VRC-50 Det Diego Garcia, BIOT

Providing Long Range COD Service to the Persian Gulf

Miss Piggy

RG 712 or the Miss Piggy Restoration Project

Hello VRC-50,

My name is Ron Deanne, still a S-3 Tech Rep at NASNI, and I have thrown my hat into the ring to restore "Miss Piggy" with Mark Smoker. I was a plank owner in VRC-50 at the logbook signing ceremony in DGAR as the Lockheed Electrical/Loadmaster Rep. LCDR Bruce McKewen was the VS-38 MO and we had a great party afterward. I presently work with NATEC (formerly NAESU) and have already talked Stan (the Man) Lomax into volunteering with me on the phone today. I told him it was a Call to Arms, and if he did not, I would write his name and phone number in every head on the 03 level when the USS Midway arrives here in San Diego. I also have the original artwork for "Miss Piggy" which was painted on between the flight station and the back seats. The James Gang of Ocean Beach, who in concert with my idea and design, came up with the final artwork. Additionally, they used their silkscreen and made money for the T shirts that were purchased by VRC50 personnel. This original artwork is being scanned by Bill Haleen this weekend reworked in Photoshop 5. Finally I will take the printed final to Kinkos for the door at Hanger 314 where 157998 (RG 712) is located. We will also approach the James Gang when it comes time to donate the size for the final decals to be put on after she is painted and ready to ferry to the Midway.

Regards and hope to hear from you, Ron

4353-67 Nobel Dr.
San Diego, CA. 92122
(858) 457-3936-H
(619) 545-6517-W

Mark Smoker is the "Miss Piggy" Restoration Project Manager, (619) 575-9267.

posted: 2 July 1999

US-3A Loadmasters

The following are the names of the US-3A "Miss Piggy" Loadmasters. I know there are more, so email the webmaster if your not here yet.



Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) formed in 1965 from territory belonging formerly to Mauritius and the Seychelles. The island is one of 52 in the Chagos Archipelago, which extends over an area of 10,000 square miles. The archipelago is located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, south of India and between Africa and Indonesia.
The tropical island is a narrow coral atoll with a land area of about eleven square miles, nearly enclosing a lagoon. Its configuration is that of a "V" drawn by a shaky hand. The island stretches 37 miles from tip to tip, with an opening to the north- northwest. Three small islands dot the mouth of the lagoon which is approximately 13 miles long and up to 6 miles wide. The lagoon is from sixty to one hundred feet deep with numerous coral heads in most areas. Shallow reefs surround the island on the ocean side, as well as in the lagoon. The island's mean height above sea level is 4 feet. The climate is typically tropical, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The average yearly precipitation is 102 inches. Island flora is lush, consisting in large measure of coconut trees which were the staple of the island for 200 years. Additionally, there are a variety of other tropical plants and trees including large hardwood trees such as takamaka, porcie, guyoid, and casa. Care is taken during construction operations to preserve the ecology of Diego Garcia. Wildlife on the island is sparse, but interesting and varied. No dangerous wildlife exists on the island. The worst of the lot is a small scorpion with a sting comparable to that of a bee. Land crabs, coconut crabs and hermit crabs abound and you may see a coconut rat scurry about. The largest creatures are the approximately 300 donkeys whose ancestors worked the now- abandoned plantation in the days before mechanization.


In December 1966, the United Kingdom and the United States signed a bilateral agreement making the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory available for defense purposes to both governments. Both British and American flags fly over the island. On 23 January 1971, a nine-man advance party from NMCB-40 landed on Diego Garcia to confirm planning information and to initiate preliminary survey for beach landing areas. Subsequently, about 50 Seabees landed on Diego Garcia. They marked underwater obstructions, installed temporary navigational aids and cleared beach areas for landing additional personnel. Then, on 20 March 1971, an additional party of 160 men arrived. On 24 March 1971, construction began on a U.S. Naval Communication Facility on Diego Garcia. Construction was accomplished by units of the U.S. Naval Construction force (Seabees).
During December 1972, personnel of the Naval Communication Station Precommissioning Detachment arrived to prepare for commissioning. On 20 March 1973, U.S. Naval Communication Station, Diego Garcia was commissioned. The Communications Facility consisted of an austere communication station and necessary supporting facilities including an airstrip.
A major change to the island organization occurred with the establishment of the Navy Support Facility (NAVSUPPFAC) on October 1, 1977. Commanding Officer, NAVSUPPFAC assumed all duties and responsibilities previously assigned the Island Commander. The nucleus for the NAVSUPPFAC came from the original Communication Station's enlisted and officer allowances. All billets, other than those dedicated to communications support, were transferred to CO, NAVSUPPFAC who is responsible for maintaining and operating facilities and providing services and materials in support of several tenant shore activities and units of the operating forces.
Recent world developments have highlighted Diego Garcia's importance to the defense posture of U.S. and Allied Forces. Commencing with the Yemen crisis in the spring of 1979, the Iranian crisis of 1979-81, and continuing with Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-91, Diego Garcia has played a primary role in the support of Naval units operating in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf areas. In the spring of 1980, a large monetary appropriations bill was passed by Congress to expand island facilities to meet future operational requirements. These overall island improvements will ensure that Diego Garcia will remain a vital link in our defense structure in the years ahead.


VRC-50 established a permanent detachment in 1982 to provide long range COD service to deployed carriers. The detachment remained until 1991. The first maintenance spaces were nothing more than 2 truck trailers. A few dets later the det moved into the old air terminal. Addtional rooms and office space was constructed by CBs in the terminal building. Soon the detachment was relocated to the VP hangar. The living accomodations for the maintenance men and women, or Pig Fixers, followed a like path. Starting out in Splinterville, then gradually moving to the older barracks. Eventually the deatachment was moved to a new BEQ. The detachment was present for many of the changes that occured on Diego Garcia. From the new control tower, to a new club, chow hall and even an additional gym.

Official NSF Diego Garcia Web Page

Click HERE to see a "MASH" type view of Diego Garcia

Its how we got there