Pictures of Vietnam

katum.jpg (109603 bytes)
Katum was a forward firebase about 55 nautical miles northwest of Bien Hoa and on the 3 mile buffer zone boundry of Cambodia.  We spent literally days shuttling from Bien Hoa to Katum carrying 105 mm howitzer projectiles.  The mess in the background was the result of enemy mortar rounds hitting the POL storage area just prior to our arrival on this trip.  The howitzer projectiles were in wooden crates and were "speed-offloaded".  The aircraft was pulled into the parking area shown above and the props were put in reverse to start the aircraft backing.  On a signal from the flight mechanic, the props were placed into the forward regime and advanced to METO power to arrest the rearward motion and get the aircraft moving forward again.  As the direction of motion changed, the flight mechanic released the pallet locks and the load cascaded out the rear of the aircraft.  We just left the power up and rolled right back onto the runway, just visible in the background, to return to Bien Hoa for another load.
Revised: 02 May 1999