The Pictures and stories concerning the
"Arc Light Memorial" and the
"Combat Skyspot Memorial" were
donated by MSgt
Jeffrey K. Brochu
Copyright © 2001,2002
COMBAT SKYSPOT memorial at Andersen AFB Guam, September, 1999.
The memorial consists of an AN/MSQ-77 (AN/TSQ-81) parabolic antenna
poised at 45 degrees elevation. It
is situated directly behind the ARC LIGHT Memorial, a B52D Stratofortress
which flew dozens of missions over North Vietnam.
The aircraft and the radar are facing the Vietnam theater, in
solemn tribute to the men who flew the weapons and the men who directed
them over targets of opportunity. Two
bronze plaques at the memorial scratch the surface of the legacy . . . .
Northernmost plaque inscription reads:"
introduction of the B-52 into the Vietnam war brought an incredibly
devastating weapons system within the control of ground force commanders.
However, the delivery accuracy was often limited by a complete lack
of cultural radar returns and suitable geographic points.
To solve this problem, SAC began using ground based radar equipment
operated by the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (CEG) to direct aerial bombing
raids. This tactic was
labeled Ground Directed Bombing (GDB) and given the code name COMBAT
SKYSPOT. CEG personnel would
guide the bombers along a designated route and, at the proper moment,
signal the aircrew to release their weapons.
COMBAT SKYSPOT not only provided flexibility in targeting, but its
accuracy soon surpassed that of the B-52.
In fact, these GDB sites were so formidable, the enemy conducted
daring raids to eliminate them or force their relocation.
During their 90 month period of service in Southeast Asia, COMBAT
SKYSPOT crews directed over 300,000 USAF, Navy, Marine and RVN re-supply,
reconnaissance, rescue, and tactical air missions, as well as 75 percent
of all B-52 strikes."
"As I read this plaque, pride and honor welled up
in me, and the base seemed strangely silent and muffled.
I proceeded to the other plaque . . . ."
Southernmost plaque inscription reads:"
percent of the B-52 combat missions flown over Southeast Asia were
directed from the ground by a technique code-named COMBAT SKYSPOT.
Over 3000 men of the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (CEG) manned
ground radar sites in South Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos 24 hours a day
from March 1966 until August 1973.
This memorial is dedicated to the eighteen members of CEG who gave
their lives in this effort
WILL NOT FORGET
COL CLARENCE F. BLANTON TSGT BRUCE E. MANSFIELD
TSGT JAMES H. CALFEE TSGT ANTONE P. MARKS
SSGT JAMES W. DAVIS SSGT JERRY OLDS
CMSGT RICHARD L. ETCHBERGER SSGT DAVID S. PRICE
SSGT HENRY G. GISH
TSGT PATRICK L. SHANNON
SSGT JOHN P. GUERIN TSGT LOWELL V. SMITH
SSGT WILLIS R. HALL
TSGT DONALD K. SPRINGSTEADAH
TSGT MELVIN A. HOLLAND SSGT EPHRAIM VASQUEZ
RUFUS L. JAMES SSGT DON F. WORLEY
tear welled in my eye--the story I'd heard only shreds of until now was
I had the names of the men who served and fought so bravely,
as I would later learn, died so unnecessarily."
is eerily calm . . ."
The ARC LIGHT memorial at Andersen AFB Guam,
September, 1999. The COMBAT SKYSPOT
memorial is visible under the tail of the aircraft. This B-52D, aircraft number 55-0100, flew many Arc Light
sorties culminating with the climatic Linebacker II strikes, and is symbolically
pointed toward the Vietnam theater, dependent upon the guidance of a handful of
highly trained and incredibly dedicated ordinary people; simply put:
The best damn radar troops ever to
walk the face of the earth; may you
all sit at the right hand of God. We
will not forget.
Evaluation Group" Where 303's get together
The Combat Skyspot Memorial Trophy story
will follow as soon as more information is gathered.