"We screamed down the chute, aiming for a SCUD missile storage area. There were missiles going everywhere. They were shooting SAM's with and without radar guidance. The adrenaline was really pumping! I pickled, and came off with nine G's! My 500 knots was converted to 400 knots and my RHAW lit up with a SA-2 at my dead six. I heard AWACS call, "SA-2 Active, western Kuwait!" I thought, "No kidding, he's on me!" I punched chaff, jinked right…and it went away…came back to egress heading…he's on me again…no kidding! My airspeed is down to 350 knots and I'm thinking, "This is it, he's got me!"
As you get slower the tracking solution is easier for the missile and I really had a solid spike, right at my dead six. I've got twenty miles to go to the border, but the SA-2 is closing at supersonic speed and I am convinced that the war is over for me. It was time to punch the tanks off. There is a little plastic cover over the jettison button so that you don't accidentally punch them off. The crew chief had glazed it over with white glue to make it look pretty. I bruised my finger, but the adrenaline rush got that button punched. The tanks came off the airplane, it was clean, and I started to accelerate. Right then, I heard a Weasel guy call "Magnum two." The SA-2 is gone…just like that, and I am outta there!"
While we all love seeing military aircraft put through their paces at airshows, it pales in compairson to what they do operationally. I've just posted an interview, courtesy of Lou Drendel, with one of the pilots in my squadron during Desert Storm, the 614th TFS from Torrejon AB, then Capt. (now BGen) Phil 'Ruhldog' Ruhlman, at http://www.lucky-devils.net - the Lucky Devils in the Gulf War website.
Along with the the interview, we've got over 250 personal photos of our aircraft, people and places, a photo gallery of official USAF photos, articles, stories, and an opportunity to 'ride along', through HUD camera video, on the "Package Q" mission - the first daylight on downtown Baghdad, one of the most heavily defended targets ever attacked from the air.
I invite you to take a look and hope you enjoy my tribute to the people that support, maintain, and fly the aircraft that we love to see.
...and you won't even have to sleep in a tent...
ex-Lucky Devil Viper Maintainer