Robert Andrew Bright, Crew Chief
18th SOS, Phan Rang and Nakhon Phanom, 1970-71
I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1950. I consider Fayetteville to be my home town but I graduated from Hope Mills High School in Hope Hills, North Carolina in 1968. I joined the Air Force at Fayetteville on 1 April 1969 before I got drafted by the Army.
I was assigned to the 4415 Training Squadron for training at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio from July thru October 1970. I served at Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam in the 18th Special Operations Squadron from November into December 1970 when I was transferred to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai (NKP) Air Base, Thailand where I served until my DEROS in November 1971.
As a Stinger crew chief, I worked long hard hours; 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was our responsibility to keep the aircraft in top flight condition. We had to keep the aircraft flying. We maintenance troops had to beg, borrow, and steal to get parts to fix our aircraft. But it was worth it and very satisfying to get missions off on time in safe and sound aircraft that would bring our aircrews safely back to base. I will always remember the comradeship with my fellow crew chiefs and the maintenance troops.
I separated from the regular Air Force at Eglin AFB, Florida in August 1972. I was in the Air National Guard 13th Tactical Fighter Wing working on F-105s and F-4s from April 1978 to March 1984 at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Then from March 1984 to March 1987, I was assigned to the Air Force Reserves 403rd Weather Unit working on C-130s at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. I retired from the 145th Air National Guard Unit (C-130s) in North Carolina in October 1995. My entire military career was in maintenance. I currently live in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina.