After a goodly amount of looking around, my dad found a link today with a secondhand story of one of his military travels. This link tells the story of the specially outfitted Caribou he flew in. If you read the account, the Senior Operator mentioned was my father - he was in it when it went down. An upcoming project of mine will be to put that info together with some of his photos & slides from after the landing.
For the record, apparently it was Marines, not Air Force that marched out with the equipment while the guys flew the damaged craft back to Phu Bai. Notice the photos on the link above - they flew it back with that hole in the tail.
Yup, that's the stock I come from. My dad is cooler than me. He's also still down to trade stories of war, politics, and other miscellany over some ice cold Coca Cola, perchance with a splash of Weller's 107 thrown in.