Reunion 2008 Report

"Reunion Photos"

"Treasurer's Report"

"Meeting Minutes"

{{ Please scroll down, this page is pretty long. }}

Well, if you missed the reunion in San Antonio, September 26th, 27th and 28th you missed another great gathering of "Old Tigers". While the numbers were not quite as high as originally hoped we did have a good turn-out and filled every seat in the banquet hall.

As you know, this was the first time the reunion co-ordination was turned over to a Professional group. This group was "The Reunion Brat", who herself is a military brat. The Reunion Brat works Military Reunions across the U.S. and Europe.

While there were a couple of small concerns during the reunion, there were no stumbling blocks and all was taken care of quickly, we learned from them and they learned from us. The service of The Reunion Brat was of such that they were approved and will again be serving as co-ordinator for our next reunion and passed unamimously by the vote at the business meeting.

With that said, I have, and I hope you will join me in planning and preparing for "Florida". After 8 years of trying, I finally wrangled enough votes the swing a try at the Florida Panhandle. My reasoning was really 3-fold. At least those of us who were in the first "Unit Manning Document" of the early TEWS, and were the Ferry Flight Crews getting the aircraft to Vietnam, spent some time at Hurlburt AFB in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area in Jungle and Water Survival in the Spring of 1966. WE, "The EC-47 Association", needed to give the folks living in the Southeast U.S. a reunion closer to home for them and finally, there are a number of Retiries in that part of the U.S.

On the sad side, for those of you who were not able to make the reunion, our speaker retired Col. John Griffith had to deal with the loss of his wife Mary just a week before the reunion. Flowers were sent by "The EC-47 Association" and Col. Griffith was able, without question, to continue and made a very interesting talk after the dinner. I also want to add that dispite the loss, he was able to have with him all but one family member who had planned to attend. He and his family and friends filled 3 tables, 30 seats. This reflected the closeness and strength of the family.

Page 2.

Reunion 2008 Report

For those of you who were at the Ceremony on Security Hill Friday, the site of the Memorial EC-47 Aircraft, by the Freedom Thru Vigilance Associance, "FTVA" to remember and honor those members of Security Service throughout the many years, you all know first hand of the Kick in the Stomach we, the Veterans who served in Combat in Vietnam felt at this annual ceremony. Those of you who were not in attendance, all I can say is tell you what we, the group as an entirity felt.

Despite having chosen a full 2 years ago, at Reunion 06 in Colorado, to have our EC-47 Reunion on the same weekend as the FTVA so our Backenders especially could attend some of their functions and/or visit with friends of U.S. Air Force Security Service, now of course going by another unit name. And despite the fact that there were some 75 or so former EC-47 Crewmembers, Back-Enders of the 6994th Security Squadron and Front-Enders from the Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadrons, sitting and standing more or less as a group, were completely either overlooked or ignored. This despite the fact that most were conspicously attired with hats, shirts and large Name Badges proudly displaying "The EC-47 Association Reunion". They knew well in advance, almost 2 years ago and all along that we were going to be there. Regardless whether or not we were going to be there, there were 17 of their own command men left out, men killed in Vietnam/Southeast Asia. We all felt and still feel that even if it was an error in planning, it was certainly evident at the ceremony that we were there and there was not any mention or referrence of us or even them, those 17 men of the 6994th Security Service lost while serving in Combat aboard Combat Missions in Vietnam.

Add to this the fact that one member of Detachment 2, 6994th himself shot down on Cap-53 and was rescued along with others including the crew of a film company shooting and working on a Documentary of the EC-47 mission in Vietnam and Southeast Asia were extended what I understand was a very informative briefing by those on Security Hill on Wednesday before the Friday ceremony.

Standing almost under the nose of the Memorial EC-47 aircraft in front of the Headquarters, a memorial to the first men lost, those men of the crew of Tide-86. Tide-86 was the first EC-47 shot down in "COMBAT" on March 9th, 1967 with the loss of seven men, three of them from Detachment 1, 6994th Security Squadron, Air Force Security Service and the four men from the 361st Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron, both units at Nha Trang AB, Vietnam.

A very lenghty list of former members of Air Force Security Service, under various names was read. These include those lost in flight including their aircraft, and all those members who have passed on as there life played out. There was only a very lightly mention of the EC-47 and this was by the Chaplin and this did not include any mention of loss nor did it include any name of any of those we lost during our 8 year mission. This was a blow to all of The EC-47 Association but was especially difficult for those backenders of the EC-47. And to go even deeper on the hurt scale was the fact that we had children of some of those men lost in attendance.

Dispite the fact that this is an annual ceremony held each year at the EC-47 Memorial, a C-47 depicting the first EC-47 Loss, Tide-86 aircraft number 43-49201, displayed on the tail of this memorial aircraft, and the fact that there were 36 men from the EC-47 Mission lost and 17 of these were from Air Force Security Service and that in fact 3 of these former and evidently forgotten, members of Air Force Security Service were lost on the very aircraft depicted by this memorial were ommited from this long proud list of men lost.

I can assure you, there will be more than one letter written by various persons to address this injustice to the men lost and especially those 17 men of the 6994th Security Squadron and more especially to those who were lost on this memorial aircraft. I am sure you can feel the deep wound of being there and knowing that their father had paid with his life to fulfill a mission that was of greatest importance to every man serving in Vietnam was forgotten, a mission which without question prevented great loss of Life, probably untold thousands of men from all branches of the military of not only the United States but other countries military as well.


Page 3.

Reunion 2008 Report

Emails to/from the FTVA about Reunion 2008

 ----- Original Message -----=20

  From: J.C. Wheeler=20

  To: [email protected]=20
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:34 AM
Subject: FTVA Reunion 2008 ( EC-47 Reunion 2008 )


  Good Morning Bob,


  We, The EC-47 Association, have just completed our Reunion 06 in =
Colorado Springs.  At this reunion, we selected San Antonio for our next =
reunion which will be in 2008.  Before, we have alternated between May =
and September but for this one we will most likely try and hold our =
reunion at the same time as that of the FTVA which will allow those of =
our group, primarily those of the 6994th Security Squadron to =
participate in not only our reunion but also in that of the FTVA and not =
have to pick one over the other.  If you know yet, what dates your group =
will be holding their reunion please let me know so we can begin working =
on ours.


  ( Please Note )  The EC-47 you see above in the Subject Line must be =
there in any email to me at the above address in order to get thru my =
Spam/Junk email filter rules.




  James C.  Wheeler

  Signature of:  J.C. Wheeler,  The EC-47 History Site.


  ----- Original Message -----=20
  From: Bob Crabtree=20
  To: 'J.C. Wheeler'=20
  Cc: [email protected]=20
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 3:58 PM
  Subject: RE: FTVA Reunion 2008 ( EC-47 Reunion 2008 )

  J.C. Wheeler,

  At this time we do not know when the FTVA reunion in 2008 will be.  =
Normally it is the last week of the month,

  Thurs - Sat.  We can let you know as soon as we decide.  The next =
Board meeting will be the end of Oct 06.


  Bob Crabtree

  President FTVA


From: "J.C. Wheeler" 
To: "Bob Crabtree" 
References: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: FTVA Reunion 2008   ( EC-47 Reunion 2008 )
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006 08:47:12 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2869
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.2962

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Thanks for the info Bob.

J.C. Wheeler
Signature of:  J.C. Wheeler,  The EC-47 History Site.


From: J.C. Wheeler [mailto:[email protected]]=20
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:53 AM
  To: [email protected]
  Subject: FTVA Reunion 2008 ( EC-47 Reunion 2008 )


  In looking at the dates of your past reunions, I would assume, that =
2008 will also be the last weekend of September but not willing to bet =
the farm on it.


  Thanks again,  J.C. Wheeler

  Signature of:  J.C. Wheeler,  The EC-47 History Site.


Hello Bob,
Thanks for getting the EC-47 Reunion listed. See you in September.
Signature of:  J.C. Wheeler,  The EC-47 History Site.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Bob Cope 
To: J.C. Wheeler ; [email protected] 
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 8:58 AM
Subject: Re: EC-47 Association Reunion 2008

Nice to "see" you again, J.C.....
Looking forward to really seeing you and all the "Little Plane" guys again 
next year! Butch Wheeler (GRHS), Mike Christy and Mel Berg had a ball 
"managing" the 94th from the 3rd floor lanai (where we "Big Plane" (C-130, 
RC-135 and U-2) advocates had banished them) at PSR (MidOcean [Mis]
Management or MOM) in the late 60s......My 4 "Alone, Unarmed and Afraid"
sorties remain forever etched in my memory!!!!

At 08:36 AM 11/17/2007, J.C. Wheeler wrote:

Good Morning,
If you see fit, would you please add The EC-47 Association Reunion to your 
site under Scheduled Reunions?
The EC-47 Association will hold its 6th Reunion on September 25th, 26th and 
27th, 2008 in San Antonio, Texas. All those who were a part of the EC-47 
Operations, (The 360th TEWS, 361st TEWS, 362nd TEWS and the 6994th SS and 
their Detachments), Aircrew, Ground Crews and Direct Support, are urged to 
attend. Point of contact is J.C. Wheeler  (479) 754-3507,  
Check The EC-47 History Site for current information at: 
James C. Wheeler
Flight Mechanic
361st TEWS Nha Trang 1966/67
Signature of:  J.C. Wheeler,  The EC-47 History Site

Page 4.

Reunion 2008 Report

The Higlighted Name was our San Antonio Representative.

Reunion 2008 Report

Page 5.

A copy of the Letter Sent to.:
Colonel Chris Cook, President FTVA and to
Maj. Gen John C. Kozoil CO ISR former AFSS

1 October 2008,

Dear Mr. Chris Cook

I was among those present for the ceremony at the EC-47 Memorial Aircraft on Security Hill, Lackland AFB on Friday, September 26th, 2008. On behalf of the entire EC-47 Association membership, those present, some 70 strong in attendance and over 1,400 total strength, I must try and express the hurt felt by all of these members. We had with us not only two members who were shot down, one of these was with the 6994th Security Squadron was shot down (twice on the same day) and survived, once in an EC-47 in Vietnam while on Airborne Radio Direction Finding missions, and again in his rescue helicopter. We also had family members of one of those 6994th SS who were killed when they were shot down flying this most important mission. Also in attendance as our guests, 2 men from the 101st Airborne who were part of the on-site rescue of the crew of Cap-53, one of who has provided me with pages of hand written time dated documents and progression of events of this rescue. I am sure we all had at least one friend lost during this mission in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, I myself had seven.

Despite the fact that the ceremony was held under the nose of the Memorial EC-47 Aircraft, a memorial we all assume, was to honor and remember those lost on 9 March, 1967 when the first EC-47 “Tide 86” was shot down with a loss of 7 crewmen, 3 of these were from the 6994th SS and 4 were from the 361st TEWS, there was no mention in the speakers words referencing this most important mission nor of the men lost during this mission. By my count, 17 brave young men of the 6994th SS and 19 from the Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadrons paid with their lives to fulfill this mission. Three (3) of the losses of the 6994th SS were lost on the aircraft memorialized on this very spot, yet they were not recognized. Our last loss was “Baron 52”. The words “EC-47” were heard one time by all and only in those words of the Chaplin, Thank You Sir.

The omissions in the ceremony that was, I am sure, meant to include all men of what was known as Air Force Security Service during this time, and the war in Vietnam were a hot topic for the remainder of the reunion. These omissions could not have been because it was not known that we were to be there; Email exchanges were began 2 years earlier in September, 2006 when we, The EC-47 Association opted to, for the second time, hold our reunion in San Antonio so we could be in attendance for this ceremony to include honoring our losses especially those of the 6994th SS. Even if it was and oversight here, we were very conspicuous and were there in a group, proudly displaying our group with shirts, hats and large name tags bearing the wording “EC-47 Association”, and Squadron Logos. We could not have been accidentally overlooked and many were deeply hurt by these omissions.

Just so you would know, from the folks of the EC-47 History Site, ""


James C. Wheeler Pres.
EC-47 Association
5648 Highway 21
Clarksville, AR 72830

Here to share with you all, is the reply I received today, October 22nd from
the President of the FTVA, Col. Wyatt C. "Chris" Cook, Retired.

Thank you sir, J.C. Wheeler on behalf of the EC-47 Association.

Here to share with you all, is the reply I received today, October 23rd from
Maj. General John C. Koziol Commander ISR Lackland AFB.

Thank you sir, J.C. Wheeler on behalf of the EC-47 Association.

Reunion 2008 Report

Page 6.

AF ISR Agency honors silent warriors

by Staff Sgt. Kristine Dreyer
Air Force ISR Agency Public Affairs

10/1/2008 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, along with the Freedom through Vigilance Association, held their annual Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 26.

"This Remembrance Ceremony gives us an opportunity to come together and pay tribute to the Airmen who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country's freedom," said Col. Jon Kimminau, AF ISR Agency acting vice commander. "We gather today to celebrate their accomplishments, admire their courage and most of all to remember."

To honor the fallen heroes, the ceremony included the AF ISR Agency Honor Guard conducting a 21-gun salute followed by "Taps" and the Alzafar Shrine Highlander Pipe Band playing "Amazing Grace."

To honor the men and women's commitment to the intelligence mission, retired Col. Chris Cook, FTVA president led the audience in calling out names of people and organizations to be remembered from the past year.

As family and friends paid their respects, the 149th Fighter Wing paid special tribute with a missing man formation fly over.

"They are gone but not forgotten," said Mr. Cook. "Today we honor their contributions and the examples they set for us."