USA Air Aces va Birinchi jahon urushi

USA Air Aces va Birinchi jahon urushi


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Uchuvchi

G'alabalar

Eddi Rikenbeker

26

Frensis Gillet

20

Wilfred Beaver

19

Xovard Kullberg

19

Uilyam Lambert

18

Frank Luqo

18

Avgust Iaccaci

17

Pol Iaccaci

17

Raul Lufberri

17

Eugene Coler

16

Oren Rose

16

Elliot Springs

16

Frederik Libbi

14

Kennet Unger

14

G. A. Von

13

Devid Putam

13

Frank Baylis

12

Lui Bennet

12

Lord Frederik

12

Fild Kindli

12

Rid Landis

12

Emil Lussier

12

Jeyms Pirson

12

Clive Warman

12


Birinchi jahon urushining uchuvchi aslari: Qizil baron va boshqalar

Samolyotning birinchi muvaffaqiyatli parvozidan beri odamlar samolyotlarning jang qilish uchun ishlatilishini tasavvur qilib, orzu qilar edilar. HG Wells ’s 1908 yil kitobi (Havodagi urush misol bo'la oladi. Birinchi jahon urushi boshlanganda har tomondan atigi 1000 ga yaqin samolyotlar bor edi. Samolyotlar juda oddiy edi. Xo'rozlar ochiq, asboblar oddiy edi va yo'q edi. Uchuvchilar har doim ham ishonchli bo'lmagan xaritalardan foydalanishlari kerak edi. Adashish tez -tez uchrab turardi. Ba'zida uchuvchilar qo'nishga va yo'l -yo'riq so'rashga majbur bo'lardi! Oxir-oqibat, samolyotlar dushmanning kuzatuv samolyotlarini yo'q qilish zaruratiga aylandi, shuning uchun havodan jang qilish (it janglari) odatiy holga aylandi.

Jangovar samolyotlarning rivojlanishi

Samolyotning birinchi muvaffaqiyatli parvozidan beri odamlar samolyotlarning jang qilish uchun ishlatilishini tasavvur qilishgan va orzu qilishgan. H. G. Uells (Havodagi urush, 1908) bunga misol bo'la oladi.

Samolyotlar 1910 -yillardan boshlab kichik urushlarda ishlatilgan.

Har bir buyuk davlat armiya va/yoki dengiz flotining havo bo'linmalarini tuzgan edi. Frantsiya eng rivojlangan edi. Buyuk Britaniyada ikkitasi bor edi: Qirollik uchish korpusi (armiya qismi) va Qirollik dengiz havo xizmati (dengiz floti qismi). Ular 1917 yilda Qirollik Harbiy Havo Kuchlariga birlashtiriladi, bu birinchi mustaqil havo xizmati. Germaniya xizmati Luftstreitkrafte deb nomlangan.

Urush boshlanganda har tomondan atigi 1000 ga yaqin samolyot bor edi.

Samolyotlar juda oddiy edi. Cockpits ochiq edi, asboblar oddiy edi va navigatsiya vositalari yo'q edi. Uchuvchilar har doim ham ishonchli bo'lmagan xaritalardan foydalanishlari kerak edi. Adashish odatiy hol edi. Ba'zida uchuvchilar qo'nishi va yo'nalish so'rashi kerak edi!

Urush boshida samolyotlar deyarli faqat razvedka uchun mo'ljallangan bo'lib, ular ilgari otliqlar tomonidan bajarilgan. Ular, shuningdek, artilleriya nuqtalarini aniqlash va masofani aniqlash uchun ishlatilgan. Biroq, uchish razvedka missiyalari xavfli edi.

Oxir-oqibat, samolyotlarga dushmanning kuzatuv samolyotlarini yo'q qilish zarurati tug'ildi, shuning uchun havodan jang qilish (it janglari) odatiy holga aylandi.

Samolyot texnologiyasi urush davomida yaxshilandi va maxsus samolyotlar paydo bo'la boshladi (dengiz samolyotlari, qiruvchilar, bombardimonchilar). Biplanlar va uchburchaklar bor edi. Neuport, Sopwith Pup va Sopwith Camel va Germaniyaning Fokker uchuvchi samolyotlari mashhur.

Urush paytida samolyot tezligi oshdi, urush boshlanishidagi 75 mil tezlikdan oxirigacha qariyb ikki barobargacha.

Harbiy havo kuchlari hajmi sezilarli darajada oshdi. Urush boshida Britaniya havo xizmatlarida 300 ofitser va 1800 ga yaqin erkak bor edi. Urush tugagunga qadar ularning tarkibida 27000 ofitser va 300 mingdan ziyod erkak bor edi. Urush boshlanishida Frantsiyada 140 tadan kam samolyot bor edi, lekin urush oxirida 4500 ta (barcha kuchlarning eng ko'pi).

Samolyotlar ishlab chiqarish ham sezilarli darajada oshdi. Urush tugagach, Frantsiya har kuni urush boshlanishida qancha samolyot ishlab chiqardi.

Samolyot qurollari yanada murakkablashdi. Urush boshida uchuvchilar bir -birlariga to'pponcha yoki boshqa kichik qurol bilan o'q uzishdi.

Keyin avtomatlar o'rnatildi, lekin o'qlar pervanaga tegdi. O'qlarni burish uchun pervanel pichoqlariga metall plitalar o'rnatildi. Ammo o'qlar ba'zida chayqalib ketardi va takroriy zarbalar plastinkalarni yiqitardi.

Bu muammoni Gollandiyalik muhandis Entoni Fokker hal qildi, u qurolning harakatini pervanel bilan sinxronlashtiradigan uzuvchi vositani ixtiro qildi. Bu ixtiro Markaziy kuchlarga bir muncha vaqt, lekin atigi bir yil davomida havo ustunligini berdi. Taxminan bir yil o'tgach, ittifoqchilar bu texnologiyani ishlab chiqishdi va Germaniyaning afzalligi yo'qoldi.

Jangchilar va jangchilar taktikasi.

Uchish juda xavfli edi. Uchuvchilarning katta foizi halok bo'ldi (masalan, britaniyalik uchuvchilar uchun 50%). Urush paytida Frantsiya ishlab chiqargan 68000 samolyotdan 52000 tasi jangda yo'qolgan (77% yo'qotish darajasi).

Uchuvchilar uchun tayyorgarlik, umuman, etarli emas edi. Uchuvchilar 3,5 soatlik mashg'ulotlar bilan jangga kirishdilar.

Urush boshlanishida havo taktikasi deyarli yo'q edi va ular ketayotganda tuzilishi kerak edi. Birinchi jahon urushining uchuvchilari kelajakdagi barcha havo urushlari uchun asos yaratdilar.

1916 yil avgustda nemis askari Osvald Boelke (nemis qiruvchi havo kuchlarining otasi sifatida hurmatga sazovor, shuningdek, "Havo jangovar taktikasining otasi" deb hisoblangan) o'zining 8 ta diktasini ishlab chiqdi, bu juda ta'sirli bo'ladi.

Hujum qilishdan oldin yuqori qo'lni mahkamlashga harakat qiling. Har doim quyoshni orqangizda saqlang.

Har doim siz boshlagan hujumni davom ettiring.

Olovni faqat yaqin masofadan, keyin esa faqat raqib sizning nazaringizda bo'lsa.

Har doim raqibingizni kuzatishga harakat qiling va hech qachon o'zingizni shoshqaloqliklarga aldanishiga yo'l qo'ymang.

Har qanday hujumda raqibga orqadan hujum qilish muhim.

Agar sizning raqibingiz sizga sho'ng'iyotgan bo'lsa, uning hujumini chetlab o'tishga urinmang, balki uni kutib olish uchun uching.

Dushman chizig'idan o'tayotganda, har doim o'z chekinish chizig'ingizni eslang.

Asosan, to'rt yoki oltita guruh bo'lib hujum qilish yaxshiroqdir. Agar janglar bitta jangga bo'linib ketsa, e'tibor bering, bir nechta o'rtoqlar bitta raqibni ta'qib qilmaydi.

Urushning eng ko'zga ko'ringan harakatlaridan biri Arras jangi paytida "Qonli aprel" edi. Britaniya RFK 245 samolyotini yo'qotdi, 211 samolyot halok bo'ldi yoki bedarak yo'qoldi, 108 harbiy asirga aylandi. RFK o'z kuchining chorak qismini yo'qotdi. O'chirilgan havo kemasining o'rtacha umri 11 kun edi. Nemislar atigi 66 ta samolyotni yo'qotdilar ... 4-1 o'ldirish nisbati. Shunga qaramay, RFK piyoda askarlarga ajoyib razvedka bilan ta'minlay oldi. Bu inglizlar uchun butun urushdagi eng katta yo'qotish edi.

5 marta o'ldirilgan qiruvchi uchuvchilar "eys" deb nomlangan. Uchuvchilarning atigi 5 foizi bu maqomga erishgan.

Ularni "havo ritsarlari" deb bilishgan. Ular juda romantik va hurmatga sazovor bo'lishdi. Ular jasurlik va olijanoblikni o'zida mujassam etgan deb ishonilgan.

Eng taniqli eyslar Edvard Mannok va Alfred Ball (ingliz), Billi Bishop (Kanada), Rene Fonk (frantsuz), Eddi Rikenbeker (amerikalik), Hermann Gering, Ernst Udet va Manfred fon Rixtofen (nemis) edi. Rixtofen 80 ta o'ldirishga ega edi (urushda eng ko'p) va "Qizil Baron" deb nomlangan.

Rixtofen "Uchar sirk" deb nomlangan qiruvchi eskadronining etakchisi edi, u kerak bo'lganda jangdan jangga o'tdi.

1918 yil aprel oyida Rixtofen samolyotlarga o'q uzayotgan kanadalik uchuvchi yoki avstriyalik quruqlik qo'shinlari tomonidan urib tushirildi. U atigi 26 yoshda edi. Avstraliyalik uchuvchilar Kanadalik Richthofen uchun to'liq harbiy sharaf bilan dafn marosimini o'tkazdilar.

Birinchi jahon urushida portlash kashshof bo'lgan. Urush boshlanishida bombardimonchi samolyotlar asosan granatalarni tashlagan.

Urush davom etar ekan, bomba hajmi tobora kattalashib borardi.

Bomba ham harbiy, ham fuqarolik maqsadlarida ishlatilgan. Nemislar Belgiya va Frantsiya shaharlariga, shu jumladan Parijga bomba tashladilar.

Zeppelinlar (vodorod bilan to'ldirilgan dirigibllar), shuningdek, 1915 yildan boshlab, birinchi navbatda, Britaniya maqsadlarini bombardimon qilish uchun ishlatilgan. Urush oxirigacha ular 27000 fut balandlikka yetishi mumkin edi. (E'tibor bering: inglizlar blimps va uçurtma sharlaridan foydalangan, lekin faqat kuzatish uchun)

Urush boshida nemislar atigi 11 ta zeppelinga ega edilar. Ammo ular butun urush davomida 123 ta zeppelindan foydalanishgan. 80 ga yaqin o'z -o'zidan otib tashlandi yoki qulab tushdi.

Zeppelinlar Buyuk Britaniyaga 50 dan ortiq reyd o'tkazdilar. Ular katta terror va g'azabni keltirib chiqardi.

Zeppelin reydlari 1916 yilda, zeppelinlar uzoq masofali bombardimonchilar bilan almashtirilganda, bosqichma-bosqich to'xtatila boshladi. Yonuvchan o'qlarning rivojlanishi zeppelinlarni yo'q qilishni osonlashtirdi.

1917 va 1918 yillarda nemislar Londonni bir necha bor bombardimon qilishdi (samolyotlar bilan). Bu portlashlar oqibatida 1400 ga yaqin ingliz fuqarolari halok bo'ldi.

Britaniya samolyotlari javob qaytarishdi, dastlab zeppelin bazalari va kimyoviy qurol ishlab chiqaradigan zavodlarni, keyin esa Germaniya shaharlarini uzoq masofali bombardimon qilishdi.

Strategik portlashlar deyarli samarasiz edi. Shu sababli, Verdun tomonidan uzoq masofali bombardimon missiyalari frontdagi operatsiyalar foydasiga bosqichma-bosqich to'xtatildi.

1910 -yillarning boshlarida samolyotlar birinchi bo'lib statsionar kemalardan havoga ko'tarildi va qo'ndi. Bu Amerika samolyotlari va kemalari edi

1912 yilda Britaniya samolyoti birinchi marta harakatlanayotgan kemadan parvoz qildi. Besh yil o'tgach, Britaniya qo'mondoni Edvin Dunning birinchi marta harakatlanayotgan kemaga qo'ndi.

Birinchi tashuvchi tomonidan amalga oshirilgan havo hujumi 1918 yil iyul oyida Tondern reydidir. HMS Furious konvertatsiyalangan jangovar kemasidan uchirilgan yettita Sopwith Tuya Germaniyaning Tondern shahridagi Germaniya aviabazasiga zarar etkazdi va ikkita zeppelinli havo kemasini yo'q qildi.

1918 yilda HMS Argus dengiz samolyotlarini ishga tushirish va tiklashga qodir bo'lgan dunyodagi birinchi tashuvchiga aylandi.


Birinchi jahon urushi qiruvchi uchuvchilari

Birinchi Jahon urushi uchuvchilarini hurmat qilmaslik qiyin. Jangni boshdan kechirganlar erkaklar bo'lishadi - o'z vaqtidan oldin keksa va dono. Katta jangchilarning aksariyati ko'pincha 21, 22, 23 yoki 24 yoshda edilar, kollej yillarida bo'lganidan unchalik uzoq bo'lmagan.

Shunday qilib, bu jasur aviatorlarning ko'plari vafot etdi, o'z vaqtida muzlab qoldi, ba'zi hollarda abadiylashtirildi, qolganlarida esa ko'zga tashlanmagan bosh tosh bilan butunlay unutildi. Yoki bundan ham yomoni, ular hech qachon topilmaydigan artilleriya snaryadlari tomonidan qayta -qayta ag'darilgan yoki umumiy qabrlarga tashlangan axloqsizlik qatlamlarida ko'milgan va topilmagan, chunki ular tanalari juda yomon parchalanib ketganligi sababli aniqlanmagan. G'arbiy frontda yuz minglab jangchilar bilan bo'lgani kabi topildi.

Bu odamlar havoga ko'tarilganiga ishonish qiyin. Ular yupqa yog'ochdan, zig'ir matodan va simdan yasalgan motorli mashinalarda bo'lgan. Bir nuqtada, oddiy jangovar bo'lmagan uchishlar uchun o'rtacha o'lim vaqti har oltmish besh soatlik vaqt uchun bitta o'lim edi.

Ularda ham parashyut yo'q edi. Parashyutlarni uchuvchilar ham, ularning boshliqlari ham qo'rqoq deb bilishgan. Parashyutlar Amerika uchuvchilariga 1919 yilgacha, urush tugagandan keyingi yilgacha berilmagan. Axir, parashyutlar uchuvchilarni samolyotlarni erga qaytarishga urinishdan ko'ra, yonayotgan yoki boshqa darajada shikastlangan samolyotlardan sakrashga undaydi, degan fikr bor edi. Faqat urushdan keyin kuchlar yaxshi uchuvchilarni samolyotlardan ko'ra qiyinroq bo'lishini tushunishdi. Tajribali odamlar bundan ham qiyinroq edi. Samolyotlarni almashtirish ancha oson edi.

Birinchi jahon urushi qiruvchi uchuvchilari jang paytida uchish paytida odatda bir necha hafta umr ko'rishadi. Bir necha hafta. Umuman unchalik emas. Uchish soatlari nuqtai nazaridan, jangovar uchuvchi, hech bo'lmaganda urushning boshida, 40-60 soatgacha o'lishi mumkin edi. Haqiqatan ham, Lafayette Eskadrilning ettita uchuvchisidan faqat bittasi urushdan chiqqan, na o'ldirilgan, na yaralangan. Bu odamlarni ro'yxatdan o'tishga va havo kuchlariga qo'shilishga undashiga nima turtki bo'lishi mumkin? Ular g'alaba qozongan kimsa haqida bilishganmi?

Ammo bu odamlar - yashil uchuvchilar, shuningdek, buyuk asarlar, qurbonlar va omon qolganlar - bir nechta istisnolardan tashqari, ko'pincha kalendar yillarida juda yosh yigitlar edi. Va ularning tanasi va ongiga etkazilgan zarar aql bovar qilmas darajada edi.

Tirik qolganlardan biri - buyuk Roland Garros - urushdan oldingi dublyor, tsiklni aylanib chiqqan birinchi odam va qiruvchi samolyot ixtirochisi bir necha nemis samolyotlarini urib tushirish uchun etarlicha uzoq yashagan, deyarli uchtasi qo'lga olingan. yillar, yana uching, faqat 1918 yilning oktyabrida, urush tugashidan bir oy oldin, otib tashlandi. U 29 yoki 30 yoshda edi.

Jorj Gyunemerning mashhur "Vieux Charlz" Spad samolyoti bugun Le Bourget havo muzeyida osilib turibdi. Guynemer, Frantsiyada 53 ta o'ldirilgan afsonasi, atigi 22 yoshda edi, 1917 yil 11 sentyabrda uni otib o'ldirishdi. Nemislar uning jasadini keyinroq, "Spad" o'rindig'ida "shlak bilan" topdilar. bosh suyagi ". U allaqachon kamida uchta samolyot halokatga uchragan edi. Keyinchalik uning samolyoti va tanasi zarbaga uchradi va abadiy yo'qoldi. Frantsuz afsonasi Guynemer shunchaki bulutlarga uchib ketdi, hech qachon qaytmaydi.

Legion de Honneur g'olibi Charlz Nungesser 25 yoshda, tuzoqqa tushib, o'ldirishga yaqin edi. Qolganlari uchib ketishidan oldin, ularning tuzog'i muvaffaqiyatsizlikka uchraganidan, u nemis samolyotlarining ikkitasini urib tushirishga muvaffaq bo'ldi. U urushdan omon qoldi, Rene Fonk va Jorj Ginemerdan keyin uchinchi o'rinni egalladi. Nungesser 45 marta o'ldirgan, ammo buning evaziga 17 ta yara va jarohat olgan, ikkita samolyot qulagan. U ikkala oyog'ini va jag'ini sindirib oldi va urush tugaguniga qadar, u ikkita tayoq bilan yurar edi, yoki u hali ham jangda uchayotgan bo'lsa -da, samolyotiga olib borilishi kerak edi.

Germaniyalik Verner Voss atigi 20 yoshda edi, uni Artur Ris-Devidlar otib o'ldirishdi. O'sha paytda Voss Britaniyaning ettita SE-5 samolyotiga qarshi kurashgan. Uning hisobida 48 ta g'alaba bor edi va u Germaniya chempioni reytingida to'rtinchi o'rinni egalladi.

Ro'yxatning yuqori qismida mashhur Qizil Baron - Manfred von Rixtofen - 80 o'ldirilgan va Birinchi Jahon Urushining eng buyuk uchuvchisi hisoblangan - 80 yoshli g'alabadan bir kun o'tib o'ldirilgan deyarli 25 yoshli qariya edi. Uning 80 -g'alabasi tom ma'noda o'ldirishga olib kelmadi. Buning o'rniga, Richthofen, uchib ketishdan oldin, raqibini tekshirish uchun pastga tushganda, samolyot qulagan samolyotga samimiy to'lqin berdi. Rixtofen ham, Verner Voss ham mashhur Fokker Dr.1 Triplane samolyotida otib tashlangan. Richhthofen bosh suyagida o'n santimetrlik yaraga ega bo'ladigan darajada og'ir yaralanganidan keyin bir marta majburan tushirilgan. Bu yara uni keyingi olti hafta davomida frontda yo'q qildi.

Kolumb, Jorjiya shtatidagi Evgeniy Bullard tarixdagi birinchi afroamerikalik uchuvchi edi. U Frantsiyada uchuvchi bo'ldi va 1916 yilda Frantsiya armiyasida birinchi marta piyoda askar sifatida xizmat qilganidan keyin Frantsiyaga uchib ketdi. U Verdun va boshqa joylarda jang qilgan va shu jarayonda yaralangan. Tuskegee Airmen yoki Benjamin Devis Sr kabi mashhur bo'lmasa -da, u AQShda birinchi va haqiqatan ham kashshof va cheksiz qahramon edi, lekin u Frantsiyada har doim qahramon bo'lgan.

Lafayette Escadrille boshida va keyinchalik 1-chi qidiruv guruhining boshida fransuz tug'ilgan amerikalik Raul Lufberi bo'lgan. Lufbery, 16 ta g'alabasi bilan, u samolyotdan qulab tushdi va hatto qulab tushdi. U taxminan 1000 metr (3300) futga sakrab, kichkina bog'ga qulab tushdi va kampirning so'zlariga ko'ra, u bog'iga tushib, o'rnidan turdi va keyin o'lik holda yiqildi.


Amerikaning oxirgi jangchi uchuvchisi Ace: 89 soniyada ikkita MIGni urish

"Kimda qo'rquv bo'lmasa, u ahmoqdir. Shunchaki, siz qo'rquvni o'zingiz uchun bajarishingiz kerak. Kimdir menga o'q uzganida, do'zax meni jahannamdan ko'ra aqldan ozdirdi va men faqat otishni xohladim."-Brigadier general Robin Olds, USAF (1922-2007)

Men qiruvchi uchuvchimning do'stidan keyingi "Amerika qahramonlari haqidagi hikoyalar" rukni uchun qanday jangchi uchuvchidan intervyu olishim kerakligini so'raganimda, u bir zum ham ikkilanmadi. - Stiv Ritchi, - dedi u xuddi johil odamdek. Stiv Ritchi "Oxirgi Ace" edi. (Uchar Ace)

Shunday qilib, men butun mamlakat bo'ylab brigada generali (ret.) Stiv Ritchini kuzatib keldim, u va uning rafiqasi Mariana Floridadagi Kakao -Bichdan Vashington shtatining Bellevue shahriga ko'chib ketishdi. Bu ularning menga aytgan 33 -chi harakati edi. Oxir -oqibat, men ularning odysseyi tugaguncha kutishim kerak edi va ular hech bo'lmaganda ba'zi narsalarni qutilaridan chiqarib olishdi.

Harbiy havo kuchlarida 10 yillik faollik va yana 25 ta zaxiradagi navbatchilikdan so'ng, general mashg'ulotlar jadvali va oilasi bilan qulay. Vetnamda uning 339 ta missiyasi, 800 ta jangovor soati, havoda 4000 soatdan ortiq bo'lgani, havo kuchlari taklif qilgan deyarli barcha mukofotlarga sazovor bo'ldi. (Hammamiz bu mukofotlar nima ekanligini va nimani anglatishini chindan ham tushunishimiz uchun, men bir nechtasini ko'rib chiqishimiz kerak deb o'yladim. Endi sizga ko'rsataman, haqiqiy "Urush Qahramoni" qanday medallarni oladi.)

Harbiy havo kuchlari xoch (USAFdagi eng yuqori mukofot va Kongressning "Shon -sharaf medali" dan keyin AQShning ikkinchi eng yuqori mukofoti)

Bilaman, qiruvchi uchuvchi shaxsiyati zerikarli bo'lishi mumkin. Ular odatda o'ziga ishongan, vahshiyona raqobatbardosh, A tipli, alfa egotistlar. Bir vaqtning o'zida ular ajoyib o'quvchilar, ular qanday ishlashini juda qiziqadi va boshqalarga nisbatan sezgir. Ular, shuningdek, do'zax kabi kulgili, eng yaxshi hazillarni aytib berishadi. Aksariyat jangovar uchuvchilardan farqli o'laroq, Acesdan ko'ra, Ritchi o'zini tuta biladigan va kamtarin. Men undan "Bronza yulduzi" sovrinini qo'lga kiritdingizmi, deb so'rasam, u "ha, bilmayman. Menda bo'lishi mumkin edi", dedi.

Bu Vyetnamda jasorat bilan uchib yurganida, bu mukofotlarni qo'lga kiritgan Stiv Ritchi.

Mana, u 1972 yilda "Ace" unvonini qo'lga kiritgan vaqtga o'xshardi.


Kapitan Stiv Ritchi (o'ng o'ngda) va kapitan Charlz "Chak" DeBellevue 28/8/72 kuni Ritchi o'zining beshinchi MIG va Ace unvonini olgan kunida ish uchun hisobot berishdi.


Bu belgining boshqa tomoni
Fotosurat: Allen L. Taker

Endi "Ace" ta'rifi har xil bo'lishi mumkin. Garchi Ritchi singari uchuvchilar bilan jang qilmasangiz ham. Bu urush paytida urib tushirilgan kamida beshta jangovar samolyotga to'g'ri keladi, lekin ba'zi bir kelishmovchiliklar mavjud. kim haqli bu belgini olib yurish. Vikipediyaga ko'ra, beshta Vetnam Aces bo'lgan. Haqiqiy uchuvchi Aces va "uchuvchi bo'lmagan Aces" o'rtasida farq bor. Vetnam davridagi reaktiv qiruvchilarning ko'pchiligi ikki kishilik, orqa o'rindiqli ofitser ("GIB", orqadagi yigit) an'anaviy ravishda navigator va qurolli ofitser bo'lgan. Shunday qilib, bu urushdan oldingi, samolyot haydovchi va o'q otuvchi uchuvchi Aces qoladi: birinchi Vetnam Ace, Harbiy-dengiz kuchlarining Rendi "Dyuk" Kanningem va general Ritchi, oxirgi Vetnam Ace.

Ishonchli McDonnell Duglas F-4D Phantom-da uchib, Ritchi Vetnam osmonining balosi edi.


Ritchi afsonaviy F-4 Kolorado-Springsdagi AQSh Harbiy havo kuchlari akademiyasida sharafli joyda o'tiradi.


Ritchining 463 -sonli tortish moslamasi ochiq


Vetnam ustidan uchayotgan Phantom F-4D

Umumiy xususiyatlar
Ekipaj: 2
Uzunligi: 63 fut 0 dyuym (19,2 m)
Qanotlar kengligi: 38 fut 4.5 dyuym (11.7 m)
Balandligi: 16 fut 6 dyuym (5.0 m)
Qanot maydoni: 530.0 fut² (49.2 m²)
Havo qanoti: NACA 0006.4-64 ildizi, NACA 0003-64 uchi
Bo'sh vazn: 30,328 lb (13,757 kg)
Yuklangan vazn: 41,500 lb (18,825 kg)
Maks. uchish vazni: 61,795 lb (28,030 kg)
Quvvat qurilmasi: 2 × General Electric J79-GE-17A eksenel kompressorli turbojetslar, 11905 lbf quruq tortishish (52,9 kN), har birida (79,4 kN) 17,845 lbf
Nol ko'tarilishning tortish koeffitsienti: 0,0224
Maydoni: 11,87 fut² (1,10 m²)
Aspektlar nisbati: 2.77
Yoqilg'i hajmi: 1994 AQSh dollari (7549 L) ichki, 3335 AQSh gal (12,627 L), tashqi qanotda uchta tashqi tank (370 AQSh gal (1,420 L)) va 600 yoki 610 AQSh gal (2,310 yoki 2,345 L) ) markaziy stantsiya uchun tank).
Maksimal qo'nish og'irligi: 36,831 lb (16,706 kg)

Ishlash
Maksimal tezlik: Mach 2,23 (1,472 milya, 2370 km/soat) 40,000 fut (12,190 m)
Kruiz tezligi: 506 kn (585 mil/soat, 940 km/soat)
Jang radiusi: 367 nmi (422 mil, 680 km)
Parom oralig'i: 3 tashqi yonilg'i baklari bilan 1,403 nmi (1,615 mil, 2,600 km)
Xizmat tavan: 60,000 fut (18,300 m)
Tepaga chiqish tezligi: 41,300 fut/min (210 m/s)
Qanot yuklanishi: 78 lb/ft² (383 kg/m²)
Olib tashlash: 8.58
Bosish/vazn: yuklangan vaznda 0,86, MTOWda 0,58
Uchish rulosi: 4390 fut (24410 kg)
Uchish maydonchasi: 3,680 fut (1,120 m) 36,831 lb (16,706 kg)
Manba: Vikipediya


A-9 Sidewinder va AIM-7 Sparrow raketalari bilan qurollangan F-4J "Showtime 100"


Bu uchuvchilar ajoyib hazil tuyg'usiga ega

General va men uning urush haqidagi hikoyalaridan qaysi birini aytib berishga yordam berishni birinchi muhokama qila boshlaganimizda, u: "Siz" Rojer Lojer haqidagi hikoyani eshitganmisiz? "Dedi. Men: "Siz yoki boshqalar bu hikoyani necha marta aytgansiz?" General javob berdi: "Taxminan 5000 marta, bu eng hayajonli hikoya".

Yo'q, rahmat, deb o'yladim. Men 5000 marta aytilgan voqeani boshqa aytib berolmayman. "Qani? ikkinchi eng hayajonli hikoya? Bu nima bo'lardi? "Men so'radim." Xo'sh, o'sha paytda men ikkita MIGni 89 soniyada urib tushirgan bo'lardim. "Endi u butun Vetnam urushi paytida beshta MIG-21ni urib tushirgan va uning hikoyasi bor edi. u bir yarim daqiqadan kamroq vaqt ichida ikkita MIGni urib yubordi? "Yessir, bu juda yaxshi bo'ladi, rahmat."

1972 yil 8 -iyuldagi afsonaviy voqealarga kirishdan oldin, men sizga "Rojer Lojer haqidagi hikoya" ni tushunishga ijozat bering. Yoki, aslida, general Ritchi sizga YouTube -da bir milliondan ortiq ko'rilgan "Rojer Lokerning qutqarilishi" videosidagi hikoyani aytib berishga ijozat bering:

1972 yil 8-iyulda kapitan Stiv Ritchi ikkita tasdiqlangan MIG-21 (5/10/72 va 5/31/72) o'ldirgan edi, shuning uchun u o'zining besh kishilik "Ace-kema" siga 40% yo'l bosib o'tgan edi. tasdiqlangan o'ldirishlar. O'sha kunning oxiriga kelib, u o'sha erda 80% bo'lardi.

"O'sha kuni hamma narsa birlashdi. 1972 yil 8 -iyul", - deb boshladi Ritchi. "Men ishlagan, tayyorgarlik ko'rgan va kurashgan hamma narsa chiroyli tarzda birlashdi. O'sha kuni menga omad kulib boqdi".

Ritchi nima uchun bu omadli bo'lganini tushuntiradi. "Chumchuq raketalari PK (o'ldirish ehtimoli) 11% ko'rsatkichiga ega. Bu shuni anglatadiki, o'sha paytda bu raketalardan foydalanish dushman samolyotiga 100 martadan atigi 11 marta tegadi".

Qiruvchi uchuvchining jangdagi hayoti sizning odatiy jadvalingiz emas, hech bo'lmaganda oddiy odam uchun emas. Mana, generalning o'sha ulug'vor kunidagi jadvali, 1972 yil 8 -iyul, shanba: "O'sha kuni, xuddi har kuni bo'lgani kabi, biz ham soat 03:30 (3:30) da turdik, o'zimizni uyg'otib, chow zaliga urdik. Keyin soat 0500 ga qadar Biz ertalabki brifingda edik. Bizda uchta ertalabki brifing bor edi, birinchi navbatda asosiy brifing, so'ng eskadron brifingi va nihoyat, parvoz bo'yicha brifing, shu tartibda. O'sha qizg'in tayyorgarlikdan so'ng, biz ertalab soat 8 ga yaqin havoda bo'ldik ". Odatda qachon yotishga yotardingiz? "Biz 2100 (21:00) ga qadar uxlashga harakat qildik." Shunday qilib, juma kuni kechqurun xonimlarga "Siz sevgan tuyg'uni yo'qotdingiz" deb ichgan, g'amgin yoki qo'shiq aytgan jangchi yo'q edi. "Men butun faoliyatim davomida uchishdan oldin umuman ichishni xohlamaganman", - ogohlantirdi Ritchi qat'iylik bilan. Zero, uning va amerikaliklarning hayoti xavf ostida edi.

"Bizda ob -havo yomon edi, men bir haftadan ko'proq uchmadim", dedi menga Ritchi. "Men har kuni uchishni yaxshi ko'raman. Agar men uzoq vaqt bo'sh bo'lsam, o'zimni keskin his qilmayman. Men 12 kun tekis uchib, keyin bir kun dam olishga o'rganib qolganman. Shunday qilib, men samolyotga qaytishni juda xohlardim. havo ". Shu kuni, bo'sh vaqtga qaramay, Ritchi keskin edi.

"Endi biz to'rtta samolyot bilan to'rtta parvoz qildik. To'rt kishidan iborat" kirish "parvozi va oxirgi parvoz" chiqish "parvozi edi. Men birinchi parvoz va kirishga odatlanganman. "Men juda tajribali bo'lganim uchun, parvoz boshlig'i MIGni o'ldirgan va harakat qaerda bo'lishni yoqtirgan edi, shuning uchun oxirgi parvozda bo'lganimdan juda xafa bo'ldim. Rejalashtiruvchilar buni kechasi uyushtirgan edi va ular mening do'stlarim edi. Rejalashtiruvchilar meni Charliga qo'yib yuborganidan g'azablandim ". Ritchi, ofisda dam olish kuni bo'ladimi, deb o'ylardi, chunki parvozni tozalashning oxirgi tafsiloti, uxlash vaqti. U xato qilmagan bo'lardi.

Missiya boshlanganda, Ritchi va DeBellevue havoga ko'tarilishdi va zudlik bilan tanker bilan uchrashishdi, chunki taksida va uchish jarayonida ko'p samolyot yoqilg'isi yonadi. "Biz patrul yo'nalishida (Xanoy tomon) bordik."

"Parvozga taxminan 30-40 daqiqa qolganida, biz" Disko "dan (Amerika qiruvchi samolyotlarini jangchilarni qo'llab-quvvatlovchi RC-121 radar samolyotining chaqiruv belgisi) radio qo'ng'irog'ini oldik. Yoqilg'i va gidravlika oqayotgan edi, bu uchuvchi uchun juda yomon ish edi, u parvozdan chiqib ketdi va vahimaga tushgan bo'lishi kerak, chunki siz nima bo'lishidan qat'i nazar, har doim uchuvchilaringiz bilan qolasiz. U yolg'iz edi va unga zarba berildi. MIGlarning hammasi sizning orqangizdan kelib, sizni otib tashlashdi. Uning o'tirgan o'rdak ekanligini bilib, men unga yordam berish uchun darhol shimolga burildim.

"Men tezda" Disko "dan Xanoydan 30 kilometr janubi-g'arbda uchuvchimiz yonida ikkita" Moviy qaroqchilar "(MIG-21) borligi haqida yana bir ogohlantirish oldim.

Ritchi o'sha tongni esladi: "Men soat 10 larda ikkita MIGni oldim va ular bizning odamni kuzatib, uni otib tashlashga tayyorgarlik ko'rishdi. Qo'rg'oshin MIG va men bir -birimizdan 1000 fut narida o'tdik. Men uchuvchini ko'rardim. kokpitda. U charm dubulg'a kiygan edi, menimcha. "


Lou Drendelning "Birinchi pas" si, Ritchi 7/8/72 da MIGni etakchi o'rinni egallaganini juda yaxshi hujjatlashtiradi.

"Bu ikkita MIG va to'rtta F-4 o'rtasidagi past balandlikdagi it jangidir. Odatda MIGlarni 15-20 metr balandlikda topish mumkin, lekin bizda intellekt bor edi va ular hozir strategiyasini o'zgartirib, pastga tushayotgani haqida xabar berishdi."

"Biz, shuningdek, MIGlar bizning uchuvchilarimizni birinchi MIG o'tishiga jalb qilish orqali tuzoq qurishni yoqtirishganini bilgan edik va agar siz birinchi MIGga o'tsangiz, ikkinchi MIG sizning orqangizda va sizni otib tashlaydi. Birinchi MIGga g'amxo'rlik qiling va sizni qurbon qilish uchun qurbon bo'lar edik. Biz (USAF) hech qachon bunday qilmaganmiz. Shuning uchun men birinchi MIGga o'tishga ruxsat berdim va men bilgan ikkinchisini ishga qo'shdim ".

"Men MIG #2 orqasida manevr qila oldim va unga ikkita" Chumchuq "raketasini uchirdim. Birinchi raketa uning korpusidagi o'lik markazga tegib, MIGni ikkiga bo'lak qilib, ulkan olov to'pini yaratdi. Hamma joyda qoldiq bor edi. Ikkinchisi Chumchuq uni olov va qoldiqlardan o'tib ketib urdi. Men qoldiqlarga uchib ketmaslik uchun qattiq qochish choralarini ko'rishim kerak edi va bir soniya ichida yuqoriga va chapga bordim. Bu it jangiga 47 soniya edi, shuning uchun ham shunday bo'ldi. juda tez."

Endi MIG #1 haqida ozgina gap bor edi. "Men o'sha kuni MIGni" yaltiroq MIG "deb atayman, chunki ularning ko'pchiligi miltiqdan yasalgan kulrang edi, lekin u porlab turardi. O'sha paytda itlar jangi ulkan aylanada bo'lib o'tdi va MIG #1 mening to'rtinchi raqamimdan orqada qoldi. , Tommy ismli yosh bola. Bu uning birinchi vazifasi edi. U dumida MIG borligini radio orqali eshitdi va men uni ko'rganimda MIG #2 yopildi. Men Tommiga tezroq va tezroq etib borish uchun aylanani kesib o'tdim. Men MIGni dumidan tushirishni xohladim, shuning uchun men bolani o'chirib qo'yishga harakat qilib, MIGga yana bir raketa otdim. Xo'sh, raketa MIG #2 o'lik markaziga ham tegdi ".

Ritchi 89 soniya ichida "Splash One" va "Splash Two" (rad etilgan MIGlar uchun radio signallari) da radio eshittirgan edi, bu hech qachon bo'lmagan. "O'sha kuni mening ikkita MIG o'ldirishim radar va intellektual manbalar yordamida darhol tasdiqlandi."

"G'alaba davri yo'q edi, - dedi general, - biz radio signallarini oldik, bizga yana ikkita MIG yuborilgan edi. Biz ham qolgan bo'lardik, lekin biz ularni uch minut yoqilg'i bilan ta'minlaganmiz. parvoz vaqti. Shuning uchun men bizni u erdan tezroq olib chiqishga qaror qildim. "

Shu kuni Ritchi ikkita MIG-21 samolyotini uch raketasi bilan nishonga urdi. "Ikkinchi qotillikda men uni aylantirib yubormoqchi edim, shuning uchun men unga qurol ishlatardim. Uchta mukammal raketani otish ehtimoli behisobdir".

MIG uchuvchilarining chiqib ketganini ko'rdingizmi? "Yo'q, bu chumchuq raketalari uzunligi 12 fut va qariyb 500 funtli, 30 funtli o'q bilan. Ular soatiga 1200 mil tezlikda (taxminan 1600 milya) tezlikda harakatlanadilar, shuning uchun samolyotdan hech narsa qolmaydi. . "


MIG-21 changni tishlaydi. Agar Ritchi bu zarbani urganida, samolyotning ko'p qismi qolmagan bo'lardi.

U bazaga qaytganidan keyin katta bayram bo'lganmi? "Ha, o'sha kecha ofitserlar klubida katta ziyofat bo'ldi. Ajoyib bo'ldi." Bir nechtasini orqaga tortdingizmi? Men so'radim. "Albatta, men uchib ketdim. Ertasi kuni men ham uchmadim", dedi general xushchaqchaqlik bilan.
_________________________________________________________________

"Men birinchi marta ikkinchi safarim uchun Vetnamga qaytganimda, - deb eslaydi Ritchi, - men FWSda o'qituvchi bo'lganman (USAF jangovar qurollar maktabi, Harbiy -havo kuchlarining Harbiy -dengiz kuchlarining" Top Gun "ga tenglashtiruvchisi). Mendan qo'mondon mening qurol falsafam nima ekanligini va unga aytayotganini so'radi. Birinchi raqam-bu qurol, agar iloji bo'lsa, birinchi raqamli qurol. Ikkinchi raqam-bu bizning issiqlikka intiladigan raketalarimiz, Uchinchi raqam-bizning radar boshqaradigan raketalarimiz. Men u erda Bu katta bilimga ega bo'lgan katta mutaxassis edi va mening qo'mondonimga qanday bo'lishi kerakligini aytdi va men radar raketalarim bilan beshta MIGni ham yo'q qildim ". Bu gapdan keyin Ritchi bilan men chin dildan kulib yubordik.


Ritchining F-4D dumi raqami 67-463, Udorn RTAFB, Tailandda asfaltda o'tiradi
Fotosurat: Allen L. Taker

Men Udorn RTAFB (Tayland Qirollik Harbiy -havo bazasi) bu dahshatli joyga o'xshamasligini aytganimda, Ritchi tezda shunday dedi: "Yo'q, Tailand xalqi juda zo'r. Boshqa yigitlar o'zlari haqida shikoyat qilganda. Udornda men ularga aytardim: "Men sening qichqirayotganingni va nolasini eshitishni xohlamayman. Men bir yil Da Nang aviabazasida yashadim, shuning uchun eshitishni xohlamayman". Men birinchi marta F-4 samolyotini Da Nangga olib kelganimda, 90 daraja issiqlikka 90% namlik bilan tushdim va tokcha va dubulg'amni echib bo'lgach, meni dunyodagi eng dahshatli hid urdi. Bu kanalizatsiyaning ochiq joylaridan o'tib ketgan. Bu men ko'rgan eng yomon narsa edi va doim shunday bo'lgan. "

"Birinchi va ikkinchi jahon urushlarida 1400 dan ortiq Aces bor edi, Koreyada 43 ta Aces, Vetnamda ikkita Aces", - dedi Ritchi. Aces -ning bugungi kungacha keskin pasayishiga nima sabab bo'ldi? Nega yuqoriroq o'ldirmaysiz? Men undan so'radim. "Bu texnologiya. Bizda samolyotlarni uzoqdan eng samarali va halokatli qiladigan qurollar va barcha turdagi uskunalar bor. Bundan tashqari, osmonda jang qilish uchun unchalik ko'p samolyot yo'q. Ilgari yuzlab bor edi. Birinchi ikkita jahon urushidagi jang paytida samolyotlarning samolyotlari, keyin Koreyada bu o'nlab, Vetnamda esa kamroq edi.

O'z fikrini isbotlash uchun general menga 1972 yil 10 mayda, uning eskadroni va 100 dan ortiq Amerika havo kuchlari va flotining samolyotlari gavjum osmonda kamida 16 ta MIG-21 samolyotiga qarshi to'qnash kelganini aytdi. Amerikaliklar bir necha soat ichida ulardan 13tasini chiqarib olishdi va o'sha kuni general o'zining birinchi MIGini tushirdi. "Osmon endi jangchilar bilan gavjum bo'lmaydi", dedi u menga, "shuning uchun siz endi Iroq, Afg'onistondan Aslarni yoki kelajakdagi havo hujumlarini ko'rmaysiz". Ritchining ta'kidlashicha, bu it urushi "Uzoq urushdagi bir kun" kitobida yozilgan. Bu havo jangi uning hikoyalaridan yana biri edi-haqiqatan ham Stiv Richining kimligini o'z ichiga oladi.

1972 yilda Ritchi Vetnamdan qaytganidan so'ng, u 1974 yilda o'z vatani Shimoliy Karolinadan AQSh Kongressi o'rindig'iga nomzodlik vazifasini tark etdi. "I ran at the suggestion of Sen. Barry Goldwater, who told me he felt I'd 'be of more service to the military and country as a member of Congress.'" Ritchie lost, ostensibly because of the Watergate scandal and the severe effect it had on Republican candidates, among a number of other reasons. That may have been the first time Ritchie lost at anything big in his life.


"A Hero's Welcome" Ritchie is met and welcomed right after his fifth MIG kill

The General did not rest. At various times in his post-Vietnam career, he was appointed by Ronald Reagan, director of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, reporting to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Ritchie was later assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For six years he was special assistant to Joseph Coors at the Adolph Coors Brewing Company and later lectured extensively around the country for the Heritage Foundation. In 1999, Ritchie officially retired.

Hitting the road and speaking became the General's passion, Ritchie quickly found that he loved giving talks to all groups of people: community groups, business conferences and most of all, the military. He traveled exhaustively telling his stories of the military life, dogfights, shooting down MIGs and fighting Communism.


The General on the occasion of his last Air Force' career flight

But that wouldn't be his last flight by any stretch of the imagination.


Steve Ritchie flies the F-104 Starfighter at the Winston-Salem Air Show


The General's old friend takes one last flight, returning full circle back to the place Ritchie learned to fly, at the USAF Academy to rest in honor. Pike's Peak in the background greets her. "Isn't she a beauty?" Ritchie asked.

Then, in April 2010, General Ritchie received an interesting letter to say the least. In the course of writing this article, Ritchie kept saying to me, "Have you received the letter I sent yet?" and "You have to read the letter." Well, I began to think, enough with the letter already. But when I read the letter, I realized that it was one of the most important letters I'd ever read. And I cried.

This letter would have an indelible and momentous effect on the General and his life.

The writer wanted the General to come and speak at her daughter's school. "We don't have any money," Mariana told Ritchie, "we can't even pay your expenses."

Of course, the General did go out to Seattle to speak to Mariana's daughter's class. But something special was started with that school address to children . something much more chemical, romantic and enduring.

The letter's sender, Mariana Mickler is now Mrs. Ritchie.

The General and Mariana were married on March 4th, 2011 in the Nellis AFB Chapel on the same day that Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy married 59 years earlier. Mariana's daughter, Jessica was the maid of honor while the General's son, Matt was best man.

The couple honeymooned at The Mission Inn in Riverside, California in the same suite Ronald Reagan and his new wife Nancy did in 1952, the "Reagan Suite" now. Who knew? No less than nine Presidents have been to the inn and that Richard and Pat Nixon were also married there. The next day, the General took his new bride to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for a surprise visit. You can see and feel the thread of mutual adoration between both the General and Mariana and them toward Ronald Reagan, whose memory they both revere.

I asked the General when he knew he was going to marry Mariana. He didn't hesitate for an instant, "As soon as I read the letter," he said firmly, sounding as if he was grinning. And when did you know Mariana? "The first time I was fully aware that Steve was the one was when I received his email at work that he was coming out to Seattle to speak to the class. His email said 'I will come. After that letter, I cannot say no. I will be there and I won't accept anything in return.' I broke out into tears right at work people were asking if I was OK. I knew right then that he was the one. That this was going to be the man that I marry."

As "The Letter" states so resolutely, Mariana unconditionally loved Reagan while growing up behind the Iron Curtain (of shame and despair). And it makes perfect sense that she did and does, because after all, it was Reagan who first had the guts, the steadfastness and caring human vision to state at the Berlin Wall, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

And Reagan did it without Facebook, Twitter or the Internet. "Ronald Reagan was such an important figure to those living under Communism. You can't imagine how important and loved he was. He gave hope and spirit and shined a light on our darkness," Mrs. Ritchie said dramatically. It was readily apparent from the tone and thrust of her voice, that for her, Reagan was a life-saving character.

Mariana told me, "I grew up dreaming of an American fighter pilot who would take me away to America, not a knight on a white horse who would take me on his horse to a castle."


"A Dream Come True for the Little Girl Behind The Iron Curtain"

Growing up in Timișoara, Romania, Mariana spoke to me both sadly and angrily. "Timișoara is the second largest city in Romania and used to be called 'Little Vienna.' But the Communist government became so intrusive they bugged our rooms we had to watch everything we said. It was killing our spirit. My grandfather was a priest and both of my parents were strong anti-Communists. We were harassed all the time. When I asked my father why he, everybody did not fight back against the Communists, he told me, 'They would've killed us.' I said in return, 'OK, then they kill you. It's better than living this way.'" But Mariana would not have to live that way much longer.

Mariana landed at JFK airport in NYC on September 20, 1986. "As soon as I stepped off that plane and got well away from it, that was the first time in my life I felt safe. In all my years in America, I always felt I was an American born in Romania. I never felt like I was from there, from Romania."

"I love this country so much! I would do anything for this country! I'm just so proud that I'm an American now and part of this great, great country," she told me with tears in our eyes.

Though she has been assimilated into American society beautifully loves America more than some of those born here and even speaks with a bit of an American accent, this lady hasn't even begun to forget the Communists and their lethal regime. She never will.

The General and Mariana even have a favorite Reagan quote, his "Rendezvous with Destiny": "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."


General Ritchie with Mariana in Aviano, Italy with his famed "Triple Nickel" 555th TFS for the 40th anniversary of his fifth MIG kill

General Ritchie travels regularly and extensively give talks, chats and speeches to every military base, community group, school, university, association and business group that invites him. He is indefatigable about his speaking.

And, Mariana accompanies him everywhere, at his side, speaking too. They make a powerful couple with a compelling message. As Ritchie told me, "I talk about fighting Communism in Vietnam and Mariana talks about growing up under that kind of tyranny in Romania." Mariana chimed in, "What I'm trying to do now is give Americans a view of the oppressed . what it's like to be dreaming of freedom . what it's like to be willing to die for just a little liberty, just a little freedom."

Then, General Ritchie gives me the perfect closing quote from him. "When you've lived through 339 combat missions, you're very humble. Especially, when so many died. My best friend died. There were ten of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people working on the ground and in the air. I was fortunate that I had five wins but that never would've happened without all those other people working so hard and risking their lives. My heart is filled with gratitude and so humble." It's seems rare to find a humble fighter pilot.

Well, that's my story about General Steve Ritchie, America's Last Ace. He's certifiably one of America's great heroes. And I hope this story lived up to the quote that began it. To me, Steve Ritchie's story certainly is one of "love and courage." For him, the courage came first and the love followed.

"And I have yet to find one single individual who has attained conspicuous success in bringing down enemy aeroplanes who can be said to be spoiled either by his successes or by the generous congratulations of his comrades. If he were capable of being spoiled he would not have had the character to have won continuous victories, for the smallest amount of vanity is fatal in aeroplane fighting. Self-distrust rather is the quality to which many a pilot owes his protracted existence." --Captain Edward V. 'Eddie' Rickenbacker, USAS (1890-1973)

"Each of us has to earn freedom anew in order to possess it. We do so not just for our own sake, but for the sake of our children, so that they may build a better future that will sustain over the world the responsibilities and blessings of freedom." --Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)


History of the American Fighter Ace: Korean War

Little did the fighter Aces of 1945 realize that some of their number would be in the skies fighting for their lives as soon as 1950. Yet, when North Korea invaded South Korea in June of that year it was time for the pilots of America’s fighter outfits to saddle up again and head for combat.

One of the first to see action was WWII fighter ace James W. Little who shot down a Russian-built La-7 on June 27, 1950. James Jabara shot down his fifth MiG-15 on May 20, 1951 to become America’s first jet Ace. Jabara would return to Korea for a second tour of combat and finished up with a total of 15 victories.

The top-scoring Ace of the Korean War was a former WWII navigator by the name of Joseph McConnell with 16 kills. A number of old pro fighter aces from WWII were in action over Korea and many added to their scores and seven of them became aces in their second war. These “two-war” aces were George A. Davis, Jr., Francis S. Gabreski, Vermont Garrison, James Hagerstrom, Harrison Thyng and William T. Whisner.

The Navy had one Ace to come out of the Korean War – Guy P. Bordelon, who scored five victories flying at night in F4Us. Marine ace John F. Bolt, the only Marine to become an ace in two wars, became a jet ace in F-86s while attached to the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing. Three Air Force pilots and one Marine pilot became Aces in the Korean War by adding World War II victories to those scored in Korea to achieve a total of five.


History of the American Fighter Ace: Vietnam War

The long war in Vietnam presented little opportunity for air-to-air scoring by fighter pilots, much less making a large number of Aces. All fighter operations took place under numerous restrictions and the number of enemy fighters available for encounters was quite limited. This, too, was a new type of operation.

The majority of combats took place at ranges that would have been impossible in earlier wars and the pilot had to rely greatly on his “guy in the back”, or GIB, in the F-4 Phantom.

A number of Air Force pilots did score in the single seat F-105 and F-8s but none became Aces. An Air Force World War II Ace, Robin Olds nearly became an ace of Vietnam, but he had to settle for four confirmed victories. There were only two fighter pilot Aces to emerge from the conflict in Vietnam. The first was Navy F-4 pilot Randall H. “Duke” Cunningham who, with Bill Driscoll as his rear seat man, became an Ace on May 10, 1972. Steve Ritchie, also flying the Phantom, became the one and only Air Force pilot Ace when he scored his fifth victory on August 28, 1972 with his GIB, Charles De Bellevue.

These two Aces brought the roll of America’s air Aces from all wars up to 1,442. While their number is few, these men accounted for a large percentage of the enemy aircraft destroyed by all fighter pilots. For years there have been numerous studies conducted in an attempt to determine what makes a fighter Ace. Many attributes have been named, but to date there seems to be no positive determination as to just what traits or qualities add up to a fighter Ace profile. Three factors must be present, however—flying skill, aggressiveness, and, perhaps most important, an opportunity to engage the enemy.

Perhaps a large percentage of the fighter Aces over the years will fall under the classification mentioned by one old professional fighter pilot and Ace who, himself, holds the Medal of Honor. He stated, “Give me ten young fighter pilots and we’ll take them into combat. Out of the ten one of them is going to be a hunter and not the hunted. This is the pilot that is going to become a fighter Ace if the opportunity presents itself.” And there can be no denying the fighter Ace is a hunter.


Richard "Steve" Ritchie

By Stephen Sherman, Oct. 2002. Updated March 22, 2012.

T he only U.S. Air Force pilot ace of the Vietnam War, Capt. Steve Ritchie destroyed five MiG-21s during Operation Linebacker in 1972. Born June 25, 1942 in Reidsville, NC , he was a star quarterback in high school. At the U. S. Air Force Academy , he continued playing football, as starting halfback for the Falcons in 1962 and 1963.

Graduating from the Academy in 1964, Ritchie finished number one in his pilot training class.

After a stint at Flight Test Operations at Eglin AFB, Florida, he began flying the F-4 Phantom II, in preparation for his first tour in Southeast Asia.

Assigned to the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Danang Air Base, South Vietnam in 1968, Ritchie flew the first "Fast FAC" mission in the F-4 forward air controller program and was instrumental in the spread and success of the program. Returning from Southeast Asia in 1969, he reported to the Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where at 26 years of age, he became one of the youngest instructors in the history of the school.

Ritchie volunteered for a second combat tour in January 1972 and was assigned to the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn, Thailand. Flying an F-4D with the famed 555th ("Triple Nickel") Tactical Fighter Squadron he joined the ranks of the MiG killers when he downed a MiG-21 on 10 May, one of several Air Force aerial victories that day. He scored a second victory on 31 May, another MiG-21. A classic low-altitude dog fight on 8 July tied Robins Olds' five-year-old Southeast Asia record as two more MG-21s fell to his Sparrow missiles. Then, on 28 August, came the mission that propelled Steve Ritchie into the record books. Leading Buick Flight, four F-4D Phantoms performing Air MiG CAP ( Combat Air Patrol) north of Hanoi, it was Ritchie's job to protect the Strike Force coming in from the Southwest to hit the Thai-Nguyen steel plant.

May 10, 1972

This section written by Tom Cooper, Air Combat Information Group website

During the early morning of May 10th 1972 the US readied the first large air strikes against North Vietnam in what became Operation Linebacker II. These attacks caused several large clashes between US aircraft and North Vietnamese interceptors during the Vietnam War. The first strike on that day was launched by aircraft carriers USS Constellation, USS Coral Sea va USS Kitty Hawk against targets in Haiphong area at 08:00 AM. Hardly one hour later no less than 84 Phantoms and five F-105Gs of the USAF, supported by 20 KC-135 tankers and a SAR group of three helicopters, four A-1s and four Phantoms, closed on North Vietnam crossing northern Thailand and Laos. The vanguard of this attack force comprised eight F-4D Phantoms, armed for air-to-air combat, the Oyster and Balter flights, whose main task was to patrol areas around known North Vietnamese airfields and intercept any MiGs which would try to attack the main American formation. The whole operation was closely controlled by an EC-121 radar picket plane, which operated over Laos, and the cruiser USS Chicago, underway in the Gulf of Tonkin and operating under the call-sign Red Crown.

Already during the air refueling over Thailand the cutting edge of the initial fighter sweep had been blunted. Balter 2 had electrical problems, Balter 3 was unable to refuel both had to return to Udorn. Oyster 4, (flown by Lt. Feezel and Capt. Pettit) suffered a radar failure but its crew decided to continue the mission. Balter 1 and 4 joined up as an element and continued northeast, as did the four aircraft of Oyster flight. The fighter sweep had been devised by Major Bob Lodge, Oyster flight leader, an experienced air fighting tactician with two MiG kills to his credit. These two flights of Phantoms were to establish a barrier patrol northwest of Hanoi, Oyster flight at low altitude and Balter flight behind it at 22.000 feet in full view of the enemy. Any MiG moving against Balter flight would fly over the Oyster flight waiting in ambush.

The shadowboxing began at 09:42 AM, when North Vietnamese fighters flew into action. Two minutes later, two MiG-21s of 921 FR took off from Noi Bai, turning toward Tuyen Quang to decoy the Americans. At the same time four J-6s of the 1st Flight (#1 Nguyen Ngoc Tiep, #2 Nguyen Hong Son, #3 Pham Hung Son and #4 Nguyen Duc Tiem) of the 925 FR were scrambled as well. Unknown to either Red Crown or to crews of US fighters, two MiG-21s turned straight toward the Oyster flight, covered by four low flying J-6s.

Immediately Red Crown informed the Oyster flight: „Multiple bandits in your area. I hold a Bandit at three-four-zero at twenty-four. The closest bandit I hold is zero-two-two at sixteen." Running in at 15.000 feet the MiG-21s closed rapidly, joining with four J-6s in the process, and Balter flight edged toward Oyster to provide top cover. Lodge turned his flight to meet the MiGs nearly nose-on, jettisoning their external tanks and arming AIM-7 Sparrows (except Feezel, whose radar failed). The radars were locked on and at 13nm (24km) a warning light in the cockpit of Oyster 1 flashed, indicating that the hostile aircraft were within range. In Oyster 3 Chuck DeBellevue picked up a MiG IFF transmission on his Combat Tree equipment and informed his pilot that he had a positive hostile identification on the planes in front. Clipped instructions in Oyster 1 and 2 followed, as back-seaters locked on their radars and made the final switching for a head-on attack. The allowable steering error on the radar display began to contract and at 8nm (13km) Lodge launched his first Sparrow at the leading MiG element.

Trailing a plume of white smoke, it accelerated out in front and began tracking upwards at a shallow angle, but detonated when its motor burned out. With range now down to 6nm (10km) Major Lodge fired a second Sparrow which launched successfully and tracked upwards at a 20 degree angle. It left a contrail and then came the flash of the detonation. A few seconds later a MiG-21 fell out of sky, trailing fire and missing its left wing. Lt. John Markle in Oyster 2 also fired a pair of Sparrows and his second missile started tracking upwards and slightly to the right. As Markle watched, the big missile pulled lead and flew right into North Vietnamese plane, causing another yellow explosion.

As it seems, the second Sparrow fired by Major Lodge hit the MiG-21 wingman, while the second Sparrow destroyed the J-6 of Nguyen Hong Son, who ejected but later died of his injuries. At about this point, remaining two North Vietnamese flashed over the top of Oyster Flights 1 and 2, the leading MiG-21 narrowly missing collision with Oyster Leader. Major Lodge instinctively pulled hard up to the right in an oblique half loop which brought him right 200ft (60m) behind the MiG. Lodge was now too close for a missile attack, and his Phantom was not equipped with guns. But he eased off his turn and the enemy fighter’s range was opening. The combat was going well for Oyster flight when, suddenly, the tables were turned. Zooming up from below came the J-6s. While pilots of Oyster flight identified only four North Vietnamese fighters, while there were, in fact, six of them. After their #4 was shot down, other J-6s of the 1st Flight of the 925 FR reversed and Pham Hung Son, followed closely by Nguyen Duc Tiem curved behind Lodge’s F-4 as Markle, to the left of his leader and in no position to engage Vietnamese, shouted a warning: „OK, there’s a bandit. you got a bandit in your ten o’clock, Bob, level!"

Major Lodge thought that the MiG-21 in front of him had opened the range sufficiently for a close-in shot, and called: „Oyster One padlocked!" and fired a Sparrow. But, Pham Hung Son fired as well and the shells from his three 30mm guns bridged the gap between him and Lodge’s Phantom. The F-4 was hit and was losing speed, but initially its crew thought they had escaped with minor damage. Both the pilot and the RIO were disappointed at the sight of the lost AIM-7 and the MiG in front of them separating away. Pham Hung Son closed and fired again, and as more shells struck his aircraft, Lodge’s RIO, Captain Roger Locher, realized what happened. The right engine exploded and the Phantom began doing hard yaws to the right. Soon, all the hydraulics were lost.

As Locher prepared to leave the falling Phantom, Captain Steve Ritchie, flying as Oyster 3, had been chasing the remaining J-6 of Nguyen Duc Tiem which continued almost straight ahead. Lacking visual contact and action on radar information, Ritchie pulled up to the right in a 4 to 5G turn. Rolling out at 18.000ft (5.500m) he finally sighted his target almost 10.000 feet (5.500m) away to the left. He pulled to the inside of J-6s turn, locking on his radar as he went. From a range of 6.000ft (1.800m) Ritchie ripple-fired two Sparrows, both of them guided. The first passed close under the target without detonating, but the second scored a direct hit. From the rear seat of Oyster 03, Captain DeBellevue caught a glimpse of a dirty yellow parachute of Nguyen Duc Tiem as they passed the falling J-6.

Flying at 20.000 feet, two Phantoms of Balter flight arrived in time to see the final moments of the fight, as Lodge’s Phantom plunged to the earth like a meteor. Due to smoke nobody saw ejection of Captain Locher. Shaken by the sudden loss of their leader, the survivors of the Oyster flight sped away from the area. The first large clash of 10 May 1972 was over, but others were now to follow.”

Two MiGs

On July 8th, 1972, Captain Steve Ritchie of the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, led a flight of four F-4 Phantoms, call sign "Paula," over the skies of Vietnam. With his Radar Intercept Officer, Capt. Charles DeBellevue, he succeeded in shooting down two MIG-21's during an engagement that lasted only one minute and twenty-nine seconds. The following interview about that mission appeared on The History Channel, “Weapons at War: The Aces:”

“The 8th of July mission was the most intense, the most exciting mission that I ever flew. Everything worked. During that minute and 29 seconds I drew on all my life experiences. Every part of my training and education came together in that moment and it worked. Few people ever experience that moment where everything jells. It's a feeling that is hard to describe.

“When the mission began, one of the earlier MiG CAP flights had been hit by a MiG. He had broken formation and was headed out, bleeding fuel and hydraulics. He was announcing his position, heading, and altitude on the emergency frequency, a very bad idea, because the North Vietnamese monitored the emergency frequency and when they heard a cripple, leaving by himself, they sent MiGs after him. So we headed toward the fellow that was in trouble, when ‘Red Crown’ and ‘Disco’ [RC-121 radar control aircraft] called additional MiG activity. You can imagine the adrenalin was beginning to pump. I headed to low altitude, and got ‘Heads Up’ call, which meant that the MiGs had us in sight and they had been cleared to fire.

“I really began to look around at that point, because we didn't have them in sight. I rolled out on an easterly heading and stayed there about 8 seconds, when I got a call from ‘Disco’, 150 miles away orbiting over Laos, looking at the whole ring of its radar scope. I heard among the static: "Steve, 2 miles north of you." I made an immediate left turn from my east heading to the north, picked up a MiG-21 at 10 o’clock. Now, if I’d stayed on an easterly heading, the MiG would have been right in my rear quarter, and I probably wouldn’t be here to tell the story today.

“Pick it up at 10 o’clock, rolled left, dropped the external fuel tanks with full afterburner. We passed about 1,000 feet from each other. I could see the pilot in the cockpit. It was a bright, spit-polished superb MiG-21, with bright red stars. When I saw the lead MiG, the strong tendency was to immediately turn, to try to get an advantage. I knew there were two, because they had called ‘Two Blue Bandits.’ But I didn’t see #2. So, I waited, I rolled level, pushed the nose over and waited. Sure enough, #2 came along about 8,000 feet away. Immediately when he passe, I made a 135 degree turn, level, 90, 135, flaps, nose down sliding turn about 6.5 g.”

[This last sentence is confused, as it was a TV interview. He used his hands to explain his actions to the TV team, something very typical for fighter pilots. Ritchie meant to say: “I started a turn of 135 degrees, I leveled waiting for the MiG #2, I rolled 90 degrees, re-started the turn of 135 degrees, I engaged flaps and turned with my nose slightly down, etc.”]

“I couldn’t see what was happening back over there. About half of this turn, I began to roll out of the 135 degrees and as I rolled out of 135 degrees I began to look back, thinking that they’re going to be somewhere back around here [indicated a position at 4 o’clock] to my great surprise I saw a MiG up over here [indicated a position at 9 o’clock], in the opposite direction of where I would expect the MiG would be, because instead of turning to the left and going to this side of the circle [indicated a counter-clockwise turn], they turned to the right and went to this side of the circle [indicated a clockwise turn]. So, now I was in a position with my nose down, and the MiG was high, in a right turn. I was in a left turn, so even if I pulled my nose up, I would have had what is called a very hard angle off.”

[At this point Ritchie’s account was interrupted by a graphic and narrator's explanation, saying that Ritchie solved his problem performing a “Barrel-Roll”, and that this maneuver put him behind and below the MiG.]

“The target was high in the blue sky, good for a radar lock-on. The MiG saw us, turned down into us. I squeezed the trigger. The first missile went to the center of the fuselage of the MiG and the second missile went thru the fire ball. I felt a nice jump on the stick a piece of debris shaken up at the leading edge of the left wing.

“The lead MiG, the silver MiG, came all the way around the circle and the other three airplanes of our flight were in trail, and then the shiny MiG came on the position of #4, Tommy Feasel. I cut across the circle and achieved a similar position now on the lead MiG that I had on the wingman before, except the lead MiG was a lot better than the wingman. He saw us, forgot about Tommy Feasel, started a hard turn into us. We got a flat turning here, look like just maneuver the airplane.

“I put him in the gunsight, Chuck [Charles DeBelleuve, his RIO in this mission] told me that he had a lock that’s all I need to know. Missile came off the airplane. It looked like a Sidewinder, it began to snake and did not appear to guide, and I was telling it: ‘the target is over here!’ Suddenly, the missile appeared to do a 90 degree right turn, and it hit the MiG in the fuselage. The missile was pulling about 25 g and was accelerated about twelve hundred miles an hour when it hit, so you can imagine the explosion.”

Ritchie left active service in 1974 and had a distinguished career in the Air Force Reserve before retiring in 1999. With more than 3,000 flight hours, 800 combat hours, and decorations that include four Silver Stars and 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses , Ritchie is a role model and exemplar of what he would call his three Ds -- "duty, desire, and determination."

The second of two books on the Navy's Phantom II MiG killers of the Vietnam War, this book covers the numerous actions fought out over North Vietnam during the Linebacker I and II operations of 1972-73. No fewer than 17 MiGs were downed during this period, five of them by the Navy's only aces of the conflict, Lts Randy Cunningham and Willie Driscoll of VF-96. Drawing on primary sources such as surviving Phantom II aircrew and official navy documentation, the author has assembled the most precise appraisal of fighter operations involving US Navy Phantom II units and those elusive MiGs ever seen in print.


THE FIRST WORLD WAR (1914–1918)

In January 1929, Wop and Vic Horner wrote a dazzling page in Canadian aviation history. They flew an open cockpit Avro Avian for a two day trip with temperatures hovering around -30C, from Edmonton, Alberta, to Fort Vermillion, Alberta, in one of the first mercy flights of Canada&rsquos air age. Their goal: to deliver diphtheria vaccine to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease in Little Red River, about 100 kilometres from Fort Vermillion. The 1,000 kilometre flight became known across Canada as &ldquothe race against death&rdquo.

In 1932, Wop flew the aircraft that guided Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in their hectic chase of Albert Johnson &mdash &ldquoThe Mad Trapper of Rat River&rdquo &mdash in the Yukon.

During the Second World War, Wop was general manager of No. 2 Air Observer School in Edmonton he also created the first para rescue unit, which later evolved into the Royal Canadian Air Force&rsquos modern search and rescue system. Wop was inducted into Canada&rsquos Aviation Hall of Fame in 1974.


AIR ACES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Accepted Non-commercial Use

Permitted use for these purposes:

If you are interested in the full range of licenses available for this material, please contact one of our collections sales and licensing teams.

Use this image under fair dealing.

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Accepted Non-commercial Use

Permitted use for these purposes:

If you are interested in the full range of licenses available for this material, please contact one of our collections sales and licensing teams.

Use this image under fair dealing.

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Accepted Non-commercial Use

Permitted use for these purposes:

If you are interested in the full range of licenses available for this material, please contact one of our collections sales and licensing teams.

Use this image under fair dealing.

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Accepted Non-commercial Use

Permitted use for these purposes:

If you are interested in the full range of licenses available for this material, please contact one of our collections sales and licensing teams.


Building the U.S. Air Force: The Legacy of World War II Aces

One of my favorite conversations to have with visitors at our museum are those that draw connections across different time periods. It’s easy to forget that many of the same people involved in one era go on to have careers spanning into later periods. As we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II this year, I wanted to highlight three World War II “ace” pilots (meaning they shot down five or more enemy aircraft) and how they went on to careers that helped to define and shape the future of the U.S. Air Force.

This is not an exhaustive list nor a “top three,” by any means, but rather three examples from among many dozens more that could be mentioned.

Major George Welch

George Welch poses with the XP-86, c. 1947.

On a warm Saturday night in Waikiki, Hawaii, 2nd Lt. George Welch attended a dinner and dance party that turned into an all-night poker game. As Sunday morning dawned and the victors gathered their winnings, the festive mood was shattered by the sound of gunfire. The date: December 7, 1941.

Welch, a recent addition to the 47th Pursuit Squadron, called the airstrip at Haleiwa to have two P-40B Warhawks ready to go. Welch and his friend 2nd Lt. Kenneth Taylor hopped into Taylor’s car and raced to the airfield as Japanese bullets rained down. The two airmen jumped into their airplanes and took off. After damaging two Aichi D3A Val dive bombers, Welch landed to fix a jammed gun and reload. He proceeded to shoot down another Val and a Mitsubishi A6M Zero. With four credited aerial victories, Welch had almost reached ace status before the U.S. had even declared war!

Lts. Ken Taylor (left) and George Welch (right), shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Welch’s achievements did not end on that day of infamy. For a time, Welch held the title of “King of the New Guinea’s Skies,” flying P-39 Airacobras and P-38 Lightnings in the Pacific. After shooting down 16 enemy planes, a case of malaria took him off combat duty .

Welch’s post-war career was both vital to the early U.S. Air Force and tragic. In spring 1944, Welch resigned his commission and became a test pilot for North American Aviation. In October 1947, he was the first to fly the XP-86, the prototype for what became the F-86 Sabre, in which he reached 618 mph in level flight. Seven years later, in October 1954, Welch was test flying an early model of another new fighter, the F-100A Super Sabre. Pulling 7 Gs out of a dive at Mach 1.55 caused a catastrophic failure and the airplane began to disintegrate. Although Welch initially survived the crash, he died en route to a hospital.

The first Sabre prototype, XP-86, which Welch test piloted, c. 1947.

Welch, one of the first air-to-air victors of World War II, also helped usher in a new age of jet combat and supersonic fighters that came to define the U.S. Air Force.

Brigadier General Robin Olds

Maj. Robin Olds, 434th Fighter Squadron commander, in a P-51D.

“By the time I was five, I could name an airplane by the sound of its engine on takeoff or landing,” claimed ace pilot Brig. Gen. Robin Olds. He grew up steeped in air power, as the son of Maj. Gen. Robert Olds, who was a mentor to Gen. Curtis LeMay. Robin entered West Point in 1940 and then flew P-38 Lightnings with the 479th Fighter Group, arriving in Europe less than two weeks before D-Day. Olds made ace in only two engagements, the first on August 14, 1944, when he downed two Fw-190s, then on August 25, when he shot down three Bf 109s. That made him the last P-38 pilot in the 8th Air Force to make ace. His unit transitioned to P-51 Mustangs, in which Olds continued to tear apart German fighters, ultimately ending the war with 12 aerial victories.

Such a record would be notable on its own, but Olds is most famous for his achievements following World War ll. For several years, Olds rotated through various non-combat roles, including flying in a P-80 Shooting Star aerobatics demonstration team, flying Gloster Meteors in an exchange program with the RAF, and holding non-combat command positions in Washington, DC, before eventually getting orders to command the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing and join the Vietnam War in September 1966.

Immediately upon arriving to his new command, he got in a fistfight with two lieutenants at the officers’ club who—in the tradition of the Wing—tried to rip the patches off Olds’ flight suit. Instead of seeing this as a discipline problem, Olds thought it was a sign of healthy morale, saying, “These guys had spirit.” His first act was to show the Wing, nicknamed the “Wolf Pack,” that he was willing to learn and would be flying alongside his men, pushing them. “I’d give the guys in the briefing room the same goading speech, ‘I’m gonna be better than you!’” he recalled. “As soon as they stopped being pissed off, they got into the spirit of the challenge.”

Olds’ deputy commander of operations was a friend he had worked with previously at the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing: Col. Daniel “Chappie” James. Starting as an instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen, James later became the first African American four-star general. Together, the two were known by their joint nickname: “Blackman and Robin.”

Col. Robin Olds (right) with Col. Daniel James (left) in Thailand, c. 1966. James was deputy commander for operations and later vice wing commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Together they were nicknamed “Blackman and Robin.”

By the end of the year, Olds was frustrated with the mounting losses to North Vietnamese MiG fighters and designed “Operation Bolo.” The plan revolved around taking the QRC-160 jamming pods typically carried by F-105 Thunderchiefs and instead placing them on F-4 Phantoms. North Vietnamese forces thought the electronic signature was indicative of vulnerable F-105s, but instead it was a trap. A swarm of Phantoms, including James and Olds, went after the surprised MiGs. While James chased one MiG into position for his wingman to shoot it down, Olds also contributed one victory to the total of seven destroyed MiG-21s, nearly half of North Vietnam’s MiG-21 inventory at that time.

Col. Robin Olds with his F-4C Phantom II, c. 1967.

Olds ended his time in Southeast Asia with four aerial victories, making him a triple ace with a career total of 16. He then spent time as the commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy before retiring in 1973. Although he began his career as a World War II ace, Olds’ later career not only made important contributions to the American effort in the Vietnam War, but became culturally emblematic of the stereotypical fighter pilot in the process.

Colonel James Hagerstrom

On the morning of January 23, 1944, 1st Lt. James Hagerstrom, having only recently recovered from malaria, was leading a flight of P-40 Warhawks on a “maximum effort” bombing mission in the Pacific. Nearing their target of Boram, New Guinea, Hagerstrom saw 10 to 15 Mitsubishi A6M Zeros pouring down on a group of P-38s near him. His group dropped his tanks and dove into what became a massive dogfight. He and his wingman, 2nd Lt. John Bodak, each shot down Zeroes off the other’s tails, as Hagerstrom damaged more Japanese fighters in multiple head-on passes and shot down more that were chasing other P-38s. Hagerstrom expended all his ammunition in the fight, emerging with four victory credits (three Zeroes and one Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien) in addition to damaging others while saving the lives of two P-38 pilots. Combined with the two victories he earned the previous year, he was now an ace.

Lt. Col. James Hagerstrom with his F-86 Sabre in Osan, Korea, c. 1952.

Hagerstrom was discharged after the war and joined the Texas Air National Guard. When the Korean War began in 1950, he was recalled to active duty. Fitting the fighter pilot stereotype, Hagerstrom longed for air-to-air victories. Of the 40 American ace pilots in the Korean War, Hagerstrom was the only one flying in a fighter-bomber unit (the 67th Squadron) as opposed to a dedicated fighter-interceptor squadron. This was due to his reputation for dropping his bombs as fast as possible and heading straight for the North Korea-China border, known as “MiG Alley,” where enemy planes were more likely to be flying. Hagerstrom never missed an opportunity, whether it was by volunteering to fly on Christmas day (when he got his second MiG-15 kill), or when he flew on his last day in Korea. He was literally standing in his dress uniform waiting for his transport home to land when a friend told him a sensitive mission requiring four pilots had come up. Hagerstrom jumped in an F-86 immediately and shot down another MiG, bringing his total to 8.5 credits in Korea.

After Korea, Hagerstrom continued to make important contributions to the Air Force. He set up an evaluation program for the then-new AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, which has since become a mainstay of air combat. After various command and staff positions, Hagerstrom joined the Vietnam War in 1966. Working out of Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, he led a program to adapt the “Starlight Scope” for use on AC-47 gunships, giving them much better visibility for night operations. Hagerstrom spent his time in Southeast Asia helping to run interdiction efforts in Laos against the Ho Chi Minh Trail before his frustration with that conflict prompted him to resign in 1968.


Videoni tomosha qiling: Uzbek va Rus Ikkinchi jahon urushi. uzbek tilida tarjima kinolar.