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LTC Jack Finch (USA, Ret.),   

Mr. Vann, wherever you are...

During May 1972 there were reportedly 991 Arc Light missions flown near Kontum and elsewhere within MR II. In order to get rapid BDA, we would try to have aerial confirmation shortly after the bombs impacted whenever possible. Mr. Vann saved my life and that of our UH-1 crew, was CWO Lobokowski's ship IIRC; when he sent a Rogue's Gallery call on the guard frequency warning us we were flying toward his new in-flight divert Arc Light box and we needed to turn away. I think Lobo quickly asked "which direction?" followed by Vann's high pitched voice saying something like "Your call, but turn now!"... Lobo banked left and we got to see the "eggs" in the air as they fell past us and exploded into the 3x1 kilomter box! We sent quite a few Arc Light and Combat Sky Spot target recommendations to CPT Chris Scudder's planners in Pleiku, but that was as close as I ever was to an Arc Light mission "in progress" so to speak. I don't know the exact distance, probably not quite outside the 1000 meter safety zone on the long side, but the noise and concussion waves were definitely noted by all concerned...Mr. Vann, wherever you are, I thanked you then, and I thank you again now...Lobo, if you ever read this... you too my friend, with that big Maltese Cross on the nose of your Huey...:-)

LTC Jack Finch (USA, Ret.), then CPT, G-3 Air Advisor, MACV Team 33 (23rd ARVN Division), Kontum...

LTC Jack Finch (USA, Ret.), <>
Pueblo, Colorado USA - Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 18:51:53 (PDT)

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