Capt Shelley Hilliard, USAF

602nd ACS, BienHoa, Oct,1964-Jun,1965

A-1Es on the Cubi Pt NAS flight line to be flown to Bien Hoa, 1964

Putting time on new Skyraiders at Cubi Pt. NAS, PI.

Capt Shelley Hilliard leads 4 of 6 ship flight from Cubi Pt. NAS to Bien Hoa AB, RVN

Capt Shelley Hilliard leads 4 of 6 ship flight from Cubi Pt. NAS to Bien Hoa AB, RVN

Bien Hoa flight line on 16 May 1965 following VC sapper attack which blew up USAF B-57s.

The following correction from Delmar Shelley Hilliard::

Damage was not caused by VC action. We did it all by our selves.

The B-57s, I think 24 (but at least 8 ) were parked wing tip to wing tip and armed with 500 pound bombs. The B-57 was started with a black powder cartridge that fired when the pilot hit the starter switch. That in turn caused a small starter turbine to spinning. These turbines had a nasty habit of spinning loose and coming out of the starter housing like a buzz saw. It didn't much matter as long as it did not hit anybody or any thing. In this case it came out and hit the fuse of one of the 500 pounders starting a chain reaction. I think I am right about these numbers, but you might want to check them:

24 B-57s destroyed
2 crew men in each B-57 and I think they were all killed
24 VNAF A-1s destroyed
Several VNAF killed
Several VNAF A-1s damaged
Several USAF ( other than B-57 crew ) killed
Several USAF A-1s damaged

One USN jet fighter (I do not know the type) destroyed. The pilot was USAF Maj. Bell, on an exchange tour with the USN. He had a hung bomb and they would not let him back on the boat with it. He was almost into base ops and went back to his plane to get his maps. He was standing on the wing when the B-57s blew. We found his name tag and it took about 3 days to figure out who he was.

Col. Wild Bill Beatha ( Cmdr. 34 Tac Ftr Gp ) said he was in command of the worst U.S. military disaster since Pearl Harbor.


Another shot of the Bien Hoa flight line on 16 May 1965.

Low pass over Bien Hoa.

USAF pilots who flew on Pleiku retallation raid against Chap
Le Army Barracks, North Viet Nam, 8 Feb. 1965.

L-R Unk, Capt. Jay Longenecker, Capt. Shelley Hilliard,
L/Col. Andy Chapman (Cmdr. 602 Ftr. Sqd, (Commando)), Capt. Charles Gulley,
Capt. Al Motley, Capt. Dean Werley.
Picture taken in front of DaNang Officer's Club (DOOM Club).

Capt Hilliard and Sgt. Robinson at Bien Hoa awards ceremony after Pleiku retaliation raid..

Members of the 602nd Fighter Squadron (Commando) participate in a
flight line awards ceremony.

Awaiting start engines.

Capt Hilliard flys formation.

VNAF A-1H landing at Bien Hoa. Smoke is from burning grass to clear perimeter.

Returning to Bien Hoa.






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