1882nd History Report 1965

1882nd CS History Report 1965

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Comm Build-Up- Extract from AFCS Intercom article May 6, 1966 "Emergency Communications--Business of the Far Flung Black Hats in the Pacific"

1st Mobile Communications Group & 1882nd Communications Squadron
The 1st Mobile Communications Group Team 56-65 came to Phan Rang with its own equipment and the basic necessities for sustaining life. Food consisted only of C-Rations until the base-support facilities moved in 30 days behind the 1st Mobile Black Hats. The bare-base support facility is known as the Grey Eagle Cantonment Package and consists of food, medical and living facilities plus the men to use and administer the supplies.

Phan Rang AB
Phan Rang Air Base is not a new base for air operations. During World War II, the Japanese operated from a 3,500 foot runway at a site not far from the present base. Team 56-65, composed of 60 men, upon arrival at Phan Rang immediately began the gigantic task of filling 45,000 sandbags and putting each one into place. These sandbags made a revetted fort large enough for two communication vans, several power units and two Jamesway huts. This fort became the center of the 1st Mobile operations and included a complete line of mobile communications equipment.

Fort Cross
This communications complex soon became known as "Fort Cross," named after MSgt. Nelson T. Cross, team NCOIC. This honor was bestowed upon Sergeant Cross by fellow-team-members because of his devotion and loyalty to the team. Sergeant Cross, 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 245lbs., the Air Force Judo Champ for 1965, is now teaching the art of throwing sandbags instead of people. Often, he became the final link in a chain of sandbag throwers in building revetting walls. As the wall reached six feet he would move into the key position and stack each sandbag to a summit of eight feet.
First Mobile equipment, inside Fort Cross, ranges from a single side band radio which is carried in a suitcase, to a communications van that weighs 17,000 pounds.
The initial equipment and personnel required to set up communications at Phan Rang were flown in to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, by five C-130s and two C-124s; one ship was also used in the movement. After the equipment was off-loaded at Cam Ranh Bay, it was trucked to Phan Rang, 30 miles south of Cam Ranh Bay.
After the final shipment of 1st Mobile equipment, a Ground Control Approach unit, (GCA), was flown to the new Phan Rang Air Base in a C-124. In just hours the GCA unit was off-loaded, pulled into place and declared operational - on the air.

Ready for Action
At that time, the 1st Mobile team entered the final stage of bare-strip operation, the communications equipment was transferred to the newly activated 1882nd Communications Squadron. Then the new 1882nd personnel were trained to operate their newly acquired semi-mobile gear. As the training was completed, some of the 1st Mobile men packed their bags, folded their tents and returned to Clark where they prepared for another "Black Hat" deployment. Others continued on at the 1882nd until PCS personnel arrived to take their place.
For photos and additional information please go to the following sites: Don Taylor's Gray Eagle Site and the 1st Mob Site.
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Base Attacks

Attack Aircraft Personnel
Seq No Date/Time Type Rounds Destroyed Damaged KIA WIA
Total Phan Rang 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total AF Vietnam 3 110 6 14 1 27
Phan Rang Percentage 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

BASE Attacks Inbound
Aircraft Personnel
Destroyed Damaged KIA WIA
Bien Hoa 1 97 0 11 0 24
Nha Trang 1 7 0 0 0 0
Da Nang 1 6 6 3 1 3