Ban Me Thuot Air Field, Camp Coryell
Home of Pyramid!

Size Doesn't Matter!

by Ken de Russy
1969-1970
TUY, 31st SPS; BMT, 31st SPS, TDY DET 9, 619 TCS
© 2007

Tales from Ban Me Thuot #5: (Ban Me Thuot, RVN, Home of Pyramid

 
Size Doesn’t Matter!

There were two shifts at Pyramid; Days (6 AM–6 PM) and Nights (6 PM–6 AM). Since most of the maintenance, PM’s, major replacement and repair was scheduled for days; night shift for members of the maintenance team (radar, radio, & power) was sometimes boring. On some nights you would find a member of the maintenance team sitting at a radar console in Ops getting some flight-follow OJT from one of our scope-dopes. This helped pass the time for both of them.

On one such occasion I was sitting at the console doing a little flight-follow OJT under the watchful eye of Fred Asche. Fred was one of our ace scope-dopes. He was known as “The Voice of Pyramid” because of his easily distinguishable high pitched voice.  We had just received a hand off from Paris (Tan Son Nhut). It was a C-130 transport headed north somewhere.  Paris also advised there were VIP’s on board. 

After the preliminaries (squawk flash, Pyramid has you at XXX … YYY miles, altitude ZZZ, be advised of artillery fire at ... etc.), were out of the way, the pilot of the C-130 introduced us to the VIP’s. It was Dale Robertson, a couple of other support characters and Joey Heatherton, hubba, hubba. They were headed to a base up north to do a show.

For the next few minutes, Joey was on the radio talking to us about what we were doing and we were also introducing the other members of the Pyramid team who for some reason suddenly were aroused and fighting to get to a set of headphones. There also were a number of other aircraft and listening posts tuned in and adding some comments. It was a circus, controlled by Pyramid.

We were advised that a couple of F-4’s would be running an intercept on the C-130 and acting as an escort until they reached their final destination. We told Joey that if she looked out to the right or left she would be able to see her escort.  She did and when she saw them she said “Wow! I can see them; you boys aren’t very big are you?”  There was a short pause, then one of the F-4 pilots came on and said, “Oh, I don’t know ma’am, I always considered myself a little above average.”  The radio came alive with laughter and lots of zippers. The other F-4 pilot not to be outdone, said, “Ma’am, I’ve always heard it’s not how big you are; it’s what you can do with it.” More Laughter followed.

Peacock, Peacock (Pleiku): Pyramid has C-130 ready for handoff.

Pyramid: Peacock has C-130, thank you for not losing her!

Another night done, 364 to go.

Joe “Bozo” Urban, Pyramid 66-67


Ken de Russy