John Allen Murdock, III, Gunner
Written by Larry Fletcher and Norm Evans
His nickname was “Buddha.” John Murdock was born on 21 July 1943. He departed this earth on 18 March 1997. John completed three tours of duty in Southeast Asia. His first tour of duty was in 1966-67 as an aerial gunner on AC-47 Spooky gunships. He then became a Weapons Release Technician for F-106 aircraft in 1967-68. Buddha’s second Vietnam tour followed in 1968-69 as an Instructor Gunner on AC-119G/K gunships and AC-130A/E/H Spectre gunships. He also qualified as an Instructor/Sensor Operator on the AC-130H Spectre gunship. His third tour of duty in Vietnam was 1972-73.
A poet, John A. Murdock, III wrote the following tribute to his fellow Shadows who died in the crash of Shadow 78 at Tan Son Nhut on April 28, 1970:
The Shadow Men
The shadow men fly by night,
In the land of Vietnam.
They have many tales to tell,
Of battles they have won.
They fly on night patrols,
To help the friendlies out.
To give them some security,
With the VC all about.
These crews of courageous men,
Fight the battles long,
But not always do these crews come home.
Some have made the sacrifice,
For a reason they believed.
The rest of us fight the war,
So they died not in vain.
Where do they go from here?
To heaven I believe.
They went there to be with god,
To wait for you and me.
Walk proud my friends who fly the shadow,
For a crew went down today.
Let us not let them down,
For the sacrifice that they made.
We’ll take them with us in memories,
For great guys were they all!
Now let us go out and fight the battles,
And bring an end to wars.
by John A. Murdock, III SSgt. USAF – 28 May 70 (Posted in Fighting C Flight’s Operations Shack)