At the height of the Vietnam war, Tan San Nhut airbase/airport was the busiest airport in the world.
I got a good angle on this shot, taken from the ground. The big aircraft in the foreground is a C130 transport plane taxiing for takeoff. I can’t remember what the fast mover was. We had lots of F4 Phantoms and F100s — could have been one of them.
I really like the dynamics of this shot and the great sky. This image was converted from a color slide scan. I liked the intense blues in the color shot but this B&W version is better because it removes the distraction of the colors and heightens the drama
The date stamped on my slide is Dec 1966 so I probably took this photo when I was making my rounds on the base perimeter. I was a short timer by then. I left Nam in January 1967.
So, back to my rounds. I got this great job for the last two or three months of my tour. I was the lamp lighter (among other things). We had propane gas floodlights around the base perimeter. Every evening about dusk, I’d drive around in my jeep and light all the floods. During the day, I would change empty propane tanks for full tanks.
They were big suckers too. It was lots of fun driving around in a jeep with one or two gas tanks that barely fit in the back seat, especially since I was driving on rutted dirt tracks.
The first shirt and some of the guys in security ops made a holster for me to carry my spark gun. We had a good laugh over that one. I used it too.
I was in charge of the C-rations as well. I’d drive our stake truck over to the chow hall periodically to pick up the C-rations. When our guys were on post during a mealtime, they got C-rations. Yuck! Some guys actually liked the ham and lima beans.
I liked my short timer job, a lot better than humping the ramp or working one of the flight line gates or… Plus I had plenty of photo ops like this one.