Some Telephone Poles at Danang Airport
by Charlie Griffith
In the mid-sixties when I was once on TDY to Danang as acting SZ while Gil Stafford was on Home Leave, there came a need to move some unusually long telephone poles by air from a US Naval facility on the other side of the bay away from the airport area and seaport. These were much too long to be moved by truck.
So it came to be that using a helicopter was the best way to do the moving. I forget the crew members' names and what type of 'chopper we used; but it was very tricky business as anyone with more knowledge than I have can verify. There was also a need for someone extra to go along to the other side and connect that chain attached to the pole to the hovering a/c's special hook underneath.
I volunteered to do that. With the 'chopper hovering gently inches over my hunched shoulders I managed to do the deed then run out from under and give a 'thumbs-up'. Everything worked well, and they airlifted three of those poles over to the antenna-farm site near the airport. When I got back to our "office" in a building on the airfield, I had a terse adrenaline- stimulated message sent to my boss in Saigon, Merrill Hulse, and said "...Pleased to announce three successful erections today, hopefully another one tomorrow." Merrill's reply was.. "...At your age you should be thankful."