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Picture of the new GCA van

Replcement Vans

"These are pictures of a Mob deployment to replace a GCA radar unit destroyed December 23, 1966 at Bien Tuey AFB, RVN. The base was under a mortar attack and launched an A1E for base defense counter attack. The fighter aircraft was hit by mortar shrapnel on take off and flew right into the corner of the GCA radar van, destroying the radar facility. No one inside the van vas seriously injured, but unfortunately the pilot died...."

"The Mob Commander was Colonel Bertie..... After we were notified and packed the replacement GCA unit, the Colonel took (me) SSgt Cyril Niklinski and TSgt Kenneth Stagner into his office. This was about 2 a.m. on the morning of 24 December 1966.... We had a few beers from his private stock.... I can remember Ken saying it was like he was saying goodbye to us.... Like he didn't expect to see us again..."

"We deployed that morning on two C-124 (old shaky) Globmasters for Bien Tuey.... After arriving we replaced the destroyed GCA in 24 hours and had it flight checked for service...It took us a couple of weeks to get back to Clark AFB. It was a strange Christmas Day for all of us and I will never forget it..."

Bien Tuey, Vietnam - 1966

Picture contributed by "Nick" Niklinski

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