Museum restores Vietnam War F-4D Phantom Two with two kills (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins has added some more military history to its aircraft collection. The museum is restoring a Vietnam War era fighter bomber F-4D Phantom Two, which recorded two kills in one day of battle during the Vietnam War. The stars on the fin of the plane represent the kills. One of the restorers said it's an honor to work on something with so much history. "Just being able to work on a plane that actually flew during the Vietnam era and had two kills," said Staff Sgt. Corey Meek. After the plane is restored it will be the only aircraft in the museum's collection to have recorded combat kills.
3-days behind enemy lines in Laos: Big wartime rescue effort
Enemy guerrillas were in the tree line a few yards away. All morning long, a steady stream of ground attack planes had been plastering the area to keep their heads down. Suddenly, downed Navy pilot Kenny Fields — call sign Streetcar 304 — looked up to see an F-4 fighter-bomber headed straight for him. He saw a bomb detach itself from beneath the plane. Hungry, thirsty, dirty and tired, Fields dashed for cover, but the bomb went off before he could get there. Hot pieces of shrapnel ripped into his legs and lower body. Streetcar 304 was down, but not out. His 3-day ordeal behind enemy lines in Laos would become one of the biggest rescue efforts of Vietnam War.
Ace Robin Olds downed MIGs in biggest jet battle of Vietnam War (Article no longer available from the original source)
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, a WWII ace fighter pilot who later commanded an Air Force wing that shot down 7 Communist MIGs over North Vietnam in the biggest air battle of the Vietnam War, has died at 84. He was commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, based in Thailand, when he worked out the mission known as Operation Bolo. In supersonic dogfights over the Red River Delta northwest of Hanoi in Jan 1967, F-4C Phantom pilots shot down 7 MIGs without losing an aircraft; Olds personally downed 2 of the MIGs. "We outflew, outshot and outfought them. The fights lasted no more than 12-14 minutes but covered at least 30 miles of that sky."
CIA contract pilots in Vietnam War have pension hopes
In 1961, Sam Jordan had just finished a 6-year stint flying helicopters in the Marine Corps when he saw a want ad for an airline called Air America. "They said they wanted pilots. They didn't say anything about where the flying would be." Within months, he was flying helicopters in Laos, carrying supplies in remote mountain villages. Later he flew airplanes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, scanning for radio signals and dropping provisions. In 14 years working for Air America, he never was told who was footing the bill for his often-harrowing flights. But he and the other pilots knew.
Museum restores Vietnam War RF-4C Phantom fighter jet warplane (Article no longer available from the original source)
Workers at the Strategic Air and Space Museum are working to reassemble the pieces of a Vietnam War-era warplane. The RF-4C, a photo reconnaissance version of the Phantom fighter jet, was brought to the museum to undergo restoration. Museum workers will spend about a thousand hours to restore it to its original condition, said Mark Hamilton. The plane had been part of a fleet of Phantoms flown by the Nebraska Air National Guard. "When we finish and see your end product, you feel really good. The aircraft looks really good, then you're proud to show it off."
Friendly fire happened in Vietnam war with disturbing frequency
According to Lt. Col. Charles R. Shrader, deaths of fighting men in Vietnam due to friendly fire happened with "disturbing frequency." He concluded that such death occurred when visibility was poor or due to servicemen's nervousness or fatigue under fire. It also occasionally occurred that a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom aircraft passed overhead of the military action on the ground and misinterpreted a signal from the ground - causing the pilot to release a missile at the signal. Invariably, the missile would track the radar signal to the ground and explode, killing Marines in that vicinity.
Legendary pilot Earthquake McGoon heads home
More than a half century after James B. McGovern Jr, "Earthquake McGoon", died in the crash of a CIA-owned cargo plane and became one of the first two Americans to die in combat in Vietnam, a legendary soldier is coming home. McGovern died May 6, 1954, when his C-119 Flying Boxcar cargo plane was hit by ground fire while parachuting a howitzer to the besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Ho Chi Minh's communist forces captured Dien Bien Phu the next day, ending the famous 57-day siege. It signaled the end of French colonial power in Indochina, and set the stage for the 15-year "American war" that ended with the fall of the U.S.-backed South Vietnam in 1975.