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Biography: Roger Hamann

Guest Roger Hamann

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Guest Roger Hamann

My name is Roger Hamann and I served in the USAF from June 1970-February 1974. Although my primary AFSC while in the AF was that of a POL ( Petroleum, Oils, Lubricants) troop, I did have the priviledge of experiencing a rather unique tour of ten months duration as an airborne interpreter, flying with the Rustic FACs (Forward Air Controllers). The Rustics, for the most part, flew out of Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Our AO ( Area of Operation) was Cambodia, where we worked with the Cambodian Army in their fight against the NVA, Viet Cong and Khmere Rouge.

Since many of the Cambodian Army radio operators spoke only their native tongue and French, the AF was in desperate need of pilots who could speak French and in need of them in a hurry. With a limited number of French speaking pilots available at the time, a call went out worldwide for AF enlisted men who spoke the language. I had taken a French language test back in basic training and now they needed moi!

Long story short, our mission was to aid the Cambodian Army by supplying visual reconnaisance and directing tactical air (air strikes) against their enemies. The Rustics have a website which contains a brief history of the squadron, along with two books about us, one is self-published, the other, Call Sign, Rustic by Richard Wood was published by The Smithsonian Institution Press in the fall of 2002.

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