I was there to
witness the badly damaged aircraft. Here are some key points that I personally remember about 0044:
landed very late in the night. I was not on the 6:00pm to 6:00am work shift. I had just had my work schedule changed to the
6:00am to 6:00pm shift.
Some of my fellow
workers that were on the night shift remember a very strange sound prior to 0044 actually landing back at Ubon. Some of the
talk from the engine specialist mentioned that #3 engine oil pressure went to "0" on landing and the
#1 engines was so over-stressed that the engine actually hung down a few inches after engine shut-down. Apparently the # 1
engine mount bolts were ready to shear. What I was told was that a ground fire round came up and hit # 3 engine and prop gear-case
which broke off the # 3 propeller and engine gear-case and went into #4 engine and gear-case. I also remember seeing numerous
holes all around the aircraft from aircraft shrapnel, engine & prop parts etc.
A team from Lockheed
had to be flown in to do the damage assessment to see if 0044 would be repairable or not. It was determined that 0044 would
be repaired with local technicians and Lockheed engineers
I remember when
a C-5 aircraft landed many weeks later with a new wing for 0044
When I was ready
to depart back to the USA the aircraft was almost ready for its for its test flights prior to use again.