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My name is Michael Butler and my dad was in the Marine Corp from 63 to 67 he was in vma 214 black sheep and he was part of the first group to ever use the sats runway in chu lai vietnam in fact his co sent a letter to his parents telling them about chu lai and sats runway and if you search the web it says mag 12 or mag 11 used the runway first i just wanted to set the record straight my dads name is Lance Corpral George R Butler he was in Vietnam from May of 65 to June of 66 when my dad can get the letter i'll try to remember to post it. 


  1. JAMES MOLLENDOR April 02 2013, 4:58 pm

    Semper Fi - I was on the first test landing of the SATS system landing strip at Twenty Nine Palms in a C-130… The year was ‘63, I was a Staff Sgt assigned to Wing G-3 El Toro. We left El Toro for the Palms and sat down on the SATS strip, things did not go well as I looked out of the back of the A/C… The strip was rolling up behind us… It was a sight to look at the C-130 and the rolled up matting as the crew and I boarded a chopper and out of the area…

    Capt (Moe) Mollendor USMC Ret

  2. JAMES MOLLENDOR April 02 2013, 7:33 pm

    Part # 2 - Not only was I involved with the Sats Strip - I was commissioned in 1966 and reported to Chu Lai to use the Sats concept using the loader and slings… Mers and turs…

  3. JAMES MOLLENDOR April 04 2013, 7:38 pm

    Hello Michael!  This is Capt (Moe) and your Dad Cpl G R Butler was really involved in the first SATS operation Chu Lai on April 26th 1965… We are as proud of him as you are ... I did not use the SATS concept until 1967… My hats off to your Father and the Black Sheep guys ..

    Capt (MOE)

  4. JAMES MOLLENDOR April 04 2013, 7:43 pm

    For folks out there that don’t know what SATS stands for = ( short air field tactical support ) .....

  5. MICHAEL BUTLER November 18 2013, 10:57 pm

    Mr.Mollendor do you know my dad, and by the way he was a Lance Corporal and he told me he was part of the advance party to Chu Lai May of ‘65.

  6. MICHAEL BUTLER November 18 2013, 11:05 pm

    My parents and I really enjoyed the story about the sats runway rooling up behind you in 29 palms, I’d love to hear more stories if you have some time to tell me some more.

  7. Guest Web Account March 28 2014, 4:44 pm

    Helped to build first matted airfield at Bouge Field in 1967.

  8. Philip Millard October 04 2015, 2:35 pm

    Installed the SATS field at MCAS Kaneohe Bay in 1970, was a holdback man until we had a premature launch of an F-4B, got blown down the runway… became a bridle man after that.

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