I wrote home from my military service, in one of my letters from Vietnam ,I wrote on 5-23-1968 me and two bros were walking next to the flightline, we looked up we saw a plane on fire, no noise coming from it. it was twisting and out of control like a paper plane. It was an F4 Phanthom ..crasj after the pilots ejected..
    We saw the pilots eject one landed on our flightline the other out in sea..our choppers went and rescued him..we were first to the pilot that landed his chute just like he was making a plane landing, but he had a wound on his leg,,he had other wounds. He told us they got hit over North Vietnam on a bombing raid and were trying to make it back to Da Nang.airbase...our medics got there within minutes after we did and took care of him. He was in pain, but he was a joker and was pretty ****ed he lost his bird..these two guys are the warriors and heros, I never got his name, just wondered all these years if he and his bro made it back home ok..


  3. #3
    Hey Rove,

    I appreciate you sharing that story, definitely a "Kodak Moment."

    Here's the deal.

    The Marines lost two Phantoms on 23 May 1968. The first to go down belonged to VMFA-115 from Chu Lai. It happened during a night-time mission over southern Laos. The pilot and rio ejected and were rescued by an Army helicopter.

    The second sounds like the one you witnessed. The F-4 belonged to VMFA-542 in Da Nang. They were on a close air support mission just south of the city and the plane was hit by small arms fire. According to records, both crewmen ejected three miles north of Hoi An and were soon rescued. The pilot was Capt. J. E. Crowell and the RIO was Capt. W. S. Poole.

    Sounds like they were trying to make it back to the base but had to ditch before they got there. It does seem that Marble Mountain is a little farther north that the "3 mile reference." And their mission was nowhere near North Vietnam. Anyhow, I'm glad they made it out and left you with such a great story to tell.

    S/F,
    -vm


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rove View Post
    In country 1968-69 Marble Mt MAG-16 ..my parents kept all letters I wrote home from my military service, in one of my letters from Vietnam ,I wrote on 5-23-1968 me and two bros were walking next to the flightline, we looked up we saw a plane on fire, no noise coming from it. it was twisting and out of control like a paper plane. It was an F4 Phanthom ..crasj after the pilots ejected..
    We saw the pilots eject one landed on our flightline the other out in sea..our choppers went and rescued him..we were first to the pilot that landed his chute just like he was making a plane landing, but he had a wound on his leg,,he had other wounds. He told us they got hit over North Vietnam on a bombing raid and were trying to make it back to Da Nang.airbase...our medics got there within minutes after we did and took care of him. He was in pain, but he was a joker and was pretty ****ed he lost his bird..these two guys are the warriors and heros, I never got his name, just wondered all these years if he and his bro made it back home ok..
    Rove,

    I too was at Marble Mountain Air Facility from April 1969 to March 1970 and I remember (I don't know what day it was), but we were walking down to the beach to go swimming that day and I remember a Phantom going overhead, it sputtered a couple of times with a loud pop and then I saw 2 orange chutes open up and they were going down in the South China Sea and about the same time I saw the chutes open up I saw a CH53 going out to pick them up.

    I was in Zulu Company and scuttlebutt has it that our CO Captain Tom Jones (Yeah, that's right) was a Phantom Fighter Pilot but he was sh*t-canned from the air wing because he wrecked too many Phantoms.

    David R - 1968


  5. #5

    mag-16

    I was at Marble Mt MAG-16 HMM-361/H&MS-16 (3-68/2-69)and spent some time with Zulu company..the towers,,beach,,the perimeter bunkers too..I can't remember many names,,the ones I recall are the ones' I worte home about,,I remember a kid name Palmer who was accidently shot while on Zulu, I think 1968,,also my bro Sgt Villalobos, killed in rocket attack after I left ,,4-69..and there were others....I think his wife told me he was killed at the movie theatre along with some other marines...he and I spent a lot of time talking about our hometown while zipping a few brews..if you were there about that time you might remember that attack..
    the plane that crashed by us was in May 23, 1968...both pilots ejected, one landed right on our filghtline..I remember a guy named Sleepy and the other guy I can't remember his name, we were going to the flightline during the day when we saw the plane in flames out of control..anyway good to hear someone that was there...semper fi


  6. #6
    I have it on good report that this is the F-4 from VMFA-122 that crash landed in Chu Lai on 19 June 1970.
    Click image for larger version

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