During his tour of duty in Vietnam, Jack Mecham was solely responsible for planning and issuing frag orders for missions flown by the 20th Helicopter Squadron. Additionally, he flew more than 100 combat missions during that same period (1966-1967). Most of the missions were in support of CIA operations in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam and were classified TOP SECRET. Even the helicopters were unmarked and sanitized. The only information provided to the USAF was the number of sorties flown. In this presentation, Mecham will provide insight into the nature of the operations of the squadron and share with you some of his personal experiences. Additionally, he will explain the origin of the "Black Mariah." Only one of the six aircraft in the squadron was dubbed "Black Mariah." That aircraft now resides in The National Museum of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB.
Jack Mecham entered the Aviation Cadet Pilot Training Program in February, 1954. Upon graduation in May, 1955, he became an instructor in B-25 pilot training. He has logged more than 3,000 hours in B-25s. During his career in the USAF, he flew more than 20 different types of military aircraft; including cargo, passenger, fighter, rotary wing, bomber, utility and reconnaissance. He logged more than 12,100 flying hours during his 20 year career. Jack earned his BSME and completed his masters course work at Texas Tech under the AFIT program.
He spent more than 6 years in R&D at WPAFB as a program manager in reconnaissance and at Systems Command Headquarters in the development and planning of future R&D programs.
Upon his retirement from the USAF in 1974, Jack entered the aerospace business where he managed three aerospace firms, including the aerospace division of Chrysler, based in Dayton, OH. He retired from the aerospace business in 1996.
This program will take place at the Enon Branch, 209 East Main Street, Enon, OH. Please pre-register by calling (937) 864-2502.