Monday, August 22, 2016

Patches

Yesterday in preparation for a post, I was scrambling through the Juvat Archive facility looking for a specific item.
Juvat Archive Facility 
(Yes, they paid me royalties in order to film here)

While the search for the object was ultimately unsuccessful, I did stumble upon a box that I had not seen in ages.  (No, Sarge, it was NOT the Ark of the Covenant. More's the pity.)  I was searching for the Surrendering Chicken patch mentioned in the post.  I was certain I had one somewhere.  

In fact, I discovered a box with the various patches I'd worn whilst flying in the Air Force.  A nostalgic trip down Memory Lane commenced. (And the post was poned... Try the veal, I'll be here all week.)

There was my UPT class patch

The slogan very well suited my view of my job at the time.  "To think, they pay me for this!"

Budding Yankee Air Pirates (Plus a few IPs)

Then it was off to F-4 RTU.




I have a hard time remembering that at one point, I had hair!
Then off to the Kun and the 80th TFS, the Juvats.
Wonder, in this Politically Correct Air Force, if this is still the Squadron Patch.
All I ever wanted to do at this point was to emulate the guy on the right.  The picture was taken after we returned from his last flight in the F-4 and the Air Force.  He'd flown for 20 years and never had a desk job.  We'd gone out on an air to ground sortie, quarter a bomb, nickel a hole.  I lost...a bunch!

His callsign was Fud, a play on his last name.
BTW, Sarge is tinkering on the radar just off the left of the picture.  I'm sure I wrote up the radar as "broked".
We even got to go TDY to Clark AB PI for Cope Thunder.  This, of course, required creation of a TDY Patch for plausible deniability.

My year complete, it was off to Moody and "the one with the gun".



Having two operational tours in a row, and recently married, it was time to "pay my dues".



Yes, I've flown THIS airplane.
A great assignment, that I didn't think would be all that good when I got it.  Lots of flying time with some great pilots, I learned a lot and hopefully imparted some of that to my students.  Additionally, some humorous (now) stories came out of that assignment.  But, the big reward came at the end.


An Eagle!  Seeing the patch reminded me that my first flight in the jet was single seat, which itself was an adventure, but my IP was a guy I'd gone to High School with.  Both of us were AF Brats and had lived on Webb.  The sortie was interesting.  He developed flight control problems, so we had to air abort and RTB.  I had to do the look over as he did a controllability check in the area. (Configure the aircraft to land, and, while still at altitude, slow down to landing speed.  This will hopefully identify any control issues you may have while still having the altitude to recover or eject if they are serious.)  So, I'm flying a jet I've never flown before, in formation with an emergency aircraft and will fly the approach with him.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  RTB was uneventful.  He landed, I went around.  The SOF told me to stay in the pattern and do low approaches.  Bore-Ing!

Then, finally, arrival at Kadena.

The Official Patches
But we did a lot of TDY.  

The TDY patches (the ones I can show on a family friendly blog anyhow)

The first year I was there, we deployed to Korea for 2 weeks, then back home for 2 weeks, then to Clark, then home, then Korea.  Which was a lot of fun and great flying, but it was hell on figuring out which side of the road to drive on!  I got pretty good at a James Bond style reversal when I would suddenly find myself looking at oncoming traffic.

Those TDY's resulted in some fabulous training and meeting some great fighter pilots from different Air Forces

Introduced me to Afterburners and cost me half a mustache!

Had an deployment to Nyutabaru AB for a little exercise.
Caption
Nyutabaru was our closest off island divert base.
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I don't remember the deployment, but I do remember the last night before RTB, or at least some of it.


But did I find the patch I was looking for?  Not exactly.

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This made no sense.  Our patches were on velcro, we'd sanitize our flight suits anytime we flew (to reinforce the habit), so why a subdued patch?  I'm sure someone made General with this brilliant idea!

And then,  in what seems to have been a blink of an eye, the flying was done.
  
Miss it?  

Yer Dam Skippy I do!














32 comments:

  1. The years do scurry by, don't they?

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    Replies
    1. Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.

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  2. Super post Juvat. Patches are real touchstones. I have to be careful about getting my flight jacket out because it has the magical property, thanks to the patches, of making hours disappear in bunches.

    Really like the picture with the T-37. You can feel the magic.

    Somebody oughta do a comprehensive post on all the patches from over the years that would cause today's professional victims to evacuate their bowels in horror.

    That warehouse scene has me puzzled -- why are the rolling credits from Star Wars?

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    1. I enjoyed my UPT class. We all made it through, which was rare. Although CJ, the leftmost guy, got sick and had to drop back to the next class and graduated with them. The most popular guy in the class, 4th from the right front row, volunteered for B-52s. He retired from the Pentagon the day before I did. I was the last man standing at that point.

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    2. I think the YouTube creator was funnin with us! (I hadn't noticed, good catch)

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    3. That was my guess too. Be funny if the real movie ended with those credits and no one noticed until now.

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  3. Great post, great memories.

    The patch for the "Korea Air National Guard Okku County" really hit the old funny bone hard. There were a number of guys in the Radar Cal and WCS Mock Up shop who had been in Korea longer than a year (I was there for almost four). In the squadron yearbook a bunch of us had Okkugun (Okku County) as our "hometown." Good times.

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    1. Yeah, we had a few WSO's that had stayed. The system wouldn't generally allow pilots to do the same, although, as I was getting ready for an assignment they were allowing pilots to stay for 6 months with the chance of an F-16. The downside was that if you didn't get the lawn dart, you got an OV-10. I had the E model to Moody orders in hand, so took the sure thing.
      We had one WSO who was on his second year when I was there, then went to Taegu for another 2. While I was at the Pentagon I deployed to Ulchi Focus Lens, and ran into him when at Osan where he was stationed.

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    2. Glad to hear you're on the mend, and that they didn't have to take another foot out of your colon. Although, if you're forced to make the choice, it's better to have a foot taken out than a foot put in.

      Bruce Jones

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    3. Thanks Bruce. And you're right.

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  4. "How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
    To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!"

    -Tennyson (Ulysses)

    Do know the feelin', Sir.

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    1. Yeah, built student accounts for the new kids this past week. Pre-Kindergarten folks entering this year will graduate HS in 2030. Sobering to realize there's a decent probability I won't be around to see them walk across that stage. Certainly gave me "pause".

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    2. Here are all the patches of units I served with throughout my military career:
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152361073073521&set=a.89921603520.75783.542333520&type=3&theater

      Plus . . . an article I found posted on facebook just today. Thought it appropriate.
      http://mwi.usma.edu/the-power-of-the-patch/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Defense+EBB+08-22-16&utm_term=Editorial+-+Early+Bird+Brief

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    3. Interesting article.

      Looks like you've got a well deserved collection of "been there, done that" memorabilia. Well Done!

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  5. "...Dam Skippy..."

    A good thing some folks aren't thin skinned...
    ...and shouldn't that be "Damn?"

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    Replies
    1. I thought you might have a reservoir on your property and was talking about that! Yeah, that's the ticket!

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  6. Nice post.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  7. Apropos of absolutely nothing, the first thing I thought I when I saw the title of this post was...
    "Down by the river that flows by the coal yards..."

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    Replies
    1. Nice Tune. Don't think I'd heard it before.

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  8. Oh yeah, patches... And a pretty good description of our 'lives' in the military... :-)

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  9. IMHO, the best training patch ever . . .

    T-34 Interceptor

    Bruce Jones

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    1. That is an interesting patch! Most of my "interesting" patches are not family friendly so, not viewable in this venue. Rats! Some are works of art!

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  10. Cool post Juvat. I've tried to sit though a tutorial or two on which and where patches are worn by you guys but ended up just rolling my eyes "in wonder." More complicated than reading majcom(?) regs and supplements. Of course, "big army" doesn't want any aviator looking like an aviator, hence the BDU looking thing worn now. "Back in the day" we adorned our flt suits to peacock levels of finery; the more patches the closer to happy hour. Long gone days. I just gave up and flew in the old Class B uniform and ignored the rest. But the leather flt jacket. Now that caused some senior officer 'sploding heads but that's another story. Thanks again, regards, Alemaster

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    Replies
    1. I got the Senior Office 'Sploding heads part. The first Friday we were at CGSC, we showed up at the Ft Leavenworth Club in flight bags. Oh, My Lord, the head sploding was awe-inspiring. We were invited to NOT do that again.

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    2. Unless one were the unfortunate direct object of the senior officer's immediate attention, it could be quite entertaining while they ranted prior to full detonation. Impressive how some with such seemingly short attention spans regarding real issues could expend so much energy pointing out the error of a minion's way. "My Gawd Man, get on with it; those chicks are not gonna impress themselves and my beer isn't gonna drink itself." regards, Alemaster

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  11. At least during the time I was on active duty we didn't have to wear the hated TAC weenie patch. It went: At Wing level it went: SQ patch on right flt suit/jacket breast, Wing insignia patch on right shoulder, Fighter Wpns School, etc patches on left shoulder underneath 100 msn North, Red River Valley patches, etc. "Other" msn patches (200 MSNS SEA, etc e.g., like one in form of Ace of Spades patch covering in-country and Laos) were worn on right shoulder under Wing patch. "Other" patches like McDonald F-4 patch, etc., also worn on right shoulder. We didn't even wear our numbered Air Force, either in PACAF (7thAF in RVN) or USAFE (3rdAF in UK) let alone a higher command like TAC! TAC just HAD to change all that--too much esprit des corps, I guess. GOT to be more bureaucratically professional and STANDARDIZED, right?

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    1. Yeah, the ATC>TAC part, I didn't know any better. PACAF didn't know much more, but I liked the free for all flying in Korea at the time. Two tours in TAC after that, and I thought it was a lot of Chicken Feces, but I'm a junior Captain, what do I know. Then back to PACAF as a Senior Capt/Maj and in Reagan's AF. Some oversight, but not a lot, lots of Flying. Then came Tony. (I think that's a song). Policy included the type and color of underwear. I kid you knot. V-neck white t-shirts, and white athletic socks, NO stripes. Holy crap! Well done, Tony, you made 4 stars on THAT?

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    2. As a Army warrant assigned as a MAC asset and working as a FEAC during Merrill's "reign" I could only shake my head in wonder and show empathy to those USAF pilots with whom I worked. It was kinda like "there, there, it will get better." regards, Alemaster

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    3. juvat/

      With us in the cool, cool UK we usually wore white T-shirts in summer and those light-weight "mock turtle-neck" shirts in winter in squadron colors (78th Bushmasters--call-sign "snake"--ours were red, the 91st Bluestreaks--call sign 'yo-yo" wore blue and the 92nd Avengers (call-sign "skulls" ) wore yellow. (We hadn't hit the silly ass ascot/scarf look yet.) In SEA it was pretty much white Tees all the way everywhere..

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  12. There are JASDF F-4's parked alongside F-15's at Nyutabaru. Reading the post and a bit of Google Earth, I was swept back to Kadena and my youth. Is fifty really old?

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/%E6%96%B0%E7%94%B0%E5%8E%9F%E5%9F%BA%E5%9C%B0/@32.0856139,131.455993,1178m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x3538a638e26c8093:0x1dd0676fed84b6c!8m2!3d32.0884316!4d131.4554822

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)