This photo above, taken from the gunsight of a Soviet MIG fighter, is of C-130
60528. On board this aircraft were 17 members of the United States Air Force
on a normal workday that ended with these men paying the ultimate price for a
philosophy of "Freedom Through Vigilance." This is a real photograph
and on board this aircraft were 17 real men, 17
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and seriously wounded the US Navy and the United States of America. Despite this setback the attack on Pearl Harbor became a rallying cry for citizens of the United States. Even as a small child I can remember my grandmother wearing a pin that said, "Remember Pearl Harbor." The US military recognized that had our intelligence been better - or better acted upon - we may have been better prepared for the attack on Pearl Harbor. As such men began to be trained in intelligence gathering techniques that often put them at danger and, in many cases, cost them their lives. The unfortunate aspect of this kind of work is that the men - and women - who were engaged in electronics and communications surveillance did so with little recognition of that service until September 2, 1997.
On that date - and because of the dedicated efforts of men who wished to recognize the services of these heroic individuals - a National Vigilance Park was established at Ft. George Meade, Maryland. The crew of a C-130 , which had strayed over Soviet Armenia and was shot down, killing all crew members, was honored by the creation of this memorial park. Family members who had little information about the reasons behind the loss of their sons, husbands, and fathers had an opportunity for a "kind of closure" after 39 years of silence. During the creation and recognition of this national memorial a term was coined calling these men, "Silent Warriors".
But the term "Silent Warriors" also applies to thousands of individuals who daily put their lives on the line to maintain a constant vigilance so as to be better prepared for another "Pearl Harbor." This web site also is to recognize those individuals, my comrades of the Cold War. Dozens of planes were lost in peacetime reconnaissance. Many men worked constantly, under combat conditions, and many were killed with little or no recognition of their service to this great nation of ours. Some have never been accounted for.
This web site is created to recognize my brothers and to point others to the web site of the National Vigilance Park . I personally wish to thank my brothers for their service. I can only hope that their families and the people of the United States can appreciate, in some small manner, the service of these "Silent Warriors," - And for my brothers who performed service during the Vietnam conflict I wish to say, "Welcome Home! Thanks for your service." // Airlee Owens
Thanks also to the crews who took us out and brought us back - most of the time.
This Web Site is Dedicated to the "PROP WASH GANG."
THE PROP WASH GANG IS A FORUM OF FORMER USAFSS, ESC, AFIC, AIA, AFISRA AND CURRENT 25TH AF-SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE RECON FLYERS (SILENT WARRIORS) WHO REMAIN IN TOUCH ON THE INTERNET. IF YOU ARE A 25th AF FLYER OR A FORMER USAFSS/ESC/AFIC/AIA/AFISRA/25th AF RECON FLYER AND ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE PROP WASH GANG, CONTACT Jimmy Mayer (email addr: PropWashGang@gmail.com).
to go to the web site for The Price of Vigilance book. Larry Tart and Robert Keefe have written an extensive book on airborne signals intelligence reconnaissance. Larry is the man behind the creation of the National Vigilance Park and Aerial Recon (C-130) Memorial at Fort Meade, MD. He also founded the Prop Wash Gang. The book is an extensive investigation into attacks on American surveillance aircraft, with special emphasis on the shootdown of C-130 60528 on September 2, 1958. It also documents the early histories of the USAF Security Service and Air Force airborne COMINT recon. In addition, it covers the U.S. Navy EP-3E-Chinese incident in April 2001 and related Cold War U.S.-Chinese air incidents."
for the webpage for Larry Tart’s five-volume USAFSS history, “FREEDOM THROUGH VIGILANCE” — "FTV," Volumes I, II and III cover USAFSS ground site history and “FTV,” Volumes IV and Volume V address USAFSS Airborne Recon history.
CLICK HERE for information about a book by one of our own Prop Wash Gang members. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona served as a Vietnamese linguist and later as an Arabic linguist prior to, and during, the Gulf War. He ultimately became General Norman Schwarzkopf's own personal interpreter and sat in on the peace talks with the Iraqis at the end of that conflict. He has an interesting story to tell.
CLICK HERE for information about a book by another one of our own Prop Wash Gang members. James C. Wheeler MSgt Ret. USAF has written a book about the history of the EC-47, of which all reconnaissance personnel who served in Vietnam will have an understanding. Check out his site and buy his book.
Click on the PWG Bookstore link below to find a novel by Delray K. Dvoracek called The Baltic Sea Incident. Del is another former USAFSS recon flyer.
|FTVA||Departed Warriors||Merry Christmas!||Invitation to Memorial Service|
|Laurel, Maryland - 2001||Medal of Honor Citations||Army Security Agency||San Antonio 2000|
|60528 Remembrance||60528 Remembrance II||6924th Security Squadron||US Military Medals|
|Veterans Organizations||Military Aircraft Photos||Reserved||Russian Aviation Page.|
|Chrystal's Poem||Stan Poyas' Page||National Vigilance Park||Cold War Reconnaissance|
|NSA Aerial Photo||Big Safari Web Site||Air Force Song||Warplane Picture Gallery|
|RB-29 Web Site||Three Beauties||K-14 TAC RECON||Reserved|
|PROP WASH GANG Photos||Task Force Russia Site||Geneva Convention Card||Cold War Shootdowns|
|Reserved||Last Photo of 60528||Darmstadt Story||KAL 007|
|Reserved||CMS of the Air Force||The Beaner Banner||RC-135 60357|
|The Spyflight Website||Our Web Site Awards||RB-47 Shootdown - 1960||6916th Home Page|
|The Spokesman - AIA Almanac||Reserved||Larry Tart at NVP||Reserved|
|USAFSS Emblem||USAFSS Patch||Iraqi looking over RC-135||Air Intelligence Command Patch|
|USAF ESC Patch||USAF ESC Patch||Surrealism?||Original 60528|
|6927th RSM||Ron Kriegel Photos||Reserved||Reserved|
|Commemorative Envelope||Mark Pepin Photos||Commemorative Coins||Photos from SMSgt. Frederick Ferrer|
|Dick Wheelock Photo||RU-8D ASA Tribute||Code of Conduct||Our Secret Cold War|
|Attack on P4M-1Q Mercator||Reserved||6913th RSM Site||6931st ESS - Iraklion, Crete|
|Baron 52||POW/MIA||RC-135 Aircraft Site||U-2 HISTORY|
|More U-2 Info||Comfy Levi - 84||Intelligence Resources||Intelligence Resource Program|
|Rivet Amber/Ball||Shemya||FLAG 2002 Photo||Reserved|
|Lt Col Rick Francona's Blog||PWG Memorabilia||Cold War on the Web||Cold War Pathfinder|
|VFW Article - Cold War in Asia||6985th ESS (NEED SITE!)||Reserved||10/17/42 Terry and Pirates Strip|
|Reserved||News Report of RB-47 Shootdown||Office Boy Reunion - 2003||Huge USAFSS Emblem|
|6901st RSM||WAG One - 2004||Naval Security Group - EA-3B||Reserved|
|Bellevue - 2005||Offutt AFB Article about PWG Reunion||PWG Poem||Ron Chapelle Poem|
|Baltimore - 2008||A Mexican Christmas in Bavaria||Airborne Maintenance Assoc||Recordings and Transcripts of 60528 Shootdown|
Silent Warriors poem written by Russ Butcher is posted here.
Here Lies a Silent Warrior by Bob Armistead - © 2009
Messages posted on this web site, even private messages, will be shared with the other members of the PROP WASH GANG, all who are former members of aerial reconnaissance crews. Although this site was created by Airlee Owens, it belongs to all of the Prop Wash Gang members.