A Minnesota PBS Initiative
Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam
My brother, Les Honstad was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. I was stationed at Hurbert Field Air Force Base, (Eglin Aux #9) Florida. I received orders in June of 1967 to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippine Islands. I was on leave for 30 days before going to the Philippines. After approximately 20 days of working on the C130's, I was told that I was going to Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam for temporary duty for 90 days.
I flew all over fixing shrapnel or bullet holes in the fuel tanks of the C130; not a good place to be with mortars coming in day and night!
I received a letter from home saying that Les was on leave and was going to Tan Son Nhut. I called home from the Philippines saying that I was being sent there also. Two brothers on the same base? We didn't know what to do.
In about 12 days Les stopped at Clark Air Force Base. I walked over to the terminal and we talked for a while. In a few more days I was on my way to Tan Son Nhut. We saw each other for 90 days. I went back to the Philippine Islands for 90 days, and then returned to Tan Son Nhut around January 15.
The Tet Offensive started on January 31 and all hell broke loose.
Lew flew all over fixing weather equipment that was damaged at the end of runways or any place else.
I flew all over fixing shrapnel or bullet holes in the fuel tanks of the C130; not a good place to be with mortars coming in day and night! I would work from 4 pm until 10 am the next day and then fly back on the plane I fixed.
Les and I grew up real fast. I was 20 and Les was 22. At the end of the 90 days I went back to the Philippines. I was asked if I would go back again to Tan Son Nhut for 90 more days. I said my mom and dad were getting grey hair more than normal with both Les and I serving so someone else took the 90 days.
Les came back and was discharged. I came home on leave. I was then stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina until I was discharged in 1969.
Story Subject: Military Service
Military Branch: U.S. Air Force
This story is part of Stories About The Tet Offensive. Go to the collection.
Story Themes: Clark Air Force Base, Family, Philippines, Siblings, Slideshow, Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Tet Offensive