The Flight Captain introduced our speaker, our own Bob Hayden. After graduating from OTS, Bob went into the Air Traffic Control business, and after his eyes got better, he went to UPT at Vance with an assignment to C-130s. The Navy tested using a C-130 on a carrier, but its mission load was too small, and nothing came of it. He went to Clark AB, Philippines with TDY to Cam Ranh Bay and Tan Son Nhut. Being stationed in the Philippines, his wing didn't count against the numbers in-country. In Viet Nam, he flew a number of missions with 80 little paratroopers. They once had 11 C-130s on a ramp preparing to go to Ka Sanh, and all but one had munitions. As luck would have it, that was the only one hit during a mortar attack. Several of the longer runways were made with roughly painted steel planking. An ice rink has an RCR of 6, and when the paint wore off, the planking RCR could be 4 in a light rain. He flew a lot of missions with elephant testicles, ball shaped fuel bladders. To clear a helicopter landing site, they could load 2 M-121, 10,000 lb. bombs made for the B-36. It took woodcutters 4 days to clear a site manually which ruined your surprise. The M-121 would lay out a 120-foot circle that only needed two hours to prepare for the choppers. When they ran out of the M-121, they used a 15,000 pound BLU-82. It was a butane tank filled with ammonia nitrate and powdered aluminum. After making several 10-mile GCI run-ins at different altitudes, they would drop at 6000 feet with a high degree of accuracy. At 130 knots indicated and 1.8 miles from the target, the load master released the load. The C-130 had a 2.5-g bounce from the shock wave. On the ground, anyone within .5 miles blew out their ear-drums and those within a mile were incapacitated. The bomb could also be used to blow off the side of a karst and block a road, a handy thing to do to the "Trail."

Bob trained on the AC-130, but the fighting stopped before he could deploy. Later, he got to do one Jet Assisted Take Off for a Veteran's Day show and flew one mission on skis. After retiring, he flew Boeing 737s for Continental.