Chris Hartley's Web Sites About
  & 8th APS Detachment at Song Be

USAF 8th APS MOB Patch
Rob Carson's patch
on display at
Wright Pat AFB

Eighth Aerial Port Squadron, USAF

Aerial Port Mobility Operations
Aerial Port Mobility Team (AMT)

"The 8th MOB"

an integral part of Tactical Airlift in Vietnam, 1965-1975
 (III Corps & IV Corps)

8th Mob Patch courtesy of Cary Louderbeck
Cary Louderback's
patch (1971)
photo by daughter
now expanded to include those who served in Mobility Operations or at the I Corps & II Corps Dets & OLS of
14th Aerial Port Squadron (Cam Ranh Bay) & 15th Aerial Port Squadron (Danang) & 8th Aerial Port Squadron Detachments

The Mission

of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron's Mobility Operations Branch (8 APS MOB) was to assure that the C-7, C-123 & C-130's landing at remote airstrips were quickly and safely loaded and unloaded. Our 3 7-man teams served as "the airport" at remote, often quite dangerous locations "in the bush".

Most of our missions during 1970 were in support of the Fifth Special Forces and First Air Cav, but over the years, our teams went about everywhere and supported a wide range of ground units - including the US and Vietnamese Marines. A MOB Team was at Khe Sanh throughout the infamous siege in 1968. Our teams were there and they distinguished ourselves.

We were there again - and at forward dirt airfields all along the border in May of 1970, when the war overflowed into Cambodia for a while. It was 8th MOB crews - augmented with volunteers from Danang & Cam Ranh - that kept the supplies flowing into the places it was needed.

8th MOB was there at Khe Sanh again, years later as Lam Son 719 sent troops into Laos.

8th APS MOB not only covered III Corps and IV Corps. Artillery Outposts and Special Forces Camps, but went pretty much anywhere in the country in support of Tactical Airlift Missions in remote areas.

MOB Teams were generally 7 men. 3-4 (AFSC 60751) Loadmasters and 3-4 (AFSC 60551) Air Cargo Specialists. This combination gave our teams the resources to plan, load and balance and secure cargo in any plane that landed - and had to take off from - anywhere in Vietnam.

Our equipment consisted of Flak Vests, M16's, USAF Colt 38 and what ever other weapons we could acquire during our travels. M-14, SKS, AK-47, 45-Caliber Grease Gun, M79 Grenade Launcher, 9MM hand gun, etc...

AND, a Flying Forklift

                          Mob Patch courtesy of Cary Louderbeck

A1c Runfeldt transporting 122mm howitzer
                        using USAF 463L 10K AT; SSgt Roy Shinley -
                        Djamap, RVN 1970
Typical Load for an AT in the field - US Army 102 howizter, about to be loaded onto C-123 at Djamap, spring, 1970
A1C Runfeldt, TSgt Shinley
We used 6k Rough Terrain Forklifts and 10K Adverse Terrain Forklifts, depending upon the mission and the size of the aircraft we were working with. For small fields that handled only Caribous, we worked by hand. When we flew into a field that could handle a C-123, we'd bring along a 6k RT. If the airstrip could handle a C-130. we'd use the 10K AT - our favorite.

Today, fifty years later, updated versions of the 10K AT are still a favorite among Air Mobility Command crews.

It was a dangerous job, and our commander Col Lisec once lamented that during his time, he'd had to hand out 18 Purple Hearts to members of 8th Aerialport Squadron - many of which were awarded to MOB Team members...

And Webb Layton was killed at Budop in December of 1969.

This web site is about - and is dedicated to - those guys who served in 8th MOB - and in related units of 8th, 14th & 15th Aerialport Squadrons, Operating Locations and Detachments in Vietnam.


Mobility & Detachment Locations

Follow This Link to Sgt.Chris Hartley's NEW 8th MOB Web Site

Website of the current (2011) Air Mobility Command
"perfecting what we had begun"

8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron

"These guys were airmen living a soldier's life at remote air strips deep in the VC-infested jungle... "
"Some of us saw more than the average Air force guy" - Mike Warren '68-70 

Since we were all volunteers, and since not all volunteers were accepted,
and since many times the 'volunteers' were chosen to join MOB by existing members,
we were also known as

"The Chosen Few"

In June of '68, Mobility Unit was called
CMT/Combat Mobility Team.
It was sort of the disciplinary unit for the "bad boys" of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron.

We were somewhat uncontrollable, ragged looking, not always in sync with the brass, so we were sent out of sight and out of mind of the main base at Tan Son Nhut.

But today, we are known for what we did - by the people that mattered - The Special Forces teams we served, the air crews we augmented, and others who needed our help
to get the job done.

SSgt Dick Hageman - Mobility and Det. Tay Ninh, 1968-69

from the 834th Air Division "Airlifter" June, 1970

Col. Bettis
                      Article. Airlifter June 1970

A1c Runfeldt transporting 122mm howitzer using
                  USAF 463L 10K AT; SSgt Roy Shinley - Djamap, RVN 1970

Welcome to
for assistance or to ask a question or add your story, please contact the webmaster using this form

A Bit of History from the Air Mobility Command Museum web site:

Between 1962 and 1973, Military Air Transport Service/Military Airlift Command and Tactical Air Command transports airlifted more than 7 million tons passengers and cargo within the theater area.

By comparison, Allied aircraft carried about 2 million tons during the Berlin Airlift and million tons during the Korean War. As in World War II and the Korean Conflict, tactical airlifters again proved in Vietnam that they could deliver the goods.

Their success cost dearly, however, as 53 C-130s, 50 C-123s and 20 C-7s were lost along with 269 crew members either killed or missing in action.

8th APS Commander Col. Victor Lisec reported in 1970 that he presented 18 Purple Hearts to members of the 8th Aerialport unit since he took command in November of 1969 - and two of them were awarded to one member - possibly the only aerial porter to receive two Purple Hearts during one tour in Vietnam.

We are proud to announce that we have been included on Georgia Tech's Excellent Vietnam War Resources website

2014.10.13 - Jim Wade's son (SMSgt Jeff Wade) returns from deployment and surprises daughter at school. (Jim spent quite a bit of time in Vietnam during multiple tours and was a member of 8th APS MOB 1969-70.) see video at KATV web site.


Sgt. Neil Brown and his 10k
                        AT - Budop, 1969

Sgt Neil Brown and his 10kAT at Budop, November, 1969.

Sgt Brown had been separating Fuel Bladders and Pallets of Live Ammo during a mortar attack when an incoming mortar round ignited a fuel bladder right behind him. He could not move forward; he could not back up. He was trapped in the blaze and had to abandon his forklift and escape on foot. The ensuing fire and explosions continued for hours, effectively destroying the entire supply of both fuel and ammunition - from small arms to howitzer shells, as can be seen in the foreground.

After the fire was over and explosions had died down, this was what was left of the 10 K Adverse Terrain forklift.

This is the photo we have been trying to track down for many years.
A framed copy of this photo was on the wall outside of 8th APS Squadron Commander Col. Lisec's office at TSN and was the first photo many of us saw of the MOB teams at work in Vietnam when we arrived there in January of 1970.
photo courtesy of Connie Lisec from the collection of Colonel Victor Lisec.

See another photo of this AT as it was burning.

Plaque Awarded to Rick Phillips at the
                          end of his tour.

Plaque Awarded to Rick Phillips at the end of his tour.

8th MOB Plaque Air Force Museum

Plaque on display at the National Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

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