Devastating Air Support
Have you ever wondered what its like to be on the ground when these guys drop their pay load? There was a F-4 Phantom pounding a hillside within 300 meters of our position one day while we were on a recon mission. At that time, I still wore a steel pot on my head instead of a boonie hat, and I was glad I did. Even at that distance there was bamboo flying over our heads from the bomb blasts.
‘Charlie’ just dug a little deeper in his underground network of tunnels to escape this devastation from above.
One day we were inserted into an area of the jungle where a F-4 was either shot down or had mechanical failure. This was the only downed bird mission I was on that involved a fixed wing aircraft instead of a helicopter.
As our Lift bird made it’s approach in the suspected crash location, there were very few signs of any wreckage. All that was visible were some cleared out jungle and a crater caused by the impact and a few aircraft parts.
After searching for most of the day all we recovered was a thumb, which was evidence the pilot and copilot were not able to eject in time…