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: U Dorn RTAFB
[The following blog post is rated M for mature audiences, it contains some language that may offend, but then again What the …] As June 1973 began, I attended my first fighter jock party in a combat zone. I wrote … Continue reading
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
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
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
In May 1973, I checked in, as a new GIB, assigned to the 13 TFS at Udorn RTAFB. I had come to the war late as a non rated officer who entered Nav School in the fall of 1971. Now … Continue reading
When I graduated from Nav School, I moved on to the backseat of the F-4 and discovered I had to speak a whole new language. First of all unlike Nav School, we didn’t turn left, we made a port turn, … Continue reading
July 22, 1973 started off like any other bombing mission. We did our preflight, routine, strapped in and taxied to the arming area. For this mission we had 18 Mark 82 – 500 pound bombs loaded, a more or less … Continue reading
Phantom crews during the Vietnam War overseas always had the possibility of contracting local diseases. Its not that we weren’t prepared, before departing CONUS we had shots for almost every possible disease: hepatitis, typhoid, small pox, diptheria, plague, yellow fever, … Continue reading
In October 1973, I had the opportunity to ferry an F4 to the depot in Tainan, Taiwan China, as a member of the 13th TFS. The Air Force used a system of central depots to perform upgrades that couldn’t … Continue reading