..."Two wingmen [2nd Lt. Larry Nunn & 1st
Lt. Suvold] and I, recovered into Châteauroux AB, after an 850 mile night
cross country, out of Toul AB, France. When we arrived in our F-86Hs, the weather
had unexpectedly deteriorated to zero-zero conditions and there were no
alternate weather bases. The weather had been forecasted so great, that the
Weather Sqdn [AACS] had relieved all of its "Zebras" and left a young
Airman 2nd, or 3rd Class, in Base Operations on Stand-by. When we arrived over
the Station in our Flight of Three, we were unable to raise GCA, until the
Young Troop was transported out to the unit from Base Ops.
By this time, we
were at Emergency Fuel; with only enough fuel for two passes. I instructed my
# 2 wingman to land on the first pass; while I would continue around with #3
to land on my wing - as, #3's radio was inoperative.
On our first pass, the
runway was not visible as we passed over the end of the runway; and, as I
slowly applied power - the runway flare-pots became visible [No Electric
Runway Lights due to On-Going Maintenance]! At that instant - #2 cut power and
grappled for landing - and, when I looked over my shoulder, I noticed that #3
was missing. Number 2 came-up on the radio immediately, and advised that #3
had landed on his wing!
The Young GCA Troop, brought me around the second time
and split the runway straight down the center; a carbon copy of the first
pass. In my 30 years as a Fighter Pilot, that was the first time that I
checked my ejection triggers in the traffic pattern - as; had your Young Troop
- not completed those two consecutive, absolutely superior GCA patterns, I
would not have accompanied my F-86H to terra firma!
It took forever taxiing
back to the base of the Control Tower and Base Ops as it was impossible to
taxi in the heavy fog. There were several multi-engine Troops peering out at
us, through the Base Ops door - no doubt, wondering just who it was, flying in
such weather - when their missions, had just been cancelled! Very
appropriately, and overwhelmingly endorsed by the three of us; your Young
Troop was credited with the saving of three Fighter Pilots and three F-86Hs!
P.S. When we entered the door into Ops; with the
fog swirling in with us - one of the Multi-Engine Troops asked: "How was it
out there?" Second Lt. Larry Nunn, without the slightest expression, or
hesitation, simply answered: "NO SWEAT!"
The Greatest Understatement of all Times!!!!