Due South of Key West
Flying fast and low over Castro’s Cuba.
- By Paul Hoversten
- AirSpaceMag.com, September 18, 2012
Courtesy Cdr. Peter B. Mersky
(Page 3 of 3)
Did your Cuban experience help prepare you for flying the F-4 in Vietnam?
No, it was totally different. The F-4 was a different kind of airplane. There are two people in it. You had a guy in the back that was your radar intercept officer that helped with navigation and some communications. And the mission was totally different. In Vietnam, our missions varied from strategic kind of bombing in weather that was so bad you couldn’t do anything else, and most of our day missions were close air support for either Army or Marine ground forces.
You weren’t flying low and fast in Vietnam?
No. As low as you would get on a mission would be a glide bomb with a 10-degree slope, and while you’re going fairly fast, you’re dropping ordnance. Mostly these would be heavier bombs, and you’d have to release them at 2,500 to 3,000 feet and be out by around 1,500 feet or you’d get some of your own arrows in your rear. The shrapnel comes up that high.