Category Archives: F4 Phantom II

How I came to fly the Pit of the F4 – a story of genes, rejection, and being where I was meant be,

In 1962, I went to college and joined the AF ROTC program with the hopes that I would be a pilot when I graduated in 1966.  Well, my entry into the Air Force was not without some bumps. After graduation … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Vietnam War | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

At one time, there was a belief among some aviators that there is “no lift” at night, therefore night flight was not possible. Clearly this is not true, and is regarded as a joke among flyers, but it does reflect … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Say Hello to the New Guys

Recently I watched Band of Brothers.  One episode centered on new men entering Easy Company as replacements after D Day. The men are welcomed with less than enthusiasm and are not sure what to make of it. And I thought … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, Alaskan Air Command, American History, Band of Brothers, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB | 4 Comments

Thanksgiving 45 years ago – long ago and far away

Military men and women often share moments that are seemingly out of time. These are universal events singular to the military experience, but shared across generations.  Some of these include: being hunkered down in a fox hole; moving across a battlefield … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, F4 Phantom II, Thailand, Thanksgiving, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB | Leave a comment

A Picture worth many words

  I have been looking at this picture a lot this week. I posted it to several F4 facebook groups.   It shows me standing in front of an F4C parked on the ramp at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Alaska, American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Orphan Annie and the end of the Air War in SEA August 1973

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

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Cambodia bombing 1973, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Military history, Norvell Family History, SEA, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicks in Tow

As July 1973 ended, I had been flying combat missions with the 13th TFS nearly every day for two months against the Khymer Rouge in the area around Phnom Penh and also to interdict supplies being moved down Uncle Ho’s … Continue reading

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

The Day Time Stopped – We drop the Hook

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

Posted in 13 TFS, American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, SEA, Tailhook, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Racing Back to Vietnam – A Good Read

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

Posted in American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On to SEA in ’73

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

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, Luke AFB, Thailand, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment