Thursday, September 3, 2015


Thud on a Stick, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
Often when I open the doors to the vault and wander through the dusty archives here at The Chant, I find various and divers topics upon which I intended to write. Then promptly forgot about. On occasion you may see the annotation POCIR. Which is my shorthand for "Provided Of Course I Remember," as in "that reminds me of a story which I need to tell, but not now, later, POCIR."

Bugs me somewhat when I don't remember. It happens, usually something else will pop up driving the topic down the memory stack, sometimes it vanishes into the clutter. Oh, I will remember it, someday. That's when I head into the archives and dig up old photos and remembrances.

Take that opening photo of the "Thud on a Stick," of which here's another angle...

This angle also lets you know where on the base the aircraft sits.
(Not too far from the "Ceremonial Lawn" - I guess that's what we in the military used to call a Parade Ground. Sigh...)

For grins I did some research on this particular F-105D and discovered some interesting stuff at this site (which is excellent for tracking down old aircraft, including Phantoms!) Here's what I found, it's all surprised I was!

Republic F-105D-6-RE Thunderchief
Serial number 59-1771 (MSN D83) to MASDC as FK0048 Jun 25, 1981.  To AMVET Post 2256, Circleville, OH for preservation in 1998. The plane at Bolling AFB marked as 59-1771 is actually 61-0138.

Serial number 61-0138 (MSN D333) noted on display at Bolling AFB, DC in Oct 2000, marked as 59-1771, nicknamed Ohio Express.
The real 59-1771 would be this bird...

Google Maps

Here's the ground eye view...

I highly recommend this Source awesome photos!

The JV tail code denotes the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing out of Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (obviously?) which initially consisted of two F-105 Thunderchief squadrons, the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron and 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

The real 59-1771 in Ohio was known as "Foley's Folly/Ohio Express" and was flown by USAF Captain Peter K. Foley on his 200th mission, 469TFS/388TFW, Korat RTAFB, 1969. Capt. Foley was the third Thud pilot to make it to 200 missions. A pretty big deal when you considered that most of those missions were "up north", think North Vietnam, think MiGs and SAMs and people who want to kill you. No fun at all!

So that's the story on the aircraft, funny thing, on the way off the base I snapped that opening photo, which is when The Nuke asked, "So Dad, any particular reason you're taking photos of the Defence Intelligence Agency?"

Which question drew a "Huh?" from me. Looking to my left, sure enough, that big building in the photo is shown below, aerial view.


I immediately put the camera away and started muttering, "Me no VC! GI numbah one! VC numbah 10!" Which made The WSO chuckle, The Nuke shake her head and The Missus Herself just mumbled "You're an idiot." She knows me well.

So what does all this have to do with today's topic? Well, this was the first time I had set foot on an Air Force base in nearly 16 years. Now this was back in May of this year (while I'm thinking of it, don't get me started on this whole "Joint Base" thing, I'm old fashioned, it sticks in my craw, but I suppose it does save money) and the last time I had been on an Air Force base was in May of 1999 when I retired at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. So there was that.

But the reason for my attending the progeny and the better half at this base was a trip to the Base Exchange. I had two missions to complete. (I should mention that Little Bit was there too, she had a complete meltdown in the store as she wanted her Mom to buy three pairs of shoes. Mom said "Just one pair" - that's when the fight started. Dear Lord but that little girl has a temper!)

Like I said, two missions. First of all, I needed a cable to hook my brand new camera to my computer, while it does have a Wi-Fi capability, The Nuke's quarters and Chez Sarge don't really have the bandwidth to be transmitting high-resolution photographs through the ether. The cable was relatively inexpensive. (I do believe that I have mentioned that I am a bit cheap. I like to say thrifty, but I'm always corrected, "No honey, you're cheap. In fact you're a frigging miser if the truth be told.")

The cable, larger than life.

I also wanted to purchase a web belt for the super cool belt buckle The WSO got me last year...

Now I really wanted to get a khaki belt as used by the Navy (O's and Chiefs) but (of course) they were all out. So I got the Air Force belt. Looks better with my jeans anyway. (Sour grapes? Nah. Well, yes.)

Now those of you who have been paying attention in the past may wonder about that red background which shows up from time to time when I'm showing you my various items of swag. Like these...

From bottom left and clockwise: USS ENTERPRISE cruise patch from 2011, son-in-law Big Time went in country a lot on that one, dropping bombs on the Taliban and other unsavory characters. Next is the The WSO's USS RONALD REAGAN cruise patch for 2013. It was supposed to be a WESTPAC (Western Pacific) cruise but they got, you guessed it "Sequestered!" Finally is the The WSO's USS RONALD REAGAN cruise patch from RIMPAC 2014 (Rim of the Pacific) in which they actually got to go to sea, fly and do cool stuff.

Close up of that 2013 "cruise" patch.

The setting for most of my "swag" photos. Primarily decorative, this is used by the feline members of the staff to sit and look out the window. While on break from their busy schedules...

What really triggered this post is the fact that The WSO's old boat (sigh, okay Skip, ship) USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76) departed Sandy Eggo for Japan on the 31st of August. I spent an awesome day at sea on that carrier and I will miss seeing her in Sandy Eggo. But she's needed out there in the Far East. Fair winds and following seas lads and lasses, make us proud! (Story)

150831-N-OI810-061 SAN DIEGO (Aug. 31, 2015) Sailors stand in formation on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) before departing Naval Base Coronado (NBC). Ronald Reagan, the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier, departed NBC for Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

Thus ends the tale of my short trip to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (Or Jay-Bab as I kept calling it) back in May. Something I wanted to post about a few months ago.

But forgot.

Hey, eventually I get around to things which I had promised!



  1. The DIA is on Malcolm X Avenue? Irony abounds.

    1. You can't make these things up. Though, truth be told, the address they list is 200 MacDill Boulevard.

      Close though, very close.

  2. Sarge, perhaps this old sailor can help you out: a boat is something you can carry aboard a ship. Unless you're talking about a submarine, in which case the rules go out the proverbial window.

    Hey, it's the military. If you wanted common sense and consistency, you should never have enlisted. :)

    1. Well Rev, the submariners call their submarines "boats" - now I get your point on "boat versus ship" however (comma) ship's company (of which The Nuke was a member on Ike) calls the carrier "the ship" - the Air Wing on the other hand always calls it "the boat." Not "a boat" but "the boat." Coming from an aviation background I always go along with the Air Wing view of things. For better or worse you might say.

      As to the being able to be something you can carry on a ship defining what a boat is? I guess it all depends on how big the ship is. I'm thinking of when USS COLE was brought back to the States after being attacked. A destroyer is most definitely a ship but she was carried on board another ship on the way home.

      As to your last comment, yes, check consistency at the main gate. I always got a chuckle out of the way the Air Force numbers their buildings. Numbered in the order of construction, not by location. So Building 40 can be right next to Building 123. Well, it is consistent even if it does make it hard to find things.

      Common sense? That's something we sergeants tried to maintain, not always successfully. If the colonel (or captain in your case) wants something, then he (or she) gets what they want, even if it makes very little sense to us down at the short end.

    2. It's only words, huh?
      Ship, boat, or McKinley, Denali... it's still the same object.

      BTW - the khaki belt looks good on jeans, too.

    3. Okay, so it was sour grapes...

  3. (I do believe that I have mentioned that I am a bit cheap. I like to say thrifty, but I'm always corrected, "No honey, you're cheap. In fact you're a frigging miser if the truth be told.")

    And this is a bad thing?

  4. Mi Lady used 'piker' for me. I say 'frugal'.

  5. The opening picture of the Thud reminded me of my favorite Thud driver and that reminded me of something I've been meaning to mention. When you changed the masthead to include Col Thorsness (well done and deserved, I must say), you said we "didn't have a picture of a Weasel up there", Ed came to me in a dream and said "Juvat, you idiot! What the @$@$@%#@@ was I? Chopped liver?" So I think a matched set of Weasels on either side of the Phantom makes for a more balanced masthead.

  6. Only an airwinger can say "boat" with the proper mixture of respect and disdain.

    The boat/ship debate provides endless fun for both sides. I asked a Chief on Coral Sea one time if he'd been on the boat when it had a straight deck. The years just dropped off the man. Not a thing wrong with his lungs.

    And holy cow, THREE pairs of shoes? Bet it was fun to watch that one play out!

    1. I enjoy it when The Nuke and The WSO are in the same room. I'll drop that word "boat" down between them, it's kinda like a face off in hockey.

      Yeah, three pairs. I ran for cover.

    2. I'll bet you're hiding a big grin when you drop that puck!

      It occurs to me that the "men and women are exactly the same except for minor cosmetic and plumbing details" argument can be conclusively falsified with one word.


    3. Sarge, great post and pics. Although I thought Jay-Bab was short for Jalalabad or something like that. PA- your first comment alone is worth the price of admission today. Good stuff!

  7. Looking at the flags on the RIMPAC 2014 patch, I find myself wondering when they moved Norway?

    1. Yeah I know, but they actually did participate so they get to have their flag on the patch.

  8. Came across your website and was working (SP) the night a "Thud" was rolled on to base. That is not the tail number that was on the F-195 that was brought in from Andrews that night. The number was RU-(238?). Don't know when or where the change was made, but I remember the night distinctly.

    1. Cool. I checked Joe Baugher's website for that aircraft. You were close. According to the website:

      "The plane at Bolling AFB (now Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling) marked as 59-1771 is actually 61-0138." The RU indicates the aircraft was from the 357th TFS of the 355th TFW out of Takhli RTAFB. For the tail number 61-0138, Joe Baugher's website says: "0138 (MSN D333) noted on display at Bolling AFB, DC in Oct 2000, marked as 59-1771, nicknamed Ohio Express."

      Pretty cool that you were there.

    2. Thank you for looking that up. I wouldn't have known where to look. The wording "noted on display....October 1980" is a little bit misleading. The aircraft was rolled onto Bolling in the spring of 1977 and was mounted on the pedestal immediately. Interestingly enough, in 1978 there was a meeting of retired pilots at the Officers Club in the summer. "Pappy" Boyington was the guest of honor and we were all excited because of the TV show about him and his unit that was on the air at that time. While working "chow relief" at the main gate a car pulled up and the gentleman driver noted the "Thud" and asked the tali number. I told him and he became excited replying "I flew that bird in Nam." He asked where he could park and go look at her. I gave him directions to the Credit Union parking lot nearby and could later see him from the gate looking over his old aircraft. Thanks for the photo and the chance to reminisce.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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