North Korea 1951 Richard Smith We launched from the catapult in the darkness for another night sortie over North Korea. We fly in total radio silence, as we arrive near our target zone we see gun flashes from the twenty millimeter cannon, the enemy has been waiting. We fly a pass over the last flash area spotted before darkness covered them and spray a few hound dog rockets hoping for contact. There is a sudden terrific explosion, “not on the ground”, but beneath our wings. We have been found, we have taken a major strike. I notice something warm creeping down my leg inside my flight suit. I feel no pain, so I must be alright. But the warm feeling spreads, I can’t breathe the way I should, I know I don’t need oxygen at this altitude, I’m suddenly very dizzy I can hear the engine running very rough and the pilot seems to be saying “we’re out of it,” then yells, “we’re going down.” The engine quit and everything was silent but for the air flailing past our falling plane. Sometime later when I regain consciousness, I don’t recognize any one, I don’t know where I am.
Published on May 18, 2017