Jackson, Carl Edwin, Capt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1965-1965, Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)/Special Operations Group (MACV SOG)
Service Years
1947 - 1965

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Alan Jackson-Family to remember Jackson, Carl Edwin, Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Bien Hoa, Vietnam

Casualty Date
Jun 27, 1965
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
02E 021

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Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
Special Operations UnitsMilitary Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)/Special Operations Group (MACV SOG)
  1965-1965, 1115B, 1131st USAF Special Activities Squadron/1131st USAF Special Activities Squadron Detachment 9
  1965-1965, Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV)/Special Operations Group (MACV SOG)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1961-1973 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-123 Provider  
  1965-1965, C-123 Provider
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Unit: 1st Flight Detachment, MACV-SOG 1131st Special Activities Squadron, 12th Det Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Loss Coordinates noted by the USG at time of loss: 101307N 1064405E (XT990095) Loss Coordinates suspected by JTF-FA in 1998: 48P YT 02830 04566, near the village of Xom Long Dinh Acft/Vehicle/Ground: C-123 [vehicle number not listed in USG downed aircraft file

Missions: Accumulated 4200 hours of flying time throughout his career in the Air Force, prior to his shootdown. Other Personnel In Incident: S/Sgt. Billie Leroy Roth, (only other missing American) and 14 more "Chinese Nationalists." Refno: 0104 Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK with material provided by Alan Jackson, Carl Jackson's son, in 1998. Updated 2003. REMARKS: MID-AIR EXPLODE NE SAIGON-J [family conversations with former CIA personnel contradict this USG statement]

SYNOPSIS: The Fairchild C123 "Provider" was a night attack system/transport aircraft based on an all-metal glider designed by Chase Aircraft. The airplane's C123B prototype first flew on September 1, 1954. The C123B, in the hands of a group of airmen who called themselves "The Mule Train" became the first transport to see Vietnam service. The C123B transports were soon joined by UC-123Bs of the now-controversial Project Ranch Hand which sprayed pesticides and herbicides over Vietnam, including Agent Orange. The Provider, particularly in camouflage paint with mottled topside and light bottomside, resembled an arched-back whale suspended from the bottom midpoint of huge dorsal wings. Like other transports, the Provider proved its versatility during the Vietnam war. The C123 also dispensed flares to illuminate targets for fighters or tactical bombers, and were dubbed "Candlestick" when they served in this capacity.

The MACV-SOG personnel in this incident were commanded directly out of the Pentagon by JCS. One was not just assigned to this detachment, but rather interviewed for it at the Pentagon, so the work was extraordinary even applying Air Commando standards. The aircraft had no standard markings on it, but were painted with a unique camo pattern of low-reflectivity black, green and brown paint. The aircraft was rigged with pylons on it. Runways were often replaced by landing on very wide roads.

The 1131st flew only at night. They operated in a shroud of secrecy, no reports, no tail numbers due to MACV-SOG. All aircraft were sanitized as well as the nationality and individuality of those on board. The idea was "just make it happen." Capt. Carl E. Jackson enlisted in the Air Force in 1957 for two years. He re-enlisted in the Air Force Researve, active duty in 1960. He was one of the elite chosen to work with MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia.

Capt. Jackson flew the C123 Provider in Vietnam. SSgt. Billie L. "Sam" Roth was on stand-by as a C123 cargo master, the night he was assigned to fly with Jackson. Jackson, Roth, and 14 "Chinese Nationalists" were on board the night the flight was reported downed. The co-pilot as well was Chinese. DoD declassified this information in the mid '90s.

The family of Captain Jackson was told that on Sunday evening, word had it that Nha Trang was about to be under rocket and mortor attack. Jackson and his commanding officer headed for the jeep. Jackson dropped off his C/O at one aircraft and drove to his own. Apparently, the destination was Ton Son Nhut Air Base. June 27, 1965, while on final approach, Jackson's C123 started receiving ground-fire and subsequently crashed. Rescue crews arrived at the scene and found that there were no survivors. The FBI was brought in to fingerprint all on board however, and none of the bodies could be identified as Capt. Carl E. Jackson, USAF.

Throughout the years, the U.S. government has still not positively located his crash site. There have been at least two sites that correlated with his flight. Further investigation of both sites proved negative results. It has been rumored that his aircraft was flying somewhere near North Vietnam and that his C123 did take ground fire and crash. No one knew for sure whether or not anyone survived. The aircraft supposedly crashed north of "Thud Ridge."

Over the years, the Jackson family and the Roth family have personally met to discuss the events. They have shared personal information with each other as well. On May 16th 1968, Chanute Air Force Base located in Illinios, dedicated a building to Capt. Carl E. Jackson, the first casualty from Chanute in Vietnam. The building was called, "Jackson Hall." A fine tribute to Carl Jackson can be found on the Internet at http://www.shreve.net/~skydive. Many family photos are posted.

Note:  My name is Sgt. Thomas LaRoe (Birddog). I was at Nha Trang Air Base in May of 1965 I was stationed with the Special C-123s controled by the CIA and the Pentagon indeed were Special. First off the Pilots were trained at Hurlbeurt Field in Florida and not only flown by American Pilots on special occasions but flown by Chinese Nationalists from Taiwan where these Special Birds were stationed at when not at Nha Trang Air Base Vietnam. Now the men that worked on these planes only knew them as the Gray Birds. These C-123s only maked by a letter on the inside of the side entrance door and they were 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' and at that time they were only painted a two tone gray they were not painted the unique Camouflage pattern of Black,Green and Brown. On the Day in question June 27th 1965 the Nha Trang Air Base was to come under attack so all the ground crew of the C-123 Gray Birds preped their planes for takeoff on the morning of June 27th 1965. Now Captain Carl Edwin Jackson's plane that night was the Gray Bird 'E' aircraft and it took off with the other five aircraft. Where they went after that was Top Secret to everyone except the crew. The crew of the planes didn't live on base not even the loadmasters or other Air Commando Airmen that flew with the planes they lived in Villas off base and were transported to the base in enclosed trucks as to be not known by the locals because each and everyone of the crew either Americn or Chinese Nationalists had a bounty on their heads by the North Vietnamese. That night our base was mortared with 8 rounds of mortar and 3 of them landed at the fuel depot which we use (the gray birds) killing two Airmen. The remaining other 5 rounds of mortar landed on each spot where we had the five C-123s parked earlier that day. It was only in the early hours of the morning that we learned that Captain Jackson and Air Commando Loadmaster SSgt Billie LeRoy Roth's plane had been shot down while attempting to land at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the late afternoon hours. It was on approach to the runway when it disappeared of the radar scopes.  

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