Mudie, Jack, Lt Col
Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
12A3E-Airlift Navigator C-141
Last AFSC Group
Navigator
Last Unit
1969-1970, 0011, Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)
Service Years
1950 - 1973
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

100 kb

Home State
Michigan
Michigan
Year of Birth
1926
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Harry McCown (Mac) to remember Mudie, Jack (Jack), Lt Col.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Detroit
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jun 30, 2016
 
Location of Interment
Riverside National Cemetery - Riverside, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
I am still working on Jack's profile so please bare with me as I gather more info.
   
Other Comments:
This is a message that I received from Jack in 2006 that tells the story of how he washed out of the pilot training program:

 On 2 December 1950, my assignment out of aviation cadets was to an R&D flight test squadron at Griffiss AFB, New York, where we had quite a variety of aircraft, including five B-17's that had been stripped of all armor and armament for electronic test support.  It was part of Air Materiel Command but was soon absorbed into the newly formed ARDC several months after I checked in.  I may as well start with why I signed up for the newly reopened aviation cadet navigation program.  
 
The wait for pilot training in both the Air Force and the Navy was several months in late 1949, and I was eager to get away from Los Angeles and get started in a "new life."  I'd enjoyed the navigation training I'd already had in the Navy V-5/V-12/NROTC program at Western Michigan and RPI in 1944-46, so I figured nav school would be a piece of cake.  It pretty much was, but I soon discovered the reality of it being a pilot's Air Force and started the paper work for pilot school as soon as I'd completed the requirement of one year as a nav.  I completed the final physical on 16 January 1952.  The next day changed all those plans.
 
I was at the APQ-13 radar set on the right side of the aircraft slightly to the rear of the radio operator on the left.  My face went into the scope and separated my upper jaw, amazingly only breaking one tooth into three parts.  Bloody and bad as that looked, what was nearly fatal was the pulmonary edema caused when my chest went into the table edge.  The Norma pencil ... remember those four-barrels? ... probably kept me from having a pretty badly damaged rib cage ... and heart.  Nothing at all broken there.  I wasn't even knocked out, but I had ... still have ... retrograde amnesia for about an hour before the crash.  That was determined when I was asked what the last thing I remembered was.  I recalled looking out the waist window and noticing how identical to Griffiss AFB's were the runways at  Syracuse's Hancock Airport, except for our long runway 33 for the jet fighters of the 27th Fighter Squadron.  The pilot, Capt. Henry Van Vleet, said that we'd been over there about an hour before we came back to Griffiss.
 
Van Vleet was an IP in the left seat checking out 1st Lt. Wayne Schobert to be an IP.   Wayne had flown 35 missions as a B-17 pilot in the 8th Air Force and had been recalled for 21 months during the Air Force build-up for Korea.  Henry suffered a few burns, but he actually walked away from the crash scene, as did one of the two sergeants sitting at the former waist gunner positions in the waist.  Their seats were facing the tail. They were both flight engineers and were on the flight, as I was myself, to get a couple of flying hours needed to complete the required four hours before the 20th of the month.  I'd been on leave in California until about the 10th and had only about two hours in at the time --- a flight to Westchester County Airport and back the previous day after completing the physical for pilot school in the morning.  The radio operator, Sgt. Jack Nichols, was killed when the radio equipment behind his seat came loose.  I was fortunate that the radar operator's seat was just before the bulkhead separating the radio room from the waist.
 
I didn't realize the real cause of the accident until about 50 years later when I was able to acquire a copy of the 104-page accident report through an Internet site.  The pilots were attempting a landing during a freezing rain, and when we were nearing touchdown, Van Vleet was leaning out the left window trying to scrape the freezing rain off the windshield.  In doing so, he leaned against the control column, which put the aircraft into a sudden descent that was just enough to hit the top of that elm tree.  (See the color photo above that I took from a T-6 about two years later.)  One of the many ironies of the accident was that our squadron had a C-47 and a pair of pilots assigned to test new ILS equipment at Norton, but Griffiss itself had no such letdown system.  Nor was there a GCA available. 
 
The aircraft broke up considerably, as you can see from the photos above.  I was hung up in twisted control cables with fire all around me ... but none of it touching me.  Three civilians raced down that hill, despite the fire and danger of a third explosion.  One of them, Joe Coffey, held the cables apart while Jim Box grabbed my shoulders to drag me away from the fire.  (The NY Times article erroneously said Joe was "James" Coffey.)  It was Joe's first day back on the job working for his father-in-law's furniture store, and he was measuring for carpeting in a ground floor room in the house we narrowly missed hitting.  He'd recently had half his stomach removed for ulcers, which probably started when he was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, surviving both Normandy and Bastogne . . . and everything else in between!
 
The flight test squadron had a reunion at Alexandria Bay, NY, in 1996, and three of us caravanned down to Rome after the reunion was over.  It was sad to see the broken-down barns and apparently deserted farms along the way, and Rome itself was quite depressed, not only because almost all the Air Force had departed, but because long-time, major employer Rome Cable had recently closed.  Revere Copper and Brass was also gone.  Three of us ---Bob Byrom, Gerry Diesfeld, and myself --- wanted to take a stroll down memory lane, not the least important stop on which would be the Savoy Restaurant, which the three wives concurred was the best watering hole any of us had experienced in our careers.  Bob had gone to Griffiss after cadets with me, and he'd hand-carried his pilot school application through HQ ARDC in Baltimore and HQ USAF.  He flew an F-4 tour in the 432nd TRW in '69-'70 and retired as a full colonel.  Gerry left the Air Force after he completed his three-year duty and went to medical school, recently retiring after 40+ years as a physician in Arcade, NY.
 
The next two inserts are from a recent history one of the former squadron commanders assembled.
 
That was my Andy Warhol allocation, I guess, but I was a very fortunate camper.  The retrograde amnesia and unconsciousness for more than 15 minutes disqualified me from pilot training.  I was still conscious when they finally got me to the base hospital, but the lights went out about 12:30 or so, and I came to sometime that evening.  The first thing I wondered was if my relatively new Olds 88 convertible was badly damaged.  That's another story.  I was able to get back on flying status on a waiver about 15 months later in the spring of 1953.  I wouldn't have stayed in if I hadn't gotten the waiver, which I guess I had on my flying status for the remaining 20 years.  I certainly would have missed a lot of interesting experiences and terrific people, especially during my ten years in SAC.  Life then and since has been pretty good.
 
Got a little verbonotonous, but I thought that my personal reflections about the accident would be interesting . . . and you said you'd like to see the pictures. 
 
Best regards,
 
Jack 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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 Unit Assignments
345th Bombardment Group, Medium - Air Apaches40th Air DivisionSecond Air Force (2nd Air Force)Strategic Air Command (SAC)
524th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy379th Bombardment Wing, HeavyMilitary Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)
  1958-1961, 12A3E, 345th Bombardment Group, Medium - Air Apaches
  1960-1964, 1541E, 40th Air Division
  1960-1964, 1541E, Second Air Force (2nd Air Force)
  1960-1964, 1541E, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
  1961-1964, 12A3E, 524th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1961-1964, 12A3E, 379th Bombardment Wing, Heavy
  1969-1970, 0011, Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1965-1973 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
Western Michigan UniversityRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUniversity of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  1944-1945, Western Michigan University
  1945-1946, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  1946-1948, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  B-47 Stratojet  B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)  
  1949-1950, B-17 Flying Fortress
  1953-1961, B-47 Stratojet
  1960-1973, B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jul 27, 2016, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Navigators and Observers AssociationAir Force Memorial (AFM)
  1985, Air Force Navigators and Observers Association
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
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