Dan O'Brien (69-70 "A" Battery) added this.
relocated to Westover AFB MA. in the mid 1970's. I joined the USAF reserve in
1978 as an air cargo specialist. I loaded C-130's and C-123's The 439 airlift
wing and 905th Aerial Port Flight was C-130's. The C-123's [including PATCHES]
[901st Aerial Port Flight] was in the 337th airlift wing. Most of our loads were
for parachute airdrops. I was in the aerial delivery section that packed chutes
and rigged loads for airdrop.
About 1982, the C-123's were taken from the inventory and
a Westover crew, all my friends, flew PATCHES to Wright Patterson AFB Museum in
Dayton Ohio. The guys flew back to our base on a C-130. Some of them were
vomiting and very sick on the trip to Dayton. CMS [E-9] Ron Plouff who was a
loadmaster on Patches married MSG Karen Jablonski. Ron died of cancer [Agent
Orange related] before he could retire from the USAF reserves. I served with
both of them for many years. A former PATCHES pilot recently won a case against
the Air Force on AO related symptoms.
There is a website on Westover's C-123's with a picture
[attached] of all the nurses that served as Air Medical Evac. The USAF had
denied any connection to Patches and the flight crews in the reserves. I visited
Wright Patterson years later to see Patches all silver instead of the camo paint
job. It is the only aircraft totally sealed for no entry during OPEN COCKPIT
DAY. Attached picture is a C-130 airdrop looking off the ramp from inside.
Another C-130 follows close behind. Our Aussie Mates can search some of these
numbered units of USAF reserve and may find out more info. Hope this info helps.
905th APF Aerial Delivery Sect 78-86 C-130-C-123
208th HH transportation CH-54B Skycrane
G-104th AVN REGT CH-47 Chinook 86-96 [104th just returned from Afghanistan 4th