Doug WebsterVietnam War

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Doug Webster served our country during the Vietnam War in the United States Air Force. Doug was born in Huntington Park, California. His father served in the Merchant Marines.

In 1972, Doug was a student at UCLA in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program (ROTC).  After graduation he was commissioned into the US Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was sent to Pilot training in Mississippi, however, a short time later the Air Force decided they didn’t need new pilots. Doug was then directed to Navigator training for the C-130 Hercules aircraft.

From 1973 to 1977, Doug was assigned to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.  As the Squadron Navigator on a C-130, they would fly sorties (missions) throughout the South Pacific to deliver cargo and airlift to islands like Taiwan, Guam, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. During his two tours at Clark, Doug was promoted to Captain.

On 29 April 1975, during the fall of Saigon, the Saigon Airport was under attack and the last three C-130 planes arrived for the evacuation of personnel. The C-130 Hercules was designed to seat 92 people, but during the evacuation they removed the seats and were able to load more than 200 people into the cargo space. Doug’s plane landed under high threat conditions; they immediately unloaded a BLU-82 “Daisy Cutter” bomb, to make room for the evacuees. As they taxied to the personnel loading area, they saw flashes which were explosion.  The wing of their aircraft took a hit of shrapnel from the explosion. The C-130 personnel immediately evacuated the plane due to the leaking fuel and the possibility of an explosion. Doug and his crew loaded onto the last C-130 to depart the Saigon Airport.  They would be the last fixed wing aircraft to depart  Helicopters were used to continue the evacuation.

In 1977, Doug transferred to McCord Air Base in Washington to the 62nd Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command. After that tour, Doug was promoted to Major and was transferred back to Clark Air Base in the Philippines and assigned to the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing. Doug retired from the Air Force after his last tour at the Pentagon.

From Jan-Sep 2004, Doug was a Senior Executive Management Appointee during the Iraq war and was responsible for working with the coalition.

Doug is very proud of their accomplishment during the fall of Saigon and he appreciates the service of people and families he served with.

Thank you Doug for your service to our country.

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Bio courtesy of Rebeccah Christovich.

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