Category Archives: Air Force

Hail to the Chiefs — Crew that is

Some thoughts on a most important member of the Phantom II Team: The ground crews. When I was a non-rated officer, that is non-flying, I knew nothing about crew chiefs.  Even when I was in navigator training, they did not … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot slang, Luke AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on combat

From the end of May to 15 August 1973, I  flew combat missions over Cambodia. That was the focus of every day – combat: brief, refuel, bomb, and RTB. Now it was over. The air war had ended by direction … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, SEA, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Vietnam War | 6 Comments

The Brotherhood of Warriors

For the past months, I have been going through all the letters I wrote to my wife from SEA. 16 June 1973:  just when I was getting somewhat settled into my combat routine – we lost one.  An F-4 took … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Mather AFB, Military history, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

My special love – The F-4 Phantom II

By 2016 I had not thought about flying fighters for a long time. My good friend from Alaska, the former Capt Jim (now Lt Col retired) suggested we meet in Dayton and go through the Air Force Museum.  Jim was … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Alaska, Alaskan Air Command, American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Navigator, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Homestead or Don’t Drown

In August 1972, immediately after basic survival my wife Bonnie and I were married.  We then went on our honeymoon.    She went to Arizona – my assignment and been changed to Luke AFB, outside Phoenix, and I… Well I … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Survival training | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

At Fairchild 1972

After my graduation from navigator training in July 1972, I went almost immediately to basic survival training. When I got the F-4 aircraft assignment, I knew that this virtually ensured that I would find myself in combat soon.   To … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Luke AFB, Mather AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training, POW training, SEA, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Silver Wings at Last

UNT Graduation 3538th NTS  Mather Air Force Base – July 25, 1972 That long ago afternoon at Mather, the Officers Club ballroom filled with family and friends gathered to celebrate the occasion. The wives waited in their finest, ready to … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Mather AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts from the Pit

As I completed my time at Luke upgrading into the backseat some thoughts crossed my mind: 1. The Ejection seat was my friend and I took great care to make sure that everything was right. When I stepped in the … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, Arizona, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Navigator, Navigator Training, Tailhook, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Flying on “Old Shakey”

After weeks of preparation at Navigator school,  at Mather Air Force Base, we  nav students were set for our first actual airborne mission. Our training aircraft was the twin engine T-29, outfitted with about 12 training stations in the cabin, … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, Navigator, Navigator Training | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

The View from the Pit

Unlike Undergraduate Navigator Training –UNT, the F-4 backseat AKA “The Pit” was a very different world. At nav school, I sat at a table in a classroom, “flew” our practice mission, and did my computations. In the F-4 Sim, I … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, Alaska, American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Luke AFB, Navigator, SEA, Vietnam War | Tagged , | 5 Comments