Category Archives: Navigator

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

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

Thoughts from the Pit Part Deux

More Thoughts from the Pit Flight Surgeons: The Docs were great, never met one that didn’t look out for the best interest of the jocks. Two things to remember though: you never told a Doc that you passed out. That … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, Alaska, Alaskan Air Command, American History, Anchorage, Anchorage Alaska, Arizona, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter pilot lingo, Fighter pilot slang, Navigator, Navigator Training, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

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

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 , , , | 13 Comments

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

In the Land of the Brown Bars

In early November 1971  I,  an older captain who had been non rated for nearly four years,  arrived at Mather Air Force Base, outside Sacramento, California, for undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT).    I settled in the BOQ (bachelor officer quarters) … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Mather AFB, Navigator, Navigator Training | Tagged , , , , , | 2 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 , , , , | 8 Comments