"A Bit of Early History on the 6994th SS"

Thanks to Bill Ballard and Neil L. Solomon

I recently received a copy of a set of TDY orders dated 12 April, 1966
Issuing Official: Kenneth F. Miller, Lt. Col. Wing Operations Officer
6922 Security Wing.
Special Order Number TA-93
Designation and Location of Headquarters
Department of the Air Force
HQ 6922 Security Wing (USAFSS)
APO San Francisco 96274
From: Clark AB, Phillipines
To: Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam
Return: Clark AB, Phillipines
Purpose of TDY: Activate the 6994th Security Squadron.

Personnel Involved:
Major Ballard, William T. 6922 SCTY WG
1/LT. Grissom, Donald A. 6992 SCTY WG
MSGT Brandt, Jerry D. 6922 SCTY WG
TSGT Collins, Rex 6926 SCTY SQ
TSGT Olson, Robert L. 6926 SCTY SQ
A1c Solomon, Neil L. 6922 SCTY WG
A1c Schuetze, Gerald W. 6922 SCTY WG
A2c Sherman, William T. Jr. 6922 SCTY WG
Designated Official Courier:
1/LT. Grissom, Donald A.

Priority One Air Movement Required.


Letter from Neil Solomon to Col. William Ballard

October 2, 1999

Dear Col. Ballard:

Sorry that I've been so long to get back to you regarding the copy of the TDY order. I had that right away, but my job took me out of town and then some other things came up.

Anyway, I have not had contact with any of the other members of the start- up team since I left Clark in July 1966.

I'm not sure why I was selected for the team. In mid-February '66, I had returned to the 6922nd from a 90-day TDY to the 6924th and was working an 8:00PM to 4:00AM shift. I was a 202 (European), having been cross-trained from a 203-Chinese, along with my entire class from language school.

Bill Sherman was a Vietnamese 203 and Gerald Schuetze was a 201.

Some recollections:

1. Coming into TSN on a C-141 and, when we were taxiing in, seeing VN nationals repairing the runway from the recent attack that had delayed our departure from Clark.

2. Getting off of the plane, walking around a stack of Conex containers to the terminal and seeing civilian passengers getting off of an Air France 707. That just seemed to be really out of place.

3. On the second or third day, Sherman and I moved from the transition barracks to our new home. It was one of those screened in buildings that faced a small, walled-in cemetary and one of the base perimeter roads, approximately 1/4 mile from the main gate, and was covered in red dust. We cleaned it from top to bottom and, that night, just washed our fatigues in teh shower. That left little heaps of red mud on the shower floor, which we also had to clean up.

4. Sherman and I then assembled about two dozen metal, double door lockers. That was quite a project, but we really got to be good at it.

5. Then we went to our ops trailer in the 7th AF compound and cleaned that up.

6. After all the initial work had been completed, we began spending a good deal of time with the ASA 509th RRU at Davis Station, learning how to do what we would be doing. Their building backed up to the flight line and was across the street from a BX cafeteria. Our Army counterparts were very hospitable. They referred to us as "The Fleigers," German for flyers?

7. In 7th AF compound we also had a small operations room in the building that was next to the trailer. I believe that the army had a small communications center in the same building. As time passed, we began spending more time at this location and less with the Army.

8. Sherman, Schuetze and I rotated CQ duty in the ops building. Since we were so busy during the day, the CQ had to go to work in the morning. We had a cot in the ops area and were permitted to sleep during the night. One night when I had the duty, one of the Army people from the comm center came in, carrying a helmet, an M-16, several clips and some boxes of ammunition. He stated that they had received word that the bas was to be attacked that night. He opened the peripheral doors that led to our trailer and showed me what my field of fire would be. I loaded the clips, turned off all the lights and waited...and waited...and waited. By about 4:00AM nothing had happened, so I opened up the cot and went to sleep.

9. After the original team had been there for a while, I remember that a Lt. Gary A. Fink, an AF Academy grad, joined the unit, but I don't recall anything else about him.

10. One night, Bill Sherman (the Vietnamese 203) and I were sitting in a bar in Cholon. Sherman was listening to two girls talking in the booth behind us. I saw his eyes get big. He got up an asked me to follow him to the back room. When we got there, he said that the girls were discussing the VC cadre meeting that they had just come from.

11. I was at TSN for 60 days, which took me into mid-June '66, and then returned to Clark. I don't remember if any 6994th permanent party personnel had arrived before we left.

When I returned to the 6922nd, I learned that I would be going PCS back to the 6924th for a year.

After Ihad been at the 6924th for a while, a ceremony was held at the ops area and I was presented a Bronze Beaver award for my work at the 6994th. From that time on, my nickname became "Beaver".

I made E-5 in May 1967 and then got out at the end of June.

I believe that's about all for now. I hope that the above material will be of assistance to you in your efforts to reconstruct the times.

Sincerely, N.L. Solomon