Category Archives: American History

The POWs come Home and we welcome one

Fifty years ago, on January 27, 1973, the United States and North Vietnam agreed to a ceasefire to withdraw American military forces from South Vietnam. The agreement also released American prisoners of war (POWs) held by North Vietnam. Operation Homecoming … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Arizona, F4 Phantom II, Luke AFB, POW training, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Greeting the Future in Times Square

In 1969 two of my friends and I went to welcome in the future in Times Square. This is something that everybody has seen on TV year after year, but few have experienced. In those more innocent times there were … Continue reading

Posted in American History | 3 Comments

Up in the Air So Blue

14 October 1972 Luke AFB Arizona Our bird, F-4C 662, taxied out of its parking space and slowly moved into position. While Hollywood has accustomed Americans to think that there is considerable banter between aircrew members, there is usually strict … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Luke AFB | 1 Comment

60th Reunion

Saturday, July 30, 2022 – I sit with a small group of aging friends at our 60th high school reunion. Let that sink in for a moment – I graduated from high school sixty years ago.  On a nearby table … Continue reading

Posted in American History, New York, New York State History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Silver Wings

Mather Air Force Base—UNT graduation 25 July 1972 It’s hard to believe that it has been 50– 50 years; I repeat this almost in unbelief. Why? Because I only became a navigator through an odd series of circumstances. I received … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s Turmoil, Air Force, Air Force Academy, Air Force lingo, American History, Cambodia bombing 1973, F-4 Phantom II, Mather AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training, NY History, Udorn RTAFB, USAFA, Washington DC | 1 Comment

Checkride!

As flyers one thing we always had to deal with was a checkride. My first checks were in Nav School on the T-29. If all went well, it was straightforward. That was the operative phrase—all went well.   Sadly, for me … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, F-4 Phantom II, Mather AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On Being a Fighter Jock

In his excellent biography, Robin Olds ponders what it means to have the Right Stuff. He looks back at his time in World War II and the men he flew with. Olds understands that flying a fighter is more than … Continue reading

Posted in American History | 3 Comments

Fighters and Targets

In the fall of 1972, I arrived at Luke AFB outside Phoenix, Arizona. I joined several others from my nav class, assigned to the 310th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, to transition to the back seat of the F-4. The F-4 … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, Arizona, Cambodia bombing 1973, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Navigator, Veterans, Vietnam War | Leave a comment

Two types of flyers…

There was an old saying in the F-4 world: “There are two types of flyers, those who have been sick and those who will be.” As our training continued, we moved into a lot of turning and violent maneuvering in … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Luke AFB, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , | 1 Comment

More Random thoughts from The Pit – Phantom II

Some sayings from the past: First to the runway is leadF-4, the greatest distributor of MiG parts!First in – Last OutBrief on GuardGo cold mikeMartin-Baker backbreakerBalls to the wallAll I want to hear from you “2” is bingo (fuel expended … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, Alaska, Alaskan Air Command, American History, Cambodia bombing 1973, F4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Mather AFB, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | 3 Comments