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Photos and commentary by MSgt Jeffrey K. Brochu

The original page is here:

http://limasite85.us/memorials1.htm


The COMBAT SKYSPOT memorial at Andersen AFB Guam, September, 1999.  The memorial consists of an AN/MSQ-77 (AN/TSQ-81) parabolic antenna poised at 45 degrees elevation.  It is situated directly behind the ARC LIGHT Memorial, a B52D Stratofortress which flew dozens of missions over North Vietnam.  The aircraft and the radar are facing the Vietnam theater, in solemn tribute to the men who flew the weapons and the men who directed them over targets of opportunity.  Two bronze plaques at the memorial scratch the surface of the legacy . . . .


"The introduction of the B-52 into the Vietnam war brought an incredibly devastating weapons system within the control of ground force commanders.  However, the delivery accuracy was often limited by a complete lack of cultural radar returns and suitable geographic points.  To solve this problem, SAC began using ground based radar equipment operated by the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (CEG) to direct aerial bombing raids.  This tactic was labeled Ground Directed Bombing (GDB) and given the code name COMBAT SKYSPOT.  CEG personnel would guide the bombers along a designated route and, at the proper moment, signal the aircrew to release their weapons.  COMBAT SKYSPOT not only provided flexibility in targeting, but its accuracy soon surpassed that of the B-52.  In fact, these GDB sites were so formidable, the enemy conducted daring raids to eliminate them or force their relocation.  During their 90 month period of service in Southeast Asia, COMBAT SKYSPOT crews directed over 300,000 USAF, Navy, Marine and RVN re-supply, reconnaissance, rescue, and tactical air missions, as well as 75 percent of all B-52 strikes."     

Seventy-five percent of the B-52 combat missions flown over Southeast Asia were directed from the ground by a technique code-named COMBAT SKYSPOT.  Over 3000 men of the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (CEG) manned ground radar sites in South Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos 24 hours a day from March 1966 until August 1973.  This memorial is dedicated to the eighteen members of CEG who gave their lives in this effort .

WE WILL NOT FORGET  

LT COL CLARENCE F. BLANTON TSGT BRUCE E. MANSFIELD
TSGT JAMES H. CALFEE     TSGT ANTONE P. MARKS
SSGT JAMES W. DAVIS  SSGT JERRY OLD S
CMSGT RICHARD L. ETCHBERGER SSGT DAVID S. P RICE
TSGT PATRICK L. SHANNON SSGT HENRY G. GISH
SSGT JOHN P. GUERIN  TSGT LOWELL V. SMITH
SSGT WILLIS R. HALL TSGT DONALD K. SPRINGSTEADAH
TSGT MELVIN A. HOLLAND SSGT EPHRAIM VASQUEZ
A1C RUFUS L. JAMES SSGT DON F. WORLEY

The ARC LIGHT memorial at Andersen AFB Guam, September, 1999.  The COMBAT SKYSPOT memorial is visible under the tail of the aircraft.  This B-52D, aircraft number 55-0100, flew many Arc Light sorties culminating with the climatic Linebacker II strikes, and is symbolically pointed toward the Vietnam theater, dependent upon the guidance of a handful of highly trained and incredibly dedicated ordinary people.

 

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