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581st Air Resupply Wing


RB-29 ARC Stardust Four Zero crew. Last known photograph taken in 1952 before being shot down on January 13, 1953. Submitted by John W. Thompson IV. Chinese propaganda photos of Stardust Four Zero crew. Held as POW's longer than any other Air Force POW's. Released summer 1955.



57 Messages

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Entry: 86085
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
CLARENCE RAY WISE

CYNTHIA WISE wrote on April 30, 2013


City and State:

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY & COMMUNICATIONS

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: My father is Clarence Ray Wise, went by Ray and served in
Japan, Korea and the Philippines with the 581st. He is hoping
to reconnect with other members of his company (but isn't very
tech savvy).
He's from Missouri.


Keywords: 581st, 548th, photographer,


Entry: 85733
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
LAST FLIGHT FOR SSGT. CRABTREE

MARK CRABTREE wrote on March 19, 2013


City and State: GREENWOOD IN

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: Jack Crabtree, Retired SSgt, and tail gunner, 581st.
FatCats. 2-4-13, last flight. I love you dad!


Keywords: Fat Cats


Entry: 82884
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION 1950-1954

MARTA STERRIS wrote on April 27, 2012


City and State: TEHACHAPI CA

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: My father served in Military and he passed away when
I was young. I would like to try to find any
information possible as to anyone who may have known
him, known anything about him, what he did anything.I
was told his records burned in a fire. All I have is
a separation report that was recreated. My fathers
name was
Henry Curtis Martin
1953-1954 I know he was in Anchorage Alaska. I know
in 1952 for a few months he was in Chanute AFB. That
is all I know. As children we were always told it was
something we could not talk about when we asked about
it. I cannot find any vital records for him at all.
Is that normal?


Keywords: Hank
Korean War
Stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and Chanute AFB, Ill.
1950-1954



Entry: 82864
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
CAPT WALTER E FERRIS

RALPH P. ANTONACIO SR. wrote on April 24, 2012


City and State: VINELAND NJ

Unit: 581ST COMM SQD. 581ST ARC WING

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: looking for any member of 581st comm sqd, or list of
those who have taken their last flite, Mine is coming
up soo, with many aches and pains and 81 years


Keywords:


Entry: 82485
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
KARL SNAKE RAYMOND

LEE WOOD wrote on March 16, 2012


City and State: NEWNAN GA

Unit:

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: Looking for information about Karl Snake Raymond,
who served with the 581st ARS on the B-29 Gambler's
Luck. I am the son of Col Horace E. Wood Jr. (Ret).

God Bless all of our Veterans.


Keywords: Karl Snake Raymond, Gambler's Luck, 581st Air
Resupply Squadron



Entry: 80834
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST AIR RESUPPLY

RYNE DUNKELBERGER wrote on October 28, 2011


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: My name is Ryne Dunkelberger and I am doing research on
my grandfather, Charles Robert Dunkelberger. He was a
member of the 581st Air Resupply and Communications
Wing, specifically out of Kadena Air Base in Japan
during the Korean War. Is there anyone left who served
with him?


Keywords:


Entry: 80785
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
KWP

RICHARD PHARR SR. wrote on October 23, 2011


City and State:

Unit: 581ST PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE SQUADRON

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments:

Keywords:


Entry: 80617
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
SSGT JAMES WATKNS

ROBIN WATKINS wrote on October 7, 2011


City and State: PORT ANGELES WA

Unit:

Service or Relationship: MARINE VETERAN

Comments: My father was killed on April 28 1955 when the B-29
he was on crashed into a mountain on Okinawa.I would
like to hear from anybody who knew him or could tell
me any details about the crash. He was assigned to
the Flying Nigtmare and I would like to find out why
he was not on his plane that day? What plane was he
on when it crashed?


Keywords: April 28 1955, Kadena AFB, Flying Nigtmare.


Entry: 79949
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
3 B29 TO CHENGHI FM CLARK AFB. 581ARCW

JEROME LICHTMAN SR. wrote on August 11, 2011


City and State: JUPITER FLORIDA

Unit: 581 AIR RESUPPLY AND COMMUNICATION WING

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: Some of the other radio operators i would like to hear from. Served in the 581st Jan 53 to Jun 54
THOMAS MANDIA--Astoria Queens
ROBERT E. METZGER--Bronx N.Y.
EDWARD POTOKAR--Euolid Ohio
JOHN W. LEAHEY--Lowel
CRISTIA P. HOLMES--
ROBERT D. HARNISH
RALPH P. ANTONACIO


Keywords: I was on a mission from Clark AFB consisting of 3 B29
to Changi for 3 days and went on to Bangcock Thi.
We had a one star General with us. Iwas a Radio Operator on the mission. The mission was callled JOSSTICK#4. 



Entry: 79714
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
ANY MEMBERS OF 581ST COM SQD..PLEASE WRITE OR CONFIRM.

RALPH P. ANTONACIO SR. wrote on July 23, 2011


City and State: VINELAND NJ

Unit: 581ST COMM SQD

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: would like to hear from some of the old radio ops

Keywords: dittie,,,,di dah,,gregitis, christoff,franchi,lawson,wishon,lou fredericks,epp, 


Entry: 77991
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
ROSCOE DICKENS JR

ROSCOE DICKENS JR. wrote on February 25, 2011


City and State: VALLEJO CA

Unit: 581AIR RESUPPLY

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I AM TRYING TO LOCATE ANY WEHO SERVED WITH ON OKINAWA

Keywords:


Entry: 76045
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
?????

HARRY PARKHURST wrote on September 5, 2010


City and State: KANSAS CITY MO

Unit: 581ST REPRO

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: I have posted several entries. Seems they've been removed.

Keywords:


Entry: 74891
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
B-29S TO SINGAPORE 1953

DAVE FAGAN wrote on May 31, 2010


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: INTERESTED PERSON

Comments: On 14 October 1953 three B-29s from Clark visited RAF Changi (Singapore ) for a 3 day visit.

Canm anyone confirm these were from 581ARW- and possibly identify the aircraft /crews?

MTIA

Dave


Keywords:


Entry: 72241
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
KEN SHARP 581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING 52-54

DOUG SHARP wrote on November 8, 2009


City and State: MARINA DEL REY

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: My Father Ken Sharp was enlisted with the 581st Air Resupply Wing. He has asked me to make an attempt to reconnect with other men in his unit.

Feel free to contact me.

dougsharp.la@gmail.com


Keywords: Ken Sharp, Marvin Willis, Elwood D Toll,


Entry: 72240
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
KEN SHARP 581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING 52-54

DOUG SHARP wrote on November 8, 2009


City and State: MARINA DEL REY

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: My Father Ken Sharp was enlisted with the 581st Air Resupply Wing. He has asked me to make an attempt to reconnect with other men in his unit.

Feel free to contact me.


Keywords: Ken Sharp, Marvin Willis, Elwood D Toll,


Entry: 72232
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
MEMBERS OF THE 581ST COMM SQD

RALPH P. ANTONACIO SR. wrote on November 7, 2009


City and State: VINELAND NJ

Unit:

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: would like to have members of 581st. comm. sqd, enlisted
and officers, Was member of 581st. stationed at Gowen
fld,and mountain home afb, idaho, also phillipine islands


Keywords: didah, ditty,


Entry: 71225
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
RICHARD L.

RICHARD MASON wrote on August 10, 2009


City and State: RANCHO DOMINGUEZ CA

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY SQDN.

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I just happened on to this site and am responding to the son of Col. Horace Wood, and the son of S/Sgt Jack Crabtree. I crewed up with 2/lt. Wood who was the Radar Operator at Randolph in 1953 on a B-29 crew commmanded by Capt. James Wysong. T/Sgt. Snake Raymond was the Flt Engr. We went to Stead AFB for survival training, then to Clark AFB in 1954, then to Okinawa. I met Jack Crabtree during crew training but was not on his crew. I have photos of these guys in my scrap book and could have then copied in y'all are interested. Wow, Its been a long time since I have heard these names. I am seventy-five now - hope those guys are still around!- - - Dick Mason

Keywords:


Entry: 71043
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
THE FLYING NIGHTMARE

NEAL NELSON wrote on July 27, 2009


City and State: AMARILLO TX

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: There are scamers that read this site,as a result of my last entry,I have had scamers try to dupe me for my dead father's cache, which never did exist.I have finally found the entire crew list of the B-29 that went down on Sept 8th 1955. I would like to share thoughts with other living relatives of these crew men.I won't print the other names, we know who they were and what they gave for their country.
Thanks Neal Nelson


Keywords:


Entry: 70250
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING

LEROY LANDERS wrote on May 21, 2009


City and State: TUCSON AZ

Unit: RETIRED

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I was stationed at Clark from 52-54, Played football
for the 581-6200 M and S Bluedevils, then played for The
Clark All Stars base team.
Worked in the swally area in the sheetmetal shop.
Spent my spare time in Angeles, WOW.


Keywords: AW Brewster 1952 enroute to Clark from Oakland Ca.


Entry: 70060
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
JOHN HUNTER LAY

LIBBY WILDER wrote on May 4, 2009


City and State: COCOA FL

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: I am trying to fill in the gaps in my family's history. My father, John Hunter Lay (now deceased), was posted to Mountain Home AFB in 1952. He had recently completed an intensive course in psychological warfare at Georgetown University, WDC. I am trying to find any information on what his mission was at Mountain Home. In an unguarded moment, my mother once referred to him as "heading up the Air Force's psychological warfare program." I am wondering if this is true or an exaggeration or embellishment. I really want to know what specific areas he was involved in: propaganda, mind control, brainwashing, interrogation, etc.

Any information will be extremely helpful. (Note, J.H. Lay was the brother of Beirne Lay, Jr., author of 12 O'Clock High and other works, so someone might know my father by association rather than directly. J.H. Lay was also a good friend of Hal Watson).

Thanks,

Libby Wilder (nee Lay)


Keywords: Psyops AFSOF psychological warfare MountainHome AFB


Entry: 69946
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST AIR RESUPPLY SQDN

JOSEPH BRAUN wrote on April 22, 2009


City and State:

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY SQDN

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I was assigned to the 581st Air Resupply Sqdn at Mountain Home AFB on Feb 1952. In Jan 1953 I went TDY
to 91st SRS about a week after we lost that B-29. I remained there until June 1953. I left the PI in Dec
1953. I have pictures of that B-29 that was lost in
Jan 1953. If anybody would like to see them I would
be glad to e-mail them. I remember talking with John
Thompson at Barksdale AFB, LA in 1960 at the NCO
club.


Keywords:


Entry: 69713
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
LOST AIRMAN

RENA BOCOCK-DONZE wrote on April 1, 2009


City and State: TAMPA FL

Unit: 581ST AIR SUPPLY/COMMUNICATIONS WING

Service or Relationship: INTERESTED PERSON

Comments: Daniel C Schmidt is not listed in any of the POW/MIA list and was beginning to wonder if the my Aunt's information was right on her husband. "Died in California hospital because of his injuries in a Chinese prison camp for 32 months" Andi from POW web site sent me an article from the Time, Aug. 1955, that list all 13 POWs including Daniel. Any further information will appreciated.

Keywords: Airman Daniel C Schmidt shot down over Yalu.


Entry: 69366
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581 AIR RESUPPLY AND COMMUNICATIONS SQUADRON

PRESTON IRVING wrote on March 4, 2009


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: My Father, Eugene H. Irving was a Sargeant and flight engineer on one of the SA-16 crews with the Five Eighty-First. He started out at Mtn Home Air Force Base when they then went to Clark Air Base. I do know he then went to Seoul Air Base,South Korea for about 3-4 months in 1953, just before the war ended. My Dad through the years spoke little of what he actually did in South Korea, but after researching all the material in reference to the 581 lately, now I know why. I am printing a lot of this material off and will give it to him this weekend. I have also learned that a lot of the missions his outfit flew are still classified. My Dad is happily retired along with my mother in Kosciusko, MS. Several of his buddies have died in the past few years. If any of you remember him I am sure he would enjoy hearing from you. I know he would be disappointed to know a Reunion was held last September, but sadly he did not know. I am his son, Preston E. Irving. Thanks.

Keywords: Seoul City Air Base, South Korea,1953
SA-16 Crew
581 Air Resupply and Comm. Squad.



Entry: 68201
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
THE FLYING NIGHTMARE

NEAL NELSON wrote on December 9, 2008


City and State: AMARILLO TX

Unit:

Service or Relationship: OTHER

Comments: Mr. Dausener

Thanks for your reply. Leroy played highschool football
In Matador Texas prior to enlistment. So you might have ran into each other. I would appreciate any pictures. He was stationed at Kadena Base,Okinawa at the time of the accident.
His first tour was in 1942-1945, serving with the 8th on B-17's as a tailgunner.

Thanks
Neal Nelson


Keywords: The flying Nightmare


Entry: 68133
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST COMM SQ AND PORT OF MANILA

BUD DAUSENER wrote on December 3, 2008


City and State: OLYMPIA WA

Unit: 581ST COMM SQ - PORT OF MANILA

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments:

Keywords: Was with the 581st when it left Gowen field in 1951.
Stationed at Clark with Comm Sq (Crypto Op).
Went to Korea with a bunch of guys in 52-53.
Returned in 53 and was stationed at Port of Manila.
Played on the 581st football team. Was friends with
Joe Bruno, Jay, Al. I have pictures of Angeles and
other sites.



Entry: 68091
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
THE FLYING NIGHTMARE

NEAL NELSON wrote on November 30, 2008


City and State: AMARILLO TX

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: I am the son Leroy Nelson,flight engineer on a B-29,The Flying Nightmare that went down in the Pacific
on Sept 8th 1955, 13 crew members no survivors. Does anyone have picture of that crew?


Keywords: The Flying Nightmare


Entry: 66992
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
LOOKING FOR ANYONE WHO WAS IN THE 581ST AIR RESUPPLY GROUP ON KADENA AFB FROM 1955 THRU 1956

O. ALLEN BAILEY wrote on August 26, 2008


City and State: WESTOVER AL

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY SQUADRON (GROUP)

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I AM LOOKING FOR ANYONE WHO WAS IN THE 581ST AIR RESUPPLY GROUP WHEN IT WAS ON KADENA AIR FORCE BASE, OKINAWA, FROM 1955 THRU 1956.

I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 581ST GROUP INTELLIGENCE DEPT AS A DRAFTSMAN-ILLUSTRATOR, I WORKED IN THE BACK OF THE BRIEFING ROOM WHERE THE NAVIGATIONAL CHARTS WERE KEPT, AND I ISSUED THEM TO THE PILOTS AND NAVIGATORS. I WORKED FOR COL. JACK E. GRAPENTINE, WHO WAS THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER. HE WAS A VERY FINE GENTLEMAN, WHOM I REALLY LIKED.LATER I WORKED FOR MAJ. ____ COX WHO FLEW THE SECOND (PHOTO) B-29 OVER HIROSHIMA.

BEFORE I WAS REASSIGNED TO THE BASE INSTALLATIONS GROUP, I WORKED WITH A IST LT.HAVIGATOR WHOSE NAME I HAVE FORGOTTEN, BUT I OFTEN THINK OF HIM, AS HE WAS A VERY KIND AND CONSIDERATE PERSON, AND SAID THAT HE PLANNED TO ATTEND SEMINARY WHEN HE GOT OUT, AS HE WANTED TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN MINISTER. HOWEVER, WE DISCUSSED OUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS QUITE A BIT; BUT DID NOT AGREE ON QUITE A FEW THINGS CONCERNING SALVATION.

AS THERE WAS ONLY A PARTITION OR HEAD-HIGH DIVIDER BETWEEN MY WORK AREA AND THE BRIEFING ROOM, I HEARD ALL THE FLIGHT BRIEFINGS - AND ALSO THE CLASS ROOM PART OF A SURVIVAL SCHOOL THAT WAS TAUGHT THERE. OAB.


Keywords: KADENA 1955


Entry: 66003
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
1951 1953

RAY BETTERIDGE wrote on June 10, 2008


City and State: EAST LIVERPOOL OH

Unit: 581 ST. AIR RESUPPLEY

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments:

Keywords: at6 b29 c54


Entry: 64707
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST REPRODUCTION SQUADRON

HARRY PARKHURST wrote on March 12, 2008


City and State: KANSAS CITY MO

Unit: 581ST REPRO SQDN.

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I was stationed at Clark. Volunteered for TDY with 1st Loudspeaker and
Leaflet Co. in Korea and 3rd Repro Co. at Omiya, Japan. Later had
friends at Chanute who had come back with the 580th from Libya.


Keywords:


Entry: 61490
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
ANYONE WHO REMEMBERS ANDY ANDERSON

MICHELLE BASSETT wrote on July 2, 2007


City and State: TX

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: I am the daughter of an Air Force pilot named John A. Anderson II (aka Andy), retired colonel. Born 1923 in Massachusetts. He was about 5'10", 145 - 160 lbs, round Swedish face, medium complexion, light brown hair, crew cut and balding in the front. Flew special missions in Korea and was sometimes classed as a civilian pilot. Also flew transport in Korean and Vietnam Wars. Had a strong Boston accent (with slight Swedish rising inflection). Specialized in electronics, radar and aeronautics. Electrical engineer and pilot. Had WWII experience as a Navy seaman and presumed pilot from 1940 to 1946. His wife's name was Connie from about 1955 - 1961. If anyone remembers him, please email me.

Keywords: "Andy" Anderson, John Eady


Entry: 60480
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE CAME BEFORE ME

SCOTTY PIGG SR. wrote on March 27, 2007


City and State: MOUNTAIH HOME ID

Unit:

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: Just want to say thanks for all of the veterans who have came before me. I am currently in the NCO Academy down at Goodfellow AFB, TX and just had the privlage to listen to Maj. Wally Brown speek to my class. What an honor! I am stationed at Mt. Home AFB, ID like Maj. Brown was and now have a story I can really tell when I get back! Again, thanks to all of our veterans, past and present!

Keywords:


Entry: 60227
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
MORNING REPORT CLERK 581ST 1955

HARRY DOYLE SR. wrote on March 6, 2007


City and State: WINDBER PA

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: Looking to say hello to any one stationed with me at Kadena 1955-1957

Keywords:


Entry: 57461
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
CLARK 1950 TO 51

DEREK SQUIRES SR. wrote on June 1, 2006


City and State: FAVERSHAM

Unit: ROYAL AIR FORCE

Service or Relationship: UNITED NATIONS

Comments: Served 1951 to 52.Taught the yanks to play cricket!

Keywords: 'junior'. RAF liason, casualty evacuation(korea)


Entry: 56867
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST 1954-1955

WAYNE SPURBECK wrote on April 27, 2006


City and State: CA

Unit: 581 ST ARRS

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: Would like to hear from anyone.

Keywords: Gamblers Luck,1954-1955,


Entry: 52891
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST ARC

VYTAUTAS (VICTOR) KULIKAUSKAS wrote on August 27, 2005


City and State: CHICAGO IL

Unit: DET 4, 6004TH AISS

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN

Comments: I was stationed in port area, Manila and our officers had friends in 581st ARC. Remember the day you lost your CO Colonel Arnold. First talk that the entire crew, with exception of the Colonel,were shot. Later this was changed. Peking radio came out with unit's secret mission next day. Yowere involved in Vietnam, but most in China and North Korea. The word was that they which plane to attack and zeroed in on the one carrying the CO. This was a milk run and officers liked the idea to get flying time.

Keywords:


Entry: 52572
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
COL ARNOLD AND STARDUST FOUR ZERO

JOHN WALKER THOMPSON IV wrote on August 12, 2005


City and State: MERCERSBURG PA

Unit: 581 ARCW

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: Dad was John W. Thompson, III, scanner on Stardust Four-zero, shot down over N. Korea January 12, 1953. Served in prison with Col Arnold, and two CIA contacts who were shot down several months earlier (Fecteau and Downey). These two CIA operatives hold the distiction of being in prison on CIA activities longer than any other CIA operative in US history. Both are alive today. Were released in 1973 after twenty years. see article below.

Any have info on my father's unit, please let me know. Thanks. John Thompson, jwt1@nrc.gov


Air Force Unit Kept Secrecy
By ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press Writer


On an autumn afternoon in 1952, John K. Arnold Jr. was walking to
American military headquarters in Tokyo with two undercover CIA officers
when one offered a jarring word of warning. "You're a marked man now,"
he said. People who moved in CIA circles did not go unnoticed by enemy
agents, but Arnold felt no threat. He was not a spy. He was an obscure
Air Force colonel, commander of an even more obscure flying unit tucked
away among sugarcane fields in the Philippines. Why would the
communists bother with him?


He learned why just a few weeks later -- from behind bars in a
Chinese prison.


China had discovered that the newly created Central Intelligence
Agency and the Air Force were collaborating on a new Cold War weapon --
an "unconventional warfare" group whose connection to the CIA was so
sensitive that it remains an official U.S. government secret to this day.
Arnold commanded one arm of this clandestine group, making him an inviting
catch.


It was minutes before midnight on Jan. 12, 1953, when Arnold and 13
of his men in a B-29 bomber -- its belly painted black to match the
night sky -- were shot down over China's border with North Korea. They
made headlines around the world when Washington eventually negotiated
their release. But the story behind their ordeal -- the hidden CIA
connection --
is only now emerging from behind a veil of official secrecy.


To his captors' surprise, Arnold knew few details of the CIA link. He
knew enough, though, that the Chinese were convinced they had cracked an
American espionage operation. And he knew enough to make his 2 1/2 years
in prison a living hell of interrogations, torment, deprivation, abuse and
humiliation.


It remains unclear how much China knew about Arnold and his unit before
he
was captured and convicted of spying ("plotting to undermine the state" was
the exact charge), but evidence reviewed by The Associated Press suggests
the Chinese knew enough to lay an ambush.


That, in turn, implies a breach of security that compromised one of the
CIA's earliest Cold War collaborations with the Air Force. Best known of
such
partnerships was the U-2 spy plane program, whose CIA link was exposed when
Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960.


Newly declassified government records support Washington's original claim
that Arnold's plane was dropping propaganda leaflets over North Korea when
it was attacked, not spying as China insisted. But the papers reveal China
was right on a more telling point: Arnold's group was part of a far-reaching
CIA assault on communism, and China was a target.


Born in February 1951 and christened with the innocuous-sounding name Air
Resupply and Communications Service, the group supported the CIA with
specialized aircraft and crews that included air commandos trained in
sabotage, demolition, hand-to-hand combat and other guerrilla warfare skills
at a secret CIA facility at Fort Benning, Ga., called Training Center One.
They helped the CIA in clandestine operations designed to subvert communism
in its grand contest with capitalism -- and not only in the Far East, where
ideological conflict was playing
out in war on the Korean Peninsula.


The Air Resupply and Communications Service's acronym, ARC, was fitting.
Three ARC subgroups, known as wings, formed an arc around America's main
foes -- the Soviet bloc and China -- with bases in England, Libya and the
Philippines. A fourth base in Alaska was planned but never opened. The idea
was to combat, not just contain, communism in ways short of "hot war."


Thus, the ARC wings operated on two levels -- a publicly admitted
assignment
of psychological warfare such as leaflet dropping, and a secret mission to
conduct "unconventional warfare" in support of the CIA. That included
delivering CIA-supplied weapons for storage in parts of Europe for
resistance groups to be activated in the event of Soviet invasion. Fear of
Soviet attack at the time can hardly be overstated.
The acknowledged part of the ARC's work served as a convenient cover for the
secret part.


"It was felt to be important that the real purpose of these units not be
made public," says a declassified Air Force history. It was for this reason
the name Air Resupply and Communications was chosen --"a name which has
since served to confuse all" not privy to its real mission.


Each of the three ARC wings had about 1,000 men and an extraordinary
complement of aircraft. Besides B-29s outfitted for air-dropping agents and
communicating with them behind enemy lines, they had amphibious SA-16
"Albatross" planes for covert landings on land and at sea, C-119 "Flying
Boxcar" transports and C-118 transports -- with their national markings and
serial numbers erased -- for use by CIA -supplied crews. The ARC's men were
sworn to secrecy, and some still won't talk.


"I'm not interested in divulging anything more about this," said John W.
Thompson II of Hampton, Va., who was a "scanner," or lookout, aboard the
Arnold plane.


Eugene Vaadi of Sarasota, Fla., pilot in command of the B-29, says the
accepted rule was "you don't mention this, even in your sleep."


Vaadi, who has the rare distinction of being shot down and imprisoned in
two wars (he was downed over Germany during World War II and initially
declared killed in action), recalls being asked to acknowledge in writing
before deploying to the Far East in the summer of 1952 that in the event of
capture by the communists, "we wouldn't be recognized by our government."
And they weren't, publicly, until China provoked a U.S. response by
announcing 22 months after their capture that Arnold and his crew had been
convicted and sentenced to prison terms of up to 10 years.
Washington called the spying charges "utterly false" and the prison
sentences "a most flagrant violation of justice."


With the Cold War long over, some ARC veterans are now willing to reveal
glimpses of their "special operations" -- risky, dark-of-night flights
behind the Iron Curtain to pick up defectors and infiltrate spies, for
example, and covert air support for French forces in Indochina before the
American public knew the extent of U.S.
involvement in an anti-communist struggle for Vietnam.


Norman Runge of Bear, Del., who flew C-119s and SA-16s from an ARC base
in Libya, said he ferried supplies to secret U-2 bases in Turkey and
Pakistan in the mid-1950s. At the time, the cover story for the CIA's U-2
spying was high-altitude "weather research."


McElvin "Mac" Swah of White's Creek, Tenn., was among ARC pilots who flew
C-119 transports to Vietnam in 1953-54 in support of French forces against
the communist and nationalist Viet Minh. The planes first were spirited
through a
hangar at Clark Air Base in the Philippines to replace their U.S. Air Force
markings with French national insignias.
The ARC also trained CIA-hired civilian pilots for C-119 missions into
Vietnam in support of French forces in the decisive final months of the
French-Indochinese war, according to George Pittman of Palm Bay, Fla., a
former ARC squadron commander who conducted the training.
Details of actual ARC operations are hard to find. ARC veterans say
their units did not always make written records. If they exist, the
government
has kept them under wraps. "It was a matter of keeping it secret from the
enemy, and in doing so we kept it secret from everybody," said Edward
Joseph, of Arlington, Va., a retired Air Force colonel who commanded a
super-secret squadron of the
580th ARC wing that trained guerrillas in the Libyan desert and dropped
CIA-supplied weapons into the Balkans in the 1950s.


There is little doubt the CIA masterminded the ARC. A top secret 1953
Pentagon report said Air Force "unconventional warfare" operations,
including such covert activities as guerrilla warfare and "subversion
against hostile states," gave "maximum support to the Central Intelligence
Agency."


The partially declassified Pentagon report says that in peacetime,
"targets" of unconventional warfare were designated by the CIA. "During
wartime, target groups will be the USSR satellite countries and friendly
countries overrun by the enemy," it said.


Michael Haas, a retired Air Force colonel who wrote a
government-sanctioned report last year on the history of Air Force special
operations, cited a document that said the ARC program originated with a
1949 request by "an agency outside the Department of Defense." His review of
Air Force records, including some still secret,
left no doubt which agency made that request. "It could only have been the
CIA, and it was," he said in an interview.


The CIA apparently believed its hand was well-hidden. It maintained only
a small number of contacts or operatives in the three ARC wings. One was
James Darby, who in World War II had served in a clandestine unit, "the
Carpetbaggers," which air droppedagents in Nazi-occupied France for the
Office of Strategic Services,
forerunner to the CIA.


Darby, now retired in Vero Beach, Fla., was director of operations for
the 58lst ARC Wing at Clark Air Base in the Philippines at the time Arnold
commanded the unit. He said CIA money helped finance some 581st operations.
A CIA officer he recalled only by the name "Hall" would accompany Darby
regularly to the unit's finance office to make cash deliveries. "There were
just a few of us who knew," Darby says.


Arnold says he only recently learned of the extent of CIA involvement
from former colleagues in the 581st, including Harry M. Benjamin Jr., whom
the Air Force listed as a B-29 gunner but who revealed to Arnold before his
death in March 1998 that he was one of the unit's CIA contacts.


"I had known that some had associations with the CIA, but I didn't know
which ones they were -- and I didn't want to know," Arnold said in an
interview at his home in Tallahassee, Fla. By shielding himself from such
details, Arnold believed he was staying "clean" to fly some ARC missions and
take the risk -- slight though he believed it to be -- of falling into enemy
hands. It was a fateful judgment that cost him
dearly. But it was based on a principle he holds dear: Don't ask others to
take risks you won't.


Arnold was born and reared in Washington, D.C., son of a government
bureaucrat. He has a modest manner, a dry wit and a remarkably sharp memory
of events now four decades old. At 84 years old, he is not eager to discuss
the past. You see pain in his haunted eyes as he recalls his years in
captivity -- "visiting the Chinese for such a long period of time," as he
put it in his understated way.


A West Point graduate, class of '36, Arnold was trained in meteorology
and spent the decade of the 1940s -- including the World War II years -- in
the unglamorous Air Weather Service. He yearned for a chance to command a
fighting unit. So while the 581st did not promise actual combat, he saw it
as a step in the right direction.


After training for a year at desolate Mountain Home Air Force Base in
southern Idaho, the 581st with Arnold in command quietly deployed to the
Philippines in July 1952. Shortly afterward a second wing, the 580th,
headed to Wheelus Air Base in Libya; it was responsible for operations
in the Middle East and the southern flank of the Soviet Union. Third to
deploy was the 582nd, to RAF Molesworth in England; it was responsible
for much of Europe, including the Soviet satellite states of the Baltics
and Eastern Europe. The 581st's area of responsibility was the communist
areas of Asia, including the Russian Far East.


In a coerced statement to his captors, put on public exhibit in Beijing
on
Dec. 7, 1954, Arnold described his unit's mission: "The main functions
of the wing, in time of war or at such other times as may be directed by
higher headquarters, are to introduce special agents and guerrilla units
into communist countries and communist-held areas; to supply by air delivery
these personnel
and the guerrilla units originally operating there, and to keep in contact
with them
by radio for CIA. It operates under the cover of psychological warfare."
Arnold and others from his captured crew say they had trained for such
covert missions against China and the Soviet Union but had not yet conducted
any by
the time they were shot down.


Raindrops spattered the tarmac at Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo at dusk
on
Jan. 12, 1953, as Arnold and 13 other men in Air Force flight suits climbed
aboard a refitted B-29 bomber, tail number 44-62217, callsign "Stardust
Four-Zero."


The mission plan on that Monday night called for Arnold's crew to spend
28 minutes over six leaflet-drop targets in North Korea, then slip out of
Korean airspace and return to Yokota. Arnold intended to fly back the next
morning to the Philippines, where his wife , May, awaited him.


As it happened, the crew dropped Korean- and Chinese-language leaflets on
each of their first five targets and were at 22,000 feet approaching the
sixth at Cholsan, just south of the Yalu River dividing China from North
Korea, when searchlights from the ground suddenly lit up the big bomber.


With no fighter escort and only a pair of .50-caliber tail guns for
defense, the
plane was easy pickings for MiG-15 fighters positioned --by design or
coincidence -- for the kill.


At 11:16 p.m., the plane made its last radio transmission: "Mayday."
With the engines aflame, Arnold rushed to the rear to grab his parachute .
There he spotted the tail gunner, shot and apparently dead. The others
managed to bail out as the plane plummeted to the frozen earth.


By daylight, at least 11 of the men had been captured by Chinese troops
and taken to the river city of Andung, China, where the main Soviet military
force in the Korean War -- the 64th Air Defense Corps -- was based. After
brief questioning at Andung, they were taken north by train to Mukden, where
they spent 16 days in prison. Next stop, Beijing-- known then as Peking --
where they remained behind bars until their release at a Hong Kong rail stop
on Aug. 4, 1955.


An Air Force intelligence officer, Delk Simpson, who was stationed in
Hong Kong, was the first to greet the released men. Close behind,
Simpson said in an interview, were CIA officials. A few days later, in
Japan, the men would be interviewed by an Air Force team that included
CIA psychologist John Gittinger; Arnold later was debriefed at CIA
headquarters. In a cruel twist, Wallace Brown, the pilot on Arnold's
plane, said the debriefings upon their return felt more like an
inquisition. "We were considered potential saboteurs," Brown said, for
having been so long under the thumb of communists. For China, the
Arnold crew offered a propaganda bonanza. They could be used not only to
expose sensitive U.S. secrets but also to humiliate the hated CIA.


An added bonus for the Chinese: An officer aboard the downed plane,
Maj. William Baumer of Milton, Pa., was operations chief for the 91st
Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron -- not an ARC unit. He had flown
previous secret missions to monitor military sites in China and Russia.
Baumer refused to be interviewed for this story.


Moscow saw opportunity, too. A secret KGB message dated 17 days after
Arnold went down and addressed to the highest levels of Soviet security
in Moscow said the Chinese asked for help in organizing the crew's
interrogations. The Soviet military intelligence adviser in Beijing was
"ordered by us to render such help," the note said. Another message
four days later informed the Soviet air chief in Moscow that he was
receiving the English text of Arnold's interrogation and other materials.
"We managed to take these items from our Chinese comrades," the note said.


As a colonel and wing commander, Arnold was a rare prize for his captors.
But to exploit this opportunity, the Chinese needed confessions , and that
meant torture.


Although he and his fellow prisoners were sometimes physically abused
by guards, Arnold says the Chinese pressure was mainly psychological.
Most effective was solitary confinement. He was isolated for nearly all
his 31 months in prison, awakened at odd hours to undergo questioning
and made to stand rigidly for dozens of hours on tightly bound feet. He
was fed only minimally and, for a time, held in manacles that slowly
forced both shoulder joints out of their sockets. In the early weeks of
his confinement, guards aimed cocked pistols at him during interrogations.


"They threatened me with every kind of torture," he told debriefers
just days after his release.


Often he was in handcuffs that were so tight they cut off his blood
circulation. "One of the things they did was come up behind me and press
my fingers," in the motion of milking a cow, Arnold said. "I can't
describe the pain." The abuse became too much. "I was in a state that I
would classify as a complete nervous breakdown," he told the debriefers.


In a classified assessment of the Arnold crew's conduct in captivity,
the Air Force concluded that they endured "more brutality, tricks and
contrivances" than was encountered by any Americans held prisoner during
the three-year Korean War. The secret Air Force report praised the men's
"courage and staunchness of resistance" but none ever was given an
official commendation. Some were kept on active duty. Some left. Arnold
was assigned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., but he never was given
another command. "Arnold was an early casualty of this business," says
Darby, the former 581st operations chief.


Even President Eisenhower offered little more than "all good wishes"
in reply to a private letter Arnold wrote one year after his return from
China in which he thanked the president for gaining his crew's release.
In drafting the reply for Eisenhower, an aide cautioned that "laudatory
remarks" would not be appropriate, given Arnold's "previous actions."
Arnold is not bitter, but he and his men paid a steep price as secret
warriors in the Cold War.


The fate of three crew members -- 1st Lt. Henry D. Weese of San
Bernardino, Calif., 1st Lt. Paul E. Van Voorhis of Ozone Park, N.Y., and
Airman 2nd Class Alvin D. Hart Jr., of Saginaw, Mich., -- has never been
determined. China claimed they died in the shootdown, although it never
returned their bodies. Arnold believes Hart died on board.


One surviving crew member, Steve Kiba, told the AP he saw Van Voorhis
several times in prison months later. Arnold said he believes Weese and
Van Voorhis, the plane's radar operators, were given to the Russians. In
a letter to Van Voorhis' parents after Arnold and the others returned to
the United States, the Air Force said of Van Voorhis, "Although he was
observed to bail out of the aircraft, ... he was never seen or heard from
again."


It may never be known just when Beijing caught wind of the ARC secret
. George Pittman, a retired Air Force colonel who served with Arnold in the
581st, recalls that when the wing moved -- supposedly in total secrecy --
from its Idaho training base to Clark Air Base in the Philippines in July
1952, Chinese and Russian periodicals that the wing's intelligence officers
had been receiving turned up at Clark
before the men had even arrived.

"That tells you they knew what was going on," Pittman says.


How they knew is unclear. Joseph, the 580th squadron commander, said
the CIA concluded in its assessment of the damage done by the defections
of British spies Donald MacLean and Guy Burgess in May 1951 that they
had passed ARC secrets to Moscow. The two Britons apparently had
received this information from Harold "Kim" Philby, Britain's top
intelligence
officer in Washington, who later defected to the Soviet Union.


The Air Force began to dismantle the ARC program in September 1953.
Three years later, it was gone -- or, perhaps, quietly transformed under
new
cover in a new stage of the Cold War.



Keywords: Stardust Four Zero, Col. Arnold Major Baumer RB-29 January 12, 1953 Wally Brown


Entry: 51930
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
FAT CATS

MARK CRABTREE wrote on July 8, 2005


City and State: GREENWOOD IN

Unit: FAT CATS

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: I'm the son of a Korean War Veteran. His name is Jack Crabtree. He was, I believe, a Staff Seargent, and tail gunner on a B-29, in the 581st Resupply during the Korean War. He doesnt remember much due to health reasons, and I would like to find out more about what his aircraft did during the war. I believe his aircraft was called "Fat Cats", a B-29. I would love to find a picture of the plane, especially the nose art, as I would like to model the plane for him...and my son. If you were on this aircraft, or know anything about it, PLEASE contact me soon! Thank you, and especially thank you for your service to our country.
Mark Crabtree


Keywords: Fat Cats, B-29


Entry: 43562
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
INTELLIGENCE DIVISION

RICHARD FLANAGAN wrote on June 5, 2004


City and State: FAIRFIELD ME

Unit: 581ST ARC WING-INTELLIGENCE

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Went to Clark AFB from Mtn Home AFB in 1951. Clerk typist in the Intelligence Division. I'll never forget the day word came that Col. Arnold had been shot down. Later I transferred to AFRS. Maybe somebody heard me? I'm still in touch with buddies Owen Goldsmith and Walker Eliason.

Keywords: 581st ARC Wing.


Entry: 42195
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST ARS

LEE WOOD wrote on April 8, 2004


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: FAMILY MEMBER

Comments: Greetings to all Veterans, and a most respectful thank you for your service.

My father, Col. Horace E. Wood, Jr. flew with the 581st, on a B29 named "Gambler's Luck". The only picture I have is one of the crew standing alongside the nose of the aircraft (which is painted black; nose art is a bomb-blast mushroom cloud with a royal flush overlay.

Although he still refuses to tell me much mission details, I know he operated around Korea, China, and a few other places they didn't want made public! Dad says much of his unit's work involved very low level flying.

The only crew member name I can remember is a fellow named "Snake" Rayman (not sure of spelling), from Maine, I believe.

Must have been a fascinating time, but there's not much information is avialable! Best to you all, and God Bless!


Keywords: DAD'S B-29: "GAMBLER'S LUCK"


Entry: 40793
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
PHILLIPPINES AND OKANAWA

JOHN EADES wrote on February 12, 2004


City and State: ANSTED WV

Unit: 581ST AIR RESUPPLY SQUARDON

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: I am trying to locate a buddy who served with me during l954 and 1955. I had to come back to the states before my tour was up because of my brother's death. Over the years I have forgotten a geat deal about my buddy. His last name was Anderson. His first name I do not remember, but his nick name was Andy. Also had another buddy whose name was Clifford Duvall.

Keywords: Andy Anderson. Mechanic on the B-29"s


Entry: 39491
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
SEEKING NEWS ABOUT BUDDIES.

LEROY SEIPP wrote on December 27, 2003


City and State:

Unit: 532 AIR RESUPPLY

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments:

Keywords:


Entry: 39104
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING

TROY F. MOORE wrote on December 12, 2003


City and State: COLUMBUS GA

Unit: 91ST SRS

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Looking for Lowell E. Dix.

Keywords:


Entry: 39103
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
RETRAINED GUNNER IN SUPPLY

TROY F. MOORE wrote on December 12, 2003


City and State: COLUMBUS GA

Unit: 91ST SRS

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Crewed w/Cpt Mundy in '52, Lake Charles, La. in '53. Crew broke up we (LG and TG) went to a Maint. Sq. as supply clerks. We about drove SSgt Merker nuts.

Keywords:


Entry: 35178
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581ST REPRO SQD

GLENN C. CORDELL wrote on June 30, 2003


City and State: WINTER SPRINGS FL

Unit: 581ST REPRODUCTION SQD

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Hi John:
I am Glenn C. Cordell. I was a member from 1951
til Dec.1953. I have a list of all the group form my 201 file and will send you a copy.
Please send me your mailing address and e-mail.

Regards, Glenn C. Cordell


Keywords:


Entry: 34915
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
SQDN. MEMBERS SEARCH

JOHN WEBER wrote on June 17, 2003


City and State: NY

Unit:

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Looking for fellow members of above sqdn., especially the Art Dept. Have remained in contact with only one person from old outfit, maybe the internet will hook up a few more of us.
Stationed at Mtn.Home AFB, Gowen Field, Clark AFB, PI from Oct.'51 to Dec.'53.
Remember the good times in Boise, "wonderful" boat trips, especially the last one in a typhoon and all the rest!!!
Regards -- Web


Keywords: Nickname: Web
581st Reproduction Sqdn.



Entry: 31720
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING

RAY BETTERIDGE wrote on February 4, 2003


City and State: EAST LIVERPOOL OH

Unit: 581ST. AIR RESUPPLY

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: 1952-1953

Keywords:


Entry: 31229
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
581 AIR RESUPPLY (1951-1954)

BOB UPTON wrote on January 14, 2003


City and State: INDEPENDENCE MO

Unit: 581ST AR

Service or Relationship: -

Comments: I served in the 581st,stating late 1951 at Mt. Home through early 1954 I served as Flight Line Mech on C-119s. We did the TDY thing at Ashiya, and did some transporting of material to Indo China. I belonfg to the Air Resupply org. 580,581 and 582. www.arcassn.org I still have contact to several of the men in our flight.

Bob Upton


Keywords:


Entry: 27040
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
MEMBER 581ST ARS AT KADENA

LYLE H. DAVIS wrote on July 18, 2002


City and State: SANDY UT

Unit: 581ST ARS KADENA

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Several of our B-29 crew were transfered to the 581st ARS when the outfit was reassigned to Kadena. I remember when the crew that were shotdown and held by the Chinese. I think there was a fellow on that crew who's wife had re-married, thinking he was dead. Our radar officer was shot down in a B-47 over Russia several years later. We lost one B-29's due to terrain on Oki and a second in the ocean. Our mission were generally 100 ft and down. My AC's name was Scot Burgess from WI.

Keywords: 581st Kadena, Okinawa


Entry: 23086
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING

BOBBY G. (BOB) HARRIS wrote on February 11, 2002


City and State: PRESCOTT AZ

Unit: 58LST AR-C WING PERSONNEL

Service or Relationship: -

Comments: Would like to pass on the information that our CO, Col. John Knox Arnold, passed away in Florida on Jan. 3, 2002, at the age of 88. I talked to his son who confirmed this. Col. Arnold and the B-29 crew with whom he flew on a leaflet dropping mission to North Korea on Jan. l2, l953, were shot down by the Reds and assumed dead until they were repatriated in August of l955, having served 32 months as POW's of the Communists. I am especially interested in hearing from others who have knowledge of this event, but especially I would like to hear from others with whom I served in the Wing Headquarters Personnel Section at Clark AFB in l952 and l953. Some of the people were Major D.P.Morgan, Major Willard E. Wentz, Lt. Col. William Allen, T/Sgt. Claude Dobbs, Airmen Bruce D. Royer and Robert Dunkel and others.

Keywords:


Entry: 21552
581ST AIR RESUPPLY WING
58LST AR AND C WING CLARK AFB

BOBBY G. (BOB) HARRIS wrote on December 16, 2001


City and State: AZ

Unit: 58LST AR-C WING

Service or Relationship: AIR FORCE VETERAN - KOREA

Comments: Especially interested in hearing from anyone who was part of Personnel in Wing Headquarters. Also anyone who remembers the CO Col. John K. Arnold and his crew on a B-29 that failed to return from a leaflet dropping mission to Korea Jan. l2, l953.

Keywords: 58lst AR and C Wing which was assembled at Mt. Home AFB in ID in l95l and l952 and sent to Clark AFB in Philippines in June l952.



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