Farewell to the '94th
Farewell to the '94. They boasted that they flew 'unarmed, alone and afraid', but they wrote one of the most distinguished chapters in the USAF Security Service History.
The 6994th Securiry Squadron was located in sweltering, sometimes dangerous places, but a former member of the unit which was closed in mid-summer said, "Most members would probably consider the '94th as their best assignment."
Commenting on the most decorated organization in USAF Security Service History, CMSgt. Luther David, Headquarters, USAFSS, explained, "It was a unique unit; there were very few officers assigned so there were many NCOs in very responsible positions -- everyone had considerable responsibility."
What were some of the things that went into the making of a unit which earned the Presidential Unit Citation twice and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award five times?
"For one thing, the people had experience under their belt," the senior NCO continued. "They all had been with the USAFSS units before going to the 94th. For several years everyone had at least a five-level, those in Operations anyway, and I think the same was also true for those working outside the Operations area.
"A good example of the responsibility and experience I'm talking about could be found in the aircrews. There were E-4s who were certified Airborne Mission Supervisors and many times they had to make some very significant decisions concerning the actual success of the mission.
Experience and responsibility were only two of several factors that made the squadron what it was, according to Sergeant David.
"Comradery -- and competition were also important".
There was always, I guess you could say, a comradeship among crewmembers. You didn't always fly with the same people, we didn't have 'fixed' crews like some operating (flying) commands, yet there was a spirit of close cooperation - and good crew harmony.
"We took pride in 'outdoing' others, doing things better than the Army, for example. There was a natural sense of competitiion not only while on-duty, but off-duty. We kidded other units about the fact that we flew unarmed."
The 6994th's move from the Republic of South Vietnam to Thailand in 1969 created new experiences, but brought some of the same hardships. There would be more "war-stories" that could be later told.
"When Det. 3 was activated at NKP (Nakhom Phanom, Thailand) the unit had worse living conditions than those in Vietnam. We lived in tents, it got hot sometimes it got up to 120 degrees. and the fans weren't any good. For a while the base had power problems.. You couldn't to to sleep before midnight but then because of the hear in the morning, you couldn't sleep much after five or six." There were also some good times....
He's now about four years old and after the unit closed, he was 'transferred to the 6908th Security Squadron.
And then everyone assigned to the unit knows about the time when Colonel Eddy (Lt. Col. David A. Eddy, now-commander of the 6916th Security Squadron) had 'navigation trouble'. He was serving as a navigator...
It was always hot inside those 'gooney birds' and once when the aircraft was taxiing, he opened a window to catch a little of the breeze. Well, he got more of a wind than he had expected and his mission maps were blown out of the aircraft.
Up-dating the incident, Sergeant David explained that Colonel Eddy was presented with a "personalized" duplicate of the maps at a recent reunion of former '94th members.
In June 1974 the good times and the bad times became memories with the official deactivation of the squadron. The men of the 6994th were once called "some of the most distinguished members of the command." For the sake of the mission, they endured the rigors of war in Southeast Asia, logged thousands of combined flying hours and ultimately some bled -- some died.
In understated praise for the units accomplishments, Sergeant David modestly concluded, "They did a good job."
Farewell to the '94th
They boasted that they flew 'unarmed, alone and afraid,' but they wrote on of the most distinguished chapters in USAF Security Service history.