Category Archives: Visitor Stories

Tales From You

America’s Most Honored WWII Flight

If the title of this post is black or it displays the fighter-pilot header, click on the title to view the featured-image header. My friend and fellow pilot “Mugs” Morgan frequently forwards emails that address topics of interest to our mutual pasts as military aviators and combat veterans. This one is worth passing on in the form of a post in the “Visitor Stories” Logbook, which I’ve modified from its original purpose to include stories written by others who have never visited my website and never will. I especially like doing this to honor those of the greatest generation who … Continue reading

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Old Aviators and Old Airplanes – A P-51 Story

If the title of title of this post is black, click on it to view the featured-image header and continue reading. I originally intended the “Visitor Stories” logbook to include posts by others who had aviation tales to tell either as a pilot, passenger, or both. After a bit of initial success in convincing some writer friends to provide content, the pipeline dried up. Rather than abandon this category of posts, I decided to publish stories of others that I found or that were sent to me by friends and acquaintances who offer them for this purpose. This story a … Continue reading

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How To Crash An Airplane–Doomed From The Start

The pilot of the airplane in this video didn’t visit my website to tell his story, but he’s very lucky to have that opportunity in the future should he choose to do so. In case you don’t already know it, pilot error is a factor in about 85% of all aircraft mishaps, incidents, and crashes. Note that although we may call it “accident” investigation, that’s a misnomer, at least according to the second definition listed in one of my dictionaries: an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause. In one very real sense, if … Continue reading

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A B-17 All American Story

If you have visited this logbook in the past, you may know that my original intent for it has changed. The idea was to attract visitors with stories to tell about their experiences in aviation either as a passenger, a pilot, or both. A few of my friends offered content to help me get the logbook up and running, but it quickly became apparent that the number and type of visitors to my site couldn’t support the concept. To deal with that reality, I decided to use the term “visitor” a bit loosely and post stories of interest that had been … Continue reading

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FIght ‘Til You Die–North Vietnamese Air Combat Details

I received the following article from a friend and fellow military pilot and decided to share it on my website because it presents information about an example of air combat in which a much smaller defensive force achieved impressive successes against overwhelming numerical superiority. Adolf Galland, head of the German Fighter Command during WWII, is (roughtly) quoted as saying, “Only the spirit of attack born in a brave heart can ensure victory in a fighter aircraft no matter how advanced it may be.” The quote certainly applies to the following example of dedication and bravery in the cockpit combined with … Continue reading

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Jungle Survival in Enemy Territory

Click on the title for the page dedicated to this post and the featured header image, credit: surclaro.com. For every combat mission during my two tours in Vietnam, pre-flight preparation began with a briefing covering the latest intelligence information. Of particular interest to aircrews was the heading and distance from the target area to the nearest SAFE area (Selected Area For Escape and Evasion, also known as E&E). This acronym carried more than an hint of irony, because deep into enemy territory “safety” is a relative concept. Targets worth our attention were also worth defending, which meant lots of bad … Continue reading

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The Day of the Ace – by Wayne Blickenstaff – and The Long Ride Home

I’ve never met Wayne Blickenstaff. I know of him through my good friend and fellow writer John Jones, who told me about Wayne’s background as a WWII fighter pilot. John lent me a copy of a book written by Marvin Bledsoe, one of Wayne’s squadron members, titled Thunderbolt: Memoirs of a World War II Fighter Pilot. Wayne figures prominently in Bledsoe’s account, and I became personally interested in the story of his combat experience as well. John told me that Wayne had also written a book but never published it, and I knew that it contained enough tales to fill … Continue reading

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Visitor Stories Logbook – A New Addition

My original intention for the Visitor Stories Logbook was for it to serve as a kind of “guest blogger” destination where thousands of my avid fans would queue up for the opportunity to share aviation-related interests and experiences. That hasn’t happened, of course, although three writer friends responded to my pleas for content very soon after I launched the site, and their stories exceeded my expectations. In the wake of that initial activity and without receiving any additional input from others, I soon decided to expand the purpose of the logbook by publishing aviation stories of interest to me that … Continue reading

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Koga’s Zero – by Jim Rearden

My original intent for the Visitor Stories logbook, to serve as a destination for personal flying experiences of aviators and “normal” folks as well, has never come to fruition by receiving much interest. Three notable exceptions came from fellow writers who graciously responded to my pleas for content and contributed interesting anecdotes: one humorous, one frightening experience told with a bit of after-the-fact humor, and one poignant story of a young-boy-turned-man’s fascination with airplanes and being touched by the tragic death of a close friend’s sister in the crash of an airliner. Unwilling to abandon the idea of incorporating “guest … Continue reading

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Not Just Another Day at Work

Twilight: [figurative] a period or state of gradual decline. As a career military officer and history buff, I really enjoy reading books that take a close and detailed look at significant events in the history of war. The Twilight Warriors by Robert Gandt focuses on the closing months of WWII as described on the jacket: For 95 days in 1945, half a million Americans and Japanese clashed in the largest land-air-sea engagement in history. Okinawa was the last — and bloodiest — battle of the Pacific war. This is the story of the men who fought it. No one on … Continue reading

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