Alabama Vietnam Remembers

Veteran Services and Resources

« View All Submitted Oral Histories

A Pilot's Memory

Submitted by Frank Huskin

Vietnam Veteran

I was a pilot during the Vietnam War. In 1967, I was the Aircraft Commander of a C-141 aircraft, which is a large four engine jet cargo aircraft. I was at Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, when I got a call to fly to Saigon, South Vietnam, for a special mission. Upon arrival in Saigon, I was met by a small group of nurses, and a doctor. With them was a patient who was on a stretcher.

While we were refueling, they put the patient on the plane and secured him. One doctor and two nurses stayed with the young man. The doctor had given the young fella some very powerful pain killers as his whole body had severe burns from a phosphate bomb that had gone off near him. It was hard to see.
I was instructed to fly the four individuals to the Army burn center in San Antonio. It would be and 18-hour flight including a refueling stop in Japan. The government of the United States spent approximately $40,000, in fuel alone, to try and save this young fella's life.
I never did find out if he lived. I wish I knew because it was the most important mission I flew in a 22-year career. It showed the effort we went to save one individual. I still say a prayer sometimes in hopes that he did survive.