Tuesday, September 14, 2010



Between September 16 and September 19, 1970,  I flew in the cargo bay of a C-130 cargo airplane from Okinawa to Wake Island, then to  Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in Oahu, Hawaii.

On the morning of September 20, I was part of a four aircraft flight of F-4s that departed Hawaii on the final leg home.  Approximately two hours into the flight, one of the aircraft developed a mechanical  problem.  We had to turn back to Hawaii.  Got to spend another night there.

On the morning of September 21 we departed Hawaii, again, and arrived at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in southern California after a flight of  5.3 hours.  My pilot was Lt. Scheuller.  When we arrived, it was late and dark.  There were no bands.  No welcome home ceremony.  No speeches.  No family or friends to greet us.  Just a dark, lonely tarmac.

But we were finally home.

Photos, top to bottom.
1.  Me with my sons post-Vietnam
2.  Lt. Scheuller
3.  F-4 of VMFA-314, over the Pacific, somewhere between Hawaii and El Toro
4.  F-4s on flight line at Hawaii
5.  F-4 taxiing out at Kaneohe Bay
6.  Marines sleeping in the cargo bay of the C-130
7.  F-4s on tarmac at Wake Island
8.  C-130 cargo plane in which I flew from Vietnam to Hawaii.  A long way to fly in one of those.


  1. Welcome home.

    There were no bands, no family, no friends, no ceremony when I returned from either of my deployments, but I didn't care. I was just thankful to be back in the USA.

    The best words I've ever heard was the customs agent saying, "Welcome home," when I returned from an overseas TDY.

    I know there's a lot of other fine countries out there, but I like mine the best.

  2. As ever, grateful for these posts. All my friends at that time were ground pounders; their photos weren't all that pretty.

    Something special about being in the air.

  3. MarineMajor,

    Thank you for honoring my father in-law Augustine Rios Longoria. Augie as we knew him was a man of honor, respect, compassion and family. Although our hearts are broken we understand that God chose Augie to stand in his kingdom until we meet again. Thanks for your service to our country, I pray that God blesses you and salutes you for taking the time to honor others.


    Eric Holder

  4. Dear MarineMajor,

    Must say I really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us all. I would like to email you some questions about the Phantom if you are ok with that? My email is: kleuvering(AT)hotmail.com (replace (AT) with @)

    Kind regards,

    Koen (from the Netherlands)