Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Dan Swiger | 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron - Air Force

9:27   |   Dan Swiger joined the Air Force, thinking he could be a crew chief, but it turned out he was color blind, so the maintenance field was out. His ham radio hobby led to training and assignment as a radio operator and forward air controller. It was 1969, so naturally, he eventually wound up in Vietnam where, on his very first duty shift, the unthinkable happened. Part 1 of 3.

More From Dan Swiger

Keywords   :     Dan Swiger    San Jose CA    color blind    maintenance    ham radio    McClellan Air Force Base    Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS)    Vietnam    Nha Trang    gunship    Forward Air Controller (FAC)    air strike    coordinates    friendly fire    My Lai

Videos ( 2 )
  • Dan Swiger  |  Vietnam  |  21st Tactical Air Support Squadron  |  9:48

    After an innocent mistake caused a friendly fire incident, forward air controller Dan Swiger was reassigned. His new job was running an administrative radio network in Nha Trang. Later, he coordinated air activities for a Special Forces base. He was eager to prove himself and was surprised that there seemed to be no repercussions. Part 2 of 3.

  • Dan Swiger  |  Vietnam  |  21st Tactical Air Support Squadron  |  10:06

    While a radio operator in Vietnam, Dan Swiger heard a frantic pilot screaming for air support for some troops on the ground. Decades later, he found that pilot. Veterans get the best therapy from other veterans and that has meant a lot to him. It was good to meet other radio operators when he finally attended a reunion, especially when he met one who had also been involved in a friendly fire incident. Part 3 of 3.

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