During my tenure with the Marine Corps Air Wing, and later, I often thought of what would have been the outcome, if during the Vietnam War, Marines fighter pilots were afforded the opportunity of air to air engagements as they were during World War I and II and the Korean War. Had that opportunity been realized, Marines may have very well been the first air Aces of the war.
The Vietnam War had an impact that fueled the political revolution of the nineteen sixties and impacted our world of today. Those who made such an impact were those so affectionately referred to as the "baby boomers". Some of these were men in their early twenties were taught to fly state of the art fighter aircraft and deliver bombs, rockets and napalm on the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong enemy. None more so than pilots and Flight officers of the United States Marine Corps Air Wing. I often recall a quote from President Ronald Reagan as he described Marines during a speech in 1985. "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
Published: 30th January 2014
Edition Number: 1