Sunday, July 14, 2013

Profile 79 - BEGINNING: "314" as flown by Lt. Col. Farrell Sullivan and Capt. Dick Francis


You never know.

Until you're there.

But, you can prepare.

Ok.  This post marks the beginning of "314" - an F-4E Phantom shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam.   Just to be clear, when I wrote "over Hanoi..." I meant directly over Hanoi.  Smack-dab.

Pilot Lt. Col. Farrell Sullivan and Weapons Systems Operator, Capt. Dick Francis were blown out of the sky by a North Vietnamese "SAM" missile during a mission over the city—a city that has, to this day, the distinction of having the most formidable anti-aircraft defenses ever developed for a country 'at-war.'

Dick became a POW.  One of 766.

Sullivan became KIA.  One of 47,378.

Yeah, they're sobering numbers.  But really now, how many of us are really effected by them?  After all, they're someone else.

Hmmm.

I'm going to ask Dick to describe what it was like—to go from utter power to utter helplessness in the span of minutes.  From having more firepower than a WW2 B-17 under-thumb to having the dirty barrel of an AK-47 assault rifle shoved under-chin.

Having heard a few of these stories from others, I know you're going to find Dick's story to be fascinating. 

But there are three people out there who have a surprise coming; I have no idea how that's going to go.

Kind of like Dick how felt the morning of June 27, 1972.

For him, it was, just another mission.

For someone else...?

Stay tuned.