By David Davies, Mike Vines
Profiles Barksdale Air strength Base, describing the plane, group of workers, and day-by-day actions.
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Extra resources for Barksdale - Home Of The Mighty Eighth
If we jettisoned half of the remaining fuel, we would be just at the arresting gear’s maximum capability. This was cutting it pretty thin. Slowly I descended to about 1,000 feet altitude approximately 10 miles off shore and aimed directly at the runway at Point Mugu. The foam and spray of white caps, which had appeared so small from 5,000 feet, now seemed more threatening. The wind was shaking the plane as if it were driving over a washboard road. I started to jettison fuel and told Bush to lock his seat belt harness.
At about 30,000 feet, the F-86L exceeded the speed of sound and created a sonic boom for all the alligators to hear. For me, there was no physical sensation in the cockpit when I broke the sound barrier—all I could see was a jump in a needle on the Mach meter. In seconds it was all over: The boom ended, with most of the fuel depleted, and I flew back to the Moody Air Force Base landing pattern. For breaking the sound barrier, I received a North American Aviation Mach Buster card and tie tack. It was another rung in the ladder to becoming a fighter pilot.
For me, the film was a career-changing experience. Seeing the jets zoom through the sky chasing each other around the clouds, I decided I wanted to become a jet pilot. Though the general public enjoyed the film, not everyone agreed with my positive reaction. Critics generally gave the film a poor review. In the end, unlike Hell’s Angels, Howard Hughes lost money on Jet Pilot. During my senior year in college, I met a young lady from my home town of Grand Island, Nebraska. Janice Sheehan was tall, slender, and had auburn hair.
Barksdale - Home Of The Mighty Eighth by David Davies, Mike Vines