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VNAF CAPTAIN HAROLD HOA BACH: Born November 18, 1943 at Kien An, Haiphong, North Vietnam. Moved to South Vietnam during immigration in 1954 after Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into two parts at parallel 17. North was Communist and South was Freedom. Graduated from high school in Saigon during 1963.
Drafted by government February 1968. Attended Reserve Officer Training at Dong De Training Base, Nha Trang. Graduated and served in the Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) as platoon commander attending to daily operations around the border of Saigon.
Volunteered for Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) July 1969. Sent to United States of America for helicopter pilot training at Fort Wolters, Texas. Unsuccessful at pilot training, returned to Vietnam. Attended and successfully completed navigator training at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon. Assigned to 817th AC-47 “Spooky” Squadron at Tan Son Nhut for four months before being assigned to AC-119G “Shadow” Combat Aircrew Training Program with 14th Special Operations Wing at Phan Rang Air Base. Successfully completed navigator training on March 12, 1971 and assigned to 819th Squadron, 5th Division of VNAF. Flew many, many AC-119G combat missions in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Assigned to 18th Special Operations Squadron at Da Nang for Special Operations School AC-119K “Stinger”. First Lieutenant Bach successfully completed AC-119K navigator training and instructor navigator training on February 15, 1973. Bach was also qualified as SEFE on the K-model by USAF Lt. Col. Philip A. Deering. Bach’s last rank in the VNAF was First Lieutenant but upon receipt of a memorandum, he ultimately attained the rank of Captain.
The Republic of Vietnam fell on April 30, 1975 and Bach fled from Saigon and returned to the United States of America as a refugee at Camp Pendleton, California. In 1983, Bach became an American citizen and changed his name from HOA NGOC BACH to HAROLD HOA BACH.
Bach retired September 20, 2004 after 28 years of service at Toyota Company as Press Operator (2 years), Quality Assurance (2 years), Production Planner (10 years), CAD Specialist (14 years) for the Manufacturing Engineering Department. “See Gericke’s story about Harold.”