Scans were provided by
1Lt Donald Taylor
Munitions Accountable Officer, 435th MMS
1st Tour - 366 TFW/35 TFW
(Early base "Gray Eagle" build-up Period)
In late 1965 and early 1966 "Gray Eagle" was
the Air Force project name for a 1100-man bare
base build up package. In March 1966 the 366 TFW
(F-4C) was the first AF unit to arrive and operate
at Phan Rang AB. In October 1966 the 35th TFW
at DaNang swapped locations with the 366 TFW.
Overlooking PRAB (Gray Eagle) from the base of Nui Dat. Shower building and latrine at lower
left. Rows of barracks or then hooches. The big white inflatable bubble (white
elephant) is the
Base Supply warehouse. The inflatable building also served as screen
for movies. The
roof of the big gray building to its right is Batson Hall. Shower building at right. (1966)
A photo of the movie theater area. Movie Projector shack is
on the left. Movies were projected onto the side wall of the
inflatable warehouse. We would bring lawn chairs that we
bought in Phan Rang or Thap Cham, some cold brews and watch
the movies. The Base Chapel can be seen in the background. (1966)
A photo of the row of the 366th Supply Squadron barracks hooches.
The first hooch is the Orderly Room. Note round sand bagged
bunkers in front. Happy valley was then a big Dust Bowl.
Note that the road up to Nui Dat had not been carved yet. (1966)
A photo of me standing in the front door of my hooch.
The hooch housed seven junior officers at that time. (1966)
A photo of six lieutenants and a cat. Left to right - "Colonel" the cat,
1Lt Bart Surat (seated), 1Lt Bill Clark (standing), 1Lt Jerry Linton (seated),
1Lt Ray Partain (seated), 1Lt Bill Sparks (standing), and 1Lt R.G. Cade (seated).
Note no road up to the top of 'Nui Dat' yet. (1966)
A motley crew of lieutenants on ceremonial awards day. Left to right-
Lt R.G. Cade, 1Lt Dave Pulte, 1Lt Scotty Thompson, 1Lt Bill Clark,
1Lt Bill Sparks, and me 1Lt Don Taylor. I was awarded an Air
Commendation Medal from my previous CONUS assignment. (1966)
A picture looking up "Ritzy Officer's Row" towards Nui Dat. The
parked jeep belonged to the two base Chaplains. Quarters for the
officers was same as for enlisted personnel. Note no road to the
top yet as later Phan Rang personnel will always remember. (1966)
I am writing a letter to my wife Natalie back home (pictured). Yes I had a
telephone! As the base Munitions Supply Officer, I had to have direct contact
with the Ammunition Control Point (ACP) at 2nd Air Division (later 7th Air
Force) in Saigon for daily munitions reporting status/movements. The phone
was also used by anyone who wanted to make a MARS call back home. (1966)
I just returned from a convoy run to Cam Ranh Bay and Nha Trang.
Note the road going to the top of Nui Dat is now on its way. (1966)
A photo of the Base Chapel near the Base Movie Theater area. (1966)
A photo of Batson Hall dining facility. It was named after A1C
Batson, the airman in charge of its construction. (1966)
The first permanent building on Phan Rang Air Base.
It is a munitions storage warehouse in the bomb dump area. Note
the built-up earthen revetment around the storage building. (1966)
A photo of me standing in front of my office in the bomb
dump storage area. I could use a shoeshine. (1966)
A photo of A1C Jordan (left) and A1C Anderson (right) in the
Munitions Supply office maintaining asset records. They are
working on the daily munitions report to 7th Air Force. (1966)
I am standing in front of a row of 500 lb. bombs.
The crated white things in the background that look
like water heaters are rocket launchers. (1966)
1Lt Bill Sparks (right) and myself in Phan Rang City
on an afternoon visit to the marketplace. (1966)
43 years after PRAB (2008)
I retired from Air Force active duty in 1984 at Eglin AFB,
Florida. I then retired from my second career with the U.S.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve in New Orleans in April 2003
and now live in the Dayton, Ohio area. I am enjoying retired
life. I am active in the National Society Sons of the
American Revolution; and volunteer several days each week
at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. This latter interest has enabled
me to meet people from all over the United State and the world.
It is sad to report that Don had passed on to cancer on April 30, 2009.
He was a great friend to many and will be deeply missed. Added
information regarding Don can be read below in our Tribute section.
Rest in peace my friend.---Mike
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