Author Topic: c/n 7, VT-DVD  (Read 1532 times)

Doug Johnson

c/n 7, VT-DVD
« on: July 07, 2015, 08:16:19 PM »
1 picture check your albums. Please do an internet search maybe you'll come up with one I couldn't find, I need all the help I can get.

Previous posts about VT-DVD or anything click on  Enter ?
c/n 7, built 06/64 as U-5B for USAF s/n (63-8074) original registry N10037 Factory installs removable wing tip tanks in accordance with installation used on military AU-24A, (restricted category) tip tanks must be removed to place in standard airworthiness category, struck off charge released 06/64, to King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC until 06/64, Continental Air co FL *install IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers STC*, install oxygen system until 07/64, Air Ventures inc NY until 01/65, Continental Air co FL until 06/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL (CIA) installs 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable, reg cancelled 04/66, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 02/67 reg VT-DVD Charbatia Air Base India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border fate unknown but has not survived until present
 As always any further information or pictures would be greatly appreciated.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 07:52:00 AM by Doug Johnson »

Doug Johnson 1

Re: c/n 7, N10037
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 12:13:15 PM »
here is another photo of twin Helio c/n 7, take note of the background signage. Sharjah is a United Arab Emirates city on the Arabian Gulf. These twin Helios show up in unusual places.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 12:18:26 PM by Doug Johnson 1 »


Re: c/n 7, VT-DVD
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 08:15:46 AM »
Regarding the Twin Helio:  my sense of it after reading "Spies in the Himalaya" was that the Twins were used as One Way carriers of Radar (and/or other electronic equipment) up into sites in the Himalaya near Nanda Devi.   The CIA was operating signals intelligent overflights along the southern China border using C-46, C-47, B-17's even.  Some of those flights originated from Taiwan and sometimes landed in India.  Chinese technology was gaining in the radar and anti-aircraft missile department and some flights were being lost (remember those in the news? Me neither) So some alternative methods were thought up and attempted.  First attempt was to carry components of these "signals intelligence" equipment up onto high mountain locations along the Himalaya where this equipment would have a "view" into China.  Highly experienced mountain climbing teams were assembled and along with CIA components these components were carried by helicopter as high as possible and then the mountain climbing teams carrried them to the target sites.  The components were heavy and the climbing and weather difficult.  The first unit was carried to position but weather forced the team to abandon them for later (next spring)  assembly,  But by the following spring the climbing team arriving on site found that the whole mountainside had been inundated and swept away and the components lost.  Having been in the nuclear business myself I need to say that one of the components was a "Nuclear Generator" which works by collecting energy from the decay of nuclear materials, in this case Plutonium...   Plutonium is a highly radioactive element created in the environment inside some types of nuclear reactors.  In addition to its radioactivity it is a poisonous heavy metal.  So the danger of having this lost nuclear generator somewhere up in the snow which feeds the Ganges and the Bramaputra is concerning. 
    Anyway- I digress:  The Brains decided that another method was necessary to get this heavy equipment up onto the sites.  I believe the six remaining Helio Twins were the One Way conveyors of this equipment and the assembly teams.  I think there were crashed into the mountain snow and remain there to this day.    The 7th one was crashed in training before the Big Mission. 
Any takers on my theory?   Happy New Year


Re: c/n 7, VT-DVD
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 10:19:39 AM »
In 1958, with the rebellion in Kham ongoing, two of these fighters, Athar and Lhotse, attempted to meet with the Dalai Lama to determine whether he would cooperate with their activities. However, their request for an audience was refused by the Lord Chamberlain, Phala Thubten Wonden, who believed such a meeting would be impolitic. According to Tsering Shakya, "Phala never told the Dalai Lama or the Kashag of the arrival of Athar and Lhotse. Nor did he inform the Dalai Lama of American willingness to provide aid".

In Eastern Tibet there was a khamba tribe that was thought to be in active resistance against the Chinese communists. There was a huge outbreak of these rebels in March 1959 because they feared that the Chinese were planning to take the Dalai Lama from the country. Since they had feared that he was going to be kidnapped they decided to protect him by moving him to an area that was located just outside Lhasa. These rebels claimed an "independent kingdom of Tibet" when they decided to resist the Chinese outpost. In order to try and get the rebels to back down the Chinese attempted to kidnap the Dalai Lama. This led to the 1959 Tibetan Uprising in which thousands took to the streets in order to stop the supposed kidnapping. A 1959 DCI briefing highlights the measures in which citizens took in order to protect the Dalai Lama. The report says, "Thousands of Tibetan demonstrators then took the Dalai Lama into protective custody in his summer palace just outside Lhasa". The Chinese attempted to make the Dalai Lama stop the uprising, but they could not, which then led to his flight to India. Prior to his flight to India (due to shots being fired outside the palace), Dalai and the Tibet representative were sending letters back and forth to each other in hopes of avoiding an attack. Dalai continued fighting for independence for Tibet outside India. Finally, with the hope of halting Chinese aggression and demands, India recognized Tibet as part of China.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama and approximately 100,000 followers fled to India and Nepal. The rebels continued to attack Chinese government officials, disrupting communication lines, and targeting Chinese troops. Following a mass uprising in Lhasa in 1959 during the celebration of the Tibetan New Year and the ensuing Chinese military response, the Dalai Lama went into exile in India. At this point, the Chinese began changing their policy of working through institutions to build the Communist Party in Tibet. They began to replace the government with Communist-sponsored leaders. By this time the rebels were under constant Chinese attack and losing the remaining ground that they controlled. A declassified DCI briefing of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee offered some further elaboration on the Dalai Lama's position in India. The Dalai Lama remained insistent on wanting to establish a free Tibet which threatened his asylum in India. Prime Minister Nehru vowed to protect the Dalai Lama's right to practice his spirituality but would not condone any anti-communist politics coming from the Dalai Lama. Nehru's main reason for this was that India had previously recognized that Tibet was a part of China. The evidence seems to imply that popular Indian sentiment and reactions to this policy caused Nehru to become more sympathetic toward Tibet, but sadly the rest of this section was redacted from the public record.

Between 1959–1960 the CIA parachuted four groups of Camp Hale trainee's to meet up with the Tibetan resistance. In Autumn of 1959 the CIA parachuted a 2nd group of 16 men into Pembar to meet up with the resistance. By January 1960 the CIA parachuted the fourth and last team in Tibet. Along with these drops of men, the CIA also provided arms drops to the resistance. All the CIA trained Tibetans from Camp Hale left with personal weapons, wireless sets, and a cyanide tablet strapped onto each man's left wrist.

The resistance movement did successfully accomplish the job of bringing great cost and distraction to the Chinese government. CIA estimates in 1959 were that the Chinese had around 60,000 troops in Tibet and needed 256 tons of supplies daily. Due to there only being 3 viable transport routes into Tibet, the CIA also estimated that if they could get the Chinese to double the needed supplies, then the existing infrastructure would not be able to keep up with supply without supplementary airlifts or construction to repair existing routes. The CIA estimated that even with these supplemental airlifts, it would cause substantial disruption in other air services and the Chinese could not expect to supply double its commitments long-term. The Lanzhou-Lhasa highway was the most ideal logistical land supply route at 2,148 km long. In order to assess the conditions of these routes for transport, certain factors such as road construction, width, grades, curves, bottlenecks, and road conditions impacted by weather are heavily taken into consideration. The CIA estimated China could support up to 90,000 troops in Tibet for a few months, but only 60,000 for an extended deployment. In order to support 90,000 troops in the region, China would have to use the Lan-chou-Lhasa highway to its capacity and would require around 7,000 supply trucks per month. However, such heavy usage of the road was estimated to cause substantial damage. The CIA also considered how a build-up of Chinese troops would affect the railroads and determined that, although congestion could impose some burden on the supply chain, there would really be no significant effect on the lines. However, if one of the lines failed due to a washout or other reason, supplies would have to be trucked into the staging areas, which the CIA determined would be a time-consuming operation. Petroleum usage in Tibet was estimated at 2.7% of China's total availability, with a total usage of around 200,000 tons for the year. The "blue satchel raid" of the Chinese was considered one of the greatest intelligence hauls in the history of the CIA. This raid obtained Chinese government documents that showed them having trouble moving forward with the spread of communism through Tibet. It gave the CIA good insight into what was going on in China, and for the first time they really had authentic Chinese documents that were not made up or given to them by a rogue agent. This changed the focus of the CIA as they informed the Tibetans not to attack the Chinese but to gather intelligence on them.

The CIA Tibetan Task Force continued the operation against Chinese forces alongside the Tibetan guerrilla army for another 15 years, until 1974.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 10:27:28 AM by tailhook »