"Holloman to Takhli"


Jim (JimBart) Bartholomew, SMSgt. USAF Ret.


When the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing deployed from Holloman AFB, NM to Takhli RTAFB, Thailand in 1972 I was with the advance party.  Takhli had been closed for some time, the plumbing and wiring had been stolen from the buildings.  The grass was waist high and there were snakes everywhere

At Holloman I was NCOIC of the Wing Scheduling Office.  I coordinated range use with White Sands, tankers and Skyspot missions with 12th Air Force and SAC.  7th AF sent a Major and a Captain to Takhli to help the Frag Shop get set up.  They asked me who the Frag Officer was and I told them I was.  They said no, every other unit in SEA has a commissioned officer.  When the Wing Commander arrived with the first F-4D, they met with him and said we needed a Frag Officer.  The Commander BG Jack Bellamy said Bart did it at Holloman and Bart will do it here.  They then went back to Saigon and I never received any help from 7th AF.

Since my duties were mainly at night, Gen Bellamy decided that I should pick up any message traffic that arrived at night from the communications trailer.  The first night there was a back channel message for him.  I jumped in my trusty rented Toyota pick-up and rushed to his trailer.  He asked me what the message said, I said I had not read it.  He read it then said “Bart from now on read them all and unless you think it’s really important, give them to me in the morning.”