Loc Ninh Tape (excerpt) :: April 6th

Transcript from Ron Haynes tape recording at Loc Ninh Apr, 1972 (Hawk 01 A-37) (BEGINS AT MINUTE 30:36)

Ron Haynes is Hawk 01, flying an A-37 out of Bien Hoa.

Rash 05 is Pete Collins

Reference to Zippo is made, he was Capt. Mark Smith, the who had taken command of the remaining ground forces in Loc Ninh. He, along with several others, were captured by the NVA. They were POW’s until the end of of the fighting in 1973.

I have not be able to determine who Rash 03 or the AC-130 Spectre pilots are. These recordings are copywrited by Ron Haynes and AnLoc.org

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Rash 05: Okay and Hawk One this is Rash Five. You ready to go to work yet?

Hawk 01: Roger, however I don’t have a tally. What’s the altitude of the clouds over the target?

Rash 05: Okay, they’re down about… I guess they’re about 2000 feet or so.

Hawk 01: Roger that, and if you would, give me a hold down.

Rash 05: Okay, Roger. I’m down right over the runway at this time and I’m gonna be putting in smoke. We want your hard bombs down there first. I hate to expose you like this, but I would like them in, if you could do it, I’d like them singles, if you could please, ‘cause they got a couple targets down there for you and we’d like to move you around as much as we can.

Hawk 01: I’ll look at the target when we get there, but we’ll probably plan on double pickle.

Rash 05: Okay, Roger that. That’d be fine. I don’t want to expose you too much down here.

Hawk 01: And I don’t have you in sight. I’m at… I should be right over you, but I don’t have you here yet. Are you above the clouds?

Rash 05: That’s most affirm. I’m at about 5.0 . Specter’s up above me. Do you have a Specter?

Hawk 01: That’s a negative. I’m also at 5000 trying to pick you up.

Rash 05: Okay, Roger. I don’t have a tallyho. There’s some choppers out to the east of the target…

Hawk 01: If you would, give me another hold down.

Rash 05: Okay, standby one.

Rash 05: Okay, come on out to 355, 60 miles off channel 102.

Sundog 38:: Rash Three, this is Sundog 38:.

Hawk 01: Okay, Roger. I got a tally on you now.

Rash 03: Come down here, Sundog 38:, if you would please.

Sundog 38:: Roger, I got a good copy on that. Where are you now?

Rash 03: I’m right over the south compound, right over the southern compound.

Sundog 38:: Okay. Zippo’s trying to get you. He’s got a tank down there on that thing.

Rash 03: Roger that.

Sundog 38:: Okay, are you talking to him?

Rash 03: I’m trying to. Talk to Hawk One.

Sundog 38:: Roger.

Hawk 01: Hawk Zero-One’s in-bound. I got several FACs here and I’ll try to pick you out there, Rash.

Rash 05: Okay. Rash’s now is workin’ the southern end, Hawk One.

Rash 05: Can you see the brown smoke comin’ up?

Hawk 01: I’ve got some red smoke in the air and I’m passing right below the Specter right now.

Rash 05: Okay, Sir. Rash Three is in on the southern end and he’s workin’ with a guy by the name of Zippo, Zippo, and he’s workin’ that southern compound. He’s got tanks on the wire.

Hawk 01: Okay, Roger. I think I’ve got Rash Zero-Three in sight.

Rash 05: Okay, that’s him down there and I’m workin’ the northern end and I’m workin…whoa… here comes 23, Baby, keep your head down.

Hawk 01: And Two, let’s keep it movin’.

Hawk 02:: Roger, keep it moving.

Rash 03: Specter…

[Stall warning]

Rash 03: Specter, this is Rash Three. Hold on just a minute here.

Rash 03: Okay, Hawk One. I’ve got a tally ho, check off at your 7 o’clock position… 7 o’clock position.

Hawk 01: Roger, are you in a left hand turn?

Rash 03: Roger that. I’m in a left hand turn over the target.. Specter, Are you high and dry at this time? Specter Zero-Five, this is Rash Three.

Specter 05: Go ahead, Rash Three.

Rash 03: Okay Specter, are you high and dry at this time?

Specter 05: Uh, we’re not firing

Rash 03: Okay, Roger that. I’m gonna go down and take a look and see if I can’t find that tank.

Specter 05: Roger.

Hawk 01: And Specter, be advised that Hawk Zero One will probably be working around your altitude also.

Specter 05: Roger, understand.

Hawk 01: We’re at your 12 o’clock.

Hawk 01: Do you have a tally?

Hawk 02:: Hawk 02:’s got a tally on him.

Hawk 01: Roger. We’re about to climb up and get over him.

Rash 03: Okay, Hawk One, this is Rash Three. Do you have a tally on me?

Hawk 01: That’s affirmative and you’re right over the southern end of the runway.

Rash 03: Roger that. I’m gonna be in to smoke at this time.

Hawk 01: Roger that. We gotta wait until the Specter gets outta of our way here.

Hawk 02:: Okay, I’m above you, Lead.

Hawk 01: Roger… and I’ve got your smoke there.

[Stall warning]

Specter 05: This is Specter Five. Specter Five is tracking the tank. Do you want us to shoot the tank?

Rash 03: (unintelligible)… If you have my smoke in the compound.

Hawk 01: Rash, Specter’s givin’ you a call.

Rash 03: Okay, Specter. This is Rash, go ahead.

Specter 05: Spec. Five is tracking the tank. Do you want us to shoot it?

Rash 03: Roger. If you’re tracking that tank down there go ahead and open up on it, Babes.

Specter 05: Okay, wilco.

Rash 03: Okay and Hawk One, hold high and dry for just one.

Hawk 01: Roger, we got ‘em in sight.

Rash 03: Okay and see if you can’t watch where Specter’s… Okay, I got a tallyho on that tank down there, Spec.

Specter 05: Roger.

Rash 03: Okay, go ahead. Do you have Specter’s hits down there, Zero-One?

Hawk 01: Standby.

Rash 03: Roger, Zero-One. They’re hurtin’. They need that tank knocked out. Do you have Specter’s hits down there?

Hawk 01: I don’t have the hits on the ground… Yes I do, at the northern end of the runway?

Rash 03: Down the southern end of the runway, southern end of the runway about 100 meters to the east of my smoke, 100 meters to the east of my smoke.

Hawk 01: Roger, I don’t have his hits, however, I did have some ground fire coming up there. Roger, and I’ve got a smoke to the east… uh, to the west in the trees. Is that you?

Rash 03: That’s my smoke down to the west. Go ahead and put it in down there… your hard bombs… right where Specter’s putting in… That’s not ground fire—that’s Specter.

Hawk 01: Roger that. I’ll be in out of the north in about 10.

Rash 03: Okay, Roger. Speed it up, and Specter, go through.

Specter 05: Rash, Specter has no gun.

Sundog 38:: Specter, Specter, Sundog 38:.

Specter 05: Go ahead, Sundog 38:.

Sundog 38:: Roger, Sir. Are you expending right now?

Specter 05: Negative, we have no guns… Oops, we just fired a round.

Sundog 38:: Roger, understand, you’re Winchester?

Specter 05: Negative, negative. We have gun troubles.

Sundog 38:: Roger that, Roger that.

Rash 03: Let me know as soon as you can come up.

Hawk 01: Lead’s in out of the north. I don’t have the FAC in sight.

Rash 03: Okay, Lead, I have a tallyho. You’re gonna be cleared hot down there at the southern end of the compound, right to the east of my smoke.

Hawk 01: Roger. Understand, Between your smoke and the compound?

Rash 03: That’s negative. In the compound on the southern end, the southern end of the compound.

Hawk 01: Roger that. On the southern end of the compound. I’m in out of the north.

Rash 03: I’m tallyho. You’re cleared hot there, Babes.

Rash 03: Okay, Spec. Move it north to the northern compound.

Sundog 38:: Rash Three, Baby. I’m gonna take the Spec with me ‘til he gets it fixed, okay?

Sundog 38:: Rash Three, Sundog 38:.

Hawk 01: And how was that, Rash? [pause]

Hawk 01: Zero-Three, Hawk One.

Rash 03: Okay, Hawk One, this is Rash Three.

Hawk 01: How was that bomb?

Rash 03: Outstanding, you just got yourself a tank, Babes.

Hawk 01: Roger that, and you want Two to go in? He’ll be goin’ high angle with nape.

Sundog 38:: Specter, Specter, Sundog 38:…

Rash 03: Okay, Roger that. Two, as soon as Lead’s smoke blows out of there, I want you to put your two BLU-27s down there to the north of Lead’s hits and along the compound fence. It’s gonna be hard to see. If you come in out of the east you’ll probably be better off.

Hawk 02:: Roger, I can come in right now if you want me.

Rash 03: Okay, do you have Lead’s hits down there?

Hawk 02:: Yeah, I got ‘em.

Rash 03: Okay. I want you to come on in and go to the north right along the compound fence there to the north by about halfway between them and where the compound makes the “V” there.

Hawk 02:: Okay. I’m gonna come over the compound high and dry and take a good look at it.

Rash 03: Okay, Roger that.

Hawk 01: Specter, you trying to call Rash?

Specter: Negative

Hawk 01: Alright.

Hawk 02:: Okay, Rash. I’ve got his smoke right now, right over the northern part of the west side of the compound.

Rash 03: Okay, go ahead take ‘em.

Rash 03: Okay, Hawk One, I’d like to have your hard bombs, please, next.

Hawk 01: Roger, understand that, but two’s nape.

Rash 03: Okay, Two, understand, you’re comin’ in with nape. We have some tanks down there, 100 meters to the west of the compound, 100 meters to the west of Lead’s smoke.

Hawk 02:: Where is that in relation to that bright fire burning to the southwest?

Rash 03: Okay, the fire burning down there is from Lead’s bombs. Just had some secondaries come off of that. You wanna go 100 meters to the west, 100 meters to the west.

Hawk 01: You want ‘em 100 meters to the west, both nape cans. Is that a Charlie?

Hawk 02:: Rash, this is Hawk 02:. You want it 100 meters west from his hits, right?

Rash 03: Roger, you wanna go west from Lead’s hits, west.

Hawk 02:: Okay, Roger. I’m coming in out of the west at this time.

Rash 03: Okay, I don’t have a tallyho here. You’re gonna be cleared hot, if you have me.

[Stall warning]

Hawk 02:: Okay, I got ya.

Rash 03: You’re cleared hot, Babe.

Hawk 02:: Roger, let’s see if I can’t give you a couple a good ones.

Sundog 38:: Three Four, this is Sundog 38:.

Hawk 01: And Lead has Two’s hits.

Rash 03: Standby one, Lead.

Hawk 01: Roger.

Hawk 02:: And how’s that nape, Rash?

Rash 05: Okay, standby one.

Hawk 01: Okay, Two, keep it jinking, I can see ‘em firing that big gun at us.

Hawk 02:: Yeah, I know. I can see it.

Rash 03: Okay, Lead, what I’d like you to do is put your hard bombs 100 meters to the west of the perimeter wire and 100 meters north of Two’s napalm down

there. Do you have both of those positions?

Hawk 01: Roger, understand. It’d be just out to the west of the middle of the compound?

Rash 03: That’s affirm. Where they… have that “V” down there out to the west, the apex there. I want you to go 100 meters to the west and I’d like you to run in, if you can, from the north or the south so you won’t run over their compound there.

Hawk 01: Roger that. I’ll be in right now out of the north/northwest.

Rash 03: Okay, Roger. I don’t have a tallyho on you. Go ahead, if you have me, you’re gonna be cleared hot, Babes… I got ya.

Hawk 01: Roger, I don’t have you in sight.

Rash 03: Okay, I got you, Babes, you’re cleared hot.

Hawk 01: Hawk One is southeast of the target, steady at 8000.

Hawk 02:: Roger, Hawk 02: is west of the target at 10.

Rash 03: [Okay, I want the rest of your bombs…(unintelligible)] one pass, run ‘em along the western side of the wires there, the western side of the wires is what they want them on there.

Hawk 01: Okay, the west side of the wire with the CBU, is that right?

Rash 03: That’s most affirmative, Babes. We gotta get it in there. They’re keepin’ their heads down, they’re pretty close in, so make sure you keep it on the western side of the wire.

Hawk 01: Okay.

[Garbled]

Hawk 01: One pass with the CBU?

Rash 03: Roger, can you give me just one pass now and one pass a little bit later?

Hawk 01: I suppose so. Go ahead Two. Set up your stations and check your mils.

Hawk 02:: Roger, he wants one pass now and one pass later, is that right?

Hawk 01: Roger.

Rash 03: Okay, Lead, would you be able to give me one pod of rockets in there before Two starts a pass?

Hawk 01: Roger that. I can roll in right now with the rockets.

Rash 03: Okay, Lead. Go ahead. You’ll be cleared in.

Hawk 01: Two, tell me when you’re ready and I’ll be in.

Hawk 02:: Okay, I’m not ready yet. Just a minute.

Hawk 01: Roger that.

Hawk 02:: Okay, put ‘em in.

Hawk 01: Roger, I’m in, 100 meters west.

Rash 03: Okay, Lead. We wanna go right on the wire and I have a tallyho; you’re cleared hot.

Hawk 01: Roger, I’m in out of the northwest.

Rash 03: Roger, Lead. Keep it comin’.

[Stall warning]

Hawk 02:: Two’s in from the north.

Rash 03: Okay, Two. You’ll be cleared hot down there. Come in on the wire.

Hawk 02:: Roger.

[Stall warning]

Rash 03: You got anymore of that, Three?

Hawk 02:: I got some more of that, yeah.

Rash 03: Put it on my northern compound. Can you spare it?

Hawk 01: Are you talking to Hawk Zero-Two?

Rash 03: Oh, Roger. Right I… how many more pods you got?

Hawk 01: Hawk Zero-One has one pod of rockets, Hawk Zero-Two has two pods of CBU-25.

[unintelligible]

Rash 03:…do you want me to use one of these Hawks up here, either the HE rockets or the CBU on the northern compound?

Specter 05: Rash or Sundog, Spec Five, are we cleared to fire?

Rash 03: Hawk One, hold high and dry.

Hawk 01: Roger.