These orders were for 2 years of duty at Misawa AB Japan on the far North end of the island of Honshu. I became the crew chief on RF101C 56-080 before getting out of the service in 1962.
My squadron was sent on a temporary duty assignment to Thailand in November and December of 1961. The squadron had aircraft there throughout the Vietnam War. I would have been called back to active duty for Vietnam in 1964 but I had my back broke in a car accident that year. I knew many of the pilots from strapping them in my plane and other aircraft when they flew. I also became good friends with some from playing on the squadron golf team. Our pilots were later shot down flying missions over Vietnam. Russia and China supplied North Vietnam with SAMs, surface to air missiles. They were deadly against our aircraft. I was thankful for not being there when our brave, patriotic pilots sacrificed their lives so we could remain free in the United States. Vietnam was a very costly war, over 58,000 Americans died.
We need more politicians like Senator John Mc Cain who learned to respect freedom the hard way. His starved, tortured, battered and broken body was thrown into a Vietnam POW cell to die. His cell mates were other captured pilots, they shared what meager food they had and nursed him back to health. He returned to America and became one of the few truly honorable U.S. Senators.
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