UGLY OLD PHROG by Courtney Payne
There she sat, an ugly old Phrog, dripping fluid, dirty, and as still as a log. No bands to play, no flags
on display, she's home to stay, squatting, sitting, tired ... and leaking.
Some might say “a refugee from the Park Jurassic,’’ not knowing she is now, a "Boeing Classic," heck
man, a CH-46 had a SAS that sometimes worked. A hover-aft ... that sometimes didn’t. Some guys
preferred “Huey’s ... they were cute, or maybe a shiny Jet ... Hot Shit!!!!! But no, here we sit with an
Ugly Old Phrog, down and out ... Like us, tired and retired.
A '46 not only had leaks within, a '46 had leaks without. Flying in monsoons, "You're going to get your
ass wet," flying in deserts too, "You're going to get your ass wet," not with rain or even sweat, but
from hydraulic fluid, this I bet!
Such was our Phrog, love it or NOT, you turned her up daily or she'd go to POT! We cried for lack of
parts, but that was our lot. Our esteemed Navy Supply ... did not!!!!!!!
Armor plating ... we had a little, but OVER the primary servo we needed an iron kettle! Our rotor
blades’ boxes were nailed on tight, you only lost a few in scary flight ... ask Emmitt Carson, I was with
him on that night!
Bullet bouncers were heavy, a pain in the ass, but if one wasn’t there, you’d pass some GAS! Our true
armor was a summer flight suit, a coat of red dust, a sheen of 5606 and whatever luck you could
pull out of your ass!
It is true we had a Power Management System, but ... all HAC’s developed their own, "power of the
hands,"... while at the club hoisting 12 oz cans!
Now this little ditty could go on for a while, taking apart this creature ... might make you smile, but
those present today, are here to say “Good-bye”... remembering this Phrog with all her wart’s, good
times, bad times ... here she is.
My personal thoughts, only mine, are somewhat more benign, it’s an ugly bird, but the Grunts needed
us and we needed the PHROG ... kind of like a rich ugly sister when you need a loan ... a grudging
We cussed her, loved her, we kicked her tires, we lit the fires and dammed if she didn’t fly to garden
spots like: Hoi An, LZ Stud, the Arizona, the Que Son mountains, the Rock Pile, Khe Sanh, Quang-Tri,
Hill-55, An Hoa and so damn many more. It was always the same and she took much blame ... BUT, she
brought us home.
To all who crewed and flew this machine, and to those sleepless kids who kept her flying, and to those
Brothers enshrined in our hearts forever, who gave their all, and didn't make it back ... We revere
you, we thank you, it wasn’t the DASC who got us back ... here’s something factual, ... it was HIM, our
Six-Actual, who kept our turns up, returning us ... to the hootches ... the Club, ... and the mail.
To Him, we offer an "Eternal Thank You." To all my Brothers, I say this ..."That Old ’46 ... there will
never be another! "