Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Memory Lane

80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
TDY from Kadena AB, Japan (Okinawa)
A little trip down memory lane for an old Phantom then Eagle driver. We served in the same units in PACAF, the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in Korea (both there in 1980) and in the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing on Okinawa. I was there from '76 to '78, he was there from '87 to '90.

I was just thinking, I sure hope he wasn't that pilot with the polarized lenses. Heh, small world. (Nah, couldn't be...) Anyway, here's the light gray F-15s I promised ya Juvat!



14 comments:

  1. 4K hours in ANY fighter is a lot of time, that won't be seen anytime soon or maybe ever again!

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    1. Not with today's budgetary restraints. Or complete lack of budgets. Or any moral fiber in DC. Or...

      Sigh...

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  2. LOOOOOOOVE the nicknames. I've always felt that any group photo where every guy couldn't be identified via some nickname is a group photo with at least one guy not loved.

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    1. A pilot with no call sign has got to be beyond the pale. Even unloved guys get call signs, usually ones you don't tell your Mom about!

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    2. Sul, there as STILL people that I only know by callsign, and people that know me by mine (Cajun)... And Sarge is right, even the BAD ones got callsigns... Quick funny one for ya, ADM Willard, former star pilot of Top Gun, had the call sign Rat. Why? Because he was going through flight school in the 70's when the movie Willard came out... Ergo, he became 'Rat'... To this day he still answers to that quicker than he does to Admiral (and yes I made that 'mistake' one day... He laughed... :-)

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    3. Cajun?

      Good to know, we likes it.

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  3. It sure seemed to rain on those guys a lot.

    Wait.

    Oki.

    Nevermind.

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  4. OldAFSarge,
    Thanks.

    I was at that Change of Command Ceremony. At first glance, I thought I was the guy in the background, (I was younger, skinnier and had hair then), but I think it was actually the Assistant Ops Officer. I think his callsign was Howie. I called him Major, or Sir, but I was a 2LT so I called most everyone that. Lt Col Swope went on to be Lt Gen Swope and retired as the USAF IG. I was sad to hear that he passed on a couple of years ago at 68.

    The picture from the downunder trip was before my time, but many of the folks in it were still there when I got to the 12th, Odie and Sumo were the Squadron Weapons Officers.

    While I was flying F-4s, I was young, brave and dumb, but had good eyesight, so I didn't wear glasses at the time. However, by the time I got in the Eagle, I was older, wiser, still brave, but not quite as steely eyed. So either, my glasses were not polarized, or the HUD on the Eagle was different, because I always flew with sunglasses without any problem.

    OldNFO, I agree, 4000 hrs is a lot of time, especially considering he was a Lt Col in 1979, which meant that a good portion of his time involved bad guys shooting at him. IIRC, Both Batman (LtGen Swope) and JayBird (Lt Col Riedel) had multiple tours in SEA. Good guys and good leaders. Batman actually tied the low altitude flying record (nobody has ever broken it) when he brushed a hill pulling off the range at Crow Valley in the PI. Wasn't there, so second hand info, but...was looking behind him at the target or a bandit or something, hit the hill at a perfect tangent, ripped all the pylons and panels off the bottom. Happened to be pointing at Clark, so threw the gear down and landed. Paid for many drinks at the club that night. Plane was class 26ed.

    Once again, thanks for the pictures, I really appreciate it.

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    1. Well, it all started as a hunt for a good light gray F-15 picture. From there it cascaded into the whole trip down memory lane thing. Made me downright teary eyed it did. This old warhorse recalling the days of his youth, such as they were.

      I seem to remember Colonel Beyer distinctly, but not fondly. I seem to recall him as being something of a fuddy-duddy with bans on officers "shacking up" downtown. (Not that our steely-eyed warriors of the air would do such a thing, I'm sure that was aimed at the non-rated types. Tee hee...) Leastwise, I think it was him.

      As Patton might have said, "through a glass, darkly" - those days have faded somewhat.

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  5. Dear OldAFSarge My dad is enjoying your photos of the two planes. Please share with us which ones they are and most especially where the two planes are flying over.
    It is so beautiful that we are without words. A very nice Memorial Weekend to you, yours and in your hearts.

    Thank you for your help,

    Jack

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    1. Jack,

      I presume you mean the last photo? Those are F-15 Eagles from the 18th Wing out of Kadena Airbase, Okinawa, Japan. I'm not sure where the photo was taken. In the Pacific somewhere would be my recollection.

      Thanks for reading!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)