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Bob Hudson

Vietnam Project Jenny airborne PSYOPS radio station & TV

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Here's a few items, including a flight log, from a Navy mustang who enlisted in 1940 and after WWII got a commission. There's also some documents regarding flight crew time, a copy of an article he wrote, his dogtags and ribbons (sadly his Air Medal certificates wre snapped up before I got to the sale).

 

During the Vietnam War he was the electronics officer for Project Jenny, which used Navy EC-121 Lockheed Constellations to broadcast radio and TV signals while in flight over Vietnam. Some of the broadcasts were part of a psyops program aimed at Vietnamese citizens.

 

The flight logs show he first flew on these aircraft at Patuxent River and soon after was flying missions out of Da Nang and Tan Son Nhut AB in Saigon.

 

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He was an active ham radio operator until his death in 2009 and I found this bio online in a ham publication.

 

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In searching around online for more Project Jenny info I found that "Two Blue Eagle aircraft were based at Tan Son Nhut AB in Saigon to provide TV broadcast services for AFVN and THVN. A third aircraft was based at DaNang AB to provide airborne PSYOPS radio broadcast services for MACV-SOG."

 

The aircraft were called Blue Eagle and Blue Eagle I (SN 131627) was the radio-only aircraft used for psyops missions. You can see the numbers and bases in the log excerpt above.



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The items I picked up at the estate sale were scattered all over the large house, in the garage, bedrooms, home office, etc. The estate sale operators told me they had some items they didn't put out but wanted me to assess for them. The said it was shrapnel and and metal from a damaged airplane. They made it sound like it was from a crash, but now of the Blue Eagles crashed or were shot down, but it turns out three did get attacked on the ground:

 

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Very interesting, thanks for posting.


 

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A few more items I picked up: a sterling silver tie clip rendition of his Navy business card, name tape apparently from a flight suit, and photos and documents from when he was the official guest of honor at a NTC graduation after his retirement.

 

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There were four Blue Eagle aircraft operated by his squadron, which was first known as Oceanographic Air Survey Unit (OASU) and then as VX-8 (Air Development Squadron 8).

 

The Blue Eagles were Lockheed Super Constellation C-121J's. There were four Blue Eagles:

 

Blue Eagle I (BuNo 131627)
Blue Eagle II (BuNo 128444)
Blue Eagle III (Buno 131641)
Blue Eagle VI (BuNo 131655)

 

BE I was the radio-only psyops broadcaster. According to a post at http://www.aero-web.org/specs/lockheed/c-121j.htm -

 

""Blue Eagle II, III and VI" were equiped with two commercial

TV broadcast transmitters, an AM radio transmitter and a
FM radio transmitter along with the supporting tape and film
machines. Those aircraft also contains a small 'studio' where
an AFRTS announcer worked during each evenings mission,
augmenting the tape and film programs with 'live' news and
commentary.
The squadron designation changed 3 times in that period.
Based at Pax River, we deployed crews to Viet Nam for 6-month
stints with a total of 4 aircraft flying missions from
Tan Son Nhut and DaNang. I made 2 deployments to Nam during
my time with the squadron as well as a "deployment" to
Lockheed Air Service at JFK for the overhaul of "Blue
Eagle I"."

 

Here are some entries from Smith's logbook that show, among other things, that he too was at JFK when Blue Eagle I was being overhauled.

 

The entries also show some flights between Saigon (TSN) and Bangkok. Notice on the first entry the length of these flights: almost 10 hours for the psyop flights in Blue Eagle I, flights which apparently involved flying circles over the Gulf of Tonkin (the broadcasts were designed to sound like they were coming from hidden transmitters in North Vietnam including fake transmissions about how the NVA was approaching the radio station so they had to shut down and run).

 

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He was back in Vietnam in 1967 and it looks like the flights were a lot shorter than when he first flew with Project Jenny. He racked up 438 hours of crew time which accounts for all the stars on his Air Medal ribbon.

 

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Again, I'm bummed I missed out on the Air Medal certificates, but, as mentioned above, there may be artifacts forthcoming from the VC ground attack on the Blue Eagles.

 

i think we spent close to two hours searching all through the house to find the items shown here. They had the ribbons at the cashier's table in a display case, but everything else was scattered around. I think my son found the flight log in the garage: I only had a chance to glance at it before I bought it and the aircraft designations did not sound like it was anything interesting, but the price was right :)

 

There was a Navy dress blue uniform that sold Saturday (I didn't get there until Sunday, which was "half-price" day). There was a yellowed old white mess jacket when I was there, but I passed on that. I did get a bunch of visor cap covers including one in Aviation Working Green.

 

This kind of estate sale experience is fairly common: the estate sale operators see the colorful ribbons and maybe some shiny metal parts (the artifacts from the attack) and and give those special handling, but other more important items - such as the log - are ignored. If you find one piece of militaria tucked away at a sale, start digging around, because there's often often other things as well (my sister was with us and found the dog tags in a jewelry box and my son found the sterling tie clip in a jewelry box that was in a drawer with no handle - it appears no one had looked in that drawer before he did, not even the estate sale operators or the hundreds of buyers who'd been through the house before we got there).

 

So that was our Sunday fishing trip...

 

I'm waiting for some photos of the attack artifacts and I'll post those when I get them.



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