C-141 Logbook


"Double Whammy" to Thailand

Date From To A/C Duration
25 Sep 1969 McGuire AFB, NJ Dover AFB, DE 70004 0.6 hrs
26 Sep 1969 Dover AFB, DE Elmendorf AFB, AK 70021 7.8 hrs
27 Sep 1969 Elmendorf AFB, AK Yokota AB, Japan 50269 8.1 hrs
28 Sep 1969 Yokota AB, Japan Udorn RTAFB*, Thailand 60170 5.8 hrs
28 Sep 1969 Udorn RTAFB*, Thailand Bangkok Intl, Thailand 60170 1.1 hrs
1 Oct 1969 Bangkok Intl, Thailand Kadena AB, Okinawa 50274 4.7 hrs
1 Oct 1969 Kadena AB, Okinawa Elmendorf AFB, AK 60171 8.7 hrs
2 Oct 1969 Elmendorf AFB, AK McGuire AFB, NJ ? 8.0 hrs
Total flying time 44.8 hrs

* RTAFB stands for Royal Thai Air Force Base


Some explanation is necessary here. During the time I was in the Air Force, the Vietnam war was at its peak. Congress, I suppose in an attempt to assuage its guilt, authorized certain benefits for combat troops. When a military officer was placed in a designated combat zone, he was entitled to collect monthly combat pay (as I remember, it was $85.00 a month) and was entitled to exempt the first $500.00 of pay each month from Federal taxation. The Air Force decided that, for purposes of these benefits, an aircraft was deemed to be in a designated combat zone if it entered the Saigon Flight Information Region (FIR). The Saigon FIR included all of South Vietnam and its coastal waters. The northeast corner of the Saigon FIR was a featureless point out over the South China Sea named, for navigation purposes, "SANDY". Crossing SANDY inbound was an event that was duly entered in the logs, for it meant that we all got the combat pay and exemption for the month. A "Double Whammy" could occur at the end of the month and almost always involved an RON ("Remain OverNight") in Bangkok, Thailand. The trick was to fly through the Saigon FIR on the last day of a month and return the next day through the FIR and thus collect the combat pay and the exemption for two months in a row on one trip! I only did it once, because one would find all of the senior officers taking all the westbound missions when the end of the month drew near (RHIP - Rank Has Its Privileges). At the time this mission was flown, we crossed central Vietnam and Cambodia (directly over Phnom Penh) and into Thailand. Later on, we would be forced to fly the "bamboo curtain" route - completely over water down around the southern tip of Vietnam and up into the Bight of Bangkok due to the presence of anti-aircraft weapons held by the enemy.

The log above shows the precise maneuver necessary to qualify for a "Double Whammy".

Revised: 24 March 1999