Through electronic serendipity I was reunited (on-line) with a high school friend. We had both moved and lost touch in the way back. Thought I’d seen his name in a Time Magazine article, flying Special Forces missions in the first gulf war. Many years later I find he retired as a bird colonel and was large and in charge of Air Force Special Operations at Hurlburt(AFSOC). It takes a good deal of effort to rate O-6 with that sort of responsibility. He was a smart guy and driven to achieve but I never suspected that he’d be in that career path.
Great to hear from you . That was me back in the first war I started flying search and rescue helicopters, was an instructor at the school house in Albuquerque, took a short staff tour at the Pentagon, went through fixed-wing transition (not a fun thing to pull those G’s with frustrated fighter pilots for instructors) then went into special operations. I was the Operations Group Commander for all SOF aircraft in the AF (had 11 squadrons) so I got checked out in the AC-130 gunship, the Talon II, and flew some soviet stuff.
How cool is that? While I’m proud of the path I’d chosen, I’d love to hear his operational flying stories in the Pave Low. Some of his adventures are featured in Shadow Warriors and The Commandos. He later served as Operations Group Commander of AFSOC during the time of the famous Horse Soldiers with 94 aircraft and 1,400 Airmen under his auspices. There’s probably a good narrative behind “flew some Soviet Stuff”, like why was the U.S. flying Russian MI-8’s?