Colonel Arthur Leo Chase (1935-1994)
Fighter Pilot, USAF (1958-1986)
Below is a list of the places I've found on the web which have helped me learn more about my Father's experience as an F-100 fighter pilot in Vietnam, his Air Force career, and a few other interesting places that you might find useful. Remember that web sites appear and disappear almost daily. If you find something invaluable you are well advised to copy it onto your own drive and back it up for safekeeping, because the next time you return you could see a "404-Not Found" error instead of what you were looking for.
The Battle at Bo Tuc
I was not aware that this site about my Dad had been cataloged by any web search engine until I received an email from a gentleman who had come across it by searching for the term "Bo Tuc" using the Google search engine. He came across the page about my Dad's medals which includes the "Citation to Accompany the Award of The Distinguished Flying Cross To Arthur L. Chase" which I typed up from the photocopied document supplied to me when I requested my Dad's military records. The Citation includes information about Dad's bravery while supplying air support to soldiers on the ground who were in danger of being surrounded by the enemy.
The person who emailed me was one of the soldiers on the ground that night of December 20, 1967, and he passed along the link to this site to many of his fellow soldiers he has kept in touch with. As a result I received several priceless emails from these brave men, all of them expressing thanks for Dad's heroism and bravery in the face of grave danger to help protect them. There simply are not words to adequately describe how much those emails mean to me and my family and how much I wish I could share them with my Father.
I highly recommend that you visit this site to learn more about the Battle at Bo Tuc and spend time exploring the excellent web site of the "Manchus" - the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry.
Dad mentioned in a Tom Clancy book
On a lark one evening I did a search for "Art Chase" (my Dad's name) using Google.
I came across an excerpt of the book "Every Man a Tiger" by Tom Clancy about General Chuck Horner, who commanded the Air campaign during the Gulf War. The book excerpt relates a story about my Dad (as a First Lt.!) being his flight instructor while in Laredo.
You can read the excerpt here.
To be certain this was my Dad I searched for a bio of General Horner and found this.
His assignment in Laredo matches that of my Dad (my brother and sister were both born in Laredo during this timespan).
I'm trying to find an email address for General Horner to see if he has any other memories about my Dad, but so far I'm not having much luck.
The late David Foote was a pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force squadron stationed at Phan Rang. His excellent web site includes a panoramic picture of the Air Force Base, and photos of the planes that flew out of there, as well as the nearby beach and "Strip." His Guestbook is a great place to read firsthand experiences posted by other people who were at Phan Rang. UPDATE: 11/29/2000: Sadly, David's web site link now reports "Not Found" (the link above is to a saved version at archive.org) The Guestbook, however, remains online hosted by Lycos. To post a message to the Guestbook, use this URL: http://www.Lpage.com/wgb/wgbsign.dbm?owner=Footie
My Dad graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where he was a star pitcher on the baseball team. I didn't know until I began research for this web site that Texas Tech has a substantial collection of Vietnam related material. I hope to be able to donate some items in my Dad's name someday. Check out Resources on the Vietnam Conflict at Texas Tech University. If you happen to have any items from Vietnam help them make their Virtual Vietnam Archive the best place on earth to learn about this war which changed so many of our lives.
"An Attack on Phan Rang" is a recollection by Craig Lord, former Sentry/Dog Handler at the Air Force Base which well describes how the site was under regular enemy fire.
"Scramble at Phan Rang" is a picture which you can view online and download - it illustrates members of the 120th TFS Colorado Air National Guard racing to their F-100's on the flightline at Phan Rang.
Among other excellent information, the Children of Vietnam Veterans web site includes a very helpful page on how to obtain your parent's military records.
F-100 Super Sabre Archives has a great collection of F-100 pictures, and a catalog of F-100 serial numbers.
This list of preserved F-100 fighters will help you find one to see in person. I traveled to San Antonio to see the closest one to me.
After my Father returned to the states from his Vietnam tour he was stationed at England AFB in Alexandria, LA, where he trained pilots from the South Vietnamese Air Force how to fly the A-37 "Dragonfly" fighter jet. The A-37 Fighter Squadrons of the South Vietnamese Air Force are detailed on this web page by the Vietnamese Air Force Veterans Association North California Chapter. This site includes service dates, locations, and even patches worn by members of the squadrons. I plan to contact them via email to see if any of the pilots remember my Father from their training days. UPDATE 11/29/2000: This site appears to currently be offline. Another excellent site about the A-37's which includes many pictures from England AFB is the A-37 Association Home Page.
Great Aviation Quotes: Combat is some great reading for insight into the Fighter Pilot mentality.
Our first "overseas" assignment was when my Father was stationed at RAF Wethersfield, Essex, England in the early 60's. He flew F-100's with the "Fighting 55th" Tactical Fighter Squadron. Bob Barrett has an excellent web site about RAF Wethersfield with many pictures that brought back many memories for me. Maureen and Jim Tansey have established a thriving web site dedicated to servicemen and their families who served at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge (nearby USAF installations), as well as those at Wethersfield.
Speaking of Wethersfield, I have longed to return to Hempstead, Essex, UK to see our old house (Rosedale Cottage on Blogdon's Hill), my old school, and visit the kind people next door (Frank and Mabel Hardy) who used to give us tea and cake every afternoon at "tea time." Thanks to the internet, I was able to discover that Wethersfield still exists, though the USAF turned it over to the British Ministry of Defence back in 1990. Check out "Air Field Hunting III" to see what the main gate looks like nowadays. I still hope to go back someday and drive along the same roads my Dad used to motor down in his bug-eyed Austin-Healey Sprite.
From 1975 to 1977 my Dad was Squadron Commander of the 76th Tactical Fighter Squadron (part of the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing) at England Air Force Base, Alexandria, Lousiana. The Vanguard web site of the 76th Fighter Squadron Association web site is an excellent resource with history of this organization and much, much more.
This web site was created by Glenn Chase on a Power Macintosh for Father's Day, 1999 and remains a work in progress.
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