by David P.
My second Air Force assignment was as a navigator was in Special Operations MC-130Es in the Philippines. In 1983, I was one of the navigators on an air-land infiltration of an SAS team during exercise Kangaroo/Westwind 83 in Australia. Upon landing on the dirt runway, the airplane bogged down, buried up to the landing gear doors. We were so near the beach that the ocean and tides apparently affected the runway's firmness. We burned off excess fuel through the night and after clearing around the landing gear and trenching back to good surface, we attempted to taxi out. It took several attempts, but after nearly two days of trying we were able to get on solid enough ground to take off and return to our exercise base near Port Hedland. My hat is off to one of Lockheed Martin’s workhorses, 63-7785, which held together through everything and got us back home safely!
|Ningaloo, Western Australia, 1984|