Note to reader: As a U.S. invited contractor I was issued a Department of defense noncombatant’s certificate of identity with assimilated rank of Colonel/EGS-15, equal to a military grade of 0-6. I was issued blanket travel orders to board military aircraft to any in-country military installation. These travel orders were valid from 1968 to March 1973. After which I traveled either on commercial or Air America aircraft until April 1975.
Going There: World Airways DC-8 Charter ~ 1968
In the 1960s, World Airways became the first U.S. charter airline to enter the jet age with the acquisition of new Boeing 707s.
The USAF Military Airlift Command, “MAC”, used World Airways Charters extensively during the Vietnam era for Military troop transfers.
World’s most famous flight was on 2 April 1975
The first ‘Operation Babylift’ flight took off from Saigon in darkness; the airport had turned the runway lights off. The DC-8 departed without a formal clearance to take off or a flight plan filed. Oakland Aviation Museum Life Members Bill Keating and Ken Healy piloted the flight. Ed Daly paid for the flight out of his own pocket. Continue reading