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|At the end of May in 1985 we went to a big Low Level excercise in Goose bay, Labrador. We went along with a KC-10 that took our six F-4s all the way. It was a 6.2 hr. day. My back was seriously killing me by the time we got there. The weather was marginal when we got there so we each had to get flight breakups and shoot an individual ILS. I had an extra camera that I gave to someone - I don't remember who - but that's me.||I got to fly one of the planes on the way out to Goose Bay. Since I knew it would be a long day and we would be with a tanker (didn't have to worry about radios) I asked the one of the guys in the Comm shop to make me an adapter so I could hook up my Walkman and listen to some music tapes on the way. My WSO was Jim Killian and we rocked out to some good tunes all the way. (Van Morrison, Eric Clapton...) The musical adapter makes another appearance in the Viper, later on in the story. That's me out on the end.||Cruising along with music in my heart :)|
|Two years later we went up to Elmedorf for a repeat of the Goose Bay excercise. That trip began with what became know as "The Fresno-1 Starburst Departure." Had a great time up there in Alaska. Sean Bautista took us to a great steak restaurant called "The Double Musky." Fantastic steaks and good company. Jamie MacKay took us to a bar that slid down the hill in the Great Alaska Earthquake. It sat sideways on a hill and the chairs were tree stumps at an uncortable angle. Found Jamie's card stapled to the wall. Me again.||On the way I took some pictures with a fisheye lens that turned out fairly interesting. Jim and I took turns flying whenever the other needed a break. Gotta do something if you can't take a nap.||When we got to Goose Bay we were young and ready to party. We all decided party just 'til it gets dark. Big mistake, at least for me. We were pretty far north and it didn't get dark until about two in the morning. After just a couple of days we had to modify our drinking schedule a bit.|
|We threw a couple of parties while we were there that turned out to be pretty memorable. Bob "Grinder" Hervative had picked up a blender at Goodwill for margaritas that met an untimely end. We made so many margaritas that its motor burned up. It ended up flying out the second story window to the sidewalk below. Bob was sad. "Twelve ninety-five down the drain."||In the Qs there were three or four to a room and out there in the middle of nowhere there didn't seem to be any reason to lock the door. There was a young lady who was the Aircraft Commander of the RC-135 that was there at one of out parties (26 yrs. old). She and her roomies were sound asleep one night when two local women came into their room looking for men to have sex with. These two, she said, were so ugly that it was proof positive that someone had mated with a buffalo. :)||With the arrival of about a thousand extra people into a small town the booze situation soon became acute. I was up in the tower one afternoon when I heard an aircraft check in for landing. Its callsign was Bud-01. The Air Force took one of the KC-10s and sent it out for a beer run. It was returning from somewhere in the U.S. with 1000 cases of Budweiser.|
|The flying out there was outstanding. We each had an area to defend single-ship about 15-20 miles from the next area over. The targets would ingress at very low altitiude. They used RF-4s and other similar jets from other countries. Labrador had some absolutely beautiful terrain. Mountains, valleies and flats with low rolling hills. During one slow period I decided that I wanted to see what my altitude and speed limits were. Jim and I got down to about 50' and 475 kts skooting down one valley. I had to climb up a bit beacause I thought I would break a tooth from clenching my jaw. The only big rule at the excercise was not to fly low over the reindeer and moose herds.||
Checking out the local area.
On the last two days of the excercise we were supposed to have an RC-135 doing comm jamming for us. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it broke. Our working areas ranged from around 100-150 miles from base. With the RC-135 sitting on the ramp and us in our areas we could only talk to each other if we were in route formation. That guy blasted frequencies across the spectrum leaving selected frequencies (Ground, Tower, Guard...) untouched. If there was to be a real, general engagement somewhere, sometime, it was clear to us that it would be a NORDO affair.
|Despite it being an F-4, I really love this shot. That's me in the break at Goose Bay. I don't remember who took the picture, but it was probably Lightning or JJ.|
Here we are on the way home. Taking off in the KC-10 was a harrowing affair. We got to the end of the runway and they found
that there was a 3 kt. tailwind, so we taxiied to the other end. Once in position they ran those big 'ol engines up to mil
before releasing the brakes. We rattled on down the runway for so long that folks started looking kind of nervous. I know I was.
Finally we clawed our way into the air and we were homeward bound.
Here's Dave "Moto" Cobb (ex Thud driver in Viet Nam) and his GIB, Dave "Goldie" Hawn appoaching the boom.
|Just got plugged in.||Ever the joker - check out Goldie in the back seat.|
|Goldie keeping an eye on the boom.||
This is a really interesting picture. What a great view from the boomers seat. You can see just how close we we flying
Moto and Goldie.
Coming off the boom and heading for the left wing.
Moto and Goldie.
|Here comes Jack "Lightning" Bolt and his GIB John "JJ" Jordan.||Refueling could be a very Hari-Kari experience. I love this shot. There's some leftovers from Jack's lunch under the windscreen. :)||Lightning and JJ heading for the left wing after refueling.|
|Bob "Grinder" Hervatine coming in for some gas. These jets were always thirsty.||Bob on the boom.||Bob coming off and heading for the right wing.|
|Ray Bluhm just before getting plugged.||All done - until it's time to do it all over again.|