In January 1968, the 475th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at Misawa Air Base, Japan, replacing the 39th Air Division as the host unit, with the 439th Combat Support Group being replaced by the 475th Combat Support Group that controlled the base support units.
From Misawa, aircraft and personnel of the 67th, 356th and 391st TFS rotated six aircraft every ten days to Kunsan and Taegu Air Bases in South Korea performing Nuclear alert duty.
The 475th ABW also gradually closed down many of its widely dispersed installations, sites and facilities, consolidating them as well as assisting in the closing of Tachikawa Air Base in September 1977.
I was in the USAF from July 01, 1969 – June 30, 1973. I served my entire 4 year enlistment with the 475th Tactical Fighter Wing being stationed in Misawa, Japan, Kunsan, Korea and Ubon, Thailand. After my enlistment ended because of a presidential order forbidding any promotions for enlisted men I worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis, MO for 13 years, building F4 Phantom fighter/bombers, F-18 Hornets for the Navy, F-15 Eagle fighter/bombers for the Air Force, AV8B Harrier VTOL jump jets for the Army as well as Harpoon & Cruise missiles for the Navy.
During my deployment to Southeast Asia I got a chance to work on Jolly Green giant helicopters, Puff The Magic Dragon gunships and C-130 gunships loaded with the mini gatling guns. I even worked on the C-130 mechanic’s plane that worked on the SR-71 high altitude spy planes that replaced the U2 spy planes. The “Blackbirds” were amazing aircraft!
For my 4 year service I received an education in electronics that provided me with a job for the next 40 years before retiring in 2010 from Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, OR. Unfortunately I wasn’t granted a disability claim for exposure to agent orange even though it was my F4 bombers that carried and dropped those agent orange canisters. I was more exposed to agent orange than those it was dropped on but the military somehow thought since I was never actually on the ground in Vietnam my claim was turned down after a 2 year fight. My VA Medical status also treats me as a 2nd class Veteran for the same reason. I am not a happy camper and have little respect for the VA.