Robert Walker McCreight, Pilot
18th SOS, Phan Rang, Phu Cat, Udorn, and Nakhon Phanom, 1969-70
Born on 6 September 1935 in Ninety-Six, Greenwood County, South Carolina.
Entered Clemson University in 1953, but dropped out after 3 semesters to pursue lifelong goal of becoming a pilot. Enlisted in the USAF on 18 Apr 1955 as an Aviation Cadet. Awarded commission and navigator rating in Aug 1956. Served as a radar intercept officer (RIO) in F-94 and F-89 interceptor aircraft until 1960. Entered pilot training in April 1960 and awarded pilot rating in May 1961. Retired as a Major on 1 May 1975.
1957-58: Radar Intercept Officer, F-94C, New Castle 1958-60: RIO, F-89J, ft Commander, C-124, Donaldson AFB and Hunter AFB, 1965-68: Aircraft Commander/Instructor Pilot/Flight Examiner, C-141, Dover AFB, DE 1969: C-119/AC-119K training, Clinton County AB, OH, and Lockbourne AFB, OH.
1969: (November) Ferried AC-119K to Phan Rang AB, 1969-70: Aircraft Commander/Flight Examiner/ FOL Ops Officer/Interim FOL Commander, AC-119K, Phu Cat AB, RVN, Udorn RTAB, Nakhon Phanom 1971-74: Gunship Operations Officer, HQ PACAF, Hickam AFB, HI Note: During this period I earned a degree from Chaminade University under the Operation Bootstrap program 1974-75: Assistant Airfield Manager, Bergstrom AFB, TX 1975: Retired on 1 May. After retiring from the United States Air Force, I attended Texas A&M University and graduated in December 1978. In March 1979, I was hired by Texas A&M University as a pilot. I flew Beechcraft King Air aircraft for the university for over 28 years, serving as Chief Pilot for the last 23 years. I retired from Texas A&M University on 4 May 2007.
Navigator/Radar Intercept Officer: T-29, B-25, F-94, and F-89. Total time: 1100 hours.
Pilot/Aircraft Commander/Instructor Pilot/Pilot Flight Examiner: T-34, T-37, T-33, 0-2, C-124, C-141, and AC-119K. Total time: 6500 hours.
Awards and Decorations DFC, Air Medal w/11 OLC
Dates of Promotion 2/Lieutenant – 7 AUG 56; 1/Lieutenant – 7 FEB 58; Captain – 3 AUG 62; Major – 4 DEC 66
March of ’70 – it was Easter Sunday. As a matter of fact, we had a mission that took off late at night, but it had been raining a lot at Udorn and up in Laos where we were headed. So, we really didn’t expect to see much action. There’d been very little going on for several nights. But, about half an hour to forty-five minutes after we got up there and started working the trails, we spotted one truck, all by himself. We decided we’d go ahead and get in firing position and shoot, to see where it hit, so we could correct it. So we targeted this one truck, there all by himself on a rainy night, and the first time we shot, it looked like everything hit right on the truck, and it was probably the biggest explosion I’ve ever seen. It was so bright, it lit up the cockpit and actually moved the airplane. We were up about 5,000 feet. This truck continued to blow up – every minute or so there’d be another huge explosion. He obviously was loaded with some kind of ammunition – we don’t know what – but it was a tremendous explosion, and more explosions to follow. After about a half an hour, we decided to move on down the road with this truck still burning and blowing up. And probably just four or five miles down the road, we found one more lone truck, all by himself. He was just parked, sitting still, probably watching the explosions just down the road. So, after we shot at him a few times, we hit him, and he turned out to be a fuel truck. And we had another huge fireball. Didn’t see another truck on the road that night – the weather was bad, roads were muddy – but these two trucks just happened to be out there on a night when we didn’t really expect to see anything. After leaving the area, probably an hour later, that first ammo truck was still blowing up. And of course, we never found out exactly what he had, but it was really a potent cargo that he was carrying. It turned out to be a bad night for him, and a good one for us.