Gary L. Ingram, Propeller Specialist
Phan Rang, Nakhon Phanom, 1970-71
I was born in New Castle, PA in 1950. I moved to Youngstown Ohio in 1953 and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High school in 1968.
I Started college at Youngstown State University in September 1968. By December I decided to venture out into the world and wanted to work on aircraft so by Christmas I was on way to the Air Force for basic training at Lackland AFB, TX.
I started my new career as a Propeller Specialist and was sent to Sheppard AFB, TX. At tech school I learned three propeller systems, Curtiss Electric, Aero Products, and Hamilton Standard. After graduation my first assignment was the 777th squadron at Pope AFB on C-130E models in August 1969.
In January 1970 my first TDY was to Mildenhall AFB, England for 70 days. Upon returning back to Pope AFB a short time later I received orders for Udorn AFB, Thailand, on the AC-130 Spectre. I was sent to Dyess AFB, TX for a three week FTD school. In my third week I was told my assignment was cancelled and I was sent back to Pope, AFB. One month later I received my new assignment for Phan Rang AB, RVN. On July 29, 1970 I was on my way to McChord AFB, Washington waiting for my Flying Tiger ride to Vietnam, with stops at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, Yokota AB, Japan and a one night layover in Cam Ranh Bay, RVN. The next morning a C-123 took me to Phan Rang and I started my new journey. I was assigned to the 14th FMS Propeller shop working on the 17th SOS and 18th SOS Shadows and Stingers along with EC-47 and 0-2 Skymaster FAC birds. I also was assigned to be an augmentee for the first 30 days. I received extra M-16 and grenade launcher training with the ROKs. I think we took two rocket attacks in those 30 days and went to the perimeter towers twice. It was pretty exciting since I was supposed to be a Propeller Specialist. During the month of October 1970 I was scheduled for flying status to fly around Vietnam and pick up spare parts for any shop that needed them. Flying in the Shadows and Stingers was a great experience. The last ten days of October I was sent to Tan Son Nhut to help out with some propeller problems. By December 1970 1 was told that my new job assignment was at Nikon Phanom (NKP) AB, Thailand. I was assigned to the 18th SOS as the Stinger Propeller Specialist and also lending a hand on A-IE Skyraiders and OV-IO Broncos. My tour ended July 29, 1971 and my new assignment was Norton AFB, CA working on C-118s and T-29s. On December 7, 1972 I was discharged from the Air Force. After being out for several years, C-130s came to Youngstown, Ohio, Air Reserve Base and my next Air Force career started as an Air Reserve Technician. The next 28 years my jobs included Propeller and Engine Shop Supervisor on the T-56 Allison engines and 54H60-91 Hamilton Standard Propellers. My last six years I was the Quality Assurance Superintendent and retired as a Chief Master Sergeant with 34 years. I have been married to my wife Linda for 49 years. We have two daughters and four grandchildren. We now reside in Venice, Florida.