Click on the Download link to view larger, high resolution image.
This link gives you the same image, with locations noted.
On 15 Nov. 1967, I was working the tower when we were attacked by mortar.
We were in the middle of a very heavy resupply operation. For the last several weeks, we had been having dozens of C130s flying in supplies and flying out dead and wounded. Mortar attacks were an almost daily occurrence, but they never hit anything of importance. On this day, I had the ramp, where the planes unloaded, almost completely full of C130s, maybe 6 or so, and others in the pattern for landing. When the mortars first hit, I alerted all air traffic and the planes in the air went into holding patterns, while those on the ground took off as quickly as they could.
Unfortunately, the traffic through the apron was one way and three C130s were hit. The planes at the head of the line were able to get out onto the runway and take off. Those behind the stricken planes were able to turn around on the ramp and get out the way they'd come in.
But, the first two planes that were hit caught on fire and eventually burned. The third plane, although hit and leaking fuel, did not catch fire. Its crew was able to pull it away from the other two, turn it around, and move it as far away from them as possible on the ramp. You can see the fuel stains on the ramp where it was turned around.
During all this, I stayed in the control tower, giving the officers in the command bunker updates on the situation as I saw it, and instructing planes still in the air that we were now closed and that they had to go back home.
Not too long after the attack, I was contacted on the radio by an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft that wanted to take some pictures of the damage. I told him to come on over, the sky was all his. When he flew over, I saw that the plane was an F101 VooDoo with a blister under the nose for the cameras. I asked the pilot if I could have a copy of the photos he was taking and he said sure. A week or two later, a photo arrived.
I've scanned that photo and posted it here for you to view. it shows pretty much the entire runway and most of the structures alongside it. If you lived here at some point, you should be able to see where you lived.
I've added a second version of the photo, this one with different locations noted.
If you can identify a tent or gun battery, I'd appreciate it if you could somehow let me know so I can add that to the photo.
Also, there is audio that I recorded while in the tower during this attack. Go to the Audio page to listen to it.
To contact me, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.