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AIR COMMANDO ASSOCIATION


PAST - PRESENT - FUTURE The Days of Jungle Jim


By Col Bob Gleason (Ret) All photos courtesy of Col Jim Ifland (Ret) Editor’s Note: The following


article is by one of the three senior officers in the initial project Jungle Jim cadre. The ACA proudly cel- ebrates the 50th Anniversary of Jungle Jim with this lead off piece.


INTRODUCTION: This narrative is composed


of the story of 154 heroes. If I in- cluded any of their names I would feel compelled to include all their names. That would distort the pur- pose of this article. Thus, I took the alternative route and included no names (with a few exceptions).


However, the reader is directed to an unabridged account of the early days of JUNGLE JIM. Here they will find in detail the names and the anecdotes associated therewith. The book may be downloaded gra- tis at www.aircommando.org.


THE GENESIS: The “4400 Combat Crew Train-


ing Squadron, (CCTS)/Jungle Jim/ Air Commando” concept began in early 1961 as a simple request from the CIA to Gen. LeMay, then Chief of STAFF (C/S) of the USAF, via the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) This request was for a single aircraft (C-47), sans crew) to be given to


the first in a series of three to com- memorate the 20th Anniversary of


Operation Desert Storm. It is writ- ten by CMSgt (ret) Bill Walter, Air Commando Hall Of Fame. This article contains the high-


Jungle Jim Combat Control Team members boarding a C-47 for proficiency combat op- erations training exercise.


a single country (not in Southeast Asia), for a single purpose. Obvi- ously it didn’t retain that modest status very long. What evolved sev- eral months later was an example


est level of detail ever published concerning the loss of AC-130H gunship “Spirit 03”. It is not a US government public release, instead, it is a detailed personal account of AC-130H involvement and the activities of the 16th Special Op- erations Squadron (16 SOS) during and after the Battle of Khafji. In- formation originates from multiple non-government sources, including personal interviews and observa- tions by Spectre Operation Desert Storm veterans who witnessed the events first hand.


On 29 January 1991, Iraqi Pres-


of military planning at its best. Af- ter staffing, re-staffing and further staffing, there emerged a blueprint


See JUNGLE JIM pg 5


Untold story of AC-130 gunship crews during battle of Khafji By Bill Walter Editor’s note: This article is


The southern entrance to the town of Khafji, March, 1991. The photograph was taken mid day, but oil well fires blackened the sky. (Photo by Bill Walter)


ident Saddam Hussein launched an assault from Kuwait into the border town of Khafji, Saudi Arabia. As a result of the incursion, Saudi, Qatari and US forces engaged Iraqi forces in the first major ground engage- ment of Operation Desert Storm. Despite a pounding from coali- tion aircraft and artillery, a large Iraqi Force including 40 tanks and 500 troops, entered and occupied Khafji. Coalition ground forces were quickly overpowered and rap- idly pulled back from Khafji leav- ing two US Marine reconnaissance teams in their hide sites, inside city See SPIRIT 03 pg 10


FEBRUARY 2011


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