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View Diary: Flying the B-52 - Part 2 (113 comments)

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  •  I remember a dream - as a young Airman (2+ / 0-)
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    Wheever, billmosby

    or was it real?  I was stuck at a hot and dry base  in Thailand waiting for a hop to Bangkok for a short R & R while serving a 90 day TDY to Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam in 1967.  I was fairly innocent though I knew the R & R would involve Thai dancers coming to our hotel rooms.  They used flashlights to highlight the young - thin & pretty Thai dancers the way trays of pastries are laid out for one's selection and pleasure.

    I had to wait as there were perhaps twenty B-52's in a line taking off, one after the other, wings heavy and bowed down struggling to get airborne, laden with fuel and bombs on missions to kill Vietnamese - in an overwhelming show of force and US might.  It was among the most astonishing things I had ever seen.  The power was visual and sensual and overwhelmingly felt as the aircraft flew off toward Vietnam, giant death birds on killing missions.  And I was a witness.

    I felt pride and shame at the same time.  I knew that war was a grand lie.  My work, as a young Airman, was with cargo crews and civilian transports, not bombers & not fighter jets.  I served in the Military Airlift Command (MAC), C-130's & C-141's and eventually C5-A's.  

    The B-52's were astonishing.

    •  Ironically, we went into Vietnam against the (3+ / 0-)

      advice of a number of military top brass who warned against getting into a land war in Asia. I can't remember what politician it was who said, "They have rifles. We have B-52s." Another cocky "We'll be in and out in 6 months" attitude.

      But Ho Chi Minh had the tunnels....and the jungle.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:14:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be going to Vietnam in about a year. (0+ / 0-)

        On a tour with maybe 10 to 14 other people. Kind of as a way to see what things were about, but more to see how they are doing these days. It turned out that I didn't have to go to war there, for which I have been grateful ever since.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:31:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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