I had almost finished year two in northern Japan. This old country bumpkin got homesick. I was out running the engines to check out maintenance that got done on my aircraft. It was the middle of the night in a far off land.

 I was right at the end of the runway with the engines running when a thought entered my mind. I could take off and go home for a visit.  

I was sitting at Misawa Japan location 40.67823° N, 141.3474° E and Hayti, South Dakota is on 44.673603° N, -97.18824° E. A quick flight plan was developing in the back of my mind, fly back around the globe. 

I would come into Hayti real low over Lake Marsh, just clearing the Herald Enterprise building to land on Main Street. I was sure I couldn’t get stopped by the time I got to the Horseshoe. So I would taxi down to the Court House, turn around, and come back to have a beer or two. I would then fly back to Japan before anybody missed me.

I started to have second thoughts:

  1. The Air Force would shoot me down before I got very far from the airbase.
  2. I’m sure I would not be very good at inflight refueling, which I would have to do to fly that far.
  3. I would no doubt get lost en route to Hayti.
  4. That is a long way to go for a beer but I would get to see some friendly faces.

I decided to scratch the whole mission, chalk it up to another wild dream.

Bangkok and Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base

Bangkok – Wikipedia 

Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base – Wikipedia 

“In November 1961, four RF-101C reconnaissance aircraft of the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron stationed at Misawa ABJapan, and their photo lab arrived at Don Muang under “Operation Able Marble”. The RF-101s were sent to assist RTAF RT-33 aircraft in performing aerial reconnaissance flights over Laos. “That was our secret mission to Thailand.” Leland Olson: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Category:Vietnam War in 1961 – Wikimedia Commons

Top two pictures on left was our work area. Top right Ferris Anderson at barracks,   

Bottom right Salvatore Pusateri at the Marble Temple. Bottom left Capitol area. 

Top two was our work area. Bottom left temple of Gold Buddha and Lee at barracks.  

Bottom right another temple.  

temple of golden buddha wat traimit – Bing 

Leland waiting to enter the temple. The light was so poor my camera didn’t work well, they discouraged photos. 

Leland 1961

A nice little bug infested klong ran past our quarters. It was usually full of snakes the same as our outside

showers and toilet. The mess tent was at least several hundred yards away.

Served warm in quart bottles, that 11% beer was made for short parties

Statue Of King Vajiravudh

The famous Thai Dancers.

Temples everywhere.