Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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One Veteran of Our Flight From Saigon Was Also Part Of Our Flight From Kabul


One of the great things about social media is that it lets people with real expertise in a niche area contribute to current discussions.

Yesterday, the Taliban put the lie to Joe Biden’s empty brag that there would never be helicopters evacuating people from the roof of the Kabul embassy; see Biden Proven Wrong Again, as Helicopters Land on US Embassy Roof.

Trains and aircraft are two modes of transportation with a huge fan base, and one trepid sleuth started checking the aircraft Bureau Numbers (BuNo) used during our precipitous flight from Kabul. The BuNo is assigned when an aircraft leaves the manufacturing facility and remains with it forever. One of those was a Ch-46E operated by the US Department of State Air Wing with the registration N38TU and BuNo 154038.

Here it is.

Then, for reasons unknown to me, he turned looked at the Bu Nos of aircraft involved in Operation FREQUENT WIND. FREQUENT WIND was the operational name for the evacuation of people from the US Embassy in Saigon to Task Force 76, a Navy formation located about 17 miles off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea. Helicopters based with the Task Force shuttled refugees from Saigon out to US ships. There, on the deck of the Essex-class carrier USS Hancock, was a CH-46 with the BuNo of 154038.

According to registry data, 154038 was transferred from the USMC to the State Department on June 12, 2012.

I’m not sure if we want to retire this old warhorse to the Smithsonian or sink it in the Marianas trench.




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