My home town is Odessa, Texas even though I was born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1943. After graduating from Permian High School in 1961, I attended and graduated from Texas Tech University in 1966. Soon after graduation I joined the Air Force to fly upside down and cheat death.
From January to December 1970 I was assigned at Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam as a pilot with the 17th SOS. The most exciting missions I flew were double shifts over Dak Seang and Dak Pek, RVN. I will always remember the great people I got to fly with. I will never forget having to trim each bird of the fleet in a different configuration just to get it off the ground, then having to use the entire runway attempting to take off. Often takeoffs had to be aborted. Then we had to run the engines up to burn off the plugs and make another go of it. There was also the mission where I fired the guns for so long that they melted, resulting in shooting my own wing.
I separated from the Air Force at Dyess AFB, Texas in 1973 and I currently live in Irving, Texas.