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HistoryCrazy Cat's/1st Radio Research HistoryHistory

Circa 1972

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...I was in the Army for five years before I was in the Navy so I wanted to look at how their P-2's were handled. All throughout my time in the Navy I would run into people that, when they found out I had been in the Army, would ask if I had ever worked on the "Army AP-2E's"? No I didn't, and neither did anyone else I ever knew unless the A in the designator stands for Army, not attack. The Army aircraft were EP-2E's, and there is still one of them sitting at Ft. Rucker to attest to that. I had orders to Viet Nam in early 72, and hoped to get sent to the 1st Radio Research Company (Aviation) at Cam Ranh, but by the time I got in country they had stood down. I was sent instead to the 146th Aviation Company (Radio Research) at Long Thanh North AAF, which is east of Saigon on Route 15 between Long Binh and Vung Tau, near the big Thai Division HQ at "Bearcat". When I got there a lot of the people had just been transferredred in from the 1st RR(AVN) to finish their tours with us. They had stripped their hooches (barracks) and brought along a lot of stuff with their company logo painted on it. Some of the officers had doors with the Crazy Cat logo painted the same size as the aircraft noses, which is probably around four feet....The web site splits into both Crazy Cat, and 1st RR(AVN), but in reality they were the same. Like the 146th AVN(RR) that I was in, they were under the 224th Aviation Battalion (Radio Research), which in turn was under the 509th Radio Research Group. This whole bunch wore Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) patches on their shoulders, but in reality they were all SIGINT (siginal intelligence) units with allegiance to the Army Security Agency (ASA), which in turn reported to the National Security Agency (NSA). The Radio Research moniker was just a nom de geurre for ASA outfits in Vietnam, and a Radio Research company that was aviation was the same as a aviation company that was Radio Research. The 1st RR(AVN) was at Cam Ranh with EP-2E's, The 146th AVN(RR) was at Long Thanh and later Can Tho with RU-8D's (Beech Twin Bonanzas), the 138th AVN(RR) was at Phu Bai with RU-21's (Beech King Airs) etc. There had even been a company equipped with Dehaviland Beavers, or U-6's in Army jargon, and we in the 146th had one of them that we used as a pilot trainer. The notion of Army SIGINT folks being interested in using the aircraft for attack purposes brings a smile to me, because if you knew these folks like I did nothing could be further from their mind. You have to understand that these folks had a much greater "need to know" than the average guy. They took intelligence gathering seriously, and professionally, and were not particularly interested in becoming a smoking hole on a mountain side, or getting their debrief from the NVA. If you have to use SIGINT people as shooters then the Cong had better be in the wire so to speak. There was no reason or need to use them for anything but intelligence collection. I was stationed at Ft. Rucker in 76, and was down at the museum one day looking at the EP-2E and a sergeant came up and started talking to me. He said that he had been on the flight that had ferried the plane back to Rucker from Vietnam. I told him that I thought that would have been a great flight to be on. He replied, "Nah, damn near froze to death, and it was incredibly boring." The aircraft at Rucker still has the Crazy Cat markings, although I do not remember the BuNo. Also the 224th Aviation Battalion existed as of last summer (97). I saw their HQ on Hunter Army Airfield at Savannah. ASA and Military Intelligence were merged after the Vietnam conflict, and the battalion is under this combination now. Their nickname was "Lonely Ringers". I noticed a P-2 at the museum at Robbins AFB in Warner-Robbins GA, but I was driving past, and I didn't get a chance to stop and look at it. I have been told that it is a B-69 but don't know this for a fact. I think the bottom line is that 1st RR(AVN) was not a VO-67 or a VAH-21 despite the fact that many seem to think it was. If you haven't been to the museum at Rucker you should go. It has just been redone, and they did it like a modeler does a diorama except that the scale is 1:1. Some incredible displays, and a helicopter that I used to fly in, but that is another story..." Contributed by Hap Walker (RET) hcwalker@aol.com

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: crazy_6.jpg ThumbnailCameraCrazy Cat's/1st Radio Research Company "...Army P-2 Pilots In 1972 When Unit Stood Down..." Contributed by Dave Drum dldrum@statesville.net [E-Mail Updated 01MAR2001 | 01DEC96]

Circa 1970

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraRick Freeman (l) and Mike Kruchoski (r) "...Rick Freeman (l) and Mike Kruchoski (r) on the ramp pre-mission, sometime in 1970. Don't know who the photographer was, but he R&R'ed in Australia and had a knack for taking very nice candid pics of girls. On this particular day, back at NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, all he had as subjects were his fellow crew members. Yuck! As best I can recall, we would typically be airborne about noon, return about 4:00 am, after refueling in DaNang enroute home. I'd lie to you and say those were some of the best days of my life, but that would just be BS, 'cuz people were trying to kill us -- and us, them! I keep this photo on my desk as I "cold call" in the name of scientific research, just as reminder that I've survived scarier things than "rejection" by strangers over the phone. These days I'm not so interested in reminiscing about those "good, old days" as I am in knowing how my buddies' lives have turned out, i.e., what are they doing today and how they arrived at it. "Google" my last name and you'll find more than you really want to know about my life since Vietnam. Email or call me, and I'll be excited to hear from you. Honest!..." Contributed by KRUCHOSKI, Michael Paul vietnam.2018.kruchoski@xemaps.com [07APR2007]

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