Nichols, Max Ernest, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing
Service Years
1951 - 1967
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

101 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt John Paul Jones, Sr. (JJ) to remember Nichols, Max Ernest, Maj.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Houghton, NY
Last Address
Takhli RTAFB, Thailand

Casualty Date
Nov 17, 1967
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Barrancas National Cemetery - Pensacola, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
30E 011

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Aviator (Senior)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
41st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron355th Tactical Fighter Wing
  1966-1967, 1025A, 41st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
  1966-1967, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1973 Vietnam War1
 My Aircraft/Missiles
EB-66 Destroyer  
  1966-1967, EB-66 Destroyer
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The EB-66C Destroyer is a single piloted, twin engined turbojet aircraft re-configured as an Electronic Intellegence Platform (ELINT). The aircraft mission is to locate enemy (SAM) and (AAA) sites by monitoring the electronic emissions of the "FAN SONG" and "CAN FIRE" radars used by the North Vietnamese. On the morning of November 17, 1967, an EB-66C Destroyer, tail number 54-0473 of the 41 TEWS departed Takhli Royal Thai Air Base for a mission over North Vietnam. Shortly after takeoff the right engine failed and the pilot Maj. Max Nichols performed his engine out procedures and prepaired the aircraft and the crew for an Emergency Landing at Takhli. As the aircraft was on short final it demonstrated an excessive sink rate and landed about 1200 feet short of the runway threshold. The aircraft skided for a short distance , caught fire and exploded. Only two of the seven crew members escaped the burning aircraft. 
The EB-66 had a histroy of engine problems. The at or near max weight of the aircraft , hot climate and the fact that the aircraft was very hard to control with one engine out made a successful engine out takeoff and landing a slim prospect.


Personal Comment : The Douglas B-66 Destroyer was an good aircraft for what It was initially designed for. BY ripping out the bombay and inserting an electronic capsule and six men in ejection seats the mission for the aircraft changed but the design stayed the same. The aircraft basically the same airframe the Navy used with  proven J-57's. The Airforce chose the Allison.
This airplane on a hot Thailand day with a full load was at the envelope when it departed. Lose an engine and it wasn't pretty. We should have provided better!!!!!!!!! 
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