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776 Tactical Airlift Squadron
animated c-130
~The Red Lion~

776 Tactical Air Lift Squadron patch
United States Air Force

• Distinguished Unit Citation with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster •
• Air Force Outstanding Unit Award •
• European Campaign Medal with 5 Battle Stars •
• Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Battle Stars •
• Vietnam Campaign Medal •
• Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf •

C-130-E with Vietnam Service Medals


19 May 1943 - - - Originally constituted as the 776th Bombardment Squadron to fly B-24 Bombers with the 464th Bombardment Group in WW2
22 Jun 1944 to 9 Sep 1944 - - - Rome Arno Campaign
25 Jul 1944 to 14 Sep 1944 - - - Northern France Campaign
14 Aug 1944 to 14 Sep 1944 - - - Southern France Campaign
10 Sep 1944 to 4 Aug 1945 - - - North Apennines Campaign
5 Sep 1945 to 8 May 1945 - - - Po Valley Campaign
31 Jul 1945 - - - 776th Bombardment Squadron inactivated
1 Feb 1953 - - - Reactivated as the 776th Troop Carrier Squadron
Sep 1954 - - - Relocated to Pope AFB, North Carolina - - The 776th was the first squadron at Pope AFB to convert from C-123s to C-130s and one of the first in the USAF to fly the C-130-E models.
28 Nov 1961 to 1 May 1963 - - - AFOUA, DAF Special Order G-152/64
1964 - - - The 776th flew relief missions to Anchorage, Alaska following the earthquake. They were deployed TDY to France after returning from the relief mission.
Early 1965 - - - Operation Eagle Jump
April 1965 - - - Operation Power Pack, mission to the Dominican Republic
Nov 1965 - - - Alerted for movement to Southern Asia - - - In the spring of 1965 the 776th was deployed TDY to Kadena AFB. When TAC sent 8 full squadrons PCS to PACAF, the 776th was one of them, possibly because the 776th was already operating out of Kadena and Naha. The 776th was held at Tachikawa while CCK AB was being prepared to support the C-130s
1 Jan 1966 - - - Operational at Tachikawa AB, Japan, Support Southern Asia
14 Mar 1966 - - - Frag order #3, 315 ADIV, Ops order #352-66 directed squadron to be in place at Ching Chuan Kang AB, Taiwan - - - The 776th was moved to CCK AB in April or May of 1966 to join the 314th Troop Carrier Wing which came over from Stewart.
1 Apr 1966 - - - The 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron operational at CCK
1 Jan 1966 to 30 Apr 1966 - - - Cam Ranh Bay Shuttle (Operation Blue Light)
May 1966 - - - Nha Trang Shuttle (Operation Peach Tree)
Dec 1966 - - - ABCCC (Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center) requirement, Da Nang AB, Republic of Vietnam
Jan 1967 - - - Operation Junction City, Georgia, NC.
15 Jan 1967 - - - ABCCC moves to Udorn, Thailand
Sept 1967 - - - Bangkok Shuttle begins
Oct 1967 - - - Tuy Hoa Shuttle begins
20 Jan 1968 to 31 Mar 1968 - - - Battle of Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam
Apr 1968 to Jun 1968 - - - Operation Delaware (A Shau Valley Campaign)
4 Aug 1968 - - - Operation Banish Beach
Jul 1969 - - - Commando Twist and Commando Image
Aug 1969 to Dec 1969 - - - Katum, Bu Prang, An Hua Operations
Feb 1971 to Apr 1971 - - - Operation Lam Son 719
May 1971 to Aug 1971 - - - Operation Lam Son 720
Oct 1971 - - - Cam Ranh Bay shuttle begins
Exact date unknown - In a purely paperwork move, the 314 TAW returned stateside and the wing at CCK became the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing. Crews and aircraft remained assigned to CCK and only the name of the wing was changed on official records.
15 Apr 1972 - - - Beginning of the Battle of An Loc, Republic of Vietnam (Easter Airlift)
1972 to 1973 - - - Maintainence and support at Ching Chuan Kang AB, Taiwan / Detachments operating out of Ton Son Nhut, AB Vietnam / U-Tapao AB, Thailand / Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand.
27 Jan 1973 - - - A crew from 776 TAS and a crew from 345 TAS flew into Honoi to bring a North Vietnamese delegation back to Ton Son Nhut near Siagon.
Some time after 1973 the 776 TAS moved to Clark AFB, Phillipines
29 Apr 1975 - - - C-130 with a crew from the 776 TAS was the last fixed wing aircraft to leave carrying refugees out of Ton Son Nhut as Siagon was being over run by the North Vietnamese
Oct 1975 Aprox - - - 776 TAS deactivated

Special thanks to Big John, Sam McGowan, and others who helped compile this history.

PACAF patch U. S. Air Force776 TAS patchPhoenix Select Crew 14 patch

Aircraft and Missions of the 776th
subdued Vietnam patch

During the Vietnam era the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron flew Lockheed C130E Hercules aircraft. The C130 is a large cargo aircraft capable of many types of missions. These aircraft do not require paved runways and can take off or land in a very short distance. The C130 is 98 feet long with a 132 foot, 7 inch wingspan. These aircraft can carry up to 45,000 pounds of cargo in a cargo compartment that is 40 feet long, 119 inches wide, and 9 feet high. Additional cargo can be carried on the ramp. The C130 can reach a speed of 345 MPH at an altitude of about 20,000 feet. The range is about 2,000 nautical miles. The aircraft is equipped with four Allison T56 engines which produce 4,200 prop shaft horsepower each. Each engine has a variable pitch prop which can operate in forward or reverse. For short field landings the engines are reversed as soon as the landing gear makes contact with the ground resulting in very short airstrip requirements. The C130E is capable of carrying out cargo, airdrop, med evac, passenger, or paratroop drop missions. Other specialized missions are possible. For normal operations the C130 requires a 5 man crew. The normal crew consists of a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, and loadmaster. The C130E is a very tough and reliable aircraft.

During the early 1970s the 776 TAS carried out missions all over Pacific area, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Korea and many other countries. Missions were also flown to many of the islands in the Pacific. All types of cargo was transported. Although much of the cargo was general, fuel and explosives were also hauled. Passengers were transported and medical patients were evacuated to hospital facilities. Passenger missions often included foreign nationals and sometimes prisoners of war. The C130s were often used to transport those killed in action from remote airfields to the larger air bases. In times when a defensive position was surrounded and no supplies could get in, the C130s would fly through heavy anti-aircraft and ground fire to drop needed supplies to the friendlies on the ground.

During 1970 and 1971 the 776 TAS was operating out of CCK, Taiwan with Det 1 at Ton Sun Nhut, Vietnam and Det 2 at Utapao, Thailand. Crews were rotated to the detatachments on a TDY basis. There was also a shuttle operating out of Bangkok, Thailand. As the U.S. involvement in the war began to wind down, Det 1 in Ton Sun Nhut was closed down and the 776 crews began operations out of Nakhon Phanom ,Thailand. Missions were still being flown into Vietnam, but no [U.S.] C-130 crews were assigned TDY to Vietnam.


side view animated C-130-E

And it came to pass as the fourth hour before the dawn approacheth
into that known as the land of the rising sun, a messenger goeth
forth into the tents of the birdmen, and he spaketh unto each
Saying verily, "Arise and don thy garments and go to the gathering
place, for THE MASTER has decreed that it shall be thus!".

The birdmen, awakening, mutter into their beards and revile the
messenger, saying his mother has no morals, and that his father
knoweth him not, and they arise and seek out their socks and
goeth forth to bread, and one breaketh his tooth upon the
bread and did vent all manner of vile recriminations thereupon.

Then they gathered together in the sanctum known as briefing,
and their voices are hushed, for they are in the presence of THE
MASTER. And so it came to pass that disciples arise in turn and
spake unto them saying routes, altitudes, and mission, for this is
their manner of speaking. And at last THE MASTER ariseth and sayeth
unto them, "Yea, verily, thou art indeed fortunate, for the weather
is wretched but does naught to oppose ye.....Go ye forth therefore
and gird thineselves for flight, and let him who would abort beware,
for my wrath for him will be great!".

And the birdmen go to their machines and prepare their rituals
and gird their loins for battle. Some are beset by trembling and
redness of the eye, for they had partaken freely of wine, and
they seeketh out their friends and speak unto them saying, "Yea
many times thou hast been a brother unto me and I unto thee. Willst
thou not therefore take my place in flight this day, for I am indeed
infirm." And their friends answereth saying, "Thou soundest faint
and I cannot hear thee. Go thou then and disturb not my meditations."

And they go once more to their iron machines, and there ariseth
a great clamor as they make ready to go forth, and the great birds
are arisen into the air, all save one who aborteth because of
fuel leaks. THE MASTER curseth this one saying, "Thou shalt
know the full measure of my wrath!!!"

And the birdmen goeth into the places of darkness, even unto the
doorway of the evil one, called by name....Davy Jones.......

Then the skies become dark with mist and the birdmen stray and miss
their observations and are lost, and they find not their way, and
they are sore afraid, and THE MASTER'S people call out saying,
"Spare, Oh Spare, indeed wherefore art thou? Come thou to me,
reversing thy way". And the birdmen replyeth, "Verily, thou
shouldest fall in expiration, Herman, for my wings are heavily laden
with ice, and by my beard, my fuel runneth low."

And some falleth into the land of darkness, others meet with the
evil one known as Davy Jones, and one or another scurryeth like
mice and returneth to THE MASTER.


86 foot high Chang Hua concrete Buddha.

C-130-E on take off rollC-130 crew meeting before a mission

C-130 at Da Lat Air Base, Vietnam passenger terminalVietnamese passenger wait to load on C-130

C-130 at Kontum damaged in rocket attackChanging the starter on a C-130 at Phenom Penh, Cambodia

Old News Clippings From CCK and Det 1, 834th Ton Sun Nhut
News Clippings about CCK operations and C-130 Crews from 1970-1973. Includes the CCK Paper, Vietnam Airlifter, and Det 1 Report with stories and pictures of Southeast Asia operations.

Large animated C-130-E


HerkyBirds.com - Everything C-130! Pictures, Patches, Forum, More!
An Loc - The story of the An Loc airdrops by Sam McGowan
A Tennessee Loadmaster - The story of Charlie Shaub and the An Loc airdrops
United States Air Force Museum - History and aircraft pictures
Vietnam Wall Home Page - Locate names on the wall / See pictures
The American Legion - A patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization
The VFW - U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars - Assistance and service to war veterans
The USO - United Services Organization bringing entertainment and comfort to American servicemen

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Tupelo trees on a sanbar

Graywolf / 2004