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Info Sheet - John Patrick Carter

SSG Avionics NCOIC Marble Mountain and DaNang 1972


John Patrick Carter  SSG E-6 F Troop Avionics NCOIC and Allied Shops PSG, Marble Mountain then DaNang, June 1972 to December 1972, primary MOS 35P4H. The Aircraft Maintenance Platoon Leader was CPT Hoodenpyle and the Maintenance Platoon Sergeant was MSG Schenck. I was the Avionics NCOIC and Allied Shops Platoon Sergeant.

Avionics was fractured like the rest of the unit with 3 operating locations where?. One unit was assigned to 12th CAG, another attached to 11th CAG. Our unit had good morale and had a good combat record. Our maintenance unit shared a hangar with Dust Off at Marble Mountain AAF and were billeted in Quonset huts on East perimeter road. We had a wire fence separating us from the water.

Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF), also known as Da Nang East Airfield, Marble Mountain Army Airfield and Nuoc Man Airfield, was controlled by the United States Army from May 1971 to August 1972 and finally by the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) from 29 August 1972 to 29 March 1975. Some time in 1972 it stood down and was turned into a refugee center. Our maintenance moved to Danang AB at that time and shared a hangar with 1st Special Operations Squadron (AF C130). Our billeting was at "Camp Swampy" an Old Marine Air Wing complex. On the first week of August 72 We took lots of rockets at night. Later in August 1972 the 11th Aviation Group departed Marble Mountain Army Airfield and resettled at Da Nang AB. On 5 September 1972 the base was handed over to the South Vietnamese.

I have no record of the Avionics repairmen that worked with me. Most of the 35Ks (Avionics guys) were at Tan My. Our Avionics was a mess. We were short people, shop equipment and TMDE people (Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment). There were rumors of stand down. Most TMDE was not needed now. We got support from the Transportation Company AVIM (Army Aviation Intermediate Maintenance).

I was, at the time, a SSG. My E-6 DOR was from 1970 was trained as a 31Q30 in 1966 at SESS Ft Gordon (now Ft Eisenhower). From 1966 to 1970 worked at 2nd Log. Cmd. at Machinato Depot PMOS 35M20 & SMOS 35L20. Attended 35P avionics maintenance supervisor course and converted from SP6 to SSG in 1970. Served as avionics instructor at SESS from 1970 to 1972. Volunteered for RVN; attended RVN POR training at Ft. Gordon and deployed to RVN. First assigned to 1st Avn. Bde, 12th Group and then to 73rd SAC an OV-1 company at Long Thanh North until stand down in late spring 1972. Where does 3/4 Cav come into this? My first encounter with F/4 aircraft maintenance was at Marble Mountain AAF where we shared a hanger with a Medevac company. CPT Hoodenpyle was Maintenance Officer. MSG Schenck was Maint. PSG and boss. There were approx. 6 Avionics Repairmen. The others were mostly 35Ks at Tan My Island. In addition to avionics NCOIC, I performed duties as Allied Shops PSG.

Integrat this in: We were billeted in Quonset huts on East side of airfield looking out on the water but separated by wire fence. The unit was divided with rear at Long Binh; The bulk of personnel were at Tan My Island and Maintenance at Marble Mountain. until MMAAF closure when Maintenance moved to Danang AB where we shared hangar with 1st SOS Sqrn with C-130s we occupied south side of hangar. Billeting was at Camp Swampy. The old Marine Air Wing area. At this time most avionics work ceased. No real shop. TMDE turned in. short personnel. We did 35K work on aircraft in for intermediate inspection and farmed out bench work to Trans Co. AVIM.
Things were winding down slowly. The first of August PhuBai AAF was evacuated
South to Danang. We received regular rocket attacks at night in Camp Swampy during that time. We hosted the commander's secretary and others PCSing and on R&R. We knew we were going to stand down but had no details. Never saw an outfit like this. Assigned to 12th CAG. Attached to 11th CAG. 3 operating locations. Still accomplished mission. Transferred out before XMAS ITT to 271st AVN
(ASH) at Cp. Humphreys ROK. Promoted to SFC E7 in Germany. DOR 1976. I didn't know unit had yearbook. When I got there it was all band aided together.

John Patrick CARTER  SFC US Army Ret.
Wife: Tokie        2912 Carey Court Augusta, GA. 30909-6125
tel: (706)447-3989.
EARLY 65-72
Enlisted: 1965 SESS 31Q30 (?????).   1966-1970 2nd Log Cmd Machinato Depot Okinawa 35M/35L.
SP6. SESS 35P40 course convert to SSG.  SESS Instructor 1970-1971.   RVN 1972 
73rd SAC Long Thanh North AAF to summer 1972 stand down 35P4H. Summer 1972 to 
24 Dec 72 F/4 Aircraft Maintenance at Marble Mountain later Danang AB.
POST RVN 73-79
1973,1974 271st Aviation (ASH) APO SF 96271 Camp Humphreys ROK
1975 USA Signal School ANCOES, Air Traffic Control Maintenance Course.
1976-1979 Air Traffic Control Maintenance 59th ATC BN Schwaebich Hall Germany
1979 FAA Academy Oklahoma City OK. ASR-8 Surveillance Radar Course
1979 ETS from active component. Employed as Senior Avionics Technician at Collins Avionics, Division of Rockwell International.
Melbourne Florida. Enlisted in Army Reserve as Individual Mobilization Augmentee.
1990-1991 Mobilized Desert Shield/Storm Hq Third Army (ARCENT) G4 SA, Iraq, Kuwait.
2005 Retired from USAR SFC E7. Now live just outside gate 1 of Fort Eisenhower (Ft Gordon), GA.