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OUR STORY MOB VETERAN'S FORUM PERSONAL PAGES MEMBER PHOTOS IN MEMORIAM NEW PHOTOS & POSTS REUNIONS LINKS
VA ISSUES: AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE = EXTREMELY HIGH RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER AMONG MOB VETERANS
Mobility & Detachment Locations
See the new MOB patch
(reproduction of the original circa 1971)
soon to be available to interested Mobility Operations Veterans
(& their friends and family).
F4 Crew Chief Receives Purple Heart 39 years after being wounded at TSN during Tet mortar attacks.
8th Aerialport Airman receives Purple Heart for wounds at Bu Dop nearly 40 years ago.
Note our new domain name: Now this site can be reached at http://8thMob.org
Our Unit; Our History in Vietnam
The 8th Aerial Port Squadron, was a squadron of the 834th Air Division, USAF, with headquarters at 377th Combat Support Group's Tan Son Nhut Airbase*. 8th APS was responsible for tactical airlift aerialport support throughout southern South Vietnam. 8th APS supplied the teams that loaded and unloaded the planes that carried personnel and cargo into, out of and throughout the countryside of the southern areas of Vietnam. It's headquarters was at the Tan Son Nhut airfield in Saigon, former capital of South Vietnam. Although now officially known as "Ho Chi Minh City", it is - and will likely be forever - recognized as "Saigon".
McGowan) 8th Aerial Port wasn't always under
the 377th Combat Support Group. Originally, it was
organized under the 315th Air Division and the
Second ADVON. When 834th Air Division activated
under Seventh Air Force in August 1966, 8th Aerial
Port fell under it, along with the 315th Air
When this site began, I'd been pretty much out
of touch with other MOB team members for about
thirty years, so it was based mostly upon my own
recollections of 1970. As the site has grown,
it's collected comments, information, photos and
stories from MOB members, as well as the
loadmasters, pilots, Special Forces and US Army
members we worked with . This is not "my"
website, it's "our" website and grows in meaning
and value because of the contributions of all
readers and friends.
Although the 8th Aerial Port handled all cargo and passenger traffic at "the world's busiest airport" (Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon), it also included a lesser known special organization known as "Dets & OL's" - Detachments and Operating Locations - which included 8th APS' Mobility Operations, which we simply called "The MOB teams".
Detachments ("Dets") typically included 6-10 men stationed at larger US Army base camps with runways, running water and sufficient need to justify a full-time USAF presence to handle passenger and cargo traffic at more or less permanent bases. 8th APS had permanent detachments at Bien Hoa, Cu Chi, Tay Ninh, Song Be, Quan Loi, Phuc Vinh and other bases to the north of Saigon as well as Can Tho, Binh Thuy and other bases deeper in the delta.
These detachments (such as TayNinh's,
photo from Ssgt Jim Lavender) typically included
relatively permanent buildings, communications
facilities, US Army defenses and hot meals... ... and
frequent attacks by the Viet Cong, and in some cases
even the troops of the North Vietnamese regular army.
("OLs") were spread all over the countryside and were manned as needed by 7-man
"Mob" teams of the Mobility Operations Branch,
a part of Dets & OLs. On these missions, the mixed
teams of Loadmasters and Air Freight specialists lived
on the largess of their hosts or subsisted on
C-rations and slept in very crude bunkers, muddy holes
in the ground or directly under the stars - often
outside of the SF defensive perimeter. Communication
was supplied by 2-man Air Force "Blue Beret" Combat
Control Teams (CCT) or the infamous antiquated,
unreliable and very heavy PRC-25 'radio' which almost
never seemed to work as expected...
Caribou Pilot Ken Fillmore's Photo of the Djamap Airstrip, along the Cambodian border in 1970
Djamap, aka "FSB Snuffy" to the Army, was a frequent operating location for 8th MOB teams.
(from the C7Caribou Association website).
This site is dedicated to those airmen who participated in
Aerial Port Mobility Operations
throughout Vietnam, during time of conflict,
and salutes those who carry on the tradition of the original 8th Aerialport MOB in the Mobility Airlift Command units of today's Air Force.
Our equipment included just about everything required to create an 'instant cargo center' in the jungle - 10-thousand-pound-capacity Adverse Terrain Forklifts - the famous "10k AT", designed specifically for missions such as ours, the smaller "6k RT" Rough Terrain forklift, the PRC-25 "portable" radios and our personal gear - M16's for the team members, plus revolvers for the team chiefs, as well as other weapons collected in our travels... and, of course, the ubiquitous military clip board - although maintaining paper records was always a challenge under our working conditions...
In both cases, the planes handled by these 8th APS teams typically included C-7 Caribous of the USAF, US Army Special Forces, and the Australian AAF, USAF C-123s based within Vietnam and many C-130's manned by crews based outside of Vietnam, but on 30-day rotating tours "in country". We also occasionally handled - and traveled in - Chinook CH-47 Cargo helicopters of the US Army. Sometimes, our teams had to be transported - or evacuated - by UH-1b "Huey" choppers as well.
These locations were typically at remote Special Forces camps or 1st Cav artillery bases, although the 8th Mob also supported the Vietnamese & U.S. Marine Corps at times, and some Mob team members received commendations from the U.S. and Vietnamese Marine Corps.
The Special Forces camps at Bu Dop, Tonle Cham, Katum, Rang Rang and others along the Cambodian border were frequently visited by the MOB teams for 1-3 day stays. U.S. Army Fire Support Bases such as Bu Gia Map (FSB Snuffy, aka Djampa on Air Force maps) and others were also familar to these traveling freight handlers.
While much of the time, things were quiet and the only dangers were accidents, sunburn, heat exhaustion, homesickness and malaria, there were also many times when the Viet Cong added to the danger and attacked these teams at work.
There were many other incidents such as described above. The hope of this site's webmaster is to provide a chronicle of the history and personal stories of these men and the others who, although enlisted in the USAF, lived and worked with the US Army & US Army Special Forces organizations thoughout some of the most dangerous territory in the war zone.
- Alan Runfeldt, USAF 1968-72, Vietnam 1970, Thailand, 1971.
Note: The above accounts
are personal recollections (after 30 years)
of one Mob Team member. We welcome your
comments, additions and corrections.
See our "Personal
Pages" links below for member's own
Photos - we need photos -
of any of the places mentioned within these
pages. Photos of the places we worked at
provide a verifiable link between our
often-fogged memories and the reality of our
lives 30 years ago. Thank you for any photos
you can provide us with.
other sites which may be of interest to 8thAPS
Visit the New - Member Photos directory
8th Aerial Port (III & IV Corps, Tan Son Nhut):
Most of our missions were to small dirt strips adjacent to Special Forces Camps. Most - if not all - of the places mentioned below are documented on the Special Forces web site at http://www.thespecialforce.com/Camps/camps.htm
8th APS OLs - places we passed through on the way to work:
a Thanksgiving Day Song of the 60's...
for those of you who remember a song from long ago....
a special song...
(30 years later)
listen and enjoy, compliments of The 8th MOB Teams
Check our ASK3 survey results - 8thmob.org ~ NoDeadlines.com/vietnam
Please contact the webmaster via the guestbook or by using this secure message form.
~ Feb, 2013 ~