In this Book

summary
Combat Talons in Vietnam is a personal account of the first use of C-130s in the Vietnam War. It provides an insider’s view of crew training and classified missions for the technologically advanced aircraft. Many covert missions over North Vietnam came and went, but one night John Gargus, by then a mission planner, oversaw an operation in which the aircraft—carrying eleven crewmembers—did not return.

Because of the clandestine nature of these missions, Gargus was not permitted to inform the families of the crew where and under what circumstances they perished. He could only say that the aircraft failed to return from a nighttime mission and that the search for it was in progress. This was the official explanation, and it remained so for thirty years.
 
In the late 1990s, the Combat Talon veteran community at Hurlburt Field in Florida, still uncertain of the full story, decided to dedicate a memorial to the lost crew. Knowing that many wartime mission records were now declassified, Gargus soon embarked on a long journey of inquiry, research, and puzzle solving to reconstruct the events of that mission and the fate of its crew. He discovered that the wreckage of the plane had been found in 1992 and that the remains of the crew were being held in Hawaii. Through numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews, and site visits, Gargus sought to answer the question of why it took so long to find the wreckage and, more importantly, why the special operations command units and crewmember families were left uninformed. By 2000, largely through Gargus’s efforts, the remains were relocated to a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. 1. Attraction to Special Operations
  2. pp. 4-13
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  1. 2. Stray Goose Training
  2. pp. 14-38
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  1. 3. Vietnam
  2. pp. 39-59
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  1. 4. Nha Trang Facilities
  2. pp. 60-84
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  1. 5. Realities of War
  2. pp. 85-124
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  1. 6. Daddy Is Coming Home!
  2. pp. 125-141
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  1. 7. Crash Site Recovery
  2. pp. 142-168
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  1. 8. Official Information Sources
  2. pp. 169-185
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 186-198
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  1. Appendix A: The Last Mission of Combat Talon’s S-01 Crew
  2. Colonel John Gargus, USAF (Ret.)
  3. pp. 199-216
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  1. Appendix B: Transcribed Teletype Messages
  2. pp. 217-248
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  1. Appendix C: Combat Talon Aircraft Losses
  2. pp. 249-252
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  1. List of Abbreviations
  2. pp. 253-256
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 257-260
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 261-264
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 265-272
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781623495138
Print ISBN
9781623495121
MARC Record
OCLC
980213650
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-02
Language
English
Open Access
N
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