Preston H. Davis, Pilot
71st SOS, 17th SOS, and 14th SOW, Nakhon Phanom, Phan Rang, and Nha Trang, 1969-70
I was born in 1940 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Hinsdale Township High School in 1959. I graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1963.
The reason I joined the Air Force was because I wanted to fly and see the world.
I flew as an Aircraft Commander with the 71st SOS, then with the 17th SOS. I also served as the 17th SOS’s Executive Officer from June to October 1969; then as the Executive Officer for Colonel Bruce K. Brown, the 14th SOW’s Deputy for Operations, from October 1969 to April 1970.
My most exciting and memorable event in SEA occurred 16 August, 1969. Our Shadow 62 mission went to the A Shau Valley (Parrots Beak) on a TIC (troops in contact). We took .51 caliber AAA hits in the left wing and engine, which caused a fire on the engine. We jettisoned the flare launcher, illuminator, guns, ammunition, and NOS to reduce weight. We flew over Bien Hoa at 100 feet before we safely landed at Tan Son Nhut.
Sergeant Bruce Muller, Crew Chief, repaired the aircraft with a new engine, propeller, and turbine, which were all destroyed by the fire, and patched the holes in the wing and bladders. He finished recovering the aircraft in December, and returned it to service to fly again.