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: Vietnam War
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
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
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
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
Unlike Undergraduate Navigator Training –UNT, the F-4 backseat AKA “The Pit” was a very different world. At nav school, I sat at a table in a classroom, “flew” our practice mission, and did my computations. In the F-4 Sim, I … 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
Care packages are in the news a lot this time of the year. With good reason, the holiday season is one of the worst times for American military men and women serving overseas. It is hard for those who have … 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