The United States Air Force
553rd Reconnaissance Wing
Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base
Personal Experiences

This area contains individual stories of personal experiences from those who served with the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, Batcat, and others stationed at Korat RTAFB.

Story area added 6/28/02, Last updated 12/15/16.

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Batcat Stories by George Kamburoff.
Drawing of the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing emblem. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 9K. added 03/02/16.
Thoughts of a Lasting Impression from my tour at Korat. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 60K. added 03/02/16.
At Korat when the U.S. Navy lost the Nuclear Submarine Scorpion. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 19K. added 03/02/16.
An off duty opportunity to fly a deHavilland Canada Otter while at Korat. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 52K. added 03/02/16.

Batcat Story by Dick Anderson. Major Royal's Batcat crew 4 locates a Crashed Combat Lancer F-111. Adobe Acrobat PDF format, about 7K. added 10/06/14.

Batcat Stories by Mike Burroughs. Mike brings us 3 different stories. All are in PDF format. First is the story of the Broken Landing Gear Wheel. Second is the story of a Near Mid Air Collision with a fighter. Third is the story of Loosing all AC Electrical Power. These 3 stories added added 09/24/08.

"Batcat - Korat Stories," by J.J. Smith. J.J. Smith wrote a series of stories about his experiences with Batcat at Korat. These were written so his daughters and grand children would have an idea of what occurred in Thailand. These stories are presented in 3 different formats, all have the exact same text.
J.J. Smith's Stories - Adobe Acrobat PDF format - 140K.
J.J. Smith's Stories - Microsoft Word DOC format - 150K.
J.J. Smith's Stories - Corel WordPerfect WPD format - 100K.
Stories added added 01/01/08.

"Leaving Korat," by J.J. Smith. All USAF personell in Thailand used the services of "Hootch Girls." These ladies worked hard and were a joy to be around. Here J.J. relates his experience as he was about to depart Korat (ASCII Text - 6K). Story added 12/29/07.

The "EC-121R to Hong Kong," by Dick Arnold. During the last half of 1968, Major Dick Arnold flew an EC-121R from Korat to Hong Kong. Read about the while flying a standard combat mission, the EC-121R began to nose up, read here about the flight to Hong Kong and the Engine Failure on departure, with an excellent description of a very unusual and dangerous approach to Hong Kong. Story added 06/13/04.

The "Hydraulic Problem," by Lee Magers. On September 6, 1968, while flying a standard combat mission, the EC-121R began to nose up, read here about the safe recovery from a hydraulic flight control problem, and what the cause was. Story added 04/28/03.

The "Crash," by Mike Burroughs. On April 25, 1969 the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing lost an airplane with all 18 crewmembers aboard suffering fatal injuries. Here Mike Burroughs gives some personal feelings about this loss, and those who survived. Story added 09/28/02.

The "Nose Gear Pin Incident," by Gordon Tatro. Then A1C Gordon Tatro, served at Korat with the 553rd OMS from 1969 to 1970. Before his Batcat assignment, Gordon was assigned to the 551 OMS. During April 1969, while assigned to the 551 OMS, Gordon Tatro was part of a crew which ferried EC-121R, sn 67-21494, to Korat and returned another EC-121R back to Otis AFB. Here Gordon relates an unusual incident with a nose gear pin (PDF format, about 53K) which occurred during the trip. The EC-121R used 3 landing gear pins when the aircraft was on the ground, one for each main landing gear, and one for the nose gear. After engines were started, these landing gear pins were removed for flight. For those of you not familiar, take a look at this drawing at what a normal nose gear pin looks like. Basically it is straight pin with a "Remove Before Flight" banner attached. Now take a look at the actual Damaged Nose Gear Pin looks like. Gordon still has this pin! Story added 06/08/01, updated to PDF format, about 53K, updated 12/15/16.

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