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bombs), M35 and M36 cluster bombs (750 pound class), CBU 14 bomb dispensers (500 pound class), M-47 Plasticized White Phosphorous (PWP) bombs (100 pound class), SUU-25 flare dispensers (500 pound class), BLU-10A napalm bombs (500 pound class), mini- gun pods (500 pound class), LAU 3 and LAU 19 rocket pods (250 and 500 pound class), and had capabilities to carry 55 gallon external fuel tanks on each wing center station. The aircraft structure had been rein-


forced to withstand 6.5G pullouts with symmetrical wing loadings and 4.5G pullouts with asymmetrical loading, a condition resulting when we released weapons from a single station or car- ried mixed loads for mission flexibility. Normally Zorro pilots would try to limit their recoveries to 5.0G pullouts with symmetrical and 4.0G pullouts with asymmetrical loads. Small armored panels had been added to the interior on each side of the cockpit to provide small arms protection. During the wet season we carried an external fuel tank which induced asymmetrical loading as long as it contained fuel. All NKP aircraft were painted flat green, tan and black to mini- mize light reflection at night. It was the survivability issues,


driven by increasing numbers and accu- racy of anti-aircraft weaponry in Laos that caused the AT-28D to be withdrawn from night interdiction operations when it was. However, the aircraft continued to serve with distinction in close air sup- port of Laotian ground troops in north and central Laos through 1970.


Zorro Mission Profiles In October 1967, the Pacific Air


Forces (PACAF) published a T-28 Tactics and Techniques Bulletin that described operations, doctrine, tactics and techniques employed by 606th ACS pilots in their night armed reconnais- sance missions supporting Steel Tiger and Tiger Hound operations in central and southern Laos. The following sum- marizes the content of that bulletin.


Day-Time Strike, Armed Reconnaissance and


Armed Escort Missions Day-time strike missions against


planned targets or armed escort mis- sions protecting slow speed fixed wing or helicopter infiltration operations were tasked, planned and flown as two-ship flights following procedures prescribed


in TACM 55-28 to maximum extent possible. After departing NKP the two- ship Zorro flight would rendezvous with the aircraft or helicopters to be escorted at a pre-briefed TACAN fix. Once visual contact was established, we would start flying figure eight or progressive moving orbit flight patterns along the escorted aircraft’s flight path to assure that we could observe terrain near the escorted aircraft with at least one escort aircraft always being in position to provide immediate fire support should hostile ground fire be detected. Altitude for ingress and egress to a landing zone (LZ) depended on weather conditions, and the escorted aircraft or helicopter cell leader was responsible for determin- ing if the prevailing ceiling and visibility would allow adequate fire support dur- ing ingress and in the LZ area. When weather conditions were marginal, the cell leader was responsible for deter- mining if the mission would continue or abort. The escort aircraft flight leader was responsible for assuring strike cov- erage until released by the mission cell leader. Munitions for these day missions included CBU-14 cluster bomb dispens- ers, M47A4 PWP bombs, BLU-10B napalm bombs, MK-82GP bombs and MK-81GP bombs..


Other Squadron members the author would fly with but not in this picture were: Major John Pattee, Major Billy Mobley, Major Felix Sambogna, Major John Westphal, Major K. T. Hale,


Captain Jack Drummond, Captain Charlie Brown, Captain Crocker and Lieutenant Larry Harwood. They had either departed before picture taken or would arrive after picture taken in September.


Front row from left: Col Harry. C. “Heine” Aderholt, Major Brian B. Ward,


Major Donald “Don” Gephardt, Captain George Williams, Captan Terry Koonce, Major Roland M. Vernon, and Major George T. Albright.


Back row from left: Major William C. Lestor, Major Phil Harris, Captain Harry C. Powell, Captain Noah E. “Ed” Loy (Author), Major Huffman, Captain George T. “Tom” Deken, Lt Colonel George Miller.


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