Crew Chief Profiles

 TSgt. Frank "Docneal" Neal (Ret.)

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Name TSgt. Frank Neal (Ret.)
Unit 496th Tactical Fighter Squadron "The World's Finest"
Crewing F-16s from 1979 until 2000
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Started at Hill in 79, then went to the Kun in 81 with a COT to Hahn from 82-84. Out for 6 months, re-uped, and back to Hill. In Jan. 88, I Palace Chased to the ARANG when they picked up 16's. I left there for a Technician slot with TXANG in Houston in 89. Retired in 2000, and moved to Utah again, working for LSI first on the 16 and then in the backshops. Itching to get back to the line, I hooked up with Lockheed for a contract in UAE doing mods on the CFT's. That contract ended in Aug. 2007 and I came back to a struggling economy and had to take a job working on RJ-135 in Greenville TX. Still, I dream of what might have been had I stayed on active duty. I still have 10 years to go before I see any retirement benefits.

Current or Favourite assignment

I had good and bad with all my assignments, but my backseat ride @ Zaragoza was the highlight of my tour at Hahn. Not the patch the unit had when I was there. We had a bird of prey with a hood on I think. Got rid of patch collection long ago.


Craziest thing that ever happened to me on a TDY was with the 34th Rams in Norway in Aug. 88. It often doesn't pay to follow the crowd when they don't know where they are going. Ferry going wrong direction, stranded on what came to be known as "Rambo Island". One of our number almost arrested after getting drunk and pissing off the locals. That was an interesting start to that trip.

My Jets & Assignments

Unit 496th Tactical Fighter Squadron "The World's Finest" [History]
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