Our flight went from Travis to Bangkok in Sept of 1967. We stopped in Anchorage, Alaska and then Yakota, Japan for refueling. We then flew over Viet Nam to get to Bangkok and it was tax free income for the month because we flew "over" a combat area. I was in the 500 hootch area with the 1980th COM Squadron. When I first got there I worked in the comm center near Base Ops and was occasionally sent out to the Tropo (tropospheric scatter) site near the north end of the taxi ramp between the ramp and the bomb dump. After not been assigned out there for quite some time I was called to work out there about a month or so before I left. When I went back out (night shift of course)after about six months of not being out there I saw something really strange. What I saw was that almost all the vegetation was gone between our site and the bomb dump and north to the trim pad. All you saw was spooky looking skeletons of shrubs and small trees with the lights of the bomb dump in the background. I knew they did something to get rid of it but I didn't know how they did it. I used to sit on the steps of the Tropo van at night and watch them bringing bombs and supplies out to the taxi area while I smoked a cigarette. I felt better about it because we had heard stories about snipers around the end of the runway taking shots at night at our Thai guards who had their bunker about 75 feet from our van. I have been lucky and haven't had a reason to file for anything with the VA but I imagine there will be a hassle if I do. Wish you guys the best of luck and keep plugging away at them.
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