a. Carl Luhrman and I went out one moon lite
night to face the tiger.
The Laoatian sector we patrolled was tiger as you know. That night
seemed quite and so serene, as we preceeded to delta 87 to be on scene.
Arriving there, Carl looked down and spoted lights of trucks that abound.
I, half awake looked over his shoulder only to discover, holy shit the
AAA was coming up like clover. Asking Carl to open both eyes, only
proved we didn't want to be in the sky. Breaking 180 proved the lights
were only brighter and weren't moving a bit. So I reversed the break,
only proving my mistake. As the basketballs approached, I decided to
close my eyes, nothing to do, so it seemed wise to grit my teeth and
prepare to die. We were at that point perpendicular to the earth,
providing a profile that was as wide as the height of our plane. Well,
couldn't stand that either, so open my eyes only to discover 27mm passing
by. The tracer lights were visible at our feet, over our head, infront
of our eyes. Those missiles encompassed half the plane, only to miss by
inches it seemed. They passed by our heads, our feet, infront of the
prop and infront of the windsheild over the cowling.The prop was still
turning, and we were still there. The fact that we were vertical helped
save us that night and so did some angel who looked on at our plight.
To this day we are not sure if we still live in the same world or one
beyond, but youall keep reminding us that that is wrong. We do still
live here, we do not know how, but lady luck was with us and we
appreciate her now.
b. Rhody Nurnburg and I went out one night to our sector which was
having one hell'va fight. We were drooling for action and didn't want to
miss the fight, so when I smelled rubber, Rhody denighed I was right. We
continued our course and the smoke got thicker, finally Rhody told me we
were on fire. I protested because he couldn't smell, at that moment the
rear engine fire light came on, what the hell. So we turned back to
Danang and feathered the engine, the light went out, so no more
contention. The stench did remain, but what do you expect, burnt
material always has that effect. So we continued back to Danang on the
front engine, slowly sinking into the mountains, finally making to the
Danang delta. Then we remembered we still had ordnance. So we headed
over the ocean east of Danang, as a strong discussion pursued as to the
procedures to do. The discussion was over the shortage of pylons and
munitions verses the squadrons policy to juttisson munitions. Thanks to
Rhody, we did jettison all and I didn't get court marshalled for that
flight. We arrived at Danang in a case of withdrawl. Upon parking, the
crew chief said, your lights are dim, oil is on your front engine
cowling, so what you been doing.
Aftermath, It turned out that that fire loop was faulty on the rear
engine. The generator on the front engine had broke loose causing the
smell and smoke. Oil was draining all over the front engine compartment
and the alternate was disintegraing into metal shavings. We were lucky
to make it back to base.
That lesson saved my life in F4s, I didn't shut the engine down because
the fire was not visibile. Again a faulty fire warning loop.
My roommate and I went out on our end of tour mission. I was very
frustrated over the year with the whole operation, as it seemed that we
worked extremely hard, took a lot of chances and had a very ineffectual
results. I think the number of confirmed kills for all those missions
was less than the fingers on both hands. Anyway, we were out the
somewhere between a place called Chevane (?sp) and So Vietnam. The road
was busy, trucks and bunkers gallor. So my frustration took over, I
wanted to destroy all those trucks. We had two pods of willy pets.
Lynn, wisely, knew there was little chance of success and was trying to
tell me to forget it. He had his new camera along, and was taking
pictures. He showed them to me at the last reunion, pointed out how
foolish I was in letting my frustration get the upper hand. It was a
wonder we didn't get shot down. And he would never have forgiven me it
he lost that camera on that mission. By the way, 2 pods of willys hit
nothing. Lynn did forgive me. Wasn't sure he ever would.
APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE TO THE MAN THAT SAVED MANY LI VES: COL
I did my checkout as did many others with Col Blanton. I wish to credit
that man with saving many of our lives. His evaluation of how to kill
the enemy and perserver yourself saved our section many deaths. Some of
my comrades from pilot training were in other 20 TASS sections and died
needlessly. One I remember the most was a young kid that on his first
flight with the ALO who took him into our territory at 1500 feet AGL.
Needless to say their O2A did not survive very long. He and I went thru
pilot training together, in Covey he would have lived.