One of my favorite television programs as a teenager was Victory at Sea. I watched every episode, and the theme music has stayed with me all these 70 years:Don-Don-Don-to-Don – Dant – to – Dant – to – Dant…
The dream of being on a Navy warship and the music stayed with me even after I’d joined the Air Force and become a pilot. And as luck would have it, after completing my F-4E Phantom Fighter Training at George AFB, instead of Vietnam, I was assigned to the 62nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Misawa, Japan. It was a great assignment, because I have always liked the Japanese culture. (Later I would build a house there overlooking the Pacific Ocean and live off base inside that culture.)
I could have flown to Japan, but instead I decided I’d try to make that lifelong dream come true. Read more
Jerry Noland, Susan Harrison, and Andy Mohr – members of OLLI’s Shared Interest Group Community of Readers and Writers share three short memoir personal essays as part of a project of Vivid Memories. Creating layers of meaning and weaving images in a limited number of words (under 500) seems to bring out the best in their writing. You, too, are welcome to send your vivid memories, even a prose/poem, (under 500 words, please) to the group for feedback and tips for editing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the category of Dubious Military Distinctions, I like to think I hold the world’s record for the shortest flight in a KC-135A/B between two different airports. (The KC-135 is an aircraft that refuels other planes in midair.) My “world record” flight took place in 1968 between St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE) and MacDill Air Force Base (KMCF) in Tampa, Florida.
The day started at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York where I was told to deliver a KC-135A/B to PEMCO, an Inspection and Repair As Necessary (IRAN) facility located at St. Petersburg – Clearwater International airport.
Like most pilots, I like landing at different airports, especially if I can land a military aircraft at a civilian airport, so it was a good mission.(More…)
Over 50 years have passed since I flew combat missions over North Vietnam. I wrote a book of short stories about flying that includes a few of these missions. It was my oldest sister who slowly drew out the stories and then encouraged me to include them in a book that is now in our local public library system.
The book’s title is Letters from the Cockpit. I encourage friends not to buy the book, but instead to request it from the library so the demand keeps the book in the system. I enjoyed writing the book and found that if the stories you write are true, you will enjoy reading them again. A repeat of what was exciting once is still an enjoyment, and there is a simple good in that. (More…)