Captain Jack Williams, USAF,
1962, Bien Hoa, Vietnam

Forward by Jim Wodecki, USMC, Khe Sanh Vet, 1966-67

I was doing a swimming pool repair for a customer; and, after talking with him for awhile, I found out that he had served in Vietnam in 1962 with the 2A First Air Commando unit. I had arrived in Vietnam in February of 1966 and found it interesting that someone was fighting there four years before I arrived. He quit the USAF in 1966 and went to work for the FBI until 1986, then worked for and retired from American Airlines.

Jack told me a story. "The Mommasons would sell our soap and wash our clothes in their 'fish-oil' soap. We had no Air Conditioners (who else did besides the Air Force, lol). Well, when we started to sweat, we started to itch. We smelled like a 3-day-old dead Mackerel and itched all over. Our maid cried when I started giving her a peanut can full of soap for each day."

Here is more of Jack's story about his tour in Vietnam, with pictures.

--Jim Wodecki

Capt. Jack Williams

April to October 1963, Republic of South Vietnam
Capt. F. Jack Williams, Navigator
Detachment 2A First Air Commando Group
Bien Hoa Air Base
A/C B-26 (formally A-26)
Douglas Invader
Crew: Pilot, Navigator, Vietnam Airforce Airman
Armament: 14 50-Cal. Guns
6-500 Lb. Cans Napalm
Endurance: 5 hrs.

Taties: Dive Bomb, Perch 3500', pullout at 1,000'
Drop napalm and Strafe from 25' to 50'
FAC marked target with smoke

Fac--"You see my smoke?" (All Radio traffic)

B-26--"I see your smoke."

Fac--"You bomb smoke?"

B-26--"I bomb smoke."

We seldom ever saw the target.

The Vietnam Airforce did not fly their planes at night, in Bad weather or if anyone shot at them. Everyday, from 0830 to 0900, they did a static Engine Run Up, cockpits open, scarves flying, every man a tiger. They played ping pong until 15:30; at 15:30, only half the A/Cs would start. They took off and returned at 16:15. When we developed their gunnery film, they had salvoed their bombs on Montonyard Villages.

Our A/C had Vietnam Airforce Markings--stripes with stars that were yellow, where USAF is white. A VNAF sat on a bicycle seat behind the Navigator. We were supposed to be there to advise him.

We had 10 to 12 B-26s, some T-28s, a few C-47s. Our casualty rate was 20% during my 6-month tour. The wings came off two B-26s. One crew bailed out, and their shoots did not open; one B-26 just disappeared.

F. Jack Williams
Captain, U.S.A.F.
69245 A

Jack's Photo Gallery

Jack lives in Plano, Texas, enjoying his retirement to the fullest, now that his wife is done with the painting of the entire house. He can be reached through E-mail via me, Jim Wodecki, at:

compiled 1998 by James Wodecki
copyright © 1998 by F. Jack Williams, all rights reserved