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A story about a patch, a car and a group of "Battle Herk" Marines


Executive Summary
Part I: The Story of the "Tanker Lincoln" / "Raider Mobile"
A. Scene Setter
B. A Name, a Logo and a Patch Create a Legacy
C. The "Golden Age"
D. Boldly Going All Over the Place
E. "New Beginnings"
F. A "Casualty of War"
G. Raiders from the Car's Golden Years; Where are they now?
H. Epilogue
* All photo credits are listed below photos

Executive Summary


This document chronicles the story of the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) squadron car throughout its history, outlines the vehicle's current situation, as well as detailing the personal stories of several key players from the car's purchase date to present time (Part I). Using the Marine Corps Planning Process (Part III) presents a problem analysis and options for the future. This project will be a work in progress that will chronicle the restoration campaign for the squadron car.


The objective is to portray the vehicle's rich and colorful past, the car's relationship with the squadron as it experiences peacetime operations as well as during time of war, illustrate the current plight of the car, and to advocate a repair and restoration campaign.


After framing the problem and conducting a brief mission analysis, Part III initially proposed six potential courses of action (COAs) for consideration to the squadron:

(1) Do nothing, continue policy of "benign neglect."
(2) Tow vehicle to salvage yard, dispose of the vehicle and give up on any idea of a squadron car.
(3) Repair / Restore car to the point it could be a static display for the squadron or donated to a museum.
(4) Repair current car and restore it to its appearance during the "Golden Years," "the Next Generation" or "Something New."
(5) Buy a replacement car and restore it to its appearance during the "Golden Years," "the Next Generation" or "Something New."
(6) The "Blended COA." Any combination of the first five minus COA #1.

The name OPERATION RESTORE TANKER LINCOLN (OP-RTL) is given for the choice of a proactive COA with the goal of getting a squadron car up and running in support of squadron professional and social objectives.

Recommendation: With the support of the community and those interested OPERATION RESTORE TANKER LINCOLN begins now.

Part I: The Story of the "Tanker Lincoln" / "Raider Mobile"

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VMGR-352 KC-130s conducting aerial refueling of Navy F-14s and a single Marine F-4 in the early 80's. From left to right are aircraft 014, 752, 240, and 572. QB 572 was the "tail number" assigned to the Tanker Lincoln

A. Scene Setter: Early 1980's

Today, Marine KC-130s over Afghanistan, armed with the Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit "Harvest HAWK", had become the Close Air Support (CAS) "platform of choice" for coalition ground troops in Afghanistan as reported by several publications. It is hard to believe that 30 years earlier, Marine KC-130s were fighting for a role, even for their very existence.

The 1980s were a time of transition for the USMC KC-130 Community. The United States Air Force had procured the KC-10 with the mission of inter-service strategic tanking. Marine Corps Aviation lost the Trans-Pac air-refueling mission that had been the mainstay for the Herk. VMGR-352 needed to return to its Korean and Vietnam War roots. Missions such as battlefield illumination, aerial delivery, tactical aerial refueling, short and austere field cargo operations; all utilizing low-level tactics to counter the Soviet era threat became the new norm. A group of young officers, supported by leaders battle tested in Vietnam, eagerly embraced these changes. This group sought to completely change the squadron image. If Ronald Reagan could turn around America, VMGR-352 would reverse the KC-130's standing within Marine Aviation. They started by inspiring morale with a new squadron name, a new logo and patch, as well as buying a squadron car inspired by the 1980's cult film "The Blues Brothers."

raider football raider-penant
1983 Super Bowl Champion LA Raiders Super Bowl XVIII Pennant

About the same time, with the newfound interest occurring at VMGR-352, the Oakland Raiders moved to Los Angeles. The Raiders Football Franchise exuded confidence and was always entertaining. They were the scourge of the NFL, winning big at the Super Bowl, all while portraying a rogue image that excited their loyal fans. Mark "Myk" Mykityshyn was a newly minted Marine KC-130 pilot, who had played football at the Naval Academy, and was coaching the squadron flag football team in 1984. He also believed that the squadron needed to get away from its stagnant non-tactical image. Perhaps earlier, the VMGR-352 Squadron patch had meaning within the transport community. However, most now wanted a more dynamic symbol for the future, and the growing sense of purpose that was evolving.

B. A Name, a Logo, and a Patch Create a Legacy
VMGR-152 Patch VMGR-252 Patch VMGR-353 Old Patch
VMGR-152 Patch then and now VMGR-252 Patch then and now VMGR-352 Patch circa 1970's

Mark Mykityshyn pondered whether the squadron could use the logo, name, and colors from the meanest and most rebellious team in the National Football League as the basis for the squadron insignia. At the same time, this was the gridiron team with the trademark slogan "Commitment To Excellence;" exactly the command climate that junior officers wanted to create and emulate at VMGR-352.

Jolly Roger LA Raider Logo
"Jolly Roger" flag with LA Raiders motto LA Raiders Logo

Myk designed a new squadron logo and patch based on the rogue, and winning, football team, and then pitched it to the Los Angeles Raiders business office for the authorized use of the Raider name, likeness and logo. It was approved by the LA Raiders' hiarchy and although never offically submitted nor approved by the United States Navy or Marine Corps, below was the result and with small modifications is still in use today by the squadron.

Raider Patch
Modern VMGR-352 Squadron Patch. Using the LA Raiders logo as a templete, Myk retained the silver and black colors and substitued a Marine Officers Mameluke Sword along with a NCO sword for the two pirate cutlasses. A frontal view of a Herk in flight replaced the football players head and the shield shape was incorparated inside a standard Navy/ Marine Corps squadron patch.

The LA Raiders enthusiastically supported the tie between the squadron and the team and offered support including cheerleaders that could attend events for the squadron. Squadron leadership under Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Major also endorsed the concept, and would later support his officers as they embarked on the search and purchase of a squadron car.

C. 1984-1988: The Golden Age of the Tanker Lincoln
blues brothers

*Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi star as "Elmwood and Jake Blues" in the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers" produced by Universal Pictures, and directed by John Landis

1984-1986: A Band of "Dress Blues Brothers" Buy and Operate "The Car"

Ronald Reagan was president, morning had dawned in America, people wanted their MTV and an El Toro based KC-130 Squadron exuded energy and a growing esprit de corps. Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Major was the Squadron Commanding Officer (CO) of VMGR-352 when the car was purchased in 1984.

Mike "Fergie" Ferguson and "Wild" Bill Armishaw found a 1969 Lincoln Continental with "suicide doors" in Yorba Linda, CA through the Orange County Register. The original idea was to find and purchase a convertible, but the hard top looked mean and ready. Four Officers split the price of the car (Bill Armishaw, Mike Ferguson, Chick Kelenfy, and the aforementioned Mark Mykityshyn). Once purchased, six more officers (Doc Olman, John Zeglin, George Walters, Leo Falcam, Bill Abby, and Rob Lucy) contributed to the car. Coming off a six month Okinawa detachment, Craig Laurie also kicked in for the vehicle.

Before the "Tanker Lincoln" was emblazoned in its first livery, Joseph "Chick" Kelenfy drove the car at his wedding on June 30, 1984. The picture below shows it at the wedding before the initial design was applied.

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Picture taken outside the MCAS El Toro Base Chapel. The "Tanker Lincoln" is parked to the right

The car was originally all black, including the vinyl top, with silver lettering. An American flag was displayed on the trunk as well as two large US national aircraft insignias, also known as the "Stars and Bars," located on each rear quarter panel; all painted red, white, and blue. VMGR-352 was written on the trunk and "United States Marines," with "VMGR-352" underneath, adorned the two "suicide doors." Tail number "QB 572" was inscribed on the forward quarter panel with a red "propeller" danger symbol painted just forward of the front doors.

Listed on the car were the ten original names just forward of the propeller danger symbol and behind the front tires:

- Left side
"Fergie"- Mike Ferguson
"Spock"- Robert Lucy
"Coon"- Leo Falcam
"Chick"- Joseph Kelenfy
"Abbs"- Bill Abbey

- Right side
"Myk"- Mark Mykityshyn
"Wally"- George Walters
"Doc"- Doc Olman
"Z Man"- John Zeglin
"Wild"- Bill Armishaw
back of raidermobile
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Photo of the trunk of the "Tanker Lincoln"
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Myk and Wally are photographed writing "Jake" and "Elwood" on their knuckles while dressed up for the part.

In its first official role, the car was used to chauffeur LtCol Major and his wife to his farewell party. At the retirement party, the Raiders welcomed LtCol Thomas O'Malley as the new Commanding Officer. Skipper O'Malley would command the squadron from 1984 to 1986. LtCol O'Malley, followed by Skippers Ritchie and Bauernfeind were all very supportive of the "Tanker" during their tenures as Commanding Officers. Their command support, along with the energy of a number of the company grade officers who comprised the "Junior Officer Protection Association (JOPA)," would set the stage for the "Golden Age" of the squadron vehicle.

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
"Blues Brothers" (Mark "Myk" Mykityshyn (left) and George "Wally" Walters (right) used the car to take LtCol. and Mrs. Major to their farewell shindig. Five of the original "plank holder" call signs are shown just aft of the front tire (from top to bottom): "Myk", "Wally", "Doc", "Z Man" and "Wild". "QB 572," the first KC-130 assigned to VMGR-352, was given to the car and is seen on the front corner.

The car was affectionately named the "Tanker Lincoln," often shortened to just the "Tanker." It was used to drive down to NAS Miramar on Wednesday nights and to MCRD San Diego on Friday nights for happy hour. Squadron events, especially the annual Marine Corps Ball, also featured the car. "Fergie" Ferguson and "Wild Bill" Armishaw would assign duty drivers for all "Tanker" events, to ensure an uneventful and safe return. At this time, a tradition was established in using the squadron car in conjunction with the annual El Toro Airshow. The car would be placed next to the VMGR-352 squadron static display KC-130 in order to showcase the unit. Junior Officers, along with the assigned static display crew, would greet visitors and allow tours and pictures of both the Herk and the car. Over the years, thousands visited the combined exhibit.

As a fixture at El Toro Officer's Club Friday happy hour, the "Tanker Lincoln" was normally parked right in front. Rivalry developed as various fixed and rotary-wing squadrons at both MCAS El Toro and MCAS Tustin fielded cars of their own (see below). None ever matched the "Tanker Lincoln" in appearance, fame, or longevity and the other vehicles quietly disappeared over time. In later years, some squadrons acquired second or even third replacement squadron cars as none were kept in continual use like the "Tanker."

old raider mobile
The VMFP-3 Squadron Car, which operated for a time at MCAS El Toro until the disestablishment of the RF-4 Photo-Reconnaissance Squadron was an example of another squadron automobile.

The squadron's car unofficial parking space now received some unwanted attention from higher headquarters. Several times, the Group Commander's Aide, on order, would wander around the club on a Friday night, looking for anyone in a flight suit bearing a Raider patch, demanding the vehicle's removal. Naturally, he was ignored. On one very public occasion, then Colonel Hearny, MAG-13 CO, personally ordered LtCol O'Malley, to move the car "or else." Skipper O'Malley (later promoted to Colonel despite the event) forcefully, but respectfully, "non-concurred" and it became accepted that the "Tanker Lincoln" could be parked in any space, assigned or otherwise. In the years that followed, numerous Commanding Generals of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing actually encouraged the practice and if attending a club function, with the squadron car not present, would ask "Where's the Tanker Lincoln?"

hollywood sign
During its existence, MCAS El Toro, along with nearby Tustin, were the closest major Marine installations to the Hollywood-Burbank movie studios. Numerous films and television shows featured the Orange County location as a backdrop or utilized Marines there as "extras."

1986-1988: Hollywood comes to VMGR-352

President Ronald Regan "The Gipper" is now serving his second term, the "commies" are on the run, and the actress Farrah Fawcett is still considered "hot" (though, despite persistent rumors, she never got to ride in the car). LtCol Jim Ritchie was the Commanding Officer from 1986 to 1988. The squadron is flying worldwide from the Aleutians to the Western Pacific, down to South America, and even out to the Mediterranean. During this period, the "Tanker Lincoln" is in its prime; getting 60,000 yards a gallon, from its 25-gallon tank as it purrs down the I-5 freeway.

Of the original plank owners; Bill Armishaw, Mike Ferguson, Chick Kelenfy, Mark Mykityshyn, and Leo Falcam are still serving at VMGR-352. Most would transfer or leave active duty shortly. At the request of Mike Ferguson, Paul Krug becomes the first "Keeper of the Car" from early 1986 to the late summer of 1988.

The car was instrumental in saving the VMGR-352 Officers fund which had landed in a $2000 deficit following the purchase of numerous squadron trinkets (T-Shirts, Mugs, etc.). At the El Toro Airshow, visitors could have their picture taken for $1 in front of the car, with a KC-130 Hercules on the flight line, in order to raise money. Attention brought by the car, brought in customers that eagerly purchased all the "Raider" logo items that had been accumulated. As in the past, the car was always present for happy hour at the El Toro O'Club, Marine Corps Balls and it went on occasional forays down to NAS Miramar on Wednesday nights.

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Local model pictured for an unofficial calendar photo shoot on the trunk of the "Tanker Lincoln"

In the summer of 1986, the final scene of the Clint Eastwood film "Heartbreak Ridge" is filmed outside the Raider hangar. Though wildly inaccurate, film shots with the "Tanker Lincoln" in the background do not make the final cut as the plot has returning Marines from Grenada, airlifted to Cherry Point on a VMGR-252 airplane. The car with its conspicuous "United States Marines and VMGR-352" does not fit the storyline. (In actuality, the liberators of the American medical students at the St George Hospital were troops from the 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg, NC and would have participated in a homecoming celebration at Pope Air Force Base, NC. Marines from the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit, employed in Operation "Urgent Fury," would have returned to the Saipan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) located just offshore via helicopter and landing craft). But who cares about historical accuracy? The studio needed to keep the movie on schedule and on budget. The film's closing scene and credits end with the large, iconic, Raider logo, emblazoned on the side of the VMGR-352 hangar, prominently featured in the background.

Clint Eastwood Hangar Zero
*Photos above are scenes from the 1986 movie "Heartbreak Ridge" a Jay Weston Productions and the Malpaso Company film, directed by Clint Eastwood, staring Clint Eastwood and Mario Van Peebles. Actors Clint Eastwood and Mario Van Peebles exiting Aircraft "019" during the filming of the homecoming scene of Heartbreak Ridge. Crowd scene utilizing squadron personnel and their families. The squadron emblem on the hangar was the background for the closing shots and final credits in the movie.

In the winter of 1986, the late veteran actor Brian Keith, himself a decorated Marine Corps Douglas SBD tail-gunner from the Second World War, takes a spin in the "Tanker Lincoln" while on location at the VMGR-352 hangar for the movie "Death Before Dishonor." Interior shots of Keith, sitting in one of the squadron offices, are used in the film, which was released in 1987. Brian Keith was made an honorary Raider and given a squadron patch by Lieutenant Colonel Ed Ritchie.

Actor Death Before Dishonor
*Photos above are from the 1987 movie "Death Before Dishonor" produced by Balcor Film Investors, Bima, and MPI. Directed by Terry Leonard, and staring Fred Dryer and Brian Keith. Brian Keith played Col Haloran, USMC in the 1987 film "Death before Dishonor". Keith had a decades long career and was famous for the 1960's hit sitcom "Family Affair," the original "Parent Trap" and later in life, portraying Theodore Roosevelt in "The Wind and the Lion"

One of the squadron officers, along with several other contributors across the 3rd Marine Air Wing (MAW), collaborated with a local photographer and shot pictures of 3rd MAW aircraft and different models at MCAS El Toro, MCAS Tustin, MCAS Camp Pendleton, and MCAS Yuma, creating an 18-month 3rd MAW Calendar. (A year did not cover the energy expended or scope of what was created). Done without any permission from either the Third MAW staff or any of the squadrons involved, the calendar was banned. In the 1987 unofficial 3rd MAW calendar, the Raider "Tanker Lincoln," with a local model, was featured.


*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Picture from 1987 unofficial 3rd MAW Calendar. This photo, along with a picture of a pilot in front of a KC-130, were the two KC-130 shots used in the calendar


"Raiderettes" in black and silver; the squadron adopted these colors in 1984

Building on the relationship that Mark Mykityshyn had earlier established with the Los Angeles Raiders football franchise, Paul Krug liaised with the Cheer Coordinator and the team would send "Raiderettes" to squadron Christmas parties and other events. One of these occasions was an annual Drug Awareness event inspired by Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign that was co-sponsored by the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The squadron, would host the event for all Marines and their families stationed at MCAS El Toro in the Raider Hangar. The "Tanker Lincoln" would be sent to pick up the cheerleaders and then chauffeur them home after the event. Even today, the faded bumper sticker "We Support A Drug Free America," as well as "Don't Wreck it with Drugs," both next to Marine Corps emblems, are still displayed on the rear of the vehicle, and still today on the abandoned VMGR-352 hanger on MCAS El Toro. (Please click on this link to read a short story submitted by Del Howery Jr. about the "We Support A Drug Free America" and how the slogan became part of the squadron and the infamous bumper sticker and part of the Lincoln's history)

In December 1987, the "Tanker Lincoln" is featured in a squadron Christmas Card.

Christmas Card 1987

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Then Capt. Paul Krug (utilities) delivering a "Raiderette" to the Executive Officer (XO) LtCol. Ed Bauernfeind (Green Flight Jacket) for a Christmas photo shoot with the "Tanker." To the left of the red propeller danger symbol, the other five original "plank holder" call signs are listed. From top to bottom: "Fergie," "Spock," "Coon," "Chick," and "Abbs."

Christmas Card 1987

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission.
1987 Squadron Christmas Card

In early 1988, the car was driven to Yuma, AZ accompanying a squadron training exercise. During the training exercise, Paul Krug took the car for a squadron beverage logistics run across the frontier to Algodones, Mexico. On his return, the Border Patrol attempts to arrest him and seize the car, believing that the "Tanker" is an official US Government vehicle that had crossed illegally into Baja, California. Fortunately, one of the officers at the border crossing was a former Marine. With a wide grin, he lets the "Keeper of the Car" escape and evade back to MCAS Yuma on a technicality with the vital refreshments safely in tow.

Mexico Mexico
Algodones Border Crossing, Mexican side, heading north (Left) and The more colorful view from El Norte, heading south (Right).

At the conclusion of the deployment, the car was left behind in Yuma because of overheating problems. Naturally, it was parked in the O'Club's space reserved for the Base Commander of MCAS Yuma. After a few weeks, the Commanding Officer of VMGR-352 was threatened with sanctions. Captain Krug was flown to MCAS Yuma, with several gallon jugs of water and radiator fluid, and drove the car back to MCAS El Toro in the coolness of the night. The mission was successful and "Tanker Lincoln" returned to MCAS El Toro and to it's rightful owners at VMGR- 352.

The Blue Angel "Fat Albert" crew always used it as their transportation when they were at MCAS El Toro. VIPs and celebrities rode around in it during air shows. The "Tanker Lincoln" was showcased, surrounded by long lines of spectators waiting for photographs with the iconic vehicle and inside tours of the next-door KC-130 parked on static display. VMGR-352 gained high visibility within Marine Aviation, and with the public, at the annual MCAS El Toro Airshow.

In the late summer of 1988, as the opening ceremonies of the XXIV Olympiad are about to begin in Seoul, South Korea, Paul Krug departs for a one-year tour to VMGR-152 in Okinawa, Japan. All of the early members of the "Tanker Lincoln" crew have now left the command. Now, a "Next Generation," mostly composed of squadron maintenance officers, will have to take charge of the storied squadron car, as well as going places the squadron had never gone before.

USS Enterprise

*Photo taken from
*Photo of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Created by Gene Roddenberry, under ownership of CBS and Paramount Pictures.

D. 1988 - 1997: Boldly Going All Over the Place

1988: The Tanker Lincoln "Next Generation" Begins

George H.W. Bush is now president, the "other" Michael Jackson reigned as the "King of Pop," and the second installment of TV's Star Trek has the USS Enterprise once again saving the galaxy. LtCol Ed Bauernfeind served as the CO from 1988 to 1990 and the "Next Generation" has taken over the mantle of the car.

The car was titled, registered, and insured with James King. James King, along with Rusty Bell, Mark "Squeaky" Heaton, Randy Wormmeester, Roy Devor, Mark "Combat" Curtis, Robert Akin, and a few other maintenance department Marines who used their own funds and time to repair and spruce up the car. The "Tanker Lincoln" received a new livery with white lettering, skull and cross bones; removed are the original names as well as the American flag on the trunk.

All prep work was completed at the VMGR-352 hangar at El Toro. One Day Paint in San Juan Capistrano, CA repainted the car black and put on a new silver vinyl top. The Sign Shop on base made all the lettering for "Cleared to Plug" and the "Skull and Crossbones." The national insignia on each rear quarter panel was made smaller. The electric window motors and tracks were rebuilt, and the group of Maintenance Officers also mounted gold insert chrome wheels on four new radial tires.

Tanker Lincoln

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Picture of the Tanker Lincoln getting the paint prep outside the VMGR-352 hanger in El Toro

Tanker Lincoln Tanker Lincoln

*Personal Photos submitted for the project and used with permission
Pictures of the Tanker Lincoln getting the paint prep and worked on in the VMGR-352 hanger in El Toro

In addition to local operations in and about El Toro, the "Tanker" is taken to several Jimmy Buffett concerts. On occasion, cross-country "Battle Herk" crews from other VMGR Squadrons and the Blue Angels "Fat Albert" crew, often squadron alumni, continued to use the car upon request.

Tanker Lincoln

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
An immaculate Raider "Tanker Lincoln" displaying the "New Generation" livery

1989 - 1990: Calm Before the Storm

In 1990, "The Simpsons" airs for the first time, LtCol Bob Price was the Raider CO, and an obscure dictator named Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. A peacetime unit is using its beloved car for all the usual squadron events and activities, driven by squadron officers. Things are about to change as the war drums begin to beat, and President George H.W. Bush orders preparations for a massive military operation in the Middle East.

1990-1991: Desert Storm

LtCol Price left the squadron early for a Test Pilot School assignment and LtCol Arlen Rens assumes command and takes the squadron to war. The years of training will now be used in combat. The Squadron will be forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 through March 1991. The car was left in the Raider Hangar parking lot at MCAS El Toro until the squadron returned.

1991-1994: The Storm Subsides, "Hope" Springs Eternal and the Navy Shows Up

In June 1991, the "Tanker Lincoln" was used in its last major public event held off base. It was driven north up the 405 freeway to a charity Raider (LA Raiders) vs. Raider (VMGR-352) basketball game at Long Beach City College in order to promote Cancer Awareness. In the spirited game, the Marine Raiders lost by 13 points to the "other guys."

In December 1992, President Bill Clinton orders a US military intervention, centered on the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), to East Africa in support of UN peace support operations as "Operation Restore Hope." VMGR-352 contributed an eight-plane detachment. Again, the "Tanker Lincoln" remained at the squadron in care of Marines not forward deployed. Those left behind used it on base and for occasional trips down the I-5 Freeway to the NAS Miramar O'Club on Wednesday night.

In October 1993, LtCol Jay Pellicone, who was now the squadron CO, grants the one and only inter-service Operational Control (OPCON) chop of the car to the VR-57 "Conquistadors" of NAS North Island. The "Tanker" was used for then Lieutenant Commander Paul Krug's wedding party and subsequent fiesta throughout south Orange County. (See photos below). After a washing and waxing, it is again returned to its rightful home with VMGR-352.

*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Pictures above taken of Krug Wedding Party, with the "Tanker Lincoln" Pictured from left to right are: Jean-Pierre Giacalone, Steve Niemeurski, Paul Krug and Mike Ferguson

1994 - 1996: No More Cross-Countries and Restricted to MCAS El Toro

During this time, one of the squadron pilots, Buddy Smith assumed the mantle as "Keeper of the Car." In addition to all the normal upkeep, he rebuilt the driveshaft and rear end. The car was used to drive around MCAS El Toro with lunch trips to the 19th Hole Golf Course Snack Bar and was given front row parking at the O'Club during the world famous El Toro Air Shows. Chuck Pitts, an enlisted Marine, hot-wired the car from the static display at an El Toro Airshow and drove Marines back to the barracks where they proceeded to incorporate the vehicle into the evening's festivities.

Sadly for the Southern California branch of the "Raider Nation," the Raiders Football Franchise transfers back to Oakland in 1995. All links, forged early on first by Mark Mykityshyn and subsequently by Paul Krug, are now completely severed between the squadron and the team. They will not be renewed until April 2015 for the research of this document.

tanker lincoln
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Raider "Tanker Lincoln" outside the VMGR-352 hangar on MCAS El Toro

In June of 1996, the Nintendo 64 goes on sale in Japan and Colt "Scope" Hubbell was assigned as the "Keeper of the Car." The Lincoln had been kept in fairly good condition as a result of Buddy Smith's work. As it was passed down, and continuously driven to many different events, the brakes, steering, and handling were a little scary and needed to be repaired to ensure that it was safe to drive. Colt Hubbell was the man for the job, and took it upon himself to replace the brakes and rotors, which drastically improved the road handling of the iconic "Tanker Lincoln." The silver vinyl top that had previously been installed during the Jimmy King days, throughout the "Next Generation" livery, at this point was getting a little ragged. Not too long after, a junior officer by the name of Rich "BTO" Bachmann decided to take the car through a local car wash. The Lincoln went into the car wash in one piece.. and unfortunately came out in two!!! Although the "bath" was needed, the unexpected damage to the roof was not, as the brushes proceeded to tear the silver top completely off the roof. Upon realizing what had happened, Rich Bachmann confronted the service station about the damage done to the vehicles roof; he was told that they were not responsible for damage to the vehicle. As the fear and reality of having to return the car in such condition to the squadron set in, being the witty innovative junior officer he was, he improvised, overcame adversity, and devised a plan to make the establishment pay restitution. Rich Bachman, threatened the establishment that unless they agreed to pay to repair the damage, he would show up in full dress military uniform, with the car, and a big sign saying, "DON'T USE THIS CAR WASH!" Fortunately for him they did not call his bluff, which wasn't a bluff in his mind, and they agreed to pay for the damage, as the owners of the car wash decided to settle for a couple hundred dollars just to keep the peace, and to appease the pugnacious Raider. Once the who, what, when, why, and how was figured out, along with a good bit of bantering, the junior officers shopped around and settled on a new black vinyl replacement top. They had a local shop in the El Toro area install it, returning the livery closer to what it was in the beginning as the "Tanker Lincoln."

After all this, the Lincoln was still the highlight at the El Toro Airshow, and was being driven by the Marines of the squadron, continually building morale and representing the "Raider" name well. It was around this time that the aging squadron car was beginning to need constant attention just to remain safe to drive.

E. 1997-2001: "New Beginnings" With a New Name and Home for the Car

1997-1999: Half a Century Based in the "OC" is About to End

In 1997, "Titanic" was the biggest blockbuster to date, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were more than "Friends" and the car is now referred to as "The Raider Mobile." The car would not start in April of that year and Dave Mulder, an enlisted Powerline Marine, trailered the car to his home in Wildomar, CA. There, he replaced the ignition coil, rebuilt the carburetor, replaced the battery, spark plugs and wires, changed the oil and filter, drained the fuel tank, replaced several vacuum hoses, and worked on the power windows that were not working at the time. By May 1997, through Dave's efforts, the car is drivable, but is only used on base at MCAS El Toro because of reliability issues. Around mid-July 1997, an officer by the name of Peter "Oscar" Meyer had checked into VMGR-352 in El Toro. Just before his departure to VMGR-152 in Okinawa, Japan, Colt "Scope" Hubbell was to pass on the Lincoln to Peter Meyer, and he took possession and registered the "Raider Mobile" in his name.

In the spring of 1998, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) - 11 had an officer's social that many were invited to. The squadron and the "Raider Mobile" were all still stationed in El Toro, yet everyone else in the MAG, to include the MAG Headquarters itself, had all moved down to Miramar. Leo (Coon) "Bumper" Falcam, one of the founders of the "Tanker Lincoln" said he was going to the event and asked who wanted to join him on his adventure to Miramar. Naturally, as Leo always promised to show a good time for all, many of his fellow officers wanted to go. Duane "D- Train" Foster, Alex "Smiley" Miller, Peter "Oscar" Meyer and John "Gump" Peck all piled in the "Raider Mobile" for an epic 90 mile trip down "The 5" to MCAS Miramar. Due to the current condition of the Lincoln they were all a little unsure if the car would make it, but they had faith in their trusty steed, and gave it a shot. "Smiley," "Oscar" and "Gump" in the back seat while "D-Train" drove and Leo rode shotgun. In the end, long story short, (with some things left out) they were to successfully and safely make it the 180 mile round-trip journey down "The 5" to the former Naval Air Station and back again. Some would only wish there had been the cell phone camera or Go-Pro technology we have today, as I am sure that was one for the record books. Other than that one trip, the "Raider Mobile" was still used for trips to the club on Friday's, and by some squadron members around the base, as the "The El Toro Days" were quickly coming to an end.

On April 15, 1999 the "Raider Mobile" was transferred, along with VMGR-352, from MCAS El Toro to MCAS Miramar. Because of the vehicle's mechanical condition, it is trailered south. It has an El Toro decal, but there is no insurance or current registration. The El Toro era is over for Marine Aviation, the squadron, and its iconic, but aging car.

window decal
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
El Toro decal still affixed on windshield
MCAS Miramar
* During the Second World War, VMR-352 first stood up at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in 1943 before departing to MCAS El Centro, CA for training and organization with the newly assigned Curtiss R5C-1 "Commando" transport aircraft. Eventually based at MCAS Ewa (Barbers Point), Hawaii, in early 1945, the squadron supported Fleet Marine Forces throughout the Pacific Theater. In 1949, VMR-352 would again move and spend the next 50 years at MCAS El Toro. In 1999, VMGR-352 was the last squadron to relocate south and join the rest of the 3rd Marine Air Wing at the former Naval Air Station (NAS) at Miramar.

April 1999 - September 2001: Restricted to MCAS Miramar

Unfazed by the impeding Y2K bug, Dave Mulder becomes the first enlisted "Keeper of the Car." In January 2000, Joseph Guimond registered the "Raider Mobile" in his name. The car was used for squadron functions, trips to the golf course for lunch and driven to weekly evening softball games. It was restricted to on base use only by both Enlisted members and Officers of VMGR-352. Once again, world events would affect both the squadron and the car.

new york city
New York skyline with Twin Towers "Tribute in Light"
F. 2001-2015: A Casualty of War

The Marine KC-130 community was directly affected on September 11, 2001. The First Officer on United Airlines Flight 175, which was hijacked and flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, was Michael Horrocks. Maj. Michael "Rocks" Horrocks, USMC had left active duty, in order to begin an airline career, after serving in various Marine KC-130 Squadrons. VMGR-352 and the community suffered a more focused tragedy in January 2002 when aircraft 021, call sign "RAIDR 04," crashed into mountainous terrain while on approach to Shamsi, Pakistan, killing all seven Marines on board. These seven Marines were the first Marine Corps casualties in the Global War on Terrorism. The Marine Corps would become engaged in two major wars along with continued operations worldwide. More important and pressing priorities face the squadron rather than the upkeep of the "Raider Mobile" and it became an indirect casualty of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.

September 2001-2007: A Squadron Continuously at War

With the commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, the car sat mostly untouched until May 2002. During this time, the car was kept at the squadron parking lot and was infrequently started by Marines who were not forward deployed. There was no "Keeper of the Car," nor insurance or current registration, due to the operations tempo at this critical time.

In 2002, Dave Mulder returned from a deployment and ensured the car was started and kept in good working order. The "Raider Mobile" needed minor service, a battery charge, and a good cleaning. Personnel rotations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom became so regular that the car was being left in the squadron parking lot and was only started and driven about every 2-3 months, or whenever unit Marines returned from deployment.

The squadron was then tasked to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, while, at the same time, continuing its support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Dave Mulder continued to maintain and service the car until his transfer to VMGR- 152 in Okinawa in April 2004. Now, Squadron officers took the lion's share of custody and the "Raider Mobile" was used mainly for Officer functions solely on MCAS Miramar. There is still no insurance or current registration, and very minimal use due to the current operations tempo of the command.

In 2005, with the Squadron operationally committed worldwide, the vehicle was stored in the squadron parking lot behind the fuse tank locker, as the "Raider Mobile" was in a barely operable condition. The car was feeling the neglect of the availability of the squadron Marines to perform the required maintenance and upkeep for the car. In March 2005, VMGR-352 began its full conversion to the KC-130J model, from the "Legacy" model aircraft that they had flown since 1961. The squadron transitioned its entire fleet by the end of 2006. Between the busy transition and the constant state of deployments, the car sat idle. February 2006, marked the first combat utilization by VMGR-352 of a J model type aircraft to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Raiders once again commenced a continuous detachment operating from Al Asad, Iraq. In mid 2006, the Maintenance Material Control Officer (MMCO) at the time, Joe Lilley, started to raise and use his own money in order to build interest in a partial restoration. A few of the squadrons enlisted Marines, David Sidwell, Johnathan Kauzlarich, the Powerline Division, and others had the radiator recore'd, bought a new carburetor, a used intake, replaced the heads, and rebuilt the rear brakes. The motor was then removed, re-gasketed, cleaned up, and reinstalled. Joe Lilley purchased insurance and a new registration on the car. The car was then moved to a "Raider Mobile" assigned spot next to the VMGR-352 CO's parking spot at the squadron. It was used principally to run small groups to the Miramar O' Club for lunch. A renewed interest for the squadron car was sparked. The "Raider Mobile" still needed lots of work as the years of neglect had taken a toll on the overall condition of the vehicle.

2007: Hope is Not a Strategy

In February 2007, Jay Leno came to the squadron for a hangar party. He briefly spoke to Joe Lilly about the car's history and the difficulties facing this model Lincoln. His handlers got him on stage quickly and he wished the squadron luck on fixing the car. Unfortunately, the late-night comedian did not get the opportunity to see the "Raider Mobile" in person as the event took place late in the day. Although Mr. Leno was interested in rare and exotic cars, and most all automobiles in general and their history, any hopes of interest or referrals for restoration from that opportunity quickly faded away.

Jay Leno Jay Leno with marines
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Jay Leno at VMGR-352 Hanger Party (Left) and Jay Leno with Marines from VMGR-352. Pictured from left to right are: Brandon Sorrells, Joe Lilly, Jesse Bocanegra, Shawn Walters, and Jacob Cobb

2007 - 2009: Barely Avoiding the Boneyard

Bone Yard
C-130s at the Davis-Monthan AFB 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309th AMARG) "Boneyard"

In June of 2007, the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup and David Girardot, a squadron pilot, held the Lincoln's registration, and became the "Keeper of the Car." At the Raider Golf Tournament that year, the car was showcased at the 18th Hole, but merely as a static display. The car was intermittently running, barely drivable and now stored in the fuse tank locker or on the side of the building when not being worked on.

The "Raider Mobile" was submitted to the "Overhaulin" TV show in 2008, but as that was thought to be the final season of the show, along with minimal personnel available to promote interest, there was no response. In April 2009, the Raiders were once again called upon to support Operation Enduring Freedom, relocating two aircraft from Iraq to Kandahar, Afghanistan. One aircraft remained to support OIF until August 2009. By year's end, VMGR-352 crews were approaching eight years of continuous deployment in support of combat operations in the Global War on Terror. In 2009, the car was almost "retired" from active duty. Around this timeframe, many of the squadron's older aircraft were retired and already placed in the "Boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson, AZ.

Bone Yard Bone Yard
* and * .
BOO (aircraft #800) and BOB (aircraft #808) are shown "placed out to pasture" at Davis-Monthan AFB. The KC-130 first entered the Marine Corps inventory in 1961. Will the "Tanker Lincoln" / "Raider Mobile" meet the same fate or worse?

2010 - 2015: From Bad to Worse for the Raider Mobile

2010 - 2014: Bad

VMGR-352's Airframes Division worked on the car in hopes of restoring it to operable condition, as it was not running or driving and was stored on the side of the fuse tank locker. The driver's side window motor had failed. A temporary repair was done, but rain and the elements damaged the interior. In addition, rodents infested the vehicle, and some wiring and interior was destroyed. In April 2013, the "Raider Mobile" was submitted to the new season of "Overhaulin" for the last time. Again, the car was not chosen. Some of the pictures were from the submission are shown below.

Bad Condition Bad Condition
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Right side of car shown.
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Front of car
Bad Condition Bad Condition
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
View of disintegrating vinyl top and corroding roof
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
"Skull and Cross Bones," "Cleared to Plug," and bumper sticker "We Support a Drug Free America" (red color has faded to white)
Bad Condition
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
In 2014, the car was parked adjacent to the fuse tank locker across the street from the squadron hangar at MCAS Miramar

2015: Worse

Today the "Raider Mobile" is not operable. The engine turns over and runs intermittently despite having a new battery. Chris Harrell, an enlisted Powerline Marine, and others, with small monetary donations, did some TLC and installed tires. Nick Battagalia, from Loose Cannon Customs in San Diego, was asked to do a repair estimate for the project. Other local shops were contacted and brought in to estimate a restoration for the car. Currently under research or in progress are: A required donor car for roof repair, design plans, title, license and registration, history, and a fundraising plan. It is the desire to preserve the legacy of the car and its history with VMGR-352. Efforts are being made under the leadership of GySgt Jake Cobb, USMC (Ret.) to restore the "Tanker Lincoln/ Raider Mobile." (See Part III for planning)

Worse Condition
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Paul Krug (left) and Jake Cobb (right) meet for the first time in June 2015. GySgt Cobb located the former Marine and retired Navy Captain, and original "Keeper of the Car" in researching the history of the Lincoln. Jake Cobb would retire from active duty shortly afterwards in August. Paul Krug stopped by MCAS Miramar as he was in nearby La Jolla for his son's soccer tournament. Krug had not seen the car since 1993.
G. Raiders from the Tanker's "Golden Age" 1984-1988; Where are they now?

With deference to the Marines who landed on Makin Island and Guadalcanal, these were some of the original Raiders of VMGR-352. They originated the name, logo, operated the Tanker Lincoln, and helped established the position of the VMGR "Battle Herk" Community. Obviously, they were not alone, but these were the early Raiders that were central to the car, motivating a squadron and helping set the stage for many to further VMGR-352's success in peace and war.

Myk Raider Patch Aircraft 765
*Personal Photo submitted
Dr. Mark Mykityshyn

"Myk" designed the Raiders Patch
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission
Current KC-130J with Myk's Raider logo and colors

"Myk"-Mark Mykityshyn: The brains and muscle behind the squadron transition to become the "Raiders." He designed the squadron patch and got it approved with the then LA Raiders franchise. He left VMGR-352 to fly "Fat Albert" for the Blue Angels. His imprint ranges from patches to slogans to even the squadron's colors. He is currently the Executive Chairman and CEO, Tangible Security; as well as an adjunct Professor, Georgetown University. He and his family live outside Washington, DC. His resume is an unbelievable educational and career success story. It has been copied below off his company's website:

"Prior to Tangible, his business activities have largely focused on the development and implementation of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and network-related technologies well suited for the aerospace and defense industry. Prior to co-founding his investment firms, he co-founded Backwire, Inc., which was sold to Leap Wireless International (NASDAQ:LWIN). In his various roles, he has served as CEO, Chairman, and Executive Chairman for a number of public and private companies.

In addition to his private sector activities, Dr. Mykityshyn is a Professor of the Practice at Georgetown University. His interests include business/public policy, strategic leadership, and entrepreneurship and innovation. He is the recent past Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Army War College, and served as a member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee. He has also consulted to the Defense Science Board, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and NASA's Advisory Council.

Dr. Mykityshyn graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, and served as a Naval Aviator. He earned his Doctorate in Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he researched information architectures that underlie complex dynamic systems. Dr. Mykityshyn also earned a Masters degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and the degrees of Engineer of and Master of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology".

As the Raider energy, ideas and innovation would stimulate the community, VMGR Squadrons logos, would now look a lot different. Myk's iconic Raider logo, inspired by the LA Raider football franchise, would influence the emblems of future VMGR Squadrons. They represent the dynamic and local ties of VMGR-234, both as Chicago Bears and Texas Rangers, as well as the New York Yankees of VMGR-452.

VMGR-234 Texas New York
VMGR-234; Glenview, IL VMGR-234; Dallas Fort Worth, TX. VMGR-452: Newburgh. NY.
Hanger 0
*Personal Photo submitted for the project and used with permission.
A view of the old "Raider County" hangar at MCAS El Toro, in September 2015, showing the Raider logo on the left and a "Jolly Roger" to the right with the phrase "Pride, Poise, Commitment" above the skull and cross-bones; all demonstrating Myk's influence. The closing scene of the movie "Heartbreak Ridge" was filmed in front of the hangar's squadron insignia. The red box above the squadron logo reads: "We support a drug free America" and is identical to the faded bumper sticker still affixed to the car. The Tanker Lincoln was parked on the left side of the photo where a chain link fence once stood separating the squadron from Marine Wing Support Squadron 372. Currently, the hangar and its surrounding tarmac are used as a storage area for construction of the "Orange County Great Park". Piles of debris and compost material occupy former aircraft parking spots.

"Fergie"- Mike Ferguson: Probably the most instrumental and inspirational figure in acquiring and employing the car, "Fergie" retired as a Lt Col, after 26 years in the USMC and USMCR, serving in his final capacity as the deputy G-3 for 3rd MAW. Leaving VMGR-352, he flew for VMGR-452 out of Glenview, IL before joining the 3rd MAW staff. For several years, the "Ferg" was the lead for the El Toro and Miramar Air Shows. He was a Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) and well-respected pilot throughout his flying career. Every squadron tactical training evolution was planned and led by him during his tenure. At WTI in 1987, Fergie coins the phrase "Battle Herks" while giving mass mission briefs. Although his use of the terms "Battle Pups" (Co-pilots), "Battle Knights" (Aircraft Commanders) and "Battle Lords" (WTIs) do not enter the lexicon, the term "Battle Herks" catches on at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS-1) and spreads throughout Marine Aviation, even making its way to the then moribund East Coast community. The "Battle Herks," with an on-call flare mission, save the day for the final problem at that WTI. The "Battle Pups" and "Battle Lords" he trained served in battle during Desert Storm, Restore Hope and Iraqi / Enduring Freedom as well as training a new generation of Raiders. He is now a Boeing 787 Training Check Airman for American Airlines (see picture below). He and his family live outside Dallas. In addition to his colorful vocabulary, "Fergie" was responsible for advancing Battle Herk training, tactics, techniques, and procedures in use today.

Fergie Fergie
From USA Today: "Captain Fergie Ferguson poses for a shot with an engine of American Airlines' first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the airlines maintenance hangar at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Wednesday, April 29, 2015"
*Personal Photo submitted
The "Ferg" in front of his plane

"Wild"- Bill Armitshaw: Along with "Fergie," "Wild" Bill Armishaw was another key to starting the "Tanker Lincoln" story. Coming to VMGR-352 out of the fighter community, Bill finished out his Marine Aviation career at VMGR-452. A well-respected pilot throughout his flying career, He is currently flying freight for Federal Express. Maine is home for him and his family.

Wild Bill Bill
*Personal Photo submitted
"Wild" Bill Armitshaw and family in front of a VMGR-452 KC-130.
*Personal Photo submitted
Bill in 2015

"Coon" - Leo Falcam Jr: Along with rest of the bunch, was part of the heart and soul of VMGR-352 in the 80's. He strongly advocated a tactical approach to KC-130 aviation and helped codify some of this approach while later assigned to MAWTS 1. After serving 30 years, Leo "Coon," later known as "Bumper," Falcam retired as a Colonel. Leo Falcam left VMGR-352 in 1987 and transferred to VMGR-152. Later, he was the WTI at MAWTS-1, often flying with the squadron. He attended Command and Staff, worked on the III MEF and 1st MAW staffs, conducted Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) in South America as well as serving as the CO of VMGR-152, CO of MCAS Futenma and finally as Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. He was a well-respected pilot and instructor throughout his flying career. Leo is currently the Chief of Staff for the President of the Federated States of Micronesia. Today, he lives on the paradise isle of Pohnpei, Micronesia, in the Western Pacific.

Coon Falcom
After receiving the Legion of Merit, Col. Falcam, Deputy Cdr, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, gives his farewell speech at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa Japan in May 2012
Chief of Staff to the President of the Federated States of Micronesia in 2013 addressing new US Army recruits in Pohnpei

"Wally"- George Walters: Left active duty, got hired at American Airlines and now lives in Pennsylvania

Wally License Plates
*Personal Photo Submitted
2002 photo of "Wally" and family
* Personal Photo Submitted
One proud "Raider" and his license plate today

"Chick"- Joseph Kelenfy: Always a class act, "Chick" was another who kept morale high with various antics. He is currently a pilot for Delta Airlines flying out of Atlanta.

Chick Chick
*Personal Photo Submitted
Joseph "Chick" Kelenfy as a skipper
* Personal Photo Submitted
...and as a fly fisherman.

"Abbs"- Bill Abbey: Left VMGR-352, went on DET to Okinawa and worked the KC-130 Office at Headquarters, Marine Corps. He is now an American Pilot flying out of Chicago.

"Z Man"-John Zeglin: was the first of the original bunch to leave the squadron and got hired early at Northwest, which is now Delta Airlines.

"Doc"- Doc Olman: Best known for getting thrown off Wake Island, the disposition of Doc Olman is unknown.

"Spock"- Robert Lucy: left Active Duty to parts or planets unknown.

Craig Laurie: Left active duty and got hired at Flying Tigers. Now a pilot with Federal Express after the merger, He and his family enjoys flying his float plane up in Alaska.

Craig Alaska
*Personal Photo Submitted
Craig Laurie (FEDEX Pilot) and Mike "Fergie" Ferguson (American Airlines Pilot) meeting up during a layover in Narita, Japan
* Personal Photo Submitted
Craig living the good life in Alaska.

"Chas"- Paul Krug: aka "Hollywood," "Krugman," and the first "Keeper of the Car" Fergie couldn't stand his A-4 call sign "Hollywood," and believing him to be the heir to the Charles Krug Winery; felt it should be "Chas." Paul Krug operated the "Tanker Lincoln" and added an entourage riding in the car that would include the "Raiderettes" and several aspiring and real film stars. Leaving VMGR-352, for the final time in 1990, in order to attend graduate school at Georgetown University; his plans would be altered forever by Saddam Hussein and he would enter the fight with VMGR-234. With an inter-service transfer to the Navy Reserves in 1993 initially flying C-9s out of San Diego, Krug will be granted a congressional waiver and spend a total of 31 years in the USMC, USMCR, USNR, USN, before finally retiring as a CAPT, USN. After three activations because of his plans and language skill sets (nothing to do with flying), he gives up any pretense of being a reservist and returns to active duty from 2008 through 2013 at Navy Europe, Third Fleet and Pacific Fleet, serving in his final billet as Deputy Chief of Staff, JTF-519 at Pearl Harbor. He is currently a Boeing 777 pilot for United Airlines, for whom he actually manages to work for, on and off, since 1991. The Krug family makes their home just off the beach in south Orange County. On his way to work at LAX, he can still see the ruins of "Raider Country" as he passes the former MCAS El Toro, which is now the "Orange County Great Park". He still hasn't made it to Grad School.

Krug Sydney
*Personal Photo Submitted
CAPT Paul Krug, USN (flight suit), with the Canadian Chief of Defence Staff during RIMPAC 2012, prior to retirement. The General challenged him to give the opening brief in both French and English, which he did
* Personal Photo Submitted
Paul Krug outside the Sydney Opera House on a layover in 2015.
H. Epilogue, September 2015:

This story ends, just as it opened, with armed KC-130 Battle Herks providing direct fire support to fellow Marines in Afghanistan. Many who called the squadron car the "Tanker Lincoln," advocated converting one or two squadron KC-130F models into gunships. Resistance was first met within our own KC-130 community, as some thought it detracted from our primary mission of aerial refueling. The second line of resistance was at the Group and Wing level where "fast mover" officers wanted tankers. Period. Finally, it was the USAF AC-130 gunship lobby that effectively defended their "rice bowl" and kept Marine KC-130s in their lane. Eventually, everyone from the "Golden Age of the Tanker Lincoln" moved on; most got out and began airline or other careers; others did stay in and, numerous Raiders, wherever they went, accomplished great things. A few are mentioned here, however, many because of brevity were omitted. But the spark remained and Raiders, as part of a larger, more cohesive and invigorated Battle Herk Community, persisted and earned another mission supporting Marines on the ground.

Tanker Lincoln, Raider Mobile, Old Breed, New Breed, it doesn't matter; the title is United States Marine.

The link between the past and the present, embodied in the preceding pages, tell the story of a black 1969 Lincoln Continental with "suicide doors" through more than three decades of recreation and hard work, peace and war, triumph and tragedy. It is the underlying hope that those who read this will involve themselves in OPERATION RESTORE TANKER LINCOLN.

Semper Fidelis.

C-130 *
A "legacy" KC-130F and a KC-130J model in formation flight