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be understating the sum of the activities that helped educate me during an Air Force career that would end in August 1990. Every flight, day or night, had boring, exciting, frightening and dangerous moments. There is nothing more boring to a fighter pilot than droning through the sky at 180 knots on a straight and level course between two points on a map at 6000 to 8000 feet altitude. However once arriving in an intended target area, it was exciting to visually attack a target at night in a steep dive and release bombs from approximately 2500 feet above the ground. A frightening moment can occur when you make a hard turn during recovery and momentarily lose sight of the air defense gun fire you were trying to avoid at airspeeds that hardly ever exceeded 250 knots. That airspeed is just slightly faster than the speed of an F-100 as it begins its final approach for landing. Even when I had all aspects of a flight situation seemingly under control, good luck was always welcome. There is an old pilot saying that “flying is many hours of boredom punctuated by moments of panic”. Flying night armed reconnaissance missions from NKP in an AT-28D during 1967 fit that description. There has been some debate about whether


this small group of AT-28D pilots contributed any effective disruption to NVA movement of personnel and supplies through central Laos. Given the political decision to not attack the points of origin in North Vietnam with our most capable aircraft, I would say the Zorros did the best they could with the equipment they were provided, especially since there was never more than 12 aircraft at NKP This tale could not be complete without


adding my praise for the strong and positive leadership General Harry C. Aderholt pro- vided the 56th ACW during 1967. He was already a legend among our small group of Zorro pilots, and his continuous sparring with higher headquarters over the effectiveness of vintage aircraft versus jet fighters instilled a sense of pride in all the units under his com- mand. He mentored us well and I used many of his leadership techniques later in my career as commander of both a combat sup- port group and wing. His leadership would be appropriately recognized 44 years later when the enlisted men and women of the Air Force Special Operations Command presented him with the “Order of the Sword”. It was an honor to serve my country


with this outstanding and dedicated group of Americans.


I was proud to be a Zorro. www.aircommando.org Fall 2011 │ AIR COMMANDO JOURNAL │ 29


Wines can be tasted and ordered in the reunion hospitality room throughout the ACA reunion.


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