12 February 2013

USAF Historical Research Agency to Examine C-123 Issues

Today, officials of the USAF Historical Research Agency offered to look more deeply into the operational history and Agent Orange concerns focused on our C-123 aircraft assigned to Air Force Reserve units in the years 1972-1982. AFRHA often responds to inquiries regarding veterans' claims and their researchers know exactly what is required.

The issues, and our questions:
- What depot-level maintenance was performed at Dothan, Alabama, which might describe lingering Agent Orange contamination on these airplanes after their service during the Vietnam War, in which they sprayed Agent Orange?
- What contamination evidence might exist, either in unit histories, test reports, other official documentation?
- What was the result of civilian IG complaints regarding contaminated C-123 aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB's Boneyard?
- What are the details regarding the role of the DoD Agent Orange consultant in the decisions leading up to the destruction of all remaining Boneyard C-123 aircraft?
- What decisions, if any, were reached regarding C-123 aircrews' exposure to Agent Orange during the timeframe 1972-1982, once that toxin was identified in 1994 on the USAF Museum's C-123 "Patches"?
- What was the impact of the USAF Office of Environmental Law decision memo in 1996 which directed C-123 dioxin contamination information "be kept in official channels only" and how what that memo implemented

The role of AFRHA was unknown to us until AFRC recommended we turn there for assistance. Thanks for the advice! We are working on a parallel campaign with the Army's Joint Services Records Research Center, which plays a similar role in responding to requests about veterans' service posed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thus far, JSRRC has responded in the negative regarding C-123 Agent Orange contamination, and we have provided their director an extensive set of source materials we hope he'll find adequate to give the VA a more positive and more accurate answer about our veterans' exposure.

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