Friday, May 22, 2009

Fullbore Friday

When you walk around a static display aircraft - make sure and look at the plaque or note about its background. You never know what you will find out.
At the ceremony, Pensacola NAS personnel also dedicated a Vietnam-era attack aircraft to Navy Lt. Peter Russell, who was killed during a mission over North Vietnam.

Russell was part of a special "Black Pony" attack team, tasked with providing close air support for troops on the ground.

On May 25, 1969, Russell dove his OV-10 to attack a group of enemy soldiers firing on a Navy Riverine Patrol Boat in the Mekong Delta. A single bullet shattered through the canopy and killed Russell in the pilot seat.

Russell's back-seater, Navy pilot Jeff Johnson, took control of the airplane and pulled it out of the dive, moments before it crashed into the river.

The plane survived the war, and is on display at Pensacola NAS.

"I'll never forget Pete," said retired Navy Capt. Marty Schuman, who knew Russell well and was his commander when he was killed. "I was fortunate enough to have two wonderful sisters, but I never had a brother. But if I did, I wished he would be one just like Pete."

That is LT Russell with another aircraft he flew, A-1H Skyraider, that you smart guys will know will be a subject for another FbF.....

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