« Jocko Podcast

364: You Only Fail if You Quit, With Record Breaking Fighter Pilot, Dick Rutan

2022-12-14 | 🔗

Retired United States Air Force officer and fighter pilottest pilot, and record-breaking aviator who in 1986 piloted the Voyager aircraft on the first non-stop, non-refueled around-the-world flight with co-pilot Jeana Yeager. He was born in Loma Linda, California, where he gained an interest in flying at a young age. He is the older brother of famed aerospace designer Burt Rutan, whose many earlier original designs Dick piloted on class record-breaking flights, including Voyager.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is jacko podcast number three sixty four with dave, burke and me doc, willing good evening dave getting me, The misdeeds who volunteered were among most talented, hard working, courageous group of men I have ever encountered to a man they were remarkable pilots. They work long hours days on end to get the programme started, in the early missions we were consumed with establishing procedures, deciding on tactics, constructing our maps, testing, varied equipment and aircraft configurations and learning the area. It was real, hunt and pack trial by fire. We decided on three cycle missions. Use two in flight refueling things we will for road traffic storage areas and sam's, which were beginning to move into the lower part of the pack. Those early
misty missions were really harry, as we experimented with how to survive in a dense, aaa environment, while mark targets in directing strikes, though, hacking was not a new concept, the? U S, force had employed facts since world war too fast, faxing was new and we were truly ploughing. New ground we had to learn to operate and survive in a very dense threat environment, while opera for extended periods at low altitude, dicey, stuff our loss rate during the first six months was forty. Two percent, a steep expensive and tragic learning curve. I cannot besides too strongly the courage of the first group of men who read, their hands. They were gone when, where no jet pilot had ever been before too dangerous things. No one had ever done.
That right. There's an excerpt from a book book called misty, which is the book? Is made up of a bunch of first person accounts of misty pilots in vietnam, and particular account was from a man named day. Who is the founder, Commanding officer of the misty squadron, which he commanded for about two months, before you shot down whose cap, by the communists. Here escaped his initial captivity, but he was shot and recaptured and then- Center hano hilton, where he spent five years and seven months as appeal, W. Upon his release, he was awarded the medal of honor for him. Personal bravery and his leadership in the face of extreme enemy pressure
but even while he was in captivity, the rest of it squadron the misty pilots. They continued on they flew the f one good supersaver, which is known as the han there were a hundred and fifty seven pilots that served as misty fast. Facts in fact stands for, afford air controller. Their round from nineteen sixty seven and nineteen seventy and, as forwarder controllers, that meant that from the sky they were mark. Targets in directing other aircraft to take out those targets in it was a very dangerous job aspires, because the misty pilots did it, bulk of their flying in north vietnam, where they were exposed to the most intense Of the enemy air defences. And of those hundreds Fifty seven pilots. Thirty four were shot down to worship.
Down twice: twenty three were recovered, for Were captured by the enemy, seven were killed in action, but they were able to accomplish their mission. They were able to get bombs on target, destroy nickel enemy nodes and ever closer support troops on the ground. And it's an honor to have one of those pilots with us here today. To discuss his experiences and his lessons learned his name is dick rutan, serve twenty years near force in addition to his car, experiences a test pilot, a record. Adding pilot. He pilot the first plane around the world with no stopping in no refueling, is also author. He wrote a book,
voyager and another book called the next five minutes it's an honor like I said to have a mere tonight, dick routine. Dick. Thank you so much for joining us To be here, I am a great fan. It's me when you think about this new mission that you guys picked up and what it like to learn when you're learning curve is you're learning in combat at that rough thing to get into. A rough way to try and figure things out while trial by fire. That's why it's called the initial It was called the voyager or them stay, experts them the misty experiment there go away, there is is a thing on pbs, is very popular now about that. That was made up about the Mr Powell
Well, it's called misty the mistakes, the misty experiment, Ghana, pbs, Why I don t know what you are, but I'll definitely checked out. One hour causes anytime you sport new ground, like that you're doing in a combat situation, that's a that's a scary thing to do, and you guys- definitely doing it. So, let's before get into that, lets, let's start at the beginning and about kind of where you came from getting and I want to go to europe. So your book, you didn't, you works. This once called the next five minutes. Embracing the impossible and you say in this book, my father doktor george, a routine always said he had an inkling that my life would involve adventure even baby in diapers. I was exploring our farm in rural oregon. I, to see and touch and explore all. Looking back, I realise that our parents gave their children the precious gift of freedom to explore
the world and experience life. They never held us back from doing anything, even if I thought it risky or dangerous Dad lovingly called pop was a product of the great depression and a world Or to navy veteran, he took vantage of his v, a benefits and put himself dental school then moved his family. To de my saying there right, dinosaur dilute die a small, agricultural heartland town third, five miles. South east fresno california, it was the perfect place to grow up to fly Cessnas and piper cubs ride, motorcycles and throw toy? paper out of an airplane over the high school during a friday night football game. While writing my bs a motorcycle, I was often chased out of town by local cops, but you we found a way to ditch them by riding through neighbourhood vineyards. I knew that catch me. Although many tried I enjoyed the flu,
well. This count masked count cat and mouse game, even when the officers would caution my parents about my unruliness. So there's little glimpse into your into your childhood sounds like you are a handful now it's great data was an absolute fantastic place to girl the freedom, lotta agriculture and That's only learn how to fly little airplanes and beat wasn't throwing toilet paper out like this. So what? What? What did your dad do? In the navy? dad got in at the very end of the of the of the war. In fact, he should have been exempt Eric. Up- and there was a mistake- someplace and they are a draft notice. This is a married and have a family and I should be exempt, and then they thought Well, yeah you're right, but he says you know something. My countries at war
dammit I wanna go and he did and so what we do in the navy Ah, he was some negative the a corpsman there and farragut fact, that's where we live right now and cord lay not home, like ponder- ran this big huge naval base up there and that's where he spent the end of the war. He never made it into a into a ship to combat or anything, and he then he uses Gee. I bill to pay for it school. It became a dentist. This right, like many those words took advantage of that are. They was probably one of the best investments. Are countries remain yeah then you know you meant you ve already talked to me. We've we're we're like two paragraphs into the beginning: the booking already talk about flying cessnas. What was your first billions in a point. Well,.
It was right after war to this a little kid. I can't remember exactly what I was, but my mother and dad going to dental school or we don't have any money and for some reason, mom took me out place called flay bob therein riverside. So The grass field she'll be bought an airplane ride. First of all, good to this day, I can remember almost every day tale that experience we went out there we're gonna, fly in sporting date thing and at that time at airport, was just a grass feel someplace and it isn't it piper is a j five piper curbing the backseat was a little wider, and then that means it to people could sit there. Ok, well, they put mom and I in the back and when I set out, I couldn't see out the other wonders you're too high and I said is no fine wave that I'm gonna sit in this hall when this experience, so I stood up and
and grabbed onto the pilot seat, There was an old airplane and still remember the stuffing I can still remember what it smells like and I remember that the tires had no tread, And somebody came out in hand proper europe. I gotta go one. Accelerated and the big thrill of lifted off in in an entire new world that I had no experts even existed fifteen minutes. We flew over riverside and I still remember the the fame commission in and had no idea that later on and I was gonna- be honoured with the set of wings in the flyers wall. But why look down- and it was so amazing and and it would where I saw that day would changed my life forever ever most say her: two sons,
their aviation fuel instead of blood they were not issued versatility, it's their issued a fly plants it so from that moment on it was in it stream, I guess abnormal fastened passion for aviation. And, unfortunately, maybe at the expense of a more rounded character development. I know a lot about our planet's everything is, I flew over you get identify which, when they were, no one's gonna mode engines ahead and so forth, but the There are things to make a rounded experience for growing by new. Absolutely Jackson what about so as your grown up so you definitely want to be a pilot o absent then the one military pilot? Ah yes, to go back a little
to go back a little bit more? Ah, I grew up in the dark the victory of world war two and this I became fascinated with aviation and then was really fascinated but combat I found it very intriguing: and, as our more about those guys It flew out of the eighth air force in east anglia in england and those long missions and be seventeen sunday. Twenty fourth- and about the loss rates group had come back and six hundred beds would the empty. Who are these people? I did that. When three for some more casualties- and I thought on the hill you know it's one thing to go and do that once if you're, the only one that comes back from your whole squatter loaded on board. How, the love of whatever do you get
I another airplane, and do that again. I was fascinated who they are. These people, and he had to ask the question again in a kind of it would be a warrior I always thought it was. The ultimate inhuman competition is worth the pinnacle. These were each other will compete for the ultimate prize and that your life and outs fashion it. How can I could? I do somethin like that, and I had to find out one way or another, I had a learning experience, learning problem. It was diagnosis the few years ago. Actually, when I was trying to write this book and others tell him, people who red and Oh I process ties, but it was a distant desolate. Dyslexia dyslexic
it always had a hard time in school. But does that fascinated that the fascination for Whatever the warriors life was, I had to find out for myself Now every young warrior grows up, pretty soon is warrior and the time goes by And it becomes the age to be a warrior: ok, I'm a young guy and by many thing right now. This is blue. And then you walk outside a look around and thankful what war am I in a fight it is a small window of opportunity. Actually now looked around frack, it was vietnam. But I still had to find out and out with some Then it was kind of no one. In my in my back all that time. I couldn't wait to do that. I had to find out a little dickie routine can do that and.
Our parents gave us some really important things. One of his freedom there's a world out there I give you life can make of it, which you want a member well, my mom would take it two air and this is in mercy. California knows little kid and I never forget that it was walking up there and there was an hour s. Eighty four reconnaissance, if eighty four jet Like a jet cursing- and I remember looking in the windows- the camera windows in the heads scantily clad females in there- and I thought this is worrying and then I saw that pilot slander than he looked really cool man adage issued on his flight suit on his head, his wings, and he was a pilot man and he was a flyer. Get going fly that our planet? I stood there looked up at him and my mother,
What she said right, then, was really important kind of a turning place in my life and my mom looked at looked at me and she says dec. Would you like to do that? I says: oh god but I ever but then I said something the fact that I dont think that I could ever achieve that. Grab me by the neck nap. She said in no uncertain terms, looked at me and ceases If you want to do that, you can don't you ever say that you can't do something like that, and now the motivation like she says, they can do if he can dream it, you can do it. Only way to fail as if you quit, and to achieve all those things that you dream about, all you have to do. Is managed the motivation and so on that day and that castle air force base in front of that. If eighty four, she and still the fact it I could really do that
No, she able to take that focus and get it towards your grades in school. According to your book, there always in school and you just and that was driven somewhat by your dyslexia by dyslexia. Nobody could nobody could identify it or nobody could evaluate what the hell was. Bert was dickie, haven't problem and school. In fact, my dad read after great school run after high school. He sent me down to a university, I think in southern california, for an aptitude test. Hey is this, you know who is this kid? Is he put what's his aptitude is? Is he a college type and and whatever and I went down they took the tests and plop came back and says, scored very, very low and, while, like an english, is an example communication skills, but I
I was very extremely high. Mechanical very high mechanical aptitude, And so then I wasn't gonna be a college guy honestly and not the jump ahead. Much, but I went in the air force right out of high school and I was going through advancement software to be lieutenant colonel. I had to have a college degree song at the time they had a bootstrap program, talk about motivation again the boots rep programme. So here I am, I'm gonna be a lieutenant colonel, go by ten years in the service, They sent me off to clean killin, clean taxes american technological university and for about semester or whatever it was four or five months. And I went out there by myself and then a little apart, now here this older guy he always went to
norman we ve been through this. Cold warmth nuclear alert and stuff. Looking around always kids out here, draken unreason hell facing girls. And I wasn't doing any that, like donna me and says, hate you know, You did have problems with those, and I thought this is college did was scared of I wonder how do they know Not what the motivation was, I got a family and to kids, I need to get promoted I don't want to give up retirement nor those other benefits and humility of coming back and failing this thing, and so I figured out a way I get a briefcase and I put a tape recorder sit down in that see right in front of it Professor, and I didn't have anything else. I wasn't drinking and I wasn't chasing girls or anything so every
every word that he had a route notes. Detail. Notes of this thing and here this dyslexic kid that had a problem in any kind of academic situation he graduated with the bs degree. The dangerous for awhile average holy men ass It is the motivation, so you can accomplish anything if you can do through his manage the motivation to keep yourself motivated or more her motivate those around you. Apple. The world flight project I kept thinking and we had some horrible times- challenges the five and a half years with no money habitable. This big, huge airplane ourselves by hand the flight
it's dangerous as hell. I don't know how I ever survived. That thing is freya little airplane. That was going to go twenty nine thousand miles while in And when things were fallen apart, I want to give up motivation again go out in a special place. In this little crummy little airport mojave abandoned so my abandoned military field and in mojave california, californian the high desert, actually edwards air force, one and I have a special place that would sit down and the hare by the hair look the ramp and looking out over the desert in some in august insurmountable problems, difficulties. I closed my eyes, Try to imagine what it would feel like Landed at reserve air force have an accomplice. Aviation's last milestone close my eyes and let that feeling permeate to my psychic
I realize. This is the last the last milestone in aviation, full of worldwide and I think, and I'd loud after thinking about that and let it settle into my psychic had thought. You'd feel pretty good. I'd feel it for five and a half years. I was really down and dejected I'd. Do it There are in close my eyes and try to visualize that and then that was manage, manage the motivation and I found it. That's really a key thing and I tried to tell people about. Then you can dream, you can do then just manage the motivation, and you can accomplish anything now. As your growin up yours You got your brother, bert right right and it sounds like youtube or thickest thieves and everything that will not really were five years apart, and so, therefore we were never in the same school. At the same time
was gone your high school and been five Years apart, gone a year and before he even started so. We weren't really. All that close. I guess in some ways I guess it sounds like you caught you became close later. There. We were brothers, he was it all out. The guy that was right, motorcycles and getting chased by the cops, wasn't around Friday night high school games and be under the long haired elvis her coat with dirty levi's hay and, on the last, the last hero, my house and so forth. And now he was the one that was more studious. I think that that the edgy Some things two brothers. He got a lot of He got a lot of what I needed to go to school because I took way from him, some other the mechanical part of it, and that's what
six you grown up in the fifties, cause you're born in what thirty thirty eight thirty eight right, You're grown up in the fifties is, and in california, in the fifties Elvis motorcycles. Levi his jeans, like you, had the whole thing going on right out of a movie american graffiti. That's it if you remember that movie yep and I thought that they had then american graffiti in my little town, because all those characters I knew every one of them. I went to school with him now, You also mentioned above the you you're scared heights. The us was that all about well phobia, Well, I call its edge phobia. Think really really my brother, I both of its phobia. If you get I couldn't write and glass elevators or I could look the tall building or look over a cliff, and I didn't realize it.
This later on directive, the voyager project, is there I started phobias, we're just sissy things so Yet what is scared a height, not heights, but you're scared of of what spiders sky being in a tight place, and I just thought that was that was sissy thing but it was but the fear of heights it it came a debilitating phobia that I'd go over next to a clear for somethin and become cold and climate, uncontrolled shaking it. Rain heart, rich inability to in the ragged edge, abandoned panicked and so not had their what my life. I guess I just how do you keep cure to that? stay the hell away from high places don't look off big cliffs and stuff,
I thought everybody had there. You know you're supposed to be afraid of being high for crying out loud side. Is that was normal. Until that particular thing happened, during the stress of our board your project. Then there was a lot of stress. Mental stress stuff, for that no money trying to do with volunteers, people, volunteers would not show up, they only do half of it and it was very stressful spicy with no money, and say as the hell with it we're gonna do it anyway. It is stagnating, so I took up it. Often mile long easy, that I built one of the first models. My brother design, call long easy and I took off one day and I did the first turn out our traffic. It hit me
That debilitating phobia happened to me in flight neurons problem and flight this looking over the edge of a cliff it hit me it hit me so bad cold and clammy heart race inability to do almost anything in its scope did the airplane around and funny damn your crime. On the runway, trying to get back. Attached in and then certain there about myself and a heart rate would slow down. I chiquita Lacks a little bit and then I thought wholly crap, you're right in the middle of the voyager project. This is your project. Gonna be the commander. You're gonna, be the guy you're gonna the guy that lands at in reserve for space intact it up for the whole world, haven't accomplices great milestone achievement, and I can't fly unscrewed. What the hell am I,
gonna do. I knew where I was that I could We're tell anybody about that. Who the hell would ever fly with me here and rightfully sovereign blame on this guy for some unknown reason, get how debilitating phobia a minute to grounding thing and its happen. It was in LAS vegas. It was in the hilton hotel and I was sitting at the bar. Some real strange. Things happened. Fortuitous will happen at the. In vegas, well, there was a bar that wasn't the plan. I remember for some reason. I I set now Next, as some guy and we started up a conversation? I found that he ran. He runs a clinic for fear of flight in our people have that passengers and people come in,
and die. They go through a programme about time to overcome fear flight. I watch boy I need to know about this was it turned out? He was very forthcoming and I would questions in all the details the programme and how you do that what is how do you cure people of this thing for crying out loud and here very forthcoming boy, Turkey was taken detailed memory, notes of everything that happened. Then I realized dick. You can ever tell anybody about that. In fact, I'll think anybody ever knew until they read my book and wait And I did it, it was a self was self help self cure thing. It was really incredible. In a myself myself taught clinic I have no fear of flights, no fear of heights anyplace at that wait. A minute
suppose I have a little bit of fear. Does. If you follow, you could get hurt, really bad. Was the crux of getting through that well cause just for contacts for everybody that doesn't know the whole store. I mean when you're working on the voyage of flight. When you had this season, you been scared of heights Your whole life, but you'd also been a pilot. Your whole life at this point, you'd fallen in vietnam. You'd write parachute. You done a bunch of things that had to do with heights, but then for some reason, in the middle of this effort to go and fly around the world in the voyager aircraft, you're getting another little aircraft which, by the way, I look at your your brother's little aircraft We build near like little one seaters. They look like you could feel like a little model airplane that I used to build right. So maybe that's what you are scared of, but you upon this fight. All of a sudden, you get this height panic see when this thing the pay a cabin I've already been through. My civilian thing I was up The structure and I went in the air force and with due pot
Trading with combat set who killer all those things have already been done before I found it did my twenty years and one microsecond by the way we could talk about what's goin on them. So anyway, I got out twenty Then a microsecond then enjoy my brother and then we did them that round the world eyes wide eyed flown the lot and None of that phobia or squareness or any ever manifests itself in flight. You like it. Heroin fireplace for crying out loud we do air shows and down This felt right at home and there was never any situation until that one particular thing under a lot of stress that finally crawled out of my psychic in hit me really bad, and I had to cure myself So what did you do to kill yourself them? Well, why you have to get all the symptoms gone. I mean real, quick, I was in
the others, some of these hotels, that they have a matron. A dream inside, commissioner, your room and you're looking inside the hotel honor Look over there and its really along waiting to happen here and you go up to the edge and you get all the symptoms. Goin oliver all the willpower could almost drag myself grabbed the edge and pull myself up and look at it. More than I'd. Look down the more the more phobia with just explode, and am I cited heart rate breath skin coding, clammy and uncontrolled shaking. And the first thing you do this: you get all the symptoms, goin and then you identify one part. Your body and you concentrate on totally on that particular thing, and I chose my right elbow shaking
I concentrate as much as I can follow that there may be no kin after twenty minutes. I could get that one elbow to stop to to stop shaken that's really cool, I says: well, I'm gonna try the elbe so soon as I would go to work on the other. Although the first start again, then you'd have to go back and do that, but that was it was a procedure that you would get one it would. Slow down one arm and then you were able to to control it boy. You went to the other arm or the right leg, or the right calf, one part of it, and so you go to this procedure. You drag yourself up there and and this phobia wood dust explode on everything. Gone. Then you go down right. Elbow left, elbow right, nay, left need up until you got more calm and if you can and trade on it. You can keep on quiet
but soon as you try to do something else, bomb exploded yet, but when I get knows as would go through this procedure and you can can finally start to control everything and then your skin doesn't cold and clammy anymore and it and you feel relaxed. But the problem was. I can control my breathing. I can decide when to take a breath and but what do you do about this damned in my chest? Chestnuts goin liking had really high really high on heart rights and then it's a thing called biofeedback and they talk about. How you go with bio feedback to mabel dickens. Or your heart rate and then pretty soon I could go up and if it the tens would happen. I go ridable left able listeners in this common everything down and eventually eventually. I had no sentence whatsoever
not even a normal fear of heights on the edge got it solved, then Don't you think? That's insane back, The coroner dick psychic someplace this gremlin roll out again. That's. Why could there Tell anybody about the gotta. Keep that one especially the insurance people, especially the insurance or the f, a and my medical, because I knew that that was a grounding a big time grounding item for the f a I saw that look, let's get back! I want to get back to a sort of how you got into flying in the face, place. I'm gonna go back to the book here again look. The book is awesome. Somebody somewhere details inside the book just go, get the book to reach some highlights from it. Well, there's plenty more highlights that we're not going to read, but just a kind of talk.
The story. Little bit, you say this drama childhood. I struggled with academics, a struggle that was almost debilitating, regardless of how hard at my try it seemed doomed for failure I was held you're an elementary school, but nothing improved by the time I reach high school pop this to have a battery of test run to help clarify my strengths and weaknesses, whose term I had exceptional high mechanical aptitude, but skills in other areas suggested. I was not college material, deckers dec later would pass before is discovered. I suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia. What I did know was, I had gift any passion for flying and aspired to make my mark doing something in that field fresh out of high school. I could hardly wait for the opportunity to fly high in the stratosphere and make those white vapor, contrary also, I signed up for united states air force aviation cadet programme after taking all the tests and going through the rigorous physical and written exams, I was told I was qualified. I was now qualified to be a pilot, even though, is already a civilian commercial pilot, but they had a spy
your programme for me become a navigator. I couldn't leave it. I was fully physically qualified. I had fighter pilots eyes, but did not for the best and academics. I suspect that I'd that had everything to do with their decision to reject my application for pilot training, I complained air force recruiting sergeant he told All I had to do was when I got to pre flight at Glenn air force base in San Antonio. Tell them about my civilian pilots, as they would change me right over a pilot training that was the first, That was one of the first lies told me It might new way of life away from home. It all seems so simple and I say the dotted line. First, I had ever been away from my mom, my family and the safety of my sheltered life. I stepped up the bus in my low hanging, Levi's and long greased, up elvis haircut. I soon- covered, I would lose my cool hair. During the next two weeks would only be allowed to mutter. Yes, sir, no sir, this one
Shit. Hot civilian pie was now after nab school at nearly broke my heart along with, spirit, the cadets assigned a pilot training were issued brand new shiny helmets, While I was issued three large books of celestial site reduction tables. So that's your introduction. You get you get this aside to be a navigator. You gotta now class, you end up as act cedar as a real, our radar intercept officer. You get station in Oregon. For more again It stationed up in iceland and you get to iceland, you you apply for pilot training again and you get accepted and when you get accepted for that, you get us. To air transport squadron which is flying and out of vietnam, which now Vietnam, war is kind again trying to get started. Start. Ask her when well you're what happen. Ah.
Yeah, I had no interest in navigating big cargo airplanes like him forth. So then I went in the fighters in his fine fighters, but in the back seat, is greater cept officer and done then I play Politics and for some reason, if I fly in the accede long enough, according to. Therefore, I got a lot smarter so then I was smart enough that I could go to a pilot training. So when I was waiting for to go to pilot training, I was assigned to see one twenty fours cargo, big old. They caught the big old shaking, well, I was waiting for pilot. Ah, actually flyin as navigator now in this big huge cargo reply, and this is in the right in the middle of the normal back and forth the cigar and as it turned out, those hours that I spent at eight thousand feet in a sea one money for waiting to go to college running.
Gave me some incredible. Understanding of what I was going to face later on in life to fly this voyage around the world Is it turned down? Having had that navid experience, it may have been that may have been critical to the success of right around the world and the border so I don't know, maybe maybe fair goes round, and it comes back around again. I who can tell three, but you do end up. Finally you said you got a lot smarter as, as you fool ground in the back of the airplanes, you got marty. You got accepted fur trading- and you say this about before I knew a pilot training. Sixty seven d was ready again, in my time as a navigator came to an end. I was off after flynn air force base and Del Rio texas right on the rio Grande river west of san Antonio. Although I did appreciated at the time my experience as a navigator over vast stretches of open ocean and training with radar would prove to be a voice it'll factor in this
successful completion of voyagers flight years later, because of my academic challenges. I knew how I had to work clever work hard and maintain my motivation to be successful in pilot training. I would sneak tape recorder into by consuming my briefcase. I made it a point it from set a row, so I could capture every word of each lecture. With the help of these two, lectures I arduous Lee, wrote impeccable notes the study from an aced every test, a graduated number one in my pilot training class. Granted. I had a huge headstart with more flying time log than many the instructors we told anyone as a civilian pilot. I was really instructor pilot. I let them believe has just that good. Upon graduation. I was awarded my dream f one honey supersaver effectually known as the hon. Out of three hundred sixty graduates. There were only two, If one hundreds offered with that
was off to real life and death combat in vietnam. So you captain, his secret that you are a civilian. How many hours did you have well see? I wanted to go to the air force pilot training. Now I can go back to that day that I stood there and at march air force base. Looking up at that fighter pilot You know he was a god from a different place and here, after all those does the entry years, I was gonna, be able to do that. Now always made a joke that ours But if you want to be a real airforce fighter pilot, you had to go to luke air force base and a had do he had a train in the hut is difficult or applying to fly. Had some really strange sights about The report that that was more of a challenge, If you want to be a real fighter pilot, you gotta go through loose gunnery school in the often heard it's. Why talked about that during my pilot twenty days break somebody get enough. One hundred nice is bullshit return.
They haven't given undergraduate pilot turning right at a training to go directly to fly. This really weird airplane That's all right, as is I have to have as one because I'm gonna go If you were three hundred and sixty pounds, lbs of five different bases number one. Here we talking about a heads up at a bite. My butt bite my tongue a lot because I was a civilian flight destructive, but I had been wanting to go to pilot turn in all my life. I wanted to go to their training. And I didn't want anybody given in short cuts- are bragging about hey, I'm already a pilot and ill thought habits is, is his that's a lollipop that I've been wanting to lick for a long time, and I want to look or I want to lick every darn bit of that. Now it came to the point when you graduate declassed nannies
it's kind of more or less a metaphor that they have of all the assignments written on on the blackboard and there's a curtain and they up, and they say: okay, whose number one in the class they open, the curtain and there's all the all the assignments I looked up there and much to my shock. There were two of one hundreds. No I've been bragging about everybody says are posted this now. There's no way but had opened up. They were surprise, but the most surprise person than that whole room was me I had no idea that it would be her and done. I walked up this like yeah knew it all the time, because I didn't squad over time and of course and we're at go gunnery school from there under the norm,
when you are coming through, isn't it as a pilot civilian pilot sharper like how many hours of flying did you have well this? This is a guess. I probably had a couple thousand hours So Dave Burke. How much of an advantage is that guy who pilot training when you have a couple thousand hours worth a fly? Well, it was a flight destructor thing to say I was a solid on the day. That's all. The data with sixty my sixteenth birthday. My mom drove me out? I sold it a little so someone forty than I should me down to the dna, and I did my driver's s and then I could drive my mom home for the first time. So I was so. I was a pilot before it in you. One day birthday today that it needed to be to be a private pilot that I can carry passengers, sulphur
and then at eighteen years old to be a commercial pilot and on flight structure. Today what the assessment you have two thousand hours worth of pilot. I mean you're, going through pilot training that stuff like that but in an index offense. Second vat can cut both ways and when I was in flight school, the kids now nobody nobody hit it. You can't hide it. I think what I was going through the flight time. Everybody knew it. Some of the best students had experience, but some of the worst students were the ones that had experienced too. So I think you, you obviously had to keep that to yourself and- and you have to not reveal your bad habits or your habits that you have brought as an aviator, and you gotta pretend like it's all so I'm quite experienced mostly, it helps. But it's what I saw kid struggle a lot, because I didn't want to learn a new way of doing it. So a few guys that had a fight time I didn't get through the programme, particularly as they were unwilling to adapt to a new way of doing.
Sounds like you didn't, have the saviour exactly right, because it had to be very careful that better the fact that I was, I was gonna, be like the silly. Do it better, something that I was this I notice that I was just amazed about how different things were saw procedural eyes, like an military pilot trading it's to tear the pattern. Is exactly fighters abridge you'd. Have overfly endeavours of there was a half farmers pump as I say, and then you turned down when it was up, procedure, lies brace talk. Trim turn very regimented, see very regimented and it was amazing. I thought you know somebody that farmer goes out there and tears at pumphouse. None of these guys could get back. This is the procedure That's that's the way it was, but the day was like I said
there are remembered, as is a little kid sitting there and dynamism, pickin grapes or something and look up and see those controls single, contrary so high that I could not see what was making them- and I looked up at that thing- and there are four units- is damage it there's nothing else. I gotta do it that way, the desire to be at the point he of at countries. Overwhelming here again the moon. The motivation and there was two savers up for grabs and you got one of em. I got one fast forward a little. But in a book here you say my simon vietnam is a combat fighter. Pilot was typical after comply, advanced gunnery school luke air force base in phoenix arizona newly minted jet fighter pilot attended air force survival school at fairchild airforce, boat base and spoken washington. It was february dead of winter. I would be stationed in the jungle tropics, but was being
Trained to survive and waist deep snow on our Vietnam, we made a short stop at clark air force base in hot sticky philippines, where we received specific jungle, survive what training this environment was deaf, we more representative of We would have to face in the jungles of vietnam. Instead of having to build a shelter in the snow, we learn how to That's kill, killing boa constructors. Arriving in vietnam. I had a burn bomber ride from saigon to see one thirty, five three hundred miles north to food cat where the thirty fifth tactical fighter wing was located. In august, nineteen sixty seven, I was assigned the four hundred and sixteen squadron as a new, be fighter pilot to get checked out and combat in south vietnam. Mostly action was aired aground in support of the troops against. The ground troops being a newbie. I was always the tail and charlie and the four ship formation we would check with the ford air control or a guy in a little cessna, and he would fire smoke rocket into the jungle
we would hit, is smoke with our four five hundred pounds, mark eighty two bombs and then return to base. I seldom saw any ground fire coming my way it's kind of your introduction. You get over there you're doing these missions and then this happened. You say finally, the day been anticipating my entire life arrived. How would I reacted being shot at directly? My target this day was a bunker complex, and the goal was to up napalm into the tunnels. I flew at low altitude assumed a shallow dive angle and snuggled up close to the enemy tunnels to hit the target, as I rolled in just after the to the right of My bunker target of fifty Albert aaa opened up firing tracers. The train stream was aimed directly at me and they were close. Someone down there was trying to kill me specifically. This is the moment that would define me as a warrior or as a coward. In eight,
No three president jefferson sent clot lewis and clark on the three year core of discovery to open up the west. Upon their return, captain merriweather Louis told the president greatest exploration, a man exhilaration, a man can feel has been shot that and missed at long. Dream of trappers. Tracers zipped pass my canopy. My first thought was not to turn away or hide between. My knees were a cry from my mother. It was exactly the opposite. My first reaction was the audacity of that son of a bitch to shoot me. Generally. The next thing you do we'll get you killed rest adding the site from the bombs two guns I rolled hard and headed into destroy that bastard. Observing this, my flight led screamed, rooted, get the hell out of here. There are you'd but sir, he shot it p. He repeated router
get the hell out of their and probably saved my foolish amateur ass captain right. The exhilaration- was overwhelming and extremely addictive. At last I found my answer to how those world war two bomber crews could go out again and again I too could do. I was a combat warrior. I loved it. I welcomed it I needed more much more asthma combat career progressed. I was scribe by some as aggressive among the aggressive. I had not come to vietnam to drop bombs on the top of trees as with most heartily fighter, pilots I came to kick some ass win and then go home, that's pretty good introduction to combat its. Your was the tender there's a lot of questions, but
so found degenerated. Something else I don't know. If I talked about that about, I call the There's an adrenaline gland. Most people have iconic. Combat gladly- and I think, is right here on the right side of my next someplace What happens? It's only active its to shoot at you, and then it gets active in what it pumps into your psychic into your system is the most well it's extremely addictive and you fork addictive and new fort and it's like an addiction. Drug addiction will maybe it is a metaphor again, but you need to have more and more, and then I found out about misty by a kind of by accident that It was part of the. I think, that's the only mistake I made in the book. It's the thirty fifth tech fighter when it was actually a thirty seven, but whatever
many where there is little little detachment of the very small, very small group of people very highly classified area and doing some really shot stuff, and I thought that's what I came here for, yeah you you write about here the bother about the misty them the men the the mysteries flew the to see John train, a version of the f one hundred each playing or to fight or pilots. One in the front was the commander no one of the back with the ford or control to keep each honest, Those rules, rules alternated they fly low and fast. Over. The panhandle of north vietnam, the norman louse who fighters armed with only a few hundred rounds for the twenty millimeter can cannons and fourteen white smoke marking rockets. To be able to see them through the camouflaged they had to get right down in amongst them, so long. For it was high the first the commander major
day who we heard from already today was shot down early in the operation and spend more than six years appear w. With air refueling support from the case you one thirty five tankers over the gulf, a talking misty missions were long, forty, six hours and least with plenty of action. Owing to her, risk. The misty unit was composed of only volunteers and each of duty short, only a hundred twenty days, a hyper. Many of those who did more than one tor were shot down. Each misty sortie was assigned flights of F one five hundred chief or F for phantom fighter bombers, they are really hot target. Vague, scramble, gun fighters off the alert padded denying to come with and work with them more high value targets targeting north were well defended with intense aaa and to target was determined the mysteries orbiting just out a gun range and waited for the fighter bombers to join. It took a few minutes in the orbit,
brief everyone on the target and that gave the guy There's plenty of time to pump up adrenaline exercise their trigger fingers. The misty had the target with a white smoke rocket and was the first one down the shoot. The gunners knew the drill, as well as the misdeeds rolled in inverted, pull the nose down toward the target. Every gun would open up within seconds as tracers flashed by their canopies. They linda to fire the smoke marking rocket. It was always one hell of a rush, a real e ticket right now was more like it. This was real combat. This was what I came to vietnam. To do. I had become a misty? How did I do it? First of all, mrs or volunteer, ok volunteers, o k, o k, so why volunteer in january of nineteen sixty eight, my life change dramatically. I was a misty and, on my way, action in north vietnam? No more me
in truth, picks out a jungle, trees or upsetting monkey colonies. My new world revolved around heavy aaa flack truck parks, Bernie oil, fuel dumps, storage, bonkers and said keeping the flow of war material along the haughty men trail. This Was one I was here for god I loved it. Yes, So you're we had a hundred and taught us a standard towards a hundred twenty days a hundred and twenty days it mostly right and, you're going out on these operations. What's the chances you're going out on goin autonomously operation was the chances you're gonna receive enemy fire every time, hundred percent percent hundred percent the mystery day where we can only do three may the emissions in a row, three of them you were totally spent, beat
when you say in a row. You mean three days in a row days in a row of three, and these are forty six hours apiece forty six hours. However, you wake up it way, three or four hours ahead of time, because we had a long intelligence briefing? Why? What was going on up there? what were the other mysteries reporting truck parks, budged, barge traffic burning truck. Whatever we need to be really up this way before you went up there and took over There was a long. There was a long along intelligence briefing. Then you go out to the airplane. It still dark and you get me off. One hundred attacks taxi out and using in vietnam semi foggy, maybe a little drizzle convent eerie thing
And just before dawn it fuck at every morning alone. If one hundred with light is after burner and often to the mark to north vietnam, And every morning I hear that that low enough one undertake often wonder in what his day was gonna, be like. And you go up. We had a wrong tiger because if you're low and fast in a jet, your burning fuel. And said you have your own: take her off the coasts as you, then you could do multiple refuel wines and you could still flyer mission. But it was kind of a kind iraq solemn thing. A member what do the child law and vietnam combat output if experiences to power a powdered eggs and a greasy bacon in some some stuff in the mornin shower
and maybe you drank in a little bit before the night before and you're, really not all that good. Normally. You wouldn't want you would want to eat it of liquor that has added skip. It deals. But I stand error and I look at that food and I think how terrible it is and then someday a little voice would come to you as a dick you better eat. This consists may be the last he'll you're gonna have for a long time with that in mind- is that their marriage with town and gay down his muscles it in the is about a twenty minute flight to go up in your region, brujon with your tanker just off the coasts of north, about twenty thousand feet. You take on your load of fuel and then that this this experience between the time that combat started back off of your tanker,
and you make that turn and you start descended on a twenty thousand feet. Are you gonna penetrate north enemies, airspace and you're going to try to do it at a different place, each time not for the routine it was very solemn. There was generally very smooth the most serene. Thank you get ever say in prison. The coast of vietnam, which is normally on a farm, land and rice patterson thanks most peaceful thing, you ever said It has descended on a twenty thousand feet, because that loyalty where our mission was check your visor, petrified down your and strap upon doubly sure that all the sea to jail safety, pins or pulled up in your pocket. In an all of your emitters, tied because you don't wanna, have a transponder on or a beacon on and then you set up for the rockets in the mill set in and then yarn the guns and aids.
Therefore, a handful of minutes and you think gotta one the next six hours of my life is gonna, be like. Kind of an awesome, quiet solitude feeling in any pumped up to five hundred and fifty knots and then all of a sudden. Now this is kind of thought. The love the light level was really love because it I struggled early in the morning just and we just want to- we don't want to penetrate at dawn we're going to be there till noon, but that first time you have the You re feeling what does the next. Six hours of my life gonna be like in and all of a sudden all that changes Does the very first gunnar on the shoreline seizure every bloody tracer that fires you can see. It really easy and There's a lot of guns on the coastline. I know the drill and mrs common disrupt every day.
Then the whole skies is full of the most beautiful air ff I will show you where we say this massive massive display of them tracers when you try to find, maybe of god averted called a tear. And the curtain to make your way to make your way and by the ten, but the very first time First, guy opens up at you the tracers that who plan and risotto study about? Ah, it's odd. It is pumping, and its frickin combat baby. We're gonna be there in mortal combat with my fellow man for the next six hours, and I tell you this guy loved every damn. Second, it was a big challenge. Can hide your trucks and stuff in europe. War materials, the killer, soldiers in the south and we're gonna frickin, find it
and I'm going to round up some air force and some f one o five to come down there and bomb it and take you out. If any of you guys even have the thought of one of your class. Russian gun sites six position in a circle, thrall clay ex soviet with thirty seven? fifty seven millimetre and then there's the other one, fifty cow of the ones at fourteen zip guns, and then there is always the everybody has an acre. Forty seven. You fly by its mass in the mornings, although villages they all looked like sparklers and they're all shooting, but their student in Let us allow GI jenkins really hard till I can ever there our aim as and agenda I once want to. I would pick up a small arms round very rarely, but then it's the big stuff that wisdom they blow your hold. Our planet then it was fights on
So are you waiting for the further fighters, MR show up before you ingress you see, there's an error or a battle. For the day, frank column and we were assigned like that The other miss these several some other targets that were identified that we need to go up and make strikes on that area. And then just before they started, They were assigned yours, I'm at one or fives flight of what the final fives aura of force. Gun fighters are therefore are denying. They were assigned to us aid show up and we rendezvous and an hour to have the target and I go down and find it identified and then we die, we'd briefing them all escape routes. What the winds were altimeter setting you That's a brief that you're doing on station when we finally join up with him. Would so would you
that too. In order to find the target, would you have to go down right and look right? was the big problem. That was mainly why we had a forty or control in north it now because the guys guys it would come up there than up there all the time and their altitude and are a lot of times I find the time this was really unfortunate that they would go and draw bombs on villages, stuff, at night. That's a little village in that it bomb the villages and they say the morning miss Daly come up in the controllers would say here they had a the guy's wrap your last night. We killed forty trucks on browner out, and we go over there and there wouldn't be any trucks on brown route, but there was a village over here when we put an end all that so that I think that we directed The air strikes against legitimate military targets on the haughty material and now
good good, and sometimes they identified a fight it. They wouldn't have fighters, so they haven't identify it and then they would bring us the next morning. We go up there and find it now if you're up there, almost every day for six hours you get to know. I place like the back your hand, especially the gun sites. The gun size accuracy. Dramatically there was a guy and Laos. It was on the edge of a real rugged carson's of fifty caliber. We call him the kid on the cars and every morning we come up and wake him up and down. As we know about him, he would shoot exam. We a hundred and eighty degrees and it was the worst shot, an internet, always liquid How do you know that I am a lot there on the steep cliff Then why, in the world, why Would he led us, like a hundred eighty degrees around the circle?
and then I'd have a new mislead politics to say I won't show you want to put a fifty caliber looks like, and so we'd fly up the an economic arcy with fire, and will you come any closer but every once in a while. Some of these gone crews are really good. They would get us normal You could say more so the gun sites entity You'd see him, then you could avoid m or you could do not maneuver in such a way envied we'd name give em names and stuff that day. Equally, if the guy was really good and is key applause. This is a major soviet style gun site. There were well camouflage and we came by- and I had my belly up looking at something else, and they would fire and the tracer become those
fifty seven dollars of thirty seven caliber things as big as a beer can come by with that. With that red fraser come from- I really close, and sometimes you can actually here the shock waves like there like a baseball bat, around europe and then they know that they were really close and if there were really close and very clever and well camouflage, we frickin had to go back and kill him. At least I did and the thing that thereby combat If somebody is trying to cure you- and I bombers and where war too, they just have to sit up there and take it. They couldn't retaliate against it. But now I thought that was really horrible, but the misty. Had the ability that, if you were good- and you can't really closer me- fucker we're gonna come back and take you up. And so I'd rollback, rollback
be a ring around the gun side to be solely drifting away and then I'd pull. Just out of the range, and I think they knew what the draw was going to be after that, because I needed to go out and get some tankers, but I'd come back and well, we've scrambled the gunfighters out of the denying or we have a flight of four or five. So we could rob from the guys downtown hand away or something s sake. I got a target, for it is an extremely aggressive acts. Gun site, and I want to take on that. I want you to take them out. For me, quiet. Sometimes a misty would try to try to describe where the gunsight was by talk, into its? Why didn't have the markham ok guys and see the gulf or talking out there big river called cranky, wherever ok follow it then don't has doglike dame it see that zone
right at that place in you, try to talk on the long road and run off there? There's a field- if I tell him so times. I could talk amanda like us trucks, jerry or something, and they can get that that if I'm trying to two talkum into it verbally into a gun site they almost never can see it It's ok messy! This is your targeted frickin markham! Now what are you to go to what altitude to get a mark honour on a gun site well what the range of one of them was, and we just cause Out of the range of the thirty fifty, seven was low higher thirty seven was a little or and it was really interesting, as is this, the shells, whether these six position and they all open up and along shrimp tracers, and they did. Up and they get slower and slower and slower. And finally, the tracer go out
you couldn't see him anymore, but then they would start down. I guess, and then they would all self destruct Bu pump up a little puffs of smoke, rice they above them and that's what for I in five hundred and forty five thousand feet of it ray serves me right, answer, you're doing your best to fly above that range, You you to mark marker target. Do you have to go into that range? Or can you market from outside all know you you gotta get in there? They know to the drill. Is it it's up to you to put that white phosphorus smoking right barking rocket right on top and what you want to do is find out what the drift is. So you put the marking rocket just up wind and when the phosphorus goes off it, it blooms up, corporal ill drift over door, the gun. So when life first fighter down the shoot, he has a better chance because
Yet see him now and then he can come in and drop his bombs, but if it's you know, is it is it as a kid for the first time you climb up on a high dive it a swimming pool, walk out and all of a sudden, this fifteen foot looks like fifteen miles to pick up what the hell am I doing here, and it takes all the courage. I have the walk out on the edge of the board jump off for the first time around experts, something like that it's up, finally, that the circling him and and there they shot and they miss the mislead. Now they know what the drill is. And they know that if the first I do of missis martin? Their debt and some other concentration is, is the knock the message of the sky and they are all waiting for him, and sometimes you have to wait because
the fighters were available, then them they had what review or whatever so circling them- and I didn't want to drill- is instead as mrs Since his wings roll up past vertical What is your past vertical and a no starts down every gunnar knows that that they get a curative, they gotta kill them honestly say yet. Marker fucked, now there's a handful of seconds, because there's a thing called lead, line along, we could always draken. They would have a hard time track in us and give us the right led to his, but there's but for five seconds, where there's no led requirements, because I have to do is em right at the mistake because he's coming down the shoot right at you, there's no less. There's no led requirements or anything and there's a handful of seconds.
Vigilance when you ve got your nose at the target and he's gotta keep it therefore seconds to get your rocket off you're in it. There's an overwhelming urge this further aka down her way if it didn keep thinking this important because how I market, how accurately, if I can use the smoke to blind em. I owe that to the fighters that are coming up there too, and so it takes a lot of willpower from the nose finally comes down and then they're all shootin. Then it's all coming up your way and it to roll out pull down, but the paper just while the target and then let it ease up and make sure there's no yaw involved in the airplane and you're, not a lotta g, because if you haven't, if you're flying J, the the angle attack? Will change your marking and all that, but it said. And for seconds and it takes? Is this? Is it?
Just don't throw this thing out there, just like an eternity? Can you pull it up? and ended, stabilize it and then pickles and once smoke rocket comes out now. The bad thing is they escape route, and once you fired fairly low that are made a thirty or forty degree diving and went out you re out when you, when you fire of fifteen hundred feet. Okay, so maybe two thousand and fifteen hundred and two you are well within range. Okay. Now the worst thing you want to do. Is you fire the fire, the then the pole? walk straight ahead over the target. In order would do that so once you fire your role, the airplane about two hundred and thirty degrees to the right, you pull down into the ground And- What do you want to get as it is a tracking solution that they have to do something?
the skill to build a hit you tracking they ve already had this one chance where they are I have to do any dont get it. There was a little laugh. The lead you, so pull to the right and down rollings level. Now you come out pretty low, but there's where they can track. You now there's a big anger, velocity and stuff and your pulling up you come back around. He went a little look at your smoke and it's either hit my smoke or generally the fighters three or four fighters at orbit in. There is absolutely no frickin idea, no confusion because the whole thing the muzzle flashes just there in light of the world and then then its pay back time in the midst paused back up hit my smoke and any pull up around and had led roles in the now. They are.
Some trade only comment because he's gotta do the same thing. Coming down the shoot. Corsica, drop, his bonds. A lot higher, I was going to say: can he dropped from payments, Six, six or eight thousand or some let them so out of their range of. There was no vote they pull out there probably down within their their there leaf arranged for sure enough if your flying around and you see the guy role in there's, no there's no way you can tell a because of the angular velocities snuff angles off when he wrote. Santa drops his bombs now in his stick of bombs come off and he pulls off and then you say in the bombs fall it is the gun side them or flashes drawn up at it, and they see them and you see them down there, shooting like mad in any once the bombs common that see the gun sides, the bombs come in then
Ratification do yet when they hit some dead centre in sudden the most confirmation of dirt and nails again size, and then there's the guns, your lan over another bunkers are gone and sometimes sometimes it miss So what we do when David role in that then I would pull up in the opposite direction and make a fake pass adam that was a draw fire away from number two and he's coming down the shoot, and then we d do across maneuver, and maybe to do the same thing for three coming down to dreaded to try to draw some other fire and as a handful minutes that is pretty exciting and in four to six our mission. How many? How many would you go after it? Varied alot dependent on the weather, sometimes
a pretty it, usually a prettier, pretty high workload, if you're? Not? If here you can't you is assigned targets Sometimes all we want to do is rot bombs on a lot of road to do. A road cut took on the side of a cliff and try to close the, try to close the roads. They did a lot of that thinking, they're going to close down the whole human trail. We go down there and then after knows, we put in a bunch of strikes and actually have a road slide on the cliff, and I thought why that shut down the whole human trail. For while we come back at dawn the next morning, and the road is fixed. I didn't, calm down along those lines, but if one is it the navy went out and they mine, as some of the rivers like the twenty river and and they were magnetic minds and when they were like when a boat comes by with trigger magnet deal the magnetism of it and then it would blow up
for these these mines and set up there and they get more more more sensitive and is this. This was just fund because and saw the first guy down the river first, that more recovery, lower law down the river goin real fast in almost every terribly, we could trigger off some of those lies behind the statehood screw with em someplace good good over overview of what you guys we're doing up. Here I got again you you, profile. Some of these missions in here here's one of em, where there's a a down pilot, sit down in the jungle is one of our own, a fellow fighter pilot, a warrior still free and talking honest survival radio. So this guy got shot down, and here I am talking creed was it if you are free and war and talking, we will never give up on your rescue, the rescue force, that morning suffered numerous delays and mismanagement beforehand,
as could be deployed into north vietnam, permission to be required from some kid. In l b, jays whitehouse its the permission. Giver was asleep and no one wanted to wake him which caused it. Pensive delays at a time when every second was critical. Frustrations abounded on these on the for those on the rescue team, I'd for seven and a half hours the day before and would invest another seven and a half hours before The day was over with nerve ready to snap this jointed rescue effort continued and it was already close to noon my real if wells, jackson, misty to one had just arrived as you, being briefed a call, came from search and rescue headquarters in Saigon, cancelling our rescue and is Getting us to pull out all forces I was incensed with this turn of events, but the orders had originated from those much higher on the chain of command than I a lowly captain. Then it hit me-
since I was the only one who could talk directly to jack the down pilot gonna be my job to tell him, we were Giving up and abandoning him to the northeast enemies for certain torture imprisonment. Possible death. I was fury, aided what were they thinking? we were american fighting men and we never give up enraged. I demand to know who gave the order to pull out. Turns out. It was a general in Saigon who thought it was too risky and it issued the order to withdraw. I thought that general made the decision to quit general should be the one to tell scotch zero three that he was to be abandoned, sleep deprived in furious I ignored any sense of military rank protocol and demanded the general tell me the exact words to use when informing jack that further rescue attempts were being aborted.
While we waited for the exact words, I fear briefing my relief misty to one and with a heavy heart lies the area knowing we were about to fail, one of our own. Back at home base and food cat. It was now close to sunset. I sat slouched in the o club disillusioned that my commanders would could violate our most say. Would cree. If you are free and talking, we never give up alone in heart, broken my only company a couple of empty beer bottles. I contemplated my commitment to these high risk missions, It was then that wells, jackson, misty to one bursting the door with a big smile on his face. I do wonder what the hell you so happy about Heru routine. They got scotch out. I could not believe my ears and blurted what, acts and continued Yup. Was wrecked, rescued scene
the general could not come up with the exact words to tell a fellow warrior. He was about to be abandoned, Perhaps a general began to realize how such a decision could compromise as the long term, morale of all of us who fought died on the haughty men trail. My particular mention when they got him out say before whether that morning, ah well, actually the day before we're up there and there was a flood of o five, not under our control, but I could hear him talk in that scotch zero. Three. The number regarding. That's for sure, Buffon o five. They were calling on and on There was no answer, so I feel or to the area that they were working and display a fluke by glance by remit.
Maybe it s a second, I spotted the orange and why canopy at the top of the jungle, I flew up, pulled up to come back around. It disappeared. And the powers I memorized the memorize that spot before I took my eyes off of it again. So I pull Then I called and called there was no answer, and so did I hold up and I did a die bomb pass where I could talk to him. Head diving right straight at him at that point and I call scotch and he came back and I could hear me and he could talk now. There's just a handful of seconds. We can exchange shades information. Where are you I made our your case a diver, I hope colleagues has ever broken back and I can't move come and get me Now the sun was is going down and it wasn't enough time to generate a rescue force it's so see them door. The problem is that you
we'd, already done a six and a half our mission and we put scotch asleep that night and told him we'll be back at don t get you. And we went back to deny and landed and try to organise a rescue force that Morton and then, if we took off but three hours asleep, we took off. And just right at dawn. The next morning I came across a thing with my after burgoyne. Call him. There was no answer, so I pulled up back around and I dover that spot and then I could the question. He can give me the answer and then we pull off and we'd go away. So that's how we were going to communicate with him. Okay. This was this was dawn this fateful day. It was long and disjointed rescue, in fact age, up to helicopters, the hilton It would come in and hover They found him that night
located him and I set up a flat trapped as a new. We were coming back every time. One of the helicopters would turn into a horror, jolly grain nature, three airforce helicopter. They would shoot and don't shoot him up pretty bad and they did at the two of them and they got away. There was an a one sky rare that was also work in the rescue that mornin. And he got shot down and aid for some reason he tried to dead. Stick it into the Ben I river and it was killed. So we lost helicopters and we had one a one shot down and the pilot was cool. The whole morning was issued. It does be fifty two strikes common in and they pull off our rescue forces numerous times and let these big bombers These guys are thirty thousand feet. They drop their bombs before they even go free dry and to try to hit some targets.
They were near were rewarded, so we got pulled off back and forth so funny. The jollies, the jolly grains were trying to do to come across the border in the north norm. They couldn't get approval and I said something that was that was probably not very ah said, said something it wasn't very complex. Rate about these guys. It wouldn't come in and get my guy quits turned out. Then I learned about the fact they could. Because a sense not knows kid and they'll be jays white house that had to approve it. Nobody wants to wake him up and poor. He then the frustration level persists really high.
In other there's targets it we'd have but one when you're out there and you're trying to find and rescue one of your own. Then then that's totally different. Your motivation different. I kept thinking cod. That could be me down there. And so there was a guy named on indian. Nature s three. Now this This is after the time that I says I breathed em And then I says tell me the exact words know if he's gonna if he made a decision to leave this gotta die while dammit. Let him tell me the words. You made the decision. You come up with the words to tell him that down on me, hey I'm really attic and doctor, I'm gonna, to tell another touch: screwing come up with my words, let the generals words and then after the heavy heart likely said and done, is it turned out?
wealth came up and aid than general changes. Mine and only this time but anger. Came in and hovered they put them on. The guy's name was, the PJ had been a country three days. I think he was too striper pga that he's gonna be done on the ground. I know he was us long enough to hear all the horror stories about being on the ground in north vietnam, and then he came in to a hover and a drop. The pigeon down through the jungle to try to find scots euro. Three and I guess you roamed around- and it's solid tape- it's incredible tape, and well. Jackson is talking about a gun sighed over there that trying to love the reseller millimeter into the, you weren't and and wells backseat. He has a photographer that went along with him that day and I was six
yours and he was thrown up continuously, the inner phone dick. If you're, that that kid thrown up. But he came into a hover anyway on tally sergeant urban kelly yeah, that's the pga, it's the pages on the ground And he finally fatty were wrong around and found it and Now I had a vector the jolly green or now it's all very quiet, there's no ground fire, anything these hay and that its is for word forward. Ford says: okay, it's good drop, the bots of penetrate. Its long table with a special pete. You know what it is Then a trader device can like a bullet that can go down through the jungle and it goes on and on Third tell your arm until I puts the scots zero three on on the penetrating and then everything's plaid,
the guy sitting there, a nice hover england in as a coastguard exchange, pilots, an air force, pilot coastguard pop and they said: ok, and then tell me on the ground, is already honest. Look. I got him up in a pull there's a handful of seconds, and you can just imagine he said Nora hover and the cables coming up. Also slowly, How was it may have been thirty forty, maybe fifty feet in the sky, and then they activated the trap They knew this time that the jolly wasn't goin anyplace. He was. He was hooked. The other guys workday does get away, but they knew the jolly they had. The choice. Cutting the cable and Levin and on an egg, said later as guy. How could you sit there under that withering fire and is
There was no way I will ever leave one my pga on the ground I read, I mean mindset, incredible person. And is cable come up and in tat could squeeze the might, but not, as will radio amusements graven ground fire ground far take it. Take it grounds in the background. You can hear a tense automatic weapons fire in Tell you told it later. He looked up at the jolly and it was been. In all different directions being shot to crap? I mean the windshield was being blown out. There was hydraulic, fluid leak in the one of landing gear to just plopped out, and it was punches of fuel. Porn down in pieces followed down off the aeroplanes. Later. On I asked tell us is this is what a great thing to say After you know, you'd sacrifice yourself to do that, typical, bordered the skin,
he looked at me ass, his own, no sir, it wasn't not at all. He says I looked up and I did what the damn thing fallen on me anyway, Agone He was awarded the therefore cross it should have been a medal of honor and today I'm still trying to work out, especially since I found out an entire vietnam war that the contributions that them that the moraines- I'm sorry, that the main but the coastguard. This guy was a coastguard, James, while that whole war and all the people- supervision by the coastguard. In that war there was, one medal of honor one at that. Really a shame, and even today and signed a lot pride letters and in trying to get that thing upgraded does. I think it would be important that the contribution of the coastguard should be read enticed by one of their heroes and to do that. Anyway- they they got him above the jungle canopy.
In any translated away- and I was just a few miles- and he disclosed- ben. I river. There was a matter back, there called wrought pile, then they landed and that I don't think the jolly overflow again. It was shot up so Ben we ve got another situation in the book. And in this one year I and there's another plain another sabre: that's on fire and there's a does a general, you don't notice at the time, but there is actually a general in the front seat, the others it's another or a foresee something that really was flying accept. That was a reconnaissance work it was a rookie version of the phantom and So this guy there
their call. Seiners is strobe one zero, and so your reply. Next to him, you see that their on fire and you you tell them, pay your you're on fire and go to workers are strong ones. You acknowledged our call that he was on fire and stated were bailing out. This should have been a standard, dejection, they're, fine thousand feet street level at an ideal speed of about two hundred thirty, not everything was set for routine objection and water rescue which interesting when you talk about a routine ejection and water rescue, That shows your mentality. I had never seen an object, an ejection up, close the notoriously complicated f for Martin baker, seed known as the back breaker would be something to witness ease the old han to rout formation, while thirty feet out on his left wing and waited for what seemed an eternity. Nothing happened. Almost
who minutes dragged by before the rear seat. Finally, ejected later on, I asked the backseat of what had taken so long. They knew they were on fire. He said They had taken out the checklist and review dejection procedures. The gene or did not want to reject. They argued about the position of the command jackson handle in the rear, cockpit, the maid Upholding his duties, wanted it in the command eject position where the guy, in the back he the front seat pilot. However, the general insisted that it be left in the off position, thereby making each seat a single initiated a jet dejection. The major reluctantly, sat up straight the yellow handle between his legs and pulled giving the general lee the general to his fate from my and its point. The rear. Cockpit objection was text and I remember vividly the canopy opened in separate cleanly clearing the tale by at least twenty feet. The sea,
started up. The rails has the bottom of the sea clear, the cockpit the rocket motor ignited burned for one point two seconds and the sea went straight up very stable when the rock stop the small drogue parachute released and the sea rotated backward ninety degrees is cleared the tale. Looking over my right shoulder, I could see the main see nine parachute canopy at all, deployed as it started, open sea separated from the backseat piling kept right on going with the can. Before we open the pilots swung back underneath my father, thing was neat as hell. Until I looked back at the stricken aircraft when I was about to witness was chilling. It would be indelible imprint, which remained surreal an unforgettable to this day, I was horrified to see the front cockpit totally. In fire. I saw and a case flash from a white helmet that was barely visible through the smoke and flames. The general was sitting straight up as before, but motionless seemed oblivious to circumstances. Huge
flames that resemble giant blow. Torches streamed from the rubber pedal rudder pedal area at his feet. Through the cockpit around him and out. Through the now open, rear, cockpit, the fire had fish the phantoms interior and produce it its black smoke trail that obscured the tail? Strangely, the aircraft flew on terrified. I thought that We must not be aware of the fire, so I began to holler over the radio stroll one zero bail out, bail out a content the scream desperately, but the general just sat there doing nothing. The wings remained level in the aircraft now began a shallow descent, my god I screamed. Why does need jet eject? How can you just sit there? What the hell is wrong? Then I figured it out. Maybe he couldn't hear me. Was too far away thirty feet, so I drove the han right up next to the burning carpet screamed again: strobe one zero bail out bail out, then lend yelled. Oh my god, look at it burn
frustrated and half in shock. I wanted a just transpired, not ten feet from us. We moving closer so close air pressure between the two aircraft cause the fiery phantom to roll up into a right bank. As I pulled back there, Four turn ninety degrees rolled back wings level and pointed itself directly at the beach in We steeper descent, and we could no longer see the generals white helmet. Only a blackened charred canopy, the painter the entire nose was burned and blistered. There were a couple of small. Explosions, in the nose airy that blue solar panels loose and sent other pieces flying off the plane, the entire What front end was a charcoal colored mass, the orange yellow flame subsided, their debts, streaming backward over the fuselage for some, unfathomable reason I continue to call stroll one zero begging him to get out. Even Was obviously futile, we
they'd close on his wing and at five hundred feet, the old phantom gave one last gasp, pitched up a little window Straight into the beach and exploded you couldn't let go harlin's god, damn it dick pull up. I know, and stern direction was a wake up. Call it saved us. I might very well of crashed right beside strobe, I pulled Pard, barely missing some small trees behind the beach pulling to the left and in a choking voice. I told water boy stroll one zero, just impacted on the beach. Moments later, water boy asked whether there was any chance of survival. My plaintive reply was gave survival name, survival, now there's a you: have kind of going debrief this situation and there was a tape. The taper this whole thing nurse.
And there's something that you talk about in here, you there's something that you edited out of the tape. Was it some words between you and the general. What was it that limit them back up? A second There was a member, the the on the other, an eighteen minute gap eighteen, second gap first of all these years these were strongly high risk missions that these guys flew the wreck emissions five hundred feet and restrain level, and they would come and we will check in and they had their certain coordinates for departure and around since now, and they were chicken with us. Then we were down help em, identify it. Sometimes I need some help, identify and stuff and so I would stay up above these guys and watch em watch him with their
then other photo run straight level is getting shot up like mad flight straight and level up. There is almost the kiss of death at five hundred feet. Yeah you just never want to do that up there to fly straight and level. I would never fly straight and level the mrs head, four or five g's on us all the time drinking like mad, so We could really predict where we're gonna, be that's the only thing that we could survive at all, but One thing that I did know is that these were- Strangely high risk missions in in the northeast non by the reconnaissance guys, and they were. Owned by lieutenants and captains. Just like me, open a great nor the feel grade and dug, but never be a general answer, so I had just come off the tanker hidden internet, Vietnam- and I heard call that we were taken a hit, the northeast the case on, I think and work come out feet wet to get feet wet and saw ice as well
Ok, well, I'm just coming out and common there come out and we're coming back answer. I join up with him now reception, was that I was talking to the front cedar and the front, leader was captain. Just like me I had no idea was Adele officer. I had no idea, I was locked into a sea and major. The measures we take as you know, in the back seat so my conversations, my perception was that I was talking to a fellow captain. They were sitting in the front cockpit and that wasn't a case So we joined up with them m over. He looked pretty good and we had a real close up on anything we could see. There was a little bit of fire going on up in the camera by nothing, nothing bad. They were complaining about losing not the loss of utility hydraulics us, then it must get really hot, but that was all
I think that the general was up in the north korean armoured plenty well shouldn't a been, but it was. His last mission is a champagne flight. He was gonna, go home and he wanted done. They told me that he an extra or metal if he'd fluent in north vietnam, which you weren't supposed to So this general bob warlike fire pilot of good, really a good guy. He wanted to go up. There is, mission and bring back some good information, good photography and stuff. And so all of a sudden. Well, we wind up with them. He was about ten miles, feet, wet hidden south towards the name, and we saw the little fire. Then I was having a conversation with a fellow captain. No one that it was a general and. So we told them that they are on fire or had a fire. Up in the nose
we pulled off, like you said, like your bread in the book in iraq formation on his wing, and they took a lot longer than I thought to go ahead. And I found out later that they were arguing about another general set them. I don't the general really knew that there was that Say they really bad enough that they should that they should reject that's why the argument was in I am sure that he says ok when we get rid of this guy in the back, and I want to fly this airplane back and save it because If I lose the airplane and they find out, I was screwing around the north sea at LA they're. Gonna worry frowned at me, I think that was his motivation to get rid of it. In the back and then he could be the hero and fly the airplane back, which wasn't a case the problem. Therefore, the phantom was uk get rid of the canopy, it hasn't who married pleasure that has to where's the leading edge up or us, The win the normal wind speed, clamps clamps it down.
You just can unlock it because it won't go any place you have to have these plungers I think, when they got hit in the nose that plunger was damaged, And so he did not at the time. But the only way he could live was to get the airplane back as this injection system. Without the canopy gone, you can't eject through it under the martin baker. Thanks so that was in his. That was in his mind, so finally decided to go ahead and eject the fire here in any wasn't Ensure wasn't ready for that now. My conversation. The whole time was with that guy in the wide helmet and that fire that that was a conversation. We have had no idea that the guy sock into his hand in a parachute couple behind us. So that was my mindset that often thought about what I was saying what I was seen
What my reaction to that was This is. Why did I? Why didn't I say? Well, maybe he can't hear me: You know how absurd this is egg, a dick I didn't notice. Is this fire that the whole cockpit was on fire? I'm sure glad you told me about that non. It's gonna go ahead and any jack. I appreciate you telling me that I'm frightened on fire and the cockpits full so sit there and you gotta do something, So I call him in one stolen one bail out bail out screaming at the bail out in in their noses. Well, maybe can't hear me made how stupid is that for that? between thirty feet that it can hear me out a new age of radio that transmit for hundreds of miles. I mean it is absurd that yellow psychology of that and what hit you all of a sudden and then draw.
In so hard that I their pressure, the other, where he would obey he will crash in the office in this way you crash run on the beach not one to let go almost crusher beside him. We we pulled up and the water boy was the the controlling agency, the one that controls us in and out of the pack and bta and organizes fighter strikes. That was our controller. Then, all of a sudden, since he blew up now I've seen a lot aeroplanes crash and it was an unusual to see another. You combat loss, signals before and there was always like ok. Well, ok, another one, another combat large writer off and the war goes on. But pull up after the left.
They wanted and all survival, and I said, negative survival and then all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of interests in his crash site. They wanted. Does security up there and they want to get men of acts and never gonna, deploy a whole bunch of stuff and of what the hell is going on. It's that strange, your plane crash combat lost work goes on. So I went back. We're back found the backslider hanging in the parachute. Only this time The wind was very strong in the gulf of talk, and then it was very rough. Now we're down and selfie vietnam south of the border. So sampan that was coming out was coming out from the south. And it was a motor I sampan and there it was early. Rough enables bouncing so this is now a race between well guys. And the parachute and down- say: normally you can get killed.
On somebody out there screwing around they don't know. What to do. Well. Everybody's trained to jolly comes in. I didn't know what to do and how to take care of the parachute. Hey. You know all those issues you need to get Get you out of the water into a rescue craft, There are certain training. Davy will do all that many times Now, all of a sudden, we see this. This moderation How can we looked? We look at it and it's what's a sand, and on a job motorists in his book and it is gone. They can see the guy in the pursuit and he's going out there so I go by- has southie enemies flag on it mean? that war that doesn't men's square root of foxtrot, alpha flag is and so Harlan. I talk about, he was in the front seat. He was my students that day and I was in structure in the back during this whole thing So I look at him and I said well can't let that guy get back to the pilot.
And as I said- It will go ahead and hidden him and saw Harding I'm gonna came back on his return on final unthinking. You know, maybe, as is often the maize, and when are we to scare him so it the low passed by any just kept? Go on? and sizes Ok, what he's got the message in our discussion shoot em We turn final. The second time I have and thoughts, and us as well harlan when we put some twenty millimeter right across his bow. Ok, so harleigh did he in and but a stick of yours, I'm not a straight across his bow now is really needed. He was gone after this now straightway point. Right in front of an lady goes whoop boop on the and then he beat faq
treat back to the store and then the jolly green father came in and rescued him. After that now we go back to fuck. You know I went about another three, our mission that day and I didn't get back until noon, and so we pulled into food cat, and I notice that there was every colonel in the whole basis or tomatoes told Harlan ices what we did that it must have been a major fuck up, I couldn't remember that I'd better. They really bad, but but these damn curls here for and so open the canopy. And the first colonel up the snare says What are you doing here? most of the inside gone, you swore serbian saigon, What are you land? You were not also landers, this all mad at me and at night poland or the interfaces Harlan. I don't know what it is, but it's worse at what he thought and then
Guy finally found out that the realize is: oh, you don't know who is on an airplane? Do you reckon guy fella captain This is really a shame that sheriff syn. Honest off, and he says Oh my god, you didn't know it was general warley, an airplane. Now we re all made sense and he says This is all YAP. By the way, I got it all on tape. Because, when he heard made ass for the little tape recorder that we jerry rigged, provided that the hard store and I've a jury rig apply. That whatever I wanted into my headset, that I could recorded it and look assets that was his car. Might it's. Why handed it to him in the colonel, took it says you caught it on tape. Wow when he was holding resources needed what to do with this or gave it back to me? Thank goodness,
And he says: go get a class with a uniform on there's going to be a sti, thirty, nine scat back to bring you down. There are some generals that want to talk to you done at Saigon holy frick The last thing in the world at this little up country pole Pilot wanted to do was hanging around with forced our generals ads. How many generals at you talk to you at this point and uniformity. Vietnam in general, should look for champions sweating the two three nine come up and pictures and on our way down to saigon, he united listen to the state inside played it and there was something in there that was extremely inappropriate just language wise up here, one is dead and I'll. Take that what I said to the great friends, and so I riera recorded at over it,
exactly eighteen seconds, loungers, just like Nixon's minute tape, and it's it's a damn good day too, that I read that I took them are there because every one of those damn generals wanted his own personal private briefing and so had to play it over? over and over again I think it god I'd served at her face death There is, as it was, a shame to along with that there, says he had two daughters, general worley, good guy firebomb. And they call me some years later and they wanted to go down and they wanted to go to vietnam, where her were their father had died Nobody could tell him. Where was the exact location but but these two ladys they need to go to the two. An exact spot out there to build a memorial and and have closure were right where their dad died.
Nice try to dry it out or my memory and describe exactly don't turn left here and there little town called for noise and you go to them each and you turn left and you go a hundred yards and that's where he crashed well, as it turned out, it was a hundred yards, the other direction that it that it didn't matter because They went there and they sent me a picture of a memorial and they were hugging each other and it was it was kind of a closure. It was a nice thing form. No, you got another another thing that you read about in the book. You write about your friend, Howie howard, K, Williams. What what happened with him. And what was this this mystery. Call that you got can you talk is through that here the mist. Is we were we were kind of a unique group. We were done some highly classified stuff
and we were separated from most of the in country fighter, pilots that flew those toothpick monkey, deaf vacant, monkeys, definitions and self. And sometimes we find those missions and irish troops in contact, and it was a lot going on. We go on our role and brought my bombs and late that here, there's a combat down there I want to be part of it. What happened, who am, I was told, I wonder- deals with it. And I just did not a climate new fibres. My airplane not known about it, that's why I wanted to go to messy out about missy say I want to go there and its a volunteer thing. This is not one of the requirements, as you have to be a slightly in ice is ok I'll go I'm going to go to miss the I kept bugging, my commander of the squadron commander and he said no, let retail europe beyond
we pilot here a new bees saturate months, forty six months before you can think about a check it out as a slightly so I kept bugging him and bugging him and bugging him and he finally just got pissed off and he says okay got damn it a slightly check, which I was no more qualified experts or anything and so I went out and I didn't do a very good job as a flight. Slightly fact, I think I got hit on that and in country in country hit was very rare, getting yet from in country. The biggest thing to have it may be a fifty caliber a hidden. The gun day? As an example, I screwed up here's a target right, we're gonna, go undergo flatter for, and the wind is blowing So what does I do little they're trying to be a slightly
He chooses in other three targets. Downers example: and so what I do, I tried going to attack the target. That's up wind. So if it's up when there's a purchase spoken, the smoke drift over all the other ones they have to hit, as a newbie screw up The commanders commander says goddammit. If you want to go to mislead, then you can go, get get the hell out of here, I see again and so then I will. This is classified guys head were we had. We are all air conditioner, little trainers out in our own little control, malaria, and that's that tipperary under the spear, and if that is where the action was and that's where dickey wanted to be Foi that was so so happy and enthralled with that. That's why I stayed to do a second tour to do. Actually, one hundred missions mistake.
So then, I went up and what I saw in the north the norm in areas that we were a different world and there is a lot of a ground fire and a lot of money targets the had been hit and we went back thirty. Five years later, we back with five guys I flew combat with, and I wanted to go back to that area. We caught the route pacts. And the north vietnamese orphans and about six different areas. To the navy has and the nurse the ones up around. Anyway, and we were ruined one's own endlessly. Panhandle just above the dmz is got repack. One.
So that was now. I was up. That was our primary area that we flew in all the time and the world I go on with that. While I was trying to get to the what happened with howie, nor with howe, oh with howe this. Now how I was are answered: getting old, graybeard how he was the top gun or gun school. He was really good. He was a fighter pilots fighter pilot that I had a cute little blonde wife couple of little kids. Just it was a cool guy anyway, here dern, gunnar or school, he had an engine failure. He ejected in gunnery school, and when he got back is as well. How know how go you know ritual? Why ejected you? What happened? Everybody wants a known,
and he says: well, we all they had happened. This is it jarred. My he came back and he says, is his glasses were ajar? Is sunglasses were jar? That's is That's what I am optimistic that go with it gets aga schools so, This is, how are you gonna come up to miss optimistic, and this is where the action is now. He didn't want to go and Then I was so excited about what we were doing in his our top gun guy and I don't think he was is had the adrenaline or that little combat land as bad as I did and die. He finally acquiesced ere. He join mr andor. On his first shut out riding it. Basically, you got to him. Unbridled aims to wins out, and bride where there are no miracle.
Report on a very hot area up and louse. And sure enough they got hit on fire and answers the fire was burning from the east compartment all the way well almost all the way into the back cockpit, and they said: ok, we're going to have to get up so they headed up remote area in the jungle to eject. And he says the horses o Brien is ok go and howard is ok, I'm right behind you, nuts last words here reset and brian, And I was up there flying another, Sorry, I heard her does and what turn over there and the jolly grain was real close and they picked him up pick up Brian But nobody heard and I was ready,
statuses were worse. Howard, did you see a parachute and he didn't say anything? I was kind of beef about that, but it was howard is my best friend. And I always down and I never heard never heard from again, but they did locate the wreck site younger, you didn't think there was any human beings anywhere near the place. But he went down and he was there's a little ridge and you can see with airplane clipped the jungle that was burned and went down into the canyon, and you can see the wreckage and so every day I would go up, there are real, slow, must kill myself trying to real, slow and looked down in there to see. If I could see anything, but it was just a wreck site, I didn't hear a thing, so I thought I have to go up there and on the ground and see my my best.
Buddy, it's my maker. I made an arrangement for the conference on in cape E. They have have a radar site side up there and they fly helicopters that they put the road. What shape you guys, your your vintage tat they go up there in the snake ears. Like talk of this, the classics they cater, and they put these guys in the watch, the roads and stuff and report back and forth. It insert of man, and I try to take him out the stuff. So I contacted them. I says Can I get a ride in just you on your way in drop me off at the wreck site and then, when you're going to leave an hour or two and then come back and pick me up and bring me back Then I will know what happened to howard is. If I see an injection seed or somethin there, then I don't know whether is dead or not, aw I had sat there all up ready to go.
Am walking around bobbin inner myself to examine the summary courts officers. Oh, you have to you're familiar with some reports because somebody gets killed Well, somebody is designated as the is the guy that has to take care of his personal thing and pay all his bills and pack all of this stuff up and write the letter to his wife and stuff. Saw that was my duty for that that I didn't like and I'm all set ready to go, go over to Dan KP and they are going to take me out of the wreck site. You get this phone call and it says he says he said it was a major some major, but I can't tell you my name. He says I know it. Gonna do tomorrow, hijackers. This is dont. Do it it's been taken care of. And he said: do you understand that I says guys been dont? Do it is when taken care of understand that
and then before I get ask any more questions he was gone, so I didn't go. Now. There was eighteen fifteen. Eighteen years later, when I found out that the that new. That howard was dead where they actually killed him. Hours they killed everybody, If you down allows the policy was that they killed you every single one of them. There was no captured and north than in norfolk, you're about your valuable asset. Not if you bail out North he had, the civilians would kill you if they got the gutter to your first. The gun had fact, get another story of another four or five pilot that I shall be a decapitated with machetes right before my eyes. The day about howard it was thirty. Five years later, they found out what really happened.
He was found on the ground and the two stories. One of them went up. There took his dog tags, I said he was dead, he had a broken leg and he was at the foot of a tree, but I know what happened. He was our brokers I again he was there and they went up and killed him and took his dog tags away from them and he told the farmer to bury him and that it had buried deep enough and he was soon by a large jungle animal. That's all they found of em eight ten years later, when we finally buried him unknown and aren't what is it were or what was the f one o five pilot that you saw get beheaded up, there was the coastal plain. Now the council plan was flat
right up to the edge of the ocean and it was all farmers in rice, patterson, farmlands and very splash. Sparsely populated regions. And we were on a mist emission one day and I looked and come at right and left me with this thing that was Fire far did know that the one oh five, I was even there and it was a big shot like I was burning like mad inside hold up and I could see- was trying to make a turned towards the water, and fairly low altitude- maybe three or four thousand feet or lower Then I was in talking to him or anything, but it more. Join up with a kind of high to watch him now I knew realising day was on fire burned like mad this, if one or five hundred chief he's trying to turn, To get to the water, It was kind like a rude in section to us too he's an airplane. You don't come on. Hang in there, you are you're gonna, make it your almost there you're almost.
And then there was a big explosion in airplane and it rolled upside down and the pilot ejected. And he was high enough that you gotta go to in the air. In the one five went over and when he finally hit the ground look like ten cancer napalm and the biggest fireball I've ever seen. And so then now he's fairly low altitude is hanging in pursuit. So I came around it too reclaim, and you could try to see You can see the shadow that the pursuit and make and you can tell a kind of her high ones. So I turned it. So I came around base a final and I came by within dragging the way and the wing In it I mean really love twenty feet, maybe right by now. He'll decency landed in the rice parry his helmet off you
they can his helmet off anyway may as I went by, and it was so close. An acre recognises this. They now knows that there is a whole bunch, other gunners, that we're just shoot like mad, and so we pull up back around and then it was strange to say, I could see him on the rice patty and there is a perfect circle of black circle round him and never, it's all kind of collapse and on his on his porn. Athletes is black circle and there was a black pajamas everybody that black silk pyjamas, everybody that would work that they work and then he started running in this collapsed into a kind of a heart attack my next pass. I came are already low again and all the farmers The farmers were on him and they all have, machetes and they were chopping him up and dad. I pulled up and then you have really mixed emotions, because
I had the ability to kill every one of those people twenty melamine. I could kill her one of those farmers that then you dont know if that is the fire pilot was was alive or not, probably wasn't but yeah there's no way you could take any risk and the minute you pull up. You have a really a heavy heart holy crap. You know pretty emotional thing. There was a. There is also another rescue. There was another shoot down. There was none other, maybe a number of weeks different, Here again it was another if one or five pilot women He had his wing man and I got shot down and turn up there. Found his parachute canopy on the top of a ridge. It. Run off the quake. There was a quake river self worth cranky river and there's a little village down. There
the very steep slope that went up to the top of this ridge. Came over came off I looked at it, and I guess, he's parachute and so So I came round eyes. Women is with me in we're talking in and I made a really bad decision. It really screwed up and I still feel birdie bad about it today that I made a mistake. Shouldn't have and it is, I should have sent him to get them to get. From our tanker right then, but is I can see the people in the village and ever start up the hill, and so we too turns trying to put some strife. I wouldn't strife and people, but I was putting strife between the people and in the pilot, and I couldn't see, as is parachute anymore, and it never came up on voice either And so we both doing that and citizen at him out to get fuel,
leaving him there to keep the more we got there, you go and I couldn't went out and got fuel but all of a sudden we were really involving keepin near the people away from them, so we could set up a rescue. I realise that it should have done this to start with a distant major monsieur screw up on my part. I still feel bad about it today. Is it didn't check and see how much you know what you're feel safe and we're ran out of fuel at the same time, so both of us had to leave and water, take her home. We came back there. No voice anything and the one or five pilot IRAN. I've tried to find who these policies were in the guy, lives on the top of the ridge. I found He died, he never made it backs as a prisoner of war, but the guy that was in the rice, patty did.
And I don't have their names right now that it's not important, but anyway, I was wrong about then I found out later that guy got killed. They d get shot a butterfly, hours and the guy on the top of the ridge he got. Cap the new data to prisoner war- and I found out about it when they Finally, got release a night in seventy three other think it was so As you're doing this and again this incredible detailed stories in the balkans, these? These missions that you're doing. Fast forward a little bit too well I guess it's a pretty notable mission for you, you're simply doing a test of a of the theory of bringing guys up that you work.
Directly with is that right we're biggest problems is target accuracy, and you know I'd, hang it out and find a really great target in front of the barge at the front of the storage area, and we have a flight of I dunno. Maybe it was a coincidence, but my perception was that the air force could we get the ground. Much was my target. It was not unusual that the that we put a fly, I therefore say on the target: in media was that the there, ordinance hit within ten thousand meters of my target, no visible damage. It was very frustrating have a beautiful try, you know come in and I couldn't hear anywhere near, and sometimes Sometimes I get so frustrated that go down mrs would do this anymore. It's mostly we had
for deck that were supposed to have, and I get so frustrated they go down in the trucks that they couldn't hit. I go down and take out a couple of them with my with my to twenty millimeter cannons, and after given that media, as is just before they leave frequency. I pull up and said he I got In addition to europe to obedience now we could include. For ourselves we don't get fired, but it's war ended and damage the structure, Bullets are gonna courier chill, our kids in the south. You know it's worth taking a risk. I thought oh by the way out, revise your media. You got two trucks till then make any sense, but but the so this new idea was of guys a you were different aircraft that were, you thought would have a better chance of hidden targets, ok, now
You were frustrated about the ability to hit the targets, and that was a big, ongoing frustration. We find it market accurately and nobody gets hit it pretty It's a side note happen once and not on why there was a flight of navy a force after kitty hawk. No mats, and I- Work, the navy, because we all know what the navy was soon an inner force area, but there they were and I had a what I look like was a storage area had bunkers and stuff looked like there's, fuel or ammo storage area, pretty good target, and so wow they force would come up and Nomad would check in in late all sound differently. The navy would sound different than therefore guys was roger. I gotta bucker storage area. I described the target to him. And, as is ok, yeah agreement.
Warm up guys get ready to go cause amateur amend. Mark said I pulled up, and put a nice mark in the target. And up that's ok at my smoke. And I waited and waited and waited and funded the smoke. Excuse me started to dissipate, go away and ask him Then I ask him, I says a nomad. Is it's only problem? They say my smoke. He says oh yeah, I saw your smoke misty. But I was waiting for to get the hell out of the way. So I can see what the target was. I had never heard of that I mean this is really strange air force, guys don't do that. They just want to come up there, piss off their bombs and get their counters and go home early, some of them and- and he says- oh, ST? I see what you're looking at wow, and now he took over we don't normally the forward air controller, we control the strikes and I know what it is, it is ok and he
scribe due to the other. His three is flight. And he says, ok to you, put your target, your bombs are, and three and so forth, and he controlled oath I and on setting back This is why it was really cool. They did it almost like a burn for a couple of days, and I took some pictures of it she wrote a nice letter to the to the navy. For god's sake, and they invited us to the kitty hawk and we went out there and spent three days combat opera. She's off yankee station this because a review, a nice word europeans are seeing these nomads They found the navy. Camaraderie between attack pilots agenda in fighter pilots and its big colorado. And they were hanging out with them for a while. Now what I myself in an argument about substances
jake ideality says you're talking, like a fighter pilot guises. Take that back I can there really are you waiting for her part or two, but it was the experts that we had them? so anyway, what we wanted to do this day? Is it now. There's guys in that draw bombs and selfie vietnam, their work and troops in contact. You got a bloody leaders, don't piss bonds off around, like we do up north, It has to be very accurate because there's troops in contact and there's other friendlies on the ground and the the forward air controllers in the south make great. You know they go to great lengths that we don't go in balls, people, and so now these guys, you really hit targets, and so it's my my buddy chuck here. In fact, we were kind of
high school, but is in some way we come from the same area around nine over which the chase the same girls and so forth. So anyway, chalk head. Chuck is finishing up his first tour he might have had I dunno sixty sixty sorties and I was working on hundred and eighteen, one hundred and five- I guess missy missions, and I had about five more to go before I was my normal rotation, I say, chalk this your ship, it's like I'm about to I'll go with you, and your backs are now he'll, be here campaigns lionel billow article in the orange cove registered offices to hometown? boys complete, complete combat tour in their whatever little blurb. Some little poured out newspaper. I thought that's all I was gonna be so I had this. This is gonna be
test and so chuck and I were going go up there and try to target now. These are in country guys a hidden been to north vietnam, I said now we gotta find a real, safe target for these guys. Some areas that you don't take dubious into someone really at some intense era. It's all looking around for a kind of a benign area. In a best we had come up with some goddamn truck part, He sought, of course, wall up, thereby Lou river, oh road and struck, wasn't camouflage or anything that should have been a clue. Railway, so. Finally, we looked around and he says well, this is about the best we can do. But now this is a test, this guy, the in country guys and they sent up some fighter weapons, guys guys been through the the top air force's top.
In school fighter weapons nellis, we call on patch, whereas guys with their work, their patch that they've gone through the wider. The top gun school are guys really good, so there were three of them, then they come up and we briefed them and guess. They could see the truck and guys it's ok leads in and he roles in he misses That is a force. Did he pulled off MR damp truck These are the same sorry, I forgot the reset my altimeter bullshit z, ok too, and he had some other excuse- that his mill site didn't work right He must not solve the long and short of a disease. Three expert passwords for burma inaccuracy you know the first guys should have taken that truck out. You know they could drop it right in the guide, the truck's glove box if they wanted to what the hell's going
So all of them all the mist now right there. Our test was over. Then it should stop right. How are stopped it, but, however, that damn truck was still sitting down. There that's where I want to take this in a book. You say we couldn't bear to fail. Free passage, same results and no twenty millimeter hits on the truck chuck decided misty fact should give it a shot. Someone should reminded us that when the twenty millimeter guns are beyond thirty, five hundred foot slant ray the bullets just tumble and are rendered worthless. Until now, we had all phone above forty five hundred foot, hard deck, unwilling to deny ourselves the stupid truck that seem to do be just sitting there. Taunting us chuck went in the past, Where's couldn't do it. We would, however, we were. We were the forward air controller, not the fighter bomber and what we are about the dew was
direct violation of standard protocol. I check the altitude indicator we degree dive angle, put us flat and right next right on top of the road, the cars which was now a blur close and right next to me, we were low enough I could even see the pebbles on the road. This isn't. No kidding low angle, luke gun school strafed pass chocolate. Throttle in full burner burner real steady as only chuck and fly in the weeds. Now he opened fire and put a long concentrate a burst of twenty millimeter cannon right on target. I could not see the truck from the back seat, but was certain he plastered great. We got ba the test, successful the champagne sweet, even though the details were we're gonna, be fudged, a bit fudged hell. In reality, this mission was a total failure. What happened in the next two seconds would nullify everything we had done. Chuck came if the trigger and started a hard climb as the high
Gee came on. There was a loud bang under my right, see it sounded as if pete rose and hit the bottom of the fuselage, with a baseball, bat and a home run swing There was a wash as my rearview mirror was filled. Fire when we pulled up. I could see the fires glow on the cliff wall. Looking around terms, there were no good options for an objection. I'm afraid it's hanoi hilton. Here we come the dropped had gone, dry and chuck called for a heads up as we are to clean the wing and jettison the external fuel tanks pylons and rocket pods. As we pulled up the other f one hundreds joined us and reported, we were torturing and confirmed it wasn't in internal fire, chuck pulled it out of burner the any angry red fire in the mere change to a white vapor. The after Burma flame had ignited fuel stream and without at the fire choked itself out The fire was out, but we were hemorrhaging fuel at a prudent at a prodigious rate. There was talk about
running off generators, transfer, pumps, looking for a tanker, etc, but no practical steps. Lucian presented itself as we look ahead, at the coast coming up in the distance and watch the fuel gauge rapidly on wind. It was painful obvious. The gauge would read empty before we reach long before we reach the water. All we can do now was reflex the relay the after burner and use the remaining fuel for speed before a completely gushed out hoping it still make it to the safety of the gulf of tonkin. The guy's on our wing looked closely to see if the fuel was running inside the fuselage, where it might blow us out of the sky upon relighting the after burner. They let us know it didn't look like it. There is no way to know for sure Pilots like to fly close For some reason it seems the close You get the more here you can lend stricken comrade as we look at the small farms of the coastal plain knowing
Farmers were waiting with machetes in hand. This decision. Became a no brainer chuck calmly called Ok, we're gonna be like the burn. We had never seen two wingman go from close fingertip too high, forward spread rep. Formation so quickly, has got away from you mumbled something about candy asses and if those patch, whereas it hit the damned truck, we would be in this fixed he paused the throttle, arbor board and re lit the burner. The white we're stream in my mere again turn. Red with fire, the women said no sweat. It's only torturing, while some tor It was only seven it for seven hundred feet long. We were accelerating in a slight com climb low on fuel with wings. Cleaning going like stink. I think we, I may have gone supersonic chocks to to release the burner was a good one and I look like we might make it to the water pilots To prioritize thinks only
after returning to fruit cat did I remember, hearing allowed rattlesnake sound in the headset and noticed something on the glare shield are fret warning system was showing a sam missile. Was going wild surface to air missile. Launch flight panel lit up like a christmas tree We were for air force flying straightened level to the coast, a perfect target, but no one in our formation gave this warning. More a plastic passing glance. Normally, would it we would have called sam salmon broken for the deck afterwards pat, where led told me. Yes, I do remember that I just reached and turned it off For some reason, the enemy did not launch the sam's probably thought we were going to die in the fire. So why waste a missile I believe most warriors during times during the entire in of combat resign themselves to the likelihood that survival is improbable, as Sat there watching the torrent of fire behind us, the unwinding food fuel gauge and the distant and that distant
most growing near deepen my site the small glimmer of hope emerged. Maybe we can make it we might actually get out of this alive, not dead and not as peeled abuse, half way to the safety, the water. I made a promise to myself that if we could make it to the coast and eject and get rescued, I wouldn't becoming up here anymore? This is hundred and fifth misty sortie almost twice is that of a normal, normal misty tour. No one ever say I was a coward required her mind, action had to be done perfectly idle and visualized what it would be like to eject on that violent rocket. See writing an up and out I'd still in trained for each of the procedures. I even joined D skydiving club and completed fifty sport parachute jobs. I couldn't have and better prepared I'd always, and paranoid about. My personal parachute made it clear that no one else was to touch it ever. I would matter leslie adjust the straps to my frame. Since I had practical experience in skydiving, I was well
acquainted with the agony to the growing area and the twins that resulted from an ill fitting harness a perfect fit was critical and was always, on my mind, private ejection. I consider a few things but many secrets I remembered running out of fuel chuck had the hunt. Full after burner, and we both watch the fuel gauge on wind zero. I always wondered how accurate those gauges were and was to find out as the needle. Asked empty. The engine quit. This was not a sudden flame out but reminded me of a pilot slowly pulling the throttle back to idle However, the european did not stop at idle but continued to unwind. I recall that there were a lot of towering cumulative clouds off the coast chuck and I searched for an area to exact and as soon as we spotted a break in the clouds, we knew it was time. The eight you want thirty hercules search and rescue plain crown. Six had just popped in it. You which was comforting during the
of this entire catastrophic mission. My cosette recorder had been running, but I neglected to remove the tape and put it in my pocket prior to ejection bomber. As soon as we made it to the gulf, I experienced an odd sense of com. I realize this will be my final combat mission. This was the first. I truly believe that would make it out of the war alive. Was going home to see my family all to do now is simply rejecting get rescued, had complete faith in my equipment. The way There was good and the gulf glass smooth and inviting was welcoming me. Yes, who is going to be a piece of cake, had the ideal, speed and altitude necessary first successful ejection. I said well chuck it's time to go I reminded chuck about a half second delay on his seat here, bonded. No, if you go first, there's no delay I began argue, but thought better of it, ok Visor down straps tight, elbows in had
hard on the head. Rest closed. My eyes lifted this eat handles and while squeezing both triggers wondered what next five minutes of my life, would be like to avoid being anywhere near the hans point of impact, my rocket seat fired and the e ticket ride up the rails was slow smooth and wonderful. It worked once cod I kick the seed away from me in my shoot, opened with a jerk looking around. I saw three f one, hundreds crown six and a couple of that force that adjoin the orbit I looked around for chuck burdens. Bottom or a crippled. Hon. I can only assume chuck had waited a while and ejected inside a cloud I reach. The survival radio turned it on and expected to hear my shoot, locator beeper, but heard nothing idle. To emergency objections in my lifetime and the shoot beepers failed on both I tried to call all but couldn't work, the damn thing with my helmet on so I put the radio away.
The next item was the four line parachute cut sure enough. The conakry see nine shoot. Canopy would oscillate side decide as air spilled out. One side than the other eye loves I diving was eager to test the four line cut. Cutting four of the twenty eight lines would allow air to escape in a controlled manner and stabilize the canopy. I grabbed my government issued blade knife and reach, for two shroud lines on my right and cut them next. I grew the two left puppet knife around the shroud lines, cutting those two clean, but horror. There was another I had actually accidently cut into one of the four suspension risers I well, we turn to survey the damage and saw the nylon web riser was caught. Ninety percent of the way through had I cut it, completely. The shoe would have collapsed and I would have streamer into the gulf
my heart was in my throat, my god fly a hundred and fifty five misty missions and die by my own hand, think Jonesy, the first misty to fly a hundred missions did the same thing on his final mission. Bail out, do not give it. Pilots knives much later, someone in the parachute shop got smarten, took away the noise from the flailing fighter, pilots and replace them with a forlorn released system that required no cutting hanging in the shoot. I took one last look at north vietnam, remembering all tat had happened to me the past eight months as the realisation that I would not be returning to a I was flooding flow. With an unanticipated sense of relief, I remember deploy my raft and in my survival kid, but was so shaken from the knife and parachute episode that I've. God to activate my underarm life preservers until before hitting the water, without them The weight of the survival gear would have pulled me straight to the bottom. The gulf sinking me like a brick. I barely had time to inflate. One side is my feet: it the warm clear water
no wind, my settled right on top of me, what a mess I struggled to untangle myself pulled the right, left over and boarded. I. The to relax and enjoy the quiet solitude as a new member of the ecb exclusive gulf of tonkin yacht club It was amazing how clear the water was and how good survival smelt. Yeah as the high as I read as a read. These are these objections? Where's am always surprised that you guys, have time to think about it and set it up. Kind of Who is in my mind, I always picture dejection Joe, you get it and you have a second and use pull at you go and then you guys are said nothing and I go guy well. Boeing looks like we're far enough: we gotta get out the tube. You have time to think about it,
this particular region. There was a. There was a lot of time for that. You that we talk about about the warrior ethic a real warrior if they work about. At home, is that, where the shares of work, the muzzle stay on it. If you get it, go up and do warrior type thanks. You have to accept illustration. You're, probably not gonna make it in which you do that, then you can become they were. You can focus on the job. That's right in none. Fire burned out there, and I thought maybe I was gonna make it for the first time I thought this premonition about about being captured in fact I used to go down into our intelligence, such certain where they could get alot of classified information. Not I surprise about how They knew about the prisoner war status.
They interrogators in their name and the new guy village, and what was going to happen to you in those rope, tortures and stuff. That was very, very familiar with that, and it was like a premonition and we got hit and pulled off. I thought this is a man of what are they calling the rat something else as well. I think I'm gonna be able to meet the rat now and then all of a sudden at full transition that that we may make it to the water and then for the first time I thought up gonna make it. And since I done to tour almost who tours nobody, you'll be any problem has man. I felt everything that I needed everything I wanted to know about it, you know- maybe it's a selfish thing can I be one of those warriors. Can I those guys that for those
since over nazi germany, when three out of four died did I have. Did I had the courage? Did I really do that and I found out Heaven it information to me subconscious lee for my own personal psyche was very important Never love! Others too, I made a survey of simplified or pilots, and it is The thing is: what happened when you first started be shot at the very first reaction, the very first time, and we knew we talked about in the book a little bit the first? The first reaction was the audacity scared, not I'm gonna, drink away on, indeed down between my naser or whatever. It was audacity of that son of a bitch to shoot me, that's the first, reaction and maybe
That's so I don't know, you're right a passage into being a warrior. So was the survey. It was, it was survey that I there This mainly fellow fell a fighter pilots and I try to answer some of the the people that were that. Would that had good ground ground compact. I get it jack. What was their reaction that I was unable to it to release. That was an informal thing I just wanted to know about it: was a unique or what this very, very typical of what happened when it first get shot, and I felt That is probably fairly typical, that there were Many of the guys that I knew about that I flew with when they first got shot. The duck down and scream from my mother for or whatever since the audacity, and then, if you
survive, that you're a warrior, and I I would like to think that maybe that was a pretty common thing to have on all aspects of the mortal combat with your fellow man so that was your last comment. Operation, vietnam. So what What happened after that? I mean, after that you did it did they give you an option say all right. You know You can head home now I still had my one, your tour and I was Only had about a week for ten days. Now, the mysteries fewer involved in something like that. Nobody give us any crap about. Illegal. Hats are illegal moustaches for us our picture. You must be our guide, then I legal committee goddamn you wanted to do here. There is always some spitten Paul. Colonel that would come up and give us give us a bunch of crap about
things that are not really germane to combat operation, jungles of frequent vietnam side in my shoes or something like that- and this is Gay colonel I wanna tooth. This is schedule for mystery one one in the morning. When did you take my mission for me and I'll stay home and clean? My shoe, that's ok, cool so basically, if you're and if you are in an environment, probably I'm gonna make it anyway. That was your mindset. We did a bunch of other stuff. Quiet. Our own dc three whole dc three, and we did. We go back for the hong kong anytime. We wanted to more resourceful heavy one oradour where you meet your wife in hawaii. The eyes were married. We gotta hawaii where we going and forged papers or one of them was we go down too, a person hours. They add men off,
and they have these forms and one of the four was a off. For emergency leave. So we got a real one. We looked at it and somebody typewriter, and so we could copy that that form nobody ever checked on it. That may have it was authorized. Form, and so in my example aid of authorization asian, some colonels name and rejoice fun. Signed his name with the left hand or the writer looked official but his folly itself could be dismayed by and is one of those and I went down to the EU. Cargo area. Forget and I this and within twenty four hours, I was back in the sack with my wife in Sacramento.
This was after you got shot down, no, no! No. That was just normal during the during the eight months that we were just took his emergency go to hong kong with nobody mess with us at all. The only thing that we couldn't forge was pay, probably lucky you couldn't anything else, you would you private, they private reprisals. About now, they would have got there now in the bedroom, but but as far as anything else, we go and do it over the hill. We wanted to. And not only that mrs were known fora off. I gotta give yourself into its are calling card would you do it? Everyone to someone down. I spent seven days at home, which is totally illegal you're, not in social go home at all my emergency leave favours work, just fine and so I travis airforce ways were my wife and my My daughter was there and went back,
and I gave her my emergency leave, orders and- this matter there at the military, transport or mac terminal. Ok, you and your wife, Go back, have a I steak dinner at the club and not by the wine and come back here tenant we'll be on your. We got a flight gone out for you, and so I did and, like I said less than twenty four hour, I think in twenty hours I was back in phuket. I thought I could was commute to this, so it was it was really a devil may care. You know you just were mrs. We do all this stuff and nobody's going to fuck with it on the ground earlier knowledge and show you my calling you get a kick out of this.
It's up to sides authentic and look at the real, so side, one says: get fat act by a super fac, because they were the super savers- they called him super facts. Give fact by a super fact call misty for appointment. Contact, hillsboro cricket. What are they Were cells, bizarre airborne comment, airborne of air traffic control for the want of another word these terms flak free areas, optional, add extra cost specializing in sam's trucks, supply areas and rest caps, then, on the other side of the side, it says: do not make rapid movements. This man is a trained professional killer, hired by your government to seek out and destroy enemies of the state he has nerves of twisted, boost steel and be handled very carefully. What
done so he becomes very docile. You advised to give him the love and care he needs so badly sign. You has department of defense, concrete outstanding so what happened so now? The war's over forty, the wars for me and then I got directly to another war, then important more or that if we lost, we lose our flag and I was a cold war Then, rather the jungles of vietnam. I found myself written in the same, if one uttered with a one, megaton thermo do killer hydrogen bombs, when the centralized pylon sitting in a bunker with a tar get some place on the other side of the iron curtain for four years and we, station in england, the this station in england So how long will what your schedule like,
Well schedule. It was a three. Is a three month rotation you spent a month at home. Your family and training, and then we spent a month at wheels in north africa, doing gunnery training the old dropping bombs and whatever, and then you spend another then, the third month Irena bunker, someplace someplace. Just I make the floor We all right all right, all right next to the iron curtain target on the other side someplace like in turkey more in italy, so that was the bathroom the ninety day or this thirty day rotation did you ever get spawn up was the closest you came to launching. Did you ever get that, though? The call like all its go time. Well, if you can imagine there's twelve of us twelve, we call him victor alert, twelve airplanes, hot clocked with us
crypto code release from the president to be able to arm that weapon in delivering, As you can imagine, nuclear weapons are very closely controlled and rifle Oh, I would say, and. I would certainly work and I look up again warn that collection and I thought if that son of a bitch goes off. The day is there that didn't mess around with that it was either all go we're not go. There wasn't any in their real or anything like now. There was no well we'll drop a bomb and scary, or something like that: There wasn't any that commitment and the whole thing. Coordinated from nato to newsdealer artillery right next to the fever. Right next to the iron curtain,
and then bananas were rolling stuff back and then the be fifty two's in other would come in for deeper penetration. And it was all go in its day- there than horn went off. I thought here, we go way back either. It's all the issue that you can come back, but what am I going to come back to you? I knew You know that right. Let me know if you want on that thing itself, as the ideal world like we're in england set in a word we were local or delivery playing. We had twelve active lines, twelve there when we were home. For that thirty days, and you know that if this thing started that that's a primary target probably only twelve guys if this ever kicked authors, be twelve individuals at lincoln. He their base that are gonna be alive. Everybody else is gonna, be diet, so you take off. An armed thermal nuclear weapon. And then your river mirror everything that you
Oh love, your family, your friends, everything disappears in a new killer cloud and the often wonder I got son of a bitch, it's in my centralized pylon and I'm really pissed off so with that wherever we go up, wind and bail out over some norwegian jordan climb in a cave and wait well the radiation. When aware by to reopen visualize or something like that However, I lost more calm lost, more comrades in the cold war than I did in the vietnam, or from accidents turning accidents from what Well, the latter was highly classified the fairy powers thing other recognizance into your be the hour before servants dead? And there was a lot of other client s line things that even today, they know nothing about
now there's a lot of memorials. This is one thing is my pet. Pave right now is a thirst. Korea, all the wars. Everybody has a monument there on them all there's no monument about the cold war and it coarser wasn't any battle line and there wasn't a casually report and stuff. That's all classified We want that. Damn thing really we want it. I say that I got shot down twice once in the cold war, the one it mattered and then the vietnam war yeah cause. You had another rejection right. What what happened on that objection. Well The same was your lot happens if you have a nuclear weapon on you aircraft and you reject or you would would you never fly with a nuke alive new canal? They would never. I dont the tactical air command. The strategic air command be fitted to grow.
Don't I think they did fly with off with fully armed nukes ready to go back, and I think they quit that after they dropped a couple of minutes, certainly when in the way that was, embarrassing in thing, during my time, whenever flew than we flew with the dummies, it would go out and drop I'm on the reins. They want to see the accuracy, but if you're drop in a really powerful by the only thing we would do: we'd ride on the side of the bomb and grease pencil, something like I dunno who the who the soviet premier's were, whatever Because there was one want they come the traveller. It's right on the deck at fifty feet, in your pickle it off, and then you try to keep going to get in the away as far as you can
and do they put the thing on the side and it said what he says: well uncle HO wasn't to put an uncle ho, what the hell was it, whatever the soviet things he says. Three choices you can run for thirty seven seconds or you can dig furtherance of seconds and the third choices you can do any combination of either one you what kind of cool secure so well, how'd, you jacked again. Well, I was, the test. Lot. Actually in england, I got kind of tyre to go on out and what we call the marsh gunnery range drop and little beating you. Thirty three blue bombs practicing and I wanted some of a little, because I was made, its guy had a dainty licence and unlike maintenance and so We're gonna go over and do the chief of quality control flight has made this officer. Who is really a new job because we get to fly the airplanes with
did the pylons and without the drop tanks and they were clean- and there are already a lot of fun to fly. In emissions- were short. Very demanding and on one problem one thing: if you're own commander and you're gonna get fired, those we call a victor lines, victor alert lights and Whether their intromission or not, is very important if the wing commander must get fired, he's all has to do is drop one of those lines because the maintenance or some other thing, because check every morning to but ever headquarters all of his nukes arrayed ago to on the pilots, are briefed said there were now. The weather name was really don't shoot a lot of times. Suppose they have via far five hundred and five thousand overcast and five miles disability, but it came up
there was alive. I want to make us in their place we're coming romanians and they were backed up because they couldn't get flight test, and so it came to the point one day that we were gonna lose one of those new klein's bad day. That was really bad insult, So, although england, with things like six hundred foot, overcast drizzle and maybe two or three miles visibility, the vice waning matter of colonel heard, you come to manage this aid dec on all the others already bed, god damn we need this. We need this thing to replace it Are we gonna lose one of the victor lines? In course combat guy said I can't do anything. Go get em, And saw so it actually out and lighter. Your daughter runway pull a nose up. Now, it's really fun, fun time as you can run in full after birth, a full after birth climb within
play without all the ordnance on it, release its religious bark europe. After birth, climbed a forty thousand feet and I break out top or the nor say about forty two thousand feet I can see so we have whether from forty thousand feet all went to six hundred feet palm in one. Test as a negative g check, and that's where are you some guys role inverted. I pull up an input, Moreover, to day J and all the stuff once up at an end and if one hundred The canopy was designed in such an area now, there's always dirt and croydon and screwdrivers and not, votes in the crap at all ends up right over your head. Just behind your head and when you come back to J that it all falls falls they gather all a very cleverly the way the
so the airplane us and it goes right down the back. Your neck happens every time, so I without a collection of who drivers and wrenches itself I found in the cockpit and I'd put around gordon say anybody any mechanic up there. I would like to get it taken. Interlaken claim their ran course. Nobody ever claimed. So I did one did one of those and when came out positive deposited. I felt a horrible clunk, a major clunk dislike the engine was loose or something, and I what the hell is that and so this I don't got a lot more speed, pull a nose really I mean really journalistic forward, ensure if there was another big shift, the weight seems like right behind me
or this time when I came back to positive g, the forty two p s, I normal operating position of the oil pressure went from there to zero in a bat of an eye. Clunk its We now have this big huge clark like the engine was loose that will maybe it pull wire loose because engine was run in fine. That has your oil pressure another they do if usually, if you ever broken oil. I need over the pressure, will just kind of china around the low birth and slowly decay, but but to go to Absolute zero in the spring, better than I did bang zero and that's not normal course. You wanna to think sir, you, I think it's not real serious. Because, where you funny thing
am I over the north sea is whether all of six hundred feet at home, and, as is ok, so I practice I have to call mayday may day may day may day it's render to one at close range of two one. Meda may they made a worry I'm and what my problems. So I practice a couple of times so I could get, might really cool chuckie voice, It took a while to first time I tried it in my head, said it in sound, very true, so I got a roy cool and one of the procedures is, if you have zero oppressor, you don't wanna jockey the engine back and forth right. You want to set the power, and that little it'll run longer. So I knew that I needed by eighty three percent on final approach, you're, twenty knots to get level
because we have, one hundred did not have a zero zero see. I think it was It had a level of your redescending. They had no chance of making it, and at extra twenty dollars would get your level half lapse. Eighty three percent and start down into the mark. And then the vector me around a little bit for identification and back in those days anyway, they took an extended period of time, now- is telling them finally got the judiciary, control and, as is look, gimme transmission break it don't tell me you're on glide path or life. Whatever the dialogue is with gimme transmission break In case something happens in all that I can call it in course the gist controllers. They when they saw arguing instructions. Etas clamp down on the transmitter inside.
Therefore nobody heard anything at home. When I was on final approach and it kind of got, work. Protests now is really proud of myself. A funny said: glide path, A northern knows more than Half laps had the gear down hey. Eighty three percent was perfect I rejected the engine at is really cool, I'm coming down and are that the dialogue about left and right on July path and so forth, and I just are the break out the runway. But I can start to see down on a little bit and die. And I was thinking about our role and now the runway, and how am I gonna write this thing up and so forth. Then there was a great noise. The intensity grew more and more and and then it was good, grew louder and louder and louder and then on then, if there was a huge explosion, that's a compressor stalls and when a compressor stalls,
Then it shoots fire at both ends of aeroplanes. So this is. Grinding in this huge bang. Fire shoot not an affront dirt comes up in your face. And now I'm looking for that. I call it the small corner of time. There's a small corner time from here. Just a couple of seconds that corner of time, I can see, and if I am outside of that, the objection won't work amino hit the ground before, They use every bit of that that extra tone not if you have on board the level often eject, and maybe that the personal open it time, and so I did and eleven but then I looked down- and there was a little town called brandon run on the front approach, and I could see that I could see the town right in front of me. I know that if I bank the airplane that it would be it is bad, and then right itself and still go into the town.
So this happened in this a couple of seconds on swandown coming back on this. I like to slow down and get in a small corner of time, and I trim it and get the left trim going in a recent my left hand and grabbed the handle and pull. It looks and pull it up in a blue. The canopy often then immediately squeeze. Voters no one where that gera is gonna, be enhanced and a handful of time that has the most wonder. Smooth is exponential overhead. Is that right, up another thing, but the time compression is romance was thin because, as it is here I was gone up, let's go, up the rails, I thought- it's gonna be an accident board. And they're going to go through all the paperwork that I'm going to have to remember what I did for the last three days. What I drank and I'm thinking about all that stuff going up the ejection ralph and then I thought my god I had to put the colonels name on there. In its heard, colonel heard,
is it hd ordeal ray? I must go. I misspelled it. I thought every but in the whole world is gonna see that thing in on this paper that in all the flight plan declared slaying misspelled the guy's name, how horrible That's all going through your minds is going up the rails. And then the pursuit opens and on you know you can feel it is academy stars open all the other shroud, not a shroud line with them. The other right at the risers, but the shroud lies roland earner bundle. They can feel about how come your maxie and then had opened. It was then it's opened and it happened so quick. I looked straight between my legs expecting this to look down right into the cockpit. Of course. That was ridiculous. And looked around another. My left shoulder. I could see the airplane in your
ways flyin along and not long enough. I can see the runway and for all the work, the airplane Gonna fuckin land on the roma. I thought for the further. Yet how can I get frowned there for this new jobs out of a perfectly good herbal lands on the run away, and I did it and then next thing I know, I'm in the trees parachute comes down through the trees If you're gonna bail out pine tree, a very nice kind of smaller pines, because their innovation- you come down through them and that they been destroyed by Tom. I got to the surface, I ended up stop and about an inch or two above beautiful. Fine for murmured another shake than the parachute canopy came down the around like. Look, I'm right out of vietnam see and I reject it, and
You're in the the e and he trained for a whole year, I've been training for escape and evasion, hide the parachute. You know, get the radio get that damn beeper off, which didn't work this time either the parachute deeper and I gotta get the radio. I didn't In england we don't have a double radios and stuff, and so right over there. There was a guy in english guy and a coat in time. He was outrun them the queen's forced and his eyes were about big saucers and he's looking eyes open. Course. I come down where new killer. I have a goal visor on so here this guy comes crashing down to the trees. And he said he heard the error. The explosion heard the seat come down and the canopy come down, and then this guy's space for the golden elmwood, come down right in front of him. Basically andor, and is it certain back away? I don't know I need your help. I need your help and.
Yeah come on. Then I took the helmet off. Then I thought kind had a call. Somebody in all my radios, don't normally in my vest in vietnam, another and a damn seek yet one radio and the secret So I went to get to it poland handle on you're on your seat, seek it that you sit on its got your raft and survival gear and stuff, and so I pull the handle in a sealed Hu, a cartridge comes off in this yellow wrath ex emerged in making always goddamn noise, frightened front sky. He turns around the search run where the plane hit. Ah, there plan there playing, came and started a very lift, turned and adjustments. The town right beside brandon right across the road it. Didn't hurt anybody, but it does. The typical fireball snub becomes them
in his I was pulling back. I says it just blew it. I'm gettin out. Nobody heard me now the colonel that was coming back from across country. He heard me he's the only one that heard my my call and I hope. So anyway, I took Helen off and ran and got him. I still say hey. I need your help and brought him back and oh yeah that I got down to the kitten opened it up then fell the radio and opened it up and turn it on and I called and made a radio call it for the time that it blew up. It was only about ninety three seconds, the whole time that happened. Ok, Now a really good drinking body, and he is the of airfield, he's the airfield support helicopter and it's it's called pedro.
And pay draws a chaste forty three and has intermission rotors and their whole mission is to us they have the sputnik at hanks. Is you know it's a big ball firefighting stuff it's, but as big as a stable, this sphere. The fire of told they set up, so the firefighters and arab and their aluminum suits and there's a big fireball and burning pilots inside they gotta go rescue the road or worse pushes away, and they take this sputnik with their fire did they and they find their way through the times and they get in the cockpit enable and they pull a pilot out. That's the whole thing, and so now I didn't know about is that nobody heard me say that I was getting out,
In the end, the runway, the mobile controller s name, was jeff co. Fact he was a prisoner of war. I think he was. I could be wrong, but they were his. It he's a mobile controller over it's always graven on radio, he says get out their quick shoot, no shoe, there's no no shoot. I didn't you get out her quick and its. Even at the pedro. That's all we got less often is in the hills the reason for the far ball at their goin out and he keeps saying that only thing he saw was aligning light came out of the weather and crash into a big. Marble saws saw the guy and my buddy in the Pedro helicopter he's he's out there. He's gone the guy's screamin at any other, quick and so he's going fast. For some reason, he thought if you get their quicker, iffy pickled off that button,
say hello to pick a little assay crash halfway to the website. So he's coming around you. And the wreck sites. All I see is a big off. You know typical crash site with brian fireball and stuff. Thinking or shut in return, My friend is really terrible and then he gets out there in a minute, no ninety three seconds or someone my call on the radio. I says: hey down, come and get me come and get me, and so now his This thought he circling this viable. And he thinks I'm in their right calling for help, and I call on us to get your ass out here and get me and then his head. Lay his whole train and everything is trained up for was that sputnik thing there's the fire in a crisis situation and are going to land in
wish the fire out of the way, but he pickled it off. It's not their hoop city's heart sick. He says my god. I've screwed up now routines are going to burn alive down there and I could have saved them. That's really bad, many things and they then it then he starts to realise wait. A minute in a way that somebody can be alive and left lay down, and so we call and he says he says they call, my name is dick zat, you, I said I get your ass out here and get me you don't think. Vietnam. They need get rescued, were equipped and in it Trillions of sin is plaintive voice said since areas is a bail out about a mile short. He says you bailed out, rejected and if you can understand the metamorphosis of emotion that he's gonna go from the guy it's burden down there and I just jealous
my fire fighting equipment and now he's bird entities collar me and I can get to him. Adulation feelin or we bailout is ok and as yet. Your ass out here again and so then he did come up and get me course airy bailouts and soldiers officers club. We gotta tell the story, but everything and in my the squire commander, Jake angle he comes up in his is a since tell me. I got a couple of questions What what? What were they indications? Nor did the? What does panel, full of a lot of what a false and a big master caution. Light comes on says is, or was one of those lights came on? I thought you kidding me there s always a big red master caution light there was you did and confirmed by the fact that their A growing noise
fire shot out. The french then that's all I remember Jake and then I kept about see another point flying off. It was a big pole, sick and how they can. Maybe I could see it, and I could see the run. My now that horrible feelin- and so I couldn't sleep tat night saw but three o clock in the morning I come maenas. Controls is easier. You guys got the engineer And he is yeah, they just brought it in and sent hangers tankers. Also it's on a dollar how you go and look at it. If you want it In a jet engines used- crushes part of the intake are the other compressor blades spin is your spin and they can t What our pm was that they crush and then their bit back, and they can have a pretty good idea of what the power of the engine was. It's always really urim and I got the car down there to mission control.
Put it on the field. It was kind of drizzly at know and there's there's the hair, so I drive up opened the door turn enough. I look over there and there's the engine an engine stand and showed me the top of the fuselage. Still there then the tales of Burton mutter. So I walk. Further to the engine by the side and andrea and I know- and I know that until the power on the engine by the bent, blades and there's the the the face of it's all you do is walk around walk around and look at that. So I stopped for a little bit and you safety or you the horrible accident rate for some for some reason: lotta accidents. Stuff far,
If one hundred engine was it had problems with it, and so I thought boy they're gonna. Hang me for this. The first thing to do accident rate as they blame the pilots is pilot here everything a deep breath on it. I am to walk around and look at the front of this engine on the intake and then I'll know, and that may be the end of my flight me all my career. I jumped out over perfectly better flow, so I went around and looked at the face of the engine the blades crushed the intake into a kind of a deception, so all the blades, straight and the ones that were which crushed thea the blades they weren't rotating, like that they were crush straight. Linda zero power, zero or zero P m at impact now thought
You know. Maybe there was wrong with it and with that Went back and that a good night's sleep, so you end up, I mean, do you do other jobs in the in the air force like or to talk about you and he had to go. Get your greece do never college degree eventually you? U retire. The air force, anyone at work, after you retired from the air force, and I guess even as you, but even before you retired, for the air force you kind of doing some stuff with your brother. You are starting to kind of crazy test pilot. You will find these little planes that your brother was making fill a couple of those before he retired. But then the retirement thing was a big problem with
force at this time, and it was enough seventies and the military. This year force was permeated with drugs, all kinds of drug problems, stuff and so horsemonger lane commander since I did go down and take over the feel maintenance, your mate and sky and majors. Commander of maintenance squatter. So I got. Four hundred and twenty maintenance people We do engine overhauls and break overhauls and stuff, not kerchiefs up. It is gonna, feel maenas thing. And it was in permeated with drugs. One of drugs with the people, I never was a smoker and I knew that smoking is bad for everybody, for anybody and
and it was there was there was one hour and anti smoking say. Maybe that was kind of unique has everything is built, cigarettes and alcohol, the social environment as one guy, his name was l much and he would smoke in all the time and were at the club and newer talk and are given typical friday night, the us This is a look at that this. Is Look at the cigarettes, you know it's got you it's not I could give it up any time have big argument till I see tee what its says: here's five ten years, a ten dollar bill, I put it on the terraces. You can't go twenty minutes but not a cigarette, I air travellers, and so in I knew we couldn't does, is directed at the expertise and when he was a big, edit for nicotine and it wasn't more than six or eight minutes later. Did he came back
long, full of smoke any blood in my face and he took them five dollar bill and threw it on the ground. So anyway, I remain as water and I said: there's going to be no smoking into my orderly room or any of the buildings. Well, I didn't go over too well with a lot of people and another thing had a thirty five thirty, my troops were female female maidens people really good but they would lock them up in the wild, though the wife berks at night, and they had you know some big laugh sergeant would control that with the wife of women and air force, her yeah, that's right when an air force. Anyway, there was a big sergeant that would control all these women and they lock up at night and my mother squadron he had all the creatures and they would
again and play with my play with my wife get in trouble. He get caught plane with them inside sneaking in so did the jag and I had court martial authority and we were doing a lot of drug stuff. People just hung out and drugs and even had a couple of general court marshals, guys trying to torch a building and sabotage my car and attack me with kung fu darts. This is really a mess, A mere one marijuana, so look. I want this is Y know what were you gonna, lock up a third of my troops? Females. And all the guys. I can run round downtown and raise hell, but they have to stay on this wipe bergs. That's it says. And the commander there. My people and I want them all in my books- And they would say diane,
Do you have any idea what would happen if we put females in the barracks? I says yeah exactly? What would happen about ten days it would sort itself out and we'd be back to normal and they could have all the rights and liberties that all the guys have now put. One quarter downstairs be the wife and no matter what you gotta do that at all While the no smoking thing in trying to lock unlock my wife at night. Then I was stolen. Kids out of the air force forbidden drugs, bothersome horrible's laughed. It was happening to these kids. Then what would bother me is I go. I go to the commanders reception sometime when commander you have the other officers into it, and I look in the back at these receptions in the wise it'd, be out there token they'd be
smokin marijuana and I thought I'd thrown kids under the air force for what the wives are doing back there and I around at the wholesale I had a great combat record I had all my of military training command staff. Done. Although saying I was on my way to be chief of staff- and I thought you know it happened dislike that turn around. And I went over to the early rumour. Wherever that I was c b peel- and I says I'm going home. And I had twenty years and a microsecond just enough for the retirement- That was another area of something that this one ready for the politics of that
so then went out got all my brother. We fly around the world. That that that stories. You know easy story of you know as you're going through this thing as you're as you. Together, the money and speaking to cigarettes. You know you at one point you get out a tobacco company, that's gonna sponsor the whole thing you won't. Their money sir! You scrap this thing together. You know you were talking earlier about the voyager aircraft itself and this is cool because I remember it. Dave remembers that day, probably remember that better than I did, because he was a little air craft attic like you or me. I just thought it was cool, but the whole thing: wade lagging all five, pounds or something like this and and you guys talk this thing you fly this thing around the world. Are you got incredible details of that inside this book of you? No sleep depth,
it's not what nine days it took you to do this you get down with that. You do You run for congress out here, Galva you at all kinds of stuff in this book you, you said and your records. Try to go around the world again in a balloon that was interesting I thought the rams successful around success all around the world and can't do you. You do something like that. You're know for no but you gonna do what else is out. There has anybody got around the world in a blow nonstop, you end up saved by a parachute. Again, that's the bail out of that. By this time it was fully funded. So I got bear hilton and pepsi sponsor I got a million and a half dollars. And builders pressurized capsule that was pressure. I like to stay in the stratosphere, even sit on the moon
loop life support system, the radio's we lost sight of our kirkhi about where we are. But a three hour delay on the launch which saved our lives. Roy. They launched it's barron hilton cut the thing and sirens and patriotic. He was akin relaunched offer on her around the world. Thirty thousand feet do a design screw up by the manufacturer. The balloon balloon wooden. Nor is it started a heat and expand it, wouldn't that so it actually ruptured the balloon. The helium member blew the whole bottom of our course There's a lot of biggest rosamond is enough about us off the floor. When that thing let go, we're coming down and we launched out.
To fly around the world and didn't even get out of the county. That's an opportunity for character who tell them I ended up in a joy, cactus patch. So what're you gonna do next says well. This is the first day of our second attempt, very anyway, since there's only one first, nobody has a crap about who does anything second swiss watch company. Don't say the wrong thing was brightly the brightly in order they took off in an incredible flight, attendant jones petrol, picard, big guy and I sat there wash them and I made a comment in public that it was resolve it
very nice to be in competition with those who have absolutely no chance of success works so my co pilot. He was not totally with me about parachutes and Now real, strong winds, gonna grow like forty miles or wings, and a parachute if you don't do ever they exactly right. You're gonna hear her really bad Fortunately, he wasn't truthful with me about his parachute experience, and so he jumped first and got a good shoot, but without knowing how to handle a highway. Landon suits or need to save your life and in flight the little killy on the ground. I be a drug across the desert And I ended up, I landed really tartu step off your car
miles an hour failure not really fletcher around Anyway, he didn't know anything about the related backwards and he got some severe injuries. She and I landed properly going backwards and my helmet hit the ground so hard. I thought I was going to, about time. I got both of those things jettisoned. Others enjoy cactus patch le jumping act as little needle I was looking through my looking through their care. This in my face, but are they? Our balloon corset hidden in knock off some of the propane tanks and go back up again and here again He didn't discharge different stuff and finally hit a power line and taxi burned to the ground without one burned aground on me, but you had already made it as the first person-
around the world without stopping or refueling brought with them. With the voyager, which is it at all. Story inside this book. Ran you know, you'd do talk a little bit about either on the park ass, but to get the full story, the book, maize It- all kinds of issues you overcame just just incredible story and now you know one of the many reasons you were inducted into aviation hall of fame and I mean this stories in the book there. Just incredible if your listenin definitely just just order this book and the eyes We ve been talking for a pretty long time. Now I don't want to. I don't want to. I want to take up you forever, but but day. What do you got? You got questions at all sorts of questions, but I just enjoyed listening
There were three nine hours into this almost and others just captivated here in the stories and- and I I routinely get to say this because I get to sit off over here off to the side when, when Jocko does his podcast, I just get to watch people have these conversations, but deviation conversations are, are unique in their special to me, because I could picture a lot of the things you're talking about. I can picture the way you're describing him. But an unrelated to that. I've been sitting here thinking this whole time about a saying that, and I think it's it's some phrases as dont meter heroes- something like that which I think is like. Oh some catch phrases says like well. Major heroes. Guess when you meet him going to be disappointed, kiss you ve, created this image. You had of them in your mind, while I've gotten several of my heroes and never once never once if I've been disappointed. But what's unique about This, for me, sir, is that
all the other people have ever met, I can we read about them in books and end here about the things that they have done: I know you because I got to see what you did. I was old enough and we modern enough that one you did that airplane and I take six and I can vividly remember the three loops you did over my hobby when you landed and getting I can picture that as it as a teenager, already captain rob debated by airplanes. So it to sit here with you. Now and who you are not from books, but from actually seeing it happened, live in person. This is just an absolute remarkable day for me, so I can't make enough relent, maybe Part of this has been. This has been awesome. I am honoured to have met one of Here today is not like a reverse. This. The brother come up and he says with the advent of availability of the room,
reminds me that opportunity I had to meet the king that now king of england, but anyway, Well, what happened when you met the king of england when I call him hey chuck- and I didn't go over too well as a fellow fighter pilot about americans about our royalty in any case of an american, hey jack. Well anyway, the the It said that it with the availability of carbon fiber. He thinks it's possible to build an airplane light enough little current carry enough the world. Now they are play Took off these around numbers, ten thousand pounds, three point: six tonnes of aviation gas, three point six the carbon fiber structure, with nine hundred and twenty six path in the wings