Paul K. Goen, Crew Chief
71st SOS, Nha Trang, 1969
I was born in 1936 at Indianapolis, Indiana where I grew up and attended school. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1955 and served on active duty until 1959. From 1959 to 1963, I was assigned to the Navy Reserves to complete my eight-year commitment to the Navy. I entered the U.S. Air Force at Bakalar AFB, Columbus, Indiana in October 1964. I joined the Air Force because I liked to work on aircraft and to fly. Navy ships took too long to cross the Pacific at 16 knots; whereas, an Air Force gunship could fly the pond at 180 knots true air speed.
I was assigned to the 71st Special Operations Squadron in May 1968. I helped ferry an AC-119G from the States to Vietnam as a Staff Sergeant Ground Crew Chief. I even received flight pay! The flight crew consisted of Major Dick Morgan, Captain Will R. Casey, Copilot; Lt. Col. Bill Woolen, Navigator; and Staff Sergeant Squire Riley, Flight Engineer. We left March AFB, California on 4 January 1969 for the long trip to Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam. I served at Nha Trang Air Base until returning to the States in June 1969.
After 29 years of military service, I retired from the USAF in February 1995 at Grissom AFB, Indiana. My wife Florence and I live in Southport (a suburb of Indianapolis), Indiana.