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Yankee Air Pirates

USAF Uniforms and Memorabilia of the Vietnam War

Capt. Jon E. Wroblewski – 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron

Posted on December 22 2014 by François Millard

Capt. Jon E. Wroblewski – 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron
Capt. Jon E. Wroblewski – 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron

This new acquisition is echoing the party suit detailed on pages 84/85 of the first volume. Based at Nakhon Phanom under the 56th SOW, the 23rd TASS Nail FACs were flying missions over the Ho Chi Minh Trail and Cambodia during the 1972/73 period. By December 1972, Wroblewski had successfully completed a 10-week OV-10 training course and joined NKP mid-January 1973. There he would spend 10 months as a pilot. As part of his assignment, Capt. Wroblewski performed Pave Nail sorties during which his navigator would designate the target with a beam to enable the delivery of laser-guided weapons.

The green part visible on the embroidery represents the Pave Nail system, housed in an external pod itself located underneath the backseater’s position.

The green part visible on the embroidery represents the Pave Nail system, housed in an external pod itself located underneath the backseater’s position.

The 23rd TASS QRF patch is a mystery. QRF could stand for “Quick Return Flight,” hence the motionless propeller as after a technical problem. Yet it might also be “Quick Reaction Flight,” with one engine running on alert, waiting to get the word to crank up. As for the SAC FAC, it could refer to B52 BDA missions performed by the FACs or to a former tanker/bomber pilot converted to the FAC role, which was not uncommon by then. Unfortunately, the pilot’s listing of service received was incomplete.

The 23rd TASS QRF patch is a mystery. QRF could stand for “Quick Return Flight,” hence the motionless propeller as after a technical problem. Yet it might also be “Quick Reaction Flight,” with one engine running on alert, waiting to get the word to crank up. As for the SAC FAC, it could refer to B52 BDA missions performed by the FACs or to a former tanker/bomber pilot converted to the FAC role, which was not uncommon by then. Unfortunately, the pilot’s listing of service received was incomplete.

Comment on this post

Rick 09/17/2015 07:00

QRF = Quick Reaction Force. The Nails worked a lot supporting SOF units that operated on the ground in Laos and who more often than not had to be extracted "quickly".

BOBCAT 05/21/2015 16:31

QRF in the "Q" code mean "Qick return flight". It was used for many reasons : Bad weather, mechanic problem...it mean "back home"