Dustoff: The Memoir of an Army Aviator

By Michael J. Novosel | Go to book overview

13
Vietnam: The Second Time Around

Travis Air Force Base hadn't changed one bit. The "blue suiters" were at their stations working with flight schedules and manifests. The passengers, mostly army, milled about the terminal waiting to board their flights. It wasn't long and we were soon airborne.

We were taking the southern route, and our first stop was Honolulu. We disembarked while the plane was refueled but were restricted to a cordoned-off area. I recalled that Bob French and I had loaded up on rum miniatures the last time we'd been here; the drinks eased the burden and monotony of the flight.

As I was reminiscing, an elderly couple strolled by. The gentleman asked why so many men in uniform were about. I told him we were going to Vietnam and would be on our way as soon as the airplane was refueled. He said that he and his wife had been on vacation in the islands and were waiting for their flight to the mainland.

A brilliant idea flashed through my mind, and I asked the man if he knew where the liquor store was. He said he did, so I asked if he'd mind purchasing four miniatures of rum for me. I gave him a twenty-dollar bill and hoped the flight wouldn't be called before he came back. As luck would have it, he returned with a paper bag just as the announcement to board the plane came over the public address system. He said my change was in the bag. I thanked the man, shook his hand vigorously, thanked him again, and departed for the airliner.

I took my seat and was pleasantly surprised when I checked to see what brand of rum the gentleman had purchased. There were sixnot four -- miniatures, and my twenty-dollar bill. I didn't even know

-196-

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Dustoff: The Memoir of an Army Aviator
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - A World of Turmoil 1
  • 2 - 1942 Kelly Field, Texas: Early 6
  • 3 - Laredo, Texas 11
  • 4 - The B-29 Superfortress 20
  • 5 - Tinian, Clark Field, Okinawa: 1945-47 32
  • 6 - The Best of Times, the Worst of Times 43
  • 7 - You'Re in the Army Now 62
  • 8 - January 1966: the Flight Over 92
  • 9 - Vietnam: 1966. 104
  • 10 - Military Operations Increase 137
  • 11 - Beating the System and Getting Short 171
  • 12 - My Plans Go Awry 183
  • 13 - Vietnam: the Second Time Around 196
  • 14 October 1969: An - Impossible Mission 228
  • 15 - A Father and Son Combat Team 269
  • 16 - The Medal of Honor 307
  • 17 - Korea, Fort Rucker, and Switches Off 317
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