American History in Real LifeMovies in the past have often shown characters that were touched by historical events. Yet sometimes, the truth is often more fantastic than anything Hollywood can devise. These stories of real people show how the events of the past touched their lives. Some times the stories are dramatic, sometimes simple, but all in all they weave a tapesty of the richness of the American experience.
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© John Norvell
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Category Archives: Combat
June 1973 turned to July. Most days, everything went as planned: TO-Take Off, rendezvous with the tank, take on gas—we loved the big gas station in the sky—get the target information. Contact the FAC; drop some surprises on the commies, … Continue reading
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
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
70 years ago when I was young we celebrated “Decoration Day.” In those days the term Decoration Day was often used instead of the current term: Memorial Day. This older term has gone out of fashion now. It is a … Continue reading
Having spent a little more than 1,000 hours as a WSO, I first had no clue what to expect when I left Nav School to upgrade to the backseat of the F4. I actually no clue of what to expect … Continue reading
Lest we forget: F-4 Phantom II—445 total lost in the SEA Air War, 382 in combat more than any other fixed wing aircraft First combat loss F-4C 64-0685 (45th TFS, 15th TFW) shot down Ta Chan, NW NVN on 20 June 1965. Final … Continue reading
During my years flying the F4 there was only one time, while flying combat, we had to use the tailhook to stop on the runway. It happened while I was stationed in the 13 TFS at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. We … Continue reading
There are few books that have really captured the world of the F4 backseater or GIB (Guy in Back) in combat. For Dr. John Pendergrass flying in the F-4 Phantom II in combat during the Vietnam War changed his life … Continue reading
45 years ago this week, a new phase of my life began. On May 15, 1973, I kissed my wife goodbye at the airport. And set off on what was to be the great adventure of my life – flying … Continue reading