Frans "Van" VandenBroek - Crew Chief
Co-Web Master of this site - - Top Tiger / Mustang
For see these two photos larger and many more photos
by Van photos go to his photos under the
Arrived in unit: Apr. 10, 1968 - Sp-4
Departed unit: Mar. 24, 1969 - Sp-5
Duties in unit: Crew Chief of 68th Smoke Ships # 612, # 680, # 868 & Mustang Gun Ships
Other Assignments: Basic at Ft Ord, Dec 1966. Huey school at Ft Eustis, 1967. 2nd Armored Div, Ft. Hood, TX, 1967. To Viet Nam via ship, USNS Gen. William Weigel, Oct 1967. 124th Avn Co, Long Bihn, 118th AHC, Bien Hoa, 1967/68. 68th AHC, April 1968. Crashed and injured, March 24, 1969. Medevac to Yokohama, Japan, then Camp Pendleton, CA. Discharged from Ft McArthur, CA, July, 1969
Training: 67N20 Huey school Ft Eustis, Va.
DOS Army: 1969
Current Residence: Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Occupation: Factory assembly line worker, 1969-71. BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, 1975. Barbie doll designer, Mattel Toy Co, 1976. Suzuki Motorcycle Grand Prix mechanic, Europe, 1976-79. R&D engineer, Kawasaki Motors Corp, 1979-84. Medical devices engineer/inventor/manager/director, 1984 – present. Six patents awarded, two more in process.
Family: Wife of 16 years, Karen. Daughters Hilary (1988) and Sara (1990)
Hobbies: Motorcycle racing, car restoration, airplane models (800 kits), musical theatre (sang in chorus of “Aida” and “Evita”), and writing. I have written a screenplay involving the smoke missions of the 68th and am looking for a producer to develop the project. Co-Web Master of this site.
Remarks: Memories. Some good, some bad, and some profoundly sad. These belong on a shelf, tucked away, but within reach. From there, they may be retrieved at appropriate times for examination, but they must always be returned to the shelf. I am saddened to find that many of my colleagues from the 68th are not able to do this today.
Note from Dave Green co web master: Although not mentioned in his bio Sp-5 VandenBroek was awarded the DFC for his actions as a crew chief of the 68th Smoke Ship. He is one of a very few enlisted air crew to receive this special award for heroism.