William “Bill” G.S. Lodge, Pilot
18th SOS, Nakhon Phanom and Da Nang, 1971-72
My birthplace was Washington, District of Columbia in 1932. I graduated from Kiski Prep School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania. I graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. I joined the USAF to avoid the draft and to go to pilot training.
I was a Stinger pilot and instructor pilot with the 18th SOS assigned to Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand from December 1971 to March 1972 and to Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam from March 1972 thru September 1972. I flew 130 combat missions in the AC-119K gunship. All missions were exciting. I also flew many flights as Functional Check Flights (FCF) at both NKP and Da Nang. I will always remember that I was the operation officer at Da Nang. We had six complete crews, four aircraft, and were tasked with four combat missions per night.
I retired from the USAF at Vandenberg AFB, California on 1 February 1986 with 31 years and 5 months total active service.