Bait and Switch in Libya
Naval aviators push Qaddafi's buttons in a 1981 exercise.
- By Commander Thompson E. Sanders U.S. Navy (Ret.)
- Air & Space magazine, July 2012
Commander Thompson S. Sanders, U.S. Navy (Ret.); Photo-Illustration by Théo
(Page 4 of 4)
On a sunny Saturday two decades later, I took my grandsons to the National Air and Space Museum, where we toured a mockup carrier air operations center. On the ready room briefing board was the August 20, 1981 New York Times account of the Gulf of Sidra incident. Neither the Forrestal nor our Viking was mentioned, but the clipping, enshrined in the Museum, was, to me, a confirmation of the small role we played in the event.
A naval aviator and NATO instructor from 1966 to 1988, Tom “Turk” Sanders flew the S-2 Tracker, S-3 Viking, TA-4 Skyhawk, and SH-3 Sea King helicopter. He lives in Marietta, Georgia.