Watson, Harry Allen, SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Primary Unit
1970-1970, 315th Tactical Airlift Wing
Service Years
1955 - 1970
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Watson, Harry Allen, SSgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Indianapolis, Indiana

Casualty Date
Nov 29, 1970
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Ninh Thuan
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Fort Logan National Cemetery - Denver, Colorado
Wall/Plot Coordinates
06W 096 / L, 0, 255

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

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Aircrew Enlisted (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
310th Tactical Airlift Squadron315th Tactical Airlift Wing
  1970-1970, 310th Tactical Airlift Squadron
  1970-1970, 315th Tactical Airlift Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1970 Vietnam War - Commando Hunt V Campaign (1970-71)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-123 Provider  
  1970-1970, C-123 Provider
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was killed when the C-123 in which he was a crewman crashed into a hill 10-15 miles south of Cam Ranh Bay AB,(near Phan Rang Air Base, Ninh Thuan Province, RVN).

C-123K, (#54-0649), "Bookie 540", flight from Phan Rang AB to Cam Ranh Bay AB. There were 2 survivors, the other personnel were lost on impact, and were recovered between 12-16 December 1970.

Notes: The following note comes from V. J. Fairbrother, Jr. USAF (Retired)
Source: http://bswett.com/RVN/Bookie540.html
November 29, 1970 C-123K crash from Phan Rang to Cam Ranh Bay

"You mentioned that there were no American survivors of this flight. In fact, the only two were two Americans, my father, Vincent Fairbrother, and Gary Aldredge. They survived for 7 days with no food or water. I discovered your "Year in Vietnam" b/c I googled the Flight number b/c we were thinking of the anniversary which just passed. Just wanted to let you know. Thank you for looking for him. This is what he just wrote: Day of Remembrance, November 29th, 1970 Thirty Seven Years ago this day in Vietnam, a C-123K, 54-0649, Flight Bookie 540, on a routine milk run (passenger) mission from Phan Rang to Cam Rahn Bay crashed into a Mountain Ridge 14 Miles outside Cam Rahn Bay.

On board that aircraft were 44 people, 32 U.S. Military and 12 South Vietnamese. The crash site was located a week later, on December 5th, by U.S. Army Rangers and South Vietnamese Rangers. There were only two survivors, myself and Sgt Gary Aldredge. For some unknown reason we survived the crash, our injuries, and having no food or water for seven days. The Day of Remembrance is for those 30 American Servicemen who died that morning and to their families. I have not forgotten and neither has Gary. I have been to the Wall many times. I have touched each and every name of those men killed that day. You will forever be in my thoughts."

Those Men:
U.S. Air Force Crew losses:
Capt. Cecil Moyer, Pilot/Crew
Capt. Norbert Podhajsky, Crew
1LT James Saxby, Crew
SSgt Grayson Newberry, Crew
SSgt Harry Watson, Crew

U.S. Air Force non-crew losses:
1 LT Elmon C. Caudill
1LT Jon King
1LT Charles L. Kollenberg
Sgt Ronald C. Teschandorf
Sgt Billie Jack Hogan
MSgt Bobby Seay
TSgt Robert B. Johnson
 SSgt James C. Starnes
SSgt Ralph S. Guck
SGT James Stubblefield
A1C James B. Young

U.S. Army losses:
Capt William D. Kennedy
Capt Robert J. Polniak
CW2 Franklin D. Defenbaugh
Sgt Raymond H. Gray
Sgt Joseph C. Blackwell
SP4 Jack R. Gibbs
SP4 Samuel A. Grayson, III
SP4 Charles A. Johnson, III
SP4 Donald A. Slate
SP4 George Beedy
SP4 Ronald R. Greenhouse
PFC Joseph A. Jacques
PFC Arthur J. Menn
Pvt. Gary Anderson

Diary Excerpt: http://bswett.com/RVN/1970.html
Sun 29 Nov - Bookie 540 [tail number 54-0649] crashed today at 0820, 15 miles south of Cam Ranh Bay. There were 44 people aboard, including 14 U.S. on their way to catch their freedom bird. I flew 2.2 with the "Walt" FAC (O-2) looking for Bookie 102. Didn't find them. Bill Pantle flew the second sortie with the FAC. Didn't find them. At the bar that night, some idiot said, "Why are you and Bill busting your humps flying with the FAC? They're probably all dead anyway." I blew my top: "Look, Mac, if it's you laying out there in the weeds all busted, what're you thinking?" He said, "I guess I'm hoping somebody's coming to get me." I said, "Right! That's why Bill and I are looking for them. We've got to keep the faith." He put his head down and nodded.

Mon 30 Nov - Stood by all day to search for Bookie 102 and 540. Total of 123 people, 38 U.S. Weather in the hills was impossible. No use losing another bird. But hard waiting. Glad to hear that Dusty Rhodes wasn't on Bookie 540. [He had finished his tour and was going to Cam Ranh Bay to catch his freedom bird. As he was walking out to Bookie 540 a friend of his said "Why don't you come and ride with me?" so he changed aircraft at the last minute.]

Fri 4 Dec - Packing and clearing. Bookie 540 was found today on a mountain south of Cam Ranh Bay at 2600 feet. GCA operator flew him into the mountain -- 5 nautical mile radar range error. There were two VN survivors, found making their way West toward the highway, no American survivors. [37 years later, I learned there were two American survivors. They were found the next day, 5 December, at the crash site.]"
His enter service year is approximate.
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