Batcat
The United States Air Force
553rd Reconnaissance Wing
at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base
and their EC-121R and other aircraft

Women in the Air Force - WAF - serving with the
553rd Reconnaissance Wing and other units at Korat RTAFB

For centuries women have served alongside men to support their country in military situations. American women continued that tradition of women serving along with men to support the United States. U.S. military women served with men in the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing and the other units assigned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base during the Vietnam era. Women serving in the United States Air Force are known as Women in the Air Force, which is shortened to as "WAF." Page added 04/12/15, Last updated 12/06/15.

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The First 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, Batcat
WAF - worked the Batcat Intelligence Shop

First Batcat assigned WAF (Women in the Air Force) was 2nd Lt. Charlotte J. C. Holder, now Col. Charlotte Clinger USAF retired. Second Lieutenant Charlotte Holder arrived in August 1968. To welcome 2nd Lt. Holder to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing as the first WAF, this Presentation to the 1st female member of Batcat set of "helpful" instructions was given to her as a guide by those in operations. B&W, about 312K. Added 10/22/13.

Lieutenant Charlotte Holder had recently completed intelligence training when she was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Operations for Intelligence (DCOI) office, 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, arriving during September 1968. Charlotte wrote this article on being the First WAF assigned to Batcat, PDF format, about 19K, also available in ASCII text format, about 11K, if you have difficulty reading PDF files. This article describes her arrival and information about providing intelligence while working the Batcat DCOI. Here is the 553rd DCOI Organizational Chart, about 116K. Before each mission all aircrew were given an Intelligence Briefing at the Wing Headquarters building,& color, about 95K. Unknown to me until we exchanged emails, there was an unique 553rd DCOI Patch, color, about 90k. Added 02/14/09.

Second 553rd Reconnaissance Wing WAF

Second WAF assigned to serve with the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing at Korat RTAFB was Lieutenant Karen Sandquist who was the administravtive officer for the wing. Official wing histories indicated the wing wanted a wing administrative officer for some time. Image below shows both WAF who were assigned to the 553rd in December 1968 at what I believe is a change of command ceremony.

December 1968 saw a wing organizational change. In addition to adding a needed wing administrative officer, was the elimination of the wing executive position which was replaced by the position of wing vice commander. I believe, but cannot confirm, that the photo below was taken at the change of command time when the wing exective position was eliminated, and the wing vice commander position added. The side view makes it difficult to identify the officer on the left. To the right of the unkndown officer on the left is Lt. Karen Sandquist, Lt. Col. Richard A. Vogel outgoing wing executive officer, and on the far right Lt. Charlotte Holder. My thanks to Charlotte Clinger for providing the two photos below taken by the Korat base photo lab.

Sandquist_Holder
Left to Right - unknown officer, Lt. Karen Sandquist, Lt. Col. Richard A. Vogel, Lt. Charlotte Holder
Click on the image to display a higher resolution version of this image


Sandquist_Holder_2
Left to Right - Capt.Arden Blaylock (a/c of Crew 42), Charlotte Holder, unknown Major, Karen Sandquist
Click on the image to display a higher resolution version of this image


Third 553rd Reconnaissance Wing WAF

Next WAF assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, the third WAF assigned to the wing, was Capt. Carleen Kolpa in the 553rd Administrative sectiion. Capt. Carleen Kolpa replaced Karen Sandquist as 553rd Reconnaissance Wing administrative officer.

Webmaster Larry Westin
Request for Help with this WAF page

The official history of the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, second quarter of 1970 (April, May and June 1970), says on page 7 that eight WAF's were assigned to the wing during this period. Including one wing administrative officer, two WAF intelligence officers, and five WAF's working in wing administration (AFSC 702x0). Typically wing official histories didn't indicate how many WAF's, or men were assigned to the wing. The official history does confirm additional WAF were assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing.

A primary objective of my 553rd Reconnassiance Wing, Batcat homepage is to represent all those who served with the wing during the Vietnam era. To date only one WAF who served at Korat RTAFB, 2nd Lt. Charlotte J. C. Holder, now Col. Charlotte Holder Clinger USAF retired has been in contact with me. The information Charlotte Clinger has provided has helped enormously to make this Batcat homepage more representative of all of those who served at Korat RTAFB, especially to provide information on WAF's with the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing, Batcat - Thank You Very Much Charlotte!

In an effort to further expand the information on this Batcat homepage to include all those who served at Korat RTAFB during the Vietnam era including WAF, I ask for help from all other WAF who served at Korat RTAFB during the Vietnam era. I know other WAF were assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing and other units based at Korat RTAFB. If you were a WAF assigned to the 553rd Recon Wing, or know a WAF who was assigned to the wing or any other unit at Korat RTAFB during the Vietnam era, please send me your story, correct my errors or help with my ommissions. Please email webmaster Larry Westin at westin@westin553.net. Thank you for your help.

The "Fort Round Eye" WAF Compound at Korat RTAFB

Fort_Round_Eye
Outside view of Fort Round Eye
Photo courtesy of Alan Burch, used with permission, via Bob Freitag
Click on the image to display a higher resolution version of this image


Recently I was contacted asking for information about the bush hats so frequently worn by those serving at Korat RTAFB. Viewing images of the bush hats revealed the existence of "Fort Round Eye," a compound on Korat RTAFB specifically for WAF's. From the limited information I have apparently with the winding down of Takhli RTAFB in 1970 many WAF's serving at Takhli were reassigned to Korat RTAFB. To accomodate the WAF's from Takhli, the 388th Combat Support Group created the Fort Round Eye WAF compound. I believe, but don't know for certain, that Fort Round Eye was specifically for enlisted WAF. Anyone who can provide more details please contact me, see email help link above.

"Fort Round Eye" UPDATE - Kathleen "Katie" A. Meyers was stationed at Korat RTAFB in the 1974 to 1975 time frame. From Kathleen - "During this time Fort Round Eye had about 4 hootches and I think each side had 5x rooms, with 2 WAF per room, so Fort Round Eye had about 40 enlisted WAF. That is does NOT count the SENIOR NCO women + the MARRIED military couples who were in trailers and hootches BEHIND and OUTSIDE the walls of Ft. Roundeye. Myself and another woman or two who were ranking Junior NCOs (SSgt-TSgt) had SINGLE ROOMS in the BILLETING hootch! From my room I looked out at the AFRTS broacasting station." My thanks to Kathleen Meyers for this update, she was based at Korat RTAFB at the time the USAF discontinued use of the base in 1975. This update Added 06/10/15.

Another Korat WAF update - Kathleen "Katie" A. Meyers emailed to let me know after checking the Korat maps, that she just remember I was in was "KAO-SONG-KAO" or building 9-2-9! Or at least, that was the number I always gave the Korat taxi drivers to get me home from downtown! I was actually in a billeting hootch since I was higher ranking but not a TOP 3. Building 929 was OUTSIDE "Fort Roundeye" so I was not within that redwood barrier fence nasty hot in there since it blocked breezes! This update Added 12/06/15.

Australian type Bush Hats worn by WAF's at Korat

Homepage visitor Paul DeGaeta sent me these four images of the Australian type bush hats worn by WAF's (and men) at Korat RTAFB. First is an image Brown WAF bush hat worn at Korat. This bush hat is esstentially the same as worn by the men at Korat. Image is color, about 514K. Here is a view of a Blue WAF bush hat worn at Korat. The bush is hat is the same design as the brown bush hat. Anyone who can provide additional details of why some bush hats are brown, while others are blue, please email from the help link above. During my, webmaster Larry Westin, assignment to Korat I only remember seeing brown Australian type bush hats which were worn by most stationed at Korat. Color, about 373K. Both of these images added 04/12/15.

Here are some more detail images of the bush hats worn by the WAF's at Korat RTAFB. This image is of a Blue WAF bush hat with WAF Liberation patch. Color, about 611K. Here is another overall image of WAF bush hat showing other patches. Color, about 472k. NOTE that many of the patches on these WAF bush hats have a theme of Snoopy, the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing mascot. All four of these WAF bush hat images courtesy of Paul DeGaeta. Images Added 04/12/15.

HELP REQUESTED - I'd like to hear from anyone who can tell me what the significance is of the two colors of the WAF bush hats, the brown bush hat (only color I remember while assigned to Korat), and the blue bush hat. Please email webmaster Larry Westin at westin@westin553.net. Thank you for your help. Thank You!!


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